I had hoped to be blogging every day this month, but that's a little harder than I thought it was going to be. Most of the time I forget until after midnight, but today I remembered.
Tomorrow is payday and so today I sat down with the grocery ads and went through to see what the sales were. They have been awful for the last 3 weeks, but redeemed themselves this week. I was pleasantly surprised by the meat sales. Boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs are both on sale for $2.99 a pound. New York Strip Steaks are on sale for $5.99 a pound. We usually get the sirloin ones, because they go on sale at $4.99, but when strip steak is just $1 more per pound for a far superior cut, I will go for it. They also have grass fed beef on sale for $4.99 a pound so I am going to stock up.
They have a couple of pork sales going on as well, but I need to see how big they are, whether or not they have bones, and figure out what they mean by half cut chops. I have never seen that term before. They are both really cheap, one was $1.69 a pound and the other was $2.49 a pound, but those prices may even out depending on bones and I'd rather have boneless if it is a roast. If there is bone in a chop it needs to be on the edge. So we'll see on that one.
They have a pasta sauce I like but don't usually buy because of price on sale for 3 for $5, so I am going to check out the ingredients and see whether or not it has soy in it. If it doesn't, than I will go ahead and get some tomato based ones and some Alfredo ones. While I can make Alfredo sauce, it requires having cream on hand, and it is just easier to have jars on hand.
My son's special peanut butter is on a very cheap Friday only sale, so I will probably get four jars of that, too.
We are very low on cheese, so I will have to go to Winco. They have the best cheese prices in town. Since I'll be over there I'll stop at the Dollar Tree and stock up on soup, too. Fortunately all the grocery stores I shop at are on a pretty close loop. Two miles unless I include Costco and the Food Co-op, which is an additional mile, but still easily on that loop.
DH is taking the truck over to get an estimate on repairs tomorrow. They are a body shop that will bill my mother's insurance directly, but also one that is highly recommended in this town. He'll get an estimate on how much it would cost to paint the whole truck, too, since I want to start saving for that and I have not got a clue on how much that will cost. He also has a dentist appointment tomorrow for a cleaning. Good thing he only has to work until 11 a.m.
Still sticking to the meal plan really well. I don't really like the tater tot casserole my family loves, though, so I had tuna fish spread (no bread), a big salad, and finished off the canned pineapple from earlier in the week. Normally I'll make myself fish and chips on a night like this, but I didn't want to put forth the effort after all the cleaning I did today.
I'll clean out the fridge tomorrow before I go shopping. It's not bad, but someone spilled something in there that looks like juice and didn't tell me and it will need a bit of scrubbing and it is easier to do that before all the new stuff goes in and gets in the way.
I'm not sure if I'll do a one day shop or a two day shop. It really just depends on how well my body is doing. My joints have been hurting the last two days so I may not be able to do it all in one go.
Viewing the 'Vehicle Expenses' Category
I had hoped to be blogging every day this month, but that's a little harder than I thought it was going to be. Most of the time I forget until after midnight, but today I remembered.
Don't worry, no one was hurt. We weren't even in the truck when my mother backed her SUV into it. She knew it was there. She saw it when she got in, but she had forgotten about it when she went to back out, which makes me think she didn't even look behind her as she backed up, and she must have really hit the gas because the amount of damage done to both vehicles was pretty bad. It put a six inch crack in our bumper and bowed it. It put a massive dent in the license plate, and it scratched big chunks of paint off the front of the truck.
The rear of her SUV actually fared worse. I am surprised that she is actually taking responsibility for it. She said she would call her insurance company. The last time she backed into one of our vehicles and left a big dent, she tried to play it off as nothing. At least the one time DH Scraped her old truck with the van, we offered to pay for it, but they popped the dent out for free. But this time she is going to pay for it. I just hope she doesn't have a super high deductible.
I hate to think what is going to happen to her insurance rates after this, though. True, it is her first accident in years (that I know of), but still she is 79 years old.
And that's another thing. Is it time to be thinking about taking the car keys away? I mean if you notice there is a vehicle parked behind you as you get into the car, but then forget about it by the time you back out, does that mean you shouldn't be behind the wheel anymore, or that you just spaced it.
Sometimes I think the driveway is cursed. This is the fifth accident in it during the last 30 years. I know they say most accidents happen close to home, but this is ridiculous.
When we take the truck in to be fixed we're going to get an estimate on how much it would cost to get the whole thing painted as well. The roof and the hood are both in pretty bad shape with flaking paint and rust starting. It was a bad paint year for Toyota Tacoma's that year. Body shops and mechanics can tell how old the vehicle is just by looking at the mess the paint is.
I had thought about not running it through the insurance to make it so her rates wouldn't go up, but you know, if she isn't driving safely than maybe her rates should go up, and it'll be a reminder to her to literally watch where she is going. I hope she just doesn't blame us for when it inevitably does go up. We had nothing to do with it. We were both in the house.
I got my bill recently for the next six months of car insurance. I have been setting aside $100 a month every month in the Car Insurance Fund. The bill is $567.14 if paid in full. I save $67.66 by not paying it month to month, because they charge a convenience fee each month to do it that way.
Now, it still feels like I am paying month to month, because I have a line item on the budget for it each month and it still disappears from my checking account, but I would much rather do it like this and save that extra money. In order to get ahead like this, a couple of years ago we used some money from our tax return to pay the six months in full and then started saving each month after that. I know some budgets are tight so it would be hard to pay each month and save for the fund, but by doing it like this we didn't have to. We were able to immediately start saving into the fund that month.
So not only do I save that $67.66 off my bill, I also end up with a cushion of $32.86 sitting in the fund to start off with since I am slightly oversaving. Of course I don't know what the six months after this will cost, so if it goes up, we have that cushion, plus the next one if necessary to add to our in full payment. A little insurance on our insurance, if you will.
