It Feels Like Fall, Y’all: Random Tidbits and Links

Sun, Nov 13, 2011

links, random


After weeks in the mid to high 70s, it’s 60º and windy today. I guess we’re going to get a week or two of fall weather before winter steps in and kicks everyone in the face.

The closer we get to the holidays, the crabbier I’ll probably become. Ever since my grandmother passed away in 2005, I don’t enjoy Christmas much. My step-grandmother is a sweetheart, but it’s just not the same. Very awkward when the two families are forced on each other and nothing is the way it used to be. I’ll try to keep the dislike to a minimum, but don’t expect a bunch of touchy-feely holiday posts. Personally, I wish Black Friday was January 1st and we could just skip the whole thing.

My certified letter to the collection agency was received on the 9th, so they have until December 9th to respond. I would be thrilled if they didn’t, but I know I can’t be that lucky. I’m frantically trying to figure out where to come up with the money for that one. And now I’m paranoid about whether I have any other zombie debts floating around out there - nothing else shows on my credit report, but that doesn’t mean I’m in the clear.

Edited to add: Just checked my mail and I got a letter from the collection agency. They want me to sign a release allowing them to get all my medical and billing records from the doctor’s office. They say they have to have this in order to validate the debt as I requested. Um, no. The doctor’s office can send the information directly to me, but there’s NO WAY IN HELL I’m giving a collection agency permission to see my treatment records. Any lawyers in the house? Sigh.

As of right now, I can survive financially until at least the end of the month. You have no idea how depressing that is to say! All savings has been suspended, I just deferred my student loans for yet ANOTHER year… Ugh. Oh yeah, and my ex-husband lost his job, leaving Jayden with no health insurance until he finds something else. So this week I get the joy of applying for Medicaid coverage for Jay. Luckily my paychecks are so low I’ll have no trouble qualifying.

As you can see, I’m just a barrel of laughs right now. Here are some links that are considerably more interesting than anything I have to say at the moment:

Shaun from Smart Family Finance reminds us that if our budgets are easy to beat, we’re doing it wrong. In other words, if you’ve set your budget categories so high that you can spend what you want without going over, you aren’t really budgeting.

Jana from Daily Money Shot is tired of retailers ignoring Thanksgiving to advertise for Christmas. Since I’m a total scrooge right now, of course this post was one of my favorites. Oh yeah, she’s also giving away two cookbooks, so go enter to win!

Suzanne at Care One’s Straight Talk on Debt gives us the lowdown on credit reports. This list of resources will tell you everything you want to know, from obtaining your free (actually free) report to understanding what to do if there’s an error or problem, as well as how credit scores work.

Bog of Debt is setting some goals for November and making a plan to reach them. This post actually depressed me a little because all my goals have gone out the window, but it also reminded me that I’ll eventually get back on track. If that ever happens I’ll need to rethink the goals I set earlier this year.

Crystal from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff discusses persistence as the key to everything finance. As she discusses, sometimes it’s a full-time job to make sure that banks and companies handle your financial matters correctly. I feel like I could write a book on this topic - no one cares about your money as much as you do.

Jeff from My Multiple Streams reviews the new Mint.com iPad app. His post was actually how I found out there was finally an app specific to the iPad. It’s way better than the one for iPhone, but I still don’t rely on Mint for most of my financial stuff.

Marissa from Thirty-Six Months tells us how to prepare our vehicles for winter. I seriously don’t want to accept the fact that winter is coming, but it’s time to get the car ready anyway. Also, her site has a new look and I LOVE IT!

Enjoy the links, and thanks to all of you who have been supportive during my crappy couple of weeks. It can only go up from here, right? :)

Every time you read one of these posts, a unicorn is born:

  1. Post-Christmas Randomness

18 Responses to “It Feels Like Fall, Y’all: Random Tidbits and Links”

  1. BudgetorFudget says:

    I'm sorry Christmas is a difficult time for you. I know it's similar in our family since my brother died a few years ago. We just eat, open gifts, and that's it. No big shebang with a tree or anything. Plus, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays (I love stuffing). I hope things start going better for you and that you inherit millions from some long-lost relative that you've never met. 

    • Wouldn't THAT be awesome? Somehow I'm not going to hold my breath, though. :) Christmas is definitely weird now. We went from a huge big deal that lasted for hours, to gifts/eat/home really quickly, to drawing names for the kids instead of buying for all of them… And now this year apparently we aren't doing gifts for the kids at all. WTF? It's just shitty and I hate it.

  2. Lily says:

    That's why I love being European and having (almost) free health assistance, no matter my job or lack of it.

  3. Kay says:

    I have some similar craptastic stuff going on as well but I won't say something annoying like "I know exactly what you're going through"…..I even *wince* had to contact the local food pantry….because you mentioned it, I was also wondering if you pay the interest on your student loans when they are in deferment?

    • No, the interest doesn't accrue in deferment. It does if you do a forbearance. Basically you have to meet one of a list of requirements for deferment (I meet the income requirement right now), but you can ask for forbearance for personal reasons if you can't get deferment.

  4. Catseye says:

    I'm not crazy about any of the winter holidays any more but I do love the food!  Try to enjoy Thanksgiving, okay?
    Thanks for all the links to other blogs, I'll have to check some of them out.

  5. Marissa says:

    Yet another reason for you to move to canada….FREE HEALTH CARE!!

  6. Misttan says:

    I hate the holidays too!  I lost both my parents and even though I am married with a son its not the same.  Bah humbug!

  7. April Stotler says:


    That sucks so hard. I hate that you're going through it.

  8. Shaun Fowler says:

    I hope things turn around for you. Your link is greatly appreciated :)

  9. Michigangirl says:

    I love your statement…I wish Blackfriday was January 1! Me too…i wished I loved the holidays but I just DO NOT and am depressed they are upon us

  10. Prima__luce says:


    I read your post on MSN.com's front page, about being the 100%, and followed it back here.

    Then I read that you have apparently had trouble with a debt collection agency. It sounds as though they are telling you that YOU must provide proof of their inability to collect upon a claim? Apologies if I have misunderstood, but if that is the case, they are technically in breech of federal statutory debt collection law. (15
    USC 1692g subsection b)If you inform them that you are contesting the debt they can contact you to either a) provide you with a single requested copy of their documentation of your initial liability, b) provide you with the requested name and address of the original creditor or c) inform you of intent to seek civil remedy as pursuant to state and local laws.Technically they are even required to report to any credit bureaus that they have reported the debt to, that the debt is now under contest. If they are telling you that to discharge some obsolete debt, you must either pay them or provide them with some kind of documentation, they are in error.

  11. Shannyn @frugalbeaut says:

    Stock up on liter bottles of sodas and batteries to prepare for the impending winter.  


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