Home > Archive: May, 2022

Archive for May, 2022

May Recap

May 31st, 2022 at 10:30 pm

Housing - $746

Utilities - $192

Car Repair/Maintenance - $160

Personal - $141

Medical/Health - $134

Groceries - $102

Gas - $44

Phone - $31

Eating Out/Takeout - $28

Furnishings/Equipment/Decor - $20

Laundry - $18

Entertainment - $17

Clothing - $13

Household Supplies - $6

Gifts/Charity - $1

Fares/Parking - $1

Grand Total - $1654

Variables - 79%

It was a good month. Despite some costly things, I kept the budget under control.  The costly things? I got my fuel injection system cleaned. I had a haircut and bought some personal grooming items. I paid for an ultrasound I had a few months ago.

The very good news is that I kept grocery spending down to $102. Eating out was only $28 and that included a dinner out.

I can easily sweep $1000 into savings, leaving another $1000+ in checking in case next month is challenging in some way.

Today I went to the library, the gym, and the senior center to pick up my frozen dinners. My street -- the whole block -- is closed for resurfacing repair. (I don't know why -- they just did this last year.) Anyway, parking is a challenge, and will be for the next three days at least. They are saying only three more days, but the city's time estimates are often wrong. This morning I found a spot in the next block, and I plan to stay there. I can walk to Walgreens for food -- I'm well-fixed for food, anyway -- and there are no events on my calendar for this short time. So I'm staying put.

It is very hot today, and it was yesterday, also, but we are supposed to get a break tonight and for the coming week. My son hasn't installed my AC units yet, so I'm making do with fans. They are okay, but they are not cutting the humidity.

Speaking of my son -- he and DIL have purchased a new condominium with four bedrooms (one to be used as an office). They got a good price on it, too. They and the kids have been crammed into a small condo for many years, and this will be a wonderful change for them. They won't be quite as close to me, but only a 20-minute walk away -- a 4-minute drive. DIL started her new job at the university today. So many good things are happening for them, and I'm delighted!

I Broke My Spending Ban

May 24th, 2022 at 09:30 pm

But it was not a grocery item. Really, my self-imposed no-spending order is all about keeping my grocery spending down to the $100 level. I chose to buy facial serum yesterday, when I suddenly ran out, because I want to maintain my facial regime without interruption. I didn't know I was so close to being out, because the container is opaque.

So I walked to Walgreens and made the purchase -- $23. I hope that I won't have to replace it for a while. It only takes a dab.

I am really pleased with my facial care routine. I see visible improvement, but even more, my skin feels great and it makes me feel so good. It's definitely something I want to keep up!

I am putting my facial care items on my Amazon Wish List just in case someone in the family wants to buy them for me for my birthday. My DIL bought me the nighttime retinol cream for Christmas last year, and I was so delighted.

Today I went to the gym and then I picked up my five frozen dinners. Along with the leftovers in my freezer, I should have plenty of food to get me to the end of the month without grocery shopping.

Variables are at 79%. 


Lazy Sunday

May 22nd, 2022 at 03:29 pm

Nothing much is happening today, and I'm enjoying it!

Yesterday I was supposed to go to two baseball games, but it started raining when the first game began. I went to my car to wait out the 30 minutes it took to decide to cancel. After a bit, I went to McDonalds and spent $2 on a cheeseburger. When the time for the second game rolled around, it was still raining. I assume the game was cancelled. It didn't really matter, because I was not going to go sit in the rain. I'm a loyal grandma, but there are limits!

Later in the afternoon, it cleared up enough to take a walk. One nice thing about all this rain is that the grass is greener than I've ever seen it. It's brilliant!

This week it will be temperate, and for that I'm glad -- my AC units are not yet installed.  Looks like I can put that off for another week.

I am working my way through the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacquelyn Winspear, so I'm enjoying living in the post- WWI era for a while. Library books, of course. 

I found some frozen ham cubes in the freezer yesterday, so I had scrambled eggs and ham for breakfast, and later on I'll make some ham salad for sandwiches. As I mentioned yesterday, I don't have much bread, but there are hot dog buns and Hawaiian rolls in the freezer.  I don't anticipate any problems getting through this last week (plus two days) without spending. I do enjoy a challenge!


