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Archive for March, 2023

March Recap

March 31st, 2023 at 08:33 pm

March is going out like a lion. Severe storms with possibility of tornadoes forecasted. I may be spending the night in my closet. (It's large.)

Here is how the month's expenses shook out:

Housing - $769

Taxes - $561

Car - $515

Utilities - $237

Clothing - $149

Gifts/Charity - $112

Insurance - $108

Vacation/Travel - $68

Groceries - $58

Medical/Health - $41

Eating Out/Takeout - $41

Household Supplies - $36

Phone - $32

Gas - $26

Entertainment - $25

Laundry - $14

Personal - $13

Furnishings/Equipment/Decor - $10

Fares/Parking - $2

Grand Total - $2817

The taxes were the first semi-annual payment of my property tax. The car expense was new hubcaps and minor body work, as well as a wash. The clothing expense was a whole set of new bras. Gifts - some early shopping for Christmas and birthdays, as well as a little charity. Household supplies were office supplies. The other stuff is not worth remarking upon.

EXCEPT - how about those groceries! I can hardly believe I spent so little and yet I have plenty of food on hand. I just don't have too much. That is the big difference. I have been buying too much, and then struggling with how not to waste it. I have learned a big lesson here.

Edit: A few things didn't get counted.  I have made some corrections.  And an added note, variables were at 96%.

Last Grocery Trip of the Month

March 29th, 2023 at 05:05 pm

I went to Aldi today -- twice, it turns out, because I used a kiosk where someone had already scanned a couple of items, and I was charged -- I had to go back. They refunded me and were lovely about it. Anyway, I spent $19 and I got pizza dough, tomato sauce, sausage, peppers, shredded Italian cheese, creamer, mayonnaise, tuna and crescent rolls. I spent another $12 on Easter candy and stocking stuffers which are logged as gifts. Variables are at 95%, and I hope I'm done.

Tomorrow a nurse practitioner is visiting on behalf of my insurance provider. I do this every year. They come in, ask many questions, do some tests, check out my prescriptions and the safety of my home, and I get a $15 gift card. I actually appreciate having another person on my health team, and they benefit because they catch a lot of conditions before they get too bad (and too expensive).


March is Marching On

March 27th, 2023 at 02:26 pm

As the month rolls slowly toward its end, I continue to spend small amounts, which have taken my variables up to 91%.  I spent $15 on my newly-named Compassion Fund -- $10 went toward the care of a neglected dog, and $5 to a homeless man. I spent $9 on two bottles of hand wash, and $4 on a Happy Meal. I don't expect to spend anything for the rest of the month, other than laundry, and that money comes out of the change jar (though I do count it in variables). Also my scheduled grocery trip the day after tomorrow. It looks like I should be able to sweep $2K over to savings.


March 23rd, 2023 at 10:33 pm

I started feeling better yesterday, so I went to the grocery store (Aldi) after all. I spent $19, and I bought biscuits, raisins, butter, eggs, Swiss cheese, coffee, and French fried onions. With the latter, I made three small green bean casseroles. I ate one yesterday and the other two are in the freezer.

Today I picked up a prescription at Walgreens, which was $15. Variables are now up to 80%.

Lights are still out in the laundry room, so I did laundry in the dark. Well, with the door to the outside propped open. I hope they figure it out soon.


March 22nd, 2023 at 04:38 pm

Yesterday I mailed my package -- $10 -- then stopped at a Hallmark store and did a little Christmas shopping. I'm determined I'm not going to leave it all to the end of the year this year. I spent $47 there on stocking stuffers, some things on sale, some not. Then I bought lunch at McDonalds - $4. I have learned that Happy Meals are just about right for senior citizens. Except for the toy. That I give to Goodwill. If I ask the McDonalds employees not to include the toy, it seems to thrown them off.

Speaking of Goodwill, so far this year, on my walks around town, I have found two abandoned hoodies and three t-shirts. They were all crumpled and wet, and dirty, but I picked them up, and after soaking and washing, they have come out like new. I take them to Goodwill after I get them back in shape. All are small sizes, so I'm guessing that kids peel them off when they get too hot, and they leave them, and their moms say "Where's your shirt?" and they say, "I dunno." I suppose there's a chance someone might go back looking for them, but I think they don't bother. So I hope I'm doing a service. I know if the city maintenance crews pick them up, they'll just go to the landfill.

I was planning on grocery shopping today, but I'm going to do it tomorrow instead. I'm not feeling my best and I think it will be wise to stay home.

I was going to wash clothes, also, but there is no light in the laundry room. Blown fuse, probably, but I don't know where the fuse is. So I notified maintenance, and I think it's just going to be one of those days of relaxation.

Variables are at 75%, and less than a week to go.

