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October 7th, 2011 at 05:17 am
After some drama with my previous employer, and per the advice of some regular readers of mine, I have decided to create a new blog, in the hopes that I am not stalked by said employer's staff. my CleanMPG.com profile
A little about who I am and what I am about. I am married, Christian, have an 8-month old daughter, and am recently unemployed, due to my previous employer making false accusations and following them up with a termination. Currently in proceedings with the Department of Labor and finding other employment. I start school at the local university in Spring of 2012. I will be majoring in Nursing. It is my dream to someday work as an OR Nurse or in a pediatric oncology unit. We shall see just where it all leads me.
We currently live in my parents' house, where my 32 year old delinquent brother does as well. If you know who I am and have read my previous posts, you will understand that he is not exactly the greatest person to live around. We were planning our exodus from this place when I was terminated from my position and almost all hopes of any future employment that I was seeking were lost.
I am a hypermiler. By that, I mean that I pump my car for more fuel economy than the average person. Our car, a 2007 Ford Focus S with 5 speed manual transmission, is EPA rated at 24 city/33 hwy/27 combined. I have consistently been averaging 40 mpg or more on the past few tanks, as I am improving my skills. You can find my stats at
. Once our tires are done for, I will be purchasing LRR (Low Roll Resistance) tires, which help to improve fuel economy. Also, I am running AMSOIL Signature Series 100% Synthetic oil, which is good for 25,000 miles/12 months between changes. It also provides superior cold-weather start-up, lower friction, and is more affordable (when calculated by qt per mile) that all other oils available. This oil costs about $.27 per mile, as compared to Mobil 1's $.67 (thereabouts).
There is plenty more to know about me, and I am sure I will touch on them in the future, as I have already done in my former blog here on savingadvice.com.
Some more recent developments are that my wife has an interview with her former employer (Macy's) for a non-seasonal sales position. Talk about role reversal! I am pretty concerned as to how well I will do with the little one with mommy gone off to work.
Also found out today that my credit rating went up from 715 to 726. Up 11 points from last month. Started at 640 in February. Now that's rewarding!
October 4th, 2011 at 01:03 am
Today, I was called into the office, thinking that my client was going to be the one to be spoken to, as he has been having behaviors recently. September 30 - Change of Employer
Instead, I was spoken to. And, as a result, my employment was terminated. Why? Because of this blog.
They printed off my blog from
and used it as evidence to fire me. They say that I violated my participant's privacy and that I never did the things that I claim in that blog. They said that I never contacted them in order to be transferred positions, and that they had offered me a position months before, that I turned down. I explained to them that I originally wanted to work days. And now, since I have been accepted to university, I wanted a night shift. I put that request in over a month and a half ago. Since the attack from the participant, I put in a request to be transferred to another apartment until I could get a night shift, as I felt that my safety was in jeopardy.
Anyways... I am now unemployed. And my previous employer said that they would "do everything in their power to make sure that I never work in the Medicaid-funded field again," and that they were going to be contacting the employer I was having the interview with. I have no idea how they got to this blog, or how they knew that it was that company that I was going to be applying for.
So... Now what? I am working to file unemployment at the DoL, though I cannot remember my PIN from when I was a teenager, so I have to wait until tomorrow so that I can speak with someone about that. Also, I will be printing off the blog post and taking it to my potential employer in hopes that they will see that there is no valid claim to terminate my employment, or to bar me from future employment in the field.
October 3rd, 2011 at 07:33 pm
Blog posts have been pretty sparse from me lately. This one is going to get a little personal. I am going to share with you all some things that I do not usually tell random Internet strangers.
This past weekend was quite emotional for my family and I. To make a long story short, we live with my parents, in their upstairs (bedroom, bathroom, and living area), while I pay down our debts. My oldest brother (32) also lives there, in the basement. This weekend, my father held a household meeting because of the recent goings-on in the house. My wife and I thought it would be an intervention to try to get my brother to straighten up. Week before last, he left the oven on with a pizza in it for four hours, scorching the pizza. We - my wife, infant, and I - woke up that morning with killer headaches, sick stomach feelings, and our 7.5 (8 months today!) month-old was super cranky that day. Obviously she had some physical issues going on other than just her normal teething. This is a health hazard.
Last week, my brother attacked me for trying to get him to stop yelling at our mother. My wife was worried for my safety and the safety of our child. I was fine, as I have military background. However, that does not lighten the situation by any means. He is physically and verbally abusive.
A couple weeks ago, we came home from running errands, to find smoke wafting up from the basement. The kind of smoke? Marijuana.
