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Another Day

September 20th, 2018 at 06:15 am

My day with the grandsons was pretty easy, as GS2 spent most of the day at a friend's house.

I did one load of laundry yesterday, and there was no other spending.

No more sales on eBay. I went in and stopped the re-listing of items that are not getting views and watchers. There are still a couple more new things I could list. One of them is a porcelain clock which is worth at least $200, and I would not take less. But I have to get my sister's permission to sell it, as we bought it together as a garage sale. The other is a cast iron cornbread pan, which is worth around $30-40, but is SO heavy. I would have to charge a lot in shipping. And there are several others being sold right now.

I got two complimentary tickets to a preview of Smallfoot on Saturday. I will take GS2, as GS1 has a baseball game too close to the time. I hope it won't cause hard feelings. If GS1 feels left out, I'll take him when the movie officially opens.

I took a break from thinking about the hip replacement yesterday. Today I need to figure out how to get in touch with a Medicare counselor so I can figure out if I have to change my supplement in order to get the best coverage for this particular event.

Variables are at 128%. I'll be so glad when this month is over.

Day Care Today

September 19th, 2018 at 05:39 am

No school today, so I will be taking care of the boys. I have cheese and tortillas to make quesadillas for lunch. And baby carrots, which they will probably not eat.

I had my follow-up appointment with my primary doctor yesterday. He wants me to get another kidney test (blood test) to make sure that the Celebrex is not hurting me. He agreed with the ortho surgeon that there is no hurry to get the hip replacement done. The blood work is free and I can drop in any time.

I also got my flu shot. Free, of course.

I talked with DIL about the upcoming surgery, and between the two of us, we figured out that the week of January 7 would be best. Now I need to investigate whether I can go to rehab afterwards. Mainly, whether Medicare will pay for it. Also, I need to make sure Medicare will pay for the surgery itself. Apparently, from the little reading I have done, it has to be shown to be medically necessary. Why would anyone do it if it's not medically necessary? I don't understand, but I'd better find out.

I have one week to get through before pay day. On Monday, I have to go to GS2's family birthday party (he has a birthday party with friends a few days later). The family party is being held at Buffalo Wild Wings, which means I'll have to buy a lunch. I also need to add $10 cash to the inexpensive gift I bought already. I'm going to look cheap, and I hate that!

I got a bill from eBay for $43. I'll subtract that from my eBay income before adding it to next month's budget.

Sales have really dropped off the last few days. Everything is set to be relisted, and now I think I should go in and change that. I did that once before, and it didn't stick, but then I was glad for the relisting because I made some sales from the second time around. I guess I'll give it a few more days.

I did not make it to the gym yesterday, and I really should go today, but it will have to wait until the boys go home.

Hip Replacement

September 18th, 2018 at 06:42 am

The ortho doctor said that I have advanced arthritis and spurs in my hip and that I will need to get a hip replacement eventually. I don't have to be in a hurry about it as long as I am comfortable enough. Right now I feel pretty good taking the Celebrex, but I can't take that long-term, so I need to figure out when I can do this.

The main thing to figure out is who will take over the afterschool care for six weeks while I recover.

The other thing to figure out is where I will recover. Everyone I know here lives above ground level (including me, of course) so the question is, can I go upstairs after surgery or will I have to go to a rehab center until I can?

Good thing there is no rush to figure this out.

Switching back to eBay reporting, I have four packages to mail today! One is a real snafu. I listed my Scrabble pieces for $3.50 because that looked like the going rate. But I mistakenly did not charge for shipping. So I made a whopping .31 after the sale! Major goof.

The other interesting thing that happened is that I listed a scrimshaw pendant that I bought at a garage sale a good twenty years ago. EBay took the listing down because they cannot be a party to selling ivory. Well, I didn't think it was ivory, but I did the test with the hot needle and now I think maybe it is. HMMMmmmm. I guess I will wear it instead of sell it.

I'm going to my primary care doctor today for a followup. On Wednesday I'm taking the boys to their doctor for flu shots. Feel like I'm spending a lot of time in doctor's offices. I'm getting a mammography on Friday!

So today's agenda -- doctor, gym, post office, library (need more books), after-school pickup and care. And I really should do another load of laundry!

