Thursday, March 29, 2018

Life keeps going

Well, I have been very busy working overtime at my job to help pay for new brakes and tires for my vehicle. I was able to get the brakes and tires done and put cash into my savings account. We also did our taxes and got a refund from the federal government. I owe VA taxes and they will be paid in full with my next pay check. 

My oldest DD is still working part time at the dollar store. She is doing well and still is at home. She pays rent and does put gas in he vehicles. My middle DD was in the hospital two weeks ago due to a rare adverse reaction to her antipsychotic. Needless to say that I had to take her to the ER after getting out of work myself and we spent a few hours there. We were discharged after four hours with prescriptions for cogentin. 

I went "psycho mom" on our psychiatrist for increasing her dosing without knowing what else was happening at the time leading to the dystonic reaction. Needless to say, she is not taking an antipsychotic medicine now and it is listed as a severe allergy. My middle DD is still working at the dollar store and pays rent and puts gas in the vehicle. The psychiatrist and I have an agreement to discuss (with my children's OK since they are over 18) any changes in medications that are needed prior to implementing them for the adult kids and my husband. I have been very proactive in their mental health since 2004 when my husband was finally diagnosed. 

My autistic son FINALLY was approved for social security. He will receive 653 a month for life under my husband's benefit. He has a new checking account now with my name on it as a representative. He is very proud of his checking account and right now it has 25 dollars in it that I put there to open the account. We are waiting patiently for the deposit for April to arrive. 

My son is going to pay "rent" and offered to help with groceries. He likes to grocery shop at Aldi and the Dollar Tree. My son has also started in a program at the local high school. It is for adult special education learners who have a "diploma" that need additional services through the school system. The county school board offered to assist us with placement after explaining and providing paperwork from the Virginia Board of Education. 

He goes to "school" from 630 to 230 in the afternoon. The bus picks him up in front of the house and drops him off with an adult waiting for him. He can not be let off the bus without the driver acknowledging that there is an adult at the house. 

With all the overtime I have been working I was able to put additional cash into the savings account and put 3/4 of the tax money in the account too. Prior to my overtime I had about 8,200 in there. I am proud to say that we have 11, 257 in savings as of this morning. I will continues to put 75 dollars every two weeks into the savings as a direct deposit from my take home pay.

I am still in debt with my student loan and the retirement home mortgage. My goal is to get the student loan paid off (I would like to think by the end of the year, but it's a large amount, so maybe half would be a good goal). 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

This week

I worked my scheduled three shifts this past week and spent a lot of time at the local parks doing some walking with my husband. We have been out several times this past week and enjoy being together and even if it makes walking to get some fresh air and exercise.

My husband gave me his 300 dollar contribution to the monthly budget and we ended up getting two new tires and an oil change for my car with the money. We were told that we will need new brakes and the other thing (I wish I knew what it was, but it has to do with the brakes). The shop told us that it would cost a total of 1,200 dollars.

I got paid on Friday and made an online payment to the mortgage company for March. I also paid two outstanding hospital charges that came in the mail. I made the payment to the cell phone folks. I also sent out a payment to the electric company in full.

I am surprised that our electric bill was 101.54 this month. This is for a full month. The electric company charges an automatic 20 dollar fee regardless of the charges. They charge 0.11 cents per KW under 1,000 KW. If you use more than 1,000 KW the charge per KW is 0.13 cents.

Our first bill in the new house used 440 KW. This was not for a full month. The most recent bill I paid on Friday was for 784 KW. We have been opening windows when it is warm outside. My husband turned on the air conditioning yesterday when it went over 80 degrees in the house. We have new ceiling fans that were a gift for my birthday and we have to get them up in each of the rooms at some point.

I continue the deposits into the savings account through the banks automatic deposit from my pay check of 75 dollars a pay period.

The cost of the brakes may have to be taken out of the savings account. I really don't want to do that, but my first pay of the month covers the mortgage for the next month and the beginning of the bills for the next month. I stay a month ahead because life happens. The second paycheck of the month goes towards anything that did not get covered with the first paycheck. The bills come through the mail and get paid immediately on my pay day to prevent anything from being late or overdue.

I have thought seriously about getting a credit card. I have not been in credit card debt for about five years. I found Dave Ramsey about 8 years ago and used his plan to help get my debt paid off. When we sold our Virginia home, almost half of the mortgage was paid off at that time and I only had the mortgage and a student loan payment.

I still have a new mortgage even if it is a hit higher than our old one. My student loan is coming out of deferment in March and I have been making payments of 200 dollars every month. The new payment will be 250 starting in March and I would like to work hard at getting this paid off by adding additional money to the principle.

My reasoning for a credit card would be to help with expenses towards higher cost items. I would prefer not to take the money out of the savings. I am very hesitant to get a credit card because I would prefer not to have any additional debt.

