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Archive for September, 2016

A&L 3rd Quarter 2016

September 30th, 2016 at 05:22 am

One thing I realized when I started this blog is that I didn’t have a full picture of my financial situation. The numbers below are mine. DH and I keep our finances separate. We have an arrangement of who pays for what and it has worked for us for nearly 25 years.

My credit score = 727 (according to Mint, update coming in mid-October)

Total Savings (Cash) = 960.76 I guess in reality, I am a lot closer to having $1,000 saved in cash but these are divided up for specific items.
Emergency = 407.82 (my goal is funding to $1,000)
Automotive Insurance (due in March) = 115.21 ($500 goal)
CCW Dues & Cards (the dues portion is fully funded now) = 40.15
Christmas Gifts (this is cash and does not include gift cards I’ve accumulated)= 70.96 ($200 goal)
Clothes/Makeup/Hair = 20.00 (fully funded for hair so far).
Gym annual fee x 4 @ 39.99 = 21.00 ($160 goal for August 2017)
Healthcare (this is time off work without pay) = 130.18 (1-1/2 days worth so far – goal is 3 days)
DS3’s Senior Year expenses (he is a junior this year) = 63.58 (goal is $700)
Sharebuilder (I’m building some cash to buy shares. I already have investments) = 7.63 (goal is $100)
Travel = 44.38 (goal is $1000)
Change jars (combined) = 40.47(no real goal – $100 as a stash fund)

Total Investments = 44,015.70
Fidelity 401k = 22,922.48
Sharebuilder = 21.093.22

Home Value (according to Zillow) = 96,000 (rounded)
Car Value (according to wherever Mint gets its information) = 8,000 (rounded)

Total Assets = 148,975.56

Debt Balances = 123,363.23
CC1 = 14,245.90 (9.90% APR Fixed)
CC2 = 3,953.36 (15% APR Variable)
Student Loan = 18,039.78 (2.8% Fixed)
Mortgage = 87,124.19 (6.375% Fixed - Maturity date = 6/1/2036)

Total Liabilities = 123,363.23

DH and I split these up. DH takes care of the cell phone bill (DS1, DS2, my parents contribute), the mortgage, his own fuel, automotive insurance (though I just started saving for my car to contribute) and most of the groceries.
My expenses are as follows (budget for the month) = 717.36
Electric and water (budget) = 200 (variable)
My fuel = 160 per month (variable)
Alarm company = 54
Internet service = 86
Gym membership for the family = 87.36
Groceries (sometimes I buy) = 100 (variable)
Tithe = 30 month
Breakfast – Grilled cheese, orange juice, coffee
Lunch – Breakfast burrito (ham, egg, cheese), banana
Dinner – Garbanzo soup with white rice
Snack - apple

Back to Normal

September 29th, 2016 at 04:54 am

Sort of back to normal. My uncle had heart stents put in on Monday afternoon and was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday afternoon. Yesterday, the home health nurse came to do his evaluation and today, the physical therapist will come.

My uncle's neighbor will be assisting him with getting up out of bed in the morning since he is unsteady on his feet and help him get to bed. She is a Godsend!

My aunt will be flying in from New York next week to stay with him while we go to our original trip to Miami to see my dad's brother who has Alzheimer's and of course, his sisters. If you recall a couple of weeks ago, a series of unfortunate events occurred that caused us to cancel our trip.

So, I'm back at work today and working to get my own life back to normal. I gained weight because I haven't been tracking my food and also I haven't exercised. My family, as understanding as they are, were feeling a bit neglected. It is amazing how one event can turn your routine upside down.

Financial: DH gets paid today and he will pay the mortgage tomorrow. As for my spending... well, lets just say I dread tallying my receipts.

Health (today):
Breakfast - overnight oats and coffee
Lunch - ham, egg, cheese burrito
Dinner - ?????
Snack - banana
Workout - personal trainer and 30-minutes cardio.
Goal - lose 2 pounds by October 7th.


