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Viewing the 'Medical Issues and Spending' Category: LuckyRobin's Personal Finance Blog
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Viewing the 'Medical Issues and Spending' Category

Payday Report for 1/10/20

January 10th, 2020 at 09:35 am

So the new paycheck amount with the FSA money being taken out of it is $105 and some change, but the difference in paycheck amount is $87 and change because more being taken out pretax affected it post tax. That's not bad at all. We did get the FSA debit card thing sorted out. It was because it was Walgreens and they have sell other things, so we had to make sure it was run as a pharmacy purchase. Anyway, I've done up all the bills already since I could see the pending paycheck amount. I have a bit of money to transfer to saving tomorrow, but other than that the bills and budget are done and the yearly budget is done. Here's the where it all went:

$318.63 Tithe
_500.00 Utilities
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
_100.00 Household Envelope
_280.00 Chiropractor
_111.08 Internet (gotta do something about this!)
__36.00 Garbage
_100.00 Car Insurance Fund
_100.00 Gas Money
_100.00 Blow Money (Adults)
_120.00 Allowances (Kids)
1000.00 Monster Mom Loan
------------
3165.71 Total Money Out

Planning for Future Medical Expense

January 8th, 2020 at 09:45 am

I got nothing done today except make dinner and go to the chiropractor. I just don't have the energy yet and I think I will have to take it easy for a few more days. We aren't out of clothes yet and the towels can wait another day to be folded. We'll survive. I just wish I wasn't so cold. Even under an electric blanket turned up to high and with a space heater going in my room, my hands and feet are like ice cubes.

Tomorrow I have to take DD to physical therapy or I wouldn't even leave the house. I really don't want to sit there for an hour, but she wants me at the first appointment. Some days I just want to clip those apron strings hard, but with a disabled child I never will.

Mom is driving us all crazy right now. She's arguing historical facts and also things the End Times are right now and no one wants to listen to her anymore. I have to limit how much time I talk to her right now because she's going through an irrational period.

I think after we have finished paying off our debt to her we are going to take all of the bills except her TV/phone/internet and just pay them directly. Right now we pay for all of the garbage and then are giving her $500 a month for gas, electric, and water/sewer. But she is constantly complaining about how high everything is. I mean, I think she contributes about $50 a month to it total for the joint bills during the cold season and nothing during the warm season, but she just goes on and on.

So if we just take them and pay them it will be one less thing for her to complain about and then she can keep that $50. We're thinking about $200 in rent, too, maybe. It will mean achieving our goals a little slower, but will be worth the down tick on all the unnecessary stress she puts on us and herself freaking out over a 31 day billing month being more expensive than a 30 day billing month. Heaven help the March after February freakout.

We may need to install a handicapped ramp off the back porch, too, which will cost $1000. Mom is having issues getting up and down stairs and DD and I would also use a ramp if we had one. Mom doesn't want to pay for it, so if we do we'll have to save up for it or take that future month's contribution to the EF to pay for it. We are going to be here another six years so it is not the end of the world if we have to pay for it ourselves. We will get the use out of it. RA is a degenerative disease so I know that it would be nice just for me, really. Although, I can still do stairs fine, I don't like them and go down them sideways.

Oh, well. It's 1:45 a.m. I need to get to bed.

Slowly Getting Better, Some Budget, Some Medical, Some Planning, Some Rambling

January 7th, 2020 at 09:56 am

I am still exhausted, but DS and I had enough stamina to get dishes done today. We got 4 loads done. Everyone was sick for the past week, even DH, though no one as bad as me. I took it in fits and starts, though. It is the first productive thing I have done, besides make dinner, in a while. Tomorrow I will try to tackle laundry. There are at least 3 loads of towels to fold (DH did manage that much) and I need to put away the pile of clean clothes on my bed. I am done with the prednisone but I never got the energy rush of the previous times. That's a bummer because I have been only getting a few hours of sleep due to it. It would have been better to be productive, but Oh well. I just have 4 days left on the antibiotics. I hope that kicks it.