Quiet Sunday

September 17th, 2018 at 05:16 am

I did one load of laundry yesterday, and that was my only spending. I didn't leave the house other than to take out the garbage.

As for the chores I meant to do, I did clean the fish tank, but I got derailed from the vacuuming and dusting. Instead I entered six more items to sell on eBay.

I got paid for one of my auction items, so I will need to package that up today.

I'm heading to the doctor in a few minutes. I'll let you know tomorrow how it went!

Eking It Out

September 16th, 2018 at 07:58 am

No spending yesterday. I went to a baseball game and pretty much spent the rest of the day reading and watching Netflix. I tried to mail an eBay package but forgot the post office was closed on Saturday afternoon.

Today I'm going to stay in on this hot day and do some chores. At the bare minimum I have to do laundry and take out the garbage. It's also time to clean the fish tank again and just do some general vacuuming and dusting. How much do I want to do this? Not much. But I am going to dedicate today to getting it done.

As I coast into the last few weeks of my pay period, I am trying harder to stretch my food. This morning I baked biscuits (from a can) and ate a couple for breakfast, along with applesauce. The rest are going to be made into sausage biscuits, to put into the freezer. After I cooked off the sausage patties, I was left with a pan rich with sausage bits and drippings. I made that into gravy, which I put into the fridge. When I was a kid I loved bread & gravy, and that may be a meal in the next weeks.

My jar of applesauce is close to empty. I'm going to add some water to shake it up and get it all out, and then I'll cook it down again. I'll store it in a container which is easier to empty.

For lunch today, I'm going to make tuna melts on crescent rolls. That should be good for about three meals.

I have lots of carrots, so carrot soup is undoubtedly in the future. And I have lots of peanut butter. I'm getting low on bread, but I have the ingredients to make bread, if I have to.

I also have rice on hand, walnuts and peanuts, eggs, dried fruit, pasta, potato flakes -- I feel pretty confident I can stretch all this out for the next week and a half.

My DIL and I have arranged a new after-school schedule, to start this week, where I get the boys on Tuesday through Thursday, and she handles Monday and Friday. That will give me nice long weekends free for travel, etc. Assuming I will ever have the money to travel. Smile Kidding. I know I will.

Tomorrow I go to the ortho doctor. I'm going to ask them to bill me, rather than pay the copay ($50) outright. If they agree, that will push the bill off to the next pay period.

Hoping he will not tell me that surgery is imminent. I'm doing well on the Celebrex, but unfortunately, because of my kidney disease, I cannot take it indefinitely. I'm just going to take this one day at a time.

Money In, Money Out

September 15th, 2018 at 05:51 am

The slow payer paid! I will mail the item out this morning. There are two more bids on other items which will bring in another $10.

I had to pay my Netflix fee yesterday, so variables went up to 126%.

I transferred a $14 cashback reward from Discover to my bank account.

I've pretty much decided that I will cash in my $200 bonus from Wells Fargo as an Amazon gift card and use it for Christmas shopping. I haven't done it yet, though.

The mystery shop at the car dealer went fine yesterday; however, I wasn't able to get a business card from the sales associate, so that may mess it up. I did explain why I could not, but they can be very picky. I enjoyed the test drive -- what a beautiful car, a luxury SUV! Wish I really was in the category where I could buy a car like that, but that is not my life.

Meanwhile, I just continue to eke it out. I will have to do some laundry soon, and I have an appointment with an ortho specialist on Monday, so the money does continue to dribble out.

Trucking Along

September 14th, 2018 at 05:40 am

I sold an item yesterday for $25. It will go out in the mail today. My total is now $482, according to eBay, but they must be counting the payments for postage, because my total is $344. Big difference.

Still waiting for one payment. There is another item that has a small bid on it.

While I was in the process, I was saying to myself I would never do this again, but now that I am in the rewarding part of it, I realize that I will -- not with such a big group of things, but here and there, a few items every once in a while. Especially now that I know how to do it.

No spending yesterday. A week and a half to go till payday. My variables are at 124%. I'll aim to keep it there as much as I can, and then I'll go for 76% next month. Which should be easy, with all this extra money.

Today I am going to do the visit part of a mystery shop at a car dealer. It's at a ritzy suburb that I always wanted to see -- today I will!

