You are viewing: Main Page
February 13th, 2024 at 11:20 pm
I am really, really tired of not being ready for dinner and being too tired to make lunch all the time, so it is time to get serious. Three things I know for sure I want to make for dinner this week are meatloaf, chicken fajitas, and polish sausage, onions, and peppers. We have all of the ingredients for those except a lime and cilantro for the fajitas and cauliflower to make riced cauliflower to use in place of bread crumbs in the meatloaf as I can no longer find rice crumbs or gluten free bread crumbs. They are always sold out. Although if I can find them I will use them instead of caulifower.
If I am making meatloaf, it is also easy enough to make meatballs at the same time. So I can put two extra meatloaves in the freezer for dinners in the future and then I can do a quadruple batch of meatballs. I can simmer some of them in sauce and pack them into lunch containers for lunch prep for the fridge and then one can be divided up into lunch freezer containers, and 2 batches can be divided up for spaghetti dinners in the future.
I can make a couple double batches of fajitas on sheet pans in the oven for a total of four, one for dinner, one to divide up for lunches in the fridge or freezer, and two to freeze for future dinners. And then do the same thing with the polish sausage meals. Any lunch meals we have too much of will be frozen, but we are feeding 4 people. I will have carbs available for those who wants them, like spaghetti for the meatballs and tortillas for the fajitas or sausage and peppers and of course fruit. I just won't be eating that. I will add zucchini on the side of my meatballs and sauce, though.
Then my son wants one other chicken dish for meal prep, so know I am going through some recipes to try to figure out something that will be good for dinner and yet also meal prep for lunches well. Maybe something in the Chinese stir-fry range. It's been a while since I've done black pepper chicken and I've got a bag of stir-fry veggies that really need to be used up. I'll have to buy some more chicken.
I can't believe I am this close to being out of chicken. I have one package of boneless, skinless thighs, six whole chicken breasts. That should be enough for all the fajitas, so I need enough for the stir-fry. Otherwise I only have one package of thighs and one package of legs in the house. That is so low on chicken for me. I'll have to find a good sale soon.
As for tonight's dinner, that will likely be stir-fry, because all the other meat will have to thaw out and will take forever before I can start assembling anything.
I do need to buy fruit and some veg, though. We are down to 2 oranges, 4 regular kiwi, 5 yellow kiwi, and 2 apples. So we need bananas, more oranges, a couple apples of a different variety, a pineapple if they are ripe, a mango, some tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, radishes, green onions, a leek, cabbage, a lime, 4 lemons, and maybe berries. Maybe even a guava. I've never had a guava, but I like all the other tropical fruit, except starfruit, so why not?
Berries are out of season so an extreme luxury. It won't be blueberries sadly, if I buy some, because the last several containers I have bought have been so sour despite being fully blue they taste like they should be pink. Like they've been died or something. I don't mine tart sweet, But tart isn't the same thing as sour. The strawberries haven't been ripe, just the blackberries and raspberries and I don't like raspberries. So berries are conditional, but at least the blackberries taste good, they are just the most expensive.
I am going after the more tropical fruits, because they are in season, and they are packed with vitamin C. My daughter is sick again and I am trying to keep from getting sick. There is only so much taking a vitamin can do for you and I always feel like you get your best vitamins from food. I just wish I'd been well enough to harvest our rose hips at the right time this year so I could make tea with them now. I might still find a few that are good if I look, but most will be no good.
Anyway, that's me again, sharing my thought process as I figure out my grocery list to meal prep, to save money in the long run, cook at home, and get the family to stay out of the take out line.
February 13th, 2024 at 08:12 am
We didn't do much for my birthday, but that's the way I like it. I've never felt the desire to celebrate since becoming an adult, other than 21. I just like to have a laid back night with my immediate family and that's what I got. We had a pan of enchiladas and they had rice and instead of cake, some brownies. Brownies don't have baking soda or baking powder, so I can control the sodium content, unlike cake. The recipe made nine. I had my one and everyone else had two, so there are no leftovers to worry about. Extra brownies are bad for the diet.
I'm 54 now. Doesn't feel any different than 53. I was teasing my husband a bit that now I was as old as he was. We are just six months apart, so when he turns the year older I always tease him about how old he is. He is a good sport about it and pretends to be an old man and then teases me back and says now I am as decrepit as he is. LOL I think I am probably more so.
The kids remembered on their own this year without me having to remind them at least, so there's that, too.
I hope to make it to the store tomorrow. We are getting very low on produce and I need some chicken and herbs for meal prepping.
February 12th, 2024 at 12:44 am
Tomorrow is my birthday, which means an influx of money to add to my Me Savings. I have spent the last several months, (however long it takes to get to $700 at $50 every 2 weeks), saving all of my spending money, plus $200 from Christmas, to have a grand total of $900 saved there. I will get $200 from DH and somewhere between $100 and $200 from MIL for my birthday. I think it is $150, but I am not sure. So together, at least $300. That puts me at $1200. I still have $360 in the garden envelope, which was all money I saved from my spending money last year as well. So that gives me $1560 total.
So I am looking at three different sets of Birdies garden beds to go with the ones I bought last year, but never had a chance to put up because DH hurt his leg. Option one is I am debating buying 3 long beds, which would finish out a row and give me another row, creating a total of 3 rows with the beds that have not been assembled. That would cost me $979.17 including tax, unless our sales tax went up this year. No shipping.
The second option would to be to buy one long bed to finish the second row when assembled with the other three long beds. And then to buy 5 round beds in which to make another row and add some gemetrical interest to the garden. Because there hasn't been any yet. It would take away garden space, but it would also give me a place to plant invasive plants, like mints and bee balm, which go on runners and take over everything. Also, mix in some flowers that otherwise take over four feet of the herb bed, like calendula. That option would cost $1251.14 with tax.
Option three would be to buy 1 long bin, 2 shorter fatter bins, and 3 round bins. That way I could finish row 2 of the Birdies bins and then row 3 could go round bin, short bin, round bin, short bin, round bin. It would give some geometrical interest, and still let me confine some annoying plants I like, but maybe not as many as I like. That option would cost $1425.22 with tax.
Hmmm...or maybe...let me run the numbers...If I did three long beds and five round bins it would give me 4 rows counting the 3 bins from last year and come to $1903.92 with tax. I have at least $1560 now, so subtract that. I would need another $343.62 to order that. And I'd still have to come up with money to fill the bins.
The big problem here is that they don't have the dark green beds I bought last year. They have an ugly tan, an ugly light green, and a pretty black and I have no idea what they will have next year. They didn't have this shade of black last year, they had slate grey. So if I am going to get more of the long bins, I really need to get 3 this year, at least. And my bed rows won't match up, because it would have to be one row that half green and half black.
Unless I decided to mix all the parts, since they are identical. I could have beds that went black, green, black, green, every other panel. That would be pretty and definitely bring interest to the eye.
I guess I don't have to buy all the bins at once, either. I can buy the 3 long bins now and whatever I can afford of the round bins and then add round bins later. I can put the bee balm and calendula in two round bins and then when I can afford the other bins transfer mint and some other flowers from pots I've been transplanting up. That would give me $1349.07. I could definitely do that. I might even have enough for one more round bed by the time I am ready to order. But I think I'll probably just stick to what I have here. This seems like the best choice for right now. It gives me money for soil and hay to put in the beds and of course we have branches.
Shoot, I forgot, I still have to buy Ag fabric to put down. Well, I guess I'll go with the cheapest option right now, the 3 long beds. Welcome to my though process. Thanks for playing.
February 11th, 2024 at 11:50 pm
My heart is better! I got the results of my 6 month echocardiogram earlier this month and not only is the enlargement of the right chamber caused by Covid gone, the flow rate in the left chamber has gone from 45% to 55%, which is where it should be in a normal human heart. So I have healed my heart.
I mean, I will have to keep up with the dietary changes, the weight loss, keeping my sodium low, and stay on the diuretics, but that has more to do with my hereditary condition of microvascular dysfunction (tiny veins and arteries). I may come off all but one of the diuretics if I hit a normal weight one day. Possibly even the high cholesterol drug, even though my cholesterol is fine and has been for several years. Probably not the high blood pressure because that is still linked pretty hard to the little veins and arteries. Even the skinny people in my Mom's family have had it. But so much better over all.
I've officially hit the 20 pound weight loss mark. Technically, I've seen 21, but it is bouncing between 20 and 21, so I am calling it 20 until it stops doing that. My clothes are fitting a lot better. Well, my pants always fit fine, but my shirts are fitting a lot better. The funny thing about my pants is they seem to be getting longer even though they otherwise still fit right. Maybe because my stomach is getting smaller. Anyway, the weight loss goes well. I've been kind of in a holding pattern this week to give my skin a chance to catch up and then tomorrow I will start back into the next phase of lowering the carbs again back down to 90 grams per day. When I want a rest I do 120 grams.
I've been too exhausted to do much lately. It's the new medication for rheumatoid arthritis. One of the side effects is excessive tiredness and all I want to do is sleep and I have been. Like 18 hours a day. I'm up for appointments and to make sure people get fed and otherwise I am out cold. It started when I started the drug. Like the day after I took it first. It is the worst every Tuesday since I take them Monday nights. I can barely get out of bed the next day. I am making sure to keep my Tuesdays clear as I am in no condition to drive that day even with caffeine.
I have an appointment with the doctor soon to see if I'll need to stop this one or adjust some of the other ones I am on that also cause drowsiness. I may try on my own since two of them are just for pain with drowsiness as a side effect. I'll try dropping one out first and if I don't hurt too much, then the other and see if I can stay awake again. I've only been on it for 5 weeks so I don't even know if it is working yet. Shots like these usually take 2 or 3 months to build up in your system.
