Home > Archive: October, 2021
Archive for October, 2021
October 31st, 2021 at 12:03 am
The company seems to be a little more on the ball on getting the retirement contributions sent over in a timely manner this month, so the money actually hit on Friday. It was really, really nice to see a massive jump this time. I've kept myself from looking for the past two weeks. It went up $2466.01. Our contribution was $785.40, so $1680.61 was pure profit. Now that's what I'm talking about. That brings retirement to $67,073.06.
With this and the EF deposit our net worth has gone up by $4604.53, bringing it to $123,926.39. I wonder if we'll see $125,000 by the end of the year? Hopefully the retirement accounts won't plunge again. With just contributions we would make it, but likely not with a plunge.
October 30th, 2021 at 11:47 pm
$16,803.15 Starting Balance
+_2,138.52 Amount Added
$18,941.67 New Balance
The money came from the gift that MIL gave us, plus $12.50 from the coin jar.
At the beginning of the year my EF sat at $9,456.32, so we have done a few dollars more than double that in ten months, adding a total of $9477.35 to the balance.
That leaves us $1,581.03 to go to hit our first big goal of $20,522.70, or six month's worth of expenses. Of course I would like to then hit 6 month's of income also and eventually one year. Having been through a ten month job loss back in 2015/16 that we have still not recovered from, and with Biden shutting down oil jobs left and right, I would just feel a lot better with a year in the EF. Plus who knows what will happen as Covid continues to mutate. We will save hard next year.
I don't see us being able to put much if anything else in for the rest of 2021. I will be saving $2000 into the Medical Fund by year's end, but then should be able to start hitting the EF again in January. So I think my goal is to get the EF to 6 month's expenses by the end of March/beginning of April. I try not to resent our medical expenses as they put us so much further behind in life than we'd be otherwise, but that is life and so we just deal and deal and deal with that.
Once the EF is there, we will raise retirement to 17% from 15%, save for our next beef, and when we have that set aside, work on changing six month's expenses to six month's income. Then maybe by the time 2024 gets here we can be maxing out the 401K, maxing out the IRA, and saving up for a long vacation on the shore.
Also, there was $158 left in the grocery envelope, so I transferred that to the Hog/Chicken Fund, and it now sits at $1346.00. The Freezer guy comes back on Thursday to replace the freezer door and put in a new motor. Hopefully that will solve all the issues, we will have a functioning freezer, and we can give the hog lady the go ahead and finally get one in the freezer.
October 30th, 2021 at 10:30 pm
Today was a three payday month, so it was higher than usual as they don't take medical and life insurance out of that when that happens. Also I got my Google/AdSense payment of $111.50, so I added that in as well. The Citi card is paid off in full now. It's always paid off monthly, but we had a hefty balance the last two months. When I think of how much money we spent on eating out it makes me a little sick, but then I was a lot sick, so it was kind of a necessary evil. Thankfully it was just one meal a day, daily, but for 4 adults, 2.5 of which are gluten free, that adds up fast.
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
__75.00 Household Envelope
__78.82 DH Life Insurance
__60.46 My Life Insurance
__48.71 Long Term Care Insurance
__30.00 Allowance DD
__45.00 Allowance DS
$3260.09 Total Money Out
October 29th, 2021 at 07:51 am
We met with a nutritionist today. It was an hour long appointment and I was aching by the end of it, but I feel we have a good handle on things moving forward. DH and I both accompanied DD to the appointment. Hopefully with the things we will be adding to her diet, DD will have a chance to start absorbing nutrients again. We are adding digestive enzymes, probiotics, collagen powder from mixed soucres (i.e. chicken, fish, beef, and 2 other things I can't remember), Hibiscus tea, bone broth (we do this, but not every day, so she needs to have it every day), and a different form of vitamin b complex with enzymes and to raise her fish oil level to around 2000.
