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Archive for December, 2021

More Snow

December 30th, 2021 at 11:02 pm

I wish they would fix the time stamps to be accurate to the poster's location.  They've been off for two years and it is driving me crazy.  I'd like my posts to reflect the actual day and time of my post.

Anyway, we had more snow almost a half an hour after my last post and it was about 2 inches, and then 1 inch later that night, and last night it started snowing around 11:30 p.m. and my husband said it was still snowing at 8 a.m. when he started work.  It's not now, but it dumped another 8 inches.  Some of it is melting now because it is bright and sunny and I can see the icicles dripping, but that is just going to mean ice.

I'm glad we made it to the store when we did, even if the only root veggies we could get were sweet potatoes.  The parsnips were smaller than carrots and the turnips were tiny.  I was hoping to get out today to get cheese at Winco and see if they had them there.  So I guess we'll have to make do with the two turnips we have and the two giant parsnips.  We have carrots and we have a 65 pounds left of the potatoes we grew, so that's plenty.  I can stretch the parsnips by cutting them in half, so can get four meals out of them.  We never have them by themselves, but mixed with other veggies.  If it melts enough tomorrow we'll go, but otherwise no grocery shopping until February 1st, except for greens, milk, and eggs.

I've lost 6.8 pounds in the last two days.  The first day I wasn't on my diet yet, I'd just dropped down from 4 cans of soda a day to one.  I got back on them when Thanksgiving happened, and they are so addictive.  But then next day I was on my diet so most of the weight dropped of by this morning.  I really hope I can do it this time.

My whole family said they would try with me, but both my husband and son ate a ton of pancakes this morning and then DH had a sandwich for lunch.  That is not cutting back on carbs and that is not trying.  I guess I have to do this on my own again, which kind of sucks, but I can't let it derail me like it always does to have no support.  I know my daughter would try if the other two would, but if they don't she won't.  Even if she's the one who needs to the most for health reasons.  Oh, well.  The only person I can control is myself, so that is what I must do.

I think I'll spend the day looking at the two seed catalogs that came the day after Christmas.  That always makes me happy.  Although I won't be buying seeds this year unless it is one or two items.  I bought plenty last year.  I just hope the garden is big enough this year that I can plant everything I want to plant.

True date:  12/30/2021  True time:  3:02 p.m. 

Too Much Snow

December 28th, 2021 at 04:23 am

We've been snowed in since early Christmas morning, but today they finally plowed our road, so I will be able to get out tomorrow to take DS to the doctor and go to the store.  I need to buy some stuff for the pantry challenge, mostly fresh produce, but milk, yogurt and sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, parsnips, cabbage, apples, and oranges, which will all last a month.  I will have to buy some dairy and fresh greens during the challenge, but I hope to keep it to that.

I am assuming, of course, that DS's doctor is able to get in.  Then the next day I have an eye exam that I had to wait month's for, so hopefully the eye doc will make it in as well.  Other parts of the county are still unplowed, so if they live outside of town or up on the hills, it may be a problem.  I need the exam yearly to make sure my retinas aren't turning yellow due to the drug I am on for fibromyalgia.  As well as an eye exam for glasses/possibly contacts if my perscription hasn't changed too much.  Insurance will only pay for lenses or contacts, not both.  I will go with glasses if too much has changed.  I'd just like to have contacts for the days I go out and have to wear my mask for a long time.  Glasses fog up no matter how carefully you put your mask on.

My family and I have made a pledge that we are going to try to all eat better in the coming year.  Of course we all hope for weight loss, so there will be a lot more vegetables and a lot less sugar and if we have sugar it will be honey in homemade items, not storebought.  I used to do this so much and would really like to get back to it.  In fact, I need to make a batch of bread tomorrow as we are down to two slices, which DH will have for his breakfast.  I'll have to go to the recipe category on my blog to find my bread recipe as it has been so long since I made any.  I know it is techincally not January, but I'd like to get in the habit now.

I don't remember if I mentioned it, but after two years being gluten free my daughter healed her gut and is allowed to eat wheat again, which makes my life so much easier.  We will still use gluten free pasta, but she is actually able to eat regular bread now, thank goodness.  We just can't overload her system with it by her eating it every day.  I make an awesome gluten free pizza crust, so we may stick with that, but the great thing is that if I run out of gelatine, I could just make a regular one.