Museum Day

March 20th, 2023 at 10:28 pm

My day at the museum was much cheaper than I expected, thanks to the generosity of my friends. Unbeknownst to me, they expected that I would be admitted on their ticket, as they have a membership which admits two guests. Meanwhile, I went ahead and bought admission online. When we met and talked over what had happened, they insisted on taking me to the ticket window to get my money back. Well, as it turned out, they had to count two of their kids as guests, so I wasn't a freebie after all. Which was fine with me. But they wouldn't hear of it -- they said it was their invitation and I was their guest, and they gave me cash for admission and paid for my parking, too! I was really blown away. I spent only $15 while I was there. It was a good day, lots of fun. A bonus was that I ran into my niece and her family while there. They live in Michigan and it was quite a surprise!

Today I walked to the post office to mail a package, but their computer wasn't working and the clerk could not even open her drawer. So I walked the package over to Walgreens, but I couldn't mail it there because I didn't have a FedEx label. So I spent nothing today. Tomorrow I'll take the package to a different post office, but I won't walk there!

This and That

March 17th, 2023 at 04:49 pm

Pay day was on Wednesday. I paid my property tax - $562 - the first of two payments this year. I also went to Aldi and spent another $10 on groceries. My previous shopping, at Food4Less, yielded two boxes of crackers, granola, and bread, for $10. Plus I spent an additional $4 for lotion, which comes out of another bucket. At Aldi, my $10 bought lactose-free milk, mushrooms, onions and creamer. It seems like I am buying less and less with the same amount of money. But since I skipped grocery shopping on the first two Wednesdays, and I seem to have plenty of food on hand, I'm not worried. I am learning that I used to buy way too much!

Tomorrow I am going to a museum with a friend and her family. I do not have a membership, so it will be expensive, but it will be a social outing, which I sorely need. I need Spring, too! It's another cold, windy day in the windy city.

Car Stuff

March 14th, 2023 at 08:09 pm

It was quite a saga yesterday, looking for hubcaps. I finally decided to go with the expensive but sturdy hubcaps from the dealership, since even the people selling the cheap hubcaps couldn't recommend them. Since I bought four, they gave me break on the price, but it was still $399. But they have been installed and they look great, so much better than what I had before.

I've also gotten the front bumper fixed. The body shop jerry-rigged it with a combination of glue and wire, and they are pretty sure it won't pop up again. But if it does, I am to take it back. That was $112 for labor.

I'm starting to feel more easy about the car. Next month I have to get an oil change, and I'll have them check the rear brakes to see if it's time yet. Once that's done, I'll have addressed all the issues except the unsightly hole in the floor carpet. I'll spring for a good Weathertech mat to cover that, and I'll get a matching mat for the passenger side.

I went through the car wash today with no issues, so I think I'm good to go!

In other news, while I was waiting for the car repair to get done, I spent $10 on groceries and $13 on lunch, as well as $4 on a bottle of body lotion. Variables are at 60%. The cost of the hubcaps went on my Big Ticket spreadsheet, so it doesn't affect the variables.

Ancestry, Again

March 11th, 2023 at 03:02 pm

I looked at my Discover card account online this morning, and the pending charge to was gone. So I went to Ancestry's site and cancelled. That didn't really help, since my cancellation date is a year from now, so they're still going to charge me. They must be having some glitches with their billing. We'll see how it goes. I don't really care either way. If I still have a year to play with it, I'll get some things done. If they don't charge me and I can't do those things, that's fine, too.

My insurance company withdrew $108 for coverage for the new car.

The new Netflix payment hit; it's $16.

My Discover account re-ups tomorrow, so I'll start taking care of some car stuff. I lost a hubcap on my trip. It looks like I cannot get just one to match my current (cheap plastic) ones -- I have to get a whole set. I guess that's what I'll do, as better hubcaps are quite expensive, and frankly, I'm not sure they wouldn't get stolen, since my car sits out on the street overnight, and thieves are clearly operating in the area.  I also want to address the front bumper which is not locking into place as it should.  I'm afraid to go through a car wash. I think the bumper would separate. Forgive me if I'm repeating! This has been on my mind for a while.

Variables are at 36%. I haven't spent anything on groceries yet!

Weekend Trip, and New Clothing Expense

March 6th, 2023 at 07:56 pm

Before I left on my weekend trip, I felt a painful spot between my breast and my armpit. I wasn't too worried, but I went to Immediate Care to have it checked out. The doctor verified what I already thought -- that it wasn't really a lump, it was irritation from the underwire in my bra. She suggested that I replace my bras with better fitting ones with no wires. So in the next few days I bought six wireless bras, very comfortable and yet supportive (Bali Comfort Revolution). The total cost was $143, or about $24 each. If you've shopped for bras recently, you'll realize this was a very good price. That's why I bought six when I had the chance. This was an unexpected expense, but oh well.

The cost of my trip to Indiana was $67, for gas and food. I also did a little fun thrift store shopping for $19, buying a hoodie, a gift, and a few things for the house. 

I came home to find my property tax bill in the mailbox - $561 (semi-annual payment) and then when I checked my bank account I saw that had withdrawn my subscription fee, which is now $229. I was going to cancel this year, but obviously I did not get on that soon enough. So I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.

Anyway, my trip was fun, and the play -- Guys and Dolls -- was so good! It was hard to believe it was a high school production! Way above my expectations!