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Friday updates

November 14th, 2008 at 09:53 am

This week has flown past, thanks to another icky bout of illness no cranberry juice could conquer. I took two days off work and am now on antibiotics. Feeling better for the most part.

AS finally got her layoff notice! You know, the real one, not all the vague references to it. She has to work till Dec. 14 to qualify for unemployment. So she's going to try and go to work as little as possible while still getting done the few tasks that come her way. The best part is, I know when we can apply for unemployment (Dec. 28, or I guess Monday the 29th), I know when her last regular paycheck will be (Dec. 31), I know when her bus pass stops working (Dec. 14), I know when her health care ends (Dec. 31). Now we can start taking concrete steps in all these areas, thank goodness.

The holidays are upon us! We've gotten about five invitations in the last couple days. It's so great, but overwhelming. So we're going to try and start a shared Google calendar, since Google docs have worked so well for us. That way we won't forget any of the parties. Tonight is a happy hour with NT's office (they pay for the drinks!) and possibly going to see Quantum of Solace afterward. (I was never a fan of Bond films until Casino Royale; now I'm hooked!)

I decided to sign up for my company's health plan and try a Health Savings Account. I'm putting the full $3,000 in, since you don't lose any if you don't use it all, and if 2009 is anything like 2008 I'll go through it all anyway. My paychecks are going to be about $30 more than NT's, and he makes almost $8,000 less than me! It's not just health care of course; I contribute 6% vs. 3% to 401(k), and my bus pass money gets taken out vs. he gets to buy his with a company credit card. (I have stopped my bus pass purchases, but may start them up again if AS can't find a good deal on passes through the U before she leaves.)

I haven't completely stopped extra debt repay, but I have taken merch's advice in some part; I'm going to put aside enough money for our CSA farm share in Dec., NT's U bus pass in Jan., and our home insurance in Feb. And I'm going to set aside $1,000 as an emergency fund. If we don't need it by the time AS finds a job, I may keep it as an EF or put it toward extra debt repay, depending on what our situation is at that time. That still leaves $1,000 for debt repay in 2008, and about $450 (may be more with paycheck fluctuations) that I'm still deciding what to do with. I might see if that's enough to open an IRA with, because I want to make sure AS continues saving for retirement during her unemployment period.

And, some bad family news. AS's cousin G, an honor college student and all-around upstanding kid, got arrested for shoplifting Monday. He spent over $100 at Wal-Mart, but failed to scan a pair of socks at the machine. The guard stopped him, wouldn't let him just apologize and pay for the socks, called the cops, told them G had left the store and had spit on him. The cops arrested G and his friend, wouldn't let them have a phone call, decided to jail them for arraignment, and kept them there for 3 nights. AS's aunt and uncle nearly went crazy trying to find their son, until he was allowed a phone call on Wednesday night, after his friend had been released and he'd been kept there. Needless to say G was emotionally and psychologically shattered by that point. Police said he had to post bail to be let out, so his parents got some relatives in that state to take some money there.

Luckily, there are cameras in Wal-Mart that will prove the guard was lying about the leaving and spitting. Luckily, the Atlanta police chief admitted to the parents that A) G should have been given a phone call, B) most shoplifters are not held for arraignment, and C) under local law, 19-year-olds are supposed to be taken to juvie, not adult lockup. Luckily, G's going to get counseling, so hopefully this does not change his psyche forever. Luckily, G's mom is like a junkyard dog who is going to take down Wal-Mart and the police station, or at least cause them a lot of public embarrassment trying.

I don't have to tell you that this stellar student, dutiful son and upstanding citizen is a young black man, large in stature and with cornrows in his hair. You probably guessed that part already. I'm just bubbling with rage on his behalf. Three days in jail without a phone call for (supposedly) stealing a pair of socks!!!

4 Responses to “Friday updates”

  1. momcents Says:

    That is so awful! Can you say L-A-W-S-U-I-T? Too bad it's not in IL, because I have a big white bald headed brother who I am sure would make wonderful counsel!

  2. merch Says:

    Wow. I don't even know what to say. At first, I thought they were just hassling him because they thought that he was some college punk. Where I went to school, the locals were very anti the college students. Regardless of race or background, that behavior is unacceptable. And let G know they are a lot of people that feel that way.

    On a positive note, I am glad to hear you are getting more clarity on your finances. I would suggest that if AS's retirement is that important to you, add it as a budget item. That way you clarify further the money you have for debt.

    But great job as usual. And again, sorry about G.

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    Thanks guys. Luckily his dad has a few connections, so I'm sure the guard and the policemen will have to answer for what they did. I just can't imagine if he didn't have that support network; that could leave a kid very bitter about things.

    merch, I do want to make regular retirement contributions of some kind for AS while she's unemployed, but right now it looks like there's only going to be about $20 per month in the budget for it (not counting this $450 amount that I could put toward it). If we get some more money coming in, that's where it will go first, rather than extra debt repay, until she's got a 401(k) again. I don't know anything about how IRAs work; if we can just add to it in dribs and drabs or if we need a larger lump sum. I'll go with AS to our bank someday soon and we can talk about options.

  4. Ms. Pearl Says:

    That is absolutely horrible!! I detest prejudice! I hope walmart and that security guard/police get their justice!! wow. unbelievable.

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