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Archive for September, 2019

Another No-Spend Day

September 17th, 2019 at 07:03 am

It was another no-spend day. Tomorrow is pay day. I am curious to see what the amount will be. It will not only be my new payment rate -- I know what that is -- but apparently I will also get some backdated funds for the time between my birthday and now.

It is bargain movie day at Cinemark today, and I think I may treat myself to a movie. That is something I want to do more with my new income. I am thinking about seeing "The Goldfinch" -- I read the book.

I'm also going to get gas, even though the tank is not as low as it usually is when I fill up. Trying to beat the big uptick in price that's expected.

I have received no answer yet from the property manager about the ceiling. I am beginning to believe I am going to live with this hole forever. I sent an email yesterday, so today I will try the phone.

I looked into a local handyman service for seniors, but they only do maintenance types of things, not actual repairs. Can't understand why it's so hard to get someone to do a little work.

No-Spend Day

September 16th, 2019 at 06:14 am

I had a no-spend day yesterday aside from doing laundry.

Today I'm heading to the gym. I'm trying to go every other day. I'm doing a new routine which is a combination of my old one and the new moves I learned in Legs & Shoulders class.

Since I've had no luck finding an independent contractor willing to repair my ceiling, I'm going to talk to the property manager today. I was told that they will do it, for a price of course, but now I know that my neighbor will pay for it.

I am only two days away from pay day, but I'm hardly even thinking about it because I have plenty of cash flow. What a difference in feeling! Makes me realize just how stressed I have been.

Weekend Doings

September 15th, 2019 at 12:17 pm

GS1 had a baseball game at 8 a.m. this morning. What a time to schedule a game! It was raining when I got up, and I wondered if the game would be cancelled. It was not, so I made the 35-minute drive to the field, getting there a little late. The weather was clear throughout the game, though windy and overcast. Our team lost 14-2, or something terrible like that.

I really wanted to go out to breakfast afterwards. DS was not interested; he had too many things to get done. I still wanted to go on my own. I just had a vision of sitting in an adorable diner, enjoying steaming hot coffee and buttery homemade biscuits. Well, on the ride home, no adorable diner popped up, and I finally talked myself into just going home and making my own breakfast. My own breakfast was pretty darn good -- fried eggs, toasted English muffin and raspberries. And coffee, of course. And so much cheaper.

Yesterday I went to Sam's after the gym and spent $6 on groceries. I stopped at a garage sale on the way home and spent $19 on gifts. $15 of that went to a collection of Schleich fairy figurines for my granddaughter. I got ten pieces, and each piece retails for about $10-12. They are clean and in perfect condition. The other $4 was for two jeweled mini-boxes for BFF. Both of these ladies have November birthdays so it was good timing.

Variables are at 85% now. Still in adjustment mode; I may need to change the totals again to make it realistic. But I am pretty sure I will be able to save around $500 a month, which is my real goal.

This and That

September 14th, 2019 at 07:41 am

Well, Iggy seems to like the chicken flavor kidney food, so I don't have to make an exchange at PetSmart. That's a relief.

GS1 played a flag football game last night at 9 pm. Wow, that was really late for me, but it was a good game, even though we lost. It was nice sitting out on the bleachers on a perfect night, with the brilliant full moon above and a soft breeze blowing. The appearance of a full moon on Friday the 13th brought no negative drama in my life! It was a good day.

I returned a book to the library yesterday and on the way back I stopped at Jewel and spent $6. I am really getting groceries a little at a time this month, and I like the ease of carrying up only one bag.

Last night's dinner was mostly leftovers from our dinner out on Thursday. I brought home lettuce and tomato, which went into a salad, and a garlic roll, which I used for a sandwich. I chopped up a small chicken breast and sauteed it with barbecue sauce for the sandwich filling. Yum.

Yesterday's Spending

September 13th, 2019 at 06:12 am

Yesterday was a little spendy. I went to the vet to pick up some more kidney diet cat food, but they were out of the variety I wanted. They said I could come back in the afternoon, as a shipment was expected, but I didn't want to do that. I went to PetSmart, which is nearby, and bought 12 cans. I found out at checkout that I was supposed to have a prescription number, which the vet never gave me. The manager at PetSmart very nicely let me finish the sale, but told me I would need to have the number next time. While doing all this, I didn't notice that I bought the wrong flavor. I hope Iggy likes the chicken as well as the tuna. If he doesn't, I hope PetSmart will allow an exchange.

