Budget Friday

I’m trying to come up with a good blog title for Fridays. I’m not sure Frugal Friday quite fits.

Overall, we are frugal because we have no income per se except SS. So maybe just Budget Friday would work. I’ll see. But budget-wise, all Octobers bills are in. We do have the 2 annual bills of house insurance and Allstate which is twice a year. With ALL the insurance companies getting out of insuring California property, for the most part, we are now having to do the California Fair Plan which is added to the AAA insurance. We went from our annual bill being slightly over $1,000 to now we are slightly over $2,000. Quite a jump.

Costco was just at $450, so that will go on October’s food budget. About $70 was wine and beer. I did buy a bottle of nice champagne for celebrating birthdays. Actually, it wasn’t expensive at $15.00. Plus there were a few prepper items and 2 bags of Starbucks coffee that was on sale. With all 4 of us drinking coffee we go thru quite a bit. But I don’t see us going back to Costco till the very end of October or even the first week of November which could then include any Christmas food or items. Prepper stuff included tuna, Cholula sauce, TP, another case of water, extra butter, and extra cheese. The only thing I didn’t get and I need is some tamari sauce. I’ll probably just go down here to the store and pay their price. The best place to get low sodium tamari is Trader Joe’s but I don’t think I’ll be getting there any time soon.

So far this morning I have made pizza dough, washed living room windows, cleaned the ceiling fan, and am just about ready to clean the rest of the sunroom.

Our lovely fall weather continues with absolutely beautiful days with temperatures in the mid to high 80’s. Next week does have a few 93degree days but this time of year that doesn’t seem so bad.

Budget-wise, I did my LLS for the UHC premium and my medicare which they cover for 2 months so that will be here in a week or so. I am very grateful to LLS for my grant (myeloma) as it does cover health insurance. If we had to pay OP for us both it’s almost $700 so I’m not sure how the budget would do. Probably we would be in the red. But there are gifts sometimes even with having cancer.

B did order the boards for the house ( 5 of them) so that was $120 about. But the siding needs to be fixed. Other stuff, even the fencing by the barn is optional and can be put off if we don’t have extra money.

If you’re looking for a new TV series, The Boys, is quite good. It’s super heroes that are darker more evil and is well done. We just started Season 2 on Netflix.

Well, that’s a wrap for now.

Simple Sunday or back to my regular programming:)

Honestly, I am still on a rant about the SCOTUS shit. Mitch McConnell should go crawl in to a hole in hell and stay there.

Well, this was a pretty good week overall. The smoke is filtering back in but it’s not like it was so hopefully it’ll clear out soon.

Mornings have been cool walking but still nice. We still have the 2 others that are weird and annoying showing up right after us. I really wouldn’t mind if he wasn’t such a jerk. Doesn’t use a flashlight when it’s dark out, just barrells by without so much as a ” coming up on your left”and really sets the energy off in the park. The other lady is just plain weird and I can’t read her MO, which for me a counselor who made a living ‘reading’ other people, is unusual. I’m hoping she falls away with daylight savings in October but I’m pretty sure he will not especially since he does walk the dog or I should say drags his dog along.

Budget wise, September has been pretty good. I haven’t tallied up the food but I think it’s in the $600 range so that’s ok. I am planning Costco next week before the sales end. It’s been about every 4 weeks were going which is about on target. Prepper wise, I think we are set. When I get the upright freezer, then I can concentrate on filling that with stuff. It has been a trial and error with stocking up. All the non food stuff is great. Some prepper stuff I bought I’m not too sure how we will use it like the whole powdered milk. I suppose if you couldn’t get to the store at all powdered milk would work. It wasn’t expensive so I don’t mind if it ends up in the food bank stuff next year.

I did pay our Allstate bill ( every 6 months). My son needs to pay me his part but he can do that next month. Then our house insurance is coming due as well. Fall brings annual bills including property tax. Right now we can pay all that with our savings( EF is where I keep it) but who know 10 years from now. But that’s the future and I want to BE HERE NOW!! well, to a certain extent I do need to plan.

Here’s the floor finished. Even though it is beautiful light color now. Pine floors will darken with age.

Here’s our Philly cheesesteak sammies we had Friday night. The top one is just roasted peppers and cheese for the veg man.

This is the only picture I kept of my brother’s. He was quite talented. My sister has the really nice one that I wanted of a sailboat. I gave my younger brother 3 others(water colors) that I didn’t really want/or had a place for.

If you’re following, it’s the bedroom zone this week.

Also, B has a birthday this week. Another year around the sun!!

And “May you be inscribed in the book of Life for another year”

L’Shanah Tovah!!!

Catching up

 Monday morning….

We are still in the smokey haze although I thought it was a smidge better this morning then it seemed to seep in again.  Hopefully, there is  containment soon.

