Home > Archive: January, 2016

Archive for January, 2016

Bits and Pieces--Mostly Medical

January 31st, 2016 at 03:59 am

I am so tired. I finished my last dose of prednisone today and it's been 5 or 6 days since I finished the antibiotics. I am really worried that the bronchitis and sinus infection are going to start coming back. I see the doctor on Tuesday for a follow up appointment, since he also was worried I would relapse again so wants to catch it early if it does.

On Monday I am going to the foot doctor to have surgery on one of my toes. I have a badly infected and ingrown toenail on one of the little toes and he's going to kill that part of the nail bed permanently. It feels like fire to walk on. Or like I am walking on bone. I wish I had not inherited my dad's crazy toenails.

On Thursday my son goes in for his CT scan. I'm not sure how long things will take after that. Since the office has its own machine and is a surgical suite as well, everything gets done onsite. So they might be able to read it right away or not. I really don't know.

On Friday I have physical therapy in the morning and an appointment with the sleep doctor in the afternoon. I am taking my machine in because I think a part of it is broken.

My FIL's cancer biopsy came back and it sounds like it is the most treatable sarcoma. He has had to take a medical leave of absence from work because his leg hurts so much. I'm not sure when he will have surgery, but it sounds like it will be soon.

I am debating whether or not to have DH bump his 401K rate up another 1% or not. Since we are saving so hard right now for our goals I'm not sure I want to see that money go down a black hole right now when it can go for something tangible like our down payment fund. Yet at the same time he's 46 and I'll be 46 and we really ought to start saving more.

It just doesn't feel like saving anything when the account just keeps going down and down. Just keeping money in savings right now is staying ahead of the 401K earnings. I know I'd rather own our future house outright than have a ginormous retirement fund. I've done the math and we can live on $2000 a month in retirement if we own our house and have no debt. That will cover all of our expenses with a $500 a month cushion. So whatever we end up with just needs to generate an income of $24,000 a year.

Some of that will be generated by the sale of eggs, chicks, ducklings, turkey poults, rabbits, and meat. Possibly kune kune pigs and Kinder goats as well. I might even do a CSA program if our future aquaponics goes well. We'll see.

Still I'm leaning towards bumping the 401K up anyway. I worry about having all of my eggs in one basket.

Emergency Fund Update

January 30th, 2016 at 04:28 am

$15,671.94 Starting Balance
+__,_10.00 Weekly Deposit
$15,681.94 New Balance

Payday Report for 1/22/16

January 23rd, 2016 at 05:29 pm

$205.00 Storage
__36.87 X-rays
__47.86 Life Insurance DH
__44.66 Life Insurance Me
__84.32 Car Insurance
__34.86 Medical Me
_146.36 Emergency Fund
_500.00 Down Payment Fund
__53.54 Prescriptions Me, DH
__86.91 Vitamins and a new cane
_165.00 Cash Out
$1405.38 Total Money Out

Cash Out includes:
$40 for DH for work needs
$25 for DD's allowance
$40 for movie tickets
$15 DD's food out with friends
$30.00 Pizza
$15 for Sundries

Payday Report for 1/14/16

January 23rd, 2016 at 05:15 pm

I am so far behind in reporting things it is ridiculous, but I am working to catch up. At least my spreadsheets are all up to date.

$1700.00 BoA VISA
___81.87 Garbage (cleaned out the attic, so high)
___28.47 Medical DH
$1500.00 Down Payment Fund
__268.82 Farm and House Materials (Lowe's)
___26.37 Prescription DD
__120.00 Physical Therapy
___21.02 Gas tank fill up
$3746.55 Total Money Out

Another Farm Down Payment Fund Update

January 23rd, 2016 at 02:07 am

$38,000.00 Starting Balance
+__,500.00 Amount Deposited
$38,500.00 New Balance

$41,500 to go to hit my goal and $1500 to go to hit the half-way mark, which I hope to do by the end of February.

Another Emergency Fund Update

January 23rd, 2016 at 02:05 am

$15525.58 Starting Balance
+__100.00 Monthly Deposit
+___46.36 Extra money leftover from last payday
$15671.94 New Balance

$328.06 to go to hit my first mini-goal of 2016.

Rough Week but Trying to Keep My Chin Up

January 22nd, 2016 at 10:19 am

This week my FIL (who I love like a father) was diagnosed with cancer, we lost 7 less than week old rabbit kits, and one of our hens jumped the fence and got eaten by a dog. I have an ingrown toenail that is driving me crazy and I think it is infected and I can't get in sooner than the 28th. I still have bronchitis. My knee is acting up. My son has to get a CT scan next week. And I am just ready for the week to be over.

On the bright side, and I do have one, I have lost 4 pounds this week. I found a toaster and can opener in teal to match my sea glass Kitchenaid mixer, and I found a gorgeous tablecloth with matching linen napkins, dish cloths, and hand towels that all match the teal, turquoise, and blue theme I am aiming towards. My kitchen is clean, really, really clean, all the way down to its bones and so is my bedroom.