I guess I have made my own decision about the credit card. I don't really want one. I would just prefer to have the money on hand for the higher cost items that we have coming due instead of taking it out of savings.

I am working an additional shift tonight. I picked up tonight as overtime. I am also working Tues, Wed, and Thurs night. We have eaten dinner at home all week and have been actively working on using what is in the pantry and freezer.

Our taxes are completed and I am getting a small refund from the feds. I owe Virginia about 350 dollars in taxes since apparently there was not enough taken out last year. I am going to electronically send the return in when I get paid again.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

January Goals

Some of the January goals I hadinclude the following:

~transfer retirement from old employer to new employer plan
I am still trying to work on this. I have the forms downloaded into a pdf file and having difficulties getting them to print out at work. I am not sure what I am doing wrong.

~maintain 75 dollars every two weeks as a direct deposit from my pay into the savings

This has been started at the end of December and will continue as a direct deposit every two weeks into my savings account. This has been continued and will help keep an emergency fund in place.

~cancel CVS prescription coverage for my husband once all his meds are processed through the 90  day mail order. DONE!

~order new blinds for 8 windows and one large sliding door. DONE!

~buy curtains for my bedroom
We decided not to get curtains for our bedroom. The blinds are more than enough and they are heavy ones also. I am not going to add this as a goal for February as this is an expense we don't need at this time.

~buy curtains for the living room window and two windows in the dining room
See above. We are not going to have this as a goal for February since this is an expense we do not need at the moment.

~maintain the current standard of living and keep any cash flow that is left over from each pay period to put an additional deposit into the savings. DONE!

I received a 25 dollar check from the new mortgage company. It appears that I gave them 25 dollars too much at closing. This will be deposited into the savings account this morning. I have direct deposit each pay period and transferred 200 dollars from my checking to the savings this morning from January's excess.

~continue using our pantry as wisely as possible as funds are tight and remain so until we are financially settled into our new home. THIS IS ALWAYS ONGOING.

~Bed delivery DONE!

~measuring windows for blinds installation


I started January with a goal of saving some money to put towards my savings account. I put in a direct deposit of 75 dollars every two weeks to go directly to the savings. I added 25 dollars as a one time deposit to the savings.

I ended January with 471.79 left in my checking account after all the expenses were paid for the month. I am not sure how I managed to do that other than when my mother in law came to visit we went out almost every day she was here and I paid for one meal. She did some grocery shopping for us and went out of her way to help us get settled in our new home.

I would like to put 200 dollars of the 471 into the savings account. I have some more health care bills coming in soon and the extra cash can be put towards those expenses.

My husband did his monthly contribution to the budget and gave me 300 dollars of his disability check and he pays his bills in full every month. He has a limited income and pays for his medicare premiums from his check. He usually does not have any extra funds and keeps 25 dollars a month in his savings account which he ends up using.

The savings for January increased some. There was a interest payment of 2.24, two deposits of 75 dollars each, a one time deposit of 25 dollars, and the transfer of 200 dollars from my checking to the savings that I just did online. The 200 dollars will be counted as a January deposit since it was from left over funds for the month.

I did have to take out the costs for the endoscope from the savings account that totaled 515.00. This was a cost that I knew I would have to pay since I spoke to the billing office at the hospital. It will take a while to recover this money and put it back into the savings.

February savings account balance: 8,554.20

Health care costs January

I was going through my budget and added up some numbers regarding the high costs of January's medical costs that my family has incurred. We paid cash for all the copayments, procedures, medications, and follow up fees with radiology and hospital charges. We have private insurance through my work and I am thankful.

Here's the breakdown of costs out of pocket for January.

MD appointments 40 dollar co pays total 230 dollars.
90 day medications for the five of us (we take numerous ones for chronic conditions) 326.18
Radiologist fees 99.25
Hospital fees 53.48
Endoscope 515.15

The endoscope met my individual deductible of 400 dollars. If I need any other procedures, lab work, and anything besides meds or doc visit copays I will pay 10 percent until I hit max out of pocket.

Total cost for January medical costs was a whopping 1,224.06.

Oh my goodness. It's almost one full paycheck for a two week period at my job. We still have some bills coming in for February. I am expecting one for the anesthesia provider for the endoscope procedure and one for the follow up appointment with my GI doc. I am expecting a bill from the hospital that will cover the costs of their services for the procedure that my insurance does not pay.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


My MIL went to Orlando last night and got a hotel next to the airport. Her plane left Orlando at 715 this morning and she made it back to Rhode Island at 1030 this morning.

We had plain pancakes this morning and they were a bit difficult to get down. I ended up mashing the pancake up in small pieces and was able to better swallow it.

Lunch for me was a bowl of plain cheerios with fat free milk.