Maybe doing the infusion might be a better way to go, even if my veins are tiny. That's only once a month. We'll see. I'll call the doctor tomorrow and leave a message. I don't want to not take the shots, though. They are so expensive. Fortunately, the company has a co-pay card so they are covering the part the insurance doesn't, except $5, but I still feel bad about it if I end up having to throw it away. Even if it did come from big pharma and they make money hand over fist, I don't like wasting things that could have helped someone else.
If I can get the sleep thing sorted out, I really need to start seeing a chiropractor again. My hip is killing me. The thing that has been holding me back is cost. My insurance only covers 80% of chiropractic after the deductible is met. I can have as many appointments as I want, but 20% of what they charge nowadays is a lot. And if I go, everyone is going to want to come. Four people is a lot to be paying for, especially before the deductible kicks in. Or maybe I just need a massage, which is the same, 20% after the deductible kicks in, but massage prices are more reasonable than chiropractor prices. I guess we'll see with that, too.
I wish taking care of my medical needs was not so expensive. I wish I hadn't had so many medical needs when I was young and fit that ended up getting me to this point where I was far from it. But if this past six months has shown me nothing else, it is that taking my life back was necessary, no matter how expensive.
February 4th, 2024 at 07:16 am
Well, it has finally happened. The IRA is back to where it was before the great Biden free fall of the stock market. And it is actually above it by $263.49. Only took what? Two years to recover? Looks like Biden stock market year 4 is starting off well, just like year 3 ended well. Just wish everything else was improving, like food prices and electricity and gas (for the house, not the car). And who knows what will happen if a real world war breaks out, or a civil one down in Texas for that matter. But anyway. My combined retirement accounts are so close to $150K, I can taste it. And yes, I label stock years by president. I've done it since Bush 2 Electric Boogaloo, when DH got his first 401K. Just makes it easier to remember.
$133,856.64 401K New Total
$_14,253.86 IRA New Total
$148,110.50 Total Retirement Accounts New Total
-143,668.67 Previous Amount
$__4,441.83 Gains since December 31st
Now about $2700 of those gains were due to contributions from DH and his job, so the rest was interest and that was $1741.83 for the month of January. Not at all a bad way to start off the year.
I have $1,889.50 left to go to hit $150K in the retirement accounts. I went ahead and bumped it up to 17% for next payday, since 16%, which we have done for the first three paychecks of the year, didn't really make that much of a change to our bottom line, even with the FSA money being taken out pretax. We will live with 17% for a few paydays and if it doesn't seem to be a burden, I'll bump up to 18%. The ultimate goal is to hit 20%, which will get us to our ultimate catch up max if we did it all year. I don't think that will happen this year, unless DH gets a cost of living raise in July, then we could adjust and he's bound to get some OT to carry us over the line. Maybe. I know the more we contribute pretax, the lower our taxes will be come income tax time.
So maybe in 2025 we can completely max out, but that all depends on what taxes will be like then and how it will effect our paychecks and that depends on who runs Congress and who the president will be and I really don't want to think about that until November.
Speaking of taxes, it looks like we will be getting back around $365. It's not final numbers yet, because we haven't gathered our interest yet on the savings accounts, but I can't imagine that will make much of a change since we only have about $11K in savings. This is the closest we've got to $0, which is what our goal is. We don't want the government having an interest free loan on our money and we don't want to have to pay either. This amount is reasonable.
Well, that's it for this post. I need to do a health update for you all. It's good news. Maybe tomorrow. It's 11:00 p.m. and I no longer seem to be a night owl. Good 2024 habits.
January 22nd, 2024 at 07:53 am
I really want to stay on top of things this week, as there are a lot of appointments, so I am meal planning to make sure nothing gets away from me. I have two things in the freezer that I want to use up, which are a ravioli lasagna and a meatloaf that I made up when I was batch cooking in the past. I do have to check that they are good first, but if they aren't, I will just make fresh ones for dinners this week.
I will figure out breakfasts and lunches, but they tend to be repeats and we all kind of grab what is in the freezer, because I batch cook breakfast burritos and egg sandwiches, or eat cereal. I will probably also pick at the chicken that doesn't go in Tuesday's soup for my lunches. Most of the days will be gluten free, but not all of them. While I can make gluten free pizza, it takes a couple more hours to make the dough than regular and I don't want to take that much time. I'm pretty sure I have all the ingredients in the house and shouldn't have to set foot in the grocery store this week. It would be nice to buy some fresh thyme for the chicken soup, though. Nice, but unnecessary when I have dried. As usual, order is subject to scrambling due to the whims of the cook (me).
Monday: Instant Pot Chicken cooked underwater to make broth, roasted fresh root vegetables and zucchini (frozen), apples
Tuesday: Chicken noodle (gluten free) soup with celery, and leftover roasted root vegetables, toasted bagles with goat cheese, and salad
Wednesday: Meatloaf, fried home canned potatoes with frozen onions and bell peppers, home grown home canned green beans (2019), canned pineapple
Thursday: Ravioli lasagna or regular salad, pull apart garlic bread, home canned pears
Friday: Homemade Pizza with sausage, ham, pepperoni, ground beef red and yellow onion, zucchini, frozen bell peppers, mozzarella, homemade low sodium pizza sauce. I will make my own individual little pizza that is mostly veggies, has less cheese, and has a small amount of meat on it and just seasoned ground beef so it doesn't have salt in it. I might even do a cauliflower crust pizza. Salad and home canned nectarines to go with.
Sunday: Beef chuck roast, baked potatoes, green beans, oranges
January 22nd, 2024 at 07:17 am
I thought I'd update my pantry challenge, too. I am cleaning out the freezer of convenience foods that I do still buy from time to time, but haven't made in a long while and they are getting to the end of the time where freezer burn will set in if they are not used soon.
To that end, tonight we had garlic butter shrimp (that box from Costco), frozen broccoli (that bag from Costco), and frozen corn on the cob that we froze last summer. We dipped everything in the garlic butter sauce since there was so much of it left after cooking the shrimp. And we had golden kiwis, which thankfully have lasted this long, but definitely needed to be eaten pronto. Breakfast was breakfast burritos, lunch was a no go for me and everyone else had chicken salad sandwiches.
The night before that we did spring rolls, beef mandu, yakisoba, and frozen berries, also all from Costco. Breakfast was homemade biscuits (with alternative baking soda and alternative baking powder that are not sodium based), folded eggs, and cheese. They also had bacon. Lunch for the others was chicken quesadillas.
And then the night before that we did bagel, ham, and cheese sandwiches, potato chips, oranges, and salad. I did send my husband out to get salad fixings because I was tired of the frozen veggies and it is not like we can't buy anything. It was the first day the roads were clear enough to drive and the stores had reopened after a snow drop of a foot. And chips. We had regular chips, but I needed my low sodium Tim's Thins chips. The bagels, ham, and cheese are all from Costco. I keep the ham and bagels on hand in the freezer and we had thawed them out the day before. Well, not the cheese, it was in the fridge. Breakfast was cereal, but I didn't eat it. I did have lunch, which was homemade chicken soup, which the kids had. DH had leftovers.
I don't remember the other days and I didn't write them down, but it was pretty similar. I watched my sodium counts, though, because with a lot of these convenience foods the sodium is high. Except for the day I rubbed everything in the shrimp butter and I felt that. Gotta be more careful.
January 13th, 2024 at 01:37 am
You ever have just one of those weird days that is just kind of spooky? I had my follow-up Echocardigram this morning and then went over to pick up my c-pap supplies. When I got out of my car I heard my name shouted. It was close, like in the parking lot, which is small. Only it wasn't my name, it was my nickname, and it is pretty rare. No one calls me that name but my mom, my dad, and my sisters. My dad is dead, one sister doesn't speak to the family including her own kids, the other is working, and my mom was at home.
I looked all around me and even called out, "Yes?", but there was no answer. I changed what I was called to my real name when I started sixth grade, so it was highly unlikely anyone from elementary school would have recongized me and if they had they would have come over. But there was no one. So I went in and got my stuff.
When I came out the door, I heard the word, "Go!" right in my ear and I swear it sounded just like my dad. It stopped me in my tracks. Again, there was nobody around, just me. So I shake it off and get in my car, planning to go to the library next, because it will still be light out for an hour before the homeless people move in and park themselves on the steps and it will be too dangerous to go, so I can get in and out and find something to read and then go to the grocery store.
Plan in mind, I back out of my parking spot and happen to glance up at the marquee of the strip mall next door. There's a new shop there and it's called, get this, Home Instead. Now I am having a little freak out at this point, but I decide to go ahead and trust my instincts and go directly home. I start on my usual route, which takes me past Another Way Outreach Center, which I drive by all the time, I mean come on, and I come up to the stoplight to make my usual turn, and it is red, and my gut is just saying, no take the other way, take the other way, take the other way, so I go straight and take the longer way.
I have no idea why, I got home safe and sound, nothing weird was going on at home. Maybe I avoided a car accident or something. Maybe it was all a coincidence. But I've learned to trust these things, because the one time I didn't, it ended badly. I'll probably never know.
As for the c-pap supplies, those are going to be $702 when they finish processing through the insurance. Gotta love the deductible.
I have officially lost 6.2 pounds since coming back from Seattle. Thinks are doing well on the pantry challenge. I had a migraine yesterday, so DH made me scrambled egg sandwiches, which is just the eggs on bread wiht butter and you fold the bread in half. For lunch, I had the last of the beef stew. I didn't eat breakfast. Everyone else ate leftovers for lunch.
Tonight I will be making a kielbasa, shrimp, peppers, onions, and cabbage stir-fry. Semi-spicy. Not a jambalaya. Rice on the side. Chicken salad was for lunch, on tortilla or spinach wraps for everyone but me. I had mine in steamed Napa cabbage that I used in place of a wrap. Skipped breakfast. Most of the time we are just not breakfast people.