DD has been off wheat for 6 days now and continues to improve. DS's acne is clearing up. Neither one is having stomach issues at all and DD has not felt the constant nausea she's had for the past couple years, either. Can it really be so simple that this was what made her digest so slowly and painfully and bloat to a rock hard stomach? She doesn't have celiac at all, they tested for it, but obviously she does have an issue with wheat, otherwise stopping it would not have been so positive for her. If this is all it takes to stay out of the ER and stop spending so much of our medical budget on it, that's a miracle in itself.

Speaking of medical, it's weird to start having to spend for it again. We maxed out in July, I think it was, and everything had been free since. I know a few months of DD's physical therapy, which she starts on Wednesday will eat up a large portion of the deductible. Our HSA card is not working as they said it would. They said we could start using it on January 1st, up to the full amount of the yearly draw, but when DH tried to use it for 2 prescriptions, less than $25 total, but it didn't go through. He's going to try to get that sorted out tomorrow. We may just end up submitting everything each month, which will be a pain, but whatever.

Once I see what the exact new amount is of the Friday's paycheck on Thursday (things will change a bit due to the HSA withdrawals), I can complete my 2020 budget template and my January budget. They are pretty much the same, I will just be adjusting a bit. I think it is around $113, but it will also affect that amount of tax taken out, so I've got it roughly, just not perfectly. I prepared that part before Christmas, I think.

Tomorrow I will catch up the Medical Fund savings account by entering it all into the spreadsheet. I've let is slide, just making sure there was a hefty balance on the things we did buy, mostly OTC meds. Nowhere near the balance of nearly $2000 (haven't transferred the other $2000 in there, still in the online account), but now I have to reconcile the account. Which is fine.

DH and I really need to get on the ball to figure out our 25th Wedding Anniversary getaway. I was too tired to look at places, but it's mid-March, so maybe tomorrow. He has done some preliminary looking. All I really know is I want to be near a view of the water.

I also want DH to take me out to dinner for my 50th birthday mid-February. It will be a week after my mother's shoulder surgery so the kids will stay home to take care of her. I want a good ribeye or prime rib, a sweet potato, and either mixed veggies or their salad. Not their broccoli, they don't cook it long enough, and no bread. I don't want to have to cook myself so we will just go to Outback one county over.

I need to try to get myself to the library tomorrow. I haven't had a book since before Christmas, not that I could focus for long, but it has still been driving me crazy. I was so out of focus, I could not even concentrate on a movie plot. Watched a lot of mindless stuff, like Say Yes to the Dress, I Didn't Know I was Pregnant, and Paternity Court on Youtube. Yesterday, I was finally able to switch to documentaries and a movie (action adventure, so straight-forward plot).

Learning to Be Gluten Free in 2020 plus Health Update

January 3rd, 2020 at 08:41 pm

I dragged myself to the doctor on Monday and after 4 days on antibiotics and prednisone, I am starting to see a minor improvement. I had some wheezing in my upper chest, that wasn't quite bronchitis and a massive sinus infection. I waited too long to go, but I always think it is just a cold that never leaves. I am sleeping a lot, but in fits and starts. That's the prednisone. It always messes up sleep. I am starting to get a little strength back though, and my desire for real food instead of take out has come roaring back.

I did manage to make dinner two nights in a row, beef stew with gluten free flour for the gravy, and herb baked chicken, herb roasted potatoes (different herbs), and broccoli last night. Tonight's dinner is loaded baked potato soup, although I might make steaks on the side. Usually I don't, but that can be a very carb heavy meal if I just go with the bacon as the only protein source. It depends on how much energy I have. This will be my first time making it using gluten free flour in the roux. The stew gravy went well, though, so I can't imagine the roux will be bad.

I baked my first loaf of gluten free bread last night. It turned out pretty well despite me leaving out the sugar. I was wondering why it took so long to rise, but the yeast didn't have any sugar to eat. Next time it should rise in the allotted time frame. I didn't realize until I tasted it that I had done that, but when I thought back to it, I didn't remember putting sugar in with the warm water and yeast to proof it. It still bubbled without the sugar, so I know the yeast was active, just it would have been more active with it.

