Home > Archive: June, 2021
Archive for June, 2021
June 26th, 2021 at 07:07 am
Retirement has gone up to $58,000.69, a difference of $1136.27 since last payday. All of that was contributions from DH or work, except $52.27 It was a rough two weeks, but the IRA finished ahead of where it was last payday by $15.31. I hear the next six weeks are going to be very bumpy for the stock market. I hope it is just a rumor.
I am really missing the stock market from the 3 years pre-Covid. I have a feeling the only reason we will be moving forward at all this year is going to be mostly due to contributions, not gains. Oh, well, we hold as always. No panic selling. Keep treading and we'll keep our heads above water. This won't last forever and the recovery period will gain ground eventually.
Tomorrow I get to ditch the darn mask. It's due to be 100 degrees F and I need to go grocery shopping, so thank goodness. I finally feel like myself again. The Moderna vaccine was really hard on my fatigue levels, both times. I was exhaused for 12 days each time. I had horrible bone aches after the second shot for 36 hours. But those were my only symptoms. I have waited out my time, so now, in my state, the fully vaxed only need them in medical facilities that require them. It'll be weird to show my face again, but it has been lovely seeing other people's faces the last couple of weeks.
June 26th, 2021 at 01:37 am
I made a deposit into the EF, which is a bunch of little things. I realized that I hadn't added the interest for May which was $3.67 and .07. I had $18 in rolled coin and then the amount from the paycheck was $162.42 (well, I added .50 that didn't come out of the paycheck, so a touch less). That equalled out to $184.16 for the deposit
$16,271.28 Starting Balance
+__,184.16 Amount Added
$16,455.44 New Balance
I had $105.00 left in the grocery envelope so I added that to the Hog Fund.
$647.00 Beginning Balance
+105.00 Amount Added
$750.00 New Balance
So I am a quarter of the way there even without the leftover cut and wrap money for the beef, whatever that turns out to be. I have until October to save $250 more, which should be done easily considering I won't have to shop for beef anymore for a long, long time.
June 24th, 2021 at 06:39 pm
So DH totally screwed up in telling me how much an hour his raise was. It wasn't $11 an hour, it was $1.10 an hour. Way to move the decimal point. And no, he didn't give it to me in print, he literally told me $11 an hour. So basically none of the stuff I thought was going to happen with retirement or savings is going to happen. It's a bummer. Hopefully he will also get a merit raise. $1.10 an hour doesn't even keep up with how bad the cost of living has gone up in the last two years. Better than nothing, though.
I did notice that if we could save just $66 more a payday into retirement we would max out, though. I just don't think I can swing it, not with the forced long-term care insurance starting. Maybe after we max out our Emergency Fund that can be something we work toward.
Our steer has gone to butcher. It has a hanging weight of 665 pounds. I have sent the check off to the farmer for the remainder, $1892.20. With the deposit, that means the beef cost me $2292.20. There is still the cut and wrap fee of .78/lb. Well, they say .78/lb, but it tends to be more like .78 per package and a lot of packages have more than a pound of meat in them. So while I do have $600 I left in the beef fund to cover it, it'll be $521.04 max and I don't think it will come to that.
Above that amount I had $254 left in the beef fund that I went ahead and moved to the hog fund. That brings the total in the hog fund to $647. As soon as I pay the cut and wrap fee at pick up, I will move whatever is left over to the hog fund, which will be at least $78.96, making that amount be at least $725.96 and probably a little more. My goal is $1000, so I will be just shy of 3/4 of my goal.
We continue to eat down the chest freezer and move things into the house freezer as things from there are used up to make room for the steer. It is coming along nicely. He said I should be hearing from the processing facility sometime in the next 11 days for my cut orders. I want as much chuck roast as possible, but not so much the other types of roasts except pot roast. I want all the round ground, we don't like them as roasts or steaks. I want all the sirloin tip roasts cut into steaks. And I want my steaks 3/4 inch thick not 1 inch thick. I can genearally get two extra steaks out of it per type that way.