Tomorrow? Maybe baked chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans for dinner. Lunch will likely be leftovers of dinner tonight or more chicken salad wraps. Oh, wait, tomorrow is Saturday. Maybe we'll do meatloaf or meatballs with spaghetti.
January 10th, 2024 at 07:38 am
Although we did do the pantry challenge for the first few days of January, I wasn't posting and then of course, I didn't do it while we were in Seattle, because how can you when you are away from your pantry? And I didn't do it the last two days as we settled back in. So I am integrating some leftovers in as well as cooking from the pantry now. My MIL bought us Sushi last night, so...
Breakfast/Lunch was leftover sushi. I don't get the raw kind, because I can't handle raw fish. Lox is the closest I can get to raw salmon and I don't really even like that, although I can eat it. I had six pieces left off 16 from last night's dinner, so that was my lunch. I don't eat a lot because of being on the Ozempic.
Dinner was Beef Stew with potatoes and carrots. I made a gluten free gravy for it with no salt. I had a 3 cup bowl. Then I had an orange and 12 chocolate chips. That's all I will eat today. I had as much water as my cardiologist allows. I lost another pound this morning.
I have some breakfast sausage in the freezer tomorrow so I will fry that up and have it for the next few days with some cucumbers, but will be making breakfast burritos for the others tomorrow because we have a lot of eggs and sausage from our hog in the fridge. Then for dinner I plan on making a stir-fry that includes kielbasa, frozen shrimp, red, orange, and yellow bell peppers, onion and green cabbage or possibly Napa cabbage depending on which needs to be eaten first. And then basil herb brown and wild rice from a Lundgren's box mix. Or maybe Lundberg. It's organic. My box mixes are getting close to their expiration dates. I think I will either have half a mango, which is finally ripe, or a kiwi, also.
I need to sit down tomorrow and plan out the rest of the week. The bell peppers need to get used up as they are starting to wrinkle, so probably something with those.
January 9th, 2024 at 03:29 am
It's been a long few days, but my daughter made it through her surgery and hospital stay with flying colors and her recovery is going very well. Her hormone levels have already stablized and I haven't seen her this emotionally stable since she hit puberty. She will never have to worry about bleeding out again and she did get to keep her ovaries, but everything else is gone. Since she can't take replacement hormones due to one of her other medical conditions, this is a good thing.
I got more exercise than I ever care to have again traipsing all over that hospital, because nothing is easy to get to from anywhere else. I am just glad I had my walker. I had so many steps it was ridiculous. I lost 2 pounds from that and another pound when I got home because I fell on my face and slept for about 20 hours without eating. Then slept another 12 hours the next night after eating.
The hotel we stayed at was amazing. It was a luxury suite, too. I've never stayed in anything this nice before. The amount of room in it, well, the bedroom itself was bigger than most hotel rooms I've stayed in. It had a king size bed, a table and two stuffed arm chairs, a dresser, a 60 inch television and a dresser then about six feet of space until you got to a space you could sit down to put on your shoes. The side wall was nearly floor to ceiling windows with a nice view, but it had amazing blackout curtains on top of sheers. Then you could step into the next area that on either side had two walk in closets and next to them, two built in dressers. An ironing board, iron, bathrobes and slippers were provided.
From there you stepped into the main bathroom, which had a walk in shower that was halfway between a half-sized shower and a full-sized shower and had a waterfall showerhead, and on the other side of it was a soaking tub. It was deep and long. Long enough for me to fully stretch out and deep enough to have both my knees and just below my shoulders submerged at the same time. I haven't ever been in a bathtub like that before and it was amazing. It was the nicest thing for sore muscles after trekking around that hospital. It was hard to get into and out of without grab bars, though, and also for a short person. It had a double sink with double lighted mirrors and then behind a closed door was the toilet. There was a sliding door that separated the bedroom from the other room.
The other room was a living room with a pull out couch bed that was actually comfortable with a large coffee table and two arm chairs. It had an 80 inch TV on another dresser and there was another closet. It was a corner suite so there were windows on the side wall and on the main wall. As you continued away from the living room there was an office space with a full desk and a leather executive office chair. There was stationary, postcards, pens, and stamps. Across from this was a full bar with a sink, microwave, small refrigerator, and we were given four complimentary Aquafina waters a day. On the backwall of the bar was a half bathroom. On the back of that was a door that when unlocked would lead to an adjoining room if you rented both.
Further down was a settee, another place to sit and put your shoes on, with a lovely piece of art opposite it. Then on the third wall was a cabinet for tucking away empty luggage if you needed more places to put it. And there was yet more space until the door. They could have fit maybe four hotel rooms in this place. My MIL paid for it and it still cost less than the VRBO we stayed at last time, with way more comfortable beds.
I've never stayed somewhere with concierge service, an adults only quiet floor, no pets floor, valet parking, discounted meals with the room, 24 hour maid service if we wanted it, etc, as part of the package. Oh, and we had to use our key to get onto our floor. Anyone from the floor below us to the floor above us did. The floors above us had been sold out or we could have gotten a two bedroom suite with all the same things for $50 more a night.
I felt so spoiled. My husband and I are unassuming people, practically country bumpkins, but in a medium city. I would have brought somewhat nicer clothes if I had known it was as nice as it was. I'm just glad I didn't come in sweats and had styled my hair. I also would have made sure the front of the car was cleaned out.
While it wasn't anything like a vacation, it still had lovely, refreshing, restful moments because of that hotel and I am so grateful to MIL for giving that to us. It made all the difference in the world to be able to get good sleep and be super close to the hospital and have a place the day my daughter got out of the hospital to relax in before heading home. It's nice to see how the other half lives.
January 1st, 2024 at 06:48 am
$143,668.67 Total Retirement Accounts
These last two weeks increased net worth by $3,464.93, a litte over half of that was contributions. The IRA needs to gain about a few more dollars to reach where it was before Biden year 2 started. Biden year 3 has had two really solid quarters, one free fall quarter (second quarter), and one amazing quarter (last quarter). It puts the 3 year rate of return at 6.5% which is not so good, but for this year the IRA is at 21.62% and the 401K is at 17.21%. Of course there was $37,484.08 of contributions between DH and his work put in that counts into that, so I'm not sure how accurate that makes the percentage on that one, but the IRA had no contributions.
New net worth is $238,973.61.
$11,026.39 to go and we are quarter millionaires.
December 28th, 2023 at 12:30 am
I'm glad Christmas is finished for one more year. The tree will be down today and we will take the outdoor Christmas lights and standees down this weekend and get everything tucked away into the garage or our storage unit. I will be glad to have it put away so life can return to normal.
We got a recumbant exercise bike for the family for Christmas to replace the treadmill that three out of four of us can't use because of our knees and also the weight capacity being quite low. The bike is high enough even my husband will be able to use it. I hope it works for my back. I'd really like to be able to start exericising again.
I'll be starting on a new arthritis drug when we get back from DD's surgery in Seattle. The old one stopped working. This one is a pen, so I can do it myself, but it is back to weekly injections intead of monthly ones, so now I'll be taking two different meds through pen injectors once a week. I'm going to be a pincushion.
I have a lot to do to get ready for January's Eat from the Pantry Challenge I do every year with my Facebook/Youtube group that I am in. I need to take inventory of what I have, top up any glaring empty spots, and on the 31st shop for fresh produce. I know I will have to take two days off from it while DD is in surgery but I will just add two extra days at the end to make up for it. When you in a hotel in a strange city with no microwave and no fridge, there is just no way to manage. If we had a VRBO, I could take food with us and cook, but we needed to be closer to the hosptial this time than any availabe rentals wHere.
My goal for this year's January Challenge is to save enough money to hit my goal of $10K for the bathroom fund. I am now at $9500, so if I can peel $500 out of an $800 a month grocery budget, I will be well pleased. I still intend to buy some fresh produce and milk, but not much else. And other than Seattle, no eating out, which we won't be paying for. MIL pays for our food and lodging when we go down to the hospital so that won't come out of any budget, let alone food. I might end up hitting the goal otherwise, but I don't know how much I will need to ultimately have, if $10K will even be enough. Stuff has gotten so expensive, but it is such a tiny room.
I would really like to get this started before the handymen or contractors get busy with big outdoor summer projects and have no time for tiny interior jobs that get them through the winter. I just have to have the money for it. No going into debt for it.
We still need to purchase our snow blower. There might be money leftover there that I can put into the bathroom fund, too. Every bit counts, you know? It just depends on what we end up getting. I want something I can drive, too, and not be overpowered by, even if that means having to take a couple extra passes on the driveway.
Even if it is enough and they get started on the bathroom, I think I'll keep saving anyway because things like this always seem to overrun the original budget.
I've already gotten two seed catalogs in the mail and they are full of such beautiful photos of seductive flowers and fruits and vegetables. I will buy very little this year. I have many things I didn't plant last year that I will need to plant this year that will be lovely and yummy. But there will be one or two things I'm sure I will find to plant. Some of the brand new introductions put onto the market that are developed in my area. Those do great here. I was hoping to put in a couple of trees, too, but things didn't get done this year because of DH's leg and it still hasn't healed up right and now he might have torn the miniscus on his knee on the other leg, which he sees the doctor for the day before we leave for Seattle. He'll probably get an x-ray, too.
I think I may have to hire someone to come in and rototill the garden this year and do the clean up. I have been saving all of my spending money, my Christmas money, and my future birthday money towards garden expenditures in the coming year, so if that is what is needed, I will hire a strong teenager from the farming community to come and do it for me. While there is still more infrastructure I want to purchase, like more raised beds and more cattle panels, getting the one plot tilled that hasn't been and getting the weeds cleared out of the other bed, is necessary.
We are buying heavy duty agricultural fabric this year from a farmer's supplier instead of a seed catalog and then once it is secured we will put the aluminum raised beds on top. No more dealing with ground weeds. I'm just so done with it. That's why the ground needs to be rototilled and raked flat, so the beds can go on top and set relatively flat.
