Aside from the propane grill we will be buying sometime after Christmas with Christmas and birthday money, I have been thinking about other things that I would like to purchase and other goals.
Of course my first big goal is to get the Emergency Fund to $30K, but a couple of things need to be done along the way over the next several years.
1. I need a new bed. I would like one that has the ability to raise and lower the head and foot of the bed and help me sit up, like a hospital bed, but larger. We are looking at getting a Purple bed, because you can get one that does that. DS just got his Purple mattress and I laid on it for about a half an hour last night, and it was so supportive and I didn't hurt after that long laying on it like I do on a normal bed. I also felt like my pelvis was aligned, which is a big thing for me. My pressure points did not hurt while laying on it. Purple is supposed to be very good for people with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.
It will probably cost about $1500 to $1600 for the set I can get the mattress first, though, and think it is a priority to do that. DH can build a platform for it. He can just cut the king bed one down to size since he built it. I can still get up and down without help, but in the future I know it will just get harder, so this is an investment in my health. We will save our bed frame for the King, just because it is solid wood and really good and I don't want to just get rid of it.
I am looking at a queen or a double. DH does not sleep in the same bed as me because he snores even with the bi-pap machine, and has restless legs syndrome. I eventually got tired of being woken up all the time. It works for us. I'd like to just get the double as it's cheaper and will take up less space in my room, but DH would like me to get the queen.
The double would definitely allow me to rearrange things in my room and get my bed off the laundry room wall. The washer and dryer are very loud and will wake me up or keep me up if they are started at the wrong times of day. One wall is a window wall and I can't sleep on a window wall without waking up with a sore throat. The other is the hallway wall and if I put my head that way I can hear everyone walking through the hallway. The fourth wall has the closet in it, so the bed needs to be able to fit between the closet and the bedroom door fully opened, where my dresser currently is.
It is possible the queen might fit in the spot, too. We'll have to measure. It'll come awfully close. It'll open a lot of space in my room, though. Sixteen inches by five feet of extra floor space is nothing to sneeze at. I could finally scoot my computer chair all the way out from my desk without banging the wall. And with the bed on that wall, I have room for another set of shelves in there and get better organized.
2. I want to get a family-sized hot tub, one we can sit in and not be crowded up against each other. I ache so much and so does my daughter with the fibromyalgia as well. Soaking in a hot tub makes a huge difference. We cancelled our club membership as soon as they reopened and we could, because they were not opening the hot tub and you could only make appointments to use the pool and they were always full. I am going to take the money we were paying for the gym and save it towards buying a hot tub. The one we are looking at is between $6000 and $7000. So that is a bit of a long-term goal.
3. I'd like to replace the flooring in our section of the house. The flooring is the same as when it was built in 1986. The rugs are horrible (not to mention pink and blue so nothing matches. Since Mom told us we are inheriting the house because we are taking care of her and it, I am willing to put some money into it, as soon as she updates the will. I'd like to replace the rugs with bamboo flooring. Rugs are not at all good for people with allergies.
I'd like to start with replacing the hallway rug. I'd like to get some new lino or maybe tile for the kitchen since there are a couple of tears in it. I'd like to repaint the hallway.
4. I'd like to put tile on the kitchen counter tops. The formica is dated and ugly and worse for wear. I would like something clean, like white or cobalt or some shade of greeny blue (teal maybe). Not a fan of granite counters or marble counters and butcher block takes a lot of maintenance. I'd also like to replace the kitchen sink and get one of those tall sprayers for the faucet. I'd also like to put in a garbage disposal but that will require an electrician.
5. I'd like to rip out the shower/tub combo in the bathroom in our section of the house and put in a full size shower that is walk in, that has a built in bench seat, and more handicapped rails. Also, if we can figure out the plumbing, a shower head on both ends would be nice. Until that can happen we are taking off the shower door on the tub and putting up a curtain. I hate the thing and wish it had never been put on. It's hard to bend my knee that extra two inches to get it above the door runner. Same for my daughter. And no one likes it. The tub has a couple of cracks in it, anyway, that we have filled, but they look ugly. But it is more that with our limitations a walk in shower is better for our needs.
6. I'd like to get the van repainted, the dents pulled out, and the one rust spot attended to. This should probably be #2 on the list after getting a new mattress. DH recently put a dent in the van and also got a bunch of paint on it. There was no damage to the other car so they just let it go. DH has put all the dents in the van. I would like to paint the van blue or possibly a teal color.