I want all the soup bones, the fat for making my own tallow, and the liver, heart, kidneys, and tongue. We've never tried the tongue or kidneys before, so that'll be interesting. Organ meats are quite healthy for you. I'm a little squeamish about the tongue, but it is supposed to be quite good. I guess we will find out.
The special standing walker we ordered for DD arrived yesterday and it is really going to be a game changer for her. And it has a seat she can actually sit down on. Standard walkers are pretty painful for people with her conditions. It folds up easily enough that she can do it herself, at last for the time being. That was $248, but money well spent.
I can make do with the walker we inherited from FIL after he died for quite a while yet. I only use it on severely bad days where I have to go out of the house. Most days I am fine with my cane or if I am doing really well, without it. But as things continue to worsen, I would definitely like to get one like that as it is easier on the L-4 and L-5 area of my back. It takes up a lot less space when folded, too.
My referral for a neurosurgery consult finally went through so calling them is on my to do list for the day. Along with finally getting the drip line put in the raised bed with the tomatoes in it added and the last set of hoops and deer netting up. There is a lot outside that needs to be done and I am finally starting to feel like I can do some of it again.
I think I'm finally getting my sleeping straightened out. I've been falling asleep between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. instead of 3 or 4 a.m. and I've been waking up in the morning instead of the afternoon, so hopefully this will last. I like actually having a whole day of sunlight in which to live my life.
If I am feeling particularly ambitious I might try to plant some seeds in the garden. I'd really like to have some kohlrabi this year.
June 18th, 2021 at 02:53 am
I have to say I have needed some good news with one thing after another for the last two years. DH's work is giving a 2% raise across the board. It goes into effect starting next week, so it won't be on the next paycheck, but the one after that. And they are starting reviews for merit raises on top of that in July. DH's isn't scheduled for his until the end of July, but it means there is a chance of an additional raise, too. Since he never got one when he got promoted because Covid happened and they cut back on a lot of things, I am hoping we will see that now. Either way, the 2% raise is $11 an hour more, so nothing to sneeze at and I am very grateful for it. It's been 3 years without a raise.
One of the verses I look to a lot is Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to give you hope, and a future." I have it posted at eye level on the wall by my computer. I have kept that in the forefront of my mind as much as possible during the last year and a half, constantly reminding myself that there is a future with hope in it, even when I felt hopeless at times with all the medical issues and expense they brought.
I was starting to feel it worse when I found out that the state of Washington is going to force long-term care insurance on anyone who is working and they were going to enforce it by taking it out of paychecks. There was a one time chance to opt out if you could prove you had other long-term care insurance. DH opted out and we are getting some in place. While it would be more convenient to do it through the state, they only offer $36,000 lifetime coverage and for every $100 they pay you have to pay $100 if you use the insurance. And there is no provision to guarantee they won't raise how much they are taking out whenever they feel like it. And also you have to pay more in based on your income so you are subsidizing other people.
We are getting one that is $50,000 lifetime coverage and a slightly cheaper premium and we have control over it and can shop around if it goes up, unlike with the government. DH and I had been talking about getting long-term care for a while anyway, I just don't like being forced to. It's another monthly bill coming in of $48.71. I was able to pick the date it comes out of the checking account, though. And with the raise I won't have to cut back in another category. And I really ought to get some long-term care insurance for myself, but I can't get it through the same place as him as that is only offered to their employees, not spouses.
So if we both get the insurance that'll be around $100 in a new bill. Allowing for them taking out 15% for the 401k pre-tax, about a third of what is left to payroll taxes, and taking 10% off for tithe, we should end up with an additional $400 a payday unaccounted for, give or take. That's just a guestimate, of course, and I won't know for sure until we get the first paycheck without any overtime on it. That'll make it a lot easier to save for both medical expenses and the Emergency Fund. Assuming nothing else in our lives goes blooey.
