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Archive for August, 2023

August Recap

August 31st, 2023 at 07:31 pm
Housing 769
Utilities 199
Medical/Health 179
Groceries 96
Clothing 90
Furn/Equip/Décor 89
Fees & Services 85
Eating Out/Takeout 53
Household Supplies 41
Phone 38
Gas 37
Entertainment 31
Laundry 20
Gifts/Charity 6
Car 5
Fares/Parking 2

Grand Total                 1740

Variables                     100%

This was my lowest-spending month this year! Even though I spent more than usual on medical, and I bought some clothes and new sheets. It helped that there were no big-ticket items this month.

I transferred $3K to savings. That's what happens when I keep my spending in line.

Wheel Tax

August 25th, 2023 at 04:18 am

Just when I need to conserve cash, here comes the wheel tax. I had to pay it; it's due September 1, and I had forgotten about it. I thought I had paid it when I got the new car in February, but apparently I just transferred the information and didn't pay anything. Well, now it's done. Only $45, thanks to my senior benefit.

Wheel tax is like a resident sticker. It allows me to park on the street without getting ticketed.

That leaves me with only $14 for the rest of the month! Mind you, I have plenty of money available, but keeping my spending within a strict limit is what makes my budget work. This is a goal, not a necessity.

As for the medical test I had yesterday -- it was inconclusive so I'm getting a consult with a surgeon on September 13. I did not have to pay anything up front, as I thought I might, but the bill will come eventually. As will the next one. Sigh. As they all say, medical expenses take a big bite out of the budget when you reach a certain age. And I'm there.

$61 Left

August 23rd, 2023 at 04:20 pm

I bought a few groceries, which brought my spendable moolah down to $61. Variables are at 92%.

Today I'm driving an hour away to get a diagnostic test. Doctor's orders, I must do it. Driving to this faraway location was the only way I could get an appointment quickly. I am not sure how well insurance will cover this; I may have some out-of-pocket expense. This won't affect my variables; it will be a "big ticket" item for sure.

It's very, very hot today, and I regret having to be on the road. Thank goodness for AC in the car! When I was young, it was unusual to have AC in the car; now it's pretty standard. That's a good thing!

Surprise Company

August 18th, 2023 at 05:11 pm

I had some surprise company -- friends who took the train into Chicago and needed a place to crash before they continued their trip. A sleeper couch and the floor were not the best accomodations, but they didn't complain. Before they left we had the chance to visit and shop and eat out a few times.

I have spent 90% of my month's variables budget! I can't blame it all on the company. I also bought a new jacket for $38. Unexpected spending, but I'm chalking it up as a late birthday present for myself.

Now, with 13 days left in the month, can I spend only $77? We'll see, I guess.

I certainly don't regret the surprise company. It was a great time.

A Nice Day

August 14th, 2023 at 02:10 pm

Yesterday I met BFF in the halfway city. We celebrated my recent birthday at a Bob Evans (haven't been there in ages!) and then shopped. I had some birthday coupons to use. I spent $22 at Kohl's for a hoodie and I bought a stocking stuffer for $2 at DSW. That's it! BFF treated for lunch and for ice cream afterwards at Cold Stone Creamery.

Today I'm going grocery shopping. There are three Mondays left in the month and I can only spend $13 on each of them to stay within my limit. I'm going to Walmart first, to get bread, and then I'll get a few things at Aldi.

I also plan to walk at the community center indoor track and make a stop at Home Depot to get weatherstripping for the air conditioners. I did get all the windows and AC units put back -- I should say my son did. It was really nice to have air again. Though today is nice and cool and I don't need it.

Variables are at 64% halfway through the month, but the spending should slow down from here.

Appointment Outcomes

August 10th, 2023 at 02:41 pm

My eye doctor's appointment was the best. My eyes have not changed appreciably. I do not need glasses for distance vision, my cataract is still very small, and my retinas are in good shape. The appointment did not cost me anything because it was covered by my Medicare Advantage plan.

The next day I went to my GP about the pain in my knee. He referred me to a walk-in sports clinic, and I went there right away. They x-rayed my knee, and the verdict was that my meniscus was fine but I did have substantial arthritis. Which was no surprise. Physical therapy was recommended. I'm still mulling that over, because my knee now does seem to be getting better on its own.

