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Archive for February, 2019

Tax Refund Arrived

February 28th, 2019 at 06:08 pm

Wow, that was the fastest we've ever gotten back our tax refund. We sent it in on the 15th at 2 a.m. and it was deposited into our account yesterday, so 12 days. We got back $1349, but as I stated last night, most of that is going to be eaten up with truck repairs. At least $1000 of it. On the bright side, we won't have to shuffle money around from the EF and then reimburse it since it is now sitting in the checking account.

I still feel cruddy today. I really wish this would stop. It took me until 12:30 to get out of bed today. I don't have the stamina to cook dinner so we are getting take away.

Since MIL is buying fast food for herself and SIL almost every day of the week, she has said we can get one meal out for the family every week for us on her. So this will be that meal. We may not take her up on it every week, but it nice to have that as an option on a week where I feel so icky.

It's Official

February 27th, 2019 at 08:39 pm

I should have posted this the other day, but I have been dragging and the extent of my online activity has been on the level of watching videos of a cat singing the Game of Thrones theme song on youtube or the like. Yeah, that's where my intellectual capacity has been at. So not a lot of brain power going on.

Anyway, the raise for DH is official and all of the paperwork has now been signed. It won't be on the next paycheck, but will be on the last one of March. He's officially told the other place he won't be working for them.

On the bad side, the alternator is going out in the truck so we are going to have to get that fixed to the tune of around $600. I have $250 in the car maintenance fund. They had said it was going at the oil change DH had last week and today when DH pulled in the driveway it was really straining. Hopefully we can get it to the dealership without having to call a tow truck.

They made it sound like it would probably last six months, but we don't think so after today. It also needs the air filter, the cabin filter, the spark plugs, and the brake fluid replaced and we have decided to do all of that. So we will dip into the EF for this for the rest of the money. I had been planning to use the tax refund when it came, but I don't think it will be here in time now. But we will reimburse the EF when the tax refund comes. Sadly, it will probably use up the entire tax refund. But at least we will break even.

I will start saving $100 a month instead of $50 a month to the car maintenance fund for the next two months, just to build that back up again. Or maybe keep it at that level. The truck is a 2007 and there may be some other issues coming up. A belt or a fuel pump or something, though as of now those things are fine according to the mechanic.

I worry less about the van. It is a 2011 and we haven't hit 45,000 miles on it yet, but it will be needing an oil change shortly and I would like to eventually get the dent pulled out that DH put in it a couple years ago.

Monster Mom Loan Payment

February 24th, 2019 at 12:14 pm

$22,000 Balance Forward
-__,500 Payment Amount
-----------
$21,500 New Balance

TL:DR Soy Rant plus No Egg Waffle Recipe?

February 21st, 2019 at 12:31 am

Why do they have to put soy in everything? I mean, they are putting it in things like ice cream now. Even Alden's Organic Ice Cream has soy lecithin. When I pay that much for ice cream, I want it to be real ice cream. They are putting it in french fries. I am glad I found a french fry slicer at Value Village (thrift store) the last time I was there. I'll be making our fries from now on since both the store brand and the Ore Ida brand have soy.

It is in almost every convenience food. I am just so happy that the TJ's fish nuggets don't have soy. But a lot of TJ's food does, so I have to very carefully read the labels even there now. I think their fries are clean, but they are expensive and you don't get a lot. It's much cheaper to buy the 5 lb bags of russets and make my own. As long as I have DS's manpower to push them through the little machine.

It is frustrating to deal with an allergy in a grocery climate that seems to have gone soy mad. Products that were previously safe, like Lay's plain potato chips, now have soybean oil. It used to be sunflower or safflower oil. And yes, we don't need potato chips, but sometimes you just want to snack on a chip and I do get sick of it just being tortilla chips.

Nearly every bread has soybean oil in it. We have found Naked bread and Dave's bread which are clean of it, and of course I make our own bread often, but some days I just can't knead dough due to my RA. There's a lot I can't do on a daily basis anymore because of my RA. Crackers are ridiculous. And yes, I can make those, too, but some days I can't roll dough and I just want something for my soup.

