Archive for the 'Financial Shit' Category

Energy Usage, One Year Later

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

We’ve been in our new home for 24 months now. Around this time last year, we got our twelfth bill from Entergy at the new place. That meant a year’s worth of accumulated energy consumption data. This was a handy baseline, coming just days before we insulated underneath the house with closed-cell spray foam. So […]

Some Good News

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Since I spent so much time bellyaching here about our cashflow problems, I thought I should at least report some recent tidbits of good news. We did not run out of money at the end of February. Granted, it’s a short month, but I think our austerity measures are paying off. I did our taxes […]

Extra Money

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Got my check for working as an extra for HBO’s Treme. It seems the going rate for this kind of work around here is $7.25/hour for a non-union extra like me. Eight hours of that plus four hours at time and a half equals $101.50; after taxes, I got $95.77.

Grocery Revelations

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

On the subject of our household finances, a consensus has emerged both in the comments of my recent post and elsewhere: Our grocery bill is out of whack, off the chain, out of control. I agree. I’m not sure why I didn’t notice it myself earlier. In part, it might be an example of not […]

Austerity Program

Friday, February 11th, 2011

While politicians in DC wrangle with cutting the federal budget, I’m trying to do the same thing here at home. It ain’t easy. I suggested to Xy we might cancel our newspaper subscription — she was not happy about that. Well, neither am I, exactly. But a part of me relishes the challenge. First a […]


Monday, January 31st, 2011

We’ve been having a bit of trouble making ends meet ever since Xy changed schools and took a $20K pay cut. Sometimes it’s that last week of the month, sometimes, just the last couple days. A number of times I’ve had to draw off our savings to make up the gap. It’s occasionally embarrassing and […]

Energy Usage

Saturday, November 20th, 2010

I mentioned last January that we got stuck with a big ($500) utility bill that month. There was no question in my mind that our energy consumption was off the chain because of a record-breaking three-day cold snap. Now that I’ve got a year’s worth of utility bills, this is even more evident. Here’s a […]

Domain Games

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

There’s a certain domain name of which I am part owner, the other owner being my friend in Missoula. This domain is a three-letter dot-com and as we all know there are a limited number of those, therefore they have a certain value. I’m not naming the domain here, but I think the perceptive reader […]


Thursday, January 28th, 2010

I recently got our energy bill for the period covering the recent cold snap: $500! Granted that was some record-setting weather but still… $500! Ouch. I’m still in shock. Or perhaps I should say I’m floored. Some of my friends assumed this high bill was indicative of high energy costs here in Southeast Louisiana. I […]

Vehicular Challenge

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Michael gave me a lift early Sunday morning to pick up the car from where Xy had abandoned it on Airline Highway the night before. It wouldn’t start. While we were unloading her Xmas shopping a cop pulled up and chastised us for leaving the car there overnight. He waited while I called Progressive Roadside […]

Exhalation & Disclosure

Monday, November 16th, 2009

I feel like I’m exhaling and relaxing for the first time since — when was it? — late July. That’s when the idea of moving first entered my head. We’d learned our daughter had lead poisoning and then a few days later I had a close encounter with one of the guys from the corner. […]

Closing In

Friday, November 13th, 2009

I’m gearing up to sign a bunch of papers in about an hour and a half. First we’re closing on the sale of our old house. Immediately after that we’re closing on the purchase of our new house. The latter is predicated on the former. I have power of attorney so I can sign for […]


Thursday, August 27th, 2009

House update: Our initial offer was $9K below the seller’s asking price, which got us to a nice round number. We also specified they cover $3K of closing costs. They made a counteroffer, bumping the price back up $3K. We are accepting this counteroffer and making a deposit. Now we just have to sell our […]

Hassling with Humana

Friday, August 14th, 2009

I really hate our whole healthcare/insurance system, which is why I get excited when I hear about reform and discouraged when it seems to go off-track. This is on my mind today because of the inane interaction I just had with my health insurance provider, Humana. Back in June, when we were traveling, our daughter […]


Monday, July 13th, 2009

When we moved to New Orleans ten years ago we set up a bank account with Hibernia. We wanted to bank local, and we heard Hibernia sponsoring the local NPR affiliate, so we figured they were as good a choice as any. They had branched out to Texas and Mississippi and Arkansas, but their headquarters […]


Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

The damage to our car from running up on that curb has been repaired. The bill? $4,008.53. Xy’s response: Time to get a new car. My response: At least we met our deductible. On a related note, the future of Saturn appears uncertain at this point, so I’m rather discouraged about ever getting satisfaction on […]

One Cent Margin Call

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Here’s a new one: I got an automated call from eTrade, asking me to call them about my account; checking the website, I saw I have a negative balance of minus one cent — generated by a one cent margin call; I was on hold forever, but when I finally talked to a customer service […]

Maybe It’s Right to Be Nervous Now

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Back in June 2006 we had some extra money lying around from our insurance settlement. I’m hesitant to name dollar amounts publicly. Let’s just say it qualified as “a lot” in my book. More than a month’s salary, less than a year’s. I hope that is sufficiently vague. So I decided to invest in the […]


Monday, August 4th, 2008

We got our 2009 Real Estate Assessment from City Hall Friday. Last year, I didn’t understand property assessments, but now I think I do, kinda sorta, so I’m actually able to make some sense of this notice. Last year, our assessed value was $720 (land) + $1000 (structure) for a total of $1720 — the […]

Drop Off

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

I left my daughter with a bunch of strangers this morning. Kind of an odd experience, but not as upsetting as I might have thought. The folks at the daycare seem to know what they’re doing, and the whole scene inspired confidence. This is teacher prep week, so Xy’s not quite back at work full […]