September 25th, 2016 at 05:53 am

My uncle as of last night is doing well. My mom and I stayed with him from 9:30 until 7:15 when the night shift came on. I'll be there probably around 10 or 11 today. Hopefully the social worker at the hospital will come around. I have a list of needs for him after his discharge.

I texted my boss to tell him I would be out Monday and maybe Tuesday.

I am baking a birthday cake for DS3. His birthday is on the 28th (Wednesday) and we planned to take him to the arcade and buy pizza. I'll see how I can work this in.

Thanks everyone for your concerns and advice. The extra support helps!

Hospital Stay

September 24th, 2016 at 04:47 am

I took my uncle to see his doctor yesterday morning. His EKG showed abnormality so he ordered a visit to the ER. Long story short, he had a heart attack.

After doing tests including a heart cath, results show nearly 100% blockage and they are considering a CABG. My uncle who is 89 does not want surgery. He is widowed and they never had children so I'm his surrogate "daughter" and power of attorney.

I'm hoping for a home health nurse to be there for him whenever he gets discharged. Although he is here until next week (he's having a fit about staying in the hospital).

Needless to say, I'm feeling a bit distressed. I stayed with him all day and overnight. Came home at 7 am and am planning to return to the hospital at 9.

Prayers requested for recovery for him, and strength, endurance and wisdom for me and my family. Thanks!


September 22nd, 2016 at 05:38 am

Sorry for the long and dreary post… just rambling.

Health (today):
Breakfast: overnight oats, coffee
Lunch: Scrambled egg on a slice of toast,
Dinner: Pork roast w/mashed potatoes left overs
Snack: apple
Extra Food: green tea
Workout: I did walk around the parking lot yesterday while my son was in therapy and later at home I did 10 pushups. Tonight, Lord willing, I will go to the gym and exercise with my personal trainer. I need to make time to exercise now more than ever because I am feeling the stress building.

Finances (yesterday):
NSD for my, but DH had to buy gas and pick up some lettuce at the grocery store for his lunch salad.

My paycheck posted in my account and it is for the full amount. I found a penny and added it to my coin jar.

Received the mortgage statement and for the first time in a good while I really looked at it. My maturity date (last mortgage payment) would be June 1, 2036. Our monthly payment is 797.40. We were paying 805.44 and then escrow estimate went down and reduced the payment. We just continued paying the 805.44 which is an 8.04 difference but every little bit helps. I wish we could do a little more but that is as much as we can do right now. It amounts to about 96.00 additional per year.

My Interesting Life
My uncle fell in his bedroom last night. Seems the walker slipped from under him. My sons and I had to go over and hoist him to his bed. We are looking into getting a wheelchair for him because he feels now that he cannot support himself upright anymore. My dad is frustrated and my mom is stressed. Both are having difficulty dealing with this.

Tomorrow I’m taking annual leave to take my uncle to see his doctor and to see what he says. I will have a list of things to ask regarding home health care, wheelchair, meals on wheels, or anything else. I just can’t think straight. If anyone has suggestions on what to ask his doctor regarding services and assistive items, please comment. I want to be ready and have him set up comfortably and without worry.

I learned yesterday that I cannot apply for FMLA for my uncle’s care because it only covers parents, spouse, and children (and of course, myself). I am down to 32 hours of annual leave until my drop comes in April (my hire date anniversary). Needless to say, I’m glad I’m setting aside some cash for when I need to take LWOP – leave without pay. I see that coming in the near future.

In the meantime, on the passenger side of my car, the little latch on the car door is broken so my husband had to do a temp fix so that I can close the car until he can buy the new part and install it. I put some blue painters tape on the inside and outside handles as a reminder to not use that door. No riding shotgun for any passengers as they will have to go limo style and sit in the back seat.

Another Day Another 100 Dollars

September 21st, 2016 at 04:58 am

Health (today):
Breakfast: overnight oats, apple and coffee
Lunch: Cheese omelet w/tomato and onion on a slice of bread, plain greek yogurt with frozen blueberries
Dinner: Pork roast w/mashed potatoes
Snack: fresh pineapple
Extra Food:
Workout: I had to cancel my workout yesterday because I ended up with one additional inspection. I really need to make the time tonight to at least go to the gym and walk the treadmill for a half hour. I know I would feel better.

