Time for The Talk. No, not the kind of “talk” you give your kids when they’re young. This talk is about their finances, and final wishes. Yeah, that’s a tough talk to have. And an even more difficult one to start. “Hey, let’s talk about what’s going to happen to you and your finances when you die”. Depending on your parents, that might just work.

For my own personal situation, I was pretty fortunate. My mom – who basically manages my parents’ finances and such – really just started talking about it one day. She already had plans of adding her children to titles and accounts, power of attorney, DNRs and such. She said she has it covered and gave us any info we would need at the time. Nice! Where’s my EASY button?

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I tried four new recipes over the last week and have to say, Pinterest never fails me. I think they all turned out really good and I’ll definitely put these into the regular rotation. It’s funny though, there aren’t too many meal recipes I’ve made twice since being out of work. Why? There are so many recipes to try out there! There are a handful which I’ve made a few times; those are our go-to meals. But there has been far more new recipes I’ve made.

All the recipes can be found on our Pinterest board.
Extrapolate This!


Chocolate Chip Scones

I haven’t tried baking much since being out of work, and I’ve been wanting to give scones a try. I found this low calorie scone recipe that looked really good and easy. What’s nice about this scone recipe is that it comes in at only 155 calories because there really isn’t much sweetener involved. Aside from the chocolate chips, the only other sweet ingredient is the maple syrup. But don’t worry, you won’t miss it. There is just enough sweetness. These scones were great with a hot cup of coffee.
New Recipes


Next up: Easy Baked Taco Pie. Another fast recipe to make. Just one pot and pan. The only adjustment I made was to the chili powder. I didn’t use any; instead I used Ortega taco seasoning as we have a bunch in the pantry. I also baked it in a 9″ square baking pan instead of a round one. We ended up getting 2 1/2 meals out of it. Not bad for what amounts to about $6 in ingredients.

New Recipes


Malibu chicken

I didn’t snag a picture of this one, the pic below is from Pinterest. I changed this recipe more than any of the others. I didn’t end up breading these at all. I just baked the chicken breasts with some salt and pepper. Once done, I topped them with ham and baked them in the broiler for just a minute to crisp up the ends of the ham. Then I added cheese and put them back under the broiler for about half a minute. Pretty simple. The thing I liked about this recipe most was the dipping sauce, mmm. I would make that again to use with other recipes.

New Recipes


Marinated Baked Pork Chops

This one we had last week. We were a little skeptical at first because the ingredients in the glaze seemed a little basic and the ketchup threw me a little. But the glaze was great. I’ll end up using it in other recipes just like the sauce from the Malibu chicken. Note – if you’re buying canned green beans, grab some fresh ones from the produce market. They’re not only a good price, but so much better and worth the extra effort. We haven’t had canned green beans in a long time.

New Recipes

Joe-

The weekend is here! It’s going to be a beautiful weekend here in Chicago. I’m hoping to get out and enjoy it with some early morning bike rides.

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If you’re located in the west ‘burbs of Chicago, one of the early suburban “summer” fests kicks off, Taste Of Glen Ellyn. We’ll be taking it in at some point this weekend.

What are you up to this weekend??

Extrapolate This! - Weekly Roundup - 515 to 521

Things You Do That Annoy Your Coworkers

Do You Have Unclaimed Property?

Illinois Property Taxes

Do You Suffer From Lactose Intolerance?

Things You Do That Annoy Your Coworkers

It’s the end of the week. Thank goodness, right? Now you can get a break from your coworkers. As nice as they may be, I’m sure they do things that annoy you. Likewise, you probably do at least something to annoy them. Here’s a list of some of the irritants I’ve experienced over the years.

Around The Office

Playing music too loudly – It doesn’t matter whether you’re listening via headphones or speakers at your desk, if anyone who isn’t sitting directly in front of your computer can hear your music then it’s too loud.

Clicking a mouse like you’re afraid to touch it – I never thought I’d run into this one, but apparently some people poise their finger way too far above the mouse clicker so instead of a soft click, they sound like they are playing whack-a-mole with their mouse. Don’t be one of those people, particularly if you work in close proximity to others. That repetitive loud clicking/jabbing noise is irritating after several hours. It’s the equivalent of listening to a dripping faucet.

Barging into someone’s office or cubicle and launching into a topic without first announcing your presence – Give people a chance to stop what they’re doing before talking about something. In addition, stand at the perimeter of the cubicle and not right up against your coworker’s chair. No one wants your crotch in their face!

