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Archive for September, 2021

September Recap

September 30th, 2021 at 02:06 pm

I am not going to spend anything today, so I did my September recap.  (If an unexpected spenditure takes place, I'll put in on next month's spreadsheet.)

Housing: $795

Taxes: $428

Insurance: $238

Utilities: $197

Vet/Pet Supplies: $182

Gifts/Charity: $147

Medical/Health: $123

Groceries: $103

Personal: $90

Eating Out/Takeout: $58

Entertainment: $53

Gas: $34

Laundry: $16

Phone: $11

Furnishings/Equipment/Decor: $10

Grand Total: $2485

Variables: 94%

It was an expensive month, since I had to pay both property taxes and condo insurance.  I also had unusual medical expenses due to an infection and there was also the very sad business of having to put down my beloved Iggy.  Two birthdays made the gift category higher than usual.  Entertainment was higher than usual because of the family football pool.  Personal was high because of the purchase of skin care products.  I ate out more than usual because of having no access to my kitchen for several days.

On the bright side, groceries were very low, and I spent nothing on clothing, vacation/travel, fees/services, car repair/maintenance, and household supplies!  Phone was very low, because I only paid for a switchover to a new service, and the monthly service fee hasn't hit yet.


Monday Morning

September 27th, 2021 at 05:34 pm

I got up early this morning and went to the gym, then to the bank to deposit a check and "buy" quarters. 

I have finished my second round of antibiotics, and I am so hoping this is the end of the infection.

Friday was a fun day, though I was super tired, I think because my body was fighting off the infection.  I met BFF for lunch, which cost a reasonable $12, and then we shopped at a few stores.  I spent $4 on a mug and $5 on a small wall hanging.  Big spending!

On Sunday, I went to my ex's for my grandson's birthday party.  It was his 12th, so it was a double celebration, since he got vaccinated!  I gave him $50 in cash.  Also spent $5 on a birthday card.

The new tile floor is done, and it's beautiful.  My ex paid for it, and all the financial stuff has been completed.  It was very generous of him, and he did it with no complaint.  Here's a pic to give you an idea of how it looks.  The old floor was square terra cotta tiles, faded and cracked!

Feeling Better

September 23rd, 2021 at 10:53 pm

I was feeling better this morning, so I went to the gym and then to Aldi afterwards.  I spent $24 there.  I also filled up the gas tank at Sam's -- that was $34.  Whew!  I remember when I was shocked when I had to pay more than $20 to fill up.

I'm going to meet BFF tomorrow in our halfway city.  After a couple of rather chilly days, it's supposed to be warm and sunny tomorrow.  We may get lunch at a drive-thru and eat outside.  Indiana is not taking the virus seriously, and I don't care to get it at this late date.

I rescheduled my dentist's appointment to mid-October, since so many expenses are hitting me this month.  Also putting off getting my hair cut till October.  This time I'm going to cut off quite a bit.  I've had it with long, untameable hair.  On to short, untameable hair!

REALLY hoping the antibiotics will work this time.

It's Back

September 22nd, 2021 at 05:25 pm

The UTI came back, so it was off to Immediate Care this morning.  This time the prescribed antibiotic was very cheap, only $2.  I hope this one kills the bacteria for good.

The workers are applying grout today on my new floor.  I expect that they will let it dry overnight and come back tomorrow to clean up, return the appliances to their proper places, etc.

Even in its unfinished state, the floor looks amazing.

Kitchen Floor

September 19th, 2021 at 12:10 am

All of a sudden there is progress -- fast progress -- in getting my kitchen floor redone.  Today the tile guys came and looked it over and made their recommendations.  Then I went to Floor & Decor and chose tiles.  On Monday they will begin demolishing the old tile.

It appears to the tile guys that there is another layer of even older tile under the current one.  Certainly possible -- these old buildings -- you just never know what you'll find.  They are going to go down to the subfloor and then install a new underlayer.  There will be a lot of cutting and piecing to do, because my kitchen is small and has unusual features, like an old-fashioned built-in booth in an alcove, so they estimate it will take 3 1/2 days.