Not really much else going on.  I did a little spending and bought two gallons of unscented hand soap and some OTC meds off Amazon that haven't been in the stores for a while.  That is the household envelope and the medical fund respectively, for the money.  Altogether it was $103.49.

Tonight I plan to work on setting up the January budget.  I still don't know when the raise will show up as it wasn't on the last paycheck.  DH might have some overtime, this week which will show up on the paycheck on the 7nth if it does, so I still won't know proper amounts, although we can probably figure it out from the pay stub.

DH has to go to California for a week for work.  It sucks.  I thought his travel days were over.  I hope that we are able to make it.  It is hard for him to go when my daughter and I are both at somewhat disabled.  All I can hope for is that I don't have a flare up of either of my autoimmune diseases and that my son will not have a manic episode while DH is gone.  It is pretty well controlled now with meds, but he still spirals once in a while.

I'm going to miss him so much.  When he was going back and forth to Alaska for years and years, it was all we knew, but now that he has been here for the last few years, I don't have the hardened attitude anymore.  But at least we have video calling now.  At least I will get to see his face while he is away.  I hope I am feeling better by then.  I wish this anti-depressant would start working already.

Merry Christmas

December 26th, 2021 at 03:14 am

I hope you all have had a great Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Getting Ready for the Eat from the Pantry Challenge

December 24th, 2021 at 01:01 am

I plan to do one big shop before January with the last of December's grocery envelope money.  I'll probably go on the 30th.  I'm figuring out my produce so we can make it through the month without going to the grocery store for more than milk.

I can buy lettuce for the first two weeks.  The vacuum sealed bags from Costco will last two weeks sealed, so we can eat one the first week and one the second week.  We can get celery and bok choy for stir-fries for the first two weeks, carrots for the full month, frozen broccoli for the full month and frozen cauliflower if we can find it.  Otherwise I may have to blanch and freeze two heads of cauliflower.  We have plenty of home canned and non-home canned green beans to go through.  I'll buy cabbage and break into it on week 3.  I'll also buy some green onions for week one and some radishes for the whole month, eating the greens in the first week.  I'd like some parsnips and turnips as well and a couple of sweet potatoes. We do not need potatoes, we are still working through what we grew.  I will need onions, though.  And two bags of mixed veggies for making stir-fried rice.

For fruit, we'll have apples and oranges for the last half of the month and for the first half I can buy 2 pineapples (there is a sale and hopefully they look good), using 1 the first week and 1 the second.  For the first week I can buy bananas and golden kiwis.  We have home canned pears, nectarines, peaches, and plums as well as store bought canned pineapple.  I'll need to buy avocados in various stages of ripening.

I am going to make as much of our bread products as possible.  Now that my daughter's gut has healed, we have reintroduced wheat into the diet and it seems to be going well.  We still use a lot of gluten free things and will continue to do so, but she can have the occasional sandwich or hamburger bun or dinner roll made with wheat flour now.  Or pizza.  We try to keep it to twice a week.

I need to buy enough eggs to make it through the month and I need to see how much chicken is in the freezer and possibly a couple of hams.  We don't have to worry about beef, although I might buy some more bacon.  I need to check the freezer for that, too, and see how much sausage we have.  We have some salmon and we have spot prawns in the freezer, too, so will do that a couple of times.

We'll need tortilla chips and I'll need to see how much cheese we have as I'll need enough for a couple of pizzas and a lasagna.  We have lots of gluten free pretzels, but I'd like to have a couple of bags of potato chips and I'm sure DD will want her Simply Cheetos and I want to make sure we have the ingredients to make cookies.  Oh, and we need peanut butter.  We have lots of rice.

I can't think of anything else.  I'm going to work on a meal plan for the month of November and that might make remember some other gaps to fill.

I'd like to keep as much of the money for groceries as possible.  I budget $400 every two weeks, so if we can keep to the challenge, except for milk, that would be really good.  I've managed to keep around $600 in the past because I didn't plan as well ahead of time, but still did pretty good.  The main thing was making sure there were enough snack things to keep the other 3 happy.

But our goal in the new year is to improve our diets over all and a month without eating out will help with that by cutting out a lot of sodium.  We need to eat more vegetables because we have been skimping lately, especially green ones, or in the case of cabbage, red and green ones.  I will start my Aerogarden going tonight so that we will have salad greens by the start of week 4, maybe even week 3.  Some varieties of lettuce grow faster than others.