Since she can't digest greens or most vegetables grown above the ground right now, she recommended pureeing root vegetables and adding a scoop of the collagen. So I make a medly of roasted root veggies anyway with potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and turnips, that will be easy enough to do in bulk. She can also digest pureed pumpkin. I bought 4 sugar pie pumpkins last week, so will get around to making those up this weekend and freezing in portion sizes.
She's to stick to chicken, fish, shellfish, and turkey and if she is having a less painful day, she can have ground beef, but no more than once a week. She should eat plain yogurt which she can sweeten at home with honey and pureed berries (the only fruit she can eat without getting sick) once a day.
We'll proceed like that for a month and see how that goes and then maybe we can try reintroducing above the ground veggies, but not greens, in a pureed form. Green beans did sometimes digest, but we are to quit those for now.
It's a lot to digest, no pun intended.
We had a meeting with the gastro doc at 7:20 a.m., not just the NP, yesterday. He gave her something called bile salts, so hopefully that will help with all the bile leaking into her stomach since she doesn't have a gall bladder. We'll see.
I'm pretty wiped out as I am whenver I go somewhere for any length of time and haven't slept too well that last two days. Having to be up early for appointments is hard as it takes my body a long time to I towarm up and not be stiff from the RA, and losing sleep makes it worse.
Nephew is officially moved out and is living with my eldest sister. We'll see if she doesn't have buyer's remorse. If this doesn't work out, he's getting dropped back on the door step of his own parents. They can deal with him.
My son's breathing problems have continued to worsen and having to wear the mask all the time at work was making it worse and they wouldn't let him carry his inhalers on him, so he's no longer working there. He's got a test scheduled for his lungs at the end of next month and then depending on what turns up on that he may need an EKG. There is some worry that he might have got that heart thing that some young men get from Covid from when he had it in March of 2020. Sometimes medicine moves so slowly.
He's bummed to not have money coming in, but I told him once this was straightened out, he could get another job if he wants to. He doesn't need to work, he saved over $2000, and all his living expenses are met by us so it doesn't concern me. As long as masks are a thing, though, I'm not sure getting a job is wise if it hurts his breathing.
I did get my Youtube money this week, so will add that in to the budget tomorrow. It's a 3 payday month so it'll be a bigger paycheck as well.
LAL, I haven't had a chance to pull together recipes yet, but I did see your comment on the last post and will do it eventually when I have a few more spoons (see Spoon Theory).
October 26th, 2021 at 01:43 am
Now that I am starting to feel like a semi-normal human being again, (what a difference a mattress pad has made in my sleep!), I am going to attempt cooking for the whole week, which means planning a menu, based on ingredients that are already in the house, because I am not up for shopping. And I don't need to shop for meat, regardless.
Monday: Spaghetti, grass fed beef in a homemade sauce (onions, garlic, tomato paste and sauce, herbs, my tomatoes), home grown and canned green beans
Tuesday: Chicken and beef sausages, bell peppers, and onions, baked potatoes (home grown)
Wednesday: Maylasian Chicken Curry with root vegetables over organic herbed wild rice (from a box), salad
Thursday: Beef short ribs, baked potatoes (home grown), frozen organic broccoli
Friday: Chicken stir-fry with carrots, celery, onions, and cabbage, over white rice
Saturday: Ribeye steaks, mashed potatoes (home grown) and gravy, green beans (home grown, home canned)
Sunday: French onion chicken, gluten free brioche buns (homemade), and cole slaw
It's ambitious, but DS will be home at dinner time now to help me.
October 18th, 2021 at 01:40 am
Finally had some upward mobility in the retirement account. This is the first time in a long time where we weren't plopping our money in and then it would drop and we'd spend the next two weeks just getting it back to where it was when we plopped our money in. It feels good to more than just read water. Let's hope it continues.
It is up by $1,318.52 since the last time I reported in, bringing the new balance to $64,607.53.
This brings net worth up to $119,321.85.
