Home > Archive: January, 2010

Archive for January, 2010

Doctor's report

January 28th, 2010 at 06:47 pm

I went to the doctor yesterday, and to my surprise he told me I no longer had to use the walker OR wear the boot! So I have been limping around on my own two feet. Sleeping without the boot was wonderful last night!

The bad news is that I have to have a pin removed next month. Although they say it is simple outpatient surgery, I am not psyched up for more surgery of any kind.

I have been driving, too. I drove to the doctor yesterday (first time since my accident). I had no problems. I was able to get gas and I found parking near the building. (I'm still waiting for my handicap placard). It felt so good to be out on the road again!

When I came to work after the appointment, there was no place to park, even though I had a special permit. There were simply no parking spaces of any kind. So I parked in an outlying lot and had to walk around the football field. When our president's secretary heard about that, she went to campus security and demanded that they reserve a spot for me! There it was this morning. Right next to the president's reserved spot!

I am so, so tired. Working, getting used to walking, and a sore throat (which will become a cold, I know) are all having their toll on me. I would go home, but I have to write some profiles on some big brass attendees at a dinner the president is going to. So I must stick it out. Will be very happy to see the weekend again.

Yesterday's spending:

Gas - $22.90
Breakfast (Mickey D) - $4.27
Lunch (KFC) - 5.67
Doctor's co-pay -- $15.00

Plus, I signed up to have $10 taken out of my paycheck each month for the annual fund. Since I work in the development office, they want to have 100% participation. $10 is cheaping out, but I have some serious goals of my own to meet.

Starting another week

January 25th, 2010 at 06:50 pm

This time I have to work five days, not four!

I had a pretty relaxing weekend. I didn't do any work except my laundry (which isn't all that easy when you're on a walker!) But I did it. I also watched movies and read and played computer games.

I am spending very little so far this month. But on Wednesday, I have to go to the doctor (who is almost an hour away). I am thinking very seriously about driving myself. The only thing holding me back from driving now is waiting for my handicapped placard. But I know I can park at the doctor's pretty close to the door without a placard. And I can walk now, with the aid of my walker. However, if I do drive myself, I will have to get some gas, and I'm not sure how easy that will be.

I also need to get some groceries, another thing that is not easy. Yet I hate to continue to ask for help, especially when by all appearances I am getting around better. And I just hate to ask for help, anyway.

I'll be glad when Spring comes and this is all over.


January 22nd, 2010 at 07:41 pm

I returned to work this week and now, on Friday afternoon, I am just dog-tired. I will try to sleep a lot this weekend, though I do have lots of laundry to catch up on.

My home computer would not connect to the internet last night. This morning I unplugged and replugged the router, but didn't have time to check if it solved the problem. So I don't know if I will have internet access this weekend.

Money-wise, things are going well. I spent $2.29 on a lunch this week, and $50 was withdrawn from Discover for my prepaid phone. No other spending. Hoping to have a good chunk of change to apply to the debt.

Happy weekend everyone!

My last weekend

January 16th, 2010 at 10:41 pm

This is my last weekend before I go back to work. Thank goodness it is a long one.

I'm not looking forward to going back to work -- not because I don't like my job, but I am dreading the logistics of going there with a walker and my leg in a boot.

BUT ... I am so much better off, a thousand times better off, than the injured people in Haiti who have no medical care, not even the food and water they need. I tried earlier to send money to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund but I couldn't get past the "donate" button. I hope that means that a gazillion people are using it. I will try later.

I am still taking it easy, but I am able to do little things now like small loads of laundry, loading the dishwasher, cleaning the bathroom counter. Being able to walk a little bit on my bad leg is making such a difference in my mobility.

Payday was yesterday. I paid my rent, paid off my Discover card (which I do every month), and put $288 on my BoA card. The debt is going down more slowly than I would like, but when I get my tax refund it will be gone for good.

All my other bills will come out automatically. Very handy, but somehow it makes payday less fun!

Good news from the doctor

January 14th, 2010 at 06:11 pm

The doctor said my x-rays were perfect, and I can start walking! That is, I must continue to use the walker, but I can put weight on my foot, as long as I'm careful. Oh, this makes it so much easier to get around!

There was a place on the surgical scar that was still seeping. He found a little piece of thread that had to be removed. Then he had me get a product called Wound-Be-Gone. Wow! It healed up immediately -- I've never seen anything like it!

