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Well, April is shot

April 4, 2008

Oh boy.  It is only April 4th and I’m already anxious for May because I feel like this month is shot (financially).

Why?

1.  Sailing class:  Work pays for it (!) but I have to pay the taxes (what, sailing isn’t work related??) which are about $150.  In addition, I needed/wanted a windbreaker ($50), sunscreen ($6), and sunglasses ($6).  Please don’t make fun of my cheapo sunglasses!  I feel like I should wear some pants that aren’t made of denim or cotton, but I’m going to go to my first ‘on the water’ class to see if that is truly necessary.  He claimed we don’t typically get wet.

(By the way, I’m really pumped about this.  In addition to 12 hours of lecture, for the next six weeks I get to spend 3 hours on the ocean learning to sail.  This is really the kind of thing I want to spend my money on.  If I love it enough, I can take part two for another $150 out of my pocket.)

2.  Energy bill for 2.5 months instead of one, so $75 instead of the budgeted $30.  That doesn’t include my other bill for trash and some other services, which is about $10.

3.  Pay IBM/Lenovo for battery replaced under warranty because I threw away the broken one  when I moved.  I seriously want to smack my head against the wall for this.  They are overcharging me at $120, but I decided not to get crazy and order on online to send them.  With my luck this month, they will check serial numbers and bill me $200!

4.  Computer.  Um, this was not a prudent purchase.  I estimated that it would cost roughly $200 to upgrade, but did I really want Vista Home Basic, not Premium?  Is 1G of RAM really enough?  (Not for Vista.)   For an extra $15 I could get a 6-cell battery instead of a 4-cell, and 120G instead of 80G.  So I justified spending almost $300 to upgrade.  Then add in taxes and California’s $12 recycling fee (what?), grand total $341 for the upgrade.  That is 75% more than originally planned!  One the brighter side… I used my Visa Signature card, which doubles the one year warranty (great perk if you buy anything electronic).  I will have this computer a long time.  Oh and for those hipster Mac lovers out there, sorry, I just couldn’t do it.  My main concern was running programs I’ll use for school, MATLAB, on a Mac (which I know you can do, but I never have).   The price was a factor too.

So, as you see, April is totally shot…

How am I making up for it?  Instead of putting $400 in the e-fund, I’ll put $150.  Instead of the usual $75 I spend on dinner dates with T, I’m only going to spend $40 (or less).  I won’t spend any of my “home” budget, except whatever I need to do laundry.  I’ll use my $100 cashback bonus check towards the battery payment to ease that blow.  I had hoped to replenish my clothes fund, but that’ll just have to wait (no new clothes for even longer).  Entertainment is obviously shot for this month, perhaps next.  I found a way to take care of everything except the taxes so far, and those haven’t yet been deducted from my check.  Really, I don’t have to pay for the computer purchase until next month, so I might split it between two months.  I pay each credit cards at least twice a month.  I know, I’m weird.

In May, I’ll make up for my pathetic savings in April by saving my entire economic stimulus check.  It is also an “extra paycheck” month for me, so I should be able to save at least another $500 in the e-fund, no problem, and perhaps add some money to short term savings.  I’m counting my chickens before they hatch, but I should be able to save $1500 in cash in May.  My sister is coming to visit in May, so imagine I’ll spend some money doing things with her, but still.

Hmmm… So when does May come??

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. tom permalink
    April 4, 2008 8:49 am

    I would, if you haven’t already, call customer service and raise hel*. Explain the whole situation and if they continue to say no, ask to speak with a supervisor and explain to them that this is basically their fault (also their crappy batteries). Usually if you start off complaining nicely then start to get more frusterated and ask for supervisors, things go in your favor.

  2. April 4, 2008 8:53 am

    @Tom – I suppose it is worth a shot. I’m not much of a raise heck type of girl, but it IS sort of their fault. I sent them my (under warrnaty) laptop, they sent it back and said “the battery is bad”, but didn’t replace it for whatever reason. So I called, and they sent me a new one for “free”.

    I neglected to send the broken one back, which was totally my fault. Lame.

  3. April 4, 2008 9:06 am

    It sounds like you are really going to make up for this in May. tom has a point about raising. Did they tell you when they sent you the new battery you had to send the broken on back. I would assume the broken one would just need to be thrown away like you did.

  4. tom permalink
    April 4, 2008 11:52 am

    I spelled frustrated wrong above (oops).

    I think regardless of the fact that you didn’t send back the battery (which it sounds like they didn’t even notify you until it was too late), they still owe you a free, woking battery. Not to mention that you already paid for the one you threw out! So technically, you threw out your own property, you should owe them nothing. I would even have T call for you if you’re not the raise heck type. My wife hates making those calls so I get to enjoy that “pleasure”.

  5. April 4, 2008 12:17 pm

    If i remember correctly, it was sort of obvious they wanted the broken one back. They sent a return label and probably instructed me to call DHL for pick up. But I moved within weeks and threw the battery/box out in the process. Dumb, but I had thought it would be fine.

    I think they do it so people won’t call and say “hey, yeah… my battery is broke, send me a new one” then sell it on ebay.

    T probably is a worse complainer than I am, perhaps we need a 3rd party in our relationship to be more demanding for us. Haha.

    I’ll give it a shot. If it works, I saved $120. If it fails… oh well.

  6. April 4, 2008 1:30 pm

    Update for those reading these comments and hanging on the edge of their seats about the battery (heh):

    I called IBM! The lady on the phone was sympathetic, but basically said, “it is policy”. I whined more and she offered to file a dispute, took all my information. She also said that she can’t officially recommend that I buy a battery online and send it in but didn’t say “absolutely not” when I proposed that possible solution.

    Unfortunately, she suspected the dispute would not be approved, in which case, I’ll have to talk to someone new. Ug. But, let’s cross our fingers.

  7. Andrew Stevens permalink
    April 4, 2008 8:00 pm

    My wife always makes complaints like this one for us. She does the polite, nice, patient routine until it’s clear that it isn’t going to work. Then she hands it off to me and I lower the hammer. I only do this when they’re clearly wrong and we’re clearly right. That is not the case in this situation, obviously. I’m not judging whatever you end up doing, but I’d probably just suck it up and pay the money. As you point out, they do have a good reason for their policy and it was your fault that you don’t have the old battery to send them. I agree that their work in repairing your laptop was slipshod and they should have replaced the battery then, but that’s not the same thing as actively breaking a contract or providing negligent service.

    Plus, if you buy a battery on Ebay, you have to make sure it’s broken, no? So you need to buy a broken or drained battery which is easier said than done.

  8. April 4, 2008 8:08 pm

    I admit being in the wrong, but they are too, so who is more in the wrong? I guess it is their call. If they deny my claim, i’ll send them a battery. I don’t think it *has* to be broken…. we’ll see. $120 is too much for a battery anyway when retail price is only 50 or so

  9. Andrew Stevens permalink
    April 5, 2008 12:35 pm

    Why don’t you just return the good battery then and tell them you don’t want it after all? Then buy a battery on Ebay? This seems like a good compromise.

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