This morning I bagged up the 25 lbs of organic oats in the mylar bags and just need to put them in the buckets and take out to the prepper barn. Oh BTW, the swamp cooler is keeping the barn at 72 degrees or even cooler so we are good to go out there for the pantry being relatively cool.

I also started my menu plan for September. I try and do a whole month even though what’s there may not be on that day. It’s just a reference point.  I’ve switched up a few things like Taco Tuesday and that can be burritos or enchiladas or really anything Mexican. We love rice and beans so that’s easy to have ready. I always make more beans than needed and freeze the rest.

The chicken girls are now laying and so we’re getting lots of eggs but they are still small so you need to use double the amount. I’m guessing that as they mature the eggs will get to be normal size.  I read that you can freeze the eggs if you whip them up so I may do that down the road. I guess lots of pantry prepper people do that especially since right now chickens would be laying the most and in the winter will not.

Mondays we don’t walk so I stayed in bed till 5:30 am. It was ok but I think I prefer just getting up at 5am.

Wednesday morning…

Still somewhat smokey but better.

Today I head to Sacramento for my oncology appt. It looked Sacramento air was clear so that’s a good thing. I’m not expecting any big revelations from my doctor but I’d like his opinion on the now present monoclonal protein.

My new treadmill showed up and it is a small one. It has high ratings and seems to work fine. The only thing I don’t like is the latch to hold it up in the space saver position is a large bolt and is not that easy to get into position.  But the price was right( $300.). If I continue to be diligent and use it then I will consider a better model next year.  Used ones are impossible to find and I read it’s one thing you shouldn’t buy used. Nordic track has a mid priced model so I’d consider that but for now the small  one will have to do.

Facebook update: I’ve been off Facebook almost a month and it’s been fine. I have looked a couple of times as I wanted to see what a few people were commenting on. Overall, looking at it ,I felt it was  a waste of time and I’m glad to be off for now. That may change as the election gets closer.

I have my budget set for September and am planning another Costco trip next week ( or sooner if it works out). But that shop would go on Septembers’s food budget.

 

 

Friday round-up.

I’m really glad this week is over.

It’s been hot and that’s made it hard to be outside. I’ve been going out to the pool every day at 4pm so at least it’s a cool down to some degree.

My dentist’s appt went really well and they are taking every precaution so I felt safe. The crown was done in around 3 hours, start to finish.

My oncology appt also went fine except he was really late. He apologized as a family he had an appt with was having some issues. Nothing new, just wait till my numbers go up to 500. 😦  I sorta feel like a ticking bomb.  I was home by 12:15 so not too bad. Geez, people are driving CRAZY!!!

Tonight we’re ordering pizza out. It’s too hot to turn the oven on. So that will be a nice change.

I’ve done our budget for July and the only BIG expense will be the trees at @ $4,000. Geez, I really hope that’s it for a few years but probably not.

I put a yard sign up BLACK LIVES MATTER. I like it and it just shows some support. I would be out there protesting if I could. I did for VietNam but now I can’t risk getting COVID or bringing it back to others. So, just a small way of showing some support.

There’s a great news story trending about a young barista at Starbucks in Southern California who told a guest they had to wear a mask in the store. She went on a verbal rampage and then took his picture, posted it on Facebook while continuing to shame him. Tons of people came out in support of him and NOT the privileged white woman and then someone started a GO FUND ME tip jar. At last count, it’s up to $32,000. Wow, that is a really heartwarming story. That is some lucky kid.

B is still working on our daughters room windows and they really look nice. These new type windows have a UV tint which is amazing.  It definitely cuts down on the sun’s heat coming in. Plus he’s working on getting the ceiling fan up but that is requiring new wire so kinda a pain. But at least there will be some new wiring. When we had the guy do the wiring when we remodeled, he must have been on drugs and the wiring is screwy. Why he didn’t replace all the old wiring is unknown.

I probably won’t be going to the store till next week and haven’t decided where. I might just go to Safeway but I’ll need to write a list and see what I need.

 

 

Simple Sunday

What the fuck is wrong in America?

The awful murder of an innocent black man by 4 policemen.

The absolutely horrendous situation of the privileged white woman calling the police when a black man asked her to leash her dog( which was posted on a sign right behind her). Thankfully, this did not end violently and I’m glad she was fired from her job.

I’m glad there are protests going on. Something has to change in this country.  Of course, with a pandemic also going on, it’s tricky. I’m just depressed by it all. We have a racist president who is invoking violence, plays to his base, is a narcissist, and cannot feel anything except his own shit.

Something has to change.

