Home > Archive: February, 2020

Archive for February, 2020

Gnarly Bread

February 29th, 2020 at 12:33 pm

My main goal yesterday was to make bread. It's been almost a year since I've done that, so I wanted to make sure the yeast was good. I proofed it with water, sugar and flour. It responded, so I went ahead with the recipe, but I goofed up when I didn't add enough water. I tried to add water after I had started kneading, but it didn't work very well. In the end, the bread is edible, but quite ugly. It rose, but it was never smooth. Oh well, I will eat it anyway.

It was time to renew a prescription, so I walked to the drugstore. The prescription cost me $15 and I got in 6000+ steps for the day.

My gas bill was automatically subtracted from my account, and it was much less than I had estimated. That freed up some money, so even with the cost of the prescription subtracted, I still have $304 available.

Today I'm getting my election training. I'm going to pack some peanuts, an apple and a chocolate bar to get me through. I also have bottles of water in my car. I'm also going to take along some hand sanitizer, since I will be a large group. I'm not freaked out about coronavirus, but it won't hurt to be cautious.

Later in the day I'll do my February recap. It's been quite a month, financially.

Uneventful Day

February 28th, 2020 at 01:07 pm

Yesterday was a pretty uneventful day. I went to the gym and then came straight home. The car wasn't too badly buried and was pretty easy to scrape clean. I did a load of laundry. I surpassed 5,000 steps.

I did not make bread. After the laundry was done, I sat down to relax and ended up relaxing the rest of the day. I am reading the Song of Ice and Fire series and watching The Walking Dead, so there is plenty of distraction available.

Today there is nothing on the agenda, so I should be able to get to that bread-making. I am really missing having bread available, so that should get me going.

Tomorrow I will have election training from 9:30 to 1:00. Add to that the time to commute, which will add about a half hour each way. I'm going to pack a lunch, and eat a good breakfast before I go. Fingers crossed that the new system will be user-friendly. It couldn't be worse than the old one!

13 Days

February 27th, 2020 at 01:01 pm

I spent $2 yesterday on candy which a neighbor was selling. It came out of cash, so the $280 is still intact.

As planned, I did take the train to the bank and "bought" a roll of quarters. It was just an exchange of paper money for coins, so not an expenditure.

Later in the day I walked to the dentist's office and changed my cleaning appointment to the 18th.

Between these two errands and just walking around the house, I reached 6,700 steps yesterday.

Today is a gym day, and I'll have to clean off the car, which will give me plenty of exercise in itself!

Food stores are still holding up well. I am running out of bread, so I will make bread today. I haven't done that in quite a while -- hope the yeast is still okay! If not, I have some in the freezer.


February 26th, 2020 at 01:39 pm

The snow arrived on schedule, but shifted south, so we only got a couple of inches. The cars look like cupcakes, but the weather doesn't seem to have slowed anybody down.

It was snowing when we left music lessons, and the boys were amenable to just driving through at McDonald's. I bought cheeseburgers for them, nothing for me. The total was only $3.73, and I paid out of my cash. They will not have lessons next week -- it is a makeup session, and they have nothing to make up. So I don't have to worry about dinner next week.

I only reached 3200 steps yesterday, so I will have to get out today and make up for that. I have been averaging 5000 steps and I want to keep that up. It's supposed to be blustery, so I will have to bundle up. I need to get some quarters, so I may take the train to a stop near my bank.

14 days. Somehow it seems better now that it is only two weeks.

15 More Days

February 25th, 2020 at 04:39 pm

15 days to go! I did a load of laundry yesterday, and I will do one today, but the cost of that is not coming out of the pot, since it is coming out of cash. I actually gained a little in the pot, with a Pine Cone payment. Now I have $280 to get me through.

We were supposed to get slammed by a snowstorm last night, but so far there is no sign of it. Now they are saying it will start around 6 tonight. That's about when music lessons will finish up. If the snow is heavy, dinner will be a drive-thru at McDonald's because I won't want to be out any longer than I have to. Cheap, too!