The 12 cans cost $25.

Since I was also close to Aldi, I stopped in and got a few things I needed, spending $15.

The late afternoon and evening was devoted to music lessons. DIL asked me if I could take the boys to dinner after the lessons and she would reimburse. The meal was $26. I gave the receipt to GS1. I hope he gave it to his mom! If I don't see a deposit via Zelle today, I'll send a reminder.

No particular plans today. It's a nice feeling!

No-Spend Day

September 12th, 2019 at 06:03 am

I stayed home all day yesterday and spent nothing.

I wanted to do something else frugal, so I refused to turn on the air conditioning, even though it got pretty warm and humid by evening. I knew there was a cooldown on the way, and it is here this morning. Aaahh!

I also did a Pine Cone survey, and I have already been credited $3 today.

Today I am going to go the gym and then will stop at the vet's to buy some k/d cat food, so it won't be a no-spend day. This afternoon I will pick up the boys after school and take them to music lessons.

I've been deferring going to the grocery store by eating meals from the freezer. Also, when BFF came up, she brought me a bunch of microwavable mac & cheese bowls that her granddaughter didn't like. I tried one, and it's fine with me! I think there are about 8 more servings. So that will stretch my food budget.

She also brought me six pairs of yoga pants that she can't wear. They fit me great, and will be good pajama bottoms and/or workout wear.

I hope she continues to give me things she doesn't want! She seems to have caught on that I will happily accept hand-me-downs!

Lots of Sleep

September 11th, 2019 at 06:55 am

Not too much went on yesterday. I rested, and I slept more than 10 hours last night! So unusual!

My son called with news about an interview coming up at a university in another state. It's not in a place he's excited about, and the pay isn't great, but it would have other advantages -- the opportunity to finish his degree, and the opportunity to lead a program. He dropped out of college when he was only one semester short of finishing his degree. (You better believe I let him know what a mistake that was!) Of course it has come back to bite him, so actually finishing up would be huge. He would be just as far away from me, but hey, a plane ticket is a plane ticket.

I don't think I'll be spending anything today. I'm going to try to run down someone who will repair my ceiling. The company that was recommended to me hasn't answered my email (the one on their site). I'll try calling today, but I think they are not very enthusiastic.


September 10th, 2019 at 07:46 am

Just got back from the gym, and I realize I should have stopped at the vet and picked up more k/d canned cat food. (It's actually cheaper there than online.) But I guess that will be for next time. Iggy seems to like the new diet, so I'm ready to invest in it.

Yesterday I walked to the drugstore and picked up my $9 prescription. On the spur of the moment, I decided to stop in at the hairdresser, which is in the same plaza, to see if my stylist was free. She was, which is unusual, so I got a haircut - $18.

I spent the rest of the day at home, reading and taking it easy.

I added a little more to my variable categories. It was just a bit too lean -- actually no different than when I was picking up a little extra cash doing mystery shopping and such. Even with the adjustment, my variables are at 74%, and there are still 20 days to go. It will take some time to figure out a happy medium between normal spending and adequate saving.

Plans today are for more reading and recuperating. I'm feeling quite tired after my "big" weekend.

The Weekend

September 9th, 2019 at 08:36 am

BFF went home this morning, and it was a good time, though a bit expensive. The wedding we went to did not cost me anything -- I was simply the guest of BFF and did not know the couple, so I did not buy a wedding gift. There was a valet service, but BFF did the tipping. We enjoyed a nice dinner and had good company at our table.

The expensive part was the next day. We went shopping at two Goodwill's, which is our thing. I spent $40; almost half of that was for gifts, the rest was for housewares. Best purchases -- a beautiful white teapot with a sculptured leaf design - $5 - and a brand new board game still in shrink wrap -- the European kind that my son likes - for $10. I also bought him two pairs of brand new, 70% cotton, crazy socks, one with an eyeglass pattern and one with a mustache pattern -- both for $4.