I do cook 90% of stuff from scratch, but I like my 10% of processed foods for those days I can't, and it is looking more and more like it will have to be 98% if we are avoiding soy. Plus DD can't eat eggs, which is not quite as hard to avoid, but it does put a limit on what I can bake that she can eat, too.

Does anyone have a good waffle or pancake recipe (or both) that doesn't have eggs in it? And that actually tastes good without anything on it. Because I have made some that are virtually tasteless without egg. I don't want to have to dump a ton of sugar in the batter, although that may be the way I have to go.

Work Stuff

February 19th, 2019 at 06:06 pm

The reimbursement check for DH's jaunt to the other office finally came through today. It was supposed to only take one week. It took over two. The bill is due in two days. I have not been happy with this and told him in no uncertain terms that if they send him off like that again, there is no way he is using our credit card for it.

They have company credit cards for exactly this sort of thing. I don't care how much easier it was to use ours, if they want him to go again, they give him one of theirs. They would have if it hadn't been so last minute and they still could have, it would have just been more effort on their part. DH has agreed.

DH's raise has been approved as of his last text message to me, but he is still waiting on the paperwork to sign. I told him to double check before he signs anything that it is the amount it is supposed to be and not some lesser amount. While this job has given us no reason to doubt them, there have been other companies that have pulled fast ones and said one thing but the paperwork did not match. Not on wages, but on length of contract. I trust no one in these situations until it is in writing.

I hope it gets signed soon. I don't want this to remain unsettled. He does need to give the other place a decent amount of time to try to find someone else, being as the job was supposed to start in 4 weeks. We don't want him to burn bridges by waiting until the last minute. Even if the way he was initially treated by that company was very sketchy, it was one employee, and they turned out to be a decent employer for the short time he was with them.

Taxes, Work, Goals, and Dreams

February 18th, 2019 at 04:05 pm

DH got the taxes done and submitted and we will be getting back a little over $1300. I don't know the exact amount since Dh did the final bit. We did do deductions because it meant a slightly higher return, but this will probably be the last year we have such major medical expenses as to put us high enough to do that with the new taxing structure. If DH gets the raise to stay here, we will be upping our 401K percentage to 7% so that our higher tax bracket will not mess things up for next year. I don't want to end up paying ever. I'd rather just a small refund.

I do have my total out of pocket medical expenses for last year and it is $28,248.75. I believe that is more than in 2017. If things go the way they are looking our medical spending should be greatly reduced this year. Our charitable giving (tithing) was only $5800, but we didn't start doing that until about mid-year, when DH got hired on permanently instead of through the temp company.

So DH's work is just waiting on a signature or two to get him that raise if they want to keep him here. If they do get it, it will be a raise in net income of $15,700 a year. It is not as much as up there is offering, but after air fare and having to pay Cobra for two months, the difference would only be $3000 to $4000, because a lot more would be lost to taxes from being in a higher tax bracket. That is an awfully big change in our lives for only $3 to $4K. Without the raise it is worth it. With it? Not so much. The second year it would be $6K extra because it would be without the Cobra.

Current job has better insurance and better 401K matching, which makes the trade off for up there less appealing. I am hoping they come through for him. They need to do it soon though as DH would need to make the decision and let them know up there if he's not coming so they can get someone else in place.

Current job implied they are planning to move him up into a better position when someone retires in December, also. So...there is potential for advancement, which there never was up there. And with that movement would come another raise, it is assumed, since there would be more responsibilities and a change in title.

With the raise it would take us 13 months to pay off the loan and we could still get our gym membership back. Then it would take us 8 months after that to get our 3 months expenses emergency fund. After that I want to take a small break and go on a vacation with my husband, no kids. We would take one month's worth of what we would have been putting into the EF and go on a short cruise, 3 to 4 days, booking last minute for a deal. We can plan our time for when work is at a lull. We don't care to where as long as it is on the west coast out of Seattle. We likely won't even leave the ship. It has been 8 years since we have been on a vacation and we've never been on a cruise.