Financial news -- I've spent another $35 on groceries, $39 on Wound-Be-Gone and blister band-aids, and $35 for the doctor's co-pay. I was only able to put $288 toward my credit card, but let's face it, it's been an unusual month.

I got a bill for the ambulance today. $500 -- but it included a form for insurance information. They want a front and back copy of my insurance card. How am I going to do that? I could draw one, I guess. Smile

I also got a check for $100 from the hospital. I think they are returning my co-pay. I'll have to look into that. Perhaps my insurance automatically paid?

I have promised to go into work on Tuesday. I won't need a wheelchair, now that I can walk a little. I will need a ride, though, and several people have offered. Just hope this nice weather lasts. Nice, as in not below zero, not snowing!

Oh, and my emergency fund is down a little because I sent $50 to my sister. She didn't ask for it, I was just worried about her.

Back to work, sort of

January 10th, 2010 at 06:39 pm

It's been decided. I will work from home starting Monday, with the goal of going into work on the following Monday. On Tuesday, however, I go to the doctor (appointment rescheduled due to last Thursday's snowstorm). I hope that not too much work is given to me, because I still tire out fast.

DS2, wife and sons came down yesterday for the day. They cleaned my whole house and put away my Christmas decorations. That, and their wonderful company was such a boost. I treated them to pizza, which cost $13.50.

I got my account slip from the booth. It was indeed a lean month. I owed $51.96. They say that snows in the Carolinas forced many closings, so I think that is a factor. It worries me, though, because December is usually a good month, and January is usually lean. In fact, things usually don't pick up until April. Oh well, I'll ride it out. We have lots of good stuff in there and it's priced right. Just have to get the right buyers.

I subscribed to Netflix, the 2-at-a-time plan, which costs $13.99 a month. I think it will be worth it. I have basic TV, and this is cheaper than adding channels. Besides that, I enjoy watching movies more than anything on TV. I already got my first two movies, which were from my old queue from way back. This morning I watched "Reign on Me." The other is "The Hoax." I don't remember why I put it on my list or anything about it, so it will be a surprise.

Top Ten Events This Year

January 7th, 2010 at 03:36 pm

I think someone else did this already -- all the news recaps of the year just ended made me think about the biggest events in MY life this past year -- some are finance-related, some not.

1. I unretired and took a job in Chicago, moving away from North Carolina.

2. Before the above event, I temporarily lost my health insurance because of higher premiums and lower retirement payouts.

3. I welcomed a new grandson in September.

4. My son became engaged to a fabulous girl in October.

5. I also welcomed two new great-nephews into the world.

6. I broke my ankle.

7. I had two other surgeries, these minor: had a dupuythen removed from my finger, and was biopsied for lesions in the mouth (all ok).

8. I lost my ex-mother-in-law to a sudden stroke.

9. I attended two way-fun conferences -- one in Boston, one in Charleston, SC., and in the process met up with some old friends.

10. I got to spend both Christmas and Thanksgiving with both my children -- unusual because I rarely get them both for both holidays.

So it's been a tumultuous year, both good and bad. Hope this year is a bit calmer!

In other news, I finally took my first shower with my new shower stool, and do I ever feel good!

Monday wishes

January 6th, 2010 at 05:36 pm

All my Monday wishes came true.

The maintenance guy came and switched the door on the fridge so it swings the other way. Wonderful!!! No more wrestling my walker around the door and trying to figure out where to set things down.

The shower stool was delivered. Unfortunately, they delivered to the apartment office, so I had to call and have someone deliver it to my apartment, and I didn't get it till yesterday. It is now sitting in my tub. I'm a little scared to try it now, but I will have to clean up for my doctor's appointment tomorrow.

I emailed work. My ultimate boss would like to see me come in on Monday, but my immediate boss wants me to work at home for a while. They are still in discussion. I really, really don't want to go in in this bad weather. Plus, there is a long ramp to get in the building and I know I don't have the strength to go that distance on my walker. I would have to get a wheelchair. So I hope my immediate boss wins.

It didn't get warmer, so I guess not everything came true. We have a snow advisory tomorrow -- the day of my doctor's appointment. Sometimes I feel like I just can't cut a break.

Good news financially -- I got my bill from the hospital showing 0.00 owed. I am hoping that means that insurance covered everything except the $100 co-pay I already made. Of course, I know there will still be bills from other sources.

