Thursday stuff

Well, it’s off to Sacramento for my last Velcade shot of cycle 5. I’m really glad I’m approaching the end of this cycle and the last one #6.  Overall, this is a relatively easy chemotherapy but there’s still side effects. My eyes are still developing some styes and continue to water some. Plus, now the neuropathy has snuck in.  Most of it is manageable but still it takes its toll. Plus today I get to take Dex. Such fun!!

On another note, I’m ready with a small load for the Goodwill express drop off. I rather not give stuff to Goodwill as it’s CEO gets a huge salary, but I have to admit they have their donation centers down to a science. the guy comes out with a cart ,loads it and then whisks it away. Very neat and tidy.  I did manage to get rid of some Life magazine ads I had in slips, but still, I need to whittle down the Life magazines to maybe 4 bins.  Some of my oldest Life magazines are from the ’30’s and I like looking at them but maybe I’ll try to sell those as they are probably more collectable. I also just tried to sell mad Men seasons 1-5 and no luck so I’ll give those to the Humane Society bookstore to sell.

The budget is just ok. Not much new there except not enough money to fund my envelopes till next payday.  I’m hoping with some of the refiguring of budget stuff, next month will be better. We will have some reductions in expenses. One, my son will go back to working at Grocery Outlet and so he will have his own spending money so, I’m planning on not giving him the money we were, so that’s a big savings.  He is going to take a summer school class and will have an internship(unpaid) for now, so depending on his money we may chip in for gas. So with June starting hopefully we will see most of the big bills for the year, (taxes, property taxes, auto insurance etc.) done till November. My big goal is to save and put money back in our EF which has taken a pretty big hit.  If B gets a bonus( which he thinks he is), that’s number one priority.

Our garden is giving us lovely lettuces and herbs,(cilantro, thyme, parsley, oregano, dill) so we are having fresh salads.  We have tomatoes in plus all the usual stuff. I haven’t really been food shopping so today after my shot I’m going to go to Winco or Walmart for pasta, and a few pickle type things that I can’t stand buying in our regular store ( Bel Air) for those of you on the west coast. I tried to get some whole wheat pasta at our store here in town. First , IMG_0089they didn’t have the Barilla I was looking for and the  ones they did have were almost $2.00 I can go to Winco and get Barilla for .99  So, it’s worth stocking up. the same with things like salsa and pickle type things (relish).  I also need some bulk popcorn, polenta etc. I’m going to buy the expensive milk in the glass jar to help cut down on garbage stuff. I’m on a new kick of trying not to buy stuff with a lot of packaging.  At Costco, it’s hard to avoid since everything has giant plastic wrap stuff, but my regular shopping I should be able to at least make a dent in some things.

 

Where I have my morning coffee!!!

The haves and the have nots!

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/05/my-secret-shame/476415/

This is an article on the sad state of financial affairs of many people. The author is quite honest in his evaluation of his own current financial affairs and how he got there. He has a loan modification and is paying off credit cards.

Honestly, I totally agree with him. I wish we had been more financially smart. We never made any smart decisions financially till really about the time I was diagnosed with cancer. But even in those first difficult years with treatment and A Stem Cell Transplant, we made plenty of mistakes. The biggest was refinancing when the market was at its height. We were foolish to believe the loan officer that this was a good deal to maximize money in equity. What a mistake. When the market crashed and we’ve been under water in this house, we are now on the other side that the market is coming back up. WE too had a loan modification and it saved us. This actually is just ending and then the interest rate is going up.

I think when I started to embrace being minimalist, budgeting, not spending money for things clicked for me. We’ve mad a lot of progress and are quite frugal in all expenditures. Yet, there are still expenditures that are outpacing income. We’re helping our son with money at junior college. We pay for his car insurance and food. It is not giving us much to put away but we want to help him right now. Smart move? I don’t know but we are making the decision to the best of our ability now. We also put our Federal taxes on a credit card and we’re having to pay that down.