This and That

February 24th, 2020 at 01:53 pm

16 more days of spending as close to nothing as I can get.

I am planning to go up to my brother's in Michigan on the 15th. He won't be there -- he is still in Florida -- but my nephew will be there, and I can overnight there. The real reason I want to go is that I haven't seen my man friend since Thanksgiving; it's just been too long.

Yesterday's walk was 4500 steps. I had a water bottle with me, which I used, but I couldn't push myself any further than that. Even though the weather was nice. But I feel like it's good that I'm just doing it. My statin, by the way, has not been bothering me. Hope that keeps up.

As part of my walk, I went to the library and checked out two more books. I am reading the Songs of Ice and Fire series. I hope the author gets the final book out by the time I am ready for it!

I ran out of creamer yesterday so this morning I made a homemade variety out of almond milk and syrup. It was pretty good! And it is phosphorus-free, which is important for my kidney diet.

Today is a gym day, and it is laundry day for sheets/towels. This time I have to wash a quilt that Iggy threw up on. Along with a couple of towels, that will be the whole load.

We are supposed to get a winter storm tonight. I hope it doesn't get deep enough that I have to move my car for street plowing. That will make it difficult to take the boys to lessons on Tuesday.


February 23rd, 2020 at 02:53 pm

I took a walk yesterday and logged 6,000 steps for the day. I did not enjoy the walk, just had to force myself every step. I finally figured out I was dehydrated. I drank a lot of water when I got home. I will not set out without a water bottle again.

I looked up the balance on my Discover card and it was larger than I thought, so my available spending money for the next 17 days is only $270. I still think I can do it.

My car is due for an emissions test. I was going to do it on Monday, just to get it out of the way, but it occurred to me that I should put that off till after the 11th, too, in case they find something that needs to be repaired. I need to just think this way till I get through this time.

This is going to be another nice day, so I will be taking another walk -- with a water bottle! On Monday through Wednesday we will be getting snow -- or rain, if the temperature is warm enough. I may do some inside walking then, though I dislike the tedium of a treadmill.

Election Work

February 22nd, 2020 at 02:42 pm

It was a no-spend day yesterday other than $1.50 to run a load of laundry. It was also a gym day, and I got in 5800+ steps.

I did sign up for training for election work. It will take place next Saturday, up in one of the more northerly suburbs. Once that is done I'll be assigned for election day on March 17, and perhaps for early voting at one or two nursing homes (two-hour stints) on March 13. If I do get three different assignments, I will make $330 altogether.

I figure if I go through the training, and I just don't think I get it, I can decline the assignments. My experience with training is that it is rushed and poorly executed. Maybe this time will be an exception. And they do give you reading material, which I can study if I feel unsure.

It is supposed to be unusually warm today and tomorrow, so I plan to get in long lakeside walks.

As I've said before, my plan is to get through the next 18 days spending less than $340. I also have about $50 in cash above that. I realized yesterday that my dentist appointment will fall in the middle of that, and, while I do not owe any more for the crown, I am scheduled for cleaning and checkup at the same time, which will cost above $100. I'm going to ask to move the cleaning portion of the appointment to a date beyond the 11th. Might as well not shoot myself in the foot.

I have plenty of food in the pantry and freezer. I'm not sure I'll be able to go 18 days without going to the grocery store, but I'm sure gonna try. I do have three dinners with the boys that fall within that period, but with any luck the last one, which is on the 10th, will not show up on the credit card until the next cycle. I think I have enough of everything - pet supplies, household goods, etc. -- to get through this. So I'm just going to look at this as a stay-at-home vacation in which I will putter around, read and relax!

Security Measures

February 21st, 2020 at 02:31 pm

Yesterday I copied all the cards and ID's in my wallets (I have three) and filed them away. Now I'm ready, if someone steals my stuff! Why do I have three wallets? One is a little one that fits in my pocket; it contains my most-used credit cards and membership cards. The second is a large one that also contains my checkbook. It holds my driver's license, medical cards, AAA card, library card, ride-free card, and one store card. My third wallet is a zippered case that holds my loyalty cards/punch cards and a few credit cards that I rarely use. The only reason I carry them at all is for backup in case I don't have the little wallet with me. (Sometimes I forget and leave it in a pocket -- bad habit!)