I hope that a month without eating out will put us back on track all the way around, nutritionally and financially.  And then continue on from there, maybe only getting take out once or twice a month.  I have to get past my too tired to cook mentality, which I feel all too often, but then when I force myself to cook, I'm almost always just fine.  It helps that I've been sleeping better since I got the adjustable bed frame.  I can elevate my legs a little and my head a little and it makes a world of difference.

If anyone wants to join me on the eat from the pantry challenge, go ahead.  There's a bunch of us doing it over on the Sutton's Daze facebook group and on youtube.  The goal is to stay out of the grocery store as much as possible for the month of January and save as much of your grocery budget as you can.  You can make exceptions for certain foods.  Some buy produce only, some buy milk and eggs only, some only buy bread.  You set your own challenge according to your ability.



Emergency Fund, Retirement and Net Worth Updates

December 23rd, 2021 at 11:09 pm

$19,212.52 Starting Balance

+__,_98.00 Amount Added


$19,310.52 New Balance

Retirement finally cracked $70K and now sits at $70,358.13, a rise of $745.72, which is just a little more than today's contribution.  We are up to an 11.2% rate of return for the year.  It had dipped down to 9%.  It's not like last year's, which if I remember right was 14%, but anything over 10% I consider good.  The company has not contributed the part of the Christmas bonus that is supposed to go into the 401K yet.  I was hoping they would have since they deposited the Christmas bonus on the 17th.

That means that net worth went up.

$126,736.00 Starting Balance

+___,843.72 Amount Added


$127,579.72 New Balance


New Freezer Purchase, Christmas Bonus, Physical Therapy, and Mental Illness

December 19th, 2021 at 07:44 am

We purchased our new freezer today.  We decided on a 21.3 cubic foot capacity GE upright freezer.  I really didn't want to deal with Frigidaire again anytime soon and maybe for the rest of my life.  That was a nightmare experience we don't want to go through again.  I was just relieved that after a five month song and dance we finally got out money back from their lemon of a freezer.

We decided to get a five year parts and labor service contract.  If something goes wrong, they will deal with everything.  We won't have to spend hours and hours on the phone trying to find the right people to fix things.  They simply will.  I will never, ever by an appliance from a big box store again.  Customer service is important and worth the slightly higher price.

Anyway, the total cost of the freezer was $1392.52.  $112.63 of that was sales tax, yeesh.  And the service contract was $179.95 of it.  The freezer itself was $1049.  We only got back just under $900, so I took the rest out of our hog fund and we will just have to  build it back up again, or maybe buy half a hog to start instead of a whole one.

It won't come until sometime in February.  It could have been June, so not so bad.  Hopefully our freezer karma will improve and everything will go according to plan this time around.

DH found out what his bonus will be.  It's $1000, minus bonus taxes, so maybe $600 is what we will end up with and .75% of his eligible hours worked this year will be added to the 401k.  Eligible hours do not include paid vacation days or paid sick leave hours.  It should be aroudn $750 to $850, which is around what we put in every two weeks ourselves, so that will be nice.  The bonus check should arrive in the mail any day now.

DH also found out that they will be raising the matching to 3% next year.  It has been 2% this year.  I'm not sure if we'll ever get back to the pre-Covid 5%, but the fact that the company is doing a lot better this year than last year is a good thing and that 1% more will make a difference.  That and DH's raise, whenever that kicks in.  I am hoping on the next paycheck, but DH didn't think to ask that because he was just so blown away by the amount.

I had a good physical therapy session this week.  I was able to do every excercise he asked of me, a far cry from the week before when everything was hurting.  Everything still hurts, but at a much lower level, and I'm functional.

I also had an okay therapy session.  I kept talking around what I wanted to talk about, which I stated at the beginning of the session, but then kept avoiding it.  And then I'd catch myself avoiding and try to steer myself back, was rough.  I've come to recognize that I have some PTSD from my abusive childhood, so facing some of the stuff that happened to me then is harder than I realized it would be.  Especially since I can't really let my anger out at the people who deserve it.  Hard to do that with a dead person and a person with early stage dementia.  But I need to stop using food to deal with it all.  Easier said then done.  It's been my coping mechanism for most of my life.

