Looking ahead with the budget

So, I tallied the rest of the month with food, nonfood, cat food, and we’re at $700. The food bill was @ $500, so the $200 is non-food, cat food(which is pretty high since our one kitty is not doing well and we buy a lot of cat food for him to eat. Ollie has a thyroid cancerous tumor and isn’t long for the earth. He’s a super sweet Maine coon and at one time weighed in at 20lbs.image

So back to the budget.  I added B’s two take home checks and it covers our bills but not a lot extra. It’s going to have to be my SS checks that give us the annual bills. And I’d like to start making  extra payments on the Santa Fe. If we can pay that off it’ll free up $600 . Yes, that’s a high payment but he gets a reimbursement of almost $400 a month so it works out. Looking ahead though, we cannot have a car payment in retirement.  I’m kinda freaking out a bit concerning the actual numbers. We don’t have a large 401 or anything so… But I’m hopeful that I can knock this out by the end of the year. Next would be our second. That was part of the worst re-finance in the world during the time when they were giving out re fi’s with no income verification and over inflating home values. Yes, we were incredibly stupid to do it. But this is finally, almost under $20,000 so that’ll be the next thing to get rid of.

It is , of course, ambitious, but I feel compelled to work this out.

We will see……

Dinner is chicken tacos in the crock pot with rice.

Thursday Budget stuff

IMG_0009Before June budget stuff here’s a picture of Donner Lake.IMG_0014And here’s another. It’s very warm here in Northern California with not a lot of change over the next week. Tomorrow and Saturday are even hotter. So we will need to put in our window air conditioners. This will raise our electric bill but it’s too hot not too use them.

Yesterday’s doctor visit was quite good. We decided not to do a maintenance of every 2 weeks for now. Also, I won’t see him for 2 months but will get monthly labs to see what’s going on.  I’m sure this is a gamble but I think if I have the chance to be drug-free for a short while it will be worth it. I still have 3 Velcade shots so not till July. I’m feeling positive about my decision though. My numbers have never increased radically and hopefully this  will stay the same so future relapse will show it self early on.

Onward to the budget. June is still starting out at a deficit so I will need to transfer a little money to cover a few things. But overall our June budget should show that we need $700 less due to a few things.  I’m hoping the numbers even out by B’s first paycheck of the month. Electric has gone down, but we’re on the balance pay program so it’s balanced based on the year so it’s still at $200. But that should drop once it gets recalibrated.

Also, school money won’t be going out and a few other things will drop too. July will even be better when the Harp refi takes effect ( I hope).  this was of course, a tough decision but with the increased % by October under the previous modification we really don’t have a choice. After much thinking and discussion, the way I have come to see this: we don’t want to move, we will never pay off the mortgage in retirement, so we need to look at getting the mortgage to be an amount that is like a ‘rent’. This refi will do that so I’m pleased with that. When one of us goes to the great beyond then that other person can decide to sell or stay. Unfortunately with my diagnosis, I can’t get life insurance, but many years ago B had me get life insurance ( a small amount ) thru his work. But it would be enough to help. One thing I am concerned about and maybe someone knows the answer to this.. Is when B retires from this company would my life insurance policy just stop? Or would we be able to keep it and keep paying on it?? does anyone know the answer to this?

Well, dinner is crockpot Thursday chicken. Since I’m on dex today, that’s a good thing as I don’t feel much like cooking.

Speaking of cooking, I’m reading the new Ruth Reichel’s book,My Kitchen year  it is so great. I’d highly recommend it.  Of course, I don’t think she would consider crockpot chicken, but then again she’s not on dexamethasone.

The haves and the have nots!


This is an article on the sad state of financial affairs of many people. The author is quite honest in his evaluation of his own current financial affairs and how he got there. He has a loan modification and is paying off credit cards.

Honestly, I totally agree with him. I wish we had been more financially smart. We never made any smart decisions financially till really about the time I was diagnosed with cancer. But even in those first difficult years with treatment and A Stem Cell Transplant, we made plenty of mistakes. The biggest was refinancing when the market was at its height. We were foolish to believe the loan officer that this was a good deal to maximize money in equity. What a mistake. When the market crashed and we’ve been under water in this house, we are now on the other side that the market is coming back up. WE too had a loan modification and it saved us. This actually is just ending and then the interest rate is going up.

I think when I started to embrace being minimalist, budgeting, not spending money for things clicked for me. We’ve mad a lot of progress and are quite frugal in all expenditures. Yet, there are still expenditures that are outpacing income. We’re helping our son with money at junior college. We pay for his car insurance and food. It is not giving us much to put away but we want to help him right now. Smart move? I don’t know but we are making the decision to the best of our ability now. We also put our Federal taxes on a credit card and we’re having to pay that down.

All in all, everyone, I’m sure does what they can but sometimes keeping up with expenses versus money coming in is a struggle.