I do the same thing with other funds. Like right now I am saving $100 a month in the Computer Fund. I could get 12 months same as cash or I could save for several months ahead of time and have the money sitting there ready to go when the next computer or camera or phone other electronic device goes belly up. If the money is there, I can still choose to do the same as cash option, knowing I can pay it off at any time, or I can just pay it off.
Some people aren't so good at paying it off in the allotted time, but we have always been. I figure we might need it to jolly our credit report along at some point, since we are using so little credit these days. If we ever finish the debt payoff and save up enough to put a down payment on a house again, we will need a good credit score. So even if we do the deal and pay it off after three months, it activates the credit report. But the point is, I don't want to have to do it that way. I want to use it as a tool, not have it use me.
I think it is good to have sinking funds like this. It keeps you from being walloped by an unexpected, but really what should be expected, expense. We all know our cars will have insurance due every six months, but to many it is just a big surprise every time it happens because they don't budget for it. We all know computers break down, that Christmas comes every year, that the kids will need clothes and shoes. Budgeting as we go, so we don't get smacked with the expense, just makes sense. And it helps prevent using credit cards and getting further into debt, which is the most important thing, at least for us.
I am finding a need to more closely track our spending again. We overspent in April by a huge margin, mostly due to me feeling really cruddy for most of the month and not wanting to cook. We had a take out bill to end all take out bills, so now I am determined that 1.) we are going to cook all our meals this month, and 2.) I am not going to let money fritter away and slip through our fingers like that again.
$500.00 for Mom's Utilities
__56.83 DH Life Insurance
__46.30 Me Life Insurance
_100.00 Emergency Fund
_100.00 Insurance Sinking Fund
I have two doctor's appointments next week, one with the rheumatologist and one with the eye doctor to check to see whether or not the hydroxychloroquine is turning my retinas yellow or not. I sincerely hope not as it is the one medicine I've been able to use without side effects. It improves my symptoms by about 50%. So I left some money in checking to pay the co-pays.
I am happy to finally be able to put something into the emergency fund again, even if it is only $100. It is necessary for us to rebuild this fund and if I don't waste money on takeaways, than it is available for savings.
I have increased the amount I send to the sinking fund for insurance. We will be taking over insurance on the truck soon. It has been paid off, so we are just waiting for MIL to get the title mailed to her and then we can transfer ownership to our name. I hope we won't be charged taxes so we didn't buy it but inherited it. We will have the death certificate and the will with us for proof we didn't pay, but you know the government, always having to have their hand in your pocket taking money out. But MIL might pay it if there is. I hope so, because we can't afford to. Well, we could, but it will make things super tight in whatever month we have to do it. Things are already tight, though apparently not so tight we didn't waste a bunch of money last month. I will be kicking myself for that for a while.
MIL is really sitting pretty. She got the insurance money and has paid off every credit card bill, the vehicles, and the mortgage. She gets $3000 a month in pension payments, plus her social security. She inherited the 401K and has enough in there to last 25 years at $16,000 withdrawn per year. She's not going to be in any kind of trouble. I am glad, because we all thought it was going to bad for her, but it turns out she's doing better than anyone else. She's set, barring a medical emergency. That can eat up money fast, but aside from her obesity, she's in very good health.
I have been sick and not really staying on top of blogging, but I have been staying on top of bills. I got my Thrive Life commission check of $59.68 and DH's pay with overtime was $1685.22. I am still waiting on my Google/Youtube check to be deposited, but it should be in there soon. Usually it goes in on the 15th, but not always.
$1000.00 to Citi Visa
__452.88 Car Insurance (6 months)
$1737.94 Money Out
I had a little money left from before so that was really what was used for the medical bill. This leaves me with $68.52 in checking until Friday. No bills are due, so that is fine. I transferred my wages to savings. I am not really sure what will end up happening there. I am not really specifying savings until after DD's surgery. After that gets paid for, then I'll go back to specifying EF and sinking funds, but for now there is really no point. It is pretty much all medical until it isn't.
I am so glad 2017 is over and 2018 is here. It can't possible be as big of a struggle as the last two years have been.
My daughter went to the emergency room Friday night at midnight in excruciating pain. They did an ultrasound and a CT scan and found out her gall bladder is full of stones. They did not need to do emergency surgery, but they think she needs to get it out soon. We don't have insurance until February.
So we will get her in to see a gastroenterologist ASAP and schedule the surgery for February. I can't even call until Tuesday and then I am sure it will be 2 to 3 weeks before we can even get in to see a specialist. I am glad that insurance still can't do squat about pre-existing conditions.
This visit is going to cost us roughly $2500, unless I miss my estimate of $1000 for the visit, $500 for the ultrasound, and $1000 for the CT, which is still less than paying COBRA. DH will have to work a lot of overtime to pay for that, but he is allowed 10 hours of OT a week without having to ask, and then if things get into a rush time, they will okay additional over that. Hopefully we can manage to get it paid without taking money out of the Emergency Fund, but we definitely won't be putting any money into the EF for a couple of months. *sighs*
I had to completely throw out my meal plan for the eat from the pantry challenge and start from scratch since DD can't have dairy, most fats, eggs, pork, only very lean beef, no refined white flour so no pasta (we don't have any whole wheat on hand) or bread or tortillas, no refined white sugar (she can have honey, molasses, and brown sugar), no fatty fish, and no brassicas. That means none of my go to vegetables of broccoli, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, cabbage, bok choy and the like.
So we will be eating more turkey, chicken, rabbit, white fish and shell fish. I do have that, but I don't know how long it will last. I will have to make some stuff for DH, because he can handle only so much poultry before he starts clucking about it and he is not the biggest fan of fish, though he does like white fish.
The hardest part for me is that I like to cook in butter and oil. I know it isn't terribly healthy, but it makes things taste good. I can use spray oil or lightly brush oil on things, but no frying. We have spray olive oil and we can brush on avocado oil. But I will be doing a lot of steaming in foil packets with lots of veggies and herbs and then putting fish on top so the veggie flavors rise up into the fish and the fish juices fall down to flavor the veggies.