The hospital bill alone was over $37K! I am SO glad I have good health insurance now.

Monday, Monday

January 3rd, 2010 at 09:39 pm

I'm just waiting for it to be Monday.

On Monday, my shower stool might come.

On Monday, the maintenance man will switch the door on my fridge so it swings the other way. (Right now it is very difficult for me to use while I'm on a walker).

On Monday, I'll call work and tell them I won't be in till I see the doctor again.

On Monday, the regular TV shows will be back.

On Monday -- maybe it will be warmer? I'm freezing, and I have the heat set way higher than it should be.

On Monday -- maybe my foot will be better? I'm suffering extra pain in my heel all of a sudden. This morning I discovered that the insole in my boot had edged forward, so I think that may be the cause. I fixed it, but my heel still hurts. I may have the beginning of a blister. That's all I need!

No financial news, except that I am having a lot of no-spend days!

What I spent in 2009

January 2nd, 2010 at 08:40 pm

My biggest expense -- no surprise -- rent. $9874, or $823 a month. I actually pay $1090 a month, but didn't move in till May.

Next: Moving expenses. $4931

Next: Medical/health-related expenses. $2579, or $215 a month. This doesn't even count what my broken ankle will cost. Nor does it count the premium that is subtracted from my paycheck.

Next: Furniture & equipment: $1786 or $149 a month. I think most of this was for things I needed after my move.

Next: Utilities: $1738, or $145 per month. This is low, because I didn't pay utilities until May except for my phone.

Next: Groceries: $1306 or $109 per month. I didn't know I had done so well in this category!

Next: Vacation/Travel: $1150, or $96 per month. This includes a road trip to Florida last winter, several short trips to Michigan, and conferences in Boston and Charleston, SC. Much of the conference expense was reimbursed; I only included what I paid out of pocket.

Next: Gifts: $1042 or $87 per month. Birthdays, Christmas, charity. Lower than usual -- I bought cheaper gifts this year.

Next: Car Repair/Maintenance: $1033 or $86 per month. Two fender benders; one I paid repairs on out of pocket. Also includes car washes, oil changes, and brake work.

Next: Household Supplies: $780 or $65 per month. These are non-food items like paper towels, etc.

Next: Fees/Services: $590 or $49 per month. Tax fees, fines, a slew of new licenses because of changing residence, professional fees.

Next: Vet/Pet Supplies: $572 or $48 per month. Includes cat food & kitty litter for my own two kitties as well as supplies/housing for the feral cats.

Next: Insurance: $568 or $47 per month. Mostly car insurance; I didn't get renter's insurance till November.

Next: Eating Out: $560 or $47 per month.

Next: Business: $513 or $43 per month. Includes any rent not covered by sales and purchases for the antique booth I run along with my sister. I personally made $432 on the booth so my net expenditure is really $81. Obviously, this is a hobby, not an income stream (but there's always hope!)

Next: Clothing: $465 or $39 per month. This includes some purchases for my new job, so this is pretty good.

Next: Gas: $372 or $31 per month. My short commute to work helps out a lot here.

Next: Entertainment: $301 or $25 per month. Movies, book purchases, outings with the grandkids, the occasional concert or play.

Next: Personal: $159 or $13 per month. Haircuts, grooming supplies.

Last: Miscellaneous: $117 or $10 per month. Whatever didn't fit in the other categories.

Altogether I spent $30,436. Since I lost my previous records in a computer crash I have nothing to compare to.

Next year I will probably have a moving expense again, but it should be much less since I will do it myself with my kids' help. I hope to keep my rent at the same rate or a little lower. Everything else there is room for a little improvement -- except for groceries -- I don't think I can do much better than that. My gifts this coming year will unquestionably be higher -- there will be a $1000 gift to my son for his wedding, and I plan to give better Christmas gifts. I felt bad being the "cheapie" this year, even though I know my family understood.

A good exercise! I like to do this every year!

Okay, my resolutions

January 1st, 2010 at 06:07 pm

1. Keep emergency fund up to $1000.
2. Save $100 per month for wedding gift fund.
3. Pay off moving debt with tax refund.
4. Start a Christmas fund (save $5's).
5. Save quarters for kids' laundry.
6. When 1,2 & 3 are done, contribute to car fund (ING account).
7. Count calories -- aim for 1600 daily.
8. Do physical therapy as assigned.