Then we would start saving towards the 6 months emergency fund and a down payment on a house at the same time, with an uptick in our 401K percentage.

But until there is signed paperwork in his hands, there is no decision to be made and all of the above is simple dreaming. Except the taxes part.

Big Medical Update on DD

February 15th, 2019 at 07:51 pm

I am still not back to normal after our trip to Seattle for DD's operation. It has been a week since we got back. I am still in pain, still have a massive amount of inflammation, am dragging like a person who never gets any sleep even though I am getting sleep, and am stuffy. I hate it when my RA flares up like this. I've made the decision to not go with DH and DD when they go for the surgery follow-up appointment. My body just cannot take these long car trips, although it may have been the hotel bed that made it the worst.

I don't know if they will have the biopsy results then or not, but I hope they will. Except for that one spot, things looked good. If there is nothing wrong from the biopsy, I guess we are back to square one. I want to get her tested for Von Willebrand disease. This is secondary to whatever else is going on, but she is getting daily nosebleeds two to three times a day that take a long time to stop and they are coming from high up in the nasal cavity. Along with the other bleeding problems she has had in the past, it would make sense if she has this, including when there was blood in the bladder for no discernable cause. We had her tested for a couple of other bleeding disorders before, but not this one.

So just as a recap, what's been diagnosed so far:

Hypothyroidism
Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency
Gasteropaeresis
Granuloma Anularae (autoimmune)
Some unspecified autoimmune disease they haven't tracked down yet (not RA, MS, or Lupus)
Neuropathy
Migraines

I am suspicious that she may have fibromyalgia, although I kind of feel like that is what they call something when they can't find out what it really is, because she has all the symptoms of it. And from what I can see, the treatments tend to be pot, muscle relaxants, and anti-depressants. She can't take anti-depressants because of the gasteroparesis (they make her puke and flare constantly) and she doesn't want to take pot, which we are legal for here in my state, but I don't want her taking it either. She's already on a muscle relaxant and it doesn't do much.

She does have autoimmune markers in her lab work, they just don't know what it is. And it is not the granuloma anularae causing those markers. It's probably something impossibly rare.

She also, of course, has never been the same since the skull fracture and broken tailbone when she fell in the creek when she was 16. Lots of brain fog and issues with reading and doing math even six years later. I still marvel at the fact that she graduated high school.

I just want us to find a way to make her pain better, so that she can function with some quality of life. But for that to happen it seems like we have to find the thing they can't seem to find.

At least since the gasteroparesis has been more and more under control, she is more positive and happy. I guess not puking on a daily basis will do that to a person. Also her hair has stopped falling out since getting that under control, so there's that. And she's no longer anemic, though she is only just above the line.

As for me, I'm still waiting on the Enbrel. The doctor and the pharmacy need to get stuff straightened out, but I have the co-pay card, so at least when they do, it will go forward. If I haven't heard anything by Monday I will call the doctor's office and try to push things along.

I also want the doctor to do a blood test for my cortisol levels and to check my thyroid. I think something is going on there, especially with cortisol. I felt so much better on the steroids, like a normal human. Of course, I could hardly sleep, but I was amped up enough it didn't matter. My reaction to them is what makes me think my cortisone is messed up. While I'm at it, I should schedule a mammogram, too. Maybe in another week I'll feel good enough to get on that.

The Plot Thickens

February 14th, 2019 at 01:56 pm

DH's current job has offered him more money and a more secure position to stay. He'll have to run the numbers tonight when he gets home from work. It isn't as much pay as what the other job is offering, but current job matches 5% in the 401K, not just 3%, has a Christmas cash bonus, a Christmas 401K bonus contribution, company stock, and the insurance is better. Plus he'd be home. This just got interesting.

