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Another Late Night & Storms

April 24th, 2021 at 07:32 pm

I worked another late, stormy night with bad weather. There were tornado warnings & my mom texted to see where I was. I told her I was at work & she told me that I should stay there for a while. I told her that I had my co-worker there (I always work alone except for last night) and we were going to be there a few more hours. I ended up leaving after 2 a.m. and he was hoping to be gone within the hour. The rain was pretty heavy, but not nearly as bad as the storm a couple of weeks ago. 

My co-worker was doing a big batch run (almost 200 patients) on the PCR analyzer while I was doing smaller runs on the quicker, but smaller capacity analyzer. They want me to come in again this afternoon/evening. We are staying so busy because we contracted with a film company. We are testing the entire cast & crew multiple times a week for COVID-19. Great for my cash flow, but I'm a little tired. I also have a 12 hour shift at the hospital tomorrow.

We had a quiet, but nice lab week at the clinic. I was talking to my manager about how event planning isn't my forte. She felt the same, but we got it through it successfully. On the career front, I qualified for an interview for a potential promotion. I owe a lot of people my thanks in the entire messy, complicated process. Our biannual lab next inspection has been scheduled & I'm looking forward to getting past that successfully. 

My investments are at an all time high. I don't know where things will go from here with the changes being proposed, but I'm just chugging along & staying the course. I continue to vacillate between staying or selling my home. I am consistent about wanting to move forward on a few needed repairs, though they may wait until work is a little more settled.

Investments $1,143,270

Future Goals

April 6th, 2021 at 09:53 pm

I have pre-populated my budget worksheet for the month & I believe that I will be able to send an income surplus of $3,000 to my savings. At this rate I will exceed what I had planned to save in 2021. This has me thinking about what I can do with that money once I fully fund my emergency savings. I will have other expenses: purchasing my next car hopefully later rather than sooner, and other home projects.

I am really thinking about paying off my home early. I get so inspired listening to the Dave Ramsey show. Seeing so many people even younger than myself having paid off their homes is so inspiring. Especially when many own homes worth far more than mine. My condo would be paid off by the time I retire, but paying it off sooner is even better. It's definitely something to consider.

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

March 17th, 2021 at 12:03 am

Happy (early) St. Patrick's Day & may the luck of the Irish be with you! I've been reminescing on my trip to Dublin a little over 4 years ago. It was a great, but too short trip. I would like to go back & see the Irish countryside.

My goal was to have one thing done to my home each month & I've done nothing this month. I will reach out to some awning companies to get quotes. An awning is something that I've needed for 15 years now! I think it will cost less than my painting based on quotes I received a few years ago, but everything goes up in price, of course.

I really have blown through my FSA this year with my shoulder problems. It makes me all the more eager to sign up for an HSA eligible plan for next year. I have seen some progress. The worst of my symptoms will take longer to resolve of course. I had an appt with my primary care doctor today & I definitely need to get back to my lower carb eating. I'm disappointed that I have regained what I lost last summer & fall. Plus I'm not making as much progress in my Lyra classes & I attribute it to the extra weight. It makes moving around in the hoop harder!

Friday is my last paycheck of the month and I'll end it slightly in the red due to writing checks for my federal & state taxes for a total of $1,410. Next month is a 3 paycheck month. 

Net Worth: $1,209,196

Investments: $1,097,199




February Review

February 28th, 2021 at 05:45 pm

It looks like we all have the same idea of posting our monthly reviews on the last day of February.

February was a spendy month. I paid $875 for the painting (expensive I know, but few painters are willing to deal with wallpaper & he ended up having to deal with two layers of wallpaper). It took him 3 days of prep before he could paint. I also purchased a few home items: rugs, trash cans, to improve the look & function of my home. I have a list of future home improvements & will try to get something done every month.