We'll see what happens when we find out about DH's leg. If physical therapy and weight loss will fix it than maybe he can go forward from there. If he has torn something, then he may need surgery and won't be able to work in the garden in 2024 at all. Oh, well. If worse comes to worst, I will mostly skip a year except the raised beds and the blackberries and the plums. And that will be that.
December 18th, 2023 at 05:29 am
So, in 2023 I set some goals for myself and thought it would be interesting to come back and see if I hit any of them. I know things went all catywampus because no one expected the bathroom to suddenly develop black mold and have to be torn out to the studs and be treated and us to have to save up all year and part of into next year to pay for a contractor to come and build a new one. The bathroom fund took up most of our money, but did we meet any of our goals? Let's see.
1. Refund the Emergency Fund--Add $250 every 4 weeks to the EF.
1. No, see above, the bathroom fund.
2. Purchase a Propane Grill with Smoker--Save $250 for 12 weeks and I will have $1500. I may not spend that much, I probably won't, but I don't want a garbage one. This will put me at March 17th and I may find some good grills on clearance as they prepare for the new season of grills coming in. I am not averse to buying a separate smoker as they are not all that expensive.
2. No, we decided to make do with charcoal for another year, as the money we saved for this went into the bathroom. Black mold was discovered in February.
3. Save for Beef Fund--Save $500 a month for 5 months, ending in May, for a total of $2500 to buy a whole steer. I may not need this much but with costs going up everywhere, I tacked on an extra $500. I'll contact my guy beforehand and see where prices are going. I may need to extend into June for $3000. I will also be saving excess grocery money, so it may not take the whole time.
3. Yes. We were able to save enough to purchase a whole steer in July. It has made a huge difference. Between that and our hog and our fishing, we have only had to buy chicken and turkey for protein.
4. Save for Snow Blower--Starting in May or June, depending on when Beef Fund is completed, save $500 a month for three months to purchase a snow blower for next winter and a chain for locking it to the back porch. The garage is too far away if we get dumped on like we did last week. 1.5 feet in two days that has lasted for several days. This has happened several years running now. And several times a winter. Never used to, but it does now.
4. Yes. I completed saving for the snow blower in October. We haven't bought it yet, but we should. It has been unseasonably warm, but we tend to get blasted in February, and sometimes we get hit on Christmas Eve. I'd rather have it and not need it, than not have it and need it.
5. Starting March 24th save $250 a month for two generators, one for the garage freezer and a more powerful one for the house. I still have to price these. I am not sure how much they will cost yet, but I hope to have enough saved by October to have both.
5. No, these were back-burnered because of the bathroom, but we did buy an additional power station so we can now run both the c-pap and the bi-pap machine all night long during a power failure.
6. Get some kind of covered seating area and some more chairs so we can eat outside more in the spring and summer. Not sure where I will fit that in. Maybe start the generator savings later.
6. Both no and yes. We did not get a covered seating area, but we did purchase two more chairs. We need one more for our daughter who seldom goes outside. Our Swedish ancestry is strong in that one and she burns very easily. Hence the need for a covered area.
So, 2.5 goals were achieved and 3.5 goals were not achieved. I think I did fairly well with a ginormous curve ball thrown at us. We will have $10K saved soon and hopefully that will be enough to create a new bathroom. If not, then I guess the $10K in the EF will get dipped into. We really can't handle not having that bathroom in service. If that happens, we will have to slam the EF to get it back up. But it is a tiny bathroom. It is the smallest legal size a bathroom can be, so hopefully it won't go over that. I've priced everything, so I know what materials cost. It's just the labor that will be the thing.
My goals list for 2024 that I made at the end of 2022 has shifted substantially because of this whole bathroom thing. One, because I missed some of this year's goals and two, because other things have moved to take priority. But that's another post for another day.
December 17th, 2023 at 12:22 am
DH got his Christmas bonus this on Friday and it was $911.64. Before taxes it was $1200. Not as good as last year, so the company must not have done as well. Either that or they will be distributing a larger portion in stock shares this year. I hope so. DH worked his tail off in overtime this year so his percentage of hours worked is high and the portion of shares you get is based on the percentage of hours you work. We've got a fairly large chunk of change in company stock on top of the 401K and the IRA. Of course we can't sell it back until years one and two after retirement, but it should be significant by then. Just won't like the tax bill.
We've decided to tithe $91.16 and put the rest into the medical account. They've changed things up a bit this year with how they do the deductible and the out of pocket max. So starting in January, the deductible is now $1250 per person or $2500 per family. The out of pocket max is $3000 per person or $5000 per family. Which would, supposedly, help out the average family. But I'd really like to have been done with the deductible, because we have the $3000 to pay that off immediately. And once that is paid off the out of pocket max is worked on at a 20% co-insurance.
DD will wipe out her deductible and out of pocket max with her surgery in January, but the rest of us will be working on wiping out the $1250 that is left on the deductible and the $2000 left on the out of pocket max. At least the deductible is lower. It has been $3000 for the past couple of years, so a drop of $500 is welcome.
DS's therapy, a couple of my scheduled appointments, and DH's appointments to have his knees checked out and likely x-rayed, will probably have the deductible met sometime in February. So the big flush of medical spending will be done and we will only have to worry about co-insurance until the out of pocket max is met, which will be a relief.
They finally, finally, finally dumped in the money for the 401K they'd withheld, but hand't put into the account, so 3 paydays' worth was dumped in on the 15th, plus the match, which was a substantial dump with all the overtime. Even so, there was a good leap in profits in the last two weeks in the 401K. A bit over half of the gains were profit, a bit under half was what was deposited. Even the IRA went up a bit. It has $269 to where it was before the free fall started 2.5 years ago, but it may yet get there. Too bad the recession/depression destroyed it for so long, but the last couple of months have been a lot better.
The new amount in the retirement accounts, minus company stock, is $140,203.74, a rise of $8835.15 in two weeks. The 401K is at $140,203.74 and the IRA is at $13,368.59. You can see why I was so upset about the money not being deposited into the 401K account, because the last six weeks have been phenomonal and we could have made more money. I mean, I know it would have probably only been a couple of hundred dollars, but that is money that would have grown into something and I feel cheated out of it.
Seven weeks and five weeks is too long to hold onto someone's witholdings, in my opinion. They are a company with over 100 employees though so the Safe Harbor Act does us no good. Oh, well, what are you going to do? At least it is there now. And this last one only took them a week to get in, so there is that. But next payday is the Friday before Christmas and they tend to take their sweet time when a holiday is right after a payday, so this may start up all over again. But I can't stress on it. What will be, will be. I have been working on letting things go in therapy, but I have issues with doing that on the financial front, because letting things go is what got me into so much trouble in the past. So maybe everything but finances.
Anyway, this bumps the old net worth up to $235,508.68. Seems like just yesterday I was coming up on $100K and now I'm about to hit $250K in networth. Crazy what being out of debt can do for you. We have decided to go ahead and bump up our retirement savings from 16% to 17%. I am not quite brave enough to do 18% yet, at least not until we are done saving for the bathroom repair. Heck, after that I might be brave enough to go up to 20%. We'll see.
December 1st, 2023 at 01:18 am
I finally made it to the cardiologist for my second follow up appointment after my procedure during the summer. I had to cancel once because I had the flu, ironically 2 weeks after getting my flu shot. I had a pretty severe case of it. I was well for ten days only to get slapped down with Covid the Sunday before Thanksgiving. So that makes two Thanksgivings in a row ruined by Covid. But I tested two days before my appointment and I was negative so I was able to keep my appointment and go. I still feel cruddy, but way better than last week, so there you go. It's more like a cold now.
I finally got a name for my condition. It's called microvascular dysfunction and I was born with it. Normally, I would have probably been fine with it my entire life, other than the difficulty they had finding a blood vessel big enough to draw blood from or start an IV in (there is one in my arm and one in one hand), but when I got Covid last year, it caused the right chamber of my heart to become enlarged. With the right meds and watching my salt and restricting my water, we are hopeful that we have helped with reducing that back to normal size. I know I have felt a huge difference with the reduction of salt. He is letting me up my water a little bit more and my brain feels better already. It's just 8 ounces more a day, but it is a big difference to me.
He said my heart sounded really good, so hopefully that means we have also fixed the flow rate on the other chamber of the heart, too. He said both things can be fixed or at least drastically improved. Well, the first thing can be completely fixed. The flow rate on the other side depends on the salt intake and the amount of water in the blood, because of the microvascular dysfunction, which I will always have. You can not make tiny veins and arteries any bigger.
So I will have an echocardiogram on the 12 of January to see how everything is doing and if there is an improvement with the meds and the dietary changes. I hope I get the female technician this time. The male is kind of a jerk with a really bad bedside manner. It's not really the sort of thing you can request. They only let you request that for a mammogram.
Speaking of mammograms, I got my annual letter to go and get one. I don't always get them annually. I should, since my mother had breast cancer at 40. I usually get them at least every 2 years since I was 40. This year, since the doctor did a blood test for cancer earlier this month, and it was negative, I'm not really feeling it. The only reason they did it was because they were unsure of some markers they were seeing, but it is the same old, you have another as of yet undiagnosed autoimmune disease that isn't lupus or any of the other common ones to go along with your rheumatoid arthritis and you are massively inflammed right now with some kind of infection.
And I said, "No, duh." Well, no I did not. I said, "That's what my rheumatologist said," which is also what I said before they took the blood test, but you know doctors. Turned out yes, there was some kind of massive infection, because the next night I dropped like a rock with Covid. So then I had to call the doctor's office and they had to call the lab that is part of their office and let everyone I had come into contact with know they were exposed to Covid most likely. That was fun.