DS and I have agreed to eat like this with DD as much as possible. The hardest part for me will be not eating pasta. I can take or leave bread, but I love spaghetti and Ziti and macaroni. I know DH won't eat like us, though he could stand to, but he will refrain from eating the junk she likes but can no longer have in front of her. He'll keep it at work or in the truck.
And speaking of the truck, DH has been using his dad's truck since before his dad died and DH will inherit it once the will is through whatever it has to go through. It doesn't actually have to go through probate here unless it is contested, but it does have to go through official filing and then I think there is a short waiting period. So we are basically a two car family now for the first time in five or six years. Which means our insurance will likely double. We did do our part of the filing, but we are waiting for the state to do its part.
There is a loan on the truck, but MIL will pay it off before we change ownership legally once the life insurance comes through. She has enough to pay off all debts, and because he was still actively employed when he died, though off on disability, she gets his full pension of $3000 a month and she gets social security based on his wages, so she will actually be sitting pretty. Not to mention there is some property in trust between her, her sister, and her brother, so we aren't going to have to worry about her after all.
I guess I will go back to worrying about us instead. *double sighs*
$2500.00 Citi (7/21)
_3200.00 Citi (7/28)
__102.13 Life Insurance (DH and Me)
__801.46 Various Medical Bills
___90.00 Next Tuesday's Physical Therapy
So of the $5700 that went to Citi, $5000 of that was medical bills that I kicked down the road from my daughter's ER visit and my ER visit for the torn retina and the accompanying emergency laser eye surgery. I still have about $1200 to pay on Citi before the due date on the 3rd so that will come out of the EF and I'll pay it on the 1st when the money arrives in my account.
The rest of the Citi charges were groceries for the month. I still have an additional $3500 of medical bills that I put on the AMEX card that is due on the 14th, so I'll pay that off with the paycheck on the 4th. There will be just enough in the half paycheck on the 11th to pay for DH's travel expenses and the remainder of the August bills and then he won't get paid again until the next paycheck which won't be until September 1st.
Barring any more medical bills, and I honestly can't do that when things are still trickling in, we should be able to start paying back the EF. Not that that will last long if DH gets laid off again in October. His boss's boss is trying to find a place for him elsewhere in the company because they don't want to lose him now that he's worked for them. Wish they'd had that attitude last August, instead of putting us through 9 months of destroying every financial hope and dream we ever had of staying ahead, in loving partnership with the (Un)Affordable Care Act, of course. But whatever. I'm not bitter, she lied.
I spent $35.41 on gas today at the Safeway gas station. The van was running on fumes and that bought 16.712 gallons. I paid $2.12 a gallon. I got 10 cents per gallon off for paying in cash and then I had 4 points, so got an additional 40 cents a gallon off.
I end up getting a lot of points from my mother. She doesn't have her own club card, so she just gives them DH's phone number and what she buys counts towards our points. It really builds up fast that way.
I also picked up two prescriptions at Walgreens for $21.08, then swung by the fruit stand and bought nectarines, corn, and watermelon, all from Eastern WA. He has someone who drives over the pass and brings back produce four times a week and he also sells local stuff, but our corn won't be ready until the end of August here, and nectarines and watermelon are not a crop in Western WA.
I also had a two hour session at P.T. today, so that was $120. She did some massage on my foot, because super klutz that I am, I dropped a glass Pyrex storage bowl on it yesterday. I still occasionally drop things randomly due to the nerve damage in my hand.
The medication the rheumatologist gave me seems to be working really well, so I hope it doesn't screw with my eyes. It's the first time I haven't has severe joint pain in ages. I still have it on the left side ankle, hip, and knee, but I don't feel it much on the right side anymore except just in my hand and wrist sometimes as opposed to all the time. I still get the random swelling, but it doesn't stick around for days, just usually 24 to 48 hours now. So a major improvement.
My FIL was in the hospital for four days and has now been moved to a nursing home. I don't think it is for good, just that he needs more care than MIL is capable of giving him. He ended up getting a blood transfusion and IV fluids, but they still couldn't figure out what was wrong with him. It wasn't his heart (he's had a previous myocardial infarction), it wasn't his kidneys (one only has 4% function as a result of the heart thing), and it wasn't the cancer. His blood pressure was really low, he had a high fever, and chills that wouldn't stop. Prayers for him would be appreciated.
My daughter's new psychiatrist wants her to see a nutritional counselor, but the woman has a two month wait time for new patients. She has a partner that does the same stuff, but that woman doesn't take insurance, so she's out. We can't absorb the cost of anymore out of pocket stuff. The shrink won't see her if she isn't seeing a therapist. I thought the shrink was supposed to take the place of the therapist.
I mean, if she's just there to prescribe pills and not to help fix the underlying problems, she's not that much good to us. Although the new pill is making a major difference and I am glad to have her off the certraline. I've seen huge progress with her anxiety issues and she isn't acting depressed anymore, either. I just wish the medicine didn't make her so sleepy.
DS and I are doing low carb and heading towards the keto diet. It is nice to have someone to do things with. He is carrying an extra 20 pounds he wants to get rid of. He's been going out on 2 hour walks for the last week or so, but he's too self-conscious to go use the gym by himself. If I can stop hurting myself long enough with my clumsiness, we'll start going to the pool together again.
There's not that much else going on. We don't have any pregnant livestock so the youngest babies are coming up on ten weeks old. I don't breed for July or August delivery as it is too hard on the animals with the heat in those months. The garden continues to thrive and produce. So really nothing to speak of on the farm front, either.
I'll try to do a payday report for last Friday tomorrow. Or maybe I'll just wait until Friday and bundle them in one post.
I had nearly an empty tank of gas and I had 3 points on my Safeway card, so I went to their gas station and filled up. Usually I have 5 points when I fill up, but I have been spending less on groceries the last month.
It was $1.439 cash price before my points and $1.139 after my points were taken off. I got over 16 gallons and spent only $23.47.