I also purchased more clothes last week than I probably purchased in all of 2020. Several tops on sale or clearance in anticipation of doing some job interviews. I am being optimistic, but they will be good purchases for career or when theatres re-open. (I miss attending shows!) The most expensive top was $16 and the least expensive was $8. I bought 5 tops, not including the 3 that I've already decided to return, but haven't yet picked up. A few of the tops have tie-backs so if I lose weight they will accommodate that.

Spring has come to south Louisiana. We now have highs in the 80's. I put my plant outside yesterday. It was one from my grandfather's funeral. I hope I can keep it alive, but I don't have a great track record with plants.

Last week was a good week if you had any investment purchases, with the market down it was a bit of a deal. I didn't have any of my automated contribution scheduled for last week.

Looking forward to this coming week I have my monthly savings coming out on the first, as well as my main credit card payment. I get paid on the 1st, 5th, 15th, & 19th in March. Investment contributions on the 5th, 15th, & 19th. I am on track to max out my TSP & IRA again this year. 

Net Worth: $1,171,458

Painting Complete

February 25th, 2021 at 12:01 am

The painting is done! I had him come back today & do some touch-ups.  I was a little embarrassed to ask, but when you pay for professional painting you want it to look professional. I was satisfied with the touch-ups.

So that's two projects in two months. Kitchen cabinets in January, the bathroom painting in February. I think next month I'll focus on getting the awning installed. Clearly, I'm not going to be ready to put my home on the market as soon as I thought, but that's okay. I'd rather spread out the costs by month, plus I started physical therapy last week.

I'm paying $75 each visit for the first 4 visits, then the price goes down. I'm seeing a little progress already so that's encouraging. I chose the same physical therapy group that helped me when I was having back issues, so I am optimistic that I will have the same successful resolution.

I have an FSA, but I definitely underestimated my expenses for the year with this physical therapy, injection, and doctor visits. If I deplete my FSA this year I'm going to look at a plan that's eligible for an HSA. I looked at it last year, but I didn't want to lose the money in FSA, which was close to the maximum rollover value. I like the idea of the no rollover limit & being able to use it in retirement with the HSA. This will give me another tax advantaged vehicle to save in. 

Replacing Wood Floors

February 21st, 2021 at 03:35 pm

I feel like I'm just going to keep finding things to replace or repair! I discovered that my wood floors are water damaged near my French doors. I've always heard that any damage means having to replace the entire floors. Is it ever possible to just replace a few planks if you can find a close enough match? Other solution would be cutting out the damaged wood & replacing with tile to coordinate with the gray-red fireplace brick that runs along the wall adjacent to the door. I would just need a few large tiles. I have actually seen where they have tiles near the entrance then the wood floors begin. I guess because of this issue? That door is also exposed with no awning. Maybe I need to get the awning installed before anything else.

In more positive news, the walls are ready for painting tomorrow. There was another layer of wallpaper underneath! I really dislike wallpaper, it seems that people are always being sloppy with installing it. Now I know that there is probably a layer beneath the bathroom downstairs as well. But at least that's another thing accomplished.

Happy Valentine’s Day! 💝💘

February 14th, 2021 at 09:09 pm

Happy Valentine's Day! Hope you stay warm with your loved ones today. We are expecting a freeze here in south Louisiana in the coming day or so. I have been staying warm inside, doing some laundry & cleaning. Tomorrow is President's Day so I have the day off, other than my initial assessment appointment for physical therapy and a consultation appointment with a painter.

I found a color for my bathroom walls at Sherwin Williams yesterday. It is called Maison Blanche. 

I refreshed my accounts after Friday's market close. My IRA monthly contribution came out early due to the bank holiday.


Net Worth: $1,202,264

So much to do

February 10th, 2021 at 11:33 am

Thinking about everything I need to do to get my home ready to sell can be overwhelming so I'm just taking it in stages. I realize that since I filed my 2020 taxes I probably won't be getting the next stimulus due to increased income. But now that I've paid off my credit card debt, my cash flow has greatly improved. I don't plan on touching my growing savings for any of these projects.

