What's Simeon been up to?

Well thanks for asking. But only because you asked, I’ll give you the short answer, because trust me, I know your busy, and I really appreciate you dropping by.

So we flew from New Zealand to Peoria, Illinois, USA, landed in some of the colder weather they have had. Not the coldest, but an aeroplane did slide off the end of the runway and go into the ditch on the morning of our arrival. Our bags also were “delayed’

Our temporary housing is in a not so nice B grade apartment complex, we can hear the people above’s every move, even their talking at times, but not what they are saying. Also noted on that, was that from the hallway you can hear everything that anybody on the floor is saying. Interesting experience there.

We looked at a few houses, not many to rent in the area’s we wanted to live. There are quite a few houses for sale, but we are not ready to commit that much to this location (yet). So we are renting a house bigger than we need, but it’s nice, and a nice area with a nice school.

The kids started school on Thursday last week, which was as good for them as Michaela. There was a little bit of cabin fever going on.

We have been shopping for lots of house hold things, spending large amounts in shops to find specials on the next day or two. Slightly maddening, and yes some places will retrospectively give discounts, but not all. Really it’s just annoying to be spending so much money in a short time period, and knowing you can’t get the best time to buy discounts…

Which bring us to the Social Security Number, which we needed to wait before applying, which means three weeks into the adventure we/I don’t have it yet, but nearly everything needs/wants it. Which means important things have to wait. So frustrating.

Oh, and things are beyond crazy busy at work.. and there is so much US HR paperwork to compete, and it’s all made harder by the fact I’m not stationed at a Trimble location.

It can only get better.


Stu 2010-02-12 03:17:50

SSN’s are awesome. When you get one your told not to give it to anyone.. only EVERYONE freaking needs it or they wont process your application for BLAHBLAH without it. its amazing who asks for it…

I love SSN’s so much.. When sebastian was born a few months back, I had 4 weeks to add him to my health insurance.. after the 4 weeks your SOL and can’t change it until next year.. only it takes 6 weeks for the gov’t to give us a new ssn for him. nice :/ I’m STILL waiting to hear if he will be accepted on my insurance.. oh I could go on :)

paperwork.. mmm (doing my taxes right now….)

Simeon 2010-02-12 03:21:04

Insurance - Ouch, you know they do that on purpose, to avoid the expensive first year….

Tax - We have a company paid agent doing our tax’s, thank goodness, otherwise we would surely be lost and get fleeced, or just leave money on the table. Also messy with the duel country tax concerns.

Stu 2010-02-12 09:13:35

actually taxes a really easy here (since I dont need to file taxes in australia or england). were getting about 8k back in week. nice :) that will close out one of our debts completly (the car).

got a foot of snow in the back yard. how is your fam adjusting to the sub zero temps in the middle of the day? :)

Simeon 2010-02-12 11:20:15

They are liking/loving the snow, the coldness it’s self they are used too, but finding it restricting on playing space. Thus the cabin fever.

Simeon 2010-02-13 03:36:25

Just got my SSN yesterday! Woot!, but now as I/we have no credit history, we still got rejected for a finance option last night. Then the didn’t want to take a “starter check” so will have to return with cash today.


Rowan 2010-02-15 22:19:11

Glad you are surviving. Sucks about the neighbors. Our upstairs neighbors seem to like moving the furniture around a lot, which is weird but bearable. Everyone at our complex seems to be learning the piano though which is not so cool.

Simeon 2010-02-16 10:17:36

Well the apartment fun is over, we have had the lease on our new house for over a week, but stayed first time last night, was really quite (excepting for the central heating), and all ours, only problem is we have no table/chairs or sofa’s yet, so eating tea sitting on the floor. Furniture is due in 3 weeks-ish.

Stu 2010-02-18 03:02:06

yeah, I had my wife put my name on her oldest credit card as co-whatever, instant 15 year credit history! :) nice thing is getting electricity etc when you have no previous electric company vouching your a good customer. its a real pain in the ass getting everything setup.

Simeon 2010-02-18 04:24:37

The electricity/gas company was no so bad, they just wanted me to fax my SSN/passport to some random US number, and to have a $380 deposit, paid over 6 months so is not so bad.

What was annoying was the 1 1/2 hours to buy a phone (after having spent 40 minute previously to find we needed a SSN number for a contract) to then have to pay $400 deposit upfront due to no credit history. We get that back after 1 year if we are good.

I the bank gave us car loans but we had to have 30% down, and we got local’s rate, which was nice, we where expecting to have to buy the cars outright, so that was “nice”.

Where-as to get a CC we need to deposit the same amount we want as the limit, into a fixed CD deposit for at least 12 months. Then to maximise the CC history rating, we should not load the CC more than 1/3 of the limit. Otherwise will be flagged as a “risk”, almost pointless.

At least the car loans will start to build credit history.

Stu 2010-02-18 06:19:34

credit scores in the US are calculated by magic. nobody knows and its all a mystery. good luck with getting your score “up”. Isn’t it funny how you need an SSN to get a phone :) or pretty much anything else here.

Rowan 2010-02-18 14:13:56

Is this just the banks/companies being cautious because of the mess they got themselves into last year, or has it always been like that?

Simeon 2010-02-19 04:12:42

I think consumer debt (unsecured) banking were always cautious, the problem was how banks where ‘managing risk’ on house loans (secured debt) to maximise R.O.I. for the banks perspective. That and/or the bank I joined, had no problems during the “scary times” becuse the played it safe, but did make huge profits in 2008/2009.