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September 30th, 2023 at 06:38 pm
Grand Total 2231
The big number this month is gifts -- because of two grandsons' birthdays, and my donations to their college funds.
Medical was a bit high, too, though it was mostly co-pays. More to come.
But all in all, I kept it in line. Should be able to transfer $600 to savings.
I was expecting to see my annual payment for condo insurance withdrawn this month. It hasn't happened yet, so it will probably appear on Monday.
September 27th, 2023 at 06:27 pm
Yesterday I finished up the month's grocery shopping and hit $100 (for the month) on the nose -- with one caveat. I accidentally double-scanned an item so I had to go back and get reimbursed. Luckily, it was no problem.
Today I bought some facial serum, and it was $28 after cashing in a $5 reward from Walgreens. I've spent $100 on cosmetic items this month, as well as groceries. But I only bought three things -- the serum, a twin-pack of retinol night cream, and eyebrow gel. What price beauty? As much as sustenance, apparently. Well, these products will last a while.
September 24th, 2023 at 04:14 am
Tomorrow is my grandson's birthday. Today I withdrew $250 -- $200 for his college fund and $50 for his gift. I also bought a couple of cards for $10. One is for him, the other is for my son, whose birthday is in February. It just happened to be the perfect card for him, so I bought it.
I did a little juggling and correcting, and my variables are now at 85%.
We will have a little party tomorrow.
On Tuesday, I'll do my last grocery shopping trip of the month.
I've had a hankering for a Reuben sandwich, but when I shopped last week I did not want to buy a corned beef brisket -- way too big. I was at Aldi, so deli options were limited. So I bought canned corned beef, thinking, how bad can it be? It was pretty bad. I will have to think of other ways to use it up. Corned beef hash, for sure, and I can also make a sandwich spread with mayo and relish, like tuna salad.
It's very salty. I doubt I will buy it again.
September 21st, 2023 at 10:09 pm
Wow, has it really been ten days since I posted? That doesn't seem right, but it seems it's true.
I spent $24 for groceries this week, and $5 on household supplies (bleach). I paid $115 in medical fees, and there are more charges in the percolator. It's been a time of many medical appointments. Nothing scary, though. Just getting things checked out, and getting a thumbs-up.
I spent $33 on clothes from Goodwill. I am losing weight (yay!) and needed a few items that would fit better. On the same day I treated myself to lunch at Panera for $14.
A few days ago I ordered a phone grip for my sister on Amazon and had it delivered to her - $10.
I think that's mainly it -- variables are at 90%, mainly driven by that medical spending.
This evening I'm going to another suburb to get my RSV shot. It wasn't available at my Walgreens. I assume it will not cost me anything, but we will see. I made an appointment for the new COVID booster for a week from today. That will be close to home.
September 12th, 2023 at 04:04 am
I went to a garage sale yesterday and found a gift for BFF -- a lusterware cream and sugar set. She likes lusterware -- I hope she feels she can add more to her collection. It was $6. Her birthday is coming up in November.
I sent $250 to my Oregon son -- the $200 for my grandson's college fund, and $50 for a birthday gift.
I intended to grocery shop today, but I was too tired after a lousy night's sleep. So far I'm not doing any better tonight! I did manage to do some laundry - $2.
I got a notice that I owe $75 for medical bills -- haven't paid it yet, though -- I'll do that when I get my SS payment next Wednesday. The $75 is my share for an x-ray and doctor visit for my arthritic knee, and for the Mohs surgery on my face. I thought that was pretty good insurance coverage!
Right now my variables are at 55%, which doesn't count the $200 college money. That's a big ticket item, different bucket.
September 7th, 2023 at 06:22 pm
I have already spent 39% of my variables, which is basically my monthly spending allowance. And it doesn't really seem I have bought much.
Yesterday I got the car washed for $5, spent $2 on laundry, and ordered a fascia blaster from Amazon for $13. The day before, I spent $5 at Cold Stone Creamery (had a $5 gift card, but the smallest container of sorbet I could buy was $10.) I also spent $1 on parking that day. And the day before that it was time to buy aquarium filters. I bought two boxes, because the second was half-price. I've gotta lotta filters! That was $36.