There's a flag football game beginning at 8 pm, and another baseball game tomorrow morning.

Old friends from work are planning a dinner get-together, but the date hasn't been pinned down. It will for sure be in my next pay period.

Another Sale

September 13th, 2018 at 07:14 am

I made another sale on eBay for $7. The $15 payment has still not been made, so now I'm waiting on two payments. The $15 sale occurred two days ago. Does anyone here, more experienced on eBay, know what you do if someone wins a bid but doesn't pay or make contact with you? I would like to relist the item if she isn't going to buy it.

I went to Sam's yesterday to buy bubble wrap. Since it's Sam's, there is only a BIG container available, but I shelled out the $13, since the unit price cannot be beat, and I will eventually use it all up.

No other spending. I went to GS1's baseball game last night, and that was my free entertainment.

Working on Getting the Money In

September 12th, 2018 at 05:47 am

I made another sale on eBay -- $8. I used up the last of my packing material to box it up, so I will have to buy bubble wrap today. There is another sale I'm awaiting payment on. That will be $15.

It was a real pain getting this stuff ready to sell, but I guess it was worth it!

No spending yesterday.

I signed up for a mystery shop which will pay $35. However, once I downloaded the guidelines I saw that it was quite complicated, requiring online searching and screenshots, a visit, a possible test drive, and a followup. And it is not in my suburb, but a couple of suburbs away. Oh well, I will do it.

I also signed up for election work, both on November 2 at a nursing home and on election day. No assignments yet. I didn't enjoy my experience before, but I need the money, and who knows, it may be better this time. If I have the opportunity to get more training I will do it. It should bring in about $170 for each day.

I was summoned for jury duty last year at about this time but was not selected. I was told that I would be called again this year, but so far that has not happened. Anyway, if I am, that will be another $17, if I am not selected, and more if I serve.

I have $219 in rewards for using my Wells Fargo card for three months. It looks like I cannot get cash unless I have a Wells Fargo account. My choices are gift cards and travel -- flights and hotel rooms. I will not redeem until I figure out a specific use for it that will help out the budget.

eBay Sale

September 11th, 2018 at 08:19 am

My buyer in Poland paid me through PayPal. After withdrawing the postage, I cleared $244. However, at his request I double-boxed the package, which meant I had to add another $11 in postage. That's okay. It was really a great sale for me! I bought the figurine at a garage sale and I doubt that I paid more than a dollar or so.

This will certainly ease things up next month. Just to explain, I add the extra money I make each month to next month's variables budget. Easier that way for tracking.

Everything else on eBay relisted automatically. Some time today I will go through them and probably mark a lot of them down. Since it looks like this eBay process is going to be a little drawn-out, I think the garage sale will take place in the spring, which will probably be a better time, anyway.

I got my free pizza at Planet Fitness last night, and a free bagel this morning. It was kind of a fluke that the two days fell together this month. I'm going to try to stretch out my food stores as much as possible.

I just picked up a couple of books from one of those little free libraries.

Life is good!

Great Weekend

September 10th, 2018 at 02:35 pm

Well, BFF went home this morning after a great weekend. And my day in Shipshewana with other friends was fantastic.

I spent $44 on food, $30 on gas, and $16 on a memento. Also, my I-PASS replenished again, for $40. I bought a little gift for my granddaughter for $4. When all is said and done, that is not too bad for a great weekend, but this was the wrong month for it to happen. My variables are at 122%. And still more than two weeks to go. That still includes my medical expenses, however, which I will not take out of savings after all. I'm going to see if I can make up for it next month.

I think that may be possible, because eBay sales are going well. My sales have topped $400. HOWEVER, $255 of that I have not received, and I think the buyer may have entered that number in error. It is a buyer in Poland. We emailed back and forth previously because I had to change my listing to enable international shipping, and he/she was talking about a $20 bid at that time. Then he/she wins the auction at $255. Something's not right. We'll see what happens.

I am also bearing in mind that variables were only 83% last month so on average I'm still pretty much on track, though my next doctor's visit on Monday will set me back again.

Today is a day of two free meals -- lunch at my son's house, because I was watching the boys there (school closed for Jewish holiday). The other will be free pizza for dinner when I go to Planet Fitness this evening.