Finances (yesterday):
I spent $4.28 at Wendy’s for lunch (even though I brought a grilled cheese from home). I didn’t have cash so I used my credit card. Not good.

I should receive my pay stub today so I’ll know what my paycheck is.

I earned $100 yesterday (at the time of the last post I only had 1 scheduled for $50). I rarely touch the money from my side business. We have the typical expenses that involve paying for insurance, business license/tax and other things business oriented. We pay DS1 when he does inspections. But we have earned enough to pay off my car (I had $5k left on my car loan balance), and bought desperately needed living room furniture $2k. We were sitting on flat cushions and getting pinched by the springs.

DH did his side gig yesterday and came home early (10:00 pm). Typically he gets home around 11:30.

I decided to add an additional $10 to my medical leave fund. I estimated that before taxes, I make $147 per day. After taxes and deduction that makes about $80.50 per day. I would like to have a cushion of 3 days since the leave is intermittent. So far I have $110 saved so that is just over a day I have saved.
It is very hard to make my goals with the cut in salary due to an FMLA day.

I’m here at work now and after I get off work, I’ll stop over at my uncle’s house to check on him. Then I’ll stop by my parents to check on them and pick up DS3. Then I drive DS2 to his therapy appointment before the rush hour really hits. Maybe while I wait, instead of reading, I’ll just walk around the parking lot for a half hour. I think I’ll do that because after I get back home I know I won’t feel like dressing out and going to the gym.

Catching Up

September 20th, 2016 at 04:50 am

Health (today):
Breakfast: overnight oats, banana, Good belly, and coffee
Lunch: Grilled cheese, plain greek yogurt with frozen blueberries
Dinner: nothing planned – probably leftover BBQ
Snack: fresh pineapple
Extra Food: I don’t know yet - hopefully nothing.
Workout: Personal trainer and probably some cardio.

Finances (over the weekend):
Friday: Asian buffet 41.43
Saturday: Grocery shopping – DH paid and it was nearly $200! I have no idea what I bought but most of it was non-food items that we needed which brings up the price. Haircuts for DS2 and DS3 at Great Clips (they had the weekend sale 7.99) so it was 19.98 including tips.
Sunday: Chinese food (again) 44.36, Gas 33.08, Krystal for a rootbeer float for myself 2.13* (raided the change jar).

Payday from my day job is Friday (but my credit union posts it on Thursday). I hope it is a full paycheck.
Also payment from my side gig is coming in the mail this week for $250.
This afternoon I will earn another $50 from my side biz.

*I was feeling stressed over the weekend. Have you ever felt detached and just going through the motions? That was how I felt over the weekend. I didn’t even track what I ate over the weekend. The weekends have always been hard for me to track since the meal schedule isn’t the same as the weekdays.

Update on my uncle (he is 89): We are looking into a home health nurse for my uncle at his request. He is doing better but still unsteady and a little down. He said he called his doctor yesterday and left a message so that he can order/prescribe or whatever they do so that Medicare would cover the service.

Update on my parents (both are 84): They can’t wait until a home health nurse starts because it has been hard on them to do for my uncle. My mom gets tired easily and my dad has issues with his knees. Mobility is an issue for him as it is now for my uncle.

I see that there are some “getting to know you” lists out there! I will work on mine later when I have a little more time.

Trip Cancelled

September 16th, 2016 at 01:13 pm

Breakfast: Kodiak cake, ham and eggs, coffee, orange juice
Lunch: Peanut butter sandwich on 1 slice of bread
Dinner: Chinese Buffee
Extra food: Rum and coke

Trip cancelled because the train was 5 hours late. It was actually 9 hours late. When I got the first call, my folks and I agreed we should go ahead and cancel. This wasn't a good week anyway and I didn't want to tempt fate.

