Midweek stuff and a blood moon!

We went to Costco for our February shop. It was weirdly quiet in there. We were able to move about without threat of bodily harm. Nice!!

I spent $300 on food stuff which did include stocking up stuff like canned black beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, coffee, butter, bread, cheese, some frozen salmon, and cereal and more. Then we spent $150 on non-food such as beer, underwear, face cream, dishwasher stuff and more.

So, I’ll put the $300 towards my $500 food budget and $150 toward non-food. I haven’t put a number on this yet since I will need cat food and a few misc.

Our weather is getting beautiful and the next 2 weeks our highs will be @ 70. Yes!!

We were up early enough to catch the lunar eclipse and it was earrily red. Then we watched it come out of the eclipse as we walked. Very cool.  Stuff like this makes me realize that even a hundred years ago these things were like strange.  Can you imagine a thousand years ago seeing this . Okay , here’s the snarky me coming out. Gee, imagine 2,000 years ago and the phenomena of water into wine?? walking on water???? rising from the dead??? Gee, how to explain it??? Jesus who???  Okay enough.

I refused to listen to the misogynist in the White house last night. It’s all BS anyway. But I CANNOT stand his voice. I’m not sure what’s up with that but I have a theroy that he’s really an alien ( look at those hooded eyes) and that he’s programmed milllions by his voice except atheists like me.

wow, this has gone from Costco to atheism, I ‘d better quit now.

Just a reminder, this my blog, if you don’t like it, don’t read it!!!

Midweek

It’s Wednesday and B and my daughter are flying to Southern Ca for work(co-ops, and a library workshop). I’ll be taking care of the dogs and chickens and cats. It’s not so bad if I keep to a routine and schedule.

These dogs, rescued border collies, love routine so it makes it fairly easy. Breakfast 2 7:30 and the one dog gets an anti-seizure pill. Then they’re outside for a while. They come in till @ 11:30 am or so and then I feed them one cup of crunchies. After that, it’s either out if nice or they go in they’re crates. They are great dogs.  Then they do get a few evening walks.

The chickens are pretty easy. Just out for the day and then close them in, front and back around 5 pm since it’s getting darker later.  We’re also starting to get more eggs again, so that’s nice.

I’m reapplying to the Leukemia and Lymphoma co-pay assistance program as they shut it down in October due to lack of funds.  They really do great work and when they offer financial assistance for certain things it does help. Since I’m not in treatment right now, the only thing I can get assistance for my share of insurance costs. It’s not a lot but every little bit helps. So I was going to do it online but it’s actually not a very user-friendly website and I’ve been locked out a few times. So I’m just going to mail the forms in.

Then we had a check get lost in the mail somewhere, so I had to call the mortgage company and do an e-check. I had mailed the checked the beginning of the month and it still hadn’t cleared as of yesterday, which was really weird. Then I had to put a stop payment on the check so it didn’t go thru twice.  Anyway, a PITA>

The Frugalwoods frugal January is going sorta okay. We’re doing good on grocery shopping and I won’t probably shop till near the end of the month. We did need coffee and milk and avocados, so we got those.  There will be a few more things ,I’m sure , but for now, I’m holding off.

Dinner will be something easy, grilled tofu and mac and cheese and a salad.

Going back to YNAB

I decided to try another month free of YNAB to see if I wanted to use it again.

Originally, I bought the program when you could do that but now it is really all revamped and it’s a monthly subscription. Generally, I do all my budgeting with paper and pen, but I thought maybe I’d give this another try.

I started yesterday and the trial goes for a month. I like the visuals of the new program and it is very user-friendly. I put in all my line items for the month but one thing they want you to do is not put in future pay days as that is money not yet received. I always budget paychecks( several times actually) to see where the money is going.  But I put in the amounts and just not the check yet. I’ll have to wait and see if this gets confusing.

My main goal is to have enough money in our checking account to be one month ahead. That really has never happened so YNAB really promotes this idea and so I’m going to give their budgeting approach a try.

Right now toward the end of the year, our budget starts to include lots of annual bills, property tax, Allstate, house insurance, so that’s an area I want to change for next year and have all the money in accounts for that ahead of time. In the past, its always been we’ve relied on B’s bonuses to pay that stuff.