So anyway, it will be fun to see who eats up the deductible first this year. DD has her surgery scheduled on January 5th, my echo is on the 12th, and my son may or may not get his testosterone implant in January. If we are lucky it will be in December still 100% covered. DH did sign up for the HSA debit card this year, so at least we will have that. Which I need to remember will lower the paycheck. We've had a year without that deduction.
I have to take that into account when thinking about the 401K deduction. Think I'll definitely have to go 17%, not 18%. I still think we will make it, though, since we almost did with 16% and that was with DH only having the raise amount from the end of July on. Actually, I didn't consider that. I may have to run the numbers again. I'll do that after we get his last paycheck and I know exactly how much he earned this year.
I wonder if there is a way to just have a dollar amount withdrawn from each paycheck instead of a percentage. I don't see it as an option of something we can do on our end, we can change the percentage to whatever we want whenever we want, but if there is a way for his employer to make it a dollar amount out of every paycheck, then we could make sure we got the max next year without having to stress over it towards the end of the year. That would be nice. Then it would be $1153.85 each check with the last check of the year evening out the odd penny here or there. It would be about $160.85 more than we are putting in now with each check, but that is doable if we keep ourselves on budget. I'll have DH look into this further.
I'll have to have him get me his approximate gross income for this year, too, so I can base my calculations on that. I know what his gross income is supposed to be going forward, but if I can figure out how much overtime he has worked this year on top of base salary, it will make it easier for me to estimate the percentage I need to use next year based on the full year at the higher salary, plus overtime, and not just 14 paychecks out of 26. The overtime will continue into next year, and will probably increase and they are talking about another COL raise, too, which may or may not happen, but wouldn't go into effect until July anyway if it does happen. The on in July was 3%, so would probably be similar. I guess we will see.
November 30th, 2023 at 05:05 am
We are getting close to maxing out on the 401K. We've already hit the normal max out, but since DH is over 50, we are going for the catch up amount, which is $30,000. Unfortunately, we are still waiting for payroll to make the contribution from November 10th and of course they have not made the one from the 25th yet, either, so we are waiting for them to deposit at total of $2104.73 that they did deduct from the paychecks. DH checked.
Once they do it, and DH is finally getting his butt in gear, and checking with payroll tomorrow, we'll have contributed $26,362.73. And we should have another $993 from each paycheck unless there is overtime, bringing our contribution to $28,348.73 for the year. I am super tempted to run the numbers and see what we would need to do percentage wise to get that extra $1651.27 withheld. It would be $825.64 and $826.63 from each check.
Which we could manage if we don't save anything for the bathroom in December, skip the gift fund and the phone fund contributions, and don't put anything in the household account which has $196 in it and all I need to buy from that money is a new filter for the fridge because we just replaced it and I like to have one on hand when we do that. So that will still leave that account with $140 in it. Since we just restocked everything we need, we should be just fine until January or February on what we have. I would just have to figure out percentages. I really want to max this thing out.
Then I want to figure out what percentage I need to put the 401K at to max it out for next year. Because of the raise, I think we can comfortably go from 16% to 18%. I just haven't done it. I really need to run the numbers. Okay, back from running the numbers. Yes, it looks like 18% is what I need to be withholding. Which would be about $1250 a paycheck instead of $993. Depending on overtime it could be more. It would be a difference of $257 in pretax dollars, but I don't know what that would shake out to in post tax dollars.
Either way, I think our budget can absorb that. There are definitely places we can tighten up and have some more discipline about. We could probably even just do 17%, because with the amount of overtime DH works, we'd probably smack up against it just fine raising it one percent and if it looks like we won't, I can adjust it in September instead of waiting until November. I just wasn't paying attention this year, because of heart conditon, then the stomach flu, then the real flu, then Covid again. $128.50 a week seems like an easier hit, but we might just be fine. I don't know. I'll talk to DH about it when we do our yearly, "I know you don't wanna, but you're gonna, sit down and go over the budget with me," meeting at the end of December. That's when we go over the state of all the finances, too.
The IRA is finally back up again. Still not quite up to pre-Biden levels, but doing much, much better. And the 401K is doing nicely despite the lack of contributions. This month was good for it.
$131,368.59 Total Retirement Accounts
This is an increase of $9913.20 since I last updated my sidebar. This increases my net worth to $226,673.53.
November 29th, 2023 at 09:56 pm
November 28th, 2023 at 01:47 am
What is happening? Are the forums freaking the heck out for everyone else? Are the blogs? My blog says I am logged out and I couldn't get logged in until I left a comment on Monkey Mama's blog and then it said I was logged in, but when I went to all entries or back to blogs I was logged out again, but then when I was able to get to my blog it has the control panel, so I am trying this to see if it will post. And the forums page is just spazzing out, blinking like a disco light. So let's see if this crazy thing works.
ETA: So, it posts to my blog, but does not show up on the All Entries Page. Hmm.
November 11th, 2023 at 03:33 am
Actually, the furnace isn't performing any antics, but we had the furnace guy out today to do the yearly maintenance check up. He said it is running at 93% which is pretty close to optimal, but we need to clean the clutter from around the vents and that will go up. The furnace is 16 years old and he said it should last another 5 years, possibly more as far as he can see. New ones for a house this size are running between $8000 and $10,000.
Hearing those numbers, I picked $9000 and divided it by 60 months. If I start saving $150 per month, in 5 years we will have $9000 for a new furnace. I'm sure there will be other money to throw in along the way, too, to get that up to $10,000. Or more likely as DH gets raises we will probably up the amount to $200 we are saving. Prices will probably go up in 5 years, but hopefully the possibly more than 5 years part will come into play.
I don't know if my mother will still be alive in 5 years, but she very well could be. My aunt C is still alive and she's older than mom by a few years. But I don't want this dropping on her, so the saving starts as soon as we've saved enough for the bathroom. At least it is long term saving and not having to throw as much as possible into savings as we can as quickly as we can so we have a chance to save for other goals, like with this stupid bathroom.
I do need to start a tax fund. Once mom is gone, there won't be a senior discount on taxes and the taxes on this house will be somewhere in the ballpark of $8000. I want to have money set aside to pay at least the first year. It is going to take a significant bite out of the paycheck once it is on our shoulders. Around $700 a month. And not leave much in disposable income. So getting the EF and the tax fund up to snuff as well as saving for that furnace will be priorites and saving for the electric vehicle and the Hawaii trip will still be distand priorities. But I am still going for that beach vacation sooner, rather than later.
The biggest thing we need to do is crack down on our spending, which has been off the charts and it has been due to getting takeout. At least we have figured out why I have been so exhausted the last couple of months. My thyroid has finally gone bonkers. It is the family curse, but it has hit everyone else very young in life, like in the 20's. It was fine seven months ago, but not at my recent test 3 weeks ago. So I see the doctor next week about that. It would have been sooner, but my doctor has been out of the office due to a family emergency and now he's going to be out much longer so I am seeing a different doc in the same practice. I am hoping to start on meds right away and hopefully get through this, because all I want to do is sleep and I have no energy to cook.
I am going to just force myself from now on. We charged almost $5000 last month getting takeout nearly every day, which means we are not going to save a cent for the bathroom repair in November, putting us behind in our savings goal. I'm just glad there was as much OT as there was and will be on the next paycheck since he has to work more next week as well. It is hard to care when you are too tired to care, but that was a huge number to see. Consequently, my credit score went up to 804. Funny how the more debt you have the higher your score. It was 782 when the card had a zero balance in September. I will get it paid off before any interest is charged, no worries there, but it will be close.
I am feeling old habits rising up that need to be squelched down before they become a problem. My brain was starting down the path of, oh, you can carry a balance into December just this once. You'll make it up then. I had to really fight with myself and say that no, I wouldn't, I was going to get it all done in November no matter how hard I had to squeeze. And I will.
I told DH that we really have to stop using the credit card. Which means he will have to start carrying some grocery money with him so that when he has to stop for something after work he isn't just whipping out the credit card to pay for it. He'll have the money. But the food budget has to remain tight. No more incidentals. Food has to be planned for even more closely than it has been. And the junk food habit has to be gotten over yet again.
November 6th, 2023 at 11:35 pm
I'm getting a little annoyed at DH's work. Usually they make the contribution to his retirement fund the day his paycheck comes out or no later than the following Monday, unless their is a bank holiday on the Friday or Monday and then it might be as late as that Wednesday. But for the last little while it has been a week late. Which means we missed out on some great days on his fund where he could have earned a lot.
Payroll has been all over the place for the last six months and it is irritating when you have OCD and expect everyone else to maintain their schedules the way they are supposed to and they don't. Well, he got paid last on the 27th and he gets paid again in 4 days and they still haven't made the retirement contribution yet. That's ten days. If it hasn't been made by Wednesday I'm going to have DH ask what is up. Regardless, retirement has gone up a lot, which is why I am annoyed at the lateness.
$122,455.95 Previous Balance
-___3,061.56 Amount Earned
$125,516.95 New Balance
Of the $3061.56 earned all but $307 of it was in the 401K. But the IRA is still significantly what it was under before 2021 and the great freefall of most of 2022. I'm so glad things started to turn around towards the end of the year and this year, although most of his earnings are from contributions, there still has been a 6% amount of interest made. Nothing like the 17% we earned 2017 through 2019 and 14% in 2020, but so much better than the last couple of years. I am hoping that 2024 will bring us back up to 8%, but I have no illusions due to war and out of control goverment spending. Maybe if we invested in all the war companies, but then I would feel ethically icky.
I am thinking about putting most of my Emergency Fund back in Capitol One 360. The bank failures seem to have stopped for now and I could be earning a lot more interest right now. I feel very safe with it in the credit union though. But maybe that is a delusion.
November 5th, 2023 at 10:12 pm
I did try to post on Halloween. But every time I did, my computer kept rebooting. The internet was being obnoxious. Even though I saved the copy in my drafts folder, I couldn't find it. And while I had it in Word, I hadn't saved it yet, so lost it one of the reboots. Obnoxious.