My marriage is good. My daughter started her college classes online this week. My son is doing well with his online high school home school classes. I sold 2 dozen duck eggs, 1 dozen turkey eggs, and a buck breeding rabbit, and feel like I made a friend in the lady I sold him to.

I am trying to keep my chin up while we learn more about what will have to happen with FIL. They do think treatment will work, but I don't really have any details yet.

I'm totally ready for February now, though.

Emergency Fund Update

January 22nd, 2016 at 10:07 am

$15442.58 Starting Balance
+___10.00 Weekly Deposit
+___73.00 Farm Sales and Coin Jar
$15505.58 New Balance

$494.42 to go to hit my first mini-goal of the year. $4,494.42 to go to hit my next big milestone.

Farm Sales This Week

January 22nd, 2016 at 10:03 am

$10.00 Duck Eggs
+_6.00 Turkey Eggs
+20.00 Rabbit Buck
$36.00 Total

Total Sales for January so far: $46.00

Farm Down Payment Fund Update

January 20th, 2016 at 04:18 am

$37,000.00 Starting Balance
+_1,000.00 Deposit
$38,000.00 New Balance

EF Update

January 20th, 2016 at 04:15 am

$15432.58 Starting Balance
+___10.00 Weekly Deposit 1/14/16
$15442.58 New Balance

Emergency Fund Update

January 8th, 2016 at 01:38 am

$15,422.47 Starting Balance
+__,_10.00 Weekly Deposit
+__,__0.11 Interest
$15432.58 New Balance

$567.42 to go until my next mini-goal and $4,567.42 to go until my next milestone.

Upcoming Medical Expenses

January 6th, 2016 at 08:06 pm

I already have $347.33 in medical bills that will need to be paid on payday and I'm expecting a bill from the dentist yet. All of them are from services in December so they won't count towards the deductible. And I'll have to prepay the next month of chiropractic care so that'll be somewhere between $225 and $250. They are raising their monthly family plan. It won't be above $250, but it'll be above $225.

They haven't raised the rates in 5 years. We pay outright for chiropractic as this plan allows all 4 of us to go as many times as we need to in a month. We can use our HSA (which is empty at the moment) and we can deduct it from taxes, but it doesn't count towards our deductible. It is cheaper for us to do it this way, though.

My son has an appointment to see the ENT on the 19th and we'll likely schedule the surgery at that time. I am assuming it will be in March since it is usually at least six weeks out to get surgery following a consult. Which means that the timing may be right for us to pay it directly out of our tax refund and not have to touch the Emergency Fund. We always do our tax refund as soon as possible.

I am sure we will have to pay up front the full deductible. The nice thing is that they have a full set of surgery suites at their offices and it should be an outpatient procedure. No hospital expenses and no hospital stay. At least that is what I am assuming. At least it ought to meet the full deductible, and then the rest of the year we'll only have to pay a small percentage for our medical expenses.

My daughter will go for a follow up with the sleep doctor on the 12th and we are likely looking at getting her a C-Pap machine, so there's another expense. But it can't be helped. At least the sleep study got done on December 30th so we barely have to pay anything for that, which also hasn't come yet.

It would be so easy to be overwhelmed by all of this if we weren't in such a good financial place right now. It might set back our plans, but it doesn't ruin them. Being free of consumer debt changes everything.

Sticking to My Goal of Only Using Half the Grocery Budget

January 6th, 2016 at 07:01 pm

It was so nice to get back in the pool yesterday after about 8 weeks away due to the cold/sinus infection/general yuck thing I was dealing with last year. The prednisone seems to have seen it most of the way out the door and I have energy to do things again beyond the minimum. I'm off the prednisone now and hoping it doesn't come back, but so far seem to be doing okay.

Anyway, I did a water aerobics class yesterday. It was a full hour and boy do I feel it today, but it felt great, I am happy to be back. I will go again tomorrow.

I have lost 7 pounds so far since the start of the year. I am sure part of that is my commitment to cooking at home right now. About six days a week are from scratch and one day a week is maybe a convenience type thing. Last night was mini chicken tacos from Trader Joe's, so the ingredients at least, are not suspect. More sodium, of course, than I would use, but as long as we keep that kind of meal to a minimum, not so bad.

So far I have spent $35 of the $80.06 I have left of the original $400 I am trying to keep this month's grocery spending to. I need to make the rest of the $55 last until the 22nd and I will have made it through the month on half my grocery budget. Not an easy feat, but it seems to be working okay so far.

I am being diligent with sticking to the meal plan this week. My only alteration was making the mini-tacos instead of actual tacos last night. And sometimes I switch the fruit around as I may not be in the mood for the fruit I planned, but all of the planned fruit still gets eaten in a week.

I have stayed on top of leftover management quite well, too. I haven't had to throw out anything this week, but have made sure it gets eaten for lunches or breakfasts, or rolled into later meals in the week. This makes a huge difference, as well.