About the fascia blaster. I have figured out that a lot of my pain is from tight fascia -- basically all over. I hope this will help. It's a hand-held roller with bumps on it. I've tried the foam roller bit, so don't recommend that! I am not agile enough to get down on the floor and roll myself around! LOL. I've been here a long time; I'm an old lady now!
The weather has cooled off and it looks like it will stay cool in the 10-day forecast. I might take down my air conditioners. One of them -- the one I had so much trouble installing because the wings fell off, is sitting at a drunken level now and I'm a little bit afraid it might fall out the window. I might just have to get a new one next year -- one that fits the space better. This one is actually a little too small for the room In terms of BTU.
September 3rd, 2023 at 09:25 pm
I began the month with some spending on skincare. I bought scar cream, to tackle the surgical scar on my face that is threatening to become keloid, and I bought two jars of retinol night cream. I also bought some brow gel, in what I hope is my last attempt to find a solution for my graying eyebrows. Maybelline XPress Brow, in their lightest brown. It's better than anything I have tried before. That's $104 altogether, jeesh. I've also done a couple of loads of laundry and bought a cheap lunch at Sam's. And I sent in $36 to join the family football pool, an annual event.
After some very nice days, the heat is back. I haven't turned on the AC, however. The lower humidity makes it bearable.
August 31st, 2023 at 07:31 pm
|Fees & Services
Grand Total 1740
This was my lowest-spending month this year! Even though I spent more than usual on medical, and I bought some clothes and new sheets. It helped that there were no big-ticket items this month.
I transferred $3K to savings. That's what happens when I keep my spending in line.
August 25th, 2023 at 04:18 am
Just when I need to conserve cash, here comes the wheel tax. I had to pay it; it's due September 1, and I had forgotten about it. I thought I had paid it when I got the new car in February, but apparently I just transferred the information and didn't pay anything. Well, now it's done. Only $45, thanks to my senior benefit.
Wheel tax is like a resident sticker. It allows me to park on the street without getting ticketed.
That leaves me with only $14 for the rest of the month! Mind you, I have plenty of money available, but keeping my spending within a strict limit is what makes my budget work. This is a goal, not a necessity.
As for the medical test I had yesterday -- it was inconclusive so I'm getting a consult with a surgeon on September 13. I did not have to pay anything up front, as I thought I might, but the bill will come eventually. As will the next one. Sigh. As they all say, medical expenses take a big bite out of the budget when you reach a certain age. And I'm there.
August 23rd, 2023 at 04:20 pm
I bought a few groceries, which brought my spendable moolah down to $61. Variables are at 92%.
Today I'm driving an hour away to get a diagnostic test. Doctor's orders, I must do it. Driving to this faraway location was the only way I could get an appointment quickly. I am not sure how well insurance will cover this; I may have some out-of-pocket expense. This won't affect my variables; it will be a "big ticket" item for sure.
It's very, very hot today, and I regret having to be on the road. Thank goodness for AC in the car! When I was young, it was unusual to have AC in the car; now it's pretty standard. That's a good thing!
August 18th, 2023 at 05:11 pm
I had some surprise company -- friends who took the train into Chicago and needed a place to crash before they continued their trip. A sleeper couch and the floor were not the best accomodations, but they didn't complain. Before they left we had the chance to visit and shop and eat out a few times.
I have spent 90% of my month's variables budget! I can't blame it all on the company. I also bought a new jacket for $38. Unexpected spending, but I'm chalking it up as a late birthday present for myself.
Now, with 13 days left in the month, can I spend only $77? We'll see, I guess.
I certainly don't regret the surprise company. It was a great time.
August 14th, 2023 at 02:10 pm
Yesterday I met BFF in the halfway city. We celebrated my recent birthday at a Bob Evans (haven't been there in ages!) and then shopped. I had some birthday coupons to use. I spent $22 at Kohl's for a hoodie and I bought a stocking stuffer for $2 at DSW. That's it! BFF treated for lunch and for ice cream afterwards at Cold Stone Creamery.
Today I'm going grocery shopping. There are three Mondays left in the month and I can only spend $13 on each of them to stay within my limit. I'm going to Walmart first, to get bread, and then I'll get a few things at Aldi.
I also plan to walk at the community center indoor track and make a stop at Home Depot to get weatherstripping for the air conditioners. I did get all the windows and AC units put back -- I should say my son did. It was really nice to have air again. Though today is nice and cool and I don't need it.