Such low prices are kind of scary for me as it could affect my husband's job. We were okay the last time prices tanked down to 99 cents, but that wasn't at contract renewal time. This is. I don't like it. It makes me worry. I know we would be okay for 18 months if he lost his job, but we'd have to start over again and saving money and we'd be stuck here for a long time.
There is a house I found recently that is $260,000 on 5 acres one county over that might be the one. And it is stick built not manufactured even. We would have enough to make the 20% down payment after our income tax return if I borrowed half of the Emergency Fund. But it is not even something we can dare to do right now. Found another one as well, that might do us well in our own county for $309,000. But again, we can't take the risk until we know. I hate not knowing.
I had 5 points from my shopping at Safeway in the last 30 days, which meant I got 50 cents off per gallon. If I keep careful track each month, I can gas up right before points expire, which generally coincides with when I need to fill the tank. It's a lot less these days now that we are homeschooling again (did I tell you guys that?) and I am not driving to and from the high school twice a day five times per week.
So I ended up paying $21.60 for 14.037 gallons of gas. That is $1.54 per gallon! It was priced at $2.03 per gallon if you used cash or $2.13 per gallon if you did not. I had cash. I cannot remember the last time I paid such a low amount of money for a tank of gas.
I made it to the grocery store this morning without children, which is always so much cheaper to do. I bought everything on my list except one thing they didn't have and ended up getting some organic apples instead. I also bought a magazine. I had 2 good coupons for stuff on my list and saved $10.96 off my total. Since I mostly buy whole foods it is hard for me to use coupons at all, but I needed to stock up on some soup for DH and a condiment they had on the coupons. I ended up spending $135.02 total.
I have been shopping a lot at the new Safeway these last few months and I find I am saving a lot of money (about $300 per month). They are cheaper on most items. I almost never go into Haggen anymore. Their shelves are never fully stocked and it is frustrating to waste a trip there and only be able to get half the things on my list and still have to go elsewhere.
Between Safeway and Trader Joe's I can pretty much get everything but the filler free lunch meat. I will stop at Haggen and check if I am going by anyway and if they have the lunch meat (sometimes they are out of roast beef) pick some up. But I no longer go there specifically. It's a shame. They used to be such a good store a few years ago before the original owners sold it off.
After I shopped, I stopped at the Safeway gas station and bought gas. I had 5 points on my Safeway card so got 50 cents off per gallon. I also used cash so got an additional 10 cents off per gallon over the credit card price. I got 15.695 gallons at $1.81 a gallon, spending a total of $28.55. I timed it perfectly so that the majority of my October shopping points still counted and I had almost a completely empty tank of gas. Go me.
I just filled up my gas tank for $1.86 a gallon. I had 30 points on my Safeway card since I've spent $300 there this month. So that was 30 cents off per gallon, and then I used cash which made it an additional 10 cents off per gallon. So while Safeway's regular gas price won't beat Costco's regular gas price, with points and cash discount, it is 20 cents cheaper to get it at Safeway. Plus Safeway is only a mile from my house and not on the other side of town.
I am thinking hard about letting my Costco card go when it expires in March. I keep it mostly for buying organic olive oil, butter, toilet paper, organic brown rice, organic sugar, organic tomato sauce and paste, organic frozen broccoli, and organic chicken.
But...we have a freezer full of chicken we grew this year. I now have enough spaghetti sauce canned for a year from my garden. I could stock up on a year's supply of olive oil, butter, tomato paste, brown rice, sugar and frozen broccoli right before it expires. I don't have to renew it and I can revisit the idea in a year of using the membership. Or my FIL and MIL have a membership so we could have them pick up what we need when we need it.
I used to buy cheese there, but Safeway's sales and often their regular prices are better than Costco's regular price. I am finding a lot of things that is true on. I know if I watch sales I can probably find Charmin for cheaper and find coupons for it. And when we run out of chicken, Trader Joe's does have less expensive organic chicken nowadays.
Another reason I am thinking of dropping Costco is that they will no longer be partnering with AMEX, which means I'd have to get another credit card and I don't want to.
It's just that the many things that used to be selling points for a Costco membership are now being chipped away at and as prices rise it just no longer seems the bargain it once was. The parking is atrocious and it's just getting to the point where it is not really worth it anymore.
The title to the van came today, so it is officially ours. We will go to talk to our insurance agent tomorrow and show him the title so we can adjust our vehicle insurance. It's taken a load off not to have that debt there anymore. You'd think I'd be floating with all the changes that have happened this month.
We are busy building raised beds for the garden. And this time I really do mean we. I am getting more comfortable using power tools, figuring out the leverage I need for the drill, when to stop so the screws don't go through the wood too far. I am also figuring out the measuring by watching how DH does it. I've never really paid attention before on how he does it so you can keep your line straight down 8 feet of board.
I want to know how to operate things in case I am ever on my own when repairs need to be made and they can't wait while DH is away. And since women generally live longer than men, one day I may not have him to do it for me, so it is best to be prepared, even if that is likely decades away at this point. Plus I like building things. Shop class was one of my favorite classes in middle school.
We did figure that if I am going to be able to use a PVC cutter, though, it needs to be electric or a ratchet style. My grip is not strong enough to do a regular one. This is due to when I tore ligaments and tendons in my hand when I was in my early 20's. The grip will always be weaker than if I had not sustained the injury. I have to use ratchet style pruners for the same reason.
So far we've built 3 raised beds, all 8 feet long by 2 feet high by 2 feet wide. They are all filled up to the 1 foot high mark with rabbit manure and spent animal bedding. I also did one somewhat like a hugelkultur bed, with some old tree branches in the bottom. It's deep enough that it won't interfere with planting. As the wood rots it raises the temperature of the soil in that bed. It's an experiment. We'll see if it works.
DH went to get soil so we will hopefully finish those beds up tonight. I need to get my strawberry plants in the ground. They have been sitting in a box since the came on Friday. I did water them, but the longer they are out of the ground the worse it is for them.
