mellowtigger: (Default)
injury on day 2My wound from being a dork at the Science March is not healing very quickly.  I stopped at a local clinic today, just to have someone look at it for me.  The doctor said that I was treating it appropriately, but to come back and see her if the swelling at the edges starts to spread outward.  She said for this type of injury that Bacitracin often works better than Neosporin, and she gave me some samples to use.

I was convinced at the Science March by speaking to some people more knowledgeable than I am on matters of property status that I should call to ask why I lost my Homesteader status on my property this year.  I assumed it was because I failed to fill out an annual form because mail delivery here is very bad, and I often get letters for people all over my block.  They told me that there is no annual renewal, though, so I called today.  It turned out that they didn't receive a form last year, even though I filled it out and turned it in at the Hennepin County office listed on the form.  The lady last year told me that it should be delivered elsewhere (even though it had the Minneapolis office address right there on the form where I delivered it), but they would sent it to the correct office.  All done... or so I thought.  The lady on the phone today from the Minneapolis City Assessor's Office said they never received it, but she'll mail another one today.  That's good, since my taxes were going up a very large amount (for me) because of that status loss.

My taxes were done months ago, and I earned just under $30,600 in 2016.  It doesn't sound like much, and it isn't, but it's a lot more than I earned working at the local animal shelter for years.  It doesn't allow much of anything for savings, but I'm still getting by "easily" in my house.  To buy my house last year, I relied entirely on the savings that I quickly acquired while working for Dell for one year.  Life would be easier if I could tolerate long commutes and for-profit corporate life, but it's just not worth the toll on my well being.  I'm better off poor at non-profits, and I don't regret it.  :)

Speaking of taxes, my property taxes were going up a LOT this year as a result of the assessment increase and the loss of homesteading.  Luckily, I've been overpaying just enough each month that I could absorb that increase, but hopefully I can get the tax reduction from homesteading back onto my property.  Meanwhile, my assessment went up from $57K to $65.5K.  That's still a lot less than the value I'm paying on insurance, since that's a full replacement cost of $150K.  But... I mentioned being poor, right?  Lower taxes are good for me.  I plan to continue volunteering to help make a difference in the local crime in Jordan community of Minneapolis, so hopefully I'm contributing a commensurate benefit with my time instead of my cash.

My parents left me a gift last year that will cover the nice fencing that I want for the yard.  I got the quote from the company if I do all the work myself.  I need to give them the okay to order the materials, since the ground is now thawed.  I'll have to install the fence myself for the cheaper price, which will still be over $3.5K for everything.  I think that I'll "feel" a lot better about living here, though, once that's done. I've been woken up a few times already this month by gunshots, so adding a small sense of security would be a good thing for me.  And with a fenced back yard, I could easily get a dog for additional peace of mind.

I'll soon be facing some new stress at work (a coworker taking a very long leave of absence for a worthwhile cause), but that's the only added stress that I anticipate for 2017.  If that's all I have to worry about, then this year will be a good one.
mellowtigger: (Default)
I received my confirmation of Minnesota Care coverage on Saturday. Coverage begins the month after I make my first premium payment. So if I paid today, my health coverage would begin in January. I'm not paying yet, though.

health insurance: Unfortunately, they wildly miscalculated my annual earnings. (Really? Even with 3 paycheck stubs that plainly stated my total earnings for 2009 to the current date?) The monthly premium was more than twice what I was expecting it to be. I called this morning to ask about it. They couldn't find any of the supporting documentation for their estimate. *exasperated sigh* I left my original paycheck stubs with my application, because I didn't think I would need them again. I've already emailed Human Resources at my company to ask for a statement of my earnings. I need to fax the new documents to the state office to get them to reexamine my monthly payment amount.

car insurance: Several more weeks had passed on the car insurance front too. I called them (Farmer's) again this morning and spoke with a live person this time. After being put on hold for a minute or two, he came back to say that yes they had received the extra documentation I sent them and he would get a check sent out to me today. (Really? Why didn't this happen weeks ago?) Yay. I had already been asking around about lawyers, and I heard that it would be best for me to go to small claims court. I'm willing to take the lesser amount that Farmer's was offering just so I could avoid such hassle. I'll finally be "done" with the accident after I receive this payment from them.

truck insurance: I need to schedule a meeting with my own insurance (State Farm) company so that I can scale back my coverage to the minimum required by law. This change is the last "big savings" that I can squeeze out of my budget. Once it's done, the only other big change I could make would be to avoid all of the Bear events. I figure that would save me about $40/month by eliminating the meals I eat at the coffeehouse each week and the beer I drink at the monthly bar event. I may compromise and just avoid the meals; I can drink hot teas at the weekly Bear Coffee instead.
mellowtigger: (Default)
For people in the Minneapolis area, can you suggest a lawyer to handle a car accident case? There were no injuries, the other party was at fault, their insurance company admitted "100% liability". But after all this time, they still have not sent me a check for the cost of the rental car.