Obviously, I am going to pursue every small economy I can now!

Free Oil Change

September 7th, 2018 at 04:49 am

It took about two hours out of my day, but I got my free oil change yesterday. It was in Chicago, but not too far into Chicago. It came out to be just under $60, so I'll get the full reimbursement.

I also got a call to do another restaurant shop this evening, this time locally. It will only reimburse me, so BFF will have to buy her own, but she was probably counting on that anyway.

BFF will arrive sometime this morning. I have a lot of tidying up to do. I made a pot of mac & cheese yesterday and cooked off some chicken, so we won't have to eat out too much.

I did one load of laundry yesterday. Variables are still at 98%, because I haven't taken out the medical expenses yet.

I switched my ortho appointment to Monday, the 17th -- back at the same facility where I went for my eye and my x-rays.

Tomorrow BFF & I will head to Shipshewana to meet other friends. There will be some spending, but I will try to to hold it down to what I have to spend -- food & gas.

More Medical Stuff

September 6th, 2018 at 04:23 am

I went to the ophthalmologist yesterday, which cost me another $50, but he had nothing but good news for me. My retina is clear of any damage, and he thinks the symptoms I experienced were due to normal aging. But if anything does go wrong, I am now set up with an ophthalmologist in my group.

At the same facility, I was able to get my x-rays done. Results came quickly. Of course they are in medical-ese, so I'm not sure how bad it is, but my GP asked me to set up a consult with an orthopedic specialist. I made an appointment for Monday. However, I'm going to have to change it. I realized I mistakenly chose a location that is an hour away. There is one much closer.

I stopped at Aldi to get what I hope is the last of the groceries this month: peanuts, crescent rolls, butter, biscuits, ice cream, carrots, sugar, eggs. $19.

Variables are now at 98%. I'm going to have to pay my medical expenses out of savings, which I hate, but that's why I have savings.

Today I'm going to get a free oil change at a mystery shop location.

BFF comes tomorrow, so I'm going to do some cooking ahead today.

I have bids on two items on eBay, so eventually there will be some money coming in from that.

Yesterday's Spending

September 5th, 2018 at 05:28 am

Well, it was an expensive day for me, and variables have suddenly shot up to 85%.

I went to the doctor (a $5 copay) and he prescribed Celebrex, which, it turned out, cost $125. However, after taking only one, I can say it may be worth it.

I mailed my Florida grandson's birthday package for $12.

I went to Sam's and bought Lactaid for $19 and groceries for $15.

When I picked up my grandson after school, we went for treats at McDonalds for $3.

And I did a load of laundry for $1.50.

I don't like seeing my variables this high this early, and I fear I will not stay under this month, especially with a one-tank trip planned this weekend.

I have another doctor's appointment this morning -- this time an opthalmologist. When my GP heard about the peripheral flashes I experienced this summer, he insisted upon it. Called it an urgent visit. So that will be another $50, and I imagine he will not find anything beyond what the optometrist found, but at least I'll have a doctor at the ready if I do get a retinal tear down the road.

I will try to get x-rays done on my hips at the same facility. My doctor also wants me to do physical therapy, but at $45 a shot, I'm not going to do that in addition to the Celebrex. I am still doing the exercises from the last round, and I am skeptical as to whether they really have anything new for me.

I accepted two more offers from eBay for $15.

I put on a couple more items, but will not put on as many as I thought I would. I have learned to look first, see how many of the same item is already there, whether there are any bids, etc. I think I'm pretty much done, except for watching for bids and offers. The items I have decided not to put on eBay will go straight to the garage sale now.

An eBay Success

September 4th, 2018 at 05:34 am

I am up to 30 items on eBay, and I have already sold one for $40. So now it's 29. I will be shipping the package this morning. There is an offer on another, but it's low. I'm going to counter.

I can add 20 more items for free, so I'm going to try to do that today.

I have some watchers, but overall I would say there is not a great deal of interest yet. Maybe when the auction is close to ending I'll get some bids.

I'm going to the doctor this morning. I was planning to take the train, since it is now free, but I have the package to mail, as well as the birthday package for my grandson, so I'll take the car. Hope I can manage free parking -- but that only happens if I can be in and out within an hour, and that is rare with a doctor's appointment, even an early one.