In other news on the home front, we had another Instacart Costco order that was expensive but worth it. I spent @$375 for food and then a tip. Lots of stuff was prepper pantry stuff like bleach, cleanser, and toilet paper.  Some good food stuff like tuna, potatoes, avocados, bananas, and more. I looked at the receipt and then what I was charged by Instacart and most things were about $2.00 more that way. I ordered Sierra Pale ale for B and that was $4.00 more. So it definitely adds up but to not have to go into the store is worth it still.  The young man said the store was very busy and the checkout lines long. So I think a good choice. I’ll reevaluate in June about the time I need coffee. Of course, it’s a privilege that we can do this right now. There have been times in our past when I had $10. 00 a week for food.  And there have been times when I had zero money for food. So, for now, we can do this. Down the road, who knows. We’re living on a very limited income which will come in under $30,000 so… we shall see.

Our weather has been crazy with over 100 degrees one day and then hail and thunder the next. today is partly cloudy and cool. At least we’re not running the coolers all day.

I had my eye exam and everything seems stable with my macular pucker. Can’t do much about right now.  I also decided to cancel my crown on Tuesday and wait a few more weeks. I’m nervous about the air filtration in the office and stuff drifting around. I’m not sure much will be different in 3 weeks but I’ll try.

Next week I have my labs so we’ll see what news I get there.

 Barclay has another Bone Marrow Biopsy on Wednesday( such fun) so hopefully, he’s still fully engrafted. He started the Jakafi and I really hope this fixes the GVHD stuff.

Well, that’s all the news here at home. We did finish Ozark and it ends pretty violent and setting up for a 4th season. It’s good drama and Laura Linney is one of my favorite actors.

Flylady zone is the entryway this week if you’re following.

Simple Sunday and a review of our first month of full retirement.

 So it’s been a month since Barclay ‘officially’ left UNFI. With only now SS as our income, it went ok. We did get our tax refunds, which weren’t big but it was added income and I was able to pay our April property tax early.  So that’s a big win.

Essentially, our basic income with be under $3,000.  Moving is not an option and plus in the housing market here we couldn’t rent a place for what our mortgage is. SS does take out our Medicare and that’s good.

We can do it if we’re careful. Annual bills will need to be paid with the small savings we have. Also, by mid-year, I’ll expect our 2 adult children who live here( well, my son lives in the Studio) but still, there are utilities,  etc, to bump up what they’re paying in rent.  That will give us the padding we need.

We paid off the car last year so that was a big payment.

Food is the variable that gets me. If I add in a Costco trip my food budget gets blown. Even though most of that stuff is bulk such as coffee, TP, rice, etc. It still adds up. I’ve tried to separate nonfood and that helps some.  Still, if I combine that with a Trader Joes in the same month the food budget easily goes over $600.

This week was really nice and our trip to Tahoe just perfect.

Today is a gym day.

I’m also making Joanna Gaines Chocolate chip cookies. We’ll see how they compare to Tollhouse.

For dinner, I’m making crepes again with my new Lodge pan. I also ordered the crepe spreader from Amazon to spread the crepe mixture. I used the spatula last time and it did work ok but this tool allows you to have a broader surface to spread. I’m planning on ham and cheese for the meat-eaters and spinach mushroom for the veggies.  I’ll also make a gruyere sauce.

This week we are in the entryway zone and dining room if you’re following Flylady.

Be sure to clean off patios and front doors. I put up the spring wreath I have that is forsythia flowers. Plus I bought a few pots of pansies and violas. So perhaps just tidy and freshen up your entryways.  I try and keep shoes in a wood crate.

As 2019 comes to a close

It has been a year of highs and lows.

Lots of things were awful with B’s diagnosis and then being transfusion dependent. Lots of chemo visits weekly. But in spite of that, there have some great things. His brother was a 10/10 match for the BMT and that was amazing.

Being at UCD med center in the BMT unit for a month was hard, very hard, but it all went way better than expected. Staying at the Kiwanis in our friends RV was also great and made the whole experience of having to be there almost 3 weeks delightful. Being able to be just minutes from the clinic made it all worth it.

Recovery and gaining strength and energy back has been slow but sure. B is doing amazing and he is almost 7 months post-transplant.

There has been no major graft vs host although he must remain vigilant as that can happen even down the road.  Now he is tapering off immunosuppressants and that means less prescriptions. He will still need his vaccinations sometime next year.

So the year really was a mixed bag of emotions but overall I feel very positive about it. We did fine financially with the extra GoFund Me and the SDI. This week will be his last SDI and I am totally grateful to have had NOT to worry about money. After my transplant in 2006 and that following year, we were in serious,serious debt and it was awful. There were no GoFundME things or networks to receive financial help. I did have 2 friends that were very generous and that was a blessing.

At the end of this year, I feel grateful for my health and my children’s health. Both of my children have excellent jobs that they earned this year.

B will also officially retire as going back to full time just isn’t going to work for him. I will miss the paychecks and being able to travel with him, but honestly, he is 69 and with everything that has happened, life is just too short to go back to a job even if it’s only for another year. Who knows what will happen and he has this chance to retire. Social Security will be tough but hey, so what! We have struggled before and made it and if we can only do so much then so be it. Actually, I’m just grateful we have the little we will have coming in as it will cover our basics.