I have never really been a fan of the salsa red, but they had ugly blues the year we bought it and it was the best choice out of what other colors they had. It was also a very popular van and color, so we often come out from the store and look for our van and get a little confused by all the other Siennas in the parking lot. I've had a case once where we ended up having two other vans identical to ours park on either side of us. Had to check the license plates, than goodness for vanity plates. Having a color the van doesn't actually come in, but that Toyota still has available, would be nice.
I can't think of much else right now, but I am sure other things will come up. Mattress and EF are the priority now, though.
Aside from the propane grill we will be buying sometime after Christmas with Christmas and birthday money, I have been thinking about other things that I would like to purchase and other goals.
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
__75.00 Household Envelope
_500.00 Handicapped Ramp (finished paying)
1050.00 New Mattress for DS (delivered and old mattress removal
_280.00 Monthly Chiropractor Family Plan
__71.99 Life Insurance DH
__60.46 Life Insurance Me
_100.00 Spending Money Adults
_120.00 Allowances Kids
_100.00 Car Maintenance
3175.19 Total Money Out
I also paid the six month's car insurance bill from the Car Insurance Fund. I set aside so much every month and then pay it for the discount. There is a ten dollar a month fee to pay in installments and I haven't done that in years. I highly recommend doing it this way. Find a time when you can set the amount of the initial payment aside, like tax refund time, and then save 1/6 of the cost each month until it comes due again. For me it saves $120 a year, which may not seem like much in the long run, but why waste it when I can save it?
Before I stuffed my envelopes, I emptied out the grocery envelope. I had $89 leftover from the last payday. Then Mom paid us back for picking up a blizzard for her at DQ. I threw the coins in the coin jar, but the $5 I added to the $89 and put into the Freezer Fund
$465.00 Balance Forward
+_94.00 Amount Added
$559.00 New Balance
With tax, the freezer I want is going to be around $1100, so we've reached the halfway point.
I don't think I've mentioned it before, but DH and I have been wanting to get a nice propane grill for barbecuing. We have a charcoal one, but sometimes it just takes so long to get up to heat and then you have to babysit it while the coals die out, it's a pain. Plus it is hard to cook everything at once. We want to get one with twice as much rack space and a burner on the end, with the ability to attach a smoking unit to it in the future.
DH is giving his August birthday money towards this and I will be putting my February birthday money in. We will both be putting our Christmas money in as our gifts to each other and then we will put MIL's gift money for Christmas in as well. I think we can buy a decent grill for that amount. If not, I'll make a line item on the budget. I'd like to be able to buy one before next summer.
Okay, I've had a few days to think about it, and some encouragement from you guys, and if I let these people drive me off my blog, they win. I want to say right out that this was not caused by any regular bloggers or regular comment leavers. Even if I don't agree with the regulars sometimes, I can deal with their comments.
This was caused by a few people who are not regular recognized comment leavers who took it upon themselves over the last two years to go through and leave comments on nearly every blog entry I have made. I only know comments are left if it is an entry I have responded to and then SA sends me a notification. If it is an entry I never responded in the comments to, I don't know they've left it.
I have been working on going through every entry to remove these comments for the last two months. That's 3299 entries and a lot of time spent. A little more because I outright deleted a few of the posts. Then I found out some of them had started all over again. I just got so frustrated because I have been working so hard to clean this up.
A lot of these comments have been political, far left political, even though for the most part I keep my moderate political views off my blog. Once in a while I will say something and it just seems to trigger a new round. That happened after the post I wrote about the fires and ended up deleting. I wish we could moderate our comments here like you can on nearly every blogging site out there. Then I'd at least know which entries to look at and could keep up with it.
Thank you for being supportive. Now that I've had a chance to cool down, I've decided that I need this group too much for financial accountability and I don't want to give up something I enjoy, the community we've built here, for trolls. Maybe I'll just have to let go of trying to clean it up on old entries. Easier said than done, because I don't want it there, but sometimes you just have to let go for sanity's sake.
I have a very, very long fuse and seldom blow, but this time I did. I am sure not being able to go outside because of the smoke is contributing. We still aren't fully open because of COVID and the only thing getting me through was being able to be out in the garden. I need to get my zen back, and then I can cope with these stupid spammers again. Meanwhile, I am back. Sorry for my crazy.