Variables are at 64% halfway through the month, but the spending should slow down from here.
August 10th, 2023 at 02:41 pm
My eye doctor's appointment was the best. My eyes have not changed appreciably. I do not need glasses for distance vision, my cataract is still very small, and my retinas are in good shape. The appointment did not cost me anything because it was covered by my Medicare Advantage plan.
The next day I went to my GP about the pain in my knee. He referred me to a walk-in sports clinic, and I went there right away. They x-rayed my knee, and the verdict was that my meniscus was fine but I did have substantial arthritis. Which was no surprise. Physical therapy was recommended. I'm still mulling that over, because my knee now does seem to be getting better on its own.
Yesterday I went to the dermatological surgeon and had the Mohs procedure done to remove skin cancer from my cheek. I was lucky in that it took only one pass. They did insist on giving me stitches, since it's on the face, and supposedly the outcome will be better. After the anesthesia wore off, it was pretty painful and a bit swollen (both of which I was warned about). I finally took Tylenol and had a decent night. Today I'm better, but my vanity is suffering because I can't wash my hair, and it really needs it!
While all this was happening, I was informed that TIAA, which holds my retirement fund, was hacked and my information compromised. I froze my three credit report accounts. I already have credit monitoring that I was given after the Experian hack. TIAA has offered services with Knoll, but I think this is going to be enough. The hackers didn't get access to money, just to personal information.
And now for the windows. They have been washed, though it took longer than projected. I am waiting for my son to respond that he can help me get it all back together. There are 24 storm windows and 12 screens that have to reinstalled, as well as the AC units. I washed the 24 storm windows myself, and that was quite a job. The new squeegee made it easier, but I don't think I did a perfect job. C'est la vie.
I have one window with a broken chain (as opposed to the more usual cord found in vintage windows). I have called a window repair company and they charge a minimum of $277 (odd figure!) for a service call. Other companies have not responded, so I suppose eventually I will have to pay this. With the chain broken, it is almost impossible to raise the window.
So, a lot going on. Tomorrow is my birthday. My BFF is coming up, and we are all going out for pizza in the evening, hopefully at a venue with nice outdoor seating. Hopefully, because the weather may not cooperate. Anyway, that's what's going on in my world.
August 7th, 2023 at 02:39 pm
Yesterday I went ahead and ordered the AC frame from Amazon, also some double-sided tape and weatherstripping. I also bought a professional-grade squeegee. All because of window-washing and all the juggling around I have to do because of it. The screens and storms are now out, and the AC units sitting on the floor. Thank goodness it is not too hot, because I am sealed in here. And the washers have not even shown up yet.
I also threw in a phone grip, because I keep on accidentally turning off my phone.
Altogether I spent $78.
The storms are pretty dirty, so I will have to wash them myself. That's why I bought the squeegee. I've never had a good one.
In a few minutes, I will leave for the eye doctor's office. Hopefully, this won't be expensive!
August 4th, 2023 at 11:54 pm
August is starting out with some mild spending. I spent $31 on groceries ($11 over my limit). I'll have to make it up later. I also spent $6 on reusable straws. This was at Aldi. I've spent $4 on laundry, $42 on OTC medications, $12 on dryer sheets (from Sam's), and $16 on clothing from Goodwill -- two tops and a pair of exercise pants, very good buys.
One of my window air conditioners has pretty much lost its accordian side panels. They are falling apart, and when my son and I installed the unit this summer we kind of jerry-rigged something to make do. However, when I came home from Oregon I found that a storm had knocked a hole in the setup and water came in. I scrounged up some plastic pieces and closed off the space, but it won't last. I need to get real replacement panels. I have picked out something from Amazon that I think will work, but I have to get the okay from my son, because he's the one who's going to install them. And he knows more about that kind of thing. I have picked out a sturdy set, and it will be about $50 along with the weatherstripping and tape. It will be worth it if it will keep the elements out. And it will look a lot better.
I'm going to the eye doctor on Monday and will most likely get glasses. Then on Tuesday I have an appointment with my GP. My knee is somewhat improved but I want to figure out just what's wrong and what I need to do next. Then on Wednesday, I go the dermatological surgeon and get the skin cancer removed.