DH and I built a light stand for seedlings last week and I finally got some of my seeds planted today. I planted tomatoes, ten each of the following varieties:
--Lillian's Yellow Heirloom
They are all organic seeds, all open-pollinated heirlooms. I planted twice as much as I need so that hopefully I will have five of each one. I can sell any extras in a plant sale.
I also planted two types of lettuce: Flashy Trout's Back Romaine and Hyper Red Ruffled Waved Looseleaf Lettuce. Both are heirloom, organic, and open-pollinated.
I still need to do some chard and some kale starts. And I want to get some radish and bunching green onion seeds into the gutter garden as well. I am excited to be so far ahead of the game this year. Last year was very last minute scrambling to do anything with the garden. This year I'll be ready when the last frost date passes to get growing.
I went down to the credit union and made sure there wasn't a hold on the money deposited to my account from the house sale. I transferred enough money from the savings to the checking account and then went onto the website I pay the van loan on and paid it off. Yay! No more consumer debt!
Now all I have to do is wait for the title of the van to come and then I can go down and change our insurance. We won't have to carry as much now that it is owned by us. Of course we still have to carry liability, uninsured motorists, and medical and I wouldn't want to go with out that, but we don't have to carry comprehensive anymore.
If we get into an accident that is our fault and totals our vehicle we have enough in savings that we could go and buy a used car outright or fix most of the damage. But that is highly unlikely given DH hasn't been in an accident since 1995 and I haven't been in one since 1988. We are very cautious drivers. If we get hit it will likely be the other person's fault.
I do still need to pay the guy who remodeled the house, but I am not sure what is going on there. They have declared bankruptcy and it sounds like they want me to hold onto the money until after everything has run its course. I have only gotten this second hand from Mom, though, so tonight I will find out for sure. If that is the case then I will send the money to my online account which earns more interest. I really don't like the idea of holding onto it, as I'd rather have it taken care of.
I have a question about the house sale, maybe MonkeyMama might know. Do we need to do anything to declare it? Does it go on income tax for next year? Is there some sort of form we have to fill out and send in? The title company was kind of vague about it and while I did ask them, all I got out of them is that it has to be reported but not how. We are nowhere near the capital gains threshold.
$1700.00 Bank of America
$1000.00 Loan to Mom
___90.00 Physical Therapy
___20.11 Gas($1.84 a gallon!)
__100.00 Cash for Week
$3330.99 Total Money Out
We got the van back on Thursday night. The cost to fix was a total of $2439.89. That is a big chunk of money that I definitely could have used somewhere else, but at least we had it and didn't have to touch the emergency fund. And we got to drive the loaner for a week for free. The dealership actually loaned us the minivan they use as one of their shuttles to drive customers to and from the dealership when their vehicles are being worked on.
Today is the first day it has rained hard since we got it back so it will be the first test of whether or not the roof still leaks. It hasn't in the sprinkling that has been up to now.
The starter and battery seem to be working fine, though. We're going to give the van a long run today and go down to the farm we buy our beef from. Since DH ended up getting the extra weeks we don't have to pinch like I was afraid of, so we are going to buy some beef for canning. Having canned beef is such a time saver for me and very convenient when I am sick. Beef stew is so easy to make with that on hand.
We have been going through our canned potatoes pretty fast so I am also going to go out to Safeway this weekend and use some of the gift cards to buy several pounds of organic potatoes to can. I much prefer having canned potatoes on hand since they don't sprout. Less waste that way. And they can be used for everything, mashed potatoes, fried, hash browns, casseroles, stews.
We have gotten presents bought for DH's mom and dad, DD, me, DH, and some of DS's. We still need to buy for SIL and youngest niece since DH never did get around to talking about not exchanging with them this year. We also need to get our wrapping paper out of storage and bring it home.
I am still pretty tired and sinus-y, but a lot of the virus seems to be passing. Just wish the exhaustion would go. It makes it hard to do things or be enthusiastic about the holidays.
Today is payday and I was able to achieve my goal of getting the EF to $10K by the end of the year. Exactly $10K.
$9676.22 Beginning Balance
+_323.78 Amount Added
10,000.00 Ending Balance
My goal for 2015 is $15K, with a mini-goal of $12K.
Between what I saved for December/January bills and today's paycheck we have $6067.22. $2100 to $2500 will go for the car. $1000 to Mom's loan. $225 to the chiropractor. The early January bills it will need to cover will be $500 or so. That leaves us with $1842.22 to cover Christmas and anything else between now and the next paycheck on January 9th. And we have $200 in grocery store gift cards. We should get by on that just fine.
The Christmas Bonus comes on the 19th or thereabouts. We have no idea of how much it is going to be and it will be mostly relegated to the EF and DH's bachelor's program.
The important thing is that despite the curve ball of the car repair, we won't have to touch the Emergency Fund to cover anything. I am so happy about that.
Well, it is going to cost around $2100 to fix the leaky roof of the van. I will never buy a vehicle with a moon roof or sun roof ever again. I didn't care one way or the other about having them. We almost never even use the things. If we lived in a better climate I wouldn't worry about it, but since it rains here 8 to 9 months out of the year almost every day, this isn't something we can ignore or we'll end up with a mold problem.
The whole point of buying a new car was so we could avoid expensive repairs for a good seven to ten years. I won't go for that logic ever again. This thing is only 3.5 years old. The whole point of buying a Toyota was that it had the reputation of being solid and not having major issues (well, that and good resale value). We plan to drive this vehicle for many years, drive it into the ground actually, but I think next time we'll be going back to Ford (used, of course). Never had a problem with them. Lesson learned.
Yesterday I got my $78 check in the mail from Pinecone. We also got the $50 Safeway gift card for Christmas from DH's work. DH came home last night. He will be here for 22 days. It is nice having him home again.
Change of plans on the Christmas bonus. I was hoping to put half of it into the 401K, but apparently the only choices there actually are is to contribute the percentage you normally contribute from each paycheck, or put all of it in. I didn't want to jack up the percentage because it would then interfere with the next paycheck, too.