It looks like bread and it tastes like bread and is nice and soft, but I can definitely taste the eggs in it. I don't usually make egg breads. There are other recipes I will be trying to, but I will do this one again properly first. The interesting thing about gluten free bread is that if you cool it upright on a rack the top will sink, but if you cool it on it's side, rotating it occasionally, the top doesn't sink. Also, you have to wait three hours for it to cool before slicing it. Slice it sooner and it will crumble, but that goes away completely with the cooling time. I did a lot of research before starting this journey.

I will be attempting gluten free pizza dough tomorrow. I may do one with gluten free flour instead of two and do the second one with cauliflower crust. The second I know is good. On the agenda for when I feel a lot better will be learning how to make gluten free cookies, brownies, and cakes. Not often, though. Just on occasion. There is a birthday in February (mine) and March (DS's) that I want to make gluten free cakes for and I want to make sure they taste good first so I will have to experiment a bit.

DH and I need to start looking for a place to go to for our little holiday getaway for our 25th wedding anniversary in March. We don't want to go too far away, within a couple hours driving distance, but I am not sure if we want to go back to the place we were at before in March. It has quite a steep hill down to it and there is often snow on the ground still in March in that area so it might make it hard to get back up out of there and we don't have chains for the van. I do want to be by the water, though. It really recharges my batteries.

Money from MIL and Christmas Bonus

December 19th, 2019 at 08:45 am

MIL gave us a check for $6000 and the Christmas bonus was deposited for $911.26. The bonus was $1300 before taxes. I really wish they did not tax bonuses at 25%. I mean, maybe if your bonus is in the 5 digits, or even mid to high 4 digits, but when it isn't even the amount of a paycheck? The government is irritating at times. I know we'll get a better tax refund due to them taking so much, but I'd really rather have it now and not when we get that back. I complain about this every year.

So plans for the money are to have DH get his crown, around $1000, and my chipped tooth repaired, around $300. Then we'll put $2000 into the Medical Fund. It is at a little over $1800 so this will give us enough money to cover the deductible and the out of pocket max between this and the FSA. We'll put $2000 into the Emergency Fund, save some of the money for our romantic getaway in March for our 25th wedding anniversary, and order a few things I have been putting off.

Then since we won't have to be paying anything into the Medical Fund for next year after this coming payday, we will take the money that we were paying into that to pay on debt. DH and I have an agreement that we won't use money from his mom to pay the debt to my mom. That's not what it is for and it is not why she gave it to us. She wants us to use it for medical, for vacation, and to beef our EF back up.

I'm not sure where we are going yet for our trip, maybe the same place as in September, but it won't be far from home. I think we will just buy some really good food to take with us and a good skillet (can't trust what is in the rentals to not be warped). I am thinking some ribeye steaks, some crab or shrimp or lobster, potatoes, and good vegetables for dinners, bacon, toast, and eggs for breakfasts, and sandwich fixings or burgers for lunches. We both like my cooking better than restaurants and DH helps with the chopping and peeling for dinner and makes breakfast so it doesn't all fall on me.

I am very relieved to get this money, though. It takes a lot of the stress for next year away in one fell swoop.

Retirement has popped up a lot over the last couple of days, but after the vote last night, I am waiting to see what the stock market does when I get up in the morning before I update it. I just hope it doesn't put us back under $25K, though it was almost to $26K today before the vote.

Awesome Sale--Purchases--Ocarina Stuff--Computer Stuff

December 14th, 2019 at 07:32 am

I'll do a grocery rundown probably tomorrow after we've been to Costco, but there was a great sale at Fred Meyer today on Afrin. $4.99 a bottle. It is usually $10.99, so at this price we really stocked up. I got 10 bottles. We go through this stuff fast around here, due to allergies and colds. I know you aren't supposed to use it consistently, but my son and I are addicted to breathing so we do. None of the prescription nasal sprays work for us. Now we have a bit of a stockpile at a fantastic price.