So we have this meeting on Saturday evening. And what is it about? It is about how my brother has "agreed" to shape up or get out (though he is drunk and high during this meeting). He was given 30 days. Which, mind you, has been a previous ultimatum given him by them before. They fail to execute. My father went on to say that the fact that my wife and I "practice false religion" (being that we do not go to their religious gatherings; instead, we attend a different "religion's" congregation, because that is where our spirits feel at home), is a negative aspect of what "goes on in his house." I protested, remarking on how my brother was behaving during this meeting, pointing out how he was smiling awkwardly, and obviously pretending. They wouldn't hear it. I also pointed out the recent goings-on and how it effects us, but they would not hear that either, and even said that there were no harmful elements emitted from that burnt pizza, and that my daughter's life was not in danger. They kept saying that we needed to move forward.
Yesterday, at church, the message hit home for us. It was about worship. Where and how it is conducted, and where it should come from within yourself. Basically, the most important PLACE of worship is from your spirit, your heart. The physical place of worship is hardly a matter (within reasonable limits, of course). There was a lot more said, but I DO NOT want this to become a religious or spiritual debate, or even a topic. Just giving a look into who we are and how this has effected us. We then spoke with our pastor and he gave us some real insight and encouragement.
We are now looking at other options.
My wife's mother is in an LPN to RN bridge program currently, and will be out in April or so. She is out of school by 4. I should be moving to that new position with the new employer in the next week or so. That position will net me about $250 more than I am netting right now. It will also allow me to go to school in the Spring. My wife suggested that she go to work at her previously employer, Macy's, where she worked the same nights as my new shift will be. Her mother would come over to watch our little one during that time. Though she will be out of school and back into the workforce in just a few months, she will do what she needs to help us out. Even if that means taking a job that coincides with our schedule. While I hate to put that on her, she has insisted.
My wife and I would also be donating plasma regularly. One person who donates plasma the maximum amount of times per month can make around $200 in that month. However, since they are so strict about your urine and blood contents, you are not guaranteed or even likely to be able to donate that often. So, we are not including this in our future budget plan.
All of this would help us to move out of my parents' house. The goal is to find a one bedroom for no more than $500/mo. It is doable. The university I will be attending offers family housing. One bedroom for $480/mo, and two bedrooms for $500/mo. However, in order to be accepted into the Spring move-in dates, you must apply in November. And the Winter move-in dates application periods have already passed. So, while these rates are far above any other we will find, it looks as though this will not be doable... We need out ASAP!
This brings me to the more financial side of things... We have been trying to decide... Should I take money out of savings in order to pay off a monthly bill of $100 (payoff is $549). We have $793 in our main savings account, $590 of which is EF. We also have $1,154 in another savings account, that might need to be used for airfare later next year for a somewhat expected emergency (sorry that I cannot provide more information on that), that - of not taken care of when it comes up - could spell unemployment for me.
If I do not payoff this $100/mo bill, we will not be able to afford to move out.
Thoughts on this?
Also, I have a $200/mo bill in which I owe a total of $11,600. This is a no-interest loan from my parents. They paid-off a car while I was in college before (yes, I graduated). They did this without me asking, abd considered it a graduation gift. That car is now gone, and so is the loan. The loan was part of their second mortgage. Their second mortgage is being written off as a loss at Wells Fargo. Currently, this $200 goes to lay for my Mother's addictions to beer and cigarettes (which she spends $300/mo on).
Since this loan was written off at the bank, I feel that when we move out, I will stop paying it. Their total disregard for my family's safety is inexcusable, and I do not feel obligated to pay this bill anymore.
The worst thing about stopping payment to them is that I am going back on my word. However, they have gotten $8,000 from me ($600 of which is since the loan was written off). Also, I would be severing ties with my family. I feel they are - with the exception of my father - an endangerment to my child. For instance, my Mother's addictions get in the way of her ability to watch our daughter. She once placed her on the kitchen counter so she could reach into the fridge and get a beer. This is one of many dangerous situations she has put our daughter in...
Would you continue to pay, or would you stop?
Thank you for reading and for providing your opinions. This is an important post to me, personally.
September 30th, 2011 at 11:56 pm
This week, I have been in contact with another possible employer. I will most likely be heading over to work for them, as my current employer is not fulfilling my needs. Here's the deal...
I work with Developmentally Disabled Adults. I work days, 9a-5p, M-F. I am also planning to go to school in the Spring, and classes are during the day M-Th. Obviously, this schedule will not work. And, as any smart person, I am putting school first. I put in a request to be moved to a night position. Night shifts consist of working 5p-9a. This shift would be the second half of the week, so it'd be 5p-9a, W & Th, 5p-5p F & Sat, and till 9a Sunday every other week. Make sense? So there is a 24-hour shift at the end of the week, with an extra 16 hours every other week. I know a lot of people get confused with this...