Window washing is going to be done on Monday and Tuesday, so I have to remove screens and take down the air conditioners (thus making it even more important that I get the proper accessories to properly reinstall!) Oh, it's going to be a week.
I was told to schedule an dermatology appointment for a full body scan. I called this morning and was first offered an appointment one year from now! After the scheduler looked at all locations in my group, she found an opening for February 1 in a suburb about a half hour away. Crazy. I am on a waiting list for any opening that comes up sooner than that. Apparently, we are really deprived of dermatologists in this area.
July 31st, 2023 at 05:41 pm
What a month this was. Not only did I have the vacation in Oregon, but I just got back from a long weekend at my brother's house. I went up to attend a memorial service for my sister's ex-husband. In addition to that, we did some eating out, and of course there was gas to buy.
And then there was the semi-annual auto insurance payment.
Here is how it all broke down:
Insurance - $1180
Housing - $769
Vacation/Travel - $631
Utilities - $201
Fees/Services - $190 (Traffic ticket and legal fee)
Medical/Health - $81
Entertainment - $64
Gifts/Charity - $44
Groceries - $38
Phone - $38
Gas - $29
Personal - $27
Household Supplies - $22
Laundry - $16
Eating Out/Takeout - $9
Car Washes - $6
Grand Total - $3345
My variables this month ended up at 110% spent.
The bright spot was that with all the traveling I didn't buy much in the way of groceries.
July 21st, 2023 at 10:31 pm
Yesterday I got out and did my walking at the community center, strength training at the gym, and did a little shopping, too. I spent $14 at Mariano's for groceries and $22 at Sam's Club for paper towels. Variables are at 79%.
Apparently I overstressed my knee while I was at the gym, and today I am in pain and hobbling around. The only solution is rest, so I will just have to lay low for a while. That's too bad because I really wanted to get back into walking every day, but I know that's not going to be a good idea.
July 20th, 2023 at 01:28 am
I am back from my visit with my Oregon son. It was a wonderful time. I was so glad to see him getting around, improving every day. He is still experiencing pain, but his doctor tells him this is normal, especially with two major surgeries in such a short time frame.
This vacation was more expensive than my usual. In addition to the airfare and hotel costs, which I already shared, I spent $35 on ground transportation, $112 on eating out, $32 on activities, and $70 on baggage fees. But it was worth it.
I returned home yesterday night, very tired and jet-lagged, and I'm still getting over it today.
One of the best pieces of news was that even though his position at work has been eliminated, he has a new position at the same level, and he started on Monday, on a shortened schedule.
Not so great news was learning that the spot on my cheek was skin cancer, but it is the "not scary" kind. Basal cell carcinoma. I have an appointment to have to removed on August 9.
July 8th, 2023 at 09:59 pm
Yep, I did. And I was caught by a red light camera, so I have to fork out $100. I wouldn't have believed it, but they have video proof. In my defense, it happened during the time I was so worried about my son, so I really wasn't in my right mind. I had no idea on that day what I had done.
On the same day I got the notice, I got my payout from the Google class action lawsuit. It was $95, so that almost pays for the ticket.
I just noticed that my July statement shows no change in my mortgage balance. I assume that's because of the July 4 holiday. But I printed out the two statements and I'm watching.
I've been very frugal with daily expenses but I did treat myself to lunch through a drive-through today - $5. Variables are at 20%.
July 6th, 2023 at 09:28 pm
I looked at my airline ticket for next week's trip to visit my son -- I realized that the plane leaves at 6 am, which I apparently didn't think was a bad time when I booked the ticket, but I forgot I would have to be there two hours earlier, plus the airport is about 40 minutes away. WHAT WAS I THINKING? I am not at all comfortable with taking an Uber in the wee hours, not to mention I'm not sure I would be able to function at that time. So I decided to book a room at the airport hotel the night before. It's way more expensive than I thought it would be -- with the fees tacked on it's $303, which I think is outrageous, but maybe it's typical these days. Anyway, I'm going to do it, it will make for a much better start to the day, which is going to be a long one.
I won't make that mistake again! I'm sure I went for this ticket because the price was better, but I will have to remember that I'm an old lady now, and a mid-day flight is a much better option, whatever the price.