If he gets an additional 1% merit raise, that would give us $1000 to save to medical and EF each month and that would be great. Merit raises are generally higher than 1%, usually 2 to 5%, but I'm not being greedy. I do wish, though, that they'd go back to contributing 5% to the 401K and not just the 2.5%. I'd rather have that than a merit raise, to be honest. The 2% of the regular raise is enough to help us out and ease the pressure tremendously.
On the bright side, just with the first 2% raise we are going to hit the $19,500 401k max for the year right at the first payday of December, assuming no more overtime at all this year, which is unlikely. That is a huge milestone I didn't think we'd make this year. Technically since he is over 50, we could put $26,000 into his 401k as a catch up amount, but I don't think we will have an additonal $6500 lying around to do it with and if we did, we'd more likely open a spousal IRA for me.
It is nice to have a little more hope for the future again, though part of me is still holding my breath waiting for Murphy to whack us again. Does that ever go away?
Oh, and I got my second Moderna Covid vax on Sunday. It took me until today to feel like a human being again. Hence the big post.
June 18th, 2021 at 01:37 am
I'm almost a week late in getting this up, but I've been kind of lax about it, so figured I'd go back to it. There was quite a bit of overtime on DH's paycheck.
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
__500.00 Medical Fund
__75.00 Household Envelope
_280.00 Monthly Family Chiropractic Plan
_150.00 Car Insurance Fund
_100.00 Gas Money Envelope
_100.00 Adults' Spending Money
_120.00 Kids' Allowances
_142.00 Hog Fund
3834.97 Total Money Out
June 16th, 2021 at 01:41 am
On the 12th we passed our one year debt free mark. It has been an interesting year. The freedom that comes with not having the oppression that debt provides is remarkable. While not much else has changed here, attitudes have. Tension levels have. Loosening the reins is something allowable.
Are we as far ahead as I had hoped we would be? No. And Yes. Medical bills continue to be a thing we have to plan for. The unexpected always has a way of rearing its ugly head. Yet at the same time, we have paid them all as we went.
We have taken on 15% retirement savings for the last half year and succeeded and that is something major that I thought we'd really struggle to do, but it is no different than living with a large portion of income that went to debt each month, so I feel like we were training for this.
Did I save as much money into the EF as I wanted? No, but we are still quite a ways ahead. Part of that reason is that I decided I wanted to bulk purchase meat. Part of that reason was that we ate out far more than intended because we had the freedom to. And part of that reason was replacing a lot of items that we simply put off replacing while we were in debt.
We were able to fund all the sinking funds that I planned for without it being difficult. At no time did we have to put anything on a credit card because we hadn't saved up ahead of time. While we do still use our credit card, it is only for convenience and autopays and is paid off in full every payday.
We have increased our net worth substantially in the last year. At no other time in our married life can I say that. My goal for 2022 is to refocus on getting the EF up to six month's expenses, but we will have to see how it goes. The rest of this year's would be deposits will be going to saving up for DS's braces instead. I have $3500 and need to save an additional $2500 before we can move forward. That I am hoping to achieve by year's end.
June 16th, 2021 at 01:23 am
Our retirement accounts now total $56,864.42, a difference in total of $2,689.12 in the last 17 days. Most of that is from contributions from us and work, but about $400 was profit. DH worked a lot of overtime on the last two paychecks so close to $1940 was what we contributed. I hope one day work will go back to contributing 5% instead of 2.5%.
As for the Hog Fund, after I met my goal with the Beef Fund I had $29, so I transferred that to a new envelope and on payday I had $192 left in the grocery envelope, so that moved to the Hog Fund envelope. Then I added $172 to that, so there is $393 in that enveope now. The goal is $1000, so $607 to go. I have reserved a whole hog for October. It should dress out somewhere around 220 pounds max.
After that my goal will be to start stocking up on chicken. I probably won't buy it bulk off the farm, though, as I prefer to just buy thighs and legs. Unless we can find a source for that, we will just go with grocery sales. I'm not sure if DH is going to get much fishing in this summer with the amount of overtime he's been clocking. If he can go we will stock up on whatever he catches.
