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.

Five or(five hundred) on Friday

It has been a LONG week.

We made it down to UCD fine even with traffic and the endoscopy went fine too. No problems with the prostate. He just has an enlarged bladder and does need to catheterize at least once a day. I guess if that’s the worse, it’s not so bad.

Yesterday though was a nightmare day.

  • first we got a letter stating AAA was canceling our house insurance because of fire dangers in California. Great. Now we will have to find a new insurer and it’s bound to be A LOT more expensive.
  • Then we get a letter actually 2 letters from the Cobra people for B’s insurance. We owe $710 per month. I thought we’d already had paid the first two months. I called and NOPE that was not to them. Great, more money out the window.
  • I called the dedicated hotline for employees and said we’d paid the $1200. So just this afternoon she called back and said NOPE, that was for June and July when the company transitioned to the new insurance. I looked at the paystub and she was right. Nothing was taken out.   Great:(
  • Then on a positive note and money. B got his LLS grant approved for MDS and they will reimburse him the first amount of the cobra just covering him. so we should get that and it’ll help. We will submit the amount for the second month next week.
  • Then I’m at the Sutter Medical site getting ready to pay the installment and I see another whole set of charges. WTF!!!!! So I call Sutter and she says oh they said (UHC) he wasn’t covered for those dates. By this time I was seeing fire and smoke was coming out of my ears. I then called UHC and the VERY nice rep says let me check. She checks and says clearly there was some wrong coding as he was covered. Give me a F#@king Break.
  • Let see, I think that’s everything. But there could be more I’m blocking out.

Well, I’m exhausted from it all. Too much paperwork, money stuff, and confusion. I think I see the wine bottle waiting for me.

Ahhh, no frugal Friday:(

No, we could call it spend money Friday.

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First at 8 am I ordered propane and that was $197.00. Actually at $1.57 a gallon that is a bargain. I can remember when we paid over $4.00 a gallon maybe 5 years ago.

On to Costco: gas for B $30. still a great bargain at $2.94 a gallon here in California. Inside Costco $375. for tons of food, nonfood, a case of Sierra Pale Ale for B and a rose bottle for me.  We got enough stuff to really last almost the whole month ( except maybe fruit, and a few minor things.) So I’m okay with it.

Onward to Trader Joes and another $125 . Yes, wine, pizza stuff, an orchid, crackers( I love their rice crackers, sesame oil( the whole reason I was going there)!!

Then we came home and had to separate it all out and put away. I was exhausted!

But it’s done for the month. They’re starting to put out Christmas stuff and had some really beautiful North Face jackets that I was eyeing, so I may take a trip at the end of the month after another payday and check it out.

B is getting the window coolers out of the windows and the yard is definitely looking like fall.  We’re also not watering as much which is a relief.

Soon the pool will be put to bed for the winter. Again, we need to order a pool cover for winter as they only last one season.

Tonight is homemade pizza, I’m thinking a pesto one.

 

Budgeting and the new week

Well, really, a new budget is needed since the old one is completely blown. Today, I’m going to write up new numbers and see how they stack up. June should be a better month for a number of reasons. 1. B will get a bonus and that will get us back on track. 2. We’re not going to give my son any school money, as he’s done for this semester. Also, he’s going back to his old job, so this will definitely help. 3. At least one of our bills has been reduced by $125. so that’s helpful. 4. We are going with a HARP refi and that will reduce our payment. This hasn’t happened yet but I hope by July 1.

We are still working on paying off the Federal taxes  that we put on the cc but it still will be a few months. The only extra this month is our AAA membership. So, we should be able to snowball money in the CC. We’ll see. It seems it’s always something.

Today I go get my blood tests.  I should know by Thursday what my numbers are. So I’m going in to do that , then pick up a few groceries(cat food)….. Plus I might drop off the Goodwill stuff, just to get it out of the car.

Dinner tonight is pasta with sauce and salad. I’m making a bolognese sauce in the crockpot.

This week I’m in the bedroom zone. I’ll probably tackle the closet as that seems to be my nemesis.

 

 

The haves and the have nots!

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/05/my-secret-shame/476415/

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.

Friday financials

This was a pay week, and we did pretty well with the budget. Everything’s paid and I did do some extra, the REI stuff$200, and old navy at $35. It’ll be a little tight because of these but we should be ok. Also, I want my husband to go get a fitbit, so that’ll be an extra $100.

I’ve got plenty of groceries, and we will eat from the freezer and pantry too. I’ll need some fresh vegies next week but not much as our garden is giving us cucumbers, onions, some herbs and a few tomatoes. We need to run to the nursery and get some squah plants as my daughter seems to think she didn’t think she planted any. It’s too late to start from seed and I’m not paying ridiculous prices for zucchini and summer squash. Also, we have our beautiful eggs so that’ll be a frittata night. Plus we had a great crop of potatoes. We all love potatoes. 

All in all good and I put some money over in savings. Next check, I want to finish our Santa fund. I’d like to start paying extra on the new car but saving is higher on the list ,as insurance for the cars will be due in October. 

I actually sold something on eBay. I use to sell every week and at one point had a store for my life magazines. But, I got pretty turned off to eBay s fees etc. But I had some cowboy Tepco ( very popular) and sold them . I might see what else I can put on. I’m thinking those Star Trek 12″ figures . Maybe a lot of 6 and see if I get any interest. 

Off to the library. Bookclub was kinda boring but so were the books( ha, ha!) .

the myeloma beacon is starting an online book club, and I think our first book will be “the Emperor of all Maladies”.

if you’re interested, go the myeloma beacon and check it out. 

I feel like a pin cushion!

So this last week I’ve had 3 blood draws. My regular monthly, a tobacco one for our health insurance, and a fasting lipid for cholesterol. 

Geez, is it over? then I still need to see my GP for the wellness exam. What a PITA. as, I’ve said , I don’t like to be over scheduled.

its still rainy, cloudy here and it’s getting to me . It’s not cold at least but still I need some sunshine. 

Our budget is totally shot, as my husbands maybe bonus didn’t come in and now were way off in the money department. I swear, it’s always 3 steps forward, 4 steps back…:(

so, I need to transfer from the little savings I’ve been doing just to cover the first of the month.ugh,!!