July 3rd, 2023 at 12:10 am
I grocery shopped yesterday at Mariano's (a rather upscale store owned by Kroger). Aldi is my go-to store, but I go to Mariano's when I need popcorn. I spent $23. Then I picked up a prescription from Walgreens for $15.
I hardly ever grocery shop on Saturday because it's so busy, but I was out of some key items and didn't want to wait any longer.
After days of no rain and smoky skies, we had non-stop rain today, and then a flash flood alert. It has expired, so there's no danger. I'm glad for the rain; we needed it so badly, maybe not all at once, though.
June 30th, 2023 at 07:54 pm
It's the last day of June, and no spending today -- so time for my recap!
Housing - $769
Vacation/Travel - $456 (airline ticket)
Fees/Services - $212 (BestBuy service plan)
Utilities - $197
Gifts/Charity - $195 (two birthdays and care package)
Eating Out/Takeout - $49
Groceries - $47 (skipped two weeks, one because I was babysitting, one because smoke kept me housebound)
Household Supplies - $41
Phone - $38
Entertainment - $31
Gas - $26
Medical/Health - $26
Laundry - $18
Car - $8 (car wash and bargain car mats bought at garage sale)
Grand Total - $2113
Variables - 88%
It's always a good month when my expenditure is lower than my income. I can sweep $3000 into savings!
June 29th, 2023 at 04:30 pm
I calculated my expenditures while babysitting wrong. For some reason I saw $17 on the Subway receipt instead of $7. I didn't realize it until DIL reimbursed me correctly. So, anyway, I have wiped out those expenditures from my spreadsheet and my variables are now 88%.
I was planning on grocery shopping yesterday, but the air quality was too unhealthy to go out. Then I was planning on today, but there hasn't been much change. Now I'm so close to the end of the month, I may just skip it altogether. I have what I really need. Well, the creamer may not hold out, but I do have milk and sugar!
Using up things -- I made carrot soup yesterday. It took so long for the carrots to get soft that I ate something else instead and the soup is in the fridge waiting to be heated up for today's lunch. I also used up an apple by making apple pancake batter. I had apple pancakes yesterday and today and there's still more for tomorrow.
I'm getting stir crazy, and I'm glad I have a lot of books on hand for entertainment. With any luck, we will have rain today and that might drive away the smoke.
Oh, almost forgot! I have to pay $90 for my share of a legal fee to get our property valuation lowered. This will lower our taxes in the future, but I'm not sure if it will really make a difference to me, since I have a senior freeze exemption. I guess I'll find out soon. The funny thing is that I looked at this email in the middle of the night and my bleary eyes saw $9000 instead of $90.00. I was quite relieved this morning to verify what I knew must be true!
June 27th, 2023 at 01:54 pm
I just got home from spending a long weekend "babysitting" my teenage grandsons, while my son and his wife traveled out west. Everything went well, but I got pretty tired. I'm getting too old for this! I spent quite a bit, some of which may be reimbursed, but I'm not going to stress about it. I spent $64 on eating out & takeout and $13 on groceries. Well, I guess that wasn't so much after all.
I did not meet BFF for lunch as I had planned. Her car wouldn't start, so the meetup was a non-starter. Haha.
I didn't get as much sleep as I needed, so today is going to be a day of rest, except for catching up on laundry.
Variables are at 91%.
June 20th, 2023 at 01:06 am
Since my last entry I bought a birthday present for DIL ($63) and have now spent 80% of my variables budget. That's unusual before payday, but payday is a little late this month, coming on the 21st.
My son continues to make slow progress, but he is getting better. There is no hurry for him to get back to work because -- get this -- they have eliminated his position! It has nothing to do with his illness or with his performance in any way. It's a reorg thing. But the timing is terrible. He doesn't need this stress. Oh, I should be quick to say, he is not losing his employment; he has been promised that there will be a job for him, they just haven't figured out what it will be. And it probably won't be at the same level. It is a blow, but not a bad one, and right now he is more focused on regaining his health than he is on workplace drama.
Tomorrow I'm going to meet BFF in the middle city for lunch. I'm a little worried about the drive. There is going to be a NASCAR street race on Lake Shore Drive on July 1 & 2, and they are already closing lanes and streets in preparation. LSD is the route I always take, so I think I'm going to have to figure out another way. Hope Google Maps is up to date on street closings.