I just feel a really strong need to be prepared for 2022. Either way, we'll have food.
June 7th, 2021 at 04:32 am
My MRI was pretty awful. I don't generally get claustraphobic, but I've never been in the smaller machine before, I've always been in the open one. They put me in head first, but it hurt my shoulders so much (severe RA in them) that they pulled me out and turned me around and put me in feet first and I had to put my arms over my head, which was also uncomfortable, but was way better, plus I could see out of the machine a little bit and that calmed down the panic of being so enclosed.
I was in so much pain by the time I got off the table that it has taken me until today to recover. I had no strength or grip in my right arm yesterday, which happens sometimes when the shoulder stays in a position for too long that is bad for it. It was back today, though.
The doctor's nurse called me with the results. I have moved from mild to moderate diagnosis via x-ray to moderate to severe via MRI degenerative disc disease with changes in the plates. So I am being referred to a neurosurgeon. That doesn't necessarily mean surgery. There may be other things that can be tried first that is not physical therapy. Pain management and cortizone shots while I try to lose more weight. If I can manage the pain better I can walk around better and get some real exercise. It's always been hard for me to lose weight from just dieting alone.
After trying those, we might consider a nerve block, but I want more info on that. Failing that, surgical intervention may be required. It may be required from the start, though. That's what the referral is for, to find out.
I haven't done anything in the garden the last two days except keep my son company while he picked strawberries. I needed the fresh air and while DS is willing to do the work, he likes having someone to talk to while he does it. No photos yet for LAL.
I watched the US Nationals Gymnastics. It's kind of a forgone conclusion anymore who is going to win with the women, which kind of takes the suspense out of it for me. I enjoyed it anyway. Simone is fun to watch and has so much power, but she really doesn't seem to ever stick the landings. She excels so much that it doesn't matter, but after all these years, I would expect her to get better at that. And her artistry is almost non-existent. The men stick their landings a lot better than the women did.
I really liked Suni. She has more artistry in her little finger than anyone else and she stuck her landings more often. And that's with coming back from a foot and ankle injury. She was just beautiful to watch, so graceful and not so much about the power, though she is clearly very strong. Her floor routine and her balance beam were so pretty.
I see a lot of potential in Jordan. She's got better artistry than Simone, but Simone barely has any, just depends on her power. Her routines are not as difficult or complicated, but give her a couple more years and she might be able to challenge even more. I am looking forward to the Olympics. I don't watch much, but I do enjoy men's and women's gymnastics.
I liked watching the guys, too, but it is all about power and strength there. So it's cool and fun and impressive, but more about skill than anything. I prefer artistry.
Not much else going on around here.
June 3rd, 2021 at 10:55 pm
We took the van in for a 5000 mile check up yesterday. It was basically an oil change and fluid fill up and an inspection to see what else needed to be done now that the car has reached ten years of age. They do have things they rec at either 10 years or 100,000 miles. Well, we only have 51,000 miles, but we bought the van in June of 2021 so we are going with getting the work done that is recommended. We paid $94.69 for that appointment.
Because we want to drive this van until it dies, maintenance if very important to us. Vehicles, even used ones, are super expensive, so we take as good of care as possible of our vehicles. They want to flush the transmission at $315, flush the coolant at $200, do an induction (cleaning the build up off the inside of the engine) at $170, and something to do with the electonic fuel injection at $170. That's a total of $855 worth of work. I only have $708 in my car maintenance envelope after paying for the other. That's a shortfall of $147.00.
Since DH will get quite a bit of overtime on the next paycheck, I will take out $200 for car maintenance, which will cover the shortfall and leave a little left in the envelope. I set aside $100 a month generally in this envelope. I will set aside an additional $100 the following payday, too. I don't like to run that envelope so close to bone.
I didn't end up planting any seeds yesterday, but we did get the wire hoops cut to size and put into the bed and then measured out and fitted the netting to the hoops. We hand watered, too. It was still pretty hot and it just sapped your strength. Today is 68 and much cooler so we will try to get it done. My soaker hose is supposed to arrive today. I got it for the bed that has the tomatoes, peppers, and summer squash in it, because those don't like to get their leaves wet and will get blight if they are wet too much. This way I can water at the base and not have to worry about that.
