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Archive for October, 2018

Happy Halloween!

October 31st, 2018 at 07:17 am

I probably won't take part in Halloween festivities today, but I may walk a few blocks with my younger grandson while he trick-or-treats. My older grandson will be going with friends. Younger one said "he didn't mind" if I came along with him and his parents. Oh, they are growing up, changing into teenagers.

Yesterday's spending was $12 -- snack for my grandson, and a birthday card for a friend. Variables are at 13%. So far things are going well this month, financially. I am well-stocked and have no immediate plans to get groceries or anything else. I do need to fill my prescription, but I will look at Good Rx first to see if I can get a discount.

I signed up for another mystery shop for next Sunday, which will provide a meal and pay a $10 fee.

I'm loving "Pillars of the Earth" and I recommend it if you like historical fiction.

Doctor Visit

October 30th, 2018 at 09:47 am

I went to my primary physician this morning for a follow-up. I got another blood test to make sure my kidneys continue to be okay while I take Celebrex. He gave me an updated prescription which specifies that a generic is okay. I still have a few days before I need to fill it.

My copay was $5. I was very pleased that I got in and out within an hour, so I didn't have to pay for parking.

Yesterday was a no-spend day. I spent a lot of time reading because the book I was reading was due today -- no renewals available. I did get it done and returned it this morning.

Now I'm going to be working on Ken Follett's "The Pillars of the Earth." My son says I'll like it.

I got a letter today from the Social Security Administration telling me that I would be getting more money if I would switch from the spousal benefit to my own. It provided a link to make the switch. It didn't mention a thing about how waiting the ten months till I turn 70 will give me a significantly better benefit. It makes me wonder if they are sending this to people who are close to getting a better benefit and trying to encourage them not to wait. Hate to be negative, but why did this come from out of the blue?

No way will I switch until I am 70.

I also got my wheel tax bill -- early this year, but it's not due till the end of December. I'll pay it online using the credit card with the bonus offer. (Wheel tax is basically like getting a sticker for residential parking -- only we don't get a sticker. The info just goes into a computer.)

I took a nap yesterday and so didn't sleep well last night. But the nap felt lovely! I was simply too groggy to stay awake.

Before I went to the doctor this morning, I went to the gym. And before that, I picked up a bag of box tops that were offered on freecycle. I'm going to mail them to my granddaughter in Florida, because she's still young enough to be excited about bringing them to school. Her mom has made a special request to all the grandparents that we save them for her.

I've seen a lot of good things come up on freecycle, but usually not anything I need. And when I do see something I want, it's gone before I can get in on it. It was fun to get something that my granddaughter will appreciate.

Another Sale

October 29th, 2018 at 06:50 am

I sold another item on eBay yesterday. This one netted me a little over $20. It's a porcelain ginger jar and plate, so it required careful packing. I used LOTS of bubble wrap, and marked "Fragile" all over the box. I'll be mailing it out this morning, along with the little plate I sold the day before.

This particular set was not something I bought at Goodwill, but is a set my sister gave me years ago when she was downsizing. While it is lovely, it does not really go with my decor, so it's never been properly displayed. I put it in the garage sale, but no one was interested. I'm so happy that I tried it out on eBay. The funny thing is that I'm sending it to someone in my mother's birthplace, which is a very little town. So weird!

When I was getting ready for my garage sale I found a stash of old glasses. I am going to donate them at LensCrafters today. While I'm there (in a mall) I'll do some walking.

I want to get started today on making potholders for Christmas gifts. I already have Christmas fabric and batting, so I just need to find a pattern. I'm sure I can find one online.

I baked bread yesterday in my new loaf pans. Just loved the ease of using better equipment! At the end of the day, when both loaves were cooled and sliced, I called DIL, and she sent over the boys to pick up a loaf. They seem to especially love it, and I'm so happy that I can make something for pennies that they really like!

I didn't do any spending yesterday, and my variables spending is 10%. I don't plan to spend anything today, but sometimes the day surprises me.

A New Day

October 28th, 2018 at 05:11 am

A busy day yesterday. I babysat in the morning, then went to the gym, grocery shopping at Sam's, and then to my ex's house (with my kids) because it was his birthday and other family members were visiting from out of state. I stayed until late evening.