October 18th, 2021 at 01:11 am
I don't know if I've talked about the freezer debacle or not, but the freezer we bought last December broke down in late July and we have been put through the wringer with Frigidaire ever since, trying to get them to honor their warranty. For a long while it just felt like they were trying to run out the warranty. Plus no one in town fixes Frigidaires anymore unless you've bought it from them. We didn't buy it from any of those places. We would have, but no one other than Home Depot had freezers when we bought it due to shortages.
Well, I felt from the beginning that the door didn't match up right, but at least the freezer was working, even if the light kept coming on saying it wasn't at temp, but it was still at freezing so we dealt with it. Then in July thing started thawing out and it started running all the time and then it sounded like an airplane was taking off every couple of hours, which definitely sounded like the motor or a belt to me, so I unplugged it. So we managed to split what was in it between our small chest freezer, our one fridge freezer, and two shelves and the door of Mom's freezer, and whatever we would eat for the next few days went into the fridge to finish thawing out.
And that started the hours on the phone trying to get it sorted. First it took a month to find someone who would repair it for us under warranty and they were in Seattle. So twice Frigidaire sent them a repair order for the model number of our Freezer, but with the word refrigerator on it. So because those didn't match, they repair company rejected it. Of course it took a week for them to receive the order, a week for them to reject it, and a week for us to try to resolve the problem with Frigidaire. So that's six weeks. Then we finally escalated it to someone higher up and she completely erased everything that was in the computer under our names and restarted from scratch. She made sure everything lined up, model number matched freezer, sent it off to the repair place and...one week later, they recieved the work order and it said our model number and...refrigerator.
So the repair shop is saying they don't match again and they can't fix it until it does. So back to Frigidaire and talked to the same woman and she escatled it higher and that someone went and yelled at the repair shop that it was on their end this time and to pull their heads out and fix this. So we finally got a person scheduled and they came out on Monday. And I was right. The door wasn't hung properly and the gasket was irregular and not fitting right. And the motor had burnt up most of the way and it was a good thing I unplugged it when I did.
So now it is going to take a while for the parts and they will be back on November 4th with a new freezer door and a new motor and hopefully then we will be back up and running with a little over a month of warranty left. So while they didn't quite run out the warranty, it was close. I mean, we still would have gotten it fixed as they started the ticket before it expired, but this took forever and I am quite frustrated by the sheer idiocy of the whole mess. I am also frustrated over how much we had to do, instead of Frigidaire just calling them the first time and getting the mistake corrected, we had to do all the work of calling back and forth between the two places.
But I won't believe it is over until the freezer runs again.
On the bright side, the lady who raises pigs, pushed our butcher date out until November 12th instead of October 12th, which should give us enough time to see whether the repaired freezer is working. She said if we have to we can push out to the December 12th date. She sends hogs to butcher every month and what isn't bought by regular people is sold to stores. And we can keep pushing it if it turns out the repairs don't work and we end up buying a new freezer, even if that means the end of next summer or something after we save up again. She's very good to work with.
I hope we can get it for the 11/12 butcher date, though. I will feel a lot better with both a steer and a hog in the freezers and I can work on buying organic chicken for whatever space is left.
I had $175 left in the grocery envelope due to having to not buy any beef anymore, so I added that to the Hog/Chicken Fund.
$1013.00 Starting Balance
+_175.00 Amount Added
$1188.00 New Balance
And once we have all of the pork and chicken in the freezer I will start saving up for both a lamb and the next steer with leftover grocery money. It will be nice not to have to go down the meat section at the grocery store anymore. Doing it this way really works for us. We have better quality meat at lower than grocery store prices, especially beef. $4.50 a pound for grassfed ribeye steak is looking very good right now.
I am also thinking about buying some emu steaks. We've had ostrich, but never emu. They are supposed to taste very similar, but emu is half the price of ostritch. We like ostritch but don't consider it affordable. We've found a place that ships it, but with shipping delays they say it could be partially thawed by the time it arrives, since they are way across the country and freezer packs or dry ice only last so long. I'm hoping to find some place closer. We do have an emu farm in Oregon, but all they seem to sell is the oil, not the meat. It's hard to internet search it when these two places seem to have all the results lead back to them.