I left a phone message last week, but I still have not seen a letter or phone call since then. I tried to be reasonable by delaying the date when I got a rental car (several days after the accident rather than right away), by permitting them to pick their own date for when they'd stop paying on the car rental, and by going back to the car rental company to have them print an "estimated receipt" for how much it would have cost if I'd turned in my rental on that specific end date.

I tried to be nice. I'm done with the frustration. It's time to sic the lawyers on them.


Nov. 9th, 2009 11:25 am
mellowtigger: (Default)
I think I might be ill with a flu or something.  Hard to tell, though, because I don't have a fever.  I spent the weekend alternately awake and then sleeping for about 5-6 hours at a time.  I didn't set foot outside of the house from Friday after work until Sunday after dark.  I still feel odd.  I have that tingling sensation in my upper chest that should mean congestion and coughing... except that I have no trouble breathing and no fever.  Progression of the neuropathy, or temporary flu virus?  I can't tell.

Back to the today's topic, though... I oversimplify my finances each year.  I fill out the "EZ" national tax form whenever possible.  I itemize nothing, and in return I get improved peace of mind that I don't have to muddle through more paperwork.  When I had the car accident, I got swamped with mailings from various places.  Somewhere among the letters was (apparently) a notice that my driver's license was expiring on my birthday (November 3rd).  I'm guessing it ended up in the "junk mail" pile.  Oops.

Accomplishment #1:  I walked to the county office this morning and filled out the paperwork to renew my license.

I'm also still dealing with car accident forms.  The other insurance company (Farmer's) disliked the paperwork that I sent them regarding my rental car from the Avis company.  Farmer's said that they would pay only for 3 weeks of car rental, but the bill covered more time than that.  I went back to Avis and got them to print out a page for what a 3-week rental of the car would have been. 

Accomplishment #2:  I drove to Kinko's this morning and faxed that paperwork to Farmer's.

I hope that I'm finally done with all of that nonsense.  If I get a check for reimbursement of the rental car, then I'll finally get my credit card paid off and be out of debt.

The next item on my list is getting on Minnesota Care health insurance.  I filled out the forms late Sunday evening.  That was easy enough.  But then I reached the "required proofs" page.  They need the following (which I don't have right now):
  • U.S. passport (incorrect address) -OR- state driver's license (see above for expired info) and U.S. birth certificate (don't have)
  • pay stubs for the last 30 days (which I usually don't keep)
  • bank statement showing current balance (which I also don't keep)
I despise paperwork.  Even when I'm not scatterbrained and tired (and maybe ill), I despise paperwork.
mellowtigger: (Default)
I'd appreciate either A) general suggestions on how to find/purchase a used car or B) specific suggestions from local Minneapolis people on dealerships that treat customers fairly.

I'm 41 years old, and technically I suppose I've never bought a car on my own before.  Sad, isn't it?  The car that's now totaled, I bought it through a special program service at the place where I worked that bypassed the usual haggling process and went straight to a fixed price through authorized sales reps at certain participating dealerships.  The vehicle before that was found and financed by my boyfriend at the time.  The two vehicles before that were found and purchased by my parents.

I intend to hunt for a new vehicle this weekend, as much as the work pager allows me anyway.  I'm not quite sure where to start, though.  I really dread the whole "haggling" thing if it comes up.  Why can't a sticker price be "real" and mean what it shows?
mellowtigger: (Default)
I was on the road about 9:10am, heading to get some fast food breakfast before driving to Woodbury to install a pc.  Another driver crossed in front of me.  We hit on our front bumpers (and then again towards the back of each car).  She told the officer that she was blinded by the sunlight while she was coming uphill.  She did not see her own stop sign (I had none in my direction) or me.   There are scattered clouds today.  If she had been in a cloud's shadow as she came up that hill, the accident would not have happened.

My car is finally towed, after a long fiasco with me trying to talk to insurance companies, both mine and hers.  Mine was much more helpful about every aspect of this mess.  I have State Farm.  She has Farmer's.  Part of the issue may have been that she had no proof of insurance with her at the time.  She had picked up the new car just 2 blocks away.  The car had no license plate.  She had no insurance card.  She did call back soon afterwards with her policy number, so that should be fine now.

In the first picture, you can see where my car tracks (following the direction of the convenient blue arrow) took a sudden 45-degree turn to the right after the initial impact.  My air bag did not deploy.  I always wear a seat belt.

Neither of us was injured.  I'm already feeling the "heat" in my lower back so tomorrow is likely to be painful.  No issues for now, thankfully.  My car, though, may be "totaled".  The repair guy wasn't very optimistic, but he said it'd have to wait until he gets hard numbers for the parts that he would need.  With the age of my car, it'll be a close call either way.

car tracksleft bumper
front of my car

I was just one accident away from being broke.  And this was it.  *sigh*


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