I accepted a bid on eBay. The money I made above the shipping cost is about what I paid for the items I bought at Goodwill, so if I sell just one more, I will have made a profit.

I have been getting some heckling on my posts -- not just the current ones, but old ones, too -- which I will be deleting. This makes me realize that our supportive community of active bloggers here is just the tip of the iceberg and that our words also go out to people who are not only not friends, but hostile and mean-spirited. It's probably not a good idea to be as open as I have been, so I'm going to be less specific from now on and remove my financial details. I'll figure out something later to put in my sidebar. Till then it will look a little weird.

Hoping everyone has a lovely Sunday!

Saturday Morning

October 27th, 2018 at 06:18 am

This morning I'm going to take care of my grandkids while my son and his wife go out to brunch with friends. Only a couple of hours. It is my gym day, so I will probably go afterwards. I go to the gym every three days now, for strength training, and I walk outdoors the other two days. But soon I'll have to go to the gym for cardio, too, when the weather turns.

I got an offer on one of my eBay items and I have decided to accept it. It is pretty close to the asking price, and it's the only nibble I've gotten on this second round of offers.

I didn't do any spending yesterday. A couple of automatic payments hit my account -- assessment fees and gas, but those do not come out of variables.

I went to my grandson's flag football game in the evening. It was the last game of the season, because they did not advance in the playoffs. No more games now, in any sport, until spring. Unless he decides to play basketball, but last year he didn't.

It's cool and rainy, very fall-like. I'd really like to just curl up with a book!

Friday Morning

October 26th, 2018 at 06:44 am

I had my hands-on election training last night, and just like last time, I was overwhelmed with information. It just sounds a little more familiar this time! I have a manual that I will read before the day. Only a week and a half to study.

It's not that it's so hard, it's just that they throw so much at you so fast. Of course they want you to be ready for anything.

As far as spending goes, I spent $3 on a new shower curtain liner and $8 on groceries. I was at Target to get the shower liner and picked up eggs, butter, mushrooms and cream cheese while I was there. I'm going to be making Fetuccini Alfredo today (only with penne).

As I headed home I saw that my Aldi is open again after the remodeling. So I wish I had waited on the groceries, but I didn't spend much, anyway.

Variables are at 10%.

I'm looking forward to a day of rest and tooling around at home. I see there is a flag football game on my calendar this evening, but my grandson said yesterday it might not happen. They're in playoffs.

Dinner Out

October 25th, 2018 at 06:20 am

I was really looking forward to going out to eat last night. And I did have a good time. But I got sick afterward. Something I ate was not right with me. I had a cheeseburger, but I did take my dairy pill with the first bite. Perhaps I should have taken two. I'm also wondering if the caramelized onions were the culprit. Kidney disease has made my digestion so much more sensitive.

The cost was $15.

I ordered fish food from Amazon and spent $23 -- should last me a while. Or last the fish a while. I'm not going to eat that. Smile

I also did a load of laundry, and I paid a $19 medical bill. The $19 was actually a nice surprise.
It had been $64, but when I logged into the website, an adjustment had been made. Guess it pays to wait!

I paid my mortgage and the credit cards (in full). Variables are at 8%.

Tonight I am scheduled to get hands-on training for the upcoming election. Judging from last time it will take a couple of hours, and I'll have to travel about 1/2 hour to get there. It starts at six and I'll be taking care of the boys till about 5:30, so I'm going to have to pack a dinner. PBJ, probably!

It's Pay Day!

October 24th, 2018 at 05:01 am

I wasn't going to spend anything yesterday, but as it turned out I had to get gas - $26. And then I bought cones at McDonald's for GS2 and me. $2.

I ended up with spending 74% of my variables budget. Still good.

For the upcoming month, I have $231 extra to put into my variables budget. That includes the garage sale profits, mystery shopping, surveys, cashback rewards and found money.

The extra money not spent last month will go into savings.

My net worth has remained pretty stable, despite losses in the stock market.

Tonight I'm going out to dinner with friends. It will be at a diner-type place, so it will be cheaper than the last dinner with friends. Different set of friends, too.

Forgot to add my October recap!