WE didn’t do any traveling and that was okay. We are planning something once a month for  2020. Next month we are planning an overnight to Chico where B has a free room at one of the nicer hotels downtown. We are planning to have dinner at a place I’ve wanted to go forever called the Red Tavern. I can’t remember where I read about it over 5 years ago, but it’s supposed to one of the best restaurants around.

House wise, we didn’t do anything major except outside and tree removal.  We did replace two windows and they look great. Next year we will replace a few more windows in the bathroom and kitchen and my daughter’s room as well. Next year, we hope to work on the kitchen and do a minor remodel( mostly the sink and counter as it is 25 years old this summer and the sink connections are pretty rusty.

So life keeps on keeping on and it really is a wonderful life.

Things to think about for 2020

I don’t do goals so much anymore and I try to avoid putting myself in the position of expectation on myself. I do like lists of things that I would like to do or things that need to be done.

I like Flylady as it gives me a focus on weekly chores.  And I like grocery lists and menus. I also like budgeting and do that daily and weekly and monthly. I also have annual bills tallied. ( This might be the challenging area once were on SS solely).

Now that SDI is ending money will be different.  I have saved as much as I felt I could but there were some big expenses in 2019. We had over $6000 in medical bills. The trees were almost $5000. Plus travel and other expenses during B’s transplant. We were very blessed to have the GoFundMe account which covered Kiwanis’ house for 3 weeks and other expenses.

Overall, financially, 2019 was good. We didn’t rack up any CC debt related to medical bills or anything related to the transplant. I used CC to pay things but was able to pay in a timely manner.

In 2020 we will need to be ultra frugal as there won’t be bonuses, or extra money coming in. Honestly, I ‘m not sure how it will play out but it will one way or the other.

We’d still like to take down the big tree in the back of the house and that will be upwards of $5,000 as it will need a big crane. the other big thing will be, do we want to redo the bathroom so it is ‘age ‘friendly. We plan on staying here so a walk-in shower seems prudent.

I’m also figuring that I’ll be starting Velcade sometime in the next 6 months so that’s weekly trips to Sacramento. Lots to think about.

Frugal Friday

No, not really. Although we haven’t been spending money carelessly. Our grocery budget is our biggest variable expense. I budget $200 a week for everything including pet supplies, non-food items, wine, food and misc. That seems to be a good amount for us.

But when you factor in Costco trips like in August, I definitely go over.  The Costco trips are often items that last a few months if not more. I’ve tried separating out non-food and then I get all confused and lose track of what was what so if I just lump it all together it works better for me.

For August I’m trying out $125 a week and I’ll see how that goes.

We aren’t going on any trips this year due to the medical stuff so there are no expenses there.

We also can’t eat out as B can’t have restaurant food yet. Although I have gotten him In an Out french fries and a shake as he needs to gain back about 20lbs. So we don’t really have an eating out budget. I have gotten a pizza or two so there’s that.

We also don’t have any big projects around the house but there are a few things. We absolutely need to fix our step coming out the door. It is awkward and has two levels so he and our daughter will put down a new concrete step that covers both and goes out farther. We wanted to build a deck out level from the front door and then a step-down but a deck would probably run us $3-5,000. So not now.

We’re on the fence about getting more trees down. I think we will call and see about at least 2 and get an estimate. We still have too many trees that are very big around the house.  But that too is a very expensive project.

We still have co-pays on the medical side too and the GFM is being used for that but it’s getting low.   The $6,000 from the beginning of the year is almost paid off. The transplant co-pays haven’t even shown up yet. Yikes, that could be scary.

Well, all in all, we’re doing okay.

Frugal Friday on Saturday

This week was okay budget wise.

We did go to Trader Joes and I haven’t decided whether to make that part of my May grocery bill or just call it for April which now sits @800. This includes all food, non-food, cat food, and alcohol( which is just wine for me as B is not drinking at all with his treatments.)

I’m leaning just calling it for April and just moving forward.  The only extra bills were the medical co-pays. One was for $500 and the other $350.  That’s just medical and part of how we’ve budgeted the GFM money.  All other bills are done and the budget is set for May.

We’ve sent in the long term disability forms but really don’t know how they would calculate that.  It would be nice but I’m still not sure even how that works.

I went to Target and got a fan since now the weather is getting warmer. I also picked up cat food and some cloth napkins we needed.

We did go to Home Depot for more garden supplies but I consider that seasonal expenses especially for the garden which will produce veggies. That was @ $130.

Tomorrow is a gym day and B needs platelets. So I’ll go and then wait at Starbucks for him as it usually is a shorter infusion.

Dinner is Greek Chicken Souvlaki.