What it boils down to is when we knew a hard frost was coming, we went out and picked the last of the produce that we could and brought it into the house. I processed 60 pounds of zucchini, which is a real pain in the neck but will be nice later. There were 6 and were about 10 pounds each, they were so big, so we cut them as we went so we could go at the pace we wanted and not have to do it all at once.
I found an ice cream scoop to be quite effective at taking out the seeds. I saved the best of the seeds to plant next year. I don't know if they will breed true or not, because I think this is a hybrid, but one never knows. I have about 40 seeds, far more than I need, but seeds are getting expensive.
So after that you have to shred the zucchini, which was the easiest part since we used a food proceesor. After that we put the zucchini in colanders over pots to let them drip all day. I very lightly salted them as salt brings out the juice in a vegetable and you don;t want that in the finished product or you will be cooking it off for a long time. After they had dripped all day we took tea towels and squeezed all of the juice that was left out into a container and then put the zucchini in a pot. We did that for all four and filled the pot. It was amazing how 6 giant giant zuccini became 4 huge bowls of shredded zucchini which had then shrunk down to one pot, by taking the juice out. It was a big pot, though.
At the end of the day, here is what we got:
20 pounds of shredded zucchini, divided into 20 1 pound bags
8 pounds of seeds and stringy bits and some harder pieces of skin that didn't want to shred
2 1/2 gallons of zucchini juice
The juice was kind of good, but needed some sugar to make it really good. We drank some of it and pressure canned most of it in half pint jars, without sugar. I always can my half-pints with reusable lids because that would be a lot of one time use lids to go through. I'm not really sure what we will do with it. Maybe just add sugar and drink it. Maybe add some to vegetable broth if it isn't too sweet. Maybe use it as the liquid in the corn stach slurry when making Chinese food. I'll figure it out.
Also, last week we canned 12 jars of tomato sauce. Most of them were quart jars, 3 of them were 3 cup jars. We jut ran out of quart jars. I am shocked becaue I have never had that happen before. So I will have to send DH to pick some up today so we can can some more. I did save some Roma tomato seeds, but I also have a lot seeds for next year, so I don't know if I will plant these or just keep them for the future. The produce a nice tomato, but I have no idea if they are determinate or indeterminate.
Meanwhile, I need to get busy going through the bag of peppers I saved from the garden. We have shishitos, jalapeños, cayennes, poblanos, and 5 sweet peppers. My sweet peppers did not do well this year. The deer really liked them and kept topping the plants. Next year all the peppers will be grown behind a fence or under netting. They left the hot peppers alone. I am going to cut open and deseed everything, one pepper at a time, with gloves on, and then I will chop them up seperately and dehydrate the shishitos and cayennes. We will eat as many jalapeños and poblanos as we can and the sweet peppers. The cayennes and shoshitos will be dehydrated and made into powder. The rest will be frozen to put into chili.
I am, of course, saving seeds from the best of the hot peppers, some while green and some while red. I am not saving seed from any of the sweet peppers as they were pretty much stunted. I still have seeds for all of those so I will plant them next year with protection and hopefully it will make a difference.
I did save bean seeds to from the purple green beans I planted this year. They were prolific and they grew so well. I didn't save enough to plant as much as I needed to plant for next year, but I have a ton of them still. I intend to plant every seed I did save, though. Those beans went through our growing conditions here and will be hardier than the ones I bought from another state. And then ther offspring will be even more aclimatized. Each generation will be stronger and stronger based on living in my exact microclimate and eventually I won't be planting seeds from anyone else at all. Honestly, I'd like to do that with everything I grow, but I am not there yet. But I digress.
After that I will go the restaurant supply store depending on what their produce sales are. I'd like to get more tomatoes under my belt but that depends on the price. And potatoes. We go through so many potaotes in a year and while we use fresh for baked potatoes and mashed potatoes, I like using canned for fried potatoes, stews, and soups. It just lowers the amount of time it takes to put these things together. Oh, and I'd like to get onions, so I can chop and freeze them. I almost forgot I bought 10 pounds I need to do up. I didn't want to buy 25 or 50 because I was afraid I wouldn't get them done. I know myself so well.
With bell peppers being a bust, I can't chop up a bunch and freeze them. The cost in the stores didn't really go down too much. Even TJ's frozen bags are expensive, including the non fire roasted ones. I will have to take a special trip to Winco to buy them. They are the only store that consitently keeps their bell pepper prices under $1. Right now the are $2/7 and $2/8 and those are their sale prices at Safeway and Fred Meyer, now owned by Kroger. I knew Kroger coming in and buying all the grocery stores was going to be bad, I just didn't know how bad. When they are consistenly higher than Whole Foods by about 20% it is just wrong. At least we still have Winco. And I won't go to Walmart because it is too dangerous to go there anymore. I don't want to get hit by flying bullets.
So anyway, trying to get ahead with my garden stuff and cheaper prices now, because heaven knows what they will be next year.
October 20th, 2023 at 11:22 pm
I am thinking about saving up to buy land. I mean, once the EF is saved up for. So in the future. It's kind of a dream. Not necessarily land to live on. But maybe some land in the county with one cleared acre, where we can put in a cistern and a greenhouse with guttering that harvests water through a series of filters and into the cistern. Then we can grow a big garden and always have the water to water it without tapping into city water. Getting a permit for a well is very hard right now, and expensive, but there are no permits needed for a cistern or gathing rain water. I'd also like to build a roof over it, with guttering to collect more water and make one end an RV shed. If the cistern is out of sight, it is out of mind for any drone flyovers, just in case there are any bad actors out there.
I'd like one of those giant greenhouses that look like hoop houses, maybe even two. We could grow so much more food there. and it would be protected from the elements and extend the growing season. We could put up shade cloth easily when it got too hot and run fans and in the fall we could keep it warmer by battening down all the windows and moving to just planting down the center. There are also even propane heaters if we wanted to try to grow into the cold part of the winter, but I doubt we would do that, since the roads are pretty impassable in the area I'm thinking for at least one month of the year. But growing 9 to 10 months of the year would be great. And we could put gutters on that for rain water catchement as well.
And I'd like to have a big pond and looping creek waterfall, with both a pump built and a solar fountain. The pond we could stock with trout and have an automatic feeder. And it would have the natural bog section for filtering out all the fish poop, that you don't go into, and we'd add water flowers as well as flowers and plants along the banks and rocks. Not quite a tropical paradise since we arent in the tropics, but there are some amazing grasses and other style plants that grow here that look very tropical and they even overwinter. And then there are some tubers like caladium and elephant ear hostas that you have to dig up and overwinter inside, but they are so worth the effort. Lilies you can leave right in the ground and there are some that look very exotic.
Eventually we'd put in a septic tank when we could afford to so we could have a hookup for a small shed with a toilet and sink in it, maybe even a shower if we went swimming in the pond. We would use solar to heat the water. Meanwhile, we'd build an outhouse in the woods and keep a bucket of lime and some hay or straw to throw down the hole for proper composting. And it is not hard to set up a solar shower/washing station to wash your hands with.
And the very first thing we would do when we got that land, before we did anything else would be to plant fruit trees, fruit bushes, and their pollinators. Fruit trees take the longest to produce food. 5 to 6 years to produce fruit, so you have to get them in the ground the minute you move somewhere. And I'll want a couple of Willow trees if there is a body of water to sustain them and I will want flowering pink cherry trees and flowering dogwoods planted along the driveway into the property so that when they are big enough they will form an arch over the driveway.
And maybe one day build a fully accessible house to my exact specifications, big enough to fit a wheelchair.
Will this ever happen, I don't know. Land is getting more and more expensive, which is why I'd like to buy some here sooner, rather than later. Otherwise, I'd have to move away from the coast to get a really good deal and I love living here even if the politics are not something I agree with. I can't move to a place that there is not proper access to a high level medical facility or a really good ER in a regular hospital. If I don't have both of those I risk my daughter's life and probably mine, too. The cheapest places to live don't tend to have Viginia Mason, Swedish, John Hopkins, and the like.
So maybe this will always just remain a pipe dream. Like so many of my dreams that came screeching to a halt the day my daughter slipped on those rocks and fractured her skull and changed her and our lives forever. But maybe we will find the right place already built. Because fixing up this place once we fully own it outright is not something I really want to do. I really just want to start over with a house that isn't over a century old with a basement that doesn't flood in bad rainstorms, because I can't climb down the stairs to turn on the pump anymore. And I'd like a house with modern wiring that is up to code. I just want that option.
October 20th, 2023 at 10:03 pm
I know I made at least one report between the side bar and now, but I can't remember what it was, can't find it in the blog post, and forgot to update, so I will make sure I update it this time. I am going off of the side bar for this, though.
Our 401K now sits at $110,046.18.
Our IRA has been all over the place, but currently rests at $12,409.31
Our total retirement now sits at $122.455.39 up $9111.88 from the sidebar total of $113,343.51. Excluding company stock of course, which is added into the total net worth.
I also went through the savings accounts. I know I am lazy about recording interes these days. I know I save $70 each month for garbage, but the amount paid is $67.28, so I just leave the extra in savings, and I know I oversaved on the car insurance I just paid, because it was lower. So I swept that all into the Emergency Fund and it is now at $10,572.11 up from $10,441.01, a difference of $131.10.
This increases net worth by $9,242.98 from $207,517.35 to $216760.33. And the house was just assessed by the city auditor as being worth a bit over $800,000. That will automatically make us millionaires when my mother dies. But I'd rather have my mom than the house. Next year the valuation of the van will go down, but we should again get more company stock then the decrease in value should be. It is still valuable to us due to the low mileage.