As the Month Winds Down....

May 20th, 2022 at 10:30 pm

Yesterday I went to the gym -- masked up because we are in a high transmission area right now -- and then went to Aldi to stock up on a few items. Much to my surprise (and I shouldn't have been surprised) my two bags totaled $71. And I bought no meat.  I did buy fresh flowers and a cookie sheet, so the true food cost was $58.  Looking at my receipt, I see there were two expensive food items -- mixed nuts, and maple syrup.

My total so far this month for groceries is $102. I was hoping that with the free meals I'm receiving, I would be able to keep my grocery costs under $100.  Well, I think I can stay out of the grocery store for the rest of the month, and almost achieve that goal. I will have to do without popcorn, though (which I cannot get at Aldi -- not the kernels-in-a-jar variety). And I failed to get bread. But I have some carbs in the freezer. It's just 11 days. I'll be all right.

I am also hoping to stay away from the gas station for the rest of the month. I did not go to a baseball away game today -- not just because of gas prices, but also because storms are predicted.  There are two home games tomorrow, and that's it for the season.

BUT -- GS1 is going to try out for summer ball, so I may just get to keep going to ball games once the season starts up. And I suppose some of those games will involve some travel.

I never realized that retirement was going to be such a challenge. Not that I regret it a bit.


May 19th, 2022 at 12:30 pm

I got my hair cut yesterday, with my usual angst about the cost.  It was $73 plus a $15 tip. But I came out loving the haircut so much that I felt justified in spending that much. It just bothers me when everything else is so expensive. I can't believe the salon has not yet raised the price since I started going there.

On the way I picked up some paper towels at Walgreens for $6. I needed paper towels, but mostly I needed to get the correct change for the hairdresser's tip.

It was pay day, so I paid all the bills that weren't automatic. The hospital finally charged me for the ultrasound I had several months ago, so I paid $113 for that. That's the copay, of course. 

Variables are at 67%.

I'm thinking about making a grocery run today. I am almost out of creamer and working on my last stick of butter. Also, coffee is getting very low. I will probably do it, but I'm not yet in the mood.

This is the last week of baseball.  There's a game tonight, one tomorrow and two on Saturday.  They are clustered like that because so many have been cancelled due to rain. After this week, there will be no more baseball till next spring! I'm going to have to find another free entertainment.

This and That

May 15th, 2022 at 07:22 pm

The gas that I didn't get a receipt for was $44. Gosh. I remember being shocked when I paid more than $20 in one fillup.

Since then I have eaten out twice, both times associated with baseball games.  So far eating out totals $21.

I ordered a jar of my night cream from Amazon, which will arrive today.  It was $30.  I figure I use two jars a year.

I just put a load of laundry in - $2.

Variables so far this month -- 42%.

Tomorrow I'm getting my fuel injector cleaned, which will be around $140. And then on Wednesday I'm getting my hair cut, which will be $73 plus tip.  So this will not be a low-spending month. I hope I will have something to sweep into savings.

I have been avoiding the grocery store, but eventually I will have to get some staples.  I will say, though, the free frozen dinners are helping out.

There is a full lineup of baseball games this coming week, but then they will be done for the year. Some of the games are away games. I hope I won't have to fill the tank again.

Good family news -- my DIL got a job at a major university (some of you can probably guess which one), which will really help out with tuition for my grandkids when the time comes. Not to mention it will be a great boost to their family income. So happy for them!

How Much For That Gas?

May 12th, 2022 at 03:21 pm

I filled up the tank last night, but I was distracted and didn't get the receipt. I have no idea how much it cost. I checked on my Discover card this morning, but they are just showing the $1 pending, which is typical when I fill up at Sam's Club.

I stopped at Walgreens on the way home and bought prebiotics/probiotics for $21, using a $5 credit. I DID get that receipt!

Variables are at 19%, not counting the mystery gas.