All in all, everyone, I’m sure does what they can but sometimes keeping up with expenses versus money coming in is a struggle.

I also think that people who have received inheritances or who are wealthy, or have no mortgages , or maybe they’ve just done everything right and made enough money in their careers and have money to put toward savings etc,. Some of these people just don’t get it. Yes, we have family members who really don’t get it and of course live their happy go lucky lives with inheritances they received.

Yes, you can be frugal, budget, sing till your blue in the face, but sometimes there just isn’t enough money and how many of us are one pay check away from disaster. I’ve learned a lot in these last 5 years about being frugal and stockpiling pantry items, having a small emergency fund but there’s still a long way to go.

I don’t think it’s for us to judge others, though, maybe just some compassion and understanding.

2016

Happy New Year 2016 replace 2015 concept on the sea beach

Happy New Year 2016 replace 2015 concept on the sea beach

Happy New Year!!I don’t really do resolutions just goals and ideas. I mean, we all want to eat better, exercise more, live more intentionally. On and on…but we do what we do and usually set our selves up. I just write a list of things I’d like to accomplish and leave it at that.

For now its pretty simple:

  1. keep decluttering, although 90% is done. there’s always more to declutter especially when trying to redecorate or change the purpose of a space.
  2. keep walking of course, but with my new fit bit( needed to return to get the larger size) I hope to add a few miles on each week.
  3. explore 2 new areas we haven’t been to such as Yellowstone or more of the Oregon coast. we’ve been all along highway 1 on the Oregon coast, but I’d like to go back and explore it more.
  4. Get a budget in place that looks like a retirement budget and see how this works for us.
  5. Pay down the car as much as possible. even though my husband gets a reimbursement for his car, we still have the payment and I’d like to be gone.
  6. stay as healthy as possible.
  7. be frugal
  8. embrace minimalism even more!!
  9. I’m sure I’ll think of more!

 

 

November budget and other miscellany!

So, November is a little tight on the budget. With ynab, i was almost a month ahead ,now its more like 2 weeks. Most of it is the extra medical bills and Invisalign payments of $500. But with this check everythings covered till mid month. Also, we have property taxes due. I had wanted to start overpaying on the Santa Fe, but that will have to wait till December or even January.

I know the medical will be done this month and my one cc that has the last Invisalign payment will be paid. After that the Invisalign will be more like $200 a month or less. It was the first $2000 they wanted fairly quickly.

Also, christmas money will be available and the extra is our property taxes I put in there. It was a great way to budget it since you can’t withdraw from your Santa fund. i will definitely do that next year.

B hopefully will get one more bonus this year but I don’t want to count on anything since his last one paid for the tree removal.

It always seems money is needed for something and honestly its a little scary thinking of retirement. But I shall preserver as always.

On to my doctors appointment. Geez, since I got the Pomalyst much later than I expected and just started yesterday , thats day 1. So the cycle is 21 days. that puts me at November 17 to finish and my appt. is November 18. So that is so not going to work as I won’t even had a blood test yet. So the complication is the following week is thanksgiving and the week after is too long away and my husbands out of town anyway. So, I did the best I could and my appt. is Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. And I need to have the Zometa IV. So, its kinda a drag as sometimes I never know how I will feel from the Zometa. But its the best of all scenarios.

Anyway, Ive been busy washing the couch covers and switched the white for the tan for winter. Plus I did get thru a few magazines to give to the thrift store.Plus there’s a little pile of other stuff to go.

Friday Budget stuff

I did apply for unemployment from my ‘dismissal ‘ at work. My daughter doesn’t think i’ll get it as I was extra help. Probably not but even a little would help.