I wish the anti-depressant would hurry up and kick in.  I'm tired of feeling this way.  Mental illness is a B.  I could really use a bout of mania right about now.  Or even just a general feeling of okayness.  That'd be great, too.  I know I'm on the path to wellness, but it is taking too long.  I just want to be there already.  I just want to be me again.

Meal Planning, Loosely

December 16th, 2021 at 05:14 am

Physical therapy beat me up today and I really didn't feel like cooking when I got home, so it was kind of a leftover and canned food sort of meal tonight.  DS had leftover pizza, DD had leftover chicken and potatoes, DH has leftover ravioli and a couple tuna fish sandwiches and I had a can of chili with a toasted cheese sandwich.  DH made my food for me, since my left shoulder is not working today, which means pain medicine, which means no stove for me.  It was good to get the leftovers out of the fridge and not create anymore.  Not every dinner has to be gourmet or freshly cooked.

Hopefully, I will feel more like cooking tomorrow.  I need to make up the lobster ravioli I bought from Costco, so it will probably be that.  I plan on making a pesto but with parsly instead of basil and Romano instead of parmesan and garlic instead of pinenuts.  I'll still use olive oil.  Not sure if that actually counts as pesto, but it is what I have in the house and can be easily made in the blender.  So basically all I would really have to do tomorrow is boil water and blend the pesto ingredients.  I just don't think lobster ravioli would go well with a tomato based sauce and cheese, like the chicken ravioli does.

As for other upcoming meals I will make chicken and root vegetables, because I have some parsnips and turnips and a sweet potato that is starting to sprout and of course I'll throw in potatoes with it.  Then maybe spaghetti with a chunky meat and vegetable tomato sauce that I simmer for a while.  I'd also like to make a chicken curry, maybe on the weekend when I have help.  Or possibly the Malaysian chicken.  And we'll probably get a breakfast for dinner with either pancakes or waffles with ham, and cucumber slices (since melon is out of season).

I think the only things I need to buy for those meals are lemon grass and fresh ginger if I decide to the do the Maylasian chicken.  If I buy ginger, I think I will buy a bigger amount than normal.  I'd like to try my hand at pickling ginger.  I had some pickled ginger from a fantastic new local place that serves a mix of Japanese and Korean food and it was quite good (excellent non-raw sushi, the best tempura prawns and spring rolls I have ever eaten, and very tasty octopus balls) and it clears the sinuses right out (though not as much as the wasabi does).  I figure if I have a jar of pickled ginger in the fridge than I can take a slice or two out as I need it when my nose gets stuffy, which is every morning, really.

I'd like to make up a batch of sauerkraut, too.  I never liked the kind my mother made when I was a kid, because she boiled it and canned it.  I'd be making mine using the fermenting method so it will never be cooked.  I love cabbage, so I think it is really the way she made it that turned me off it.  And if I don't like it, I'm still only out the cost of one cabbage.  Cabbages, at least, are still fairly cheap compared to other produce.

I think I will go to bed early tonight.  DD's doctor had to reschedule her telemed earlier this week due to an adverse reaction to the third Covid booster shot and it is very early in the morning, which sucks.  There is a reason we make afternoon appointments.

I hope everyone is doing well.  There hasn't been a lot of posting in the blogs.


Holiday Gear Up is Going Well

December 13th, 2021 at 11:55 pm

The last of our Christmas presents have arrived from Amazon, so no more Christmas shopping to worry about.  Now I just have to get our wrapping paper from the storage unit and get everything wrapped and that portion of the holiday is taken care of.  I have been working down our Christmas paper supply for the last few years.  We used to have two big containers of paper and now we are down to one that is about 3/4 full.  I haven't bought paper in about five years now.  I just want to use up all or most of the old stuff before buying more.  It is expensive.  Plus is we ever don't have enough, MIL has tons and tons of paper that is open to everyone in the family to use.

We finished putting up our front yard lights and decorations last night.  It took about 4 weekend days between rain and hail flurries, but it looks amazing.  Everyone keeps slowing down to look at our house, which isn't a bad thing since people tend to speed down our road.