My ex has already sent me about half of the money and the rest will come tomorrow -- he has a limit on how much he can send via Zelle.  Maybe I do too!  I've never tried to send a large amount.  Anyway, it should arrive in plenty of time.  I am really grateful that he is doing this, because it would be a real strain on my budget.  But it has to be done.  The old tiles are cracking like Saltines.

I got a breakfast sandwich and OJ at McDonalds this morning, because I didn't want to mess up the kitchen prior to the visit from the tile guys.  That was $6.  I also stopped at Walgreens and bought some probiotic gummies and a jar of popcorn kernels.  Total cost was $31.  Also did a load of laundry, so altogether my variables are up to 66%.

RIP Iggy

September 17th, 2021 at 02:42 pm

Yesterday was the day that had to come.  I had to have Iggy put down.  The fluids helped for a long time, but eventually his health declined to the point where I felt it was kinder to him to let him go, rather than prolong his agony.  I was a blubbering fool all day yesterday, but today I am feeling better.  It helps to know that I did the right thing for him, even though it was so hard for me.

It was $150 to have this done at my vet's office.  She couldn't have been more supportive or more caring toward Iggy.  I know he felt no fear.  It was just another vet visit for him, and now he has peacefully gone to a place where there is no more pain.

I will miss him so much, though.

Two Good Things

September 15th, 2021 at 03:01 pm

Two good things -- it's payday, and I will be done with antibiotics tomorrow.  The pain has not come back, so I think I'm good.

Nothing remarkable in paying bills today, except that I paid the second installment of my property tax - $427.

Feeling a bit down the other day, I ordered some skin care products on Amazon.  I am going to establish a new regimen, but there were three things I did not have -- eye cream, moisturizer with SPF 30, and serum.  Those three items cost $70, but I trust I won't have to order again for a long time.

When I was young, I used to take such good care of my skin.  Over the years, I kind of let that go.  Now I want to reestablish that habit, if only to make me feel better!  I'm not sure what can be done at the age of 72, but I'm going to give it a try.

I also picked up some groceries yesterday -- $24 -- and cat food from PetSmart - $18.

Variables are now at 43%.  I am halfway through the month, so the pace is about right.  I do have a dental appointment at the end of month, which may skew things a bit.


September 12th, 2021 at 06:53 pm

I woke up with a UTI this morning which necessitated a visit to Immediate Care and then to Walgreens.  I didn't pay anything at IC -- that will come later -- but I did fill a prescription and got an OTC drug, for a grand total of $56.  While I was there, I picked up an eyebrow pencil for $7.

The pharmacist told me the antibiotic would probably be rough on my stomach, so I'm waiting till dinnertime to take it.  I took the OTC drug and so far I think it's helping a little -- hope it will help a lot in the next few days.

Variables are now at 27%.

Gift, Football Pool, Disintegrating Tile Floor

September 9th, 2021 at 02:14 pm

A little more spending ... I ordered a birthday present for my Oregon grandson, $52.  And I sent in my fee for the family football pool, $34.  Variables are at 19%.

I'm going to call today to see if the contractor who did my ceiling also does tile floors.  My kitchen floor tiles are cracking -- either because they are that old, or because the subfloor is shifting.  My ex has offered to pay for it, though I'm not counting on it.  I just need to get the ball rolling.  

Yesterday's Outing and Other Stuff

September 8th, 2021 at 02:33 pm

Yesterday was my day out -- gym, vet, drive-through lunch.  I spent $14 at the vet for fluids and needles, and $3 for lunch at Burger King (great coupon).  I had a lot of leftover fries, so this morning I chopped and refried them with peppers, onions and celery, and had it on the side with eggs and stewed apples.  Delicious breakfast!  I also froze half of the chicken nuggets, and I will eat them later on Hawaiian rolls as chicken sliders.  So that $3 went far.

It would have been an uneventful outing, but a storm broke out -- a wild one, though mercifully short -- and then I had to pull over twice for fire trucks.  Much excitement!

Now two days at home -- today I will do some laundry.

My son's shower is finished, so no more daily visits from the grands. Frown

My phone problems were resolved yesterday.  I called Consumer Cellular.  I had to wait a half hour for an agent, but then I did get to experience their legendary service.  The woman I spoke to told me she could activate my service, but it would disconnect our call, so I had to have another phone handy.  Well, I don't have a landline.  I told her I could go across the street to my son's house and use his phone as the second.  That was fine with her, and she hung on while I tromped over there.  I thought that was great!