I used some of my allowance money that I have been saving to order a tenor ocarina and a music book. I really like my bass one, and am progressing quickly, but it is a little too big for my hands, so I will probably pass that on to DH. I tried one of my son's tenor ones and it fits my hands a lot better. Although I am getting one that is less traditionally shaped, also, because it will be easier on my hands. It is shaped sort of like a spear head. It was modeled on the Adegan crystal (which I don't care about) and is hot pink. It's very pretty. This is what it looks and sounds like if you are curious about my latest musical obsession:

Text is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6_uZ9b6qFQ and Link is
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6_uZ9b6qFQ and my current one looks and sounds like this minus the triforce symbol:
Text is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4RUyqASPKM and Link is
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4RUyqASPKM

I was also tempted to get the 6 hole one that is shaped like a Tardis but it is in G Major, and all the song books are written in C Major. I may still get it for my birthday in February, just because I'm a Whovian from way back, but as a collector's thing more than a music thing. Although you can play Doomsday on it, so I might just learn to play that if it doesn't break my heart and that song easily does. Smashes it to bits and washes away the pieces with my tears.

Anyway the one I did buy and the 30 lesson music book cost a total of $87. Free shipping as they are having that until the 15th. I have $63 left of Christmas money, but I may just put it in my allowance folder and save it. I'm saving up for a new computer. Not hard or anything, just so that when this one goes I can replace it immediately. I reckon I probably have about a year left on it, assuming I don't spill anything on it. The DVD drive doesn't work and hasn't for about a year, which is annoying since I like to watch DVD's on my computer better than on a TV. And the mouse pad thing has been on the fritz for about 18 months so I use a regular mouse with my laptop.

I seriously think I may get a desktop this time. They seem to last a lot longer and the keyboards hold up to the amount of typing I do much better. I can't even count how many laptops I have worn the keys out on. Never had that happen on a desktop keyboard. I do like the convenience of a laptop, though. We'll see. I have quite some time yet to figure it out.

A Little Shopping, A Little Musing

December 12th, 2019 at 03:01 am

Not too much going on on the financial front today, but I did have to run to the store and spent $10.99. I had buy some breadcrumbs for the meatloaf I made for dinner tonight as I only had 1/3 cup and I needed a cup. They have stopped carrying the brand I normally have so I had to read all the ingredients on the different ones they had. We ended up going with Kikkoman as it only has four: wheat, salt, cane sugar, and yeast. Eventually I would like to find a good gluten free breadcrumb, but the one they had had xanthum gum which is derived from soy and triggers DD's soy allergy. I also picked up some of those Simply crunchy Cheetos for DD.

I still have quite a bit left in the grocery envelope, $100, and I refill it on Friday. I think that I will just get out $300 this time and throw the extra $100 into the Medical Fund.

Oh, we did find out what the bonus will be and how much additional (it's a percentage of income) they will put into the 401K, but we aren't allowed to talk about it until it has been issued. It's not quite as good on the money as last year, but still good. I don't remember what they put into the 401K last year. I'll have to ask DH. I think most of the bonus will go into the Medical Fund, though.

We still don't know if MIL is going to give us more money this year or wait until the start of next year or at all. That's why I'm throwing so much into the Medical Fund. I just want to be ready for it since DH needs a crown. Otherwise I'd throw it at the Mom loan which I still might if we find out from MIL before we get it.

I did order all the clothes I wanted last night. It is my Christmas present from MIL. I have a lot of shirts that I have been sewing up the holes in for a couple of years. They used to just be in the seams, but now the fabric is wearing out in other places. I love these shirts otherwise I would have replaced them long ago, but now I have to give up on them. So I went ahead and ordered 5 t-shirts and 6 long sleeved t-shirts. 4 of them are on back order, but that's okay, 3 of those were short-sleeved and what I need now is long-sleeved.

On the old shirts, I will cut off the backs and make them into handkerchiefs. We get to a point in the winter when our noses are too tender for tissues due to colds and having them is a Godsend. Or my other option would be to cut them into strips for a rug, but DH has yet to build my rug loom, so I don't see the point in that, although if he did than I could use the whole t-shirts.

I'm not even sure I'd want to take on a new project right now like making a rug since I am already typing a lot each week and learning to play a new instrument, though. I probably have enough on my plate as far as hobbies go.