It was too cold to walk; I just couldn't convince myself to go outside. But I got some things done at home. I made a pizza from scratch; I caramelized a batch of onions to make French onion soup; I vacuumed and did some general tidying up.

Today I'm going to the gym, and I will have to do a load of laundry. I also plan to finish up making the soup.

I am reconsidering my decision not to work at the polls this year. They are begging for help, and raising the price they will pay. My hesitancy is that they have rolled out a new system, and I was barely keeping up with the old one. But there's no denying that I could use some extra money right now. It's just one bad day, right?

Pay Day

February 20th, 2020 at 12:53 pm

Yesterday was pay day. I paid my mortgage, my property tax, my Discover card, and my "car payment" to AMEX. I still have $2230 in checking for utilities and assessment fees, when they come due, and then to apply to next month's bigger bills, which include paying for the crown and car repairs.

It looks like if I can keep my spending under $340 from now till the 12th, when my Discover card closes again, I can pay off my bills next month without touching savings. I also have some cash, about $50, which will help out.

Pay day is also my reminder day to change the pellets in the litter box and to thoroughly clean it. Also to replace my razor. Done and done.

I took a long walk yesterday to a nearby cemetery and walked around looking at the stones and names. It is a very old cemetery and many stones were unreadable. There were quite a few elaborate mausoleums. Very interesting. But it was very cold and I turned back home before I had seen much of it. I got in about 6,200 steps.

I had a terrible dream last night in which my wallet was stolen, and I was trying to figure out how to cancel my credit cards. I was glad to wake up and realize everything was fine. But today I'm going to write down all the information I need, just in case it ever does happen in real life.

Cheap Dinner

February 19th, 2020 at 01:33 pm

Dinner out with the boys last night was pretty inexpensive. I had a $5 coupon for Corner Bakery, and I used the balance of my gift card from the House Calls program, so I only paid $7 out of pocket. I had soup, and the boys had mac & cheese and linguine with meatballs.

My prescription was cheap as well -- only $3 -- but the CoQ10 is not cheap. I did remember this from previous flirtations with it. I bought a double pack of 100 mg tablets because it was the lowest unit price. The total price was $41. If it turns out to be effective, I can get it cheaper by going to Sam's and by using the OTC program through my Medicare Advantage plan.

I did a little research on the supplement, and it seems it has a lot of potential benefits besides helping with muscle pain, so I am encouraged about using it. No pain so far, but I've only taken one statin tablet!

After my gym session yesterday, I stopped at Sam's gas pump and spent $16 to fill up the tank. My variables are at 66%, but with $1800 in extra expenses looming over me, doing well in variables is not too exciting.

Anyway, today is payday, so I'm going to take care of business after I wrap up here!

Another No-Spend Day

February 18th, 2020 at 03:14 pm

I had another no-spend day yesterday. In the afternoon I took a walk that took me over 6,200 steps. It was snowing in a very wet way, but it wasn't cold or windy, so it wasn't too bad. One of my feet got a little wet, so there must be a leak in my boot. That is a problem to be addressed later.

This time I walked a very big circle in my neighborhood and I saw lots of interesting houses and buildings I hadn't noticed before. Many houses that made my tongue hang out it in envy! I have to remind myself that I doing much better than I ever thought I would, and I am grateful for my cute little condo.

Today is a gym day, as well as a music lesson day, and I will get some gas at Sam's, so this will not be a no-spend day.

Also, my doctor sent a prescription to Walgreens for simvastatin, and also recommended that I take Co-Q-10 to help with the muscle pain. Wish me luck.