Next step is the removal of wallpaper & painting my upstairs bathroom. I got a quote prior to COVID, but it was only good for 30 days. I wasn't super impressed with him because it took days for him to come out then he didn't give me the advance notice he had mentioned, but not many painters are willing to deal with wallpaper so I need to be flexible.

I also need to replace my downstairs bath surround, have the upstairs closets painted with stain kill for past leaks, carpet cleaned, and repair a leak in one of my upstairs bathroom sinks. I've been bad about keeping up with home improvements. One step at a time...

Any bathroom paint color suggestions? I know neutral & lighter is always recommended by realtors.

Net Worth: $1,192,115

Today was a Wonderful Day

January 21st, 2021 at 04:08 am

Monday was the federal holiday to honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I took off Tuesday & Wednesday as well. My friend was here each day doing work on my house. I had my kitchen cabinets & a few doors painted. Everything looks nice. Looking forward to getting more done in preparation for putting my home on the market. Still have more to do.

I was inspired by Monkey Mama's chicken fajita subs so I made a recipe I've tried before & really enjoyed: chicken fajitas made in the oven on a sheet pan. Turned out great once again & I ate them on whole wheat flour tortillas.

I was up early enough to watch the inauguration events starting with Trump's departure from the White House. I'm glad that everything went off without incident. All the ladies looked so lovely & everyone seemed to be on good spirits. I liked seeing the gifts presented to the President & Vice-President. I'm be never seen that before. It reminded me of the feeling in the city during Obama's inaugurations. I attended both.

But today was mainly a wonderful day because my grandpa is still with us. He was rushed to the hospital yesterday evening. The doctors had an idea what was wrong, but couldn't be sure without performing exploratory surgery. Problem was: he's 90, his heart briefly stopped during a procedure last week, and he's lost so much weight that he isn't even 100 pounds. So one doctor wanted to go ahead, while the other doctors weren't sure he would survive. I spoke to my aunt, who is making the decisions because my mom was too upset. We both agreed that among the choices not doing anything was not an option. We weren't going to let him suffer. So my aunt gave the okay. Miraculously, he survived the surgery & they were able to fix the issue which was as they thought. He has a road ahead of him, but we are happy that he is still with us. Today was a wonderful day!

New Year's Eve 2020

December 31st, 2020 at 05:33 pm

Happy last day of 2020! It's been a tough year for many & I'm happy that so many will be able to turn the page on what has been a difficult year.

My sister lost her mother-in-law on Tuesday. They had a very good relationship, which is not always the case with daughters-in-laws and mothers-in-laws, so she was very upset. Praying for my brother-in-law, sister, and my niece & nephew to ease their pain.

I got paid my final paycheck of 2020 today so I can start crunching my final numbers. I hope that the market ends on a high note!

I met with a real estate agent yesterday & signed the agreement for her to be the listing agent today. I also unexpectedly sold 2 candles on FB Marketplace yesterday. I sold for the same amount that I initially declined from another buyer, but I'm even more ready to pare down now. Contemplating contacting the interested party to see if her offer is still good. She was interested in buying 5 candles.

I will do my 2021 goals in another post tomorrow. Happy New Year!

ETA: I also just sent $1,500 to my Roth IRA today to complete my 2020 contributions. Now I can start out fresh in January, without playing catch-up.


Investment Goal Achieved

December 16th, 2020 at 12:00 pm

A good day for the markets meant I reached my investment goal of $1 million! It was so close only a week or two ago, but then the markets pulled back.

Investments: $1,004,409

I received another Clever Fox planner, this time the financial planner. It was a special gift bundle that came with the cash envelopes. I weighed the pros & cons of both and have decided to keep the financial planner and gift the budget planner. I gifted the cash envelopes & extra stickers as well. With achieving so many goals this year I'm looking forward to achieving more in 2021.

I got confirmation of my performance award on my next paycheck. That will be a nice bonus at Christmas. I will also be working Christmas Eve since my employee that recently returned from maternity leave wanted the day off. I get holiday pay so that's nice. Usually I want off because my family is in town, but that's not happening this year.