Deeper and Deeper, We're Buried Alive

February 12th, 2019 at 05:24 pm

There's 18 inches of snow on the ground, and it is still snowing, but less consistently, which means that if I want a birthday cake I am going to have to bake it myself and I'm sort of the mindset of, well, ehh. Maybe peanut butter cookies as they are easy and I am already making bread. DH has been able to get out to go to work, but not many are able to get in. Some of the stores are closed, so even if I sent him for a cake, the stores might not even be open and I don't want him driving more than he has to right now.

Of course, this means we have spent no money since Sunday. Not that I planned to buy much, but I did want to get a new electric skillet and have the money in the household envelope for it. Those things really don't last long and the last one we got I was never fond of anyway, as it made a weird noise the whole time it was on. But now the coating is all scratched up. I have no idea how as we only ever use wooden or silicon cooking utensils in it.

I'm actually just thinking of getting one of those induction cook tops so that I could just use my cast iron pans or stainless steel on it and be done with this non-stick nonsense altogether. It costs twice as much as a skillet and I'd have to wait until the 22nd to order it when I put more money in the household envelope, but we've gone without for two weeks now, we can go another two, plus time for shipping. I've been considering doing this a long while. Since we just bought TP, body wash, and shampoo and conditioner, there isn't anything else I will be needing the household category for next payday except maybe tissues, so there will be plenty of money in there then.

Maybe I'll make cupcakes. I can do those in the Nuwave. Or maybe I'll just be happy with my bread and pick up a discounted Valentine's day cake the day after instead. They are always half price then. Or skip it altogether.

I'm not really that into it this year. I'm 49. Next year is more of a milestone. Although I did have one milestone of sorts, DH and I both did. They gave us the senior discount at the hospital cafeteria. DH is balding and grey and I haven't colored my hair for the last year or so, so my grey streaks at the front temples of my hair are quite visible (they used to be ash blonde streaks in a sea of auburn when I was younger). I didn't notice until I was looking at the receipt. So that was the first time we've been given a senior discount. Maybe I can order off the IHOP's senior menu now. They always have way too much food in the regular part, so I usually give DH half my pancakes and he orders accordingly. Not that we go there much anymore at all.

Sorry, this is so stream of consciousness today. Nothing much better to do while I wait for the bread to rise.

Snow Keeps Falling, Snow Keeps Falling, Down, Down

February 10th, 2019 at 09:00 pm

...to paraphrase one of my favorite songs from the 80's. The snow started around 3:00 this afternoon and we already have six inches. It's supposed to snow non-stop for the next few days, too. DH and I were out doing our grocery shop. We went to five stores, but the second to last one had closed early due to the weather. We only missed it by about a half an hour, but fortunately that was Whole Foods, which was just a want, not a need, run for sopprasetta.

Usually I will spread out the shopping over a couple of days, but not when the weather is only going to get worse. So here's what I bought at Safeway:

1 Pepsi Throwback (sugar kind, and bad)
2 Pirates Booty
1 Tostitos Lime
2 Classico Alfredo Sauce
2 packages O Organics Popcorn
2 1/2 gallons of O Organics Milk
1 bag of spinach
2 limes
1 box organic blackberries
1 organic red onion
4 organic roma tomatoes
1 lb deli roast beef
1 lb deli roast chicken

I spent $64.86 there. Next we went to Costco and I got:

1 box shredded parmesan cheese
2 4 packs frozen broccoli
1 bag of six bell peppers
1 box of Kodiak Power Waffles
1 bag of sausage patties
1 2 pack of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 packages of Yangtze pork
1 4 pack Kerrygold Irish butter
2 24 packs of organic eggs
2 3 packs of organic chicken sausage links
1 bag of peeled garlic
1 2 pack of prosciutto

I spent $172.99 there. Our next stop was the food co-op. We were looking for tortillas without soy in them, but there's had soybean oil so I only ended up buying:

1 head of organic lettuce

I spent $2.99. Next we went to Trader Joe's and I bought:

3 5 lb bags of Russet potatoes
2 packages of uncured beef hot dogs
4 packages of flour tortillas (no soy!)
2 containers of sunflower oil
1 box pita crackers (no soy!)
1 box rosemary crackers (no soy!)