So, I’ll give an update in a week or so. ( Next payday is next week, so that’ll go into YNAB and we’ll see how it looks. Since I have the whole month of bills in already, that check won’t cover it all so I’m not sure if that will help or confuse me.  But I like trying new things or at least revisiting this again. BTW, I think it’s $5.00 for the monthly subscription. Also, right now I don’t have bank accounts linked but if I join I will.

Dinner is pumpkin pancakes, bacon and maybe scrambled eggs.

 

Friday things

I went and helped set up books for the bake and book sale tomorrow.  Then I left to take my son to pick up his Subaru that had some sort of oil leak but it was covered by the warranty we got when we paid for the engine to be rebuilt.

Then I went to the store and picked up cream, cat food, wine and a few other essentials for the weekend.

Tomorrow I am going over to the book sale early to help out and then leaving around 10 or so since we’re driving up to Chico so B can pick up his motorcycle. It’ll be a long day but I’ll get thru it. He’s been set on a Triumph which is what he had in college. Then reconsidered and found a brand new Honda Rebel. It’s a smaller motorcycle and that may be a good thing.  It won’t hold resale the same as a Triumph, but that’s not why he’s buying it.  This money comes from the many bonuses he has had over the years that usually has gone to bills. So it’s his turn.

 

Speaking of budgets, things are okay. The bills are getting paid but we’re still not putting away money above and beyond the 401 k that is taken out automatically.  In the next 2 months we have property tax and house insurance so 2 really big annual bills. Sigh… I really hope we get a handle on this as retirement looms out there.  But I am optimistic we will have it sorted as we go into those years.  We have to get rid of the car payment and that will free up some money.  But he gets a reimbursement for the car so it’s a double edge sword.  Still, I hope by mid-year next year the Santa Fe is paid and then we can look at the last car loan for him in these last 3 years.

I am trying very hard to be as frugal as I can and only buying essentials.  Even so, things do come up.

Dinner is Friday night pizza.

 

Simple Sunday

We went to Costco yesterday and got a ton of stuff. A fire extinguisher we needed, some organic sheets ( yeah.. they were 29.95), lots of food stuff, coffee. I also went to the customer service desk and got a refund on the stuff that my husband bought 3 days before the coupon book came out. I didn’t know they did that. I was pretty impressed. I won’t need to go to Costco for a month at least. Unless I decide to go get veggies and fruit there.

It also wasn’t raining and that was a big plus.  After putting the load away, I made us a brunch of scrambled eggs( our own) and avocado, tomatoes and cheese. Pretty tasty.

This has been a gloomy week with lots of rain and it looks like more is heading in today. Although right now its okay out, no rain. On Wednesday we head to Santa Barbara. B is working the co-ops and I’m going along since work pays for it all. We will pay for my portions of food but hotel and gas are covered. I’m looking forward to it.  I love SB, even though I wouldn’t want to live there. It’s  somewhat locked in by mountains and of course ridiculously expensive. But it’s great to visit and I love the beach trail. Since we’ve been there before we know a couple of great places to eat, plus there’s Trader Joes and Whole foods just to get some snacks and lunch stuff.

Our budget plans are going very well. Paying off the last bit on a CC is going very well. Actually, I way ahead of my schedule. But that may change or slow down since in the next month we need to get wood for the new garden beds and a truck- load of soil. So that will be an extra expense. But the garden gives us food and freezer stuff to so it’s a win.

I did a bunch of paperwork stuff this week. I needed to reapply for my LLS grant which covers my health insurance and copays to the doctor. Nothing diagnostic but it does help. Then I had to update my son’s FAFSA because he plans to go to San Francisco State university in the fall as a senior. I would like to see him get a grant for housing and tuition but we’ll see. They now do the year before ( 2015) and that was the year B sold stock so we had a larger gross amount. So that may impact it. I’m not sure if I could have done 2016 as that was substantially less. But it said taxes from 2015.

Today is a gym day and then I’m going to roast a chicken with a new recipe from William Sonoma that calls for oranges and red onion. Sounds good.