Every once in a while I get a letter from a realtor saying they are looking to buy in my complex. This time I responded & she will call me today. I am ready to sell. I'm not sure what my next step is, but I'm open to the possibilities. I have $70k in equity if I sell for what I bought it for.

Net Worth: $1,109,739

Birthday Blessings

December 5th, 2020 at 06:49 am

Well, I am less than an hour into my birthday. I just got home from work. So much to be thankful about & to reflect on. When I think of where I was a year ago, I've made huge progress financially & in other ways. 

Today I am less than $2k away from having $1 million in investments. So very close. It would have been nice to make that goal on my birthday, but I know it's just around the corner.

I just wrote a check for my property taxes. I did finally get the bill in the mail. I like to pay my bills as they come in. I know some people do theirs monthly. 

Net Worth $1,101,715

Columbus Day

October 12th, 2020 at 05:18 pm

Today is a federal holiday so I have the day off. I worked a 12 hour shift at the hospital. When I got home last night my mom called to tell me that my dad had been in bed all day because he couldn’t move his right arm. That caused alarm bells to go off immediately in my head. I then spoke to my dad & he explained that it was bursitis that he’s experienced before. That calmed me down a little. He has an appointment this afternoon with his doctor. He tried to tell me that he could drive himself. Really?! I don’t think so. My mom hasn’t driven in months & she gets nervous easily. So of course I’m driving him to the doctor.

They called about 3 times this morning trying to tell me that didn’t have to take him since it was my day off, but if I did, I didn’t need to stay there & wait for him. Like I could ever consider helping my parents as a burden! I’m so grateful for all that my parents have done for me. I consider it a joy whenever I can make their lives a little easier or less worrisome.

I’m so grateful that I can make a good living here since my sisters live on the east coast. And if they decide to move maybe I will, too. I can be happy anywhere & in any situation because that’s what I choose to be. Having said that, I do believe that some places & situations will bring me more joy than others. I’m working on improving my life everyday: financially, personally, spiritually, and professionally.

I spent some time this weekend & today organizing my jewelry. Coincidentally, as I was doing this my friend offered her rolling jewelry case for free. I already have a nice Pottery Barn jewelry case that I picked up from Tuesday Morning, but I’m excited to see what hers is like. The one from Pottery Barn has a lock that doesn’t work, which is why it was such a steal.

Net Worth $1,009,805

Also, Happy Indigenous People’s Day & Happy Thanksgiving to the Canadians! 🦃🥧🌻🍁🍂🇨🇦

My Weekend

October 5th, 2020 at 05:24 pm

I started this off as a reply to another blog, then realized that I was writing a blog entry! 😹

My weekend was good. I started it off by taking a 4.23 mile walk around the university lakes after work. I know the exact distance because I logged it with my Fitbit Versa. I walked a brisk 4 mph. The weather was beautiful!

Saturday morning I had Lyra class. I stopped by my parents’ afterwards & visited for a while. I brought them muffins & cereal from Sprouts. Then I came home & did a little house organizing. My dad gave me some old shelving that I had bought my last year of college & had been stored in his shed all this time. I put it in my little storage shed. He also gave me a huge shredder which I lugged upstairs to my home office. My little shredder was not cutting it so I’m glad for this one. He bought it at a sale where they get rid of old state government office property. That’s also where he got the filing cabinets he gave me for my office.

I worked a 12 hour shift at the hospital Sunday. Today I took a day off. I’m anxiously awaiting my package from Amazon. I bought my Clever Fox Budget planner & more budgeting stickers for next year. I’ve so enjoyed using the one this year that I had to already purchase next year’s planner! This year my planner was rose gold, I bought a gold one for next year. They have more than 20 colors so I can keep buying a different color every year.

Hurricane Sally & Mortgage Info

September 14th, 2020 at 07:23 pm

Though I’m disappointed that my loan info no longer updates on Mint (because they migrated mortgage info from the mobile app to a website) the new website has a lot more information. It has neighborhood comps, home value, and most importantly, I now know that I only have 10 years left on my mortgage! I had estimated the payoff date, but it’s nice to have a definite date: December 2020.