I'm feeling blase about money now that my upcoming bills are so high and there is really nothing I can do about it. I know this is a blip and I will get past it, but sometimes it feels like making an effort is not working. Pay day is only two days away, but I am not excited about it. All the money will go to bills and then saved for next month's bills. I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Two Things

February 17th, 2020 at 01:24 pm

I got two things done yesterday that I had to push myself to do -- I cleaned the fish tank, and I took a walk that exceeded 5,000 steps. In fact, I got 6,700 steps in. I walked along the lake shore and saw some amazing ice sculptures which had naturally occurred between the water and the trees. Professional photographers were taking pictures. The skies were blue and it was springlike. A guy walked by me in a Hawaiian shirt -- but it really wasn't that warm.

I also went to the library and got some new books.

It was a no-spend day, and I'd better have a lot more of those.

Today, however, I'm washing sheets and towels. I had designated Friday as the day to do this, but Monday is turning out to be a better day.

Otherwise, I have no particular plans, other than to get in another walk. Retirement is awesome!

A Coupon for Car Repair

February 16th, 2020 at 03:16 pm

I had a $20 coupon for the car repair, so the final bill was $767. $20 is $20. Glad I dug it up!

After getting the car back, I went to the gym, and then to Aldi, where I spent $50. I got some really exceptional deals on valentine candy and cookies, which went in the freezer. The candy -- chocolate Dove hearts -- I will eventually chop up for making chocolate chunk cookies. Each bag (9 oz.) was only .73 apiece. The cookies, only .49 for 4.4 oz., will be good to have along on music lesson days, to offset requests for dessert after dinner.

The car repair bill went on Discover, so I will have a huge bill next month, what with the crown already on it. I'm trying not to worry about it. I think I will still have enough to pay it in full, as long as I am very careful and I do not have any more emergencies thrown at me. But I will have to dig into savings.

Getting the table redone is starting to seem like a distant dream.....

Car Repair

February 15th, 2020 at 12:20 pm

Well, yesterday I cleaned off the car (not an easy task, but made easier by the snow broom I bought at Aldi -- what a good purchase that was!) But I no sooner got on the road than I noticed the tire light was on. I drove to Midas and they checked it out. There was a puncture in one tire and a leak in another. One tire had to be replaced and the other repaired. But more seriously, my front brakes were dangerously impaired, and my back brakes needed some maintenance. I actually knew about the brakes, because they were mentioned at my 30,000-mile checkup, but they were filed at the back of my mind. I decided to get it all done, including replacing the cabin filter, which I also declined to have done at the previous checkup.

Since it was going to take a while, I walked to McDonalds and bought breakfast with my gift card, so it was free. Then I caught the bus home, which was also free. I watched the boys all afternoon; they were out of school for teacher conferences. My car is ready, but DS & DIL came home too late for me to make it to the shop on time. I'll be picking it up this morning. I did get word that it will be $787. Yuck. But glad to have the car in safer condition.

The boys and I made mac & cheese and brownies, and we had a good time.

It was bitterly cold, but I was bundled up, and in the process of walking to McD's, the bus stop, and home, I made my 5,000 steps.

I was planning to get to the gym yesterday, which didn't happen, of course, so I must go today.

Baby, it's cold outside!

February 14th, 2020 at 01:17 pm

Temperature -- real temperature -- is below zero this morning. Yet I am going to go out in it -- it's a gym day, and I have to return some library books that are due today. Also, I need to pick up a few groceries. I hope I can get all this done with minimum exposure. The worst part, I think, will be cleaning off the car.

DS texted me last night to ask if I could take care of the boys this afternoon. I had fallen asleep early, so I didn't see the text till this morning. I replied that I could, but I haven't heard back. So, at this point I don't know if I will have them or not. They might have gone ahead and made other plans, since I didn't answer last night.

I didn't do any spending yesterday other than a $1.50 load of laundry.

I finished my last library book yesterday afternoon, but rather than go to the library, I walked to two nearby "little libraries" and found two books to read. That way I got a little bit of exercise, but I didn't reach 5,000 steps yesterday.

