Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Free phone... and free is good when you're broke


After giving up two hours of my life visiting three different Verizon stores and then waiting and waiting and waiting at the tech support center, I have a new Blackberry. Yay! It's just like my old phone. Except silver! And shiny! and functioning! Yay again! Oh, and FREE! Did I mention free? Free is good. 

No one was going to tell me that I was entitled to a new free phone when my phone was dying. But with a little legwork I found my old phone paperwork and, yay, because that sucker was 10 months old with a one-year warranty. Score Shana-1 Verizon-0. Uh-huh.

And good thing. Because money? I have none. But bills? I've got some of those. The time off for weather and holidays and being sick as a dog in November are all catching up with me now, and the paychecks trickling in from the last few months are skimpy. Freelance self employment is oh so glamorous. Seriously.

And also? I think my car is on the verge of exploding. It made a REALLY LOUD scary bad sound this morning. Twice. But when I got home and drove Tim around in it, of course I could not recreate the sound and it was just fine. I have a job about 15 miles away from home this afternoon, so Tim took my car and I'm driving his. And just hoping for no explosions in either vehicle. Because my car repair/new car budget? Hahahahahahahahaha. Good one.

All of this two weeks before I am flying to New Orleans for a week. Thank God the plane tickets are paid for, we have a free place to stay (my dad) and don't need a rental car (my sister will be driving in from Little Rock). And Mardi Gras parades are free. Otherwise? We'd be not going out of town in two weeks because, seriously, who travels across the country with no cash? 

I really hate the ebb/flow of freelance work. But I really love the freedom of being self employed. I can't imagine going back to work for anyone else on a regular daily grind basis. But I long for the good old days of having a scheduled payday on which I knew I would without a doubt receive a paycheck. Also? We are cutting back our health insurance policy to an even crappier one because our monthly premium went up $100 effective Jan. 1 and our coverage is still crap. I'm thinking about switching to a medical savings plan and going cash only for all of our medical needs, maybe carrying a policy for catastrophic illness or something like that. Does anyone have experience with anything like this?

We had to completely give up our dental insurance and Carlie and I are both due for cleanings this month. I actually clipped a coupon yesterday for a $85 first time visit with a pediatric dentist for cleaning and x-ray. How ghetto is that? Coupon clipping for medical care for my child. My life has hit a new ghetto low.

This is not the first month that this is happened, and it won't be the last. I am in such a cyclic business and I am so bad at budgeting and keeping something in reserve for months like this. So basically, I create all of this money-related stress for myself. Though the insurance stuff? I won't take responsibility for that, because our health care system sucks it, big time. And with both Tim and I being self-employed, we are just screwed.

I was planning on a quick trip to the gym this morning, but the sounds like it's going to explode car thing sent me home instead, and I completely lost my motivation to go now. But I did not lose my motivation to eat M&Ms. If I could channel my M&M eating mojo into working out mojo, I'd be a freaking gym goddess by now.


Cat said...

You know the way things are right now, it's not unheard of for people who do work for someone else to have payday come around without a check.

As far as healthcare goes, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Obama can get something done there, if he can just find someone who pays his/her taxes. Ugh!

Kathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathy said...

with two catastrophic illnesses/debt under our belt I can say emphatically "yes" to your idea. One was without insurance and one may as well have been without because the amount owing was nearly as much as my foot saga...foot= $88K without ins. and cancer=$63K with insurance. And that payday=no check biz...a member of my immediate family is in that situation-I'll leave it to you to figure out which one cuz I know you can guess.

Fantastic Forrest said...

I think Verizon owes you for the time and gas you expended as well. Mofos.

I will say the rosary for your car. But I'm not sure that will work because I'm not Catholic. And I'll be using my old Mardi Gras beads. If God has a sense of humour, she'll make your car better.

I'm glad you've already got your plane tickets, because it sounds like you can use the mini vacation.

I'll bet with the economy in trouble, and layoffs coming, your freelance service will actually see a rise in demand. Why? Because the employers don't need to pay you benefits. Argh.

You are a good mama to make sure that dental cleanings happen - don't worry about the coupon clipping aspect of this. I'll bet that medical professionals are happy to offer discounts and accept payment over time rather than not having customers at all. And cleaning helps prevent even more expensive fillings.

I have a dim memory of the Washington legislature considering low cost/free health care coverage for children during session last year or the year before. Can't remember the outcome. But it's worth checking into.

Anna See said...

hey, i clipped a dentist coupon for my kids and my dad is an oral surgery. so don't worry; it happens. way to stick it to the man for the free phone. impressive!

Anna See said...

ok, i didn't mean to say my dad is an oral surgery. i think you get what i mean.

so glad the plane tickets are already paid for.

Oliver Rain said...

Ooo, I have that same phone except red. I lurve it.

You have a trip coming up to New Orleans? Forget everything else (if that is really possible) and have fun.

Keetha said...

You look like a gym goddess, first.

Second, yea. You nailed it with the freelance thing - the good part is really bad but the bad part? Really bad.

I'm thinking of you!