I was finally well enough to go in to the doctor for my Wellness visit, which I needed to do by October 1, because if DH and I both do that yearly and turn in the results of our labs to his work, we get $20 a month off our insurance premium, which is a savings of $240 a year. They don't report these to the insurance company, however, it's just a company program to make sure you get your check ups. I had the labs done back in early June, but had to cancel the appointment that went with it when I got sick and then didn't get better until recently.
For the most part my labs are better. There has been a steady improvement in the last 2 years, but this one was really good, except for my glucose level, which went up from 106, which was higher than it should have been, to 119, but I had eaten an unusual amount of sugar the night before (as in two gluten free brownies) for a special occasion.
We are going to retest that next week and I'll make sure not to eat things I don't usually eat. I won't try to be extra good, though, as I want a real reading, based on my normal eating. I just won't be extra bad. I don't tend to eat processed sugar, just fruit and not every day on that.
My good cholesterol (HDL) went up one point, from 43 to 44. My bad cholesterol (LDL) went down by 10 points from 67 to 57. My Triglycerides went down 26 points from 162 to 136. And my total cholesterol went from 142 to 128. So a nice downward trend on everything. My numbers were really good last time and the doctor is happy with the even better improved numbers.
I wonder what my lipid panel would have looked like if I'd had it while on my dietbet and eating for weight loss all month? I did win my dietbet goal, but until all weigh-ins are in at midnight tonight and they close it out on Saturday, I won't know by how much. I think I'm going to wait a week or two before signing up for another one. It is motivational, but I started a bit of a flare and am retaining water like crazy, so would like to wait until that is sorted.
The doctor did up the portion of my blood pressure medicine that is a diuretic because of the water retention. That's been an ongoing problem. The HCTZ has gone from 12.5 mg to 25 mg. He had to do it in a separate pill, because the 50 mg Losartan doesn't come with more than 12.5. Only the 100 mg comes with 25. So another pill for me to take, but oh, well. If it helps get rid of this fluid that's fine.
He also renewed my hydrocodone prescription, since the last time I had it renewed was February. I don't use it much, only a half a pill at a time when I flare and usually just at bedtime so I can sleep through the pain. I had to use up most of what I had when my knee got so painful. It is doing a lot better, actually. I have been consistent with my physical therapy exercises and watching how much inflammatory foods I eat. Hopefully I won't need it much longer.
I have had a grain mill in my shopping cart save for later section for months and it was finally back in stock today. It has an attachment for fine grains like millet (sorghum) and one for big beans. So I will be able to grind my own chickpea flour, sorghum flour, and rice flour, finally. We will save so much money making our own. I had more than enough money in my allowance envelope so I bit the bullet and bought it.
Also, I bought a Michaelangelo blue granite non-stick induction 12 inch skillet a while back. It has a ceramic stone type of coating. It is made in Italy, not China. Well, we have been loving it. It cooks so well. It hasn't scratched at all, it has remained non-stick, and it beats those tacky copper skillets that end up burning and not being cleanable after about 2 months. Clean up is a dream with a sponge. Even if they food seems like it is sticking and forming a crust you can wipe it away with the cooking utensil.
Well, when I bought it, they only had the 12 inch skillet in blue and they had a 10 inch skillet in what they call red, but it looks like purple. And they had grey. I didn't want to mix and match. Today I saw that they had an 11 inch with a 9.5 inch set, and an 8 inch skillet in blue. I also had enough money in my allowance folder to get those, so I did. I can retire my cast iron for all but baking gluten free cornbread and gluten free biscuits and corn tortillas. They are so heavy and that is painful on my wrists which can't take much due to the RA. These are also lighter than stainless steel, but not by much.
I ended up spending $425.97 with tax and I still have $177 in my allowance folder. I am so excited to finally be replacing cookware and things for the kitchen that I have made do on for a decade or longer while we were getting out of debt.
I have put some things on my save for later list, namely a 4 quart, a 6 quart, and an 8 quart 360 brand stainless steel cooking pots. They are made in America and they are expensive, but I think they will be worth the investment long term. I will have to save up and buy them one at a time. The most urgent need is the 4 quart as I don't have one and have been making do with my huge stockpot for a long while. I'd like something I can make stew in on my induction burner that is smaller.