The night shift pays less hourly, but makes ~$200 more per month, due to the fact that they work more hours. Also, you get to sleep while your clients are sleeping, so I should not be physically drained from lack of sleep.
This new position would allow me to go to college. It would also bring in more pay. However, it also means that I would be away from home a lot. But we must sacrifice now for the benefits later...
This other company has a night shift open with two clients that I have one and two years of experience with. This would be great, as I am currently working with two individuals that I do not feel safe with. I have expressed my concern and have requested to be transferred to another apartment until I get the night shift that I want, but they have been unwilling so far to help me with this.
So off to the other company. I just have to interview with them.
I want to give my current employer two weeks notice, as I am not one to burn bridges. I may not like them as an employer, but it is a job, and they would take me back.
I was supposed to go in today for the interview, however, the person I was supposed to do it with cancelled and said he would contact me when he had time. Hopefully next week. Supervisors at these types of jobs are usually quite busy, so it's understandable that he had to cancel. Until then, I cannot give my notice.
Going to be one step closer to going to school. One step closer to my dream career. One step closer to balanced family wellness.
September 27th, 2011 at 05:12 pm
Recently, coming up with money for consumer goods that we actually need has been difficult. We need winter clothing and shoes and some odds & ends.
However, we have gotten a little help. A few days ago, my wife took in some clothes of hers that she does not wear, and sold them. She got $31 and was able to purchase one new outfit and still had some left over that we put into our clothing budget savings.
The other day, we were able to afford $115 worth of items at Target. 1/3 of that was regular expenses, while the rest was - thankfully - a coat for each of us, and a pair of pants for myself. That means that I now have three pairs of pants. Yay? And my wife only has one...
The other day, we received an offer from Target, saying that if we create our wedding registry, print it out, and take it to customer service, we would get a $20 gift card. We signed up for this before we got married over a year ago, so we felt that it would not be entirely dishonest if we were to take advantage of this offer.
So we did just that. Sunday, we got the card, and my wife was able to get some much-needed undergarments.
It's slow, and it's paycheck-to-paycheck as far as getting things we need, but it is working so far. Thankfully, we still have a good amount in savings, though we do need to payback our EF. But I am currently working on paying my auto repairs fund, as tires are an upcoming purchase of about $350.
On Saturday, I changed the oil in our car. Now, most people pay about $20 at any old lube shop for their oil changes. Not me. I have had far too many negative experiences at tire, lube, and mechanic shops. So I take it upon myself. Also, the oil we get costs $50 for 5 quarts. "Why?!" you may ask. Wel, it is AMSOIL Signature Series 100% Synthetic oil. This oil lasts up to 25,000 miles or 1 year. You do the math... Actually, don't. I already did for you. Well... For me. Using this oil costs $0.0027 per mile. Motorcraft (Ford brand oil) synthetic blend is $0.007 per mile. And Mobil 1 ful synthetic is $0.006 per mile. Quite a difference. Also, AMSOIL is proven by independent sources to cause less wear, to warm up faster, and to burn cleaner. So, it's a great buy.
As for those tires I will be getting later... They are Kumho Low Rolling Resistance tires that will last up to 100,000 miles or 6 yrs, with a warrantee, and cost LESS than the standard tires.
It's all about the quality of the maintenance you put into your vehicles.
Okay, so let's end this rambling and let you get on with your day!
September 26th, 2011 at 03:11 pm
After not having used eBay since I sold my MacBook Pro over two years ago (simply because I have not had anything to sell that merited the use of eBay over Craigslist), I have posted $250 worth (if you use Buy it Now) of auction items.
If you read my last entry, you would know that our computer – that I built just before I sold that MacBook Pro – recently had a power supply failure, which resulted in some damage to the motherboard, adding up to a little over $300 worth of repairs, if I did it myself. About $450 if I had someone do it.
Rather than repairing, we opted to get our new iMac that we'd planned on getting come tax return time. The total for the new iMac came out a little more than planned, but it was less than $450 in difference, so I believe it was a wise choice. And, since I remembered having received a letter from BillMeLater saying that I now qualified for their 'no interest or payments for six months if paid in full at the end of six months' deal, we will not be making any payments or accruing interest on this. When we receive our returns in - hopefully - February, we will be paying-off the BillMeLater account.
Nice to know is that my BillMeLater account was approved for a $2,608 line of credit. While that is more than I need and more than I used, it is great knowing that I qualified for that. I am sure than my credit score of 715 helps. In February, before we got real serious and organized about this debt reduction and overall healthy financial habits, my score was at 647. I'd say that is a pretty good improvement in less than a year.
Back to eBay... In a matter of one minute of being posted, the processor that I listed sold for $100. I purchased it for $200 when I built it. So I think I got $100 worth of use out of it.