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Testing for date and time stamp accuracy.
Is anyone else having the issue of logging in, writing your blog entry, and it logging you out when you try to post it, thus evaporating your entry?
Vacation was nice, but back to reality.
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
_300.00 Medical Fund
__75.00 Household Envelope
_100.00 Gas Money
_100.00 Adults' Blow Money
_130.00 DS's Allowance
__40.00 DD's Allowance
_401.00 Clothing for DD and DS
_400.00 Lawnmower/Yard Fund
_100.00 Car Maintenance Fund
_506.32 Emergency Fund
3061.34 Total Money Out
The EF deposit puts us at only needing $6,241.21 to hit our goal of 6 month's expenses. I'd like to make that by the end of the year, but who knows? It really depends on overtime. But that was the choice we made when we decided to put 15% into retirement now instead of after the EF was funded to 6 months.
One good note is we have hit our out of pocket max on medical for the family so my colonoscopy/endoscopy, which was rescheduled to Monday, will be free. And we still have $635.25 in our FSA which can go towards DD's glasses or dental. I have $600 in the Medical Fund, too, and will continue to save for that towards next year's deductible and out of pocket max.
DS is going to need braces, but with what he has, he can do Invisalign or the like, which will be cheaper. Not that anything is cheap when it comes to orthodontics. After DD has her lumbar puncture on the 7th, I will look into getting a consult. We will also be able to get our Covid vaccines after the 7th. We'll be getting the Moderna one, even though it throws you down the stairs on the second dose if you have an overactive immune system and sometimes if you don't. After doing my research, I still feel it is the best of the ones available for someone with autoimmune diseases.
I am still following a meal plan pretty closely to keep food costs down. I haven't posted them for a while. As you know my normal grocery budget is $400 every two weeks for an adult family of four. My goal has been to save $100 out of that into my fund to buy a side of beef, or maybe a whole one, by the end of summer. I also save any extra from that grocery budget that I didn't spend. For the month of February I was able to save $242 into my Beef Fund, bringing the total to $1002 saved so far.
Day One: BBQ Pork Ribs (Hak's Organic BBQ sauce), baked potatoes, Normandy vegetables, apples
Day Two: Mexican Food, MIL's treat
Day Three: Gluten Free Baked Lasagna, salad
Day Four: 4 Meat Meatloaf, fried potatoes, green beans, apples
Day Five: Homemade gluten free Pizza with pepperoni, ham, sausage, red onions, bell peppers, and fresh basil, pineapple
Day Six: Chicken stew with parsnips, sweet potatoes, potates, celery, onions, garlic, thyme, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper, broccoli, and oranges
Day Seven: Beef Chuck Roast, baked sweet potatoes, green beans, bananas
We had a whopping $2.75 in savings account interest this month. I've added it the Emergency Fund.
$11,322.98 Previous Balance
+__,__2.75 Interest Added
$11,325.73 New Balance
I haven't been posting much as I've been under the weather. Both literally and figuratively. We had a foot and a half of snow dumped on us on the 13th and 14th and the extreme cold caused a rheumatoid arthritis flare and a fibromyalgia flare at the same time. Then I came down with a cold which feels like it might be heading into a sinus infection, because that's just how I roll.
Not much has been happening here, anyway. I've been planning and purchasing online for the garden. I've ordered my seed potatoes and my sweet potatoes for the summer. I am going to be growing beauxregard (I think that is how it is spelled) sweet potatoes. They are a 90 day sweet potato that does good in the north and stores well. Most sweet potatoes take 120 to 150 days, so are not good candidates for here unless you have a green house. I have not grown them before. I hope they do well, because you can get a lot if you plant them properly.
For potatoes I ordered Kennebec, Yukon gold, red La Soda, and Gold Rush. Kennebec and La Soda are good for long-term storage. Under the right conditions they can last until the next growing season and our basement has the right conditions. The others will be eaten fresh first as well as canned.
I've got five thornless blackberry canes coming and 3 huckleberry bushes. I am pretty excited about both. We took out the thorny blackberries two years ago and haven't had any since. And I've wanted huckleberry bushes for ages. I love huckleberries and they make a fantastic jam. I don't know if there will be much production the first year, they said some, but I'm not sure how big the bushes will be. They may be quite small considering I paid $25 for 3.