I’m redoing our budget as I won’t be bringing in my little checks. They do amount to just under $400 a month , so I need to find that in the budget somewhere. Probably household where Home depot tends to suck money right out. Mostly its summer  stuff and then fall projects. Everything else is set. Water varies and is higher in summer, but cell phone, electric etc are pretty much set amounts.  Im still working on our big fail bills in one savings account, and after this next pay period I should have that done.

Then,I think I want to focus on adding an extra amount on B’s car. He gets a car allowance which we absolutely need, and it pays the car payment and gas. But if we could knock that out in 2 years we would be in better shape , as he’d still get the allowance but we could just save that money.

Food is always variable. I spend too much I think,but it doesn’t seem like a lot goes to waste. So, if I stick to menu planning groceries could go down by maybe a $100.

We did get slammed with the copay on my bone marrow biopsy. I should really complain. No one ever said it’d be 20% ,do thats actually a pretty big bill since the procedure was (get this , and don’t be shocked)..over $10,000. yes, folks, over 10 grand for one procedure. I will not do that again. I’ll suffer through in the doctors office and take atavain.  So I have at least 3 months more of payments on that.

Well, I’m off. Blood test today, so results next week. I can’t say I feel any different, so I’m not sure how my kappa light chains are. But we’ll know next week.

Then my daughter wants to pop in to Kmart or Target for something.

Dinner is tacos.

Friday financials

This was a pay week, and we did pretty well with the budget. Everything’s paid and I did do some extra, the REI stuff$200, and old navy at $35. It’ll be a little tight because of these but we should be ok. Also, I want my husband to go get a fitbit, so that’ll be an extra $100.

I’ve got plenty of groceries, and we will eat from the freezer and pantry too. I’ll need some fresh vegies next week but not much as our garden is giving us cucumbers, onions, some herbs and a few tomatoes. We need to run to the nursery and get some squah plants as my daughter seems to think she didn’t think she planted any. It’s too late to start from seed and I’m not paying ridiculous prices for zucchini and summer squash. Also, we have our beautiful eggs so that’ll be a frittata night. Plus we had a great crop of potatoes. We all love potatoes. 

All in all good and I put some money over in savings. Next check, I want to finish our Santa fund. I’d like to start paying extra on the new car but saving is higher on the list ,as insurance for the cars will be due in October. 

I actually sold something on eBay. I use to sell every week and at one point had a store for my life magazines. But, I got pretty turned off to eBay s fees etc. But I had some cowboy Tepco ( very popular) and sold them . I might see what else I can put on. I’m thinking those Star Trek 12″ figures . Maybe a lot of 6 and see if I get any interest. 

Off to the library. Bookclub was kinda boring but so were the books( ha, ha!) .

the myeloma beacon is starting an online book club, and I think our first book will be “the Emperor of all Maladies”.

if you’re interested, go the myeloma beacon and check it out. 

Decluttering!

Well, I’m off to drop a load to the thrift store this morning. I’d like it to be more, buts a good size . Also, B is taking a huge load to the dump. Once a year you get a free pass and he uses it. He’s broken up 2 chairs  and a ton of garbage from the barn and yard. 

I love getting rid of things and I’d love to do more in the house to have more white space. Maybe later in the summer I’ll move more stuff out. I’d rather have space than things. I’m debating about painting this summer. Nothing needs it but the kitchen could be done. It’s a great vintage green now, but I’d definitely go with a shade of white next time. So, I’ll see how it goes.

Then I might go do a little shopping for some basics. I need mayonaise and milk and some other little things. But I could wait till tomorrow too. I’ve already done most of my morning chores. Just need a quick vacumm. 

Figured out the next budget which I think will finally give us something back in savings. Hopefully all the extra bills are over till late summer or fall when car insurance and property taxes are due. 

My knee was bothering me walking so we took it easy. I hope it’s only because we walked extra the other day. Getting old, regardless of having cancer is tough. Overall, I can’t complain, until, like this with me knee, I’m complaining. 

Well, off to finish things up. Dinner tonight is grilled asparagus, and fettucine Alfredo.