I filed a claim for the Yahoo data breach. It was like the Equifax claim -- you are supposed to opt for security service if you don't have it already. Well, I already made that choice with the Equifax claim, so I opted for cash. Even though the Equifax service has not materialized yet. We'll see what happens.

Temporary Crown

February 13th, 2020 at 01:36 pm

The dentist gave me a temporary crown, and I will get a permanent one on March 6. The cost was $1115, which I put on my Discover card. It closed yesterday, so that will put off the actual payment till next month. For tracking, though, I always count at the point of purchase.

I was glad I waited for my own dentist, because he was just so professional and got it all done so efficiently it was like clockwork. I really felt like I was literally in good hands.

I do need to check today whether the crown will be metal or porcelain. I want porcelain, as it is pretty visible. But I forgot to ask about it yesterday.

In other spending, I sent $20 to my Oregon grandchildren inside their valentines. I will do the same for the local grandchildren, but I don't have to send those.

We had a snowfall yesterday that lasted through the night. Even so, it is not very deep. It's one of those lovely, winter-wonderland snows that makes the trees all lacy. I don't have to go anywhere today, so I will lay low. Maybe get out for a walk in the afternoon, when everything is cleared.

Dentist Visit

February 12th, 2020 at 02:32 pm

Today I go to the dentist to tackle my broken tooth. It is still causing me no pain. I'm hoping he can patch it up rather than replace it with a crown. And I hope there will be no root canal! I've never had one, but I dread the very thought.

Last night's dinner out included GS1's friend. We went to Culver's and it cost me $31. That is not too bad for four people. I'm happy to be generous once in a while. In fact, it feels good to be able to do something like this after my austere gap year.

No plans today other than the dentist. His office is in walking distance, so I will walk there. It is supposed to start snowing today, but I think I'll beat the storm.

Tuesday Afternoon

February 11th, 2020 at 07:33 pm

Went to the gym this morning. I had forgotten, but it was bagel day, so I got a free breakfast. After I ate, I had a few minutes of panic, thinking I had lost my keys, but they were in my coat pocket. Duh. Had everybody looking for them and I feel pretty stupid.

I stopped at Walgreens on the way home and bought some valentine candy for the grandkids and two bottles of generic Tums on sale. I had a $5 reward on my account so the total bill was $12.

Tonight I'm taking the boys to music lessons, but I will also be taking another boy, who is in GS1's school orchestra, and they are going to work on some pieces with the teacher. I don't know what that will mean for dinner out -- I may be taking him out as well -- I'll play it by ear.

I learned that I actually won $17 in the family football pool this year! Woo-hoo! I usually finish up at zero. I'm still losing money, because the price to play is $35, but at least there is a little pride intact. I was one of three to correctly predict that SF and KC would be the contestants in the Superbowl. I also correctly picked KC for the win, but someone else beat me out by predicting closer to the final score.

Variables are at 43%, so it's time to slow down a little.

My Weekend

February 10th, 2020 at 06:21 pm

BFF left for home about an hour ago, and I'm unwinding. We had a great weekend together, though I had a mystery illness yesterday afternoon and evening that disappeared overnight, thank goodness. Don't know exactly what was wrong, but I had very bad acid reflux and a headache, as well as a cough. I was very tired from some sleepless nights, so I wonder if my body was just telling me, "Get some sleep, dummy!"

We saw four Oscar movies together and went out to eat a few times. My total cost for food was $42. We also did a bit of shopping. I spent $40 on new towels, and then at Goodwill I found a new purse for $10 and two pairs of reading glasses for a buck each.

I have laundry to do now, but I'm going back to a little more unwinding first....

Movies, Movies, Movies

February 8th, 2020 at 03:28 pm

I'm waiting for BFF to arrive in a couple of hours. We're going to see two movies tonight -- one that starts at 9:30, which is really late for a couple of old ladies! Tonight's offerings are JoJo Rabbit and Parasite.

Between shows I'm going to have to run to the parking garage and leave and re-enter, so my parking will be free. We get movie tickets validated for parking, but the time limit will not cover two movies in a row.