Our elk is malfunctioning, so if we can get that working we will stick it up front, but it may take more work than anyone is willing to do until next week.  We have to take it apart and then check all the light bulbs in the back half to see which one is out and then see if we can fix the antlers and ears so they will stay in place, which may require a soldering iron, which we don't have, but a small one is not that expensive.  I am still hoping we can figure it out with zipties.  If we can get it working we will just pop it up front and pound in a t-post to secure it to.  All of our lawn ornaments get secured to t-posts because of the amount of wind we get this time of year.  They are too unweildy and will fall over, otherwise.

Either way we did the gutters and porch, including the columns with multi colored lights and then the deck rail is done with blue icicle lights.  One side of the deck has the back of the porch swing facing the road and on it we have mounted a star of Bethlehem with angels on either side slightly lower facing it, blowing horns.  Then on the bannister rails there is a giant red lit bow.  We can't do much else there because of the rose bushes.  On the two porch columns we have a Santa face and a red cardinal.  On the other side of the deck on the rail we have a polar bear with a multi-colored ball and then on the bannister rails are candy canes alternating three red, three green, three red, and three green.  Blue icicle lights drape the rail that goes down the front steps.

In the yard we have wrapped bushes.  We have one yellow, one green, one purple, one blue, and one multi-colored.  We have a couple more bushes we could wrap, but not enough extension cords, I don't think.  Our lawn ornaments are a 3 foot tall lit Christmas oranament, a 3 foot tall lit snow man with a blue cap and red scarf, and a five foot tall Victorian lamp post.  I'm pretty sure you can see the snow man from space, it is so bright.  Everything is on timers so we don't have to worry about turning it off and so it will be out in time to not disturb the neighbors' sleep.

The only things we couldn't do are the peaks of the house.  I have a tool coming for that, but it is for next year.  We have enough lights to do the back porch and handicapped ramp, which would be just for us, not for the enjoyment of others.  That is the way we go in and out of the house and with it getting so dark these days and the back porch light being so dim and currently unaccessible to put in a better bulb, this would be helpful at least until it is light until five again or we clean off the back porch.

The next big task is to put up the Christmas tree and decorate it.  It will look so pretty in the picture window and add to the ambiance of the yard for anyone passing by.  We are digging our own ornaments out of storage this year instead of using Mom's.  We will be using the green tree and not the white one this year, since the green is pre-lit and fast assembly with two pieces and the white one is the kind where you have to put all the individual branches into place.

We don't do real trees due to allergies and the mess and I'm a little put off by cutting down a tree only to throw it away.  When we lived in the mountains and had a wood stove, that was different, because we would end up using the tree to heat our home once it had dried out and the ashes would then go into the compost for the garden.  We don't have that anymore, so I would feel like I'd be wasting a perfectly good tree for a couple weeks of pretty.  It's my mentality to be able to find multiple purposes for things.  Reuse, recycle, or repurpose.

After the tree is up and decorated and the presents are wrapped then I feel like we can just sit back and enjoy the holidays.  I think our only ritual left is to go around and look at all the Christmas lights before the 22nd as a lot of people don't have their lights on if they go away for the holidays so waiting until Christmas or Christmas Eve, you may miss quite a few and going the 26th or after a lot of people have already shut off their lights.

I am thinking about making cookies this year.  I want to try making these chocolate peanut butter balls.  I think they are called Buckeyes.  But I want to try making them gluten free.  If I can find candy wax.  They are basically Reese's peanut butter cups in ball form.  Since I can't eat those anymore due to the chemcial BHTQ (I think that's the one), I'd love to have something similar.  And there is a gluten free sugar cookie with royal icing recipe I'd also like to try.  If I have the stamina, I'm thinking of making rughelach, too, but not gluten free.  I saw one with cinnamon sugar and pecans for the filling and since DD doesn't like pecans, there is no point in making that one gluten free.

I'd also like to try my hand at making challah bread sometime soon, just because I love the look of braided breads, again, not gluten free.  Don't know if that will be for the holidays or not.  I've just always wanted to try it.

Last week was a busy week of appointments and this week is, too.  I've got physical therapy, regular therapy, and DD has a telemed I have to be there for.  At least last week I got to meet up with my eldest sister.  We went to Shari's and we had soup and I had orange juice and she had a strawberry milkshake.  I picked up the tab, since I know she doesn't make a lot of money.  She did find a new job where she doesn't have to get vaccinated, but it isn't making any more than she was making at the old job.  We talked for a couple of hours.  It was dead in the restaurant so we weren't keeping a table occupied and I left the waitress a $12 tip on an $18 bill, so don't feel bad about taking it up that way, either.  She kept us pretty well supplied with water after we finished eating.