How is the Uber Frugal Month going?

Really, it’s going quite well. I’m am totally enjoying eating our way thru the freezer and pantry. I’ve been to the market a few times but mostly for fresh veggies and milk and 1/2. I’m also enjoying the no spend part of this as we haven’t spent money on anything except necessities. It’s really quite freeing. I am keeping a list of things I’m thinking about so I can evaluate at a later date. For instance, I’d like to get a sewing machine again. I’ve checked Craigslist and they all look like some 1970’s version. I also joined a local buy, sell, trade, free group and posted I was looking for a sewing machine but didn’t get any responses.  So, I’ll keep thinking about that for down the road. We’ve done great on our budget so that’s good too.

The jambalaya was quite good. I didn’t take any pictures but it was Emeril Lagasse’s recipe jambalaya although I didn’t add the chicken broth or chicken it was really good. Next time I’d like to try andouille sausage to taste the difference. I did use up the last of the Costco shrimp for this dish which was part of my goal. Tonight I have a pork tenderloin in the crockpot, but not sure how it’ll come out so my backup plan is twice baked potatoes I’ve frozen and grilled tofu and a salad. Pork is a funny dish for us. We all like pulled pork with BBQ sauce. So, I guess I’ll just see how it is after 6 or so hours in the crock pot.

Still cloudy and cooler. There was some rain showers this morning but not heavy. I decided not to go to town but wait and bundle my errands tomorrow as I have an appointment for my new Invisalign trays. Then to the gym and maybe the thrift store to look for used blankets for the dogs.

I finished a fun mystery book,’Deadly Desires at Honeychurch hall’.  A fun murder mystery taking place in rural England. I enjoyed it and will look for more by the author.

I don’t have any labs till the end of the month so I have a little more time before I start obsessing over them(ha, Ha,).

 

 

 

Thursday Budget stuff

IMG_0009Before June budget stuff here’s a picture of Donner Lake.IMG_0014And here’s another. It’s very warm here in Northern California with not a lot of change over the next week. Tomorrow and Saturday are even hotter. So we will need to put in our window air conditioners. This will raise our electric bill but it’s too hot not too use them.

Yesterday’s doctor visit was quite good. We decided not to do a maintenance of every 2 weeks for now. Also, I won’t see him for 2 months but will get monthly labs to see what’s going on.  I’m sure this is a gamble but I think if I have the chance to be drug-free for a short while it will be worth it. I still have 3 Velcade shots so not till July. I’m feeling positive about my decision though. My numbers have never increased radically and hopefully this  will stay the same so future relapse will show it self early on.

Onward to the budget. June is still starting out at a deficit so I will need to transfer a little money to cover a few things. But overall our June budget should show that we need $700 less due to a few things.  I’m hoping the numbers even out by B’s first paycheck of the month. Electric has gone down, but we’re on the balance pay program so it’s balanced based on the year so it’s still at $200. But that should drop once it gets recalibrated.

Also, school money won’t be going out and a few other things will drop too. July will even be better when the Harp refi takes effect ( I hope).  this was of course, a tough decision but with the increased % by October under the previous modification we really don’t have a choice. After much thinking and discussion, the way I have come to see this: we don’t want to move, we will never pay off the mortgage in retirement, so we need to look at getting the mortgage to be an amount that is like a ‘rent’. This refi will do that so I’m pleased with that. When one of us goes to the great beyond then that other person can decide to sell or stay. Unfortunately with my diagnosis, I can’t get life insurance, but many years ago B had me get life insurance ( a small amount ) thru his work. But it would be enough to help. One thing I am concerned about and maybe someone knows the answer to this.. Is when B retires from this company would my life insurance policy just stop? Or would we be able to keep it and keep paying on it?? does anyone know the answer to this?

Well, dinner is crockpot Thursday chicken. Since I’m on dex today, that’s a good thing as I don’t feel much like cooking.

Speaking of cooking, I’m reading the new Ruth Reichel’s book,My Kitchen year  it is so great. I’d highly recommend it.  Of course, I don’t think she would consider crockpot chicken, but then again she’s not on dexamethasone.