I spent $43.97 there. So total grocery spending was $284.81, well under my $400 two week grocery budget.

We did pickup some household items as well. At Safeway we got 2 bottles of body wash for DH for $6.51. At Costco we picked up a case of toilet paper and 2 4 packs of Zyrtec for $98.99 for a total of $105.50. TP and body wash came out of the Household Envelope and Zyrtec came out of the Medical Fund Account.

Now I shouldn't have to budge from the house until the Snowpocalypse is over.

Life Changing News

February 9th, 2019 at 06:21 pm

DH took a new job today. It's back on the slope. After taxes and after airfare, we'd be bringing home $30K more a year. Yes, that's net. The 401K is not as good a match (but we'll contribute 7% instead of 5% to make up for it) and the insurance costs more (but pretax), but the difference in income more than makes up for that.

DH and I talked it over for several hours yesterday. His current job is getting iffy, because after the election last year one of the refineries pulled out of a couple of jobs and that means less work for his company. We feared this was going to happen because it does every time democrats get control of either the Senate or the House, and it is even worse when they also have the presidency, which they may again in two years.

I think it is a little ridiculous though, because they don't have control of both, so they'll never pass anything in the next two years, but the oil companies always seem to get fearful when the dems start getting any control. Usually because they raise taxes on the industry, already the highest taxed industry in America AND all developing nations, and try to shut down new exploration the second they get full control and put in all sorts of punitive regulations. They don't want to invest only for it to be shelved in a couple of years and have it taxed so much the project is no longer tenable.

But anyway, because the current job is getting iffy on work, and because this job pays so much more, we decided he would take it. It is a two year contract. We'll be out of debt in a year and have our six month emergency fund in place by the end of the second year and maybe some saved for a down payment.

He starts on March 18th. I told him to at least wait until March before he lets his current work know and I hope he listens to me. I'd really like him to wait until two weeks before to give notice as I don't want to try to go without pay for more than 2 weeks if they decide to let him go early. My hope is he can work right on up to the 15th. We only have $3000 in the EF, so it would be very tight. I am going to go down to a bare bones budget between now and when the new job starts and save as much as I can. We will have to pay for a Cobra for the month of April, but I believe the new insurance should start in May.

The first pay cycle will be larger because he will have 3 days of training on it before he starts his 3 and 3 hitch. I hate 3 and 3 so much as compared to 2 and 2, but it means less airline tickets a year.

It will be hard to go back to this again, but it puts our future back on track. It will be annoying to have to do a 6 week budget cycle instead of a 4 week budget cycle, but I managed before and I can manage again. And it is worth it for the amount we'll be able to speed ahead on our goals.

I just hope that after the two years are over there will be work that is easy to find, hopefully slope work. If not, I guess we'll have the fully funded EF and unemployment again (which is enough to cover insurance premiums, but that's it).

Two Week Meal Plan

February 4th, 2019 at 06:49 pm

My meal plan is heavily based upon what is in the freezers, at least as far as meat goes, for the next two weeks. I am hoping that I will only need to buy eggs, milk, bread, produce, tortillas, cheese, sausage, and ham, and that I will be able to keep the expenses down doing that. If there is a tremendous sale on something, like .99/lb, then I might buy meat, but I am going to try to avoid it. I just don't like passing up .99/lb pork roast.

I might do it for four weeks. It really depends on how much of the freezer I clear out. I wouldn't really call this an eat from the pantry challenge, since I will be buying stuff, but maybe an eat from the freezer challenge. I meant to post this yesterday.

Day One:
Beef pot roast
Baked potatoes
Normandy Vegetables
Oranges

Day Two:
Chili
Baked potatoes
Normandy Vegetables
Oranges

Day Three:
Baked Potato Soup with Bacon
Green Beans
Canned Pears

Day Four:
Hospital Food (we will be eating at the Virginia Mason cafeteria for dinner this night or possibly the hotel restaurant)

Day Five:
Pizza
Salad
Canned pineapple
(Whether or not the pizza is homemade depends on when we get home from Seattle. It might be take away, but if we get home at least by two I'll make it from scratch.)