Superstitious? You tell me...
1. Uncle has a fall and is depending on us.
2. Mom keeps "generic gifts" stored away, and this week she looked throughout the house and couldn't find them.
3. Mom also chips a tooth on Wednesday so she had to see the dentist for repair yesterday.
4. The train is super delayed.
5. Today is full moon (harvest moon), which I don't know if it also means it is more powerful than the ordinary full moon but everyone is on edge (including me).

Suffice it to say, it was not a favorable time for traveling as much more could go wrong. We are planning for October.

In the meantime, I did an inspection that my son was going to do so I earned $50. Yes!

Preparing for Trip

September 15th, 2016 at 04:56 am

Breakfast: overnight oats with coffee
Lunch: Ham, egg and cheese omelet with 1 slice of toast
Dinner: nothing
Extra Food: chocolate

Topped off the gas tank on Monday
Can't think of anything else.

I was busy yesterday (and tired)! I picked up a book about first ladies from the library to read on the train to Miami. I finally started packing for my small trip over to Miami with my parents. DH told me last night that he would be sure to give me some cash so I’m not strapped. My dad is paying for the train fare and hotel. Fortunately, we won’t have to go to Naples because my aunt and uncle will be coming to Miami instead. My uncle is the reason for the visit so this makes it much easier for us.

Earlier this week, my uncle fell. He is doing better but he is now using a walker for support. My mom chipped a tooth yesterday so she will see the dentist today and hopefully repairs can be made. Tonight I go to the gym and workout with my new personal trainer.

Things to do:
Pack, do my nails (I do my own), wash and style my hair, print out train tickets and hotel confirmation.

Monday Life

September 13th, 2016 at 05:57 am

Breakfast: overnight oats with coffee and Good Belly
Lunch: Greek salad and strawberries
Dinner: rice and beans with chicken
Snack: apple
Extra Food: chocolate candy.

I was only down a 1/2 tank but since gas is down to 2.01, I went ahead and filled up.

I also stopped to get a coke, bananas and ham at the grocery store.

I paid DH most of the cash I borrowed last week from the emergency cash stash at home. I owe a little bit more but my paycheck was short a day because of FMLA.

Yesterday I called the FMLA case manager at Cigna to see if my trip to Miami with my folks would qualify as FMLA since they need my assistance. I left a message so hopefully they will get with me today. That would put me two days without pay so I’ll earn even less next payday. I’m glad to be setting aside a little for those short days but I’m trying not to tap in to see if I can survive with less.

I drove DS2 to his therapy appointment and then, picked up a book at the library that I requested.

My uncle had a fall yesterday at his house and is now a little unsteady on his feet. He is 89 and lives alone but only a half block from my parents and three blocks from me. It is a scare because at that age, things go wrong quickly and I am not prepared for that. I’m trying not to think about it because it puts me almost in a panic. DH and DSs will check on him while we are away for the weekend.

I was feeling very tired yesterday and turned in early. It’s rainy weather that gets me feeling sleepy.


September 12th, 2016 at 05:44 am

Breakfast: 2 cinnamon buns and coffee
Lunch: 1/4 smoked sausage and baked beans
Snack: Wendy’s frosty
Dinner: 1/2 sandwich and unsweetened tea from Panera

Wendy’s frosty are 50 cents right now so I got one for each of the boys and one for me. $2.14. That is all I spent on Sunday.

My friend treated us to Panera to celebrate DS3’s birthday. She was his religious education teacher and confirmation sponsor. She is a very great lady and I am privileged to call her a friend. We went to see another friend who is recovering from open heart surgery.

Wore one of my new tops to church yesterday.

That’s pretty much it for Sunday!

This morning one of my coworkers told me that he and his wife started attending the Dave Ramsey class at their church. He is young and in debt but he and his wife are totally on board with getting their finances together. I’m proud of them!


September 11th, 2016 at 06:13 am

Breakfast: Kodiak cake and coffee
Lunch: Scrambled egg and toast
Dinner: 2 empanadas, glass of wine
Snack: 2 small chicken nuggets

Produce market $31
Clothes $35

Snowflake $15 from scratch off lotto ticket my mom bought for me.