If I do order I want to make a smaller order to make sure we all like it. Smaller orders are harder because they thaw out faster. Larger orders have a lot of frozen meat to help keep the bulk of it frozen longer. We'll see. I think that's for something down the road, maybe when the shipping gets back to normal. We will see.
October 18th, 2021 at 12:24 am
As a reminder, I run a zero based budget, which means that every penny of the paycheck has a home. I don't run a zero-based checking acount, however. I have an $800 cushion in there, I just pretend it isn't there. This week neither DD or I have spending money budgeted for because we both made game purchases. The same will be true for next payday. We did both have the money saved for it, but couldn't make it to the credit union at the time we charged them, due to illness and DH being too busy with work to run there during open hours. I decided it would be easier to charge it and then just pay it back over the next two paychecks. No interest will incur.
As for the Citi card, we are still paying back some of the paycheck and then most of the adjustable bed frame we bought for DD. So no EF contributions this week. I also cut the household envelope as I have enough money in there for now and the same with the car maintenance envelope as there is over $1000 in there. That money went to the Citi card as well. We are still paying off that month of take out, but due to the closing period we've paid off the card for that time period without interest. Some of the next paycheck will go towards that, too. I will be working on the next billing cycle early, but I just want it gone again. As of this week I am functionally able to cook again with some help with the fetch and carry of ingredients. It is never good when the main cook goes down as you can see from how much we've been paying Citi because of it.
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
_100.00 Gas Money Envelope
__50.00 DH Spending Money
__30.00 DS Allowance
1415.95 Citi Card (Adjustable Bed Frame for DD, plus takeout)
2773.28 Total Money Out
October 15th, 2021 at 06:33 am
I had hoped I wasn't going to have a long, lingering recovery after Covid 2.0, but I am having the same kind of exhaustion and breathing issues I had after Covid 1.0. Last time it took 10 months to feel like I was normal again. I really hope that is not what I have to look forward to this time. I am not eligible for a booster since I took Moderna and it was only in the summer. I am a little hesitant about the idea, having had it twice and having had such reactions to the vaccine, where I ended up in bed for 10 days after the first one and 11 days after the second one. I do need to get a flu shot, though, when I feel up to it.
My doctors are also hesitant about the idea of me ever getting boosters at this point, thinking it will do more harm than good. I don't go anywhere, really, anymore, since it hurts to walk. Basically just to all the doctors and I send DH to the grocery store. So it probably doesn't matter if I don't, unless they mandate you can't see medical personel unless you are boostered.
But enough talk about that. My garden is still producing tomatoes, patty pan squash, zucchini, and cucumbers. With no sign of frost, I'll just keep going. I don't think I mentioned, but we got 85 pounds of potatoes using the Ruth Stout method of gardening. It would have been 90 but there was some rodent damage and slug damage. Last year I think we got 90, but we planted twice as many potatoes as this year.
I managed to track down some Music, which is a hard-necked garlic that stores exceptionally well. I've been trying to get it for the last two years and it has always been sold out. I had to settle for conventionally grown, because organic was sold out, but I will grow it under organic conditions so when I harvest it next year I can save some for planting the following year, and after three years of that it is considered to be fully organic. I don't buy organic garlic at the store anyway, so that's not a deal breaker. It isn't generally sprayed since everything stays away from garlic and onions. With shipping it cost $26 for a pound, which is ouchy, but I'll never have to buy it again, so it is worth the investment for garlic that will store for a year and allow me to grow it in perpetuity.