My eldest sister is a little further into conspiracy theories than I am comfortable with, especially regarding the Covid vaccines.  I understand the medical reasons people may not want to get it, and I don't think it should be mandated, and of course I wish there were longer trials, but I don't believe it contains a tracker or is population control, that's crazy talk.  They have the ability to be tracking us all day anyway through facial recongition software, our online activities, our phones, and maybe even our credit card Rfid chips if they want to, so what would be the point of injecting anything?  The tech isn't even there.  Probably.

So, mostly I would stear the conversation away from that if she veered that way, because we are trying to build a relationship and that doesn't work very well when one of us starts talking cuckoo bananas.  I guess her daughter is even further into the conspiracy theory stuff than she is.  I haven't seen my neice in a couple of years because of Covid.  I guess when you spend two years locked down at home, on the internet, you can only go one of two ways.  My other sister is even worse and that's one of the reasons we went no contact, because she got super offended that I didn't believe her crazy talk and I wanted her kid vaxxed if he was going to keep living with us.  She didn't want him living with her, but wanted to dictate how he lived with us.  He's living with my eldest sister now and still hasn't gotten a job.  She's starting to see what we were talking about.

I just don't get being perfectly able-bodied and 30 years old and not working.  Not learning to drive.  Not being self-sufficient.  Just leeching off of family.  I'm not sure how he'll find a job now without being vaccinated.  Not that he wants to.  Eventually his savings will run out.  Eventually my eldest sister's patience will run out.  I guess then we will drive him back to his parents and dump him there.  He should ultimately be their problem if anyone's.  Or one of his brothers.  Oh, well.  It's not my problem anymore.


Emergency Fund, Retirement, and Net Worth Updates

December 12th, 2021 at 05:23 am

$18,982.22 Starting Balance

+__,230.30 Amount Added


$19,212.52 New Total

$1310.18 to go to hit my main goal of six month's of expenses, which is $20,522.70.  After that we will start working on doubling that.  I had really hoped to hit six month's of expenses this year, and we still might if the Christmas bonus is big enough.  I know we built it a lot this year, because we ended 2020 at $9,465.32.  We've more than doubled it this year at $9,747.20 contributed.  So it's good, it's really good, but I wanted that goal, you know?  If we get close enough, I may dip some money out of the propane grill envelope to meet that, since we never did buy it and I can make that up before grilling season.  We'll see.

As for retirement, we are finally making headway on paper, though we lost a lot of money.  We gained a lot of stock, so it'll all even out eventually.  But we are up by about $75 more than our Friday contribution.  The new balance on the retirement account is:


That is up $814.07.  My hope to hit $70K by the end of the year is possible, but improbable given the volatility.  If it was static and just added next payday's contribution we would do it, but not if it goes down and down and down like it has been doing and then slowly climbing back up.  C'est la vie.  Que será, será. Etc.

So that means net worth is up $1, 044.37 to $126,736.23.  Which means $23,263.77 to my next big net worth goal of $150,000.

So we are trucking along.  All in all, I shouldn't complain, but it is human nature to do so.  I just want to be there already.  But we really have come a long way this year so far.  Can't believe it is almost over.



Payday Report for 12/10/2021

December 12th, 2021 at 04:46 am

As per usual reminder, I run a zero based budget, which means I assign every single penny of each paycheck a function.  While I do keep a cushion in my account I act like it doesn't exist.  For this payday, neither kid gets an allowance as they borrowed against it to add to all of their combined Christmas money from various sources so they could buy one expensive item each while it was on sale on Cyber Monday.

Additionally, I added an extra $50 in gas money this week, when we usually only do $100 on the second payday of each month.  This is to make up for various upcoming trips to MIL's house for Christmas and to help decorate her place with lights and a couple of trips to storage to get our own lawn ornaments and lights out.

Otherwise it is business as usual.  Except I finally had some money to put in the Emegency Fund in the triple digits.