I also think that people who have received inheritances or who are wealthy, or have no mortgages , or maybe they’ve just done everything right and made enough money in their careers and have money to put toward savings etc,. Some of these people just don’t get it. Yes, we have family members who really don’t get it and of course live their happy go lucky lives with inheritances they received.

Yes, you can be frugal, budget, sing till your blue in the face, but sometimes there just isn’t enough money and how many of us are one pay check away from disaster. I’ve learned a lot in these last 5 years about being frugal and stockpiling pantry items, having a small emergency fund but there’s still a long way to go.

I don’t think it’s for us to judge others, though, maybe just some compassion and understanding.

We’re in Tahoe!


We arrived yesterday and it’s beautiful. Cool, but nice. We have our tent trailer really organized and very minimal. It’s nice. I just wish we had a bathroom. That’s the only problem for me. But we work it out with the campground bathrooms. Showers are another story as, in the summer we use a solar shower, now it’s too cold , so no showers. 

Today it’s windy and overcast. We have a heater so were fine and we haven’t really planned on any excursions. Just walking and bike riding. It’s nice not to fill the day up. The campground is pretty empty and quiet. It closes in 2 weeks for the winter so were late to be here but it’s fun.

i made yummy hash browns and our own chicken eggs for breakfast and some coffee. Dinner is tacos, black bean . 

So looking over the September challenge, I think I’ve done really great with the food budget, it’s a little under $400. So with a week left, I’m doing great. I think getting the freezer has been the real key here, as I have stuff in there to use . 

Gas is normal, with the exception of $60 for gas to get up here. 

Entertainment, including, wine for evening sipping is $90. 

Clothing is where I went out on the budget, because I bought a nice north face polar tec jacket. I had no jacket so, I consider that my birthday present. Then Sachi and I went to old navy and spent $300 plus. But, both of never buy clothes so I’m just going to say I have a clothing budget. Really I need to make a clothing budget, because I never add it in to the budget….any ideas?

We also were up and walked our 2 miles and saw a coyote! He didn’t seem to fazed by us. 

So enjoying the time we have!

September low spend update and other things!

So, it’s going okay with the low spending. Monday was just gas in the van,$20. Tuesday was no spend, Wednesday was $5 for cat food.  (Remember we have Tucker who is a diabetic cat and needs food every 4hours. Then also, got cash for groceries , and non food. 

Today we went to Sacramento to see Dr.L, my blood work was all good, so were set for the next round of revlimid. I told him all my complaints, dry mouth, tired, on and on. But overall, it’s ok. I won’t start even till next week, as I have to be here for delivery and that will have to be next Thursday . So I’ll get a little break. I’llImage know about my m- protein next week.

I thought I was getting Zometa today but its next month, so off we went to trader joes, wine, and a few things. Winco, cat food, organic salad. Then costco, for some food, and non food. TP, Lysol wipes. So totals were, non food, $62, food,$60, wine ,including champagne , $30.

so, not too bad. Tomorrow, I work and its a no spend day except for a gift card for a friend who lent us the paint sprayer. I’ll put this in extra, as it is just that.

Heres the front of the house painted. I love the black on the door. 

Day1 of low spend September !

ImageWell, unfortunately we’re not off to a great start. I’m finishing up some trim on the house. And then I have to go in to target for a few things. Then to Home Depot for concrete paint. Theses have already been budgeted, so maybe I can count It in sinking funds instead of today.

Menu for the week

Sunday: chile rellenos

Monday: burgers on the BBQ

tuesday : pasta something

Wednesday: chicken , zucchini fritters

Thursday : black beans in the crock pot

Friday: tacos

Saturday: soup and a salad


Update on my Rev/ dex,

im almost done with my first cycle. It’s gone very well. Dex is dex, what can you do.

this will be my week off. That’s always nice. Won’t know my m- protein till next week.

Monoclonal protein update

So, my cancer marker, m protein is up again. It went from .42 to .5 

whr this means to me is I have myeloma cells starting to wander around my blood stream ,. He said not to worry its very small, but if it goes up again next month, then I will want to go back on the drugs. Yes, they’re hard to take but I can still work, and do most stuff. Usually I’m more tired and WBC can get low. But since I monitored every month I would know.

im actually doing ok with this, since sooner or later it was going to happen.

On other notes, it is freaking hot here. Thank goodness we have a pool. It’s only a Costco one, but it’s cool and refreshing.i can’t do too much outside that’s for sure.

I had B pick up half a flat of organic strawberries, so I’m going to make some jam today or tomorrow . And try out my new loaf pan . Very excited.

Budget is pretty set for July, I told my noes working son, I want him to pay his cell phone. So he will give me $40. I’m going to put that in my 52 week savings which got used last week so I need to rebuild it. My $5 dollar challenge is good and I’m up to $150. Next week will be expensive as B needs new tires and his car service. We also ordered propane and that was $300. So lots going out. 

Hoping to get to ikea soon to check out table and sofa. Especially , after reading pancakes and french fries blog on ikea sofas.

I’m going to work on menus for the week and figure out what were doing 4 th of July .