Car Repair

May 10th, 2022 at 08:39 pm

Yesterday I drove to a Kia dealer about an hour away in order to get my safety recall done (airbag software).  My local Kia dealer is not taking appointment for this recall -- at least, not yet.  I wanted to get it done. Air bags are pretty important! They did an inspection as well and recommended that I replace my fuel injector. I told them I would have it done at home, since I had already waited two hours and didn't want to wait another hour. It will cost $175. I've made the decision to keep this car as long as possible and baby it along, so I will take care of it soon.

I went to Mariano's and bought a few groceries I cannot get at Aldi. I spent $14. I also spent $1 on a Mexican pastry on the morning of my safety recall -- it was my breakfast, which I didn't have time to get at home, the appointment being quite early. Variables are only 14%, which is amazingly low at this point.

I picked up my free frozen dinners today. I had one left over from last week -- the baked chicken dinner, which does not heat up well in the microwave. I cooked the chicken thigh on the stovetop this morning and will probably make chicken salad or chicken fried rice. The vegetables went into the freezer into my veggie bag.  This weeks dinners are: Asian chicken, cheese ravioli, roast turkey, BBQ pulled chicken, and Italian sausage marinara.  I already ate the Asian chicken, which was pretty good. They all come with two veggies (often one of them is mashed potatoes). I also get a bag of fruit cups and juice boxes, which I use to flavor my water. They also give me a bunch of crackers.  Sometimes it's graham crackers, and sometimes saltines. Sometimes both.

My gas tank is about half full, and I have an away game to go to later. It's about 30 minutes away. Generally, I don't let the tank get under half full, but it's no longer winter, and I don't want to charge anything until my Discover card rolls over. That will be soon. I have a haircut coming up, as well, and, of course, the car repair.

It is finally warm! Soon I will have to have the air conditioners installed, but for now, I'm just enjoying having the windows open.

New Store

May 5th, 2022 at 05:01 pm

A new store has opened up in my neighborhood. It's called Wild Fork. I checked it out yesterday on my walk. Turns out it sells frozen food exclusively. Many specialty meats, but there were a lot of fruits and vegetables and desserts as well. I was interested because it's a 15-minute walk away, and if I were to lose my car in the future, I could easily get there on foot. Between that and Walgreens, I could get pretty much everything I need except fresh produce. That would be a little trickier. But for that, I could take a free train ride to a Mariano's. This is all speculative.  I DO have a car, and I'm not planning on getting rid of it. But with the way things are now, you never know, I might have to somewhere down the road.

So anyway, since I spent a lot of time looking around in the store, I felt I needed to purchase something, since helpers kept asking me what I was looking for. I bought a $5 pint of sorbet, which is delicious!

I went to GS1's away game yesterday. I did not ride with DS, because GS2 had been exposed to COVID, and DS was being super cautious. Well, he picked up a nail in his tire and got a flat, so he didn't make it to the game at all. It was just me, holding down the cheering section. And it was a great game! We won by one point in a cliffhanger. Such fun. But it was awfully cold. I was wearing a hoodie topped with a lightweight winter coat, and I was freezing. There is another game today, and I'll dress more warmly.

I swept $1000 into savings yesterday. That officially tops off my emergency fund. Now to save in earnest for the bathroom remodel.

Rainy Day

May 3rd, 2022 at 09:10 pm

It is one of those gloomy, rainy days.  There hasn't been much letup. I went out this morning to do my routine at the gym and then to the senior center to pick up my frozen dinners. I came home and after lunch, fell asleep. It's just that kind of day. There was a baseball game scheduled this evening, but it has been postponed. I'm sure the field is drenched.

I haven't spent anything today, but yesterday I went to Aldi and spent $32. $25 of that was on groceries, and I also spent $5 on flowers, to dress up my entryway, and $2 on personal-size pizza pans. I will use those for pizzas, but also they will fit well in my toaster oven, when I warm up things.

My mortgage payment was automatically withdrawn from the bank on the 1st, but it didn't appear on the online credit union account. My mortgage has been sold to Fannie Mae (I knew that), and another mortgage company is servicing the loan, but I didn't know where to track my payments and new balance. I called the credit union today and I was directed to web address where I registered and got access to a nice snapshot of the new loan. Whew! I was afraid I was going to be in the dark, making payments to a black hole!