Day Six:
BBQ Chicken Legs
Baked Potatoes
Green Beans
Oranges

Day Seven:
Lamb Chops
Fried Potatoes
Normandy Vegetables
Canned Pears

Day Eight:
Pork Roast
Baked Potatoes
Green Beans
Oranges

Day Nine:
Meat Loaf
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Normandy Vegetables
Oranges

Day Ten:
Penné Pasta with Sausage and Zucchini
Canned Pears

Day Eleven:
Beef Steaks
Herbed potatoes
Normandy Vegetables
Oranges

Day Twelve:
Chicken Enchiladas
Rice
Green Beans
Canned Pineapple

Day Thirteen:
Chicken Quesadillas
Rice
Pico de gallo
Salad

Day Fourteen:
Carne Asada Tacos
Rice
Pico de gallo
Salad

East Coast Weather on the West Coast

February 4th, 2019 at 06:33 pm

We got hit by bitter weather yesterday. Several inches of snow fell and the temperature was 19 degrees. The wind made it worse. The roads might as well have been glass in the places where the sun doesn't really hit them. We had a problem on one hill where I had to stop for someone who ran a stop sign and then couldn't get my car to go forward. I had to back down the hill a bit and move over to get some traction. I did make it up. I couldn't really blame the guy who ran his stop sign as he did try to stop. He just slid through the intersection.

I didn't know how bad it actually was when we went out yesterday or I wouldn't have gone. But out we did go and we spent all of the money in the Clothing Envelope, plus $20 in the household envelope. DS was out of his body wash, which we have to get a special type since he's allergic to so much. The stores we usually buy it out have stopped carrying it, so we had to track down one who did. So we bought 5 bottles of that and then I took DS to Penney's and bought him two pairs of jeans and two pairs of slacks. They actually had pants there that were 29 inches long. He usually has to get 30, but that's a little long, so he was very happy.

DH had taken him to get new shoes the day before and we ordered new shoes for DD. So no more clothes buying until we can refill that Clothing Envelope. I had thought I needed new shoes, but it turns out when I bought the last pair it was buy one get one and so I'd stuck the second pair in my closet for the future. DH found them for me and it is such a difference on my feet.

Today the roads are bare and it is 27 degrees, but the wind is even worse. We had to go and buy a space heater for the rabbit shed as we had so many power failures last night (they lasted about a minute each, so maybe surges is a better word) that it fried the heater out there, even though it has a surge protector on it. It was an older heater anyway. We don't heat it very high, just the lowest setting, but it keeps their water bottles from freezing. Since I had run out of money in the Household Envelope, I took it out of the Personal Care Envelope. That's the money I'd set aside to get my hair cut, but I can go another month without. I might even go until spring, since the long hair is keeping my back warm.

After that we stopped at another store and got the special hand soap my son has to use, since he was nearly out of that as well. It's fun having a kid that is allergic to nearly ever skin product out there. /sarcasm We wanted to get him what he needed before we go to Seattle Wednesday night. Usually I have a stockpile, but I really let things run down when I was so sick.

Once we get back from Seattle, I will do a grocery shop, but it will not be a massive one. I'll get breakfast meats, but not any other kinds of meat. I have quite a large stockpile now that we need to go through and eat down before I buy any meat. I've done a two week meal plan based around what we have on hand, which I will post separately. I am hoping to keep the grocery budget to half this payday.

Trying Not to Be Frustrated with the World

February 1st, 2019 at 06:11 pm

Despite the fact that it has been since July, it still feels strange to not get paid weekly. I mean, we budget for two weeks and it isn't like anything needs to be done during that time period after the bills are paid, but maybe that is the problem. I am so used to being hands-on on a weekly basis and now it is like it is set for cruise control and I'm there, but there is nothing for me to do unless I see an accident coming up ahead.

