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Archive for October, 2007

Some more purchases

October 22nd, 2007 at 04:12 pm

This week I've spent a little more than usual. I bought a new electric griddle ($21). I didn't move my old one to the new house; it was so old and cruddy. But I found I missed it, so I got a new one at Wal-Mart.

I also bought a sketch pad ($4) and clipcase ($6), hoping to do some spur-of-the-moment sketching. I used to be pretty artistic -- I wonder if that talent is still there?

For my niece's new baby I sent a Wal-Mart gift card ($25) and a greeting card (.48).

While shopping at Lowe's with my cousin, I found a shower caddy ($20). The one I had, while new and in good condition, was too short for tall bottles, and there wasn't anyplace I could set a razor where it wouldn't fall through. It also had no hooks for a pouf! So it just didn't work too well.

My cousin bought me an electric fireplace. I'm sitting in front of it now! It is for my sitting room, which has no vent and is always cold. She insisted on paying, though I did argue with her. It is very cute -- fake cherry wood and about three feet high. It has fake flowing logs and fake flames which really don't look too bad! Wouldn't do for a public area, but it looks great here! And it really pumps out the heat.

I'm off today to do some errands, so there will be a little more spending today, but my total spending this month is $336. Still in line!

Recent spending

October 16th, 2007 at 01:49 pm

In the past week, I've had photos processed ($5), bought a birthday gift for my sister ($24), ordered some pants for myself ($59), and paid my cell phone bill ($45).

The photos were pics of my grandson, which my daughter-in-law put on the Walgreens photo site. I picked out my favorites and had them printed. I really like this system. I get great photos quickly and they are only .19 a print. I don't have photo-printing capability on my computer, so this works great for me.

The birthday gift was two tops for the price of one at Penney's. They are summer tops, but have 3/4 length sleeves, and I chose autumnal colors -- moss green and salmon. So I am crossing my fingers that they won't seem like an unseasonal gift at the end of October.

The pants I ordered from LL Bean. I have a hard time finding pants to fit, being just a little too short and just a little too heavy for standard sizes. LL Bean sells stretch cordorouy pull-on pants in petite length for $29.50. I tried on my cousin's and they fit perfectly, so I ordered two pairs. They should get me through the winter, along with the jeans and khakis I already have.

Soon I am going to the vet for a consultation, so that will be another expense to add. I also need to buy a baby gift for my niece, who recently had her third son. So I'll probably get a Wal-Mart card -- I'm sure she doesn't need much!

So far this month, I have spent $259. Since I try to keep to down to $600, I am right on target!

Dinner "out of nothing"

October 12th, 2007 at 03:38 pm

Last night my cousin was planning on having her sister bring Chinese for dinner. Since my aunt and uncle are visiting, and my sister and her husband were there when we were placing our orders, we planned on a big family dinner.

Her sister called late in the day and said that she was sick and couldn't do it. So I stepped in and said, "Let's have a leftover night!" I didn't get too much protest, so I warmed up some leftover pork roast and vegetables, made mashed potatoes, salad, glazed carrots and deviled eggs, and laid them all out buffet style. They were AMAZED!! They couldn't get over what a good dinner I had made "out of nothing." They are not used to making do.

My cousin even said I should write a book about using up leftovers. Poor dear, she doesn't know it's been done and done and done. This is all new to her. It gave me a chuckle. Maybe now she will be more willing to let me help with the grocery budget!

Retirement musings

October 11th, 2007 at 01:27 pm

Retirement has really changed my money outlook. I no longer have this big whomping debt I have to smash up. My expenses are few. I have enough coming in. It's almost weird. I'm realizing that while I was working and a homeowner, I didn't have the means for my (modest) lifestyle, and now it's better.

My biggest challenges will be keeping my emergency fund full and having enough money to travel and visit my children. And to keep my dog and cat healthy.

Recent spending: I treated my uncle and cousin to breakfast at a local diner ($20). I bought a backpack to use while walking ($11). I bought a used book at the library (.25). I bought some birthday gifts for my grandson ($46). I paid my Netflix bill ($18). I got my hair cut ($22). And I bought a jamocaccino at a cafe ($5). That was a waste! It wasn't even very good! But it did give me the leeway to sit and read in comfort while I waited for my cousin to be done with her doctor's visit.

Next month I will make two trips to the Midwest. One for my grandson's first birthday, and the other for Thanksgiving. And in December I am hoping to make a trip to Chicago to meet friends and Christmas shop. So these are the things I need to be saving for.

BTW, it's cold here today! I broke out my turtlenecks!

September recap

October 4th, 2007 at 05:23 pm

Finally, all the unusual expenses are over and I got an idea of what my typical post-retirement expenses will be.

My biggest expense was $498 for vet/pet supplies. Most of that was vet fees for the treatment of my dog's abscess. I'm happy to report that his belly is almost completely healed, and he is his old self, so it was money well-spent. I was afraid, old as he is, that it might be the end of him.

I spent $93 on gifts. There were two birthdays this month, a baby shower, and I also stocked up on cards.

I spent $69 on furniture/equipment -- mostly little things like a jewelry box, file boxes, frames, bath mat, etc.

I spent $45 for my cell phone bill and $31 for a prescription. $24 went to entertainment -- my Netflix fee and a book.

I only spent $23 on gas and $21 on eating out. $5 on personal items and $1 for a snack somewhere.

Altogether, if you factor out the vet bill, I only spent $386. I paid the vet bill from my emergency fund (which I've already replenished this month). That is well below my interest income, which was $591.

So I'm feeling pretty good!