I think all of the savings will get eaten up by medical expenses, though. I had hoped to put it in the down payment fund, but at least I shouldn't have to take the money I normally put in the down payment fund each month and use it for the medical expenses, so that is something.

Doing Dietbet Again

January 5th, 2016 at 07:08 am

I signed up for both a six month Transformer and a 4 week Kickstarter again this year. They started on January 1st. So far I have lost 6.2 pounds. I just wish I hadn't gained back all but 17 of the 50 pounds I lost last year. But I am determined to do this again. Last year I about doubled my money, which sure beats any interest rate I can find.

My husband also signed up for a Kickstarter. He has lost 70 pounds in the last 6 months, so I told him he might as well earn some money doing it.

I am sticking to my meal planning pretty closely and that will help a lot with this, too. It snowed this morning so I didn't make it to the pool. Hopefully it won't snow again tomorrow. The club parking lot is nasty to get in and out of when there is snow. I miss being in the water, though and want to get back to it.

I got about 1/3 of my kitchen reorganized and deep cleaned today and cleaned out the rabbit grow out cages and dropping pans, so I did get exercise in and plenty of movement.

I also knit 32 rows on the baby blanket I am making for my niece, who is due in May with a little girl. I did 5 loads of laundry, too, and am now caught up, including putting it all away.

All in all it was a very productive day.

X-rays and a Deviated Septum

January 3rd, 2016 at 07:23 am

So my son has had the worst time in the last year trying to breathe and shake his chronic sinus infections. It had been 3 years since he had sinus x-rays, so the doctor ordered some when I took him in on the 31st.

We were all shocked to see how bad of a deviated septum he has. He hasn't broken his nose or had any trauma to it. The only thing I can think of is that about a year ago he started getting bruising on his nose that he couldn't trace to anything, but it was always coming up. It would fade and come back. It was a small bruise, but it was noticeable.

Anyway, almost his entire left side is blocked off. He is pretty much only getting air through his right nostril. On Monday we call the ENT doctor and make an appointment, but he will likely have to have surgery to repair this. I did and mine was not nearly so bad. Of course it might be now, being as I broke it in the summer, but that is neither here nor there.

So it is very possible we will be looking at a big bill coming up. Our deductible is $5000, so we would have to pay that before the insurance will even cover anything. It would be a major chunk from our Emergency Fund and it would take some time to get it back up to size, but that is what the fund is there for.

We will have a sizable tax refund again this year due to this year's medical expenses, so we will be able to build the fund back up, but I had been hoping to dump all but $1000 into the down payment fund and the $1000 would have gone into building the EF even higher.

It will slow everything down, but the kid has to be able to breathe. So priorities. But still.

Cutting Grocery Expenses

January 3rd, 2016 at 07:13 am

I didn't have time to write about this when I started, but 12 days ago I did one big grocery shop with the intention of cutting my grocery spending for the month in half. I gave myself a budget of $400, and spent $319.94. That left me with $80.06 for things like milk, bread (if I don't bake it), lettuce, and fresh fruit.

Yesterday I spent $11.85 on 15 pounds of oranges, and $8.99 on a quart of fresh organic strawberries. So that is $20.84 and it leaves me with $59.22 to get through until the 22nd of January. $60 for 20 more days. I have 2 gallons of milk left so I am fine there, and I still have some greens growing under my little umbrella green houses, so I may not need to buy lettuce at all. I also have a loaf of bread left and plenty of ingredients to make more.

The $400 I am hoping to save (my usual budget is $800 a month) will go into the down payment fund. I have been successful in saving anywhere from around $200 to $250 for the past couple of months, but I really want to try to make this goal.

I do not have to buy any meat at all. The freezer is still packed with chicken, rabbit, beef, pork, and lamb. I have a ton of home canned food still on my canning shelves, and some frozen fruit and veg as well. So this is very doable as long as I don't get lazy. So far I have been sticking pretty well to the meal planning, though I've switched things up a couple times when I wasn't feeling as good. But it was all stuff we had available.

We also have not eaten out in that amount of time and I am hoping to make that go for the entire month long period as well. I am in full on savings mode. The faster I can save, the sooner we can move.

Farm Sales

January 1st, 2016 at 09:47 pm

This morning I sold 2 dozen duck eggs for $10. It's nice to already have a sale for 2016! I am going to try to track my farm sales a little better this year. I'll be setting up a spreadsheet specifically for that.

Interest plus Weekly Deposit to EF

January 1st, 2016 at 09:44 pm

$15,365.03 Starting Balance
+__,_10.00 Weekly Deposit
$15,375.03 Subtotal
+__,_31.32 C1-360 Interest
+__,_16.01 CU#1 Interest
+__,__0.11 CU #2 Interest
$15,422.47 New Balance

$577.53 to go to hit my first mini-goal for 2016. It is nice to be almost half way to that mini-goal on January 1st! $4,477.53 to go to hit my next milestone goal of $20,000.