Last night I saw Ford v Ferrari, and, while it is not a movie I would choose to see otherwise, it was quite exciting and also somewhat sad. Well done. But a racing movie.

No spending since my last report. But I haven't been report on my variables. I'm at 29%, with three weeks to go.

Busy Day

February 7th, 2020 at 05:43 pm

It's been a busy day so far. I went to the gym, then to Food4Less and spent $26 on groceries (getting ready for BFF's visit tomorrow!) Even though we will mostly eat out, there are certain things I like to have on hand when she is here. Then I went to the vet's and bought some cat food. ($19) Yay! Iggy is eating enough that I actually have to buy cat food. He is doing well. Then I went to the library and exchanged some books. I did a lot of walking in between, and I already have taken 6,400 steps.

This afternoon I'm getting my hair cut and then this evening I'm seeing another Oscar movie, Ford vs. Ferrari.

I have decided not to get the heart scan. My doctor said it would not factor into his decision that I should be on medication, and he explained why. So I am okay with that. I have hope that the statin will not affect my muscles too badly this time; first of all, because I have taken a break, and second of all, because my vitamin D levels have improved greatly, and when I was on statins before, I didn't even know that my vitamin D was low. Apparently, low D is proven to increase muscle discomfort when taking statins. Also, there is a new statin on the horizon, so there is hope that this one might work out when it is available.

I think I'll get past the tooth thing before I tackle the statin thing, though. I'm not going to have a heart attack next week.

Forgot to say -- my oldest turned 42 yesterday! I PayPal'd him $75 because I figure cash is what he needs most right now.

Spent 20 cents!

February 6th, 2020 at 02:17 pm

Actually, with tax, it was .22. I bought a screw at the local hardware store. It replaces one that is missing from my table. I figure the refinisher would charge me a lot more than that. When the time comes.

I also parked some distance away and walked to the hardware store. I haven't been too good about walking, and I want to commit to a minimum of 5,000 steps a day.

I'm going to walk to the hairdresser today, but that is a shorter walk, and I'll have to figure out another way to get in enough steps.

BFF suggested that I get a heart scan before going back to statins, just to make sure than plaque is really a problem. I suspect it is. Heart disease is rampant in my family. But it would be good to know. The problem with this procedure is that Medicare does not cover it, so it would be out of pocket. Somewhere between $100 and $400. I'll see what my doctor thinks.

Hate to think about another expense when I don't know how much my tooth will set me back.

Today is DS1's birthday, and I sent him $75 through PayPal. I know that cash is what he needs right now.

Mixed News

February 5th, 2020 at 02:36 pm

Well, it was a good day and a bad day. I got my tax refund -- yay! I have now collected all the money I was waiting for. Broke a tooth -- boo! I can't believe something else happened that's going to drain my funds. It's a molar -- a chunk fell off and I saved it, but I doubt it can be glued back on. Smile

The worst part about the broken tooth is that my dentist is on a mission trip and I couldn't get an appointment until next Wednesday. I could go to the emergency dentist, but I would rather have my dentist take care of this. (And I'm guessing the emergency dentist would be a lot more expensive.) The tooth does not hurt. I just have to be careful about what I eat. It was mostly soup yesterday.

I don't know whether is will be a filling, a crown, or a root canal and crown, but I am not happy to have my newly plumped-up savings account raided already.

I got my lab results, and the news there is not good either. My LDL is too high, which means I probably have to go back on statins, and my GFR (kidney function) went down, though I am not in any danger yet. I was just hoping it would remain stable.

Yesterday's spending: $16 at the gas pump, $5 for groceries, and $20 at Noodles & Co. for dinner with the boys. Also $1.50 for laundry.

Oscar Movie Week

February 4th, 2020 at 02:07 pm

Last night I bought my Oscar ticket ($38) and saw the first movie in the series, "1917." It was fantastic -- hard to watch, because it was very graphic and didn't pull any punches about the horrors of war -- but it was uplifting, too. Riveting.

I also bought the tickets for the four movies that BFF will join me for this weekend, but she will pay me back.