Everything is working fine now.  After all that trauma, I'm now looking forward to a lower phone bill.

Oh, another thing.  I caught an error in the formula in my variables spreadsheet.  My variables this month are actually 15%.  Quite a bit lower than I reported before.

Phone Troubles

September 5th, 2021 at 01:35 pm

In my last post, I reported that I was going to Walmart to buy a sim card, which would make my phone okay with Straight Talk.  Well, I went to two Walmarts, and both places told me that they could not sell a sim card separately from a plan, which I already had.  At the second Walmart, an employee, after looking at my phone specs, suggested that I switch to AT&T, to a similarly-priced plan.  We went through a long, long call with AT&T, only to learn that they were requiring a credit check, and, because my credit records are frozen, they could not take me on.  I could have unfrozen one of my accounts, but I would have had to have my pin (which I don't even remember receiving, much less know offhand).  So I just abandoned that idea and left the store.

From there I went to Target to investigate Consumer Cellular.  The tech there told me that my phone was fine with the upgrade to 5G, that it is only 3G phones that would cause problems.  That made me a bit angry at Straight Talk, for sending me on this fool's errand.  She sold me on switching to Consumer Cellular, which would be cheaper than Straight Talk and is known to have excellent customer service.

Well.  I have switched over, but after 16 hours I still can't make a call or send a text.  I was given a number to call in case of trouble, BUT I can't call of course; my phone doesn't make calls.

I am going back to Target as soon as it opens this morning.  Frustrated, to say the least.


September 3rd, 2021 at 05:25 pm

I got my first RMD payments today.  I'm glad to finally know what my monthly income will be.  It's a bit higher than I was expecting, even with taxes being withheld.  I redid my variables spreadsheet, and now I can say with certainty that I have spent 12% of my variables budget in these three days of September.

For the last ten years or so I have had Straight Talk as the carrier for cell phone service.  Yesterday I was notified that my phone was not compatible with their new updated 5G service, and that I would have to buy a new phone.  Well, I bought a phone in March, so I wasn't crazy about that idea.  I called them today, because I thought they might not have my new phone in their records -- I don't recall that I ever let them know -- so I talked to an agent, and he said that if I went to Walmart and got a new sim card, I would probably be okay.  I'll do that tomorrow.  I've fallen into a routine where I run errands on gym days -- every three days -- and I like it.  

I got my last interest-only payment from my retirement fund just the other day, so I'm feeling quite flush!  But this was a good time for that to happen, because I think my table will be done soon and that will be a big bill.  I forgot to mention the other day that this was happening, in addition to insurance, birthdays, and property tax!



September 2nd, 2021 at 03:40 pm

I began the new month with some moderate spending -- $40 for groceries at Aldi, and $7 for lunch at Burger King.  I have a bunch of coupons for Burger King, but I spoiled the deal by adding cheese and bacon to my burger -- which I did not need, anyway, but sounded so good!  I will try to restrain myself in the future.

While everyone else, it seems, is dealing with terrible weather, here it is cool and beautiful.  There is nothing more relaxing to me than reading in front of an open window, where a gentle breeze is wafting in.  Looks like I'll be able to do that all week!

August Recap

September 1st, 2021 at 03:02 pm

August did not feel like a particularly low-spend month, but it was lower than usual.  Here are the details:

Housing: $795

Utilities: $192

Vacation/Travel: $150

Groceries: $142

Personal: $93

Fees/Services: $83

Car Repair/Maintenance: $81

Medical/Health: $55

Phone: $52

Household Supplies: $51

Vet/Pet Supplies: $37

Gas: $32

Eating Out/Takeout: $29

Entertainment: $16

Gifts/Charity: $15

Clothing: $15

Laundry: $14

Furnishings/Equipment/Decor: $5

Grand Total: $1857

I think the main thing is there was no big standout bill.  There were several non-monthly expenses:  the short trip to Michigan, an oil change, a haircut, the wheel tax, and the replenishment of my tollway pass.  Life.  Looking forward to a reasonably frugal September, though I will have two birthdays and condo insurance to pay.  Also the second installment on my property taxes.