$277.28 Tithe

_500.00 Utilities

_400.00 Grocery Envelope

_500.00 Medical Fund

__75.00 Household Envelope

_310.00 Monthly Family Chriropractic Plan

_118.18 Internet

__45.00 Garbage Fund

_167.00 Car Insurance Fund

__50.00 Spending Money DH

__50.00 Spending Money Me

__50.00 Gas Money (Extra)

_230.30 Emergency Fund


2772.76 Total Money Out


December 9th, 2021 at 10:51 pm

DH was finally told what his raise was going to be.  He's getting a 9% raise!  Combined with the 2% across the board cost of living raise they did in July when they did performance reviews, that means in 2021 he will be making 11% more than we started 2020 out with.  Which is great after no raises for 3 years.  DH says this puts him at $127,000 salary, although he is hourly so it can be over that with overtime.  I believe he started this year at $114,400, so that's a big difference.

I'm not sure when it goes into effect.  I am assuming on the first paycheck earned in January, but it might be sooner.  It would be awesome if it was on tomorrow's paycheck, but no counting chickens before they hatch.

My base estimate is that we will have about $533 more net in the paycheck every 4 weeks and $808 gross.  That's assuming taking out 1/3 for taxes and however it will effect the 15% taken out for retirement.  It's a broad estimate.  I won't know anything until I see actual numbers.

I feel like this is finally going to give us some room to breathe.  We can get the Emergency Fund fully funded to six months expenses next year and fix some things around the house and seal the sun roof on the van that leaks into the seatbelt well.  And then start saving up some serious money.

I've just felt like for so long we haven't been able to actually save for anything.  I know a large portion of that is that we are slamming 15% into retirement and that technically is a form of savings, but it is a non-accessible form until retirement.  And that's a choice we made, but it feels the same as it did when we were paying off debt.  Tight and like we barely had our heads above water.

I don't know.  Part of me thinks we should make sure we max out our retirement with this, but I just feel like if we go completely that route, I will buckle under it.  The relief I am feeling at the news is so strong, like we can go on without burden, is more important than buckling it down so tightly again.

What I can't do is let the money fritter away through our fingers.  So I will plan and plan and plan some more.  And adjust accordingly.


What a Busy Week

December 5th, 2021 at 01:07 am

There were appointments every day this week and man was it exhausting.  I had two physical therapy sessions, one regular therapy session, one doctor's appointment for me, and one doctor's appointment for DD, who has bronchitis and a negative Covid test.  I've been put on prednisone for 10 days to try to help with some of the inflammation I've been having due to the rheumatoid arthritis acting up so much in this cold weather swing, so I am feeling semi-decent, even if I do look like a puffer fish.

Last night DH and I to Costco and did a big shop.  I used the ride on cart and we filled that basket, plus the basket of another shopping cart.  I haven't been to Costco in months.  We spent all but $50 of the grocery budget in one go, but I have lots of fruits and vegetables, some carne asada and two types of raviolis.  And 4 cases of PH water, which was nearly $50 of the cost. 

And 2 cases of Charmin.  It's the first time they've had Charmin in a couple of months according the cashier.  They had a limit of 5, though we only got 2.  We might go back for more later.  I like to keep 5 cases in the house during cold and flu season and we were down to one.  Charmin is the only TP we can use that doesn't have some harsh agent in it that causes a rash.  Well, that and MD but we can't find that anywhere for the last few years.  They might not make it anymore.

I was really excited to find some uncured paleo bacon (no sugar) and some uncured paleo Candian bacon.  And also a turkey and a roast beef deli meat pack with no sugar.  I am going to restart my diet on Monday.  I am not doing paleo, I just like to keep my high carb intake down to one meal a day, no more than 60 grams, and the other meals to be no sugar with lots of low carb vegetables.  I got a couple of salad kits, a Ceasar (won't eat the dressing or croutons, but others will) and a chopped Meditarrean salad mix that had a lot of crunchy veggies in it like cabbage, broccoli slaw, carrots, and non-romaine lettuce.  So I will mix those together.  I love salad and I make a simple dressing that has very low carbs, but tastes good.  I also stocked up a little on Kerrygold butter both salted and unsalted.

After that we headed out to storage with the truck to start bringing in our outdoor Christmas decorations.  The elk takes up almost the whole bed of the truck, but we were able to put the flat large ornament under it and tuck some other small things around it.  We had the bottled water back there, so there wasn't a ton of extra room.  Tonight we will be going back out to bring in the lamp post, the icicle lights, all the the other things like the star, the angel, the Cardnial, the Santa face, and the candy canes.  Plus the extension cords.