The 4 quart pot is $229, so with sales tax will cost $246.86. So it will take two paydays for me to have that in my allowance folder. Then I got start saving for the other ones. I think it is worth the investment because I do spend so much time cooking from scratch. I could never justify it before, but this is what the allowance is for. I may actually save up for the electric citrus juicer before the 6 quart and 8 quart pots. It's $99. I was thinking how handy it would have come in today when I was making pico de gallo and had to squeeze the limes.
My eldest sister is going to be moving back in with us, for good this time. She has had to miss so much work with the time she took off for her cancer surgery that she just can't make rent anymore. She'll have to live in one of the living rooms and won't have privacy, but she's willing to make do and we are happy to have her here.
She has until the end of the month. Her landlord is working with her. Her kids don't want to take her. Most kids don't want to deal with aging parents. I am the only one of my siblings who was willing to take on Mom. Even if Mom was gone, I'd take on my sister. That's how I am with the full support of my husband. You take care of your own for as long as you can.
I had to stagger my grocery shopping because of my knee, so Friday I went to Fred Meyer and Joe's Garden and today I went to Haggen. Here's what I bought:
2 bags of Simply Cheetos Crunchy
2 big bags of corn tortillas
15 cans of Stagg Laredo chili
2 containers of onion and chives cream cheese
1 jar tahini
2 jars salsa verde
1 4pk Activia yogurt
4 packets gluten free cheese raviolis (Three Bridges)
1 cream of tartar
1 poultry seasoning
1 gluten free rolled oats
2 3 pound chubs ground beef
2 3 pks ribeye steaks
1 bottle of shampoo
Total cost was $131.24. Of that $3.58 was non-grocery spending.
At Joe's Garden I spent $25.41 and here is what I bought:
1 head of lettuce
1 8 lb Green cabbage
8 Zucchini (not getting enough on my plant)
1 Red onion
At Haggen I spent $150.41, $16.43 of which was non-grocery spending. This is what I bought:
2 cans of garbanzo beans (chick peas)
1 gluten free candy bar
1 gluten free yellow cake mix
1 gluten free cornbread mix
1 gluten free popcorn (grown away from wheat, corn can be contaminated otherwise)
1 box gluten free, soy free bouillon cubes
1 4 pk Virgil's root beer (clean and amazing)
2 Niman Ranch uncured Fearless Franks hot dogs
2 Jack Mountain breakfast sausage 8 pks
4 golden kiwis
1 therapy gel pack (extra large ice pack)
1 container with snaplock lid (for making chickpea "tofu")
I placed an order with Amazon today for 3 pounds of chickpea flour and 10 pounds of garbanzo beans, Washington grown and everything (Palouse brand). I found out you can make tofu from chickpea flour instead of soy, which opens up so many worlds right now. We used to eat tofu, it was honestly one of the only ways I could tolerate any bean but lima and black (which I can eat in small amounts without texture issues), but we had to give that up when soy allergies were discovered. It made it virtually impossible for us to have any vegetarian meals that were filling enough, or any real meat substitute. It looks really easy to make.
Then I purchased a restaurant grade French fry cutting machine that has plates for 3 sizes of French fries (including McDonalds size) and 8 or 6 wedge cutters. We have found one brand of fries that isn't made with soybean oil, but that could change at any moment, and plus they are only in stock half the time, so this is a real game changer. It will make canning easier, too, because I can wedge them and cut them from that point, which will be less wear and tear on my hands. They do sell one that is two plates instead of five for a lot less. It sure beats those little ones that don't have any suction cups on the bottom. With this we can make our own fries for the freezer. I am so happy with this purchase.
I also bought a container of elderberry gummies and a thing you can put inside your face mask to hold it away from your nose and mouth for breathing, but keeps the mask firmly in place. I don't remember the exact change, but it was just over $228 all told.
In doing some research today I found out that Pacific cream of chicken soup is gluten free. They use rice flour for the thickening agent. And their maltodextrin is from corn, not barley, making it gluten free as well. And Amazon has it cans as well as the boxes and the cans store longer, so I am very happy with this. I didn't buy any, but I will next payday. And I found a recipe for making homemade tater tots. Which means I can start making turkey and chicken tater tot casseroles again. The kids love those. It's a great way to use up leftovers, too.