I also want to plant some elephant garlic this fall, but I will just buy that from the grocery store since I don't want a pound of it. All I need is four bulbs and that should give me enough cloves to grow so that next year I can eat a couple and still have enough to replant. They are larger so there is typically around 6 cloves per bulb, so I should get 24 plants. And so on and so on, until they are fully organic. I plan on using the elephant garlic to make garlic powder or if I can figure out how, granulated garlic, since the latter tends not to stick.
I have not done much in the past couple of weeks. Mostly feeling miserable, so it was a good time to plan next year's garden. I did manage to get off the soda again. What an addiction that is to me. I keep going back to it, but sugar makes it take longer for you to get well when you are sick and honestly I just don't feel good when I eat or drink junk. I am fine with honey, but not even raw cane sugar. I have already lost weight being 4 days off.
I did make a great stir-fry the other day with soy free, gluten free oyster sauce and hoisin sauce, coconut aminos, honey, water, and corn starch for the sauce. It was the first time it felt like actual Chinese food again since we quit soy. The oyster sauce is actually made with real oysters. That's actually a rarity. But the saltiness that soy usually provides is replaced by oysters and it is amazing. And the soy free hoisin sauce was even more savory than regular. Stir-fries are definitely back on the menu. As long as I have the energy to cook them.
I had to cancel my physical therapy assessment because I woke up with a fever. It seems to have passed, but I really don't feel like doing pool therapy in bad weather either. They say it is an old wive's tail that going out in cold weather with wet hair makes you sick, but it happens every time I do it, so there you go.
Tomorrow is payday, so hopefully I will get a report up. I have to go to the bank, which I really don't want to do, but I'll have either DH or DS drive me, so I don't have to. I'm not in any shape to drive with what my back and hips are doing right now. The chiropractor was back this week after being gone for a week. The week he was gone was awful, as I subluxed pretty badly.
Even after three adjustments I am not doing so well. My tailbone turned pretty bad while he was gone and he's having a hard time getting back to where it should be. It's better, but it will probably take a couple more weeks to undo what one week without adjustments did to me. I wish he would stop taking these week long vacations. It's almost to the point of once a month now. That's when it's not two week long vacations. No one needs to go away ten times a year. Oh, well, at least I have a walker, because right now I can't even make it out to the car without it.
October 2nd, 2021 at 04:39 am
_132.00 Grocery Envelope
_310.00 Monthly Family Chiropractic Plan
__36.00 Garbage Fund
_167.00 Car Insurance Fund
__50.00 DH's Spending Money
__50.00 My Spending Money
__30.00 DS's Spending Money
We had a lot of money in the grocery envelope still from last payday, mostly because DH keeps forgetting to grab it before he goes to the store and uses the credit card again, so I just made up the difference of what I usually put in there and put the rest of this payday's grocery budget towards the Citi card. DD doesn't get spending money this payday or next because I didn't make it over to the credit union today so I let her use the credit card to make her planned purchase and to pay me back she just won't get any until the 29th.
Since DD's new adjustable full size bed frame was charged, and she needed it for medical reasons, the $500 I usually put towards medical each payday also went to the Citi card, since we charged that. Next payday's will, too. I also put the household money towards it, since I still have money in the household fund to meet needs in that category and we have enough toilet paper, shampoo, soap, dish soap, dishwasher soap, and laundry detergent for about two months.
The monthly family chiropractic plan went up by $30 a month. It has been five years since he has raised that, so it was not unexpected, especially since he warned me a few months ago it would be, he just wasn't sure at the time by how much. Internet has gone up by a penny the last few times, so I finally adjusted the budget template to take that into account.
We still have quite a bit left on the credit card, but we have paid more than the amount we needed to not have interest charged and it will be paid off by the end of this month, also before any interest is charged. It's just been such a rough month with me not being able to cook, but today we ate leftovers and I am trying again to cook tomorrow. My sacral illiac joint has finally decided to stay in place, so a lot of the excruciating pain has subsided.