DH and I have started watching the Financial Peace University videos. We had started a while back and then life got busy. We decided to restart from the beginning and I am glad we did, because they have completely revamped the presentation. And what's really neat is that DH knows one of the guys in the video doing the testimonials. He worked with him up in Alaska.

We took a big step and cut up all but one credit card. DH is cancelling them, too, but the idea of cutting them up just seems so huge and something we have really both been resisting. We are keeping the one for auto pays, as I've had them double charge too often. Yes, they fix it in a couple of days, but if you double charge on a debit card and there isn't enough money to cover that, you get fees and it is such a mess to sort out even when it isn't your error. I feel more secure having the auto pays on a credit card for that reason.

Now you could say that we could just keep extra in the checking account, but we run a zero based budget, so that makes it difficult, as we don't keep a huge cushion in there. I know we can do it, but I'm just not sure we are 100% there yet. There is also the fact that with the debit card they can put a hold on your account. A hold on a credit card with a huge limit is not that big a deal, but a hold on money in your checking account is.

I know that I am justifying. I just think that when we only use it for travelling and auto pays and it is paid in fully each month, and we are as disciplined as we are, we can handle it. One day when we have enough money to have a large cushion again, we can go fully to debit, but that will not be until after the loan is paid off and we've saved at least 3 months of expenses. We will get there, but we are not there yet.

Personally, I want to do the part where you stop all retirement contributions until you are out of debt, because I think we'd be out of debt by the end of the year that way, but DH is against it. He's the one who wanted to do Dave Ramsey in the first place, but he doesn't actually want to "do" Dave Ramsey. Just the parts he agrees with. I get all his arguments, I agree they make sense logically, but I just want to be out of debt.

I don't mind doing retirement while saving up the full EF, but I want to be done with this debt. It frustrates me, because I feel like if you are only doing things halfway, it'll take twice as long, if not three times as long. I am so tempted to call Dave's show and ask him what to do about this. Of course he'll tell me to get rid of that last card, but he'll also tell DH to knuckle under to the plan. I think maybe some straight-talking from the man himself is in order. Or maybe I'll just email him.

We have been debt snowballing for as long as I've been blogging here. Not on the Dave Ramsey plan, just debt snowballing. And having a small EF. And it worked, but I don't think it worked as well as it could have if we'd been all in and had refused to take on any more debt (like the car purchases we made along the way). And we still aren't all in. We're 3/4 of the way in. Well, I'm 3/4 of the way in. DH is 1/2 of the way in. And while he is more of the free-spirit than I am financially, he still qualified as a nerd on the financial nerd vs. free spirit test. One more point and he'd have been a free spirit, though. I only had one free spirit point and seven nerd points.

In other news, I signed up for my Enbrel co-pay card. It should be here in a couple of days and then I can call the mail-order pharmacy and get the shots shipped to me. I am really hoping this will help me function better on a day to day basis. I'm not thrilled with the side effects of the drug, but the side effects of RA are at this point making it worth taking the risk to see if it helps. It may not even help.

In other, other news, the Girl Scouts are out with their super aggressive cookie sales and behaving as badly as ever at a store near you. I will be so glad when cookie season is over. Meanwhile, I will shop in the mornings instead of the afternoons, and see about making a small contribution to Campfire USA. I've never had a kid from there block the doors, grab my cart, and shout that I had to buy their cookies because they were almost at their goal. No, entitled munchkin, I do not.

I got the shower and tub cleaned today. I still need to do the sliding doors and the little shelves, though, but I will do those when I shower. It's easier. I used Barkeeper's Friend. It is amazing. We are keeping up with the kitchen so far and not letting it devolve into chaos again. Tomorrow's goal is to clean off the top of the bathroom vanity, clean the bathroom sink, and sweep the bathroom floor. Well, that's my goal.

DH's goal is to get the little section between the fridge and the cabinets cleaned out and to clean behind the fridge. And then if either one of us still has energy to take care of the armchair that has turned into a catch-all. We will get organized this year if it kills us.