I am hoping we will get the seed starting station set up this weekend. The grow lights have arrived so then all I would need was an extension cord, the seed starting trays and the starting mix to get going. I'd like to start my peas, spinach, bunching onions, and lettuce immediately. Then shortly after that the brassicas (broccoli, kohlrabi, cauliflower, kale). In about two weeks I can start my sweet meat squash, tomatoes, melons, and zucchini so they will be ready to plant out at the start of May.
Also this weekend DH needs to go to the industrial part of town and look for free pallets, since we will be building our beds out of pallet wood. Once a couple of the beds are built we can start filling them with spoiled hay and free one year old horse manure. Plus whatever is in the compost bins and any branch trimmings from the rose bushes and apple trees (once it is warm enough to prune them). Then we'll top them off with good garden soil.
My method of gardening is a cross between hugelkulture, permacutlture, raised beds, French biointensive, and lasagna gardening. It works for me, but it takes a lot of biological input to build it all from scratch. It's going to cost a lot to get it going, but after that it'll be down to just the cost of seeds each year and compost which I make a lot of myself. And I can get as much free well-rotted horse manure as I need from the stables around here. Which is great, since I no longer have rabbit manure available to me.
Building the fence and buying the cattle panels is what is going to cost a lot, but in the end it will all be worth it.
As you all know by now, we garden. And it saves us a lot of money. For the cost of a large packet of green bean seeds, I grow and can enough green beans for the whole year. I grow enough corn for fresh eating and some for the freezer to have later in the year. I grow and freeze enough zucchini most years to have it once a week all year. And I grow enough tomatoes to do 52 pints of diced canned.
That's all well and good, but I need to grow enough for making tomato sauce and ketchup. I need to grow enough broccoli for the freezer. While I had a good potato harvest, it was not enough to get us through a year without buying. And I skipped onions and long-storing winter squash last year. And the amount of strawberries I grew was not enough. Well, this year I need to grow enough of that, too. And this year we'll be doing our own seed starting.
But first we needed to increase the size of the garden. And we needed to start clean up on last year's garden. We currently have a 20 x 48 foot garden, with 2 old broken down raised beds. We need to finish tearing those out and then put black plastic over the entire area to kill the weeds. Then we are going to bulid raised beds out of free pallet wood and use linseed oil to help preserve the wood, since it is not toxic.
And we needed to clear a new 20 x 20 foot plot just for the potatoes. So that got weed eated, raked up, and then we put down black plastic on a 10 x 20 foot section. We need to finish putting it down over the rest of that area as soon as we get another sunny day.
My son and I managed to get the corn stalks from last year pulled out as the ground was finally soft enough. So our weed pile to take to the green dump is quite high. The next nice day, the bean poles, vines, and strings need to come down, too, so we can weed eat that area and cover it all with black plastic.
It takes longer than you think to get the plastic put down properly and DH has to be available to help and not working. At least the days are long enough to have his help for an hour or so after he is done with work for the day now. And it will only keep lasting longer so stuff can really start getting done. Presuming we have no freezes or snow in the meanwhile.
If you would like to see our progress I made a youtube video.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IJTktQNctw I would appreciate any views and likes you could give it. And thank you so much for watching the last one, it made quite a difference.
Okay, so we have the actual numbers with the paycheck today and it was actually a couple hundered less than DH had calculated, but I am still able to make it work. I have readjusted my 2021 budget template. This is what went out today:
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
_300.00 Medical Fund
__75.00 Household Envelope
_280.00 Monthly Family Chiropractic Plan
_150.00 Car Insurance Fund
_100.00 Gas Money Envelope
_100.00 Spending Money Adults
_100.00 Gift/Christmas Envelope
_100.00 Clothing Envelope
__90.00 Allowances Kids
__101.10 Emergency Fund
That's more that went out than came in, but I had half the money set aside for the garbage from last month's budget to cover that since we are only charged every two months.
I forgot to add interest income to the last EF update. Even though my account balances keep going up, my interest income keeps going down. It's sad.
$10,656.32 Previous Balance
+__,__2.28 Interest Added
$10,658.60 New Balance
Since 11/20/20 the retirement account has gone up $929.03, $220 of which was contributions.
$39,848.76 Total Retirement (minus company stock)
$151.24 to go to hit $40K. I hope things continue to climb so we can make up some more of the lack of progress that there was due to the Covid lockdowns earlier in the year. And I hope the new lockdowns don't make it all tank again.
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
_300.00 Medical Fund
__75.00 Household Envelope
__71.99 Life Insurance DH
__60.46 Life Insurance Me
_100.00 Car Maintenance Envelope
_100.00 Emergency Fund
1600.00 Mattress Fund
$3146.04 Total Money Out
Can someone please explain to me again how to post a photo? I know some of you are doing it, but it doesn't seem to work like it used to. I chose a photo and it puts the code there but doesn't actually save the photo to the blog or show up as an image in the control panel.