That was not so bad, but then we stopped at the Skechers outlet, and I bought a pair of shoes, despite having already bought two pairs of shoes this month. They were having a sale; the second pair half-price, so we each bought a pair and split the savings. My total was $37. I replaced a pair of sneaker clogs that were practically in shreds.

And we ate out, and that was $19. So altogether it was more than I wanted to spend, but it was a good time, and I don't really feel bad about anything I bought. Just can't get used to having spending money.

It turned out the new fan in my fridge is fine. It is supposed to turn off and on -- duh! So my panic about having to get a new fridge was unmerited.

I'm doing some laundry this morning and just getting back in my routine. Later I'll pick up a prescription at Walgreens, but that is only $10 or so.

Awful Day

September 7th, 2019 at 05:53 am

Yesterday was awful, mostly because of a call from my son in Florida. He has lost his job. He was not fired (though he said fired) but let go because of reorganization. He has severance for one month.

He is shocked and so am I. I never questioned his security in this company. He was one of the earlier employees, and now it looks like they are getting rid of all the long-standing employees, going with the cheap newbies. Disgusting.

He already has some irons in the fire, but no matter what happens, he will have to move. There are no other options in his field in his location. He is working with a headhunter and has some interviews set up with some very large companies, including Amazon and Google.

That made yesterday's other problems pale, but I still had them. Iggy's test results came in and he has kidney disease. What??? We both have kidney disease? The vet advises changing his diet to special kidney food for now, and I have already bought some -- $28 for four little cans and a small bag of dry. This is going to be very expensive.

Then, the evaporator fan on my fridge started acting up again, so I called a repairman. He replaced the fan for $190. Yikes! Most of that was for the call. But the fan is not running this morning. I sent an email to the company, since they probably are not open yet. But I suspect I will have to get a new fridge. I am not sure it is worth another repair.

Did someone tell Murphy my income increased? I guess I'm glad I got through gap year before all this happened.

Today I'm going to meet with my upstairs neighbor about the ceiling. At noon BFF will come and this evening we will go to a wedding together downtown. I didn't sleep hardly at all and I'm very stressed. Maybe the wedding will be fun and will relax me!

Oh, I also spent $32 on groceries yesterday. A lot of them are in the failing fridge; wish I had held off!


September 6th, 2019 at 06:31 am

I took Iggy to the vet yesterday. It turned out he does not have earmites, just wax. But more seriously, he has lost weight, so I had him tested for hyperthyroidism and for liver/kidney issues. I will get the results today. The vet gave me medication for his ears and flagyl to settle his stomach. (Because he throws up and has diarrhea so much.) The total cost was $295.

The vet thinks he is older than he was reported to be by the rescue foundation. Of course, they were only guessing. She thinks he is for sure in the double digits.

This morning, after reading CCF's Christmas post, I remembered that I needed to order my Florida grandson's birthday present. Got that done on Amazon this morning - $51.

Variables are at 57%.

I am meeting with my upstairs neighbor tomorrow morning about my ceiling repair. Then around noon my BFF will arrive. We are going to a wedding together in downtown Chicago on Saturday evening. Unfortunately, she can only stay through Sunday afternoon, so it will be a short visit.

Today I need to do a little shopping for groceries and cat food. I have switched Iggy to wet food already, but I think I might try out Blue's wet food. Just a few cans, in case the vet recommends a special food.

My fridge seems to be operating okay, so I am taking that worry off the table!

Neighbor is Home

September 5th, 2019 at 06:46 am

My upstairs neighbor is home, and we have communicated by email (he has long work hours) and have made plans to meet and talk on Saturday.

I spent $7 on a loaf of bakery bread yesterday. It is good, but it's made with a mix of whole wheat and regular flour. With my kidney disease, it is better for me to eat white bread, so I am probably better off with the $3 sourdough bread I can get at Jewel. I may check out Panera, too. I eat there pretty often, but haven't bought bread there.

I'm getting ready to take Iggy to the vet, and this afternoon I'm going to take the grandsons to music lessons. Unfortunately I slept very poorly last night due to muscle pain.

I went to the Legs class again, and this time there was one other participant. The trainer took us through some new exercises, and then she told us Friday will be her last day! I know there will be someone to replace her, but I'm kind of feeling like I can just incorporate these new exercises into my routine now. And I will take it easier, because I do not like to hurt this much.

