Home > Archive: October, 2007

Archive for October, 2007

My health insurance company thinks I vacation too much

October 19th, 2007 at 04:01 am

They will not advance me an extra pack of Yaz - they only give one each month, and do not care that I will run out while abroad. Frown

They advance 1 per year, and I already used that in July when I went abroad for a company programme.

So now I have to fork over 60$ to buy Yaz at the market rate. But they do not suspend my insurance premiums while I go abroad - I still pay these.

This is such a moronic policy -- it is not like I am asking for an advance of painkillers or something "controlled".

And I have to buy it -- because you cannot just go on and off hormonal birth control - it stresses and confuses the body.

This vacation is getting out of control! and I have not left yet!

October 16th, 2007 at 05:07 pm

Bought a waterproof camcorder - so don't have to worry when rafting, kayaking, or horseriding in the rain. (I wish I had this when I was snorkelling in the Galapagos!) Than had to buy memory, and a "leash" for it. $600+

And, my Pentax broke!!! Horrible timing. Here is my dilemma: it is still under warranty, and they will fix it. BUT... not in time. And I cannot go across Patagonia without a good camera. I love photography and it matters a lot to me.

So what do I do????? It sucks having to buy another camera (especially of the same type - so I can use lenses I used with my old one)

Good news that does not mean anything.

October 15th, 2007 at 04:59 pm

I applied for a training program for a profession I have dreamed about for a long time. And it would be run by my employer, and would be free of charge - a very large investment on their part.

I just got a call from them, saying that they don't know if it will run, if there will be funding, and not to make plans based on it... but if it did run, they think I am a good candidate.

So it feels good to know that - even if nothing concrete is being offered!

0% for a year excuse

October 15th, 2007 at 12:07 am

My aunt just bought a camcorder that she cannot afford(but she obviously does not think so). I can't even be happy for her.
I was hoping she'd do more to get rid of her cc debt, but she keeps up with us in her lifestyle (often buying things I just bought -we live very close) She makes a lot less.

I've had personal finance discussions with her before, and I don't think they helped.
She says "but it is no interest for a year, its a great deal!" very happily.

She full-heartedly believes that buying stuff on credit is "the American way of life". And if it is no interest offer, than there is no reason not to buy what she wants now.

She has no retirement savings, but I cannot bring that up as an argument - she will get angry and resentful.

Married today!

October 12th, 2007 at 11:24 pm

It was a hectic, sometimes stressful day, with us barely making it on time to city hall. But once we got there everything went ok. I now can call him "my husband". Sounds so strange.

The judge was very nice and spend some time on the ceremony.

Few closest friends and our family came, and we went to a random place to eat afterwards.
It was a small mediterranian restaurant. We just came home now. Chilling some champagne.

After we come back from our honeymoon (30 days!) we will throw a wedding party for all our friends. We'll rent out a small restaurant, I will wear a dress and have dancing/albums/photographer and I hope a fun atmosphere with maybe some wedding games. But avoiding other "trappings" of the wedding.

Infuriating passport saga!

October 9th, 2007 at 05:33 pm

DH is still trying to get a new passport.

Here is the story:
The US goverment issues 2 passports with the same number, so when we were returning from vacation last year, he was
held in immigration for hours in Miami airport.(he is a US born citizen, the only one out of all the people held there).
All that time they told me or him nothing! Anyway, after hours and hours, they finally told us that somehow another passport with the same number was issued (after DHs) But since he was there, they just punched holes in his passport, making it invalid. They said "sorry, have to do that" and that he should apply and get a new passport at no charge.

Of course the passport office does not care. Not only do we have to pay for a new rush passport, but also they refused to service him for the rush passport because he went 1 day before the 2 weeks traveling requirement for rush passport.

He has been to the passport office twice (arranging time off work for it) and will have to go try again this friday.

And this situation is completely their fault!

Buying "want" items wisely

October 4th, 2007 at 03:46 pm

I think that spending (within reason) on things you like has its place.

The trick is to buy something you won't regret, will wear/use a lot.
An item you feel happy about every time you put it on.
Buying 1-2 items each month, even if more expensive, is a lot better to me than buying a lot of junk just because it was on sale. (Sales are great, I always look out for them, but... not worth it unless you were going to buy that item anyway).

But when you make a right selection, and just love your "want" purchase, it gives pleasure for a long, long time - not just the day you bought it. I feel I get a lot more satisfaction out of my purchases than some of my friends who constantly buy piles of stuff.

Trying to use rewards to travel - not easy

October 1st, 2007 at 07:45 pm

It is not as easy as it seems - we earned enough rewards to travel, but it just happens they are not for places where we want to go.

First of all, we mostly travel internationally, and most rewards are domestic.

We have:

1 transferrable no blackout dates United airlines ticket to anywhere in continental US.
I should probably sell it on ebay, since, domestically we only plan to go to Florida this year, and tickets NY - Miami are one of the cheapest ones. Tickets for middle-of-nowhere places are pricey, so many one of those travellers will be willing to pay more for it.

enough AA points for 2 tickets to most of US and Central America.
But not enough to Argentina, so I just had to spend almost $1,800 for those.
(I guess we'll go to Bay Islands, Honduras for a week in February)

enough Amtrak points for 2 tickets to DC or Boston. There are chinatown busses going there every day, so we would feel guilty cashing in this reward. And those cities not on the top of my list.

Enough Asia miles for a ticket to Florida or Bermuda. (for 1 person)

Enough Marriott points for 5 nights at category 7, such as Marriott in the center of Paris or Rome (but those are very difficult to book for good months, such as May or September. They are always booked.

So, we have a bunch of rewards, but ended up paying for the tickets ourselves. It is not so easy.