I asked James and he said that the guy that keeps "spamming" actually is tech support, so it is him working on fixing the blogs, finally. As annoying as it is, it isn't spam.
Of course this field is missing data.
This is the second two week paycheck. DH got 20 hours of overtime this pay period. This is the first week that money was taken out for the 401K. We are having 5% (because that is the match) taken out. It will go up when we have finished paying off the Mom Loan. The next paycheck on the 7th will be when the insurances start being taken out. We will have medical, dental, and vision (all separate), plus some additional life insurance on DH. This will bring up the amount of life insurance coverage on DH to $400,000. I want to get more on DH (it should be 10 times your income), but it may be a while before we can.
$1000.00 Monster Mom Loan
__400.00 Grocery Envelope
__400.00 Medical Fund
__100.00 Household Envelope
__100.00 Car Insurance Fund
___56.83 Life Insurance DH
___45.30 Life Insurance Me
___50.00 Allowance DH
___50.00 Allowance Me
___90.00 Allowance DS
___30.00 Allowance DD
__100.00 Clothing Envelope
__100.00 Christmas Envelope
__100.00 Laptop Fund
$3482.94 Total Money Out
I did go out today and pick up ice, watermelon, and a fan. I went with a cowboy style bandanna on and no one really gave me any weird looks. More "I wish I had thought of that" looks, than anything else. I ordered some masks with filters off of Amazon and paid for the fast shipping and they should be here on Thursday. Hopefully earlier in the day than later. As long as they are here before the big grocery shop on Friday, though.
We made it pretty well through the two week grocery shop and I'm going to try it again on Friday. There are some good beef and fish sales this week and chicken is always cheap at Winco. We did run out of some things, so I will adjust my shopping list accordingly, but it was nice not to feel like I was constantly running to the grocery store.
I need to figure out my new two week meal plan based off the ads and what we have on hand. That worked out pretty well for us. I will have to go to Costco this week as we are down to just one pound of butter, so I will probably get broccoli florets and possibly cauliflower florets while there. I hate cutting them up and the stuff they do there is cheaper than getting full crowns elsewhere. I also need to get some Ziploc bags out of the household budget. Not much else, though.
Well, maybe a new printer, but that comes out of the Laptop Fund, and only if they have an HP. The Canons keep breaking after only a year. They never used to be like this, but the last three have been, so I'm done with brand loyalty. My laptop is an HP anyway. I'm getting tired of not being able to scan or print anything, especially recipes.
We did do a couple meals of takeaway this week. It was on canning days and I was wiped. We got Pizza Hut one night and McDonalds another. I will try to not do that this week, though. I don't want to fall back into old habits.
I am 12 days into my diet and have lost 9 pounds. I hope it sticks this time. I am so tired of being overweight and I know it doesn't help with my immune system issues. I can't really exercise. It is too hot inside and outside is still having ashfall. I might go to the mall and walk if I get some time. I still have pears to can. Applesauce was today. And I want to get some green beans and gold potatoes for canning as well.
Rain is still in the forecast, but instead of just being Saturday and Sunday it is now saying Friday, too. I hope so. We need it so badly.
So the paycheck this week was only $666.11. Yeah, that's always a lovely number to see. The reason for this is that his former employer said he could just take the insurance for August out of his last paycheck for July so no one has to deal with COBRA paperwork, so that is what we chose to do. The new insurance starts on September 1st. It seemed the easiest of all options.
I also got my Thrive Life paycheck and my youtube/google paycheck, which are small, but that number is reflected in the tithe. I transferred $1500 out of savings, $500 of which I am saving for next week, to make up the difference. That $500 will be for groceries, medical, and household for that one week and then we'll get the two week paycheck and be on a bi-weekly budget.
$800.00 Monster Mom Loan
__56.83 DH Life Insurance
__45.30 My Life Insurance
_200.00 Grocery Envelope
_200.00 Medical Fund
__50.00 Household Envelope
_100.00 DH and My Monthly Blow Money
_100.00 DD's Birthday
1679.45 Total Money Out
The dates and times have been off on the blogs for several weeks now. Right now I will post this on November 23 and it will say it is November 24th. The time used to be concurrent with whatever time zone you were in as well, but it now is half a day or so off. I think the code is broken somewhere.