June 16th, 2023 at 11:17 pm
Thank you all for your kind words about my son and his health crisis. I am happy to report that he is home and recovering well from his second surgery. It will take him some time to get back to normal, but he is young and strong and he will do it.
I bought a plane ticket to go visit him in mid-July. The ticket was $485. I've also spent $50 on a care package, $26 for gas, $12 for cleaning supplies, $4 for paper plates, $24 for groceries, and $6 for laundry. I have spent 72% of my variables budget, and that's not counting the plane ticket, which is coming out of savings.
I am finding that I am very tired now that everything is getting back to normal. I was so tense for such a long time while my son was struggling. Once I started to believe that everything would be okay, I sort of crashed. I am hoping to regain some strength in the next few days, because next Thursday I will be babysitting my local grandkids while their parents take a long weekend vacation. "Babysitting" doesn't quite describe it, since they are teenagers, but I will be there to keep on eye on things, making sure they are fed and showing up when and where they're supposed to. It will be good to spend some time with them!
June 10th, 2023 at 02:38 pm
I have had a terrible week. My son was sent home from the hospital too early -- sounds to me like the doc was anxious to get started on his vacation -- and he hadn't been properly monitored (IMHO), so a day after he came home he woke up in the night vomiting bile and went back to the hospital in an ambulance. He went back into surgery the same day and part of his colon was removed due to two blockages -- one caused by scar tissue and one section that just wasn't working. He also has some residual infection. A port has been installed so that any fluid buildup can be detected early. I am hoping and praying that he is now really on the road to recovery. I have had one conversation with him since the second surgery, and he sounds better. I think the new surgeon is a big improvement over the first, but who knows, maybe the problem just wasn't obvious before.
I have been frantic, beyond stressed.
Spending: $23 for groceries, $81 for gifts, and my Best Buy technology plan renewed for $212. And this morning I spent $5 at a garage sale for two car mats. I was planning to get Weathertech mats, but these are heavy and fit well enough and I think they are going to be fine. Saved me a lot of money.
June 3rd, 2023 at 12:12 pm
Yesterday's spending: $25 for toilet paper at Sam's, and $2 for laundry. Variables are at 11%.
I forgot to report that last month's variables spending was only 54% of the allotted amount. A very good month.
My son in Oregon is in the hospital after an emergency appendectomy. Unfortunately, the appendix burst, so he is in a lot of pain and in danger of infection. I am very stressed about that. I am also stressed because I have several spots that the Urgent Care doctor wants me to have looked at by a dermatologist, with an eye toward a possible biopsy. I couldn't get an appointment before September 11! I am on the waiting list for anything earlier. So frustrating.
Vacation plans are on hold while these issues are sorted out.
May 31st, 2023 at 07:35 pm
Housing - $769
Utilities - $171 (low because gas bill did not hit this month, due to holiday)
Groceries - $100
Fees/Services - $40 (replenishment of tollway pass)
Vacation/Travel - $36 (short trip to brother's house)
Medical/Health - $33 (premium and band aids)
Eating Out/Takeout - $30
Gas - $28
Furnishings/Equipment/Decor - $24 (avocado keeper, mini-cooler)
Entertainment - $23 (streaming)
Laundry - $20
Household Supplies - $16 (dishwasher detergent)
Home Repair/Maintenance - $15 (doorknob set)
Clothing/Accessories - $12 (jeans from Goodwill)
Phone - $33
Car - $7 (car washes)
Personal - $4 (hair conditioner)
Gifts/Charity/Hosting - $2 (donations)
Fares/Parking - $1
Grand Total - $1364
May 22nd, 2023 at 07:47 pm
I haven't reported any spending since the 15th, but actually I haven't spent all that much. I spent $21 on groceries at Aldi, plus another $4 for an avocado keeper (which worked fairly well -- the avocado still developed a brown skin but it was easy to scrape off). On Saturday I took a long walk and stopped at a favorite eatery, where I spent $25. I had enough leftovers for a second meal, but still, it seemed like a lot for a brunch. Today I spent $3 on a car wash, the second one this month. I'm trying to keep it down to once a month, but this morning my car was covered with some kind of sticky residue which must have come from the trees. It was gross. I've done a couple of loads of laundry ($4), and that's about it. Variables are at 45%. I think I'll be able to put $1500 in savings if there are no surprises.