I didn't do much during the day, other than the lab visit. I hope to get the results today. Also on tap: gym, laundry, music lessons and dinner with the boys.

I am working my way through food in the freezer, but I will probably have to make a grocery visit soon to fill in some gaps.

Train Ride to the Lab

February 3rd, 2020 at 03:24 pm

Just got back from the lab. I rode the train, which is completely free and also forces me to take a short walk. Seeing all those people going to work made me appreciate my freedom.

Later today I will go to the theater and buy my Oscar movie pass. BFF promised to come up this weekend and catch four of the movies with me, so that decided me. This will be fun. I will see the first movie this evening, "1917."

My only spending yesterday was $5 for a car wash. I dearly wanted to use the free vacuum afterwards, but every space was taken. It was a warm day -- I knew everyone on earth would be washing their car. Maybe I'll see if my hand vac can get some of it. It doesn't seem very powerful, but I guess it would be better than nothing.

Happy Groundhog Day!

February 2nd, 2020 at 02:53 pm

The movie Ground Hog Day was filmed in Woodstock, Illinois, and the city now has a Ground Hog Day festival with a reenactment of the ground hog ceremony in the park. As well as events all day. I hear Bill Murray was there this year. I would have liked to go up there, since I love the movie, and Woodstock is not far away at all. But I forgot, so here I am hearing about it on the news. Maybe next year!

Yesterday I realized that the book I was reading was due the day before -- and it was nonrenewable. (Part of the "Most Wanted" collection.) I had a bit to go, so I spent the morning finishing it up, then I went out and returned it, went on to the gym, and then I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond to look at hand towels. My set was actually developing holes, not a good look for the bathroom. I found some on sale that turned out to look absolutely wonderful in the bathroom -- just the right colors. I spent $22, which included a set of three bath poufs. By buying three at a time, I got them for $2 apiece. They are $3 apiece everywhere else I have looked. Of course, I also had a 20% coupon, but only one, so only one towel was discounted. I should have scrounged around and brought more. I think I have a million.

I also did a load of laundry yesterday.

Today should be nice and quiet -- no plans, no obligations. I am not a football fan, but I might take a peek at the SuperBowl, since I am in the family football pool and I have money riding on a win by the Chiefs!

Tomorrow begins Oscar week at my local theater. I can buy a $35 ticket to see all the best picture nominees, as well as the nominated shorts. I have already seen three of the movies (two on Netflix), so there are only six for that price. Still, $5.83 is less than I usually pay, and it's all the best movies of the year. I'm mulling it over. Maybe I should do it since I missed Ground Hog Day!

I'm supposed to be saving up for my table refinishing, but finding myself drawn in different directions.

Anyway, I donated the $600 to my grandsons' college funds yesterday -- I was aiming to do it for Christmas, but I was waiting for that $800 check. I think I may drop down to $200 apiece in the future, because this was a little tough.

January Recap

February 1st, 2020 at 01:30 pm

Housing: 773
Vet/Pet Supplies: 223
Utilities: 209
Groceries: 145
Fees/Service: 108
Eating Out: 83
Medical/Health: 51
Phone: 51
Entertainment: 39
Gas: 32
Personal: 27
Laundry: 20
Furnishing/Equipment/Decor: 18
Gifts/Charity: 6
Household Supplies: 6

Grand Total: 1791

This was not quite an uber-frugal month, but I tried. The higher pet care cost was inevitable, and it is really not too bad, considering it includes two vet visits. Fees included a deposit to my senior transportation card, a stop payment fee, and Amazon Prime membership, which is now being charged monthly. I don't remember authorizing that, but perhaps I did. Senior-itis. I do want to keep the membership; I use it for gift-buying and I watch the streaming offerings.

Eating out is mostly meals with my grandsons after music lessons, so it includes their meals, too. This is something I enjoy, and I will do it as long as they are still interested in having dinner with Grandma. That may not be long, as they are becoming teenagers!

My variables were 87%, so a little over $100 went to savings. That is on top of $225 that comes out automatically.