Has anyone heard from or seen Julie lately?
It is now legal to catch catfish with a pitchfork in Illinois. Anyone from Illinois care to explain your state to me? I hope everyone has a good year. I sure could use one. I would like wealth, health, and happiness from 2017. Or you know, just a good job for DH with medical benefits.
My normal ability to look on the bright side and find the silver lining has waned an awful lot this past year. Let me think of what I could come up with to be optimistic about. Hmm...well, the ducks are laying eggs again. There are 11 healthy kits in the rabbit shed. I have gotten amazingly good at knitting socks on the loom. We are still out of consumer debt. The garden is still going under the low tunnels despite several snow falls. And I have a freezer full of meat and shelves full of home canned food so we are still good on that count. We have a house over our heads. We still have over $40K in our savings account.
Hopefully we will have some bigger things to be optimistic about soon. They've started putting up more oil job listings. Some of them are slope jobs which would be ideal as that is what we are used to and my grocery budget could go back to normal. The moment DH has an income again we are going to get him enrolled in a University that will let him do everything online, so he can get his B.S. in Electrical Engineering. Right now he has an A.S. in that and a certificate in Architecture for a two year program he did in the tech school right before they turned into a college and started issuing A.S.'s instead of certificates.
We may start him doing it anyway even if he hasn't found a job by the time the unemployment runs out. So much stuff says B.S. or equal on the job experience, but they'll often choose the guy with the B.S. first even if he has no experience. DH has learned so much on his job he could have a masters degree in it, but without that piece of paper, unless they have worked with him before, he is at a disadvantage.
DH is also thinking that if he purchased the online subscription to Auto Cad that he could pick up some freelance work.
The book is coming along. I have set a goal and that is to write at least 1000 words a day on it. Since I've written 15,000 words a week when I have my groove on, I think a mere 7000 is a good goal that won't have me feeling overwhelmed in case my muse leaves the building.
We'll be dipping into the farm down payment fund. We have officially spent all but $1000 of the Emergency Fund.
I don't really count New Year's as a holiday. It's not something we really celebrate as everyone is always in bed well before midnight. So once Christmas has passed I feel like I'm free and clear.
We did not end up going out to the in-laws on Christmas Day. We stayed home. FIL's white cell count was too low to be around anyone who was sick and everyone is sick. Except I am finally coming out the end of it. But MIL and FIL cancelled it. SIL threw a tantrum, because her holiday being ruined was apparently more important than FIL's life and fight against cancer. She got stood up to, though. I wasn't sure they'd do it, but this is the second time this year they have.
Apparently SIL bought a turkey and was going to make it herself. I really want to hear how that turned out since SIL does not know how to cook and has never roasted a chicken, let alone a turkey, in her life. I don't want to hear bad enough to call her, though. I was just relieved to have a quiet, peaceful day at home, not ruined by her scream-fighting with one of her daughters.
We had a very laid back Christmas. Very minimalist. We had our little 18 inch tree set up, still decorated from last year, that we store on the top shelf of our closet. We took it out a few days before Christmas. We just don't have the room to put up a bigger tree and even if we did, the hassle of putting one up is more than anyone wanted to deal with anyway. Most of the presents were handmade, though I did get the 30 year anniversary collector's edition of Labyrinth, my favorite childhood movie.
My son made me a beautiful turkey platter in his pottery class that I will treasure for the rest of my life. It was completely hand-built, no potter's wheel. I really love it.
I am glad we got the chance to really enjoy Christmas this year. I hope everyone else did as well.
$2897.63 Starting Balance
+__10.00 Weekly Deposit from 7/9
$2907.63 Ending Balance
$1092.37 to go to hit my goal of $4K.
I have spent a lot on produce this weekend. I guess I am feeling nutrient starved or something (could have something to do with all the potato chips I've been eating this month). Or maybe I'm just holding onto that last gasp of summer fruits and veggies. Anyway, I am planning very carefully to not let any of it spoil.
I've been investigating some new recipes as well and will try out two this week.
Chorizo con huevoes
Corn on the cob
Steamed yellow summer squash
Black pepper chicken stir-fry (has lots of fresh veggies)
Drop biscuits with choice of homemade jams
Homemade pizza with pepperoni, ham, yellow onions, and bell pepper strips
Bacon cheeseburgers on homemade buns
Every time I use a punctuation mark like an apostrophe, or a comma, or quotation marks, it is surrounded with back slashes. It is not just me either. I've seen it on the blogs of everyone today too. Is this just a glitch in the system?