Yesterday I went to the dermatological surgeon and had the Mohs procedure done to remove skin cancer from my cheek. I was lucky in that it took only one pass. They did insist on giving me stitches, since it's on the face, and supposedly the outcome will be better. After the anesthesia wore off, it was pretty painful and a bit swollen (both of which I was warned about). I finally took Tylenol and had a decent night. Today I'm better, but my vanity is suffering because I can't wash my hair, and it really needs it!

While all this was happening, I was informed that TIAA, which holds my retirement fund, was hacked and my information compromised. I froze my three credit report accounts. I already have credit monitoring that I was given after the Experian hack. TIAA has offered services with Knoll, but I think this is going to be enough. The hackers didn't get access to money, just to personal information.

And now for the windows. They have been washed, though it took longer than projected. I am waiting for my son to respond that he can help me get it all back together. There are 24 storm windows and 12 screens that have to reinstalled, as well as the AC units. I washed the 24 storm windows myself, and that was quite a job. The new squeegee made it easier, but I don't think I did a perfect job. C'est la vie.

I have one window with a broken chain (as opposed to the more usual cord found in vintage windows). I have called a window repair company and they charge a minimum of $277 (odd figure!) for a service call. Other companies have not responded, so I suppose eventually I will have to pay this. With the chain broken, it is almost impossible to raise the window.

So, a lot going on. Tomorrow is my birthday. My BFF is coming up, and we are all going out for pizza in the evening, hopefully at a venue with nice outdoor seating. Hopefully, because the weather may not cooperate. Anyway, that's what's going on in my world.

Amazon Order

August 7th, 2023 at 02:39 pm

Yesterday I went ahead and ordered the AC frame from Amazon, also some double-sided tape and weatherstripping. I also bought a professional-grade squeegee.  All because of window-washing and all the juggling around I have to do because of it. The screens and storms are now out, and the AC units sitting on the floor. Thank goodness it is not too hot, because I am sealed in here. And the washers have not even shown up yet.

I also threw in a phone grip, because I keep on accidentally turning off my phone.

Altogether I spent $78.

The storms are pretty dirty, so I will have to wash them myself. That's why I bought the squeegee. I've never had a good one.

In a few minutes, I will leave for the eye doctor's office. Hopefully, this won't be expensive!

August Spending

August 4th, 2023 at 11:54 pm

August is starting out with some mild spending. I spent $31 on groceries ($11 over my limit). I'll have to make it up later. I also spent $6 on reusable straws. This was at Aldi. I've spent $4 on laundry, $42 on OTC medications, $12 on dryer sheets (from Sam's), and $16 on clothing from Goodwill -- two tops and a pair of exercise pants, very good buys. 

One of my window air conditioners has pretty much lost its accordian side panels. They are falling apart, and when my son and I installed the unit this summer we kind of jerry-rigged something to make do. However, when I came home from Oregon I found that a storm had knocked a hole in the setup and water came in. I scrounged up some plastic pieces and closed off the space, but it won't last. I need to get real replacement panels. I have picked out something from Amazon that I think will work, but I have to get the okay from my son, because he's the one who's going to install them. And he knows more about that kind of thing. I have picked out a sturdy set, and it will be about $50 along with the weatherstripping and tape. It will be worth it if it will keep the elements out. And it will look a lot better.

I'm going to the eye doctor on Monday and will most likely get glasses. Then on Tuesday I have an appointment with my GP. My knee is somewhat improved but I want to figure out just what's wrong and what I need to do next. Then on Wednesday, I go the dermatological surgeon and get the skin cancer removed.

Window washing is going to be done on Monday and Tuesday, so I have to remove screens and take down the air conditioners (thus making it even more important that I get the proper accessories to properly reinstall!) Oh, it's going to be a week.

I was told to schedule an dermatology appointment for a full body scan. I called this morning and was first offered an appointment one year from now! After the scheduler looked at all locations in my group, she found an opening for February 1 in a suburb about a half hour away. Crazy. I am on a waiting list for any opening that comes up sooner than that. Apparently, we are really deprived of dermatologists in this area.