Email

Emailing important information in a screenshot instead of within an actual file – A screenshot is fine if you’re just explaining something and using the screenshot as backup, but if you’re asking someone to setup an account, for instance, and the data is in Excel or Word, don’t send them a screenshot and make them have to retype all the info. Send them the actual file, or at the very least, copy and paste it into the body of your email. Think about how you’d like to receive the same information from someone else and don’t make their job harder than it has to be.

Neglecting to include attachments when forwarding an email – If someone emails you a question that includes attachments and you need to forward that on, use the forward option in Outlook and then CC the original person so they see you’re addressing their concern. Do not hit reply, add the new party to the thread, and then hit send. Now that new person doesn’t have all the information required to address the issue.

Addressing two entirely different topics in one email – If someone sends you two emails about completely different topics, please make it easier on everyone by responding to both emails separately instead of tacking your answer to both on one of them. It makes it difficult to follow the thread otherwise when in an email about time off you include “oh and yes, you need to do XYZ with the TPS reports”. Later when that person needs to justify why they did XYZ with the TPS reports, they aren’t going to remember to check the thread about time off for your answer. Unless you’re intentionally trying to make your colleagues’ jobs more difficult, please do not do this.

Hijacking an email thread to ask an off-topic question – Similarly to the issue above, this makes it difficult for people to follow a thread and/or find one later on. If you want to talk about something new, please start a new email thread.

Final Thoughts

Do you recognize yourself in any of these behaviors? It’s worth considering since most people aren’t going to address them with you but might like you less if you’re constantly annoying them.

What do your coworkers do that annoy you?

Seems kinda crazy to me to lose track of an account you may have opened, but it happens. Or sometimes a relative leaves you money you know nothing about. Both happen more often than you think; so much so that all the states have a way for you to check if there’s money out there waiting for you. All you have to do is visit your State Treasurers’ website. You see, all unclaimed property has to be reported to the state Treasurer. The state Treasurer then does what they can to connect the dots between people and their “lost” money.

Here in Illinois, we have ICash. Just Google your state treasurer – for example, Illinois Treasurer or Illinois unclaimed property – and there will likely be a link to an unclaimed property search on the main landing page.

Check it out, you never know. Especially for those who have had loved ones pass away. Be sure to search maiden names as well.

Good luck!
Joe-
unclaimed property - extrapolate this

Illinois Property Taxes

If you don’t live in Illinois, you may or may not be aware we Illinoisans have the distinction of having the highest property tax rate in the country. It’s downright ridiculous, there really is no other word to describe it.

I don’t often get into specifics of expenses, but seeing as property tax info is a matter of public record (as long as you know an address), why not.

Our property taxes for 2015 were $5,788. That’s right, nearly $500 a month goes to property taxes. I’m willing to bet that the majority of people reading this are thinking WTH? Unless of course you own a house in Illinois, then you understand. The killer part of the taxes we pay is that we own a town home. That’s right, we don’t even own the property our place is on. Better yet, we pay more in property taxes than the house around the corner from us, in the same township. Makes a whole lot of sense, right? It’s enough to make your blood boil.

If I could change one thing about where we live, it would be the property taxes. The rates are just idiotic. Now, the majority of our taxes goes to the school system. While we haven’t/won’t take advantage of using the schools here, I understand there is a benefit when we sell our place as the schools here are really good.

The counties need to find ways to reduce property taxes. It just isn’t right that a person could seriously end up paying more in property taxes over their lifetime than their mortgage or home value. There must be other ways to cut expenses or have other pension options for village/city workers. I know that last one about pension reduction isn’t a popular idea. But people need to understand that pensions are bankrupting cities across the country. Again, I’m not suggesting getting rid of them, but instead finding a different option that won’t bankrupt a city or cost taxpayers an arm and a leg.

Joe-

Do you suffer from lactose intolerance? Unfortunately I do and lactose free milk can be pretty pricey. A half gallon costs more than a full gallon of regular milk, plus I don’t drink milk very often, so more often than not it’s a waste of money and milk to even buy it.

On top of that, I still want to be able to enjoy ice cream and cheese without paying the price later. That’s where Dairy Digest Complete comes in. I discovered it a few months ago and now I take one pill right before I’m going to consume something that normally would upset my stomach and I’m good to go. The pills are cheaper than Lactaid and small enough that I can keep several in my purse so I’m always prepared. I highly recommend them!

Disclaimer: I was not paid to promote this product, I just really find it useful and wanted to share.