I had another no-spend day yesterday (not counting the postage for the label I downloaded -- that will come out of my proceeds, anyway).

Free Breakfast and eBay Launch

September 3rd, 2018 at 05:49 am

Had a very nice free breakfast yesterday morning -- pancakes, bacon, eggs, fruit -- and afterwards a fun time playing board games with the grandkids.

I came home and got to work on entering eBay offerings. I got 13 done before a headache did me in. I'll get back to it today. Looks like I can put 50 online without paying an extra fee, so I will be careful to pick out the best. (I know I said I had only 50 items, but some of them are in sets and will need to be listed separately.)

I did no spending.

I need to buy some more dairy digestive and I saw that the best unit price is at Sam's. I can get it free from OTC-Essentials, but I can't order again until October, so I will have to reach into my pocketbook. But I probably won't do it today. I think I will stay in and "work", unless someone invites me somewhere.

BFF is coming on Friday, and I'll need to think about what we will do about food. I have some frozen chicken, a can of tuna, some cheese -- I'm thinking chicken sliders, tuna salad and mac & cheese, which should be enough to get us through the weekend. On Saturday we will eat out, since we will be in Shipshewana.

At first it seemed I was going through money too fast this month, but the more no-spend days I rack up, the more I slow down the pace.

Kind of a Lost Day

September 2nd, 2018 at 05:10 am

The day got away from me yesterday. I ended up watching most of the McCain memorial service. Then I went to the gym, did some household things, including laundry, watched an episode of "Ozark" and finished reading my book. I did not get around to the eBay stuff at all.

Today I am supposed to go to my ex's house for breakfast with my son and grandsons. After that, I hope I can get down to tacks, and start getting my eBay offerings online.

It was a no-spend day, except for the laundry. Variables are at 52%. Three and a half weeks to go.

I scheduled a doctor's visit on Tuesday morning to discuss my lower body pain and to bring him up to speed on the peripheral flashes in my right eye.

I had only two meals yesterday. Mid-morning I made a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, stewed apples and toast. In the mid afternoon, I baked a frozen pizza and ate two slices. I have more more slices in the fridge which will serve for two more meals.

Mystery Shopping & eBay

September 1st, 2018 at 06:35 am

I was busy yesterday. I carried out a mystery shop in a nearby suburb. When I got back into town, it was about an hour and half before the time I needed to pick up my grandson. Rather than drive home, I parked at the school and then went for a walk in a nearby park. It was hotter and more uncomfortable than I thought, and I got a blister on the sole of my foot! Frown When I got back to the car, I listened to a book on tape until school was out.

When I took my grandson to his home, I was surprised to find my son there. He was working at home, but was agreeable to taking care of the boys, so I went home.

I spent the rest of the day working with the photos I took. First of all, I had to rotate about half of them! Apparently, I don't know how to hold the phone when I take a picture. Then I had to move them from Google photos to Pictures, which was a tedious process. But it doesn't seem there is a way to upload to eBay straight from Google photos. The process got more tedious when I decided to do some retakes, sometimes because the item needed to be cleaned up a little more. And I ended up doing a little preliminary research on some of the items just so I could name the pictures. Which I probably didn't need to do, but it will help when I start writing them up for eBay.

I worked on this until bedtime and then proceeded to have a restless night due to leg and hip pain. I'm going to make a doctor's appointment today for some time next week.

I didn't spend any money, except for what I spent over the reimbursement amount at the mystery shop restaurant. That amounted to .42.

Today I hope to get started on actually creating the eBay account and getting the info and pictures uploaded.

Polishing Done

August 31st, 2018 at 05:56 am

I polished all the silver items I had to offer, but decided to put almost all of them in the garage sale rather than offer them on eBay. They were very tarnished and they just didn't come back all the way. I'll let someone else work with them a little more, if they want to. At least they look better. One item is actually good enough to sell on eBay. It's a 50's era cigarette lighter. It looks like a lamp, and it is heavily embossed. A pretty piece, for someone who collects that kind of thing.

Picture taking is done; now I need to get them online. BFF is not coming this weekend, so I'm on my own. Not sure if I'll get much done today, though, as I have Grandma duty after school, and an out-of-town mystery shop to do before that.