Last night I colored my hair and this morning I'll do my nails and take care of some laundry (I meant to do it yesterday).

I bought 3 tops yesterday for the trip and also for adding to my wardrobe. I need to get rid of 3 old items that I no longer wear.

Today I plan to meet a friend to visit another friend who is convalescing after open heart surgery. Then after we will go to church (evening service). After church our friend and I will take DS3 to Panera because she wants to treat him for his birthday (which is the end of the month).

Busy Saturday

September 10th, 2016 at 04:39 am

Yeseterday health:
Breakfast: Overnight oats and coffee
Lunch: Greek yogurt plain and frozen blueberries
Snack: none
Dinner: Beef stew with rice, plantains, and crackers.
Extra food: chocolate candy (disappointing willpower!)
Broke my plateau!

No spend day Smile
Watched TV Frown

Things to do today:
Side biz - two inspections this morning.

Make reservations for the Amtrak and the hotel for Miami. My dad does not like to plan things too far in advance. He finally gave the ok to do it last night. We leave on next Friday and return Monday.

My mom wants to go shopping for a new blouse. I'm in the market for a new blouse and shoes. We'll go shopping this afternoon.

Some laundry and prepare dinner.

Payday and Expenses

September 9th, 2016 at 05:40 am

Breakfast: overnight oats with coffee
Lunch: Leftover BBQ chicken on Kaiser bun
Dinner: Empanada
Snack: Green tea and apple
Extra Food: low calorie protein drink
Workout: 30 minutes on treadmill and 30 minutes with personal trainer. My personal trainer is moving to Maine so last night was our last session. She is very good and I’ll miss her. I will continue with another trainer who is also very good.

I do need to incorporate more vegetables in my diet. I get burned out with salads. The green tea that I buy is Republic of Tea http://www.republicoftea.com/ and I add the Matcha powder in my overnight oats and I brew the Double Green Matcha around lunchtime. I don’t think I would be drinking the tea every day but at least on my workout days as it does give me a boost of energy.

Overnight Oats have various combinations. Here is my recipe (high calorie but nutritionally dense):
Old fashioned oats = 1/2 cup dry (150 calories) lowers cholesterol
Chia seed = 1 tablespoon (60 calories) omega-3, antioxidant and energy booster
Powdered peanut butter = 1 tablespoon (25 calories) low fat and low calorie version of the real thing, plus it is a flavor-enhancer. Same amount of protein as the real thing.
Walnuts = 1/8 cup (100 calories) omega-3, antioxidant
Raisins = 1/8 cup (42 calories), potassium, iron, and fiber
Designer Whey vanilla protein powder = 1/2 scoop (50 calories) protein
Matcha Green Tea powder = 1/8 teaspoon (zero calories) energy, fat burner and antioxidant
Lowfat Milk (1%) = 1 cup (102 calories) calcium for bone health

Total calories = 529
Macro breakdown = Carbs 69, Fat 23, Protein 32, Fiber 12.

Snowflake: Received as a gift from work some restaurant coupons from a fundraiser. Nice!

Expenditures so far:
1/2 power bill = 98
1/2 student loan = 90
100% Internet = 84
1/2 Visa = 125
Gas = 40
Groceries = 77.02 I forgot eggs! Eggs were on on my mind but I forgot to jot it down on my list and they are on sale for 80 cents a dozen for the large. I pulled out 1.60 from my dresser change and gave to DS1 to pick them up today because we have run out and we are an egg-eating family.

According to Mint, Zillow now has my home valued at $90,068 and we currently owe 87,124.19. It is a seller’s market now so if you are in the market to buy a home, do your homework!

Frankly, I see the housing bubble bursting again soon. If that bubble bursts like it did seven years ago, my side biz will start to boom again. My side business is property preservation and inspections. The meat of this business is foreclosures, which makes this a boom industry when the housing market crashes.