I'm wrapping up this month with more expenses -- I sent birthday flowers to a friend ($54 for a small bouquet!) and bought a few groceries for $3. Then my tollway pass replenished for $40. These things pushed my variables up to 91%. Tomorrow I'll do my recap, and it won't be pretty.
Archive for July, 2022
My big splurge yesterday was $41 spent on aquatic plants for my aquarium. I did this for two reasons -- I am tired of fighting algae -- and my DIL's aquarium, which was filled with plants, was so lovely. It inspired me.
I had some trouble getting one plant to stay down -- it wanted to float on top. But I finally got it anchored with some pebbles. I just hope the fish don't disrupt it. The aquarium looks so much better with some greenery in it, and I hope the algae will fail to thrive.
Variables are at 78%, and we're almost done with the month. However, big-ticket spending has wreaked havoc. $2462 for electrical work, and $814 for auto insurance. It definitely hasn't been a low-spend month. I charged the electrical work, so I won't have to actually pay for it until next month, and then it will come out of my EF. But I always track by point of purchase, not the actual moment the money comes out of my account.
The auto insurance, as usual, was withdrawn automatically. I save regularly for that, as well as property taxes and condo insurance.
Still no official word on the special assessment. If I can put off paying it until after the next payday, that would be a good thing. However, the next payday is August 17. I have a feeling that the word will come this week, so it all depends on how much time they will give me to pay. My neighbor said there will be an option to pay on time with 5% interest, but I don't want to do that. I want to get it done.
Edit - Oops! Forgot that I also spent $4 on groceries yesterday, so variables are actually 79%.
Oh dear. This hasn't happened for a long time. I lost a pretty wordy entry about my train trip and the visit to my son's home in Oregon. I didn't select and save it, so it's gone. So I will give you a really short version.
The vacation, while too short, was super fun. I spent only $100 on food altogether. I couldn't sleep on the train seats, so I'll never try that again. I would consider doing another train trip in a roomette.
When I got home, the electrician arrived shortly to complete the repairs. Total cost was just under $2400. I learned that the roof replacement is going to cost $3800. So I'm going to be really cutting corners now to replace my emergency fund.
I'm really tired, and glad to be home, but also glad I did it!
One more little purchase for the trip. I bought MiraLax in packet form. I would hate to need it and not have it. The box of ten packets was $18.
On the way out of the store, I found two pennies on the floor. I have picked up almost $110 since I started keeping track.
I had it in my calendar that I was catching the train on Tuesday, but when I looked at my ticket I saw that I had it wrong. The train leaves on Wednesday. That gives me an extra day of prep. I'm almost ready. The only things that are not packed are things I need to use on Wednesday morning.
I am forcing myself to eat from my freezer and pantry. I am having some weird meals! But I'm not hungry.
Spending in the last few days has gone nuts. First of all, the biggest thing, was an electrical problem. I turned on a hanging light in the kitchen, and sparks flew up and down the wire. Very scary. I called an electrician, and he came out and diagosed a problem with the switch, the wiring behind it, and the breaker panel in the basement, which needs to be replaced. He also recommended that I replace the light. Then he did a safety check in other areas, and recommended that I replace my old smoke alarm and add another in my bedroom.
Since I am leaving soon on my trip, he did not do the repairs, but made everything safe. When I return, he will come back to do the repairs. I paid half the estimate -- $1231! Thank goodness for emergency funds!
Then I ordered a new hanging light from Home Depot - $39. He will install it when he comes back for the repairs.
Then there's the eating out. I have just topped $100, very unusual for me. A big chunk of this was meals for my grandson, in conjunction with his baseball games. There have been quite a few away games, and after all those hours of traveling and playing, he's hungry. Also, I have not grocery shopped very much, not wanting to leave food at home while I'm traveling, but that means that sometimes I pop out for a quick meal.
I had to replace the filter in the aquarium -- again! That's $17, but it happens too often; I don't know why the thing keeps breaking. Everything is junk these days.
I had to pay my semi-annual auto insurance - $813 -- and my AAA membership renewed for $99 (I have a premium membership, so I can have my car towed a decent distance, if need be).
There have been a few extra expenses for the trip as well, and ordinary expenses like deoderant and probiotics and a new umbrella.
Variables are only at 65%, because the electrician's bill and insurance come out of savings. Thank goodness I have planned for both emergencies and big bills like insurance. Kind of sad though, because I'll have to rebuild my EF now, when I was doing so well saving for my bathroom remodel.
As my train trip is edging closer, I decided to quickly order some small organizing travel bags from Amazon. At the same time, I ordered a new umbrella, as one of the ribs broke on my old one, and a picture frame to replace one that is just too heavy for the wall. The total cost was $52, taking into account some Amazon credits I had.