Since we don't know how much the van is going to cost to fix, I guess it is just as well. I will try to put half of it into the Emergency Fund instead. As long as there is enough to start DH's bachelor's program, I don't forsee that being too much of a problem.
This morning DH had the car towed to the dealership and they are dealing with both the fact that it won't start and the fact that it is leaking water into the seat belt well every time it rains, resulting in a soaked driver's side seat belt. There might be a leak in the moon roof, but they were able to rule out a defective door seal.
We will know more tomorrow, but it is $99 to diagnose what is wrong with the starter (or whatever) and $99 to diagnose the leak, so we are already $200 into this before anything is actually fixed. Oh, and it cost $70 to tow it the 3 miles to the dealership, but I think we will get that reimbursed from our insurance. I believe we have towing on it. We used to. Might have stopped that when we got AAA, though. I didn't want to do another AAA call, because that is for emergencies (even if they do take forever) and we only get so many service calls per year.
I have made the decision not to keep one of Sienna's kits. One of the does has a white spot on her face (as does one of the bucks, and Sienna had a white spot on her shoulder) and this is a genetic flaw. The other one doesn't but with 2 kits showing up with it, I don't want to take that chance as it is a disqualification for show. We wouldn't be able to sell any of her kits as show quality. The other doe kit is very jumpy, too. We didn't start working with them young enough for them not to be skittish, because of course we never expected to lose Sienna.
Cinnabun has had a personality change anyway, since we moved her into Sienna's cage. She is now being pretty sweet, so between her and Firefly, I have enough female reds. I had briefly considered keeping a red buck kit, but again, that white spot could turn up and also if I raise another red buck kit, I don't want him to be related to Wildfire. I want more diversity than that.
I miss Sienna, but keeping one of her kits won't bring her back and won't strengthen my lines, so I am trying to be practical.
I have someone who has expressed interest in buying duck eggs for hatching. Hopefully she will get back to me soon because it will take a few days to collect them. Hatching eggs cannot be washed or refrigerated and have to be treated differently than normally collected eggs. And they can only be kept for 7 days before going into the incubator. After that viability plummets.
Not much else going on. The kids will go on a field trip on Friday. They will pack a lunch, but will also need money for dinner. DH and I will go coat shopping while they are gone, so there are a few expenses coming up.
We will have to wait until the current spate of aggressive wind storms are over before butchering rabbits. Bad weather freaks them out and we try to keep the experience as calm as possible for them so they are not stressed. We have 18 to do over the next 3 weeks and then we will be done butchering again until June. It'll be nice to put that chore away for several months. It'll also be nice to have another 45 pounds of meat in the freezer.
Two and a half hours waiting in the cold with two children on a AAA tow truck. That is how I spent my late afternoon and early evening. The starter on our van is the problem, completely out of the blue. It hasn't been acting up at all. But it is definitely the starter. On our flipping three and a half year old van. Hello, Toyota? I expect better than this from you. Who knows how much it will cost to fix or replace.
Also, AAA and your promised one hour wait time, can bite me. Single A, more like. I told them I was disabled and had kids in the car, too. Seriously thinking about switching to Allstate's road side service instead. My leg is in spasm from sitting in the van so long and I don't know if I will be able to walk without using a cane tomorrow. I am icing it now.
So I have recently been encouraged to see the positive side of things. So here it is: At least we had just bought dinner to take home. And were in a well-lit drive-in restaurant. And I didn't order the fish and chips because I can't use their ketchup. I usually order the fish and chips but was in a strange mood for a burger instead. Which comes with secret sauce, which doesn't make me get stomach cramps like their ketchup does. And I ordered onion rings so I did not need ketchup. So nobody went hungry.
And my mother was home and could take care of putting away the ducks, turkeys, and chickens, so they didn't stay out after dark where predators could have killed them.
And I had a book and the kids had the tablets my in-laws gave them at Thanksgiving, so they had entertainment. No one was bored, only cold.
Tomorrow I will borrow my mother's car to do the grocery shopping. I had planned to do it tonight, but that is out. I am hoping my leg works as I really hate using those electric ride on carts at the grocery store.
Well, I am off to feed and water and cuddle the rabbits. They always improve a bad mood!
I am so tired. My body does not want to adapt to the new routine. I can't seem to get to sleep before 2 or 3 a.m., the sleep I get is surface sleep, not restful at all, and then I am having to get up at 7. And then after the kids get off to school and I take care of all the animals, I can't get back to sleep for a nap. I don't understand it, because I've been asleep by midnight pretty much all summer.
School is going great for the kids so far, though. They are both really enjoying their teachers and classes. And it is super nice to have the day to myself. Even if I can't manage to nap.
The garden is going gangbusters. The green beans are starting to produce, but not enough for canning yet. I think I may end up buying some this weekend and then if I have any of my own for canning it'll just be additional. Next year I will plant a lot sooner. Things just kind of got away from me in the spring and I didn't get going soon enough.
I plan on getting 40 pounds of tomatoes this weekend, too. While my tomatoes produced, it has never really been with much. The most I could can at any one time was 3 pints. I just ended up making spaghetti sauce and freezing it instead. But I do want to get some diced put up and maybe make a batch of ketchup. The Indigo Rose tomatoes have been fantastic. I am not one for eating raw tomatoes usually, but these ones taste sort of like melons with a rich tomato flavor added in. I will grow them again, along with the Russian Moskovich, but I will not grow the other two varieties I bought again.
I have some great zucchini, leeks, sweet meat squash, green onions, broccoli, cauliflower, and kohlrabi. The cukes are slow, but I'm getting 2 to 4 a week. I have more peppers coming but don't know if there will be time for them. I hope there will at least be time for them to be green if they can't get all the way to red.
On the spending front, I spent $90 at physical therapy today and $55.48 for a tank of gas.
I am expecting babies sometime between tomorrow and Sunday. I've got 3 pregnant rabbits due to kindle. I hope all goes well. Tomorrow is day 30. My rabbits have gone anywhere from day 30 to day 33. Average is 31 days, though.