Dinner is some from scratch chicken noodle soup I made yesterday. Every one loved it and it was not very "spicy" and was a bit bland in my opinion without adding onions. It got rave reviews from the family. We have some left over and will be served as dinner tomorrow night since I am working tonight and tomorrow.

The kids finished all the take out left overs that we had accumulated in the fridge from my MIL.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Health Needs

Last Tuesday I had to go to the hospital to have an out patient procedure with the GI specialist. He diagnosed with me with severe acid reflux and did an endoscope. He told me that I have a very large ulcer in my esophagus and that he had never seen on this large.

I have met my individual deductible for myself of 400 dollars. My copayment for everything besides office visits will be 10 percent of cost until I max at 2,500 as an individual and then my insurance will pick up everything at 100 percent. This does not include mail order medications or office visit co payments.

The GI specialist put me on protonix since the prilosec was not working and also put me on carafate three times a day. I am also prescribed a very bland diet with either water or clear liquids to drink. I am not allowed to have any decaf tea for eight weeks. I made it through week one finally.

What I found was that bland diets can be well, bland but I am starting to feel so much better. My coughing and gagging has decreased a small amount and I have been drinking so much water that I am well hydrated now. I have been told to eat three small meals a day with two high protein snacks to ensure nutritional needs.

Some of the things I have been eating are plain scrambled eggs (no butter), hard boiled eggs, any canned fruit, any canned veggies, a lot of soup, cream of wheat, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, canned tuna fish in water, peanut butter, plain white bread, pancakes, etc etc.

My MIL bought two roaster chickens the other night from sam's club. I was able to the bones, skin, and frame in the crock pot this morning to use as a basis for soup. We will have chicken noodle coup tomorrow for dinner.

I can not have most things that I would usually eat on a regular basis. I am not allowed to have any raw veggies, anything acidic, no fruit juices, no tea, and limited meat. The meat is a bit difficult for me to swallow even in small amounts. I did have some chicken two nights in a row with some difficulty swallowing.

The goal is to have the ulcer healed by the end of 8 weeks. I am not on any blood thinners or take ibuprofen or aleve. I stick to tylenol as needed for discomfort. There is a huge concern regarding any potential spontaneous bleeding that could happen.

What's been happening.

My MIL and her companion are leaving tomorrow to spend the night in an Orlando hotel next to the airport. Their plane leaves Wednesday morning at 7:15 and this hotel stay would ensure that they are able to get the shuttle to their plane on time that morning.

My MIL is wonderful. She has been helping us with house stuff while I have been working. She did most of the laundry, cleaned the bathrooms, and took it upon herself to clean the kitchen. She took my daughters to work in the mornings since I was late getting home from work.

We are really going to miss her. She is very active, continues to work, and is very helpful. A few things I found out years after we did not get along due to my husband's mental illness diagnosis. The two of us have been able to mend our bridges after having a stormy relationship that ended in 2004 and have a very nice relationship. I am thankful for her time, her love for my kids, and her compassion. I have been part of the family since I met her son in 1989 and we got married in 1993.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

It's been a few days

My MIL is in town and staying with us. She has been here since Wednesday evening and is leaving Wednesday morning. It has been very busy the past few days with work, doctor appointments, a procedure, and her visit. We have spent some time venturing into Orlando with her and spent some great time together. She's 75, very active, and continues to work as a nurse in the emergency room in Rhode Island. I hope when I am her age I can continue doing what I love without restraints.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The weekend

I worked Thurdsay, Friday, and Saturday night. I am very tired and have been trying to stay organized in the meal department when I am working.

I got up Saturday afternoon and we had a very crazy dinner. I was over tired from not sleeping well and kind of irritable. I told the kids and my husband that we were having hot dogs, chicken noodle soup, and sliced cucumber. It was not a very healthy or well rounded meal but it was something to eat and prevented me from ordering take out which I honestly can not afford.

I was off last night and we stayed home most of the day. I did go to the park for a walk with my husband which we try to do on days I am not working. It gets us both outside and we would benefit from the walking.

Sunday dinner was only the five of us. We did not have anything planned with the cousins. I made grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches on whole wheat bread. We have quite a few roma tomatoes that I bought from Aldi when I went shopping a while ago. They needed to be used and honestly the sandwiches came out amazing.

I had to take the money out of our savings for an endoscope I am having done tomorrow for a diagnosis. It is going to cost me 515.50 out of pocket with my health coverage at the hospital. I want to remind everyone that I am an employee and the health deductible is just outrageous. I am not sure on how long it will take for me to replace that money.

Dinner tonight was a pork tenderloin. I cut it in half and put the other half back in the fridge for tomorrow. I sliced the large half into pork chops and put them in the crock pot. I added frozen Aldi green beans, two large carrots, several cut up potatoes, and some garlic. I let this cook all day and it got rave reviews from the family. There are no veggies left in the crock pot which just amazes me because other than myself and my husband, my "adult" children are not keen on veggies.