Housing - $713
Insurance - $208
Utilities - $170
Groceries - $107
Vacation/Travel - $103
Eating Out - $63
Phone - $52
Medical/Health- $46
Household Supplies - $37
Personal - $32
Gas - $26
Entertainment - $22
Vet/Pet Supplies - $18
Furnishings/Equipment/Decor - $17
Laundry - $13
Gifts/Charity - $12
Miscellaneous - $6

Grand Total - $1645

Indoor Day

October 23rd, 2018 at 06:42 am

Yesterday was my indoor day. I didn't go anywhere; didn't move the car. Heck, I didn't even dress! That is, I showered but then got into another pair of pajamas.

Today will be a different story. This morning I'm going to the gym, and this afternoon I'm taking GS2 for a haircut and then to his cooking class. But no shopping. Two days to pay day, and I'm going to try to keep my variables down to 70%.

I think next month will be a low-spend month on groceries, because I still have a LOT of food on hand.

I was productive yesterday. I listed 16 new items on eBay. I am hoping that at least three of them sell. That would be about 20%. We'll see. This time, I offered free shipping on everything and set a fixed price rather than put them on auction. Of course, the fixed price included what I estimate the shipping will be. It makes it easier on the seller, and I hope the buyers will realize that the price is more than fair.

I got my payment from one of my mystery shop companies yesterday. The total payment was $151, but only $82 was profit. The rest was reimbursement.

Stuff

October 22nd, 2018 at 05:32 am

Yesterday I spent .53 on lunch. That was how much I went over the amount that will be reimbursed. I ordered exactly what I was supposed to, so I hope the mystery shopping company starts to catch up with the reality of rising prices -- it's not possible to order the required items and come in under their flat reimbursement rate. Not that it's so much, but they should reimburse fully, or change their ordering requirements.

I finished my online training for Election Day. I will take a real-time class on Thursday at a local community college.

Only two more days till payday. Variables are at 70%.

I handled more than ten papers yesterday -- more like about 20 -- but it will take a while before I see a difference. I have to do it a little at a time, though, because I really hate dealing with paperwork.

Still need to get to work on eBay listings -- I will try to get that done today.

Sunday Morning

October 21st, 2018 at 06:33 am

It's going to be a quiet day.

I have one outing planned -- a mystery shop at lunchtime at a local franchise.

I got my first invoice from my new HSBC credit card. It is $193, 2/5 of the way to the $150 reward.

I got the "boat bag" I ordered with Wells Fargo points. It's a nice canvas tote that I will use to cart around quilt pieces, so I can work on it when I travel.

I'm going to make mac & cheese for dinner.

If I can make myself do it, I'm going to take the online training for Election Day, and I'm going to list the few pieces I have to sell on eBay.

My stack of papers is building up ridiculously, so I'm taking the pledge to handle at least ten papers a day until I get it under control again.

Saturday

October 20th, 2018 at 01:00 pm

I seem to be doing a lot of laundry. Three loads in the last three days. One of them was because Iggy threw up on the bed, but still.... I'm trying to be more conscious of wearing things that haven't been worn long the day before.

I went to the gym today and afterwards I went to the grocery and bought a 24-pack of water. I keep water in my car all the time, mainly because I cannot risk dehydration with my kidney disease. I need to have it available all the time. The pack was on sale for $3.

Variables are up to 69%, but I have only four more days to go.

Somehow my Fire Stick and the remote got out of sync yesterday, and I had to have my son come over and rescue my streaming. I did try myself, but didn't get it done. He seems to have an intuitive understanding of electronics that I lack. Luckily, he is nearby, and that little intervention saved me from buying a new stick or remote, which I was starting to consider.

I'm planning to just be lazy the rest of the day. It's cold and blustery, a good day to get under a blanket and read.

Friday Morning

October 19th, 2018 at 06:22 am

Well, I'm going to try an entry, even though the blog home page looks crazy today.

Yesterday was a no-spend day, though I did get a residual $10 bill from eBay for my selling spree. And I saw an email saying there is a bill on my medical site, which I know will be at least $50.

Soon my Amazon Prime membership will renew. I decided to let it renew, as I think I will use Amazon a lot for Christmas and when I am recovering from my surgery. And I'm watching some of their streaming stuff.