My fridge started making a weird sound yesterday and I figured out it was the evaporator fan. Eventually the sound stopped. The fridge still seems to be working, so I am watching it.


September 4th, 2019 at 06:06 am

I'm really sore today, and I was particularly sore last night. I wonder if I should go through with the Legs class today, but I guess I will and will tell the instructor I need to take it easy.

I couldn't get an appointment at the vet any time soon, so I'll take Iggy to the walk-in session on Thursday morning. I'll try to be the first one there.

I ran out of bread today, so I'm going to investigate the artisan bakery in town. I'm sure it will be expensive, but I do like good bread.

No spending yesterday!

Shoes, Gas, Vet, Legs

September 3rd, 2019 at 05:25 am

I went to DSW yesterday and found two pairs of shoes I wanted. One is a pair of beige patterned sandals, rather dressy looking, and the other is a pair of red flats, also suitable to wear with a dress. At checkout I mentioned that I should get a 25% discount on the sandals, but the clerk seemed unaware of the promotion. She asked me to find the email that mentioned it, and, of course, under pressure I could not find it. Later in the day I did find the email and went back. That took $19 off the bill -- the total cost in the end was $96. I guess that's pretty good these days for two pairs of shoes. They were both from the clearance aisle, and I had that 25% discount so I was surprised that the cost was still that high. But the good part is that they are both very comfortable, and that is hard for me to find.

I also filled up the gas tank for $25.

Variables are up to 48%.

Still planning to take Iggy to the vet today, if I can get in, but I may be taking the boys to school first. Storms are rolling in. I hear the thunder now.

My Legs & Shoulders class was just Legs. I was the only one, so it was a private session, and I said I didn't need the work on my shoulders, just my legs. It was quite a workout and I'm pretty sore today. I signed up for the next class on Wednesday.


September 2nd, 2019 at 05:30 am

I got up yesterday feeling groggy and the feeling never left. After I came home from the brunch, I tried to nap, but couldn't. I finally went to bed early and this morning I feel better.

Iggy doesn't seem to be feeling well. He has thrown up several times and is walking around wailing. (He wails a lot, however.) Wish this was not a holiday; I would take him in right now.

I spent nothing yesterday. DSW is open today, so I may go get my shoes. I have my legs & shoulders class at PF. I'm also going to meet DIL to figure out a plan for getting the boys to music lessons on Thursdays. They are at two different schools, getting out at the same time, and the lessons are about a half-hour away. I think we are going to determine a halfway point for parking; a place that both boys can aim for.

Book Clubs, Shoes, Etc.

September 1st, 2019 at 05:37 am

Yesterday was a no-spend day. I went to the gym and then home. Did the cooking I planned to do. I read a lot.

My book club person referred me to another group -- this one costs $232 a year and you have to pay up front. I got an email from the leader and she is stressing that she has an opening and I should answer soon. I will answer today. I am going to try out the free book club through the library. When I started the whole conversation about book clubs, I wasn't expecting to have to pay anything. I don't think I'm being cheap; I just can't figure out what the cost is for.

I tried on the shoes I was expecting to wear to the wedding. They are so old that they started cracking, and they were uncomfortable, so I guess I need to buy new shoes. I'll do that tomorrow.

Today I'm going to a family brunch, so that will basically be two free meals. I won't need anything else but a light supper.

We are getting close to the time that my upstairs neighbor should be coming home. I keep listening for footsteps above. I heard something yesterday, but I think it was his house checker doing a little cleaning. His footsteps are distinctively heavy, even though he is a skinny guy!

Forgot to include my August recap!

Housing - $1324
Taxes - $515
Utilities - $199
Medical/Health - $134
Groceries - $129
Eating Out - $103
Vet/Pet Supplies - $68
Phone - $52
Personal - $49
Gas - $27
Vacation/Travel - $20
Household Supplies - $16
Laundry - $15
Entertainment - $13
Fares/Parking - $7
Gifts/Charity - $6
Furnishing/Equipment/Decor - $2

Grand Total - $2679

This does not include the last few days of August, which I am sweeping into September because of the timing of my paycheck.