BFF decided to wait till next weekend, so we can go together to the girls' outing in Shipshewana.

I have two free meals to look forward to this weekend. One is the mystery shop referenced above, and on Sunday I am invited to breakfast at my ex's house.

I didn't do any spending yesterday, other than running a load of laundry for $1.50.

Silver Polish & Sandals

August 30th, 2018 at 05:30 am

A bit of spending yesterday. I got the silver polish at Food4Less for $4. Then I went to DSW to use the $5 birthday coupon I got a few weeks ago. I ended up buying a pair of Oshkosh sandals for my Florida grandson for $4. They were on clearance, and the store was having a additional 20% off on clearance items, and then my coupon brought the price down to $4. I think he'll like them -- they are patterned with sharks! Which he loves, for some reason.

So now I just need to put together his birthday package and send it. I only spent $5 altogether, for the sandals and the Matchbox cars. Definitely a win!

Variables are at 51%.

I did not get around to using the silver polish and I didn't take any more pictures. Hoping I can get that done today, so when BFF comes, we can work on getting the stuff online.

Made plans with my friend M to meet next weekend with the "girls" to shop and hang around in Shipshewana, which is an Amish community and flea market center in Northern Indiana. That will cost me, if only for food and gas.

I learned that my savings on peak savings day was $5.50! Best I've done yet.

I did a Pine Cone survey for $3. I've been trying to schedule mystery shops, but I keep coming up empty. Someone beats me to the punch. I'm also being a lot more picky about what I will accept.

I went to the library yesterday and stocked up on more books. I freak out if I don't have something to read!


August 29th, 2018 at 06:02 am

Yesterday was a peak savings day -- if I reduce my electricity usage, I get a credit on my bill. I have done this three times already this month. The first time I didn't get any savings because it was really hot and I ran my air conditioners. But the next two times I got credits between $3 and $4. Not much, but every bit adds up! Yesterday, I turned off my air and I got pretty miserable, as it was not only hot but humid. I had sweat running down my face! But I stuck it out, and turned on the air the minute the time was up. I'll see in a few days whether I saved anything this time.

It would have been a no-spend day yesterday, but I sent $30 to my granddaughter's kindergarten fundraiser. I don't like those things, but I wanted to be fair, since I have supported my grandsons' school fundraisers in the past.

Variables are at 49%, and I have four weeks to go. But I have done some stocking up on food and pet supplies. I hope I can keep the spending lower now. I know I will have to make one more grocery run for perishables and basics like butter, eggs, etc. I still have to mail a birthday present to my Florida grandson. I have a bunch of Matchbox cars I got at a garage sale, all still in the package. I will send those along with a $10 bill.

I'm supposed to meet friends for a shopping day in northern Indiana next weekend, but I don't plan to do much shopping, just socializing. I'm sure we'll be eating lunch out, too.

I got more pictures taken yesterday for eBay. Just a few more to go. I have a few silver items which are tarnished, so I guess I have to get some silver polish to make them look good. BFF is planning on coming up this weekend to help me through the process of getting the info online. I'll be glad to get this done so I can reclaim my dining room table.

Monday Doings

August 28th, 2018 at 05:02 am

Got a very nice haircut from my regular place yesterday for $17, using a $3 coupon. I also ordered aquarium filters from Amazon for $14, and I sent $34 to my cousin to join in this year's family football pool. Who knows, maybe this year I'll win something! (I never do.)

My grandson had a bad first day at his new school -- nothing specific, just a shock to his system, I think. Suddenly being a little fish in a big pond. My DIL texted me to join them for dinner at a pizza place, but I was charging my phone and half-asleep over a book, and I missed the text and the dinner. I texted my grandson, since he has a new phone. I'm sure everything will be all right, now that he knows his grandma loves him. Smile

I got started taking pictures of my stuff for eBay. I'm just using my phone, so the pictures are not exactly professional quality. But I'm hoping they will do. I photographed 17 items and then I kind of wore out. I'm hoping to get started earlier and get more done today.

BFF hasn't made any commitment since offering to come, so I'm just plowing ahead.

I opened the windows last night, and it was very windy and almost stormy, though a storm never developed. Storms are predicted today and then a 20-degree drop in temperature. Goody!