I have been worried about how to get to the train station, which is in downtown Chicago. I didn't want to ask my son to drive me, as he would be working, and I didn't want to Uber, as it is expensive, and kind of nerve-wracking, too. The Metra train would be a good option if I didn't have bags, but of course I will have bags -- and it's about a six-block walk. I finally decided to ask my son, and it turns out he will be going on a business trip that day, and he is delighted to drop me off at the station and then use my car on his trip -- thus DIL will have their car while he's gone, so it's a win-win all round. I think he said he would give me the reimbursement he gets for the trip, but I'm not sure I heard him right! Anyway, I'm just glad to have a ride and also glad that he will have my car and it won't get towed because of street cleaning, or anything like that.
Yesterday was a baseball game (as is today) and I spent $22 on lunch for my grandson and myself. The game was held in Highland Park, and I sat behind a couple who had been at that fateful parade. They had been situated very close to a couple who lost their lives -- the couple whose little son was spared but is now an orphan. I could tell they were still very shaken, and I gave them my heartfelt condolences. I think this is going to reverberate in our communities for a long time.
Per usual, I had a wonderful day with BFF, except for one major glitch. While she was shopping, and I was sitting out in the sun, I peeked into my purse and noticed that one of my wallets was not there. I carry two -- one with cash and credit cards -- and loyalty cards -- and the other with my drivers license, insurance cards, library card, transit card, vaccination cards, and probably other things I'm not thinking of. It was the second wallet that was missing, and I was in a panic. I tried to retrace my steps, and I was afraid it might have been lifted when I was at a baseball game. Plus, I was quite worried that I had to drive home without my license on a day that involved heavy traffic.
I was so worried, the day was spoiled, and we agreed to cut it a bit short -- not too bad, probably only about a half hour before we would have parted, anyway. I made the long drive home, long because traffic was TERRIBLE, and I was so impatient to be home and look for my wallet. When I finally got home, I found it in the bag of books I had brought home from the library the day before. Lessen learned. I will always put things back where they belong, especially important things like wallets! But what a relief!
Aside from that, it was a lovely day. We ate lunch outside at a taco restaurant ($20). We shopped, but the only things I bought were sunscreen ($18 for two tubes), and a box of Clif bars on sale ($4), which I will take with me on the train. We found a bench in the shade and talked for a long time. When it was time to go home, I stopped at a gas station and topped up the tank, because the gas was $1 less per gallon than it is at home. ($23)
On Friday, in between the two baseball games, I went out to lunch with my son. He hardly ever wants to do this, so I jumped at the chance! We went to a Korean chicken restaurant and my lunch was $18.
Variables are up to 26% -- not bad, for what feels like a lot of indulgence (happy indulgence!)
I've been keeping my spending low, but the other day I did "splurge" and go through McDonalds drive-up. I spent $4 on lunch. I had food at home, but too many things to do before I could go home. Variables are at 15%.
I have a game to go to this evening, and two tomorrow -- if the schedule doesn't change. The schedule has been very fluid this summer. On Saturday I'm going to visit BFF at the halfway city. I haven't seen her in a while, and it should be fun. I'm getting used to the high gas prices, so not cringing about the drive.
The weather has been pretty nice recently, except for a few rain showers. Nice enough that I haven't had to turn on the AC very much. I'm appreciative for every day I don't have to do that.
I assume this made the news -- I don't know because our local news was covering it all day and I couldn't see the national news -- but there was a mass shooting today only fourteen miles away -- in fact, in the same town where I went to a baseball game a couple of weeks ago and got stopped by a train.
Six people died and more than twenty were injured. Some of them are being treated here in my town.
Somehow it is more horrifying when it is close by.
It happened at a July 4 parade, and the shooter was on a roof, looking down and shooting off his high-powered rifle. Children and grandparents were gunned down. All festivities up and down the lakeside were cancelled.
The shooter almost got away. They didn't catch him until late in the day, when a cop spotted his vehicle. Really good police work, because in the morning, they didn't even know who he was.
I felt sick all day, but I did feel better once he was caught. Honestly, I didn't know if it was even safe to go out, not knowing where he was.
I don't understand how this can keep happening. Our country has gone crazy.
I was feeling much better this morning (and it's cooler) so I went to the gym. Afterwards I filled the gas tank at Sam's ($53) and bought groceries at Food 4 Less ($43). I expected to only pick up a few things at the grocery, but I ended up with four bags. At a little over $10 a bag, that's not too bad. But it's almost half of what I have budgeted for the month! I have yet to buy snacks for the train. I know I will take several apples, and I hope I can manage to make some oatmeal cookies, with lots of nuts and raisins. So maybe I won't have to buy snacks. I do plan to buy sandwiches on the train, though I know they will be terribly overpriced.
News is swirling around my building that there will be a special assessment for a new roof. This morning I talked with a neighbor who is a former board member, and she believes it will be in the area of $2000 per unit. I have it in savings, but hate to spend it that way, of course. On the other hand, if I was in a house, just think how much a new roof would cost me!