I still have no stamina from having Covid again, and I hope the exhaustion I had the first time lifts sooner this time than last time. Every day is a little better, but no day is really good yet. I have to wonder how much worse it might have been if I hadn't been vaccinated. And had antibodies of my own. Even though I can go out in public now, I don't think I could make it through a grocery trip yet. So I just keep sending DH for necessities and we keep getting take out.
Tomorrow I will try something easy, though, which is pot roast and baked potatoes in the Instant Pot and green beans in the microwave. That is very little hands on time, other than seasoning the roast, washing the potatoes, and adding butter and salt to the green beans.
DH did buy me salad ingredients and the missing ingredients I needed to make Italian dressing, too. So tonight I will try to get the lettuce cut up, the carrots peeled and sliced, the radishes sliced, the red onion sliced, the red bell pepper sliced, and the cucumbers peeled and sliced. The cheese is already shredded and so is the chicken and I have cherry tomatoes from the garden that are washed. I did manage to put a chicken in the Instant Pot last night to make broth, but DH had to add the filtered water since carrying that much from the filter in the laundry room was still too much for me. Anyway, then I can easily throw a salad together. I'll make the dressing tomorrow. I think it is just trying to do it all in one go, which will be bad for me.
But I have to stop getting take out, not just for financial reasons. I've put on fifteen pounds since I got really, really sick in late July. It makes everything hurt so much more. And the soda I've been drinking to get some caffeine to counter the exhaustion also has been bad. So real, homemade food, and healthier food is a must now. I've just got to pull it together and force myself to do this.
DD had her ultrasound today and the results also came back today through the patient portal. I am surprised how fast they are sometimes there. She does not have a hernia or a limpoma or hematoma or a surface tumor, so no one really knows why there is a big round lump pushing her skin out there. One other possibility is there might be a tumor too deep for the ultrasound pushing it forward, but that should have showed up on her liver MRI in the beginning of August if that were the case, I would think, unless it was too far away, but considering where her liver tumor was located, I don't think it is. I'm not sure what the next step will be. We won't hear from the gastro place until next week some time when they review it. But the technician confirmed that she could see the bulge and it wasn't just our imagination. Or it could have just grown since that MRI in the last two months, which it definitely has, but what the heck is it?
I did get some good news, though. A disabled child can stay on DH's insurance after age 26, so we need to fill out some paperwork and so does her main doctor, but since she has all of the things, she'll qualify. That is such a major relief. She doesn't turn 26 until August of next year, but it has been something I have been worrying about for the last couple of years as diagnosis after diagnosis has come in. We will start the ball rolling to see if she can get on disability, too. That will help in paying the medical bills that aren't covered by insurance and give her a small income, too, so she doesn't have to rely on us for every little thing she needs.
She has at least 3 things that will qualify her for that, possibly five, but the secondary adreanal insufficiency is the big one that alone should qualify her for it. It's really just a matter of filling out the paperwork, being automatically denied, appealing once or twice, and then she should be able to get it. She's way worse off than the BIL who is on disability is, he only has the same disc issue she has, and none of the diseases.
The insurance was the real issue for us. Disability would just be nice for her. It would be enough to set aside for the electric wheelchair she will likely need in the next couple of years. Not sure how we'll transport it, though. Not sure we could afford a used wheelchair van. But that's a worry for future me to deal with.
October 2nd, 2021 at 03:36 am
I'm not sure when we will be getting the $10K from MIL, but it will be before the end of the year and this is what I've come up on.
$3000 Emergency Fund
$2000 Adjustable King Size Bed Frame
$_600 Vacation Fund
$1000 Household Replacement Items
As for items that need to be replaced in the household, DH and I both need new desk chairs and possibly DS does, too. DD just had hers replaced not that long ago and it is still in really good condition. Then the other thing I'd like to replace is our kitchen sink faucet. I want a taller faucet that rises much further above the sink, maybe even with the pull down sprayer. If there is any money left after that I'd like to also get a new shower head/sprayer. I'd like something with more flexible tubing on the sprayer. But that can come out of regular household money if necessary.