So over all we are moving ahead. Not as fast as I wish we were, because our IRA keeps tanking, but we are getting there. The 401K isn't doing all that great either. It just looks like it is because DH has been working so much overtime since April that his contributions and the company match going in have made it really grow. But not much else has happened. Sure we've bought stock, but whether or not they've done anything is hard to tell, becaue it sure seems like the amount we put in and work has put in, is the amount we have. I know one day it'll start making a profit again, but very unlikely for the next 15 to 18 months. Hopefully, not longer. It depends on how bad the recession gets, although I would argue it is a depression and not a recession, looking around at many of the people here. They just keep redefining the words, so as not to look bad for the history books.
As Oliver Anthony would say, "And they think you don't know, but I know that you do."
And as Forrest Gump would say, "And that's all I got to say about that."
October 18th, 2023 at 01:25 am
Friday was payday and I am slow to get this up, but I really do want to get back into the habit of this, but I certainly am not fast off the mark in posting it. At least I record it fairly quickly into my spread sheet. DH worked a lot of overtime on this paycheck as well. $1734.03 was overtime. I think this will be the last one with OT on it, or if there is any on the next one it will only be a couple of hours. I will miss the bigger checks, but it sure was nice to see DH walking in the door at six last night and that would have been five if he hadn't gone to the pharmacy first.
So here is how the budget shook down this pay period:
_500.00 Grocery Envelope
_500.00 Medical Fund
__75.00 Household Envelope
_500.00 Bathroom Fund
_167.00 Car Insurance Fund
__70.00 Garbage Envelope
__50.00 DH Spending Money
__50.00 My Spending Money
__60.00 DS Allowance to Grandma 2 phone loan
__30.00 DD Stipend
_100.00 Our last contribution towards DS's Phone
_200.00 Christmas Envelope
5398.25 Total Money Out
The bathroom fund is now up to $6100. I am hoping to hit $10,000 by the end of the year, and so far we are on track to do that as long as we can keep our spending down on the Citi card. If all goes to plan, I should have $855 to put into it next week.
Christmas is now fully funded at $900. It was $1300, but DH and I put our portions into the Snowblower Fund so we can get it before Christmas in case it snows before Christmas. We are also getting our Christmas money from his mother early so we can add it in, too, if she will agree to it. Otherwise we will get one that takes smaller paths at a time and requires more walking. It's just harder on DH. His leg still isn't fully healed.
The medical fund is starting to build, but DH still needs new glasses and DD still needs new lenses and they both need exams, so that will probably wipe out more than $500 of any progress made, but after that we should be able to make progress. I would like to get $3000 saved in the medical account by the end of the year, but it is looking like it will be closer to $2000. But we will still have the FSA debit card we can use next year of $3000 if DH doesn't flub it again this year. I am staying on him about it. The enrollment period is coming soon and he is not going to miss it this year.
Since DD's surgery is the first week of January, I want to make sure we have the pretax money on the card for 2023. It makes life so much easier when there is an expensive thing right at the beginning of the year. And then we want to have more money in the medical fund for things that are beyond that.
Hopefully DH's mother will be giving us money at the end of the year or close to the beginning like she has the last few years. I would rest easier with another $2000 in the medical fund and another $2000 or more in the bathroom fund. I am just estimating $10K for that. It could be more and I don't want to use what little money I have in the Emergency Fund. I can, but I'd prefer that $10K plus stays put, even if I know that as soon as the bathroom is taken care of we can start slamming that emergency fund hard. It's just, what if something happens in between? So, yeah. Don't want to do that.
We are done contributing the amount we said we would contribute towards DS's phone which was $500, the same amount we contributed towards DD's phone. If they wanted anything fancier than those more basic phones, than they were going to have to pay for them themselves. DD used birthday money and saved up allowances to pay the difference. DS convinced his grandmother 2 (DH's mother) to loan him the money to buy the phone instead of saving up for it. I did not want that to happen. He was supposed to save up for it before getting it, but then the battery on his phone stopped charging and he had to use it plugged in all the time, so he cajoled his dad into it when we didn't even have the promised $500 saved on our part, giving us a debt to his mother, too. I was pretty peeved.
So he has been on a repayment plan. Every single allowance he has received has to go towards that loan. He doesn't get to have any fun with money until it is paid off. His birthday isn't until March, so he doesn't have to use his birthday money, it will be paid off in January. I won't force him to use his Christmas money, but if he wants to, he can. I have made the exception that if he wants to use one allowance to buy his sister a Christmas gift he can, because he was upset about that. Once he has finished saving up all the money, he then gets to present it all to his grandmother. Then I hope he will have learned his lesson about loans, because he really has hated the whole process. And this has been without interest. I think I will sit him down at the end and give him the amortization table on a loan at the going interest rate and tell him how much extra he would have paid if he had gotten a loan through the bank to pay for a nearly $1400 Apple smart phone. Open his eyes all the way.
October 14th, 2023 at 11:37 am
I had quite a bit of money left in my grocery envelope and since today is the day I refill it, I took out what was in there and redistributed it amongst all my other envelopes. These are all for non-essentials or slow-burner essentials. As in, fishing expenses is not a heavily essential envelope right now, but will be in the spring, since it is something we use to feed the family with. It doesn't get a line item on the budget, but bits and bobs can go in there until I have enough to pay for licenses and gas costs and some fresh water gear hopefully from Good Will. Here is what I added to and the new balance in each envelope.
$12.00 Van Paint Job and Body Work $70.00
$8.00 Fishing Expenses $8.00
$10.00 Summer Things $10.00
$100.00 Bed Frame/Mattress $625.00
$5.00 Hawaii Trip $75.00
$30.00 Electric Vehicle $100.00
$10.00 Beach Vacation $10.00
$100.00 Phone $400.00
$28.00 Household $29 (Gets more when I go to the credit union)
Normally, I wouldn't add any extra to the household envelope since I replenish it every payday, but we need to buy a couple cases of toilet paper, a case of tissues, and cases of both gallon size freezer bags, which would not quite be enough for the $75 I normally put in I don't think. As it is I might have to hold off on whichever size baggies we have the most of. Inflation is a bear.
After we are done saving up for the bathroom repair, I will be more serious about a couple of these funds. I have $100 more to put in the phone fund, which comes out of the paycheck today, so that will be done and that is the end for my portion of DS's phone. He's paying for the rest. Now I can start saving for my own either phone or computer. Whichever dies first. I want better ones this time around so hopefully they will last a while. But mostly I will slam the emergency fund, bed frame/mattress envelope, and the beach vacation. We want to rent a house on the shore or on a lake for a week next year. May not happen, but it is the goal. Unless the bathroom ends up costing way more than we figured.
October 6th, 2023 at 03:20 am
I made it to Fred Meyer and they ended up having some sales that were not on their advertising so I got more than I had planned on. I also took advantage of being there to get some other things that came out of the household and the clothing envelopes. But this is for groceries and I spent $92.48 on that. This is what I got:
1 Mega Boxes Cheerios
1 quart of McClures Garlic Dill Pickles
4 quarts of low sodium Miracle Whip
1 Simply Orange orange juice
1 Naked Bread honey wheat
1 Naked Bread potato
1 bulb of garlic
6 organic roma tomatoes
2 pounds of orangic carrots
2 Sugar Bee apples
2 Sweet Tango apples
2 organic English cucumbers
1 bag of peeled pistachios
2 acorn squash
1 kombocha squash
2 pounds red grapes
I still plan to make it over to Winco to look for the cheap spaghetti, some cheese, and the Ambrosia apples. Might be a few other things, too. I need to check my pantry. I buy my bulk items there and I know we are getting low on oatmeal and jasmine rice and I need onion powder.
October 5th, 2023 at 10:26 pm
The busy week of medical appointment ridiculousnous is almost over. One more appointment in 2 hours and then nothing more until the 11th. At least nothing more for me. DH can toddle himself off to his physical alone.
So I just took an inventory of what is left in my refrigerator and it is looking pretty good on not having too much food waste. We had no leftovers to toss out since last payday. It wasn't perfect. I did have to throw out some old apples from who knows when, because I don't remember buying them, that I must have missed the first time I went through the fruit drawer, thinking they were good, a lime that had turned brown, and I found a soupy cucumber, but that was in a drawer my son went through the first time, too, so I think it just got missed. So those got tossed out.
Here's what I do have left for produce in the fridge: 1 large parsnip, 1 large turnip, 2 medium carrots, half a bunch of celery, 2 bunches of green onions, 1 bunch of red radishes, 8 little plums off our tree, some of our peppers, a thumb of fresh ginger, 1 Pink Lady apple, 2 Jazz apples, 1 Cosmic Crisp apple, half a bag of cuties orangies, 1 pineapple, 1 head of romaine, 1 Caesar salad kit, a Napa cabbage, and a red cabbage. Outside of the fridge I have bananas, about 10 pounds of potatoes, 3 sweet potatoes, 3 sweet onions, and 4 yellow onions.
The celery, green onions, carrots have seen better days. I need to take the greens off the radishes or they will be soupy and I hate digging radishes out of soupy greens. I should have done them when I bought them and stored the separately so I could put the greens on the salad fixings. Now they are past that point. Oh, well. I still have nasturtium flowers and can get that same peppery taste from them.
So far, I think I will be making stew to use up the carrots, celery, parsnip, turnip, and add some potatoes, and sweet potatoes, to fill it out. I'll probably to it with chicken, since I think beef tastes funny with parsnips. That'll use up everything that is on the edge except the green onions. So for that I'll make loaded baked potato soup, since I have plenty of potatoes. There are a bunch of little ones that are too small to peel for canning, so we will be using those ones, quartered, in the stew and then I have some medium sized ones for the soup, because we like them peeled for that.
I will need to buy some more carrots for sure, sour cream, and whole milk for the soup. I have bacon from our pasture raised hog in the freezer. So that will take care of two dinners and use up a lot. I will cut up the romaine, and use that up with the salad kit for greens. There is enough dressing to dress that much lettuce in the salad kit.