Today I'm taking the boys for their flu shots. I thought I was taking care of them today, but I think it's just the run to the doctor's office.

I need to get to the gym. It's also time to clean the fish tank. I want to make some oatmeal cookies. More laundry to do. Housework. Ugh.

There's a flag football game tonight. It's cold, so I will need to REALLY bundle up.

And I need to get started on listing the newest round of items on eBay, but that may wait till the weekend.

Busy Day

October 18th, 2018 at 04:50 am

My mystery shop yesterday required me to be on my feet (most of the time) for two hours and I got quite tired. I did take time to sit down and get a coffee & muffin at Corner Bakery ($5). And I also picked up a birthday gift for my son as well as a couple of birthday cards for $11. I used the tail ends of three gift cards to get such a low price.

I submitted my report and went straight to picking up GS2 and taking him to a friend's house for a play date. Then GS1 called for a ride. He usually walks, but he had a lot to carry. Not long after I got him home, it was time to pick up GS1, who realized he did not have his book bag. We had to go back to the school to look for it. Finally found it at the security office, where someone had turned it in.

Came home for about 45 minutes and then it was time to babysit for the evening, while son & DIL went to see a musician friend perform. The boys went to bed about an hour after I came, but I was there for about three hours after that. My hip started to hurt terribly, probably because of all the activity. Thank goodness this morning I seem to be okay.

Variables are at 65%.

I was invited out to dinner with a special librarian group on October 24, and I RSVP'd. That's pay day -- a good day to eat out!

I got my election assignment. Only one day -- election day, no early voting. It is at a better location than last time. In fact, I think it is right on the Northwestern campus. There is a large group of judges. Last time I worked at an election it was a small group in a park building which was pretty run-down. It was also a mixed district which meant we kept having to send voters to a different location. It was pretty challenging. I have hope that this experience will be better.

Hoping today will be a calm and restful day. I do have the boys after school but I hope there will not be so much chauffeuring. Tomorrow I have them all day for some kind of school holiday, and I will be taking them to the doctor for their flu shots.

I Fell!

October 17th, 2018 at 06:08 am

While I was picking up GS2 yesterday, I tripped over a curb and fell on the sidewalk. I didn't do much real damage, but I did break my right thumbnail and jam my thumb into the concrete, and it's very painful. My knees took the hit lower down. They are bruised. I'm really sore today.

I spent $9 on famotide at Sam's yesterday. I already have some on order, but I just couldn't wait. I was really suffering from acid reflux and needed some relief. While I was in Sam's I also picked up some bread and rolls for $10.

I've also done two loads of laundry in the last two days ($3).

Variables are at 63%, with one week to go.

Today I'm doing a mystery shop at a nearby mall. It'll bring in $40 if I do it correctly. It looks pretty complicated.

Expensive Dinner

October 16th, 2018 at 06:26 am

Dinner out with my friends last night was expensive. They chose the restaurant, which was pretty upscale. I chose one of the cheapest entrees, but when I added soup, wine and dessert, it added up. The total with tip was $47, which won't sound expensive to many of you, but it is to me.

The only part of it I regret is ordering the wine. I forgot it contributes to my RLS (restless leg syndrome) and I suffered for it last night. But I was caught up in the moment. We toasted to my friend's new job and new life in Ohio, and it wouldn't have been quite the same with water.

I spent two and half hours commuting to and from the restaurant and now my gas tank is only half full.

Variables are at 60% with a week and a day to go, so that isn't bad.

Today I'm going to go to the gym and then to Sam's to buy bread. I'm also going to make a stop at the bank to deposit most of my cash from the yard sale.

I ordered my OTC drugs from OTC-Essentials yesterday. For $50 I ordered two boxes of famotide, Vitamin D, generic Zyrtec, and band-aids.

I made a batch of meaty spaghetti sauce yesterday, and I'm thawing a chicken breast to make some medallions. For breakfast this morning, I used up the last of the asparagus in a cheese-asparagus omelet.

Later today I'll take care of the boys after school, but I also need to make some time to do some online training for the upcoming election. That's my next hurdle, working two election days, which will bring me another $200 or so.