Gathering Provisions

August 27th, 2018 at 06:48 am

Yesterday was a spending day. I started out at Sam's, where I spent $34 on Pledge, lunch bags, bread, Sweet & Salty bars, and a book, which will be a gift. On to Aldi, where I spent $27 on cheese, salad, almond milk, pizza, rolls, cookies, walnuts, chocolate syrup, soy sauce, chocolate chips and cheese dip. And then to PetSmart, where I spent $43 on cat food and kitty litter. At PetSmart I saved $10 by using a coupon, which I generated on my last trip by buying a large bag of dry grain-fee food. In order to use the coupon I had to buy another large bag. I am well-stocked with dry cat food!

My DIL reimbursed me for the spending I did on the kids this week. After that adjustment, and with the new spending, my variables are now at 31%.

It was very hot, as promised, and when I got home at noon I was wiped out. I pretty much spent the rest of the day reading and watching TV.

Today I'm going to make some chicken & dumplings, using up leftovers. I'll get a haircut if I can get an appointment. And I need to order aquarium filters on Amazon. I looked at them at PetSmart yesterday, but they were not on sale, so Amazon is cheaper.

It is continuing hot today, so even though I cut the air off last night, it's back on again today.

Haven't heard yet whether I am to pick up my grandson after school. My older grandson is now going to be handling his own commute on his bike, but the younger one will still need a ride. Since I haven't heard anything, I am assuming DIL is handling chauffeuring on this first day of school. So I may have another day of freedom?

Stay-At-Home Day

August 26th, 2018 at 05:48 am

Yesterday was a stay-at-home day. I completely cleared out the storage space in my basement, and I have gone through all of the boxes. I am now ready to start listing on eBay. I have approximately 50 items to sell.

My BFF offered to come up and help me with that, so I don't want to just dive into it. But I might get started with taking pictures, anyway.

Even though it was supposed to be hot yesterday, I was very comfortable just using my fans. It's supposed to get REALLY hot today, but in these early morning hours, I am still okay with the open windows and fans.

I'm going to do some spending today. After going to the gym, I'm going to go to Sam's, Aldi and PetSmart.

Planning on getting a haircut tomorrow, after all the back-to-school kids are done.

Still need to decide on a birthday present for my Florida grandson. For my local grandson, I'm getting a book about Fortnite tips and a crisp $10 bill.


August 25th, 2018 at 05:51 am

Today my son is going to load up my storage area with C's stuff -- it had to be cleared out of her old condo to make way for new tenants. I have almost cleared mine out. There is very little that I need to keep in there. I found places upstairs for my Christmas tree and decorations, and it will be much better to pull that stuff out for the holidays without having to go up and down stairs.

I have removed all of the boxes of stuff left over from my booth, and it has all been sorted as either garage sale or eBay. The next step is to set up my eBay store. I'm dreading that!

Aside from a load of laundry, I did not spend anything yesterday. I had the boys for half the day, but I fed them with leftovers and we didn't do any activities that cost money. They were entertained most of the day with new Lego sets.

We have had several days of cool, even fall-like weather, but it's supposed to heat up today, and even more tomorrow. Back to air conditioning!

Movie, Lunch and Haircuts!

August 24th, 2018 at 08:48 am

Yesterday was a busy day with the boys. I took them to see "Hotel Transylvania 3" -- keeping a promise I made weeks ago. Because I had some free passes, that was only $6. Then, since it was Eat-Out Day, we went to Buffalo Wild Wings and got lunch for $18. I believe my DIL will pay me back for lunch. But until then I'm logging it as an expenditure.

I have enough wings left over for another meal, and I took home most of my salad, which I ate for dinner last night.

Later, I took them to get haircuts. DIL gave me the cash for that.

I'm working hard on my storage area cleanout and garage sale prep. I've now gone through all the boxes that held my former booth items. Now I'm going to go through my Christmas boxes. I know there's a lot of stuff I can let go. My son and DIL will start moving in C's old storage items tomorrow morning.

I've found several nice surprises -- things I will keep. One is a kitchen clock -- I've been looking for one for quite some time, and there it was in my basement! And I found some red Delft pieces which I used to have up for sale in my booth, but which I am now displaying in my hutch.