After we got home with the elk and put the groceries away and rested, we headed out to Lowe's.  We picked up a large room space heater for us and another one for Mom.  It has made a tremendous difference and I am no longer worried about the pipes freezing.  We heard from the furnace people and it might actually be two more weeks.

We picked up some more lights while there and got a new standee yard decoration.  This was a bear dressed in a band uniform sitting on a drum, so we call him a little drummer bear.  I try to buy one standee a year.  And we bought new lights for the bushes, because the solar ones just did not work well last winter.  Too much bad weather and too little sunshine.  We forgot to buy clips for the gutters though so we will go get those tonight when we go back out to storage.  Then hopefully tomorrow we can get the decorations up.  It's supposed to snow on Monday, so I'd like that done first.

At some point this weekend I'd like to go look for a freezer, too, now that the money has been refunded to us.  So thankfully that whole freezer saga is done.  Only took them 5 months.  If we can at least get one ordered that would be nice.

Oh, and we bought an electric blanket for DH since his quit working.  It should be here from Amazon on the 6th.

It has been spendy, but everything was either budgeted for or was saved up for, so it's all good.

I hope DH gets a decent Christmas bonus this year.  It would be cool if we could dump some more money into the EF.  They generally give a cash bonus and a 401K bonus.  Or you can choose to have the cash bonus go into your 401K, too, in which case the government doesn't get their greedy little paws on a huge chunk of the bonus (bonuses are taxed higher).  Last year the take home bonus was around $500, I think, but the year before it was $1500.  They supposedly did a lot better this year than last, so I am hopeful.

They are supposed to give out raises at the end of the year, too.  Not everyone is getting one, but it was strongly implied at DH's performance review that he would be.  I don't think any raise could keep up with runaway inflation right now, but anything would help.  It's not like DH doesn't have a good income, but when you put 15% into retirement and tithe 10%, that only leaves you with 75% to live on and that does make it tight sometimes.  It is like how we were living when we were paying down debt for the most part.

I guess that is the trade off, though.  Sacrifice now, so we don't have to sacrifice when we are in retirement.  I guess it just feels super tight because we had to set aside most of the money MIL gave us for medical expenses instead of just being able to use it.  But DS needs braces and DH needs a crown and I need a new mouth guard because mine is starting to crack.  Mine will only cost $400 though.  The crown will be $1500 and the braces I don't know yet, but I've got $6000 set aside for that.  I hope it won't cost that much, but that is what we paid for DD, although her teeth were way worse.

We need to get DS separated from the grocer's union so he can go get a restaurant job.  Did  you know that if you take a non-union job after joining that union that they can sue you?  That sucks.  He does not want to go back to work at a grocery store.  All the fast food places are hiring and they are non-union.  The McDonalds nearby is over $15.69 an hour for regular shifts and $16.69 for overnight shifts.  He was making $17.79 at the grocery store, so that's not too big a cut.  Plus he won't have to go outside much.  He had to get the carts at the grocery store and was always getting soaked, even with the rain jacket.

If he can get a job there it would be ideal.  Either that or the DQ that is a block away from the McD's.  He needs to start earning money so that he can get a car and then start saving up for school to become an electrician.  But first he has to get his GED.  Now that he is properly medicated for ADHD and BiPolar, he's got a chance of focusing long enough to do that.  Although I think McD's also has a program for getting your high school diplomma so he might be able to do that, too.  I'd prefer that to the GED, but at this point I just want him to finish.

November Interest to Emergency Fund

December 5th, 2021 at 12:17 am

$18,977.92 Beginning Balance

+_____4.30 Interest Income


$18,982.22 New Balance

That brings net worth to $125,691.86.  But not really because retirement is in freefall right now due to all the bad news coming out of this administration the past couple of weeks with the economy and the new Covid variant and possible lockdowns again, but I'm not going to deal with updating that until year's end because it might still recover.  I hope next year is better and they can get the economy back on track.  I am no fan of Biden, never have been, but I never want a president to fail because it means the country fails.  And it wrecks the stock market.  I think we've lost about $2000 in the last four weeks and that is with putting in just over $1500 in that time period.

I have to recalculate at year's end anyway, because I'm not sure what the vehicle values will be at that point.  The truck has been holding steady for the last couple of years.  The van seems to be going up in value, which is weird, but maybe it is because used Siennas with very low mileage are of such value right now.