If I like the way the soaker hose works I will order them for the other beds, too. I want to see how great the coverage is with it. A soaker is the type that beads out water droplets not sprays them out. That's a drip hose. People get them confused, understandably, and then complain on Amazon reviews because it doesn't work the way they thought it would because they ordered the wrong thing. A simple reading of the description would tell them. But the whiney reveiws were actually helpful because I knew for sure it would do what I wanted it to do.
Tomorrow is my MRI on my back. Since the 20 weeks of physical therapy did nothing to improve things, they are now looking for disc issues, most likely a slipped disc. It would be nice to have an answer and maybe a better course of treatment. I really don't want to be on pain killers the rest of my life. It addles my mind.
June 2nd, 2021 at 10:58 pm
We finished building the second 21 foot long raised bed on the weekend and worked on getting it filled up on Monday. We let it settle and my intention was to plant it on Tuesday, but it was 86 degrees for most of the day. It finally cooled off enough to be outside around 8:30. DS and I transplanted the onions out of the totes I was growing them in. I gave them a deep watering and will water again tonight. We did get the rest of the blackberries planted, too.
By the time we were done moving the onions the sun was almost down, so I didn't get to plant any seeds. It is hot again today, but not nearly as awful, so I will go out after dinner and plant seeds for carrots, radishes, parsnips, broccoli, cauliflower, and kohlrabi. I am only going to do one row of cauliflower. Last year was the first time I was able to successfully grow it and I'm still a little hesitant to plant more after years of failures. Since I only have the two beds for now, I'd rather not risk much.
DH isn't going to have time to work on the third bed for probably a couple of weeks. He's got a lot of overtime planned. The next paycheck should be a very good one. I can plant more broccoli and perhaps cauliflower then for the freezer. And I'll sow more carrots for canning.
We've been picking strawberries for a week now. There hasn't been much, enough for everyone to have one every other day, but a lot are ripening. They are very good berries.
I still have to plant the sweet potatoes. I got a 90 day variety called Beuregard. I have the slips in water in a window. I am going to grow them in big round totes, with trellising for the vines to grow up. I'll put the totes on black plastic, because I don't want the runners escaping out of the tote and going into the ground. The whole point of growing this way is to avoid digging in the ground. We'll set the totes up where the fourth bed will go. That way we can build the bed around it and next year have a fourth one ready to go. As well as a fifth and sixth one.
Next year we'll really be able to grow a lot of food. This year it will mostly be eating fresh from the garden with some to can and freeze, but not enough. Still, it should lower food costs July through April and that money can go to save for pork and chicken bulk purchases. And I should have harvestable lettuce in a couple of weeks and radishes in 3 to 4. It will be nice when I can just cut the grocery budget in half for most of the summer.
June 2nd, 2021 at 03:08 am
In my freezer soon. Today the farmer I am getting my steer from asked if I could get one early, in 2 to 3 weeks as he had a sale fall through for an earlier butcher date. I said sure and wrote out the check for the $400 deposit and will get it in the mail tomorrow. We are eating down the chest freezer at a rapid pace and I think we will have plenty of space in that amount of time. If not, I'll have to can some meat. I'll be using the plethora of soup bones to make stock to can, which will free up more space.
I was really happy to hear that we can get it early after the cyberattack on the nation's biggest beef manufacturing plant has reduced our capacity by 20%. This is going to impact the food supply hard. Not just beef, but likely pork and chicken as people buy more of them to replace their beef intake, causing a greater demand and a higher price because of it. We'll see if the supply chain can handle it. If you can afford it stock your freezers, people. Can if you know how. Fish and freeze if you are able. It's going to be a bumpy ride. It may not hit for a few weeks, but it will hit. If you've been thinking about buying wholesale off the farm, it is probably time.