Friday is usually a day off for me, but today I'm going to watch the boys from 1 to 7. My kids will be spending that time getting C's old condo ready for new renters.

The boys go back to school on Monday. I'm ready for a break!

Variables are at 16%, which may change if DIL reimburses me.

Thursday News

August 23rd, 2018 at 06:26 am

After going to the gym, I hit Food4Less yesterday, spending $38. I got apples, cereal, peppers, onions, sherbet, tuna, rolls, bread, tortillas, honey and coffee. Also some movie candy and a bag of Cheetos for the boys. Then I shelled out another $10 for stamps, which they sell by the book at the cashier's station.

I took the boys to mini-golf yesterday, spending $10 for the two of them to do 18 holes. They actually did the nine-hole course twice, since the 18-hole course was busy with a big group.

My son came over in the evening and helped me bring up a lot of boxes from my storage unit, as well as the big box with the Christmas tree, which I will now store in my hall closet. Most of these boxes are leftovers from the antiques booth I used to have. I'm finding a lot of surprises -- things I didn't even recall owning. Many of these items I'm going to put on eBay. If they don't sell, they will go to the garage sale. I'm not going to list them, however, until I get through all the boxes.

I got a text from my sister yesterday. Her FIL died recently, and left them some money. They were expecting this, but it turned out to be more money than they were expecting. She was already in the process of selling her house, and now they have bought a town house, which will have more amenities for her husband, who is in a wheelchair and is probably headed to assisted living. I'm glad for her, but worried at the same time. She has a history of being very bad with money management. She says she understands that they must live on their SS and leave the capital they have untouched, but I can only hope she really does that.

I got my ride-free card yesterday! Now I can use the trains and buses to get around and not have to pay a cent!

My son is feeling very blue and overwhelmed with stresses at work and no progress at all in finding a new job. My heart aches for him.


August 22nd, 2018 at 04:46 am

Yesterday wrapped up my August, because today is pay day.

It was a low-spend month. I spent only 83% of my variables, took nothing out of savings, and got a few breaks in the timing of my bills.

Housing: $713
Vacation/Travel: $188
Gas: $83
Utilities: $74
Phone: $52
Fees/Services: $40
Medical/Health: $37
Entertainment: $34
Gifts/Charity: $23
Groceries: $20
Eating Out: $13
Laundry: $9
Vet/Pet Supplies: $4

Grand Total: $1323

The reason for the very low food costs is that most of them were included in my vacation/travel budget. And I got a lot of free food on my travels. As well as free food from mystery shopping.

I didn't pay Comcast this month (but it will hit twice next month.)

I completed my second gap-year month. If I can do this every month I'll be just fine.


August 21st, 2018 at 10:43 am

This is the first time I've gotten this far since the blogs went down. Hope it will work, I've missed the blogs!

Mine still looks a little wonky, though, but I can live with that.

I'm still hanging in there, waiting for pay day. Tomorrow. Will probably have to spend today -- I'm taking the boys to see "Christopher Robin" and will probably have to get gas. At present my variables are at 75%. Even with some spending, I should come in below.

How's eveyone else doing?

Four Days Till Pay Day

August 18th, 2018 at 04:49 am

So I've got four days till pay day. I want to spend as little as possible during that time.

I'm planning to make roll-ups of crescent rolls and taco meat and cheese today. I still have plenty of frozen chicken, a can of tuna, and the makings for sausage biscuits. I also hope to have the time to make bread today.

I made granola yesterday.

I'm going to go back to the gym after a too-long break. Traveling, getting sick, and grandma duty has taken its toll on my regular schedule. The gym is several miles away, and when I get in the car I will probably see that I will have to put gas in it if I want to get around safely.

I also need to go to the library, which is in the opposite direction.

I'm making a list of things I need to get after pay day: cat food, kitty litter, aquarium filters, haircut, and a run to Aldi to stock up. Birthday presents for my grandson and granddaughter. A jelly thermometer.

I forgot to mention that during my travels I found .55. And I was able to do laundry for free during that time.

My son and DIL need my storage space -- they have to clear out C's storage area for the new tenant. I am fine with it, since I've been clearing out anyway for the garage sale. And this way, I will for sure get my son's help for bringing up the boxes, which I have to go through anyway.

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