Two of my Barnevelders are laying eggs now. They are about half size, but are getting bigger. They are cute, perfect little eggs. All of the ducks are laying now and Addy's eggs are finally full-size. I am getting 1 to 2 chicken eggs and 3 to 5 duck eggs a day. I sold 2 dozen duck eggs earlier this week for $5 a dozen. I am selling enough duck eggs now to pay for one bag of organic layer feed a month. The ducks and chickens go through a bag about every 2 weeks.
Tomorrow is payday and I am very glad of it. I've got a lot to get done. It'll be nice to be able to get most of it out of the way without the kids underfoot.
$757.82 Van loan (plus extra)
_204.00 for strawberries for the year
_140.52 Sleep doctor
__48.60 Phone (old house)
___9.80 Book of stamps
_120.00 Physical therapy
_100.00 Emergency Fund
_100.00 Propane Fund
_100.00 Property Tax Fund
__19.00 Dues Fund
2021.02 Total Money Out
I also spent $48.03 on rabbit feed and supplies.
I spent $116.91 on Royal Palm heritage turkey poults and Barnevelder chicken pullets today. Barnevelders are a very old breed and lay a nice dark brown egg, similar to a black copper maran. These guys will pay me back with eggs in about 16 weeks.
I am hoping that I got at least one male and one female turkey, but since they were straight run, I won't know until they are quite a bit older. If I got at least one of each, they will remain as our breeders. Royal Palms are still capable of breeding naturally and don't need AI like the more commercial breeds you'd find at the grocery store that have been bred so heavy breasted they can't support their own body weight at maturity so can't breed. They just fall over if they try.
The Royal Palm poults can be sold for quite a premium so it will be well worth the investment eventually.
Two of the turkeys will be for Thanksgiving and Christmas regardless of whether they turn out to be male or female. It'll be cheaper to raise them ourselves than to buy heritage birds at the holidays.
I also spent $41.26 for a 50 pound bag of game bird starter feed, a waterer, and two feed troughs, since the ducklings are eating enough now to need a second trough.
Then I spent $59.19 on a tank of gas for the minivan and $210.63 on groceries. They had a huge sale on turkey legs so I stocked up on a lot since they are so easy to make. I also bought a lot of other staples and some fresh veggies.
I canned 3 quarts of pickles today. Unfortunately the bottom of one of the jars cracked off during the canning process. I lost about $3 worth of food. Still, it is rare that something like that happens. I've never had a jar crack before in two years of canning. It is still far cheaper to home can even with the occasional loss, than to buy them already made when you are working with organic foods. And I can make it exactly the way I like it and in the quantities I want them to be in, with no yellow #5 or MSG. Well worth it.
$1400.00 BoA VISA
__100.00 Emergency Fund
___19.00 Dues Fund
___72.00 Water/Sewer Holding Tank
__757.82 Van Loan (plus extra to principal)
__100.00 Property Tax Fund
__100.00 Propane Holding Tank
__200.00 Laptop Fund
__100.00 College Fund
__100.00 Vacation Fund
__109.00 January Money Fund
__100.00 Moving Fund
__100.00 Appliance Fund
$700 of the payment to BoA VISA was the $700 I had set aside for Christmas presents. Since they were bought with the VISA I used that money to make the payment. I will make another payment next week to cover the other half of the travel expenses for DH.
Also had 3 Medical Bills:
$90.00 Physical Therapy
$13.70 Sleep Doctor
I spent just under $60 on take away today. We will get several meals from it. I just know this weekend is going to be a little stressful and I may or may not be up to cooking too much. We have 2 litters due and the temps have dropped to freezing which means an awful lot of checking on the rabbits will be done on Saturday and Sunday to make sure no kits are born on the wire, but are born safely in a nest or at least promptly put into one if they are not. I have been lucky so far in that all of the kindlings so far have resulted in only one kit born on the wire (on Phoebe's first kindling) and I was there within five minutes of it happening so we were able to save it.
I'm not too worried about Lola, but this is Serenity's first litter, so I pretty much will be doing hourly checks for the next two days. Which means a lot of walking and since my physical therapist had a migraine today and I cancelled last week due to illness, I am not in the best shape for that right now. I've had to use the cane twice this week. But it needs to be done and I'm sure the kids will take their turns at it and alert me if I need to go out and take action.
Anyway, today was payday so here is the list of money that went out:
$225.00 Monthly Chiropractic Family Plan
_100.00 Emergency Fund
_100.00 College Fund
_100.00 Property Tax Fund
_100.00 Propane Fund
_100.00 Moving Fund
_100.00 Christmas Fund
_100.00 Appliance Fund
__19.00 HoA Dues Fund
_200.00 Laptop Fund
__47.52 Phone Old House
_500.00 BoA VISA
_757.82 Van Loan (plus extra)
$2463.84 Total Money Out
Today is payday and here is an accounting of what was paid or put into savings.
$1500.00 Bank of America VISA
__100.00 Emergency Fund
___19.00 HoA Dues (Old House)
__100.00 College Fund
__100.00 Christmas Fund
__100.00 Moving Fund
__100.00 Appliance Fund
__100.00 Canning Jars* and Rabbit Supplies**
__100.00 Cash for the Week
$2284.00 Total Money Out
*2 cases of quart jars and 1 case of pint jars
**Water bottles, a hay tunnel, and a bottle of Vetrimycin eye wash ($27, ouch)
I also spent $50 on gas yesterday. I will be buying a 25 pounds of organic carrots to can and a whole salmon to can.
Left to pay for the month of October is the water/sewer bill, half of which has been set aside already, and the property tax for the half year, all of which has been set aside except $25 and the propane bill, which is $80. Those will be paid next Friday. I will also pay the mortgage then instead of waiting until the first and will also put $500 into the January Money Fund. All the rest of next payday's money is allocated for November bills.