The pineapple needs to be cut up and eaten up. The other fruit can hang out longer, but not it. I do hope to finally make it out to the orchard this weekend and hope they still have my favorite apple in their storage shed. It's 3 weeks past when they were picking, so there is a good chance they do.
I should shred up half the purple cabbage and I can make coleslaw with it as well as use it as salad fixings. As for the Napa cabbage, I think I'll make some cabbage rolls, but not the traditional kind. I like to make them with dumpling filling and steam them in a bamboo steamer, then lightly fry them in a pan until lightly brown and crispy. I don't like the ones covered in tomato sauce. It's more work, but a better end result. Also, it is much lower in carbs than dumplings.
That gives me Friday, Saturday, and Sunday's meals and finishes out the week for me. Tonight we are having fresh pasta. We are having leftovers tonight. I have 2 large servings of fresh bucatini pasta to make up with half a jar of alfredo sauce and an almost full jar of marinara sauce, so that works out. We have lots of meatballs, so 1 of us will have a meatball sandwich. Actually, I might just have the meatballs with green beans and make up some fried potatoes. That sounds better to me. I don't have to worry about DH until Friday.
Alright, this gives me a starting place to figure out my list. I am out of a few things that are on sale this week like DH's Miracle Whip and Multi-grain Cheerios, plus spaghetti. Although, I am almost at the point of getting the attachment for my KitchenAid and making my own spaghetti it is getting so expensive. The only one that ever seems to go on sale is Barilla and I don't like the taste of Barilla.
American Beauty used to be the cheap one and I like it. I am going to have to go to Winco this week to find it. Hopefully, they will finally have the turkey chorizo, too. I might even go to Walmart. I hate going to Walmart. It's not a super Walmart so it only has some grocery items, but it does have a lot of dried goods. I do need Puffs multi-packs tissues soon, plus I'm getting low on the low sodium sausage links, so I can grab one of their Great Value packs and see if we like it. I'm not that picky about pasta, I just don't like the taste of Barilla. Every other brand I've tried I've been fine with.
But Winco should have cheap pasta and it usually beats everyone else on almost everything else. Just not beef. I can walk out of there with prices half what they are elsewhere for produce. And it is the only place I can ever find Ambrosia apples, a blink and you'll miss them variety of apple.
Well, I can make up my list this evening and DS and I can go shopping tomorrow, other getting Miracle Whip, Cheerios, and socks at Fred Meyer, since it is over by his psychiatrist's office.
October 3rd, 2023 at 06:58 am
I must say, I am enjoying the heck out of my new Halloween themed blog design and avatar. I know we can't do a ton of customizing, but I felt like getting into the holiday spirit a little bit this year. Not enough to decorate the house or anything, never a good idea when you won't be there for trick or treaters, but enough to do this.
Anyway, today I had my wellness visit so that is now out of the way. I have to go get my blood work done tomorrow along with the blood work done for the Prediabetes/Diabetes and Cardiology Weight Loss Center. I was waiting to do them together in case anything overlapped. I only have the one good vein to draw blood from and I didn't want it blown out with the first draw and then not being able to get any a week or two later. Any duplicate tests will be ignored and the results of all will be sent to both doctors as well as to the nutritionist/dietician I started working with. So that's been ordered now and I can go tomorrow morning.
After that I went to the pharmacy to pick up the medicine I've been waiting on, but something went wrong because the dosage is only half of what I have been taking. I didn't notice until I went home and the doctor's office is closed. I won't call the pharmacy tonight, because they have the pharmacist on Monday nights that I can't understand over the phone. I can understand the East Indian pharmacist and the Jamaican pharmacy tech, but they aren't on and the Chinese pharmacist is too hard on the phone. I can get him in person, but I don't want to go out in the rain again.
When the pharmacy was done I went over the eyeglasses place and unfortunately they had discontinued carrying the brand of eyeglasses I wanted. I had picked out the exact frames and color (purple) I wanted when my son ordered his in July, so all I would have to do is go in and get what I wanted and not have to spend a bunch of time looking for frames. They didn't even have any in the store still.
Fortunately, the store was dead and the young woman who was looking after me was training another woman who was looking after me, so they had me sit down, got my price range and color choices and ran around the store pulling all the glasses and then brought me a big pile. It was nice that I didn't have to hurt my back trying to find them. I was able to eliminate half of them right off the bat just because they strayed into too dark a green, more like a forest instead of jewel tone. And anything too solid. I like a sort of see-through frame if it is one color. If it is tortoise shell then it can be solid, though I still like the see through tortoise shell best. I got it narrowed down to purple, turquoise, and teal as the primary colors.
Then I got it narrowed down to two with the tortoise shell patterning. I fell in love with them both and it was really hard to decide. It really came down to the fit and if they could get them a little wider on the part of my head that goes out the most. And they could with both of them, so then I had to make a choice. It came down to purple and orange tortoise shell kind of see through frame and sort of turquoise/teal with a darker blue tortoise shell frame. I have more clothes that match the latter and I liked them just a teeny bit more when the choice had to be made. They were $40 more at $218. The ones I originally wanted were only $118. The orange and purple were $188. Now you know I really wanted the blue ones if I was willing to shell out $40 more for them. But glasses are my one accessory/necessity that I wear every single day. I won't pay over $250 though.
I do reserve the right to save up more money and get the other ones in sunglasses, though. I don't need all the bells and whistles in sunglasses that I need in regular ones. But not until my husband gets new glasses and my daughter gets new lenses. Maybe I'll look and see if Zenni has something like the orange and purple ones for sunglasses and see how much it would cost. I do have a nasty prescription, the most exspensive one in the family. My portion for my glasses was $400.00. Sadly, there were no more summer sales. I probably should have waited until Thanksgiving, but my eyes were killing me and my appointment was on Friday. Oh, well, I guess I make up for having the worst eyes in the family by having the best teeth in the family.
As for the ongoing stuff with my daughter, she meets with the pulmonary doctor tomorrow which starts her on the road to seeing if something is going on with her lungs or possibly her heart. Hopefully, it is just severe asthma and nothing that will interfere with her life-changing surgery in January. We will be staying down at Virginia Mason for several days. She has to be in the hospital for 2 to 3. It is supposed to be done laproscopically, but things can turn on a dime, and you never know when they will have to gut you like a fish.
Both of us have to go get blood draws tomorrow. I have two doctors who want a bunch of things and I didn't want to go separately, because it takes my one good arm vein about a month to recover after a blood draw because they always blow the vein on the way out, if they don't manage it on the way in and treat me like a pin cushion and move on to my hands and give me a bruise the size of a silver dollar if they do the right one or the back of my hand if they choose the left one. Although, if the good vampire is working that never happens. And this way their won't be duplicate tests made.
I need to remember to call the rheumatologist tomorrow and reschedule the appointment I had to cancel back in August. This should be the best time since I am on antibiotics, and then will be well for a while afterwards before I come down with the next thing.
I have a telemed therapy appointment on Wednesday which I really need, because my brain is telling me it wants to go off my bipolar meds. Which is a big no, thank you. Watched that movie play out in my aunt's life over and over again and do not want to repeat it in mine. And then I have a telemed on Thursday with the nutritionist/dietician and my son has an in person with the psychiatrist for his meds, and on Friday I, so far, have an empty space on the calendar, which is to be celebrated. Keeping my life straight can sometimes be ridiculous.
October 1st, 2023 at 02:18 am
I haven't done this in forever either. I won't update my medical fund, because right now it is fluid as we are using it to purchase things for our current medical expenses, but I will be opening up a non-fluid sub-savings account Medical Fund #2 to start saving for next year's deductible when I make my deposit in October for medical. So here is the list of the amounts of money currently in each fund or envelope.
I keep it in an envelope in the safe until it hits $1000 and then I start a sub account in the bank and turn it into a fund because I don't like to keep a lot of money in the house. Or I will do some things at $500 if it is something I will not have a reason to spend soon. I will still buy some garden things, like a couple of cattle panels this fall, so no reason to put garden money in the bank if it was at $500, which it is not.
$5600.00 Bathroom Repair Fund
$800.00 Winter Things/Snowblower Fund
$550.00 Car Maintenance Envelope
$58.00 Car Expenses Envelope
$780.00 DS's Computer/Phone Fund
$525.00 Bed Frame/Mattress Envelope
$361.00 Garden Envelope
$700.00 Christmas Envelope
$70.00 Hawaii Trip Envelope
$70.00 Electric Vehicle Envelope
$0.00 Gift Fund
$0.00 Fishing Expenses Envelope
$0.00 Summer Things
$0.00 Bulk Meat Fund
October 1st, 2023 at 01:40 am
I haven't done this in a long time, and I'm picking a paycheck from a three paycheck month that is missing all the regular deductions except taxes and retirement and one with a lot of overtime on it, giving us a little over $2K above a normal paycheck, but we purchased a lot of items this month on the Citi card that were much needed and DH had to get round trip plane tickets to Salt Lake City.
Those will get refunded eventually and to pay for his hotel in advance. His company card expired and he was supposed to get a new one, but he leaves tomorrow and the card didn't arrive until yesterday. In the past they haven't been all the quick with refunds, but they do pay any interest that might accrue. He's already turned the receipts in and he will have the company card for his meals at least and rental car while he's down there.
The refunded money will get plopped into the medical fund as DD has surgery coming up in January right as the deductible restarts.
Anywho, here is how the paycheck went out the door.
_500.00 Grocery Envelope
_200.00 Snowblower Fund
_500.00 Medical Fund
_150.00 Phone/Computer Envelope
__50.00 DH Spending Money
__50.00 My Spending Money
__60.00 DS Allowance
__30.00 DD Stipend
__20.00 Bed Frame/Mattress Envelope
_500.00 Bathroom Repair Fund
_150.00 Christmas Fund
$5,788.62 Total Money Out