Today was payday. Everything has been paid. Nothing is due until the 21st and after that nothing will be do until the 1st. DH ended up doing all his overtime work in five days time, so it won't be a full week of overtime, but five days is still pretty nice. I'll be able to put $1000 to the EF next week, but will have to rethink the other things I was thinking of distributing the extra money to.
We've gotten a lot of food this week. Not take out, but prepared food from the store deli. I've been out of it with my constant headache and mild nausea. Getting hit in the head with that pitchfork handle on Monday morning did me no favors. I have had no inclination to cook and with DH doing the overtime work at home, neither did he.
I'll try to get my act together this weekend. DH leaves on Monday and I can't keep letting the money fritter away when I could be cooking.
Anyway, the distribution of things today comes from a combination of this payday and last and is as follows:
$757.82 Van loan (plus extra)
__90.00 Physical Therapy
__58.00 School photos
1000.00 Loan to Mom
_400.00 Utilities to Mom
__41.88 Life Insurance Me
__45.30 Life Insurance DH
__47.17 House Insurance (Old House)
__66.65 Car Insurance
__27.28 Electric (Old House)
__50.22 Phone (Old House)
__19.00 Dues (Old House)
_225.00 Chiropractic Monthly Family Plan
_227.66 Laptop Payoff (from Laptop Fund)
_100.00 Property Tax Fund
_100.00 Vacation Fund
_100.00 Appliance Fund
_100.00 College Fund
__41.16 Security System (Old House)
$3792.95 Paid Out
We also bought gas and groceries and spent around $500. We are all stocked up on staples and aside from some vegetables and lids for canning and some milk I shouldn't need to go to the store or a farm again for a week.
On Monday I added $6.08 to the coin jar. Yesterday I added $2.55.
Yesterday we bought 2 bales of horse quality hay and a 50 pound bag of feed for the rabbits. We also bought three feeder dishes to attach to the tractors for the various sets of kits and one of the 32 ounce glass water bottles since they had one in. And we bought a tunnel for the littlest kits. I can't find my receipts, DH might have them, but we spent close to $85.
We got takeaway yesterday from the Polynesian place, so that was $33.85.
I got gas on Tuesday, $50.00. (It shuts off automatically at $50, and I didn't want to go inside to further authorize my credit card). We haven't spent that much on gas this summer at all. This is the first time I think I've filled up since June.
Yesterday I got a prescription for $11.03.
And I think that covers all of the spending this week.
I received a check from ACOP, a survey company, today for $17.10. It will go into the Emergency Fund.
The mortgage payment hit and is now under $13K at $12,993.58.
The car loan payment finally hit. I got impatient this month when the statement didn't come and paid it online. The next day the statement came, of course. I don't much like paying it online, because it takes forever for them to post it, but I just wanted it done. I think it actually posts faster when I mail it than when I pay it online.
We bred the rabbits today. Hopefully that will result in another 6 to 8 kits a month from now. It feels like we are really on our way to raising a sustainable meat supply now.
I am anxious to start gardening, but I know that I shouldn't until after the 15th. It's hard to wait, but so many people have been getting unexpected frost, snow, or hail that I know better than to push the date. If it stops raining long enough I can do some weeding though. I'll need to block off part of the garden this year or between the chickens and the stray rabbit, I'll not have any greens.
Record keeping has been a little lax this past week so I'll try to get that updated. My Emergency Fund is now at $3044.20, (or will be with tomorrow's auto transfer of $10) so I need to come up with $155.80 to hit my March goal. $100 will go in on my monthly deposit on Friday, and there will be two more $10 auto transfers this month, so that's $120 taken care of. That means just coming up with an additional $35.80 by month's end.
I added $3.32 to the coin jar yesterday.
Things that have been paid since Friday:
__90.00 Physical Therapy
_150.00 9 Rabbits
_146.40 Feed and supplies for Rabbits
_187.72 3 Prescriptions
_300.00 to Mom for her utilities
_206.27 Sleep Doctor
_757.82 Van loan
2925.01 Total Money Out
I did not pay extra on the mortgage this month. I still might, but with all the medical bills, I chose to be more conservative. I did pay extra on the van loan though. Medical was ridiculous this month and it's only half over. That is just $718.92 out of pocket this month for medical expenses, $1054.92 if you add dental.
I met with the sleep doctor today and yes, I do have a mild form of sleep apnea. It hits me when I go into REM sleep or into deep sleep, which explains why I can get lots of hours of sleep but never feel rested.
I am now waiting to hear from which medical device company it is my insurance will work with. Sleep Doctor told me today that they are separating from Aetna as of May 9th. I asked him if that was because Aetna sucks and he said, well, he wouldn't actually come right out and say that.
But Aetna does suck and they like to deny things a couple of times before they will pre-approve anything and make you jump through lots of hoops. It's covering less and less and less and charging more and more and more. I remember when they used to be a good insurance, and you could go to whoever you wanted, but gosh, it's been over a decade ago. I really miss the insurance we had with DH's former company.
I think I'm now at least halfway to hitting my $2500 family deductible for the year. I just wish that certain things would count for it that don't. Like my physical therapy, which they don't think I need anymore, but every time I skip it I start losing my ability to walk, so I've been paying for it for a while now. Or the chiropractic at $225 a month for the unlimited visits family plan (which is actually cheaper for us than our portion of 4 appointments would be). That's $585 a month that doesn't go to our deductible at all, but thankfully we can use the HSA for. And our portion of dental does not count towards the medical deductible.
The rabbits are doing great and the little ones are growing visibly now. I have to harden myself a bit to not grow attached to them as they are adorable. I am glad I have not let the kids talk me into naming them. In my book they are bunnies A through F.
The chickens are doing well, too, although I think it is time for Queen to have another bath. Actually, they could all do with one. Because of the heavy rainfall and mud. Apparently no one has told the chickens that when it is raining, it is not a dust bath they are taking but a mud bath. I am just extremely glad I got some Wellies, because I can't imagine walking around back there without good boots right now.
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