We worked half a day today & the clinic will be closer tomorrow due the weather. Hurricane Sally is expected to make landfall near the Louisiana-Mississippi border tomorrow. My default hurricane snacks are usually a bunch of junk food & I instinctively crave junk whenever they start talking about a hurricane. I have been strong & avoided the temptation through Laura & now Sally. I’m doing so well & don’t want to stall my progress.

All Is Well

August 28th, 2020 at 01:06 am

All is well on the home front. We had some wind & rain our way, but nothing terrible. I made it to work bright & early. Hurricane Laura is the strongest hurricane to make landfall in Louisiana in 164 years! It is a miracle that there isn’t more loss of life than is being reported.

I called my parents today as I do everyday. I asked what they were having for dinner. They said probably cold cuts sandwiches. I decided to surprise them with dinner from La Madeleine’s: chicken La Madeleine, quiche Lorraine, cranberry pecan salad, their freshly baked bread with butter & jam, and an assortment of dessert tarts. 🍗🥔🥦🥧🥗🍞🧈🍮 They were happily surprised & enjoyed everything. I figure making it through the storm unscathed was as good a reason to celebrate as any!

I’ve never been able to post pictures so I make do with emojis. 😁

In financial news, my biweekly mortgage payment posted yesterday & my balance is now under $56k. I bought my condo for $122k with 20% down. I’m always excited to see that balance go down slowly, but surely.

Net Worth $988,470

Costco Membership

August 17th, 2020 at 03:52 pm

I purchased a Costco membership through Groupon. The $60 membership includes a $40 gift card & $40 off online. I went to the store to take my picture for my card & ended up deciding to upgrade to the “black card”. I picked up 4 items: orange roughy fish, riced cauliflower, Laughing Cow cheese (really good deal at $4.99 for 4 wheels), and roasted peanuts. I would have bought more frozen veggies, but have no more space in my freezer. We used to eat orange roughy all the time when we lived in the upper Midwest, but here on the Gulf Coast you can pretty much only get catfish, tilapia, or salmon. On the rare occasion you may find trout or mahi mahi. 🐡🐠🐟

I also bought my parents & I thermometers. They had the forehead thermometers for $23. All of these things that were so hard to find or were so expensive are finally becoming reasonable again. 🤒

Home again today & I plan on doing some book keeping, laundry, & house cleaning, as well as hit the gym.

Net Worth: $967,382

Unexpected Home Maintenance Bill

August 10th, 2020 at 04:23 pm

I used to get my air ducts & dryer vents cleaned through a Groupon coupon. It’s been several years so when I saw a coupon pop up I grabbed it. And of course, when he gets here I need a much more thorough cleaning due to the black mold found. Anyway, I ended up purchasing a very expensive package that I probably didn’t really need. So that sets me back a little this month on my debt payoff unless I get some unexpected hours.

Net Worth: $959,128

PayDay Review

August 8th, 2020 at 05:14 pm

Yesterday was pay day. I got paid from 2 of my jobs. My third job pays semi-monthly so on the 1st & 15th. This month the 1st was a Saturday so I got paid on the 31st, which was a nice surprise.

My car payment is automatically deducted on paydays. I now owe less than $2k on my car. I also schedule credit card payments at least every other week. My credit cards are now down to $10k as I mentioned in my last blog post.

My IRA deduction will go out next Friday. It is scheduled for the 15th of every month, but the 15th falls on a Saturday this month. At one time I was sending the full year’s contribution on January 1st. I hope to get back to that in 2022 when I’m debt free except for my mortgage. My auto & homeowners insurance as well as my utilities are also due on the 15th. My mortgage is paid biweekly the Wednesday after my two paydays.

Net Worth: $959, 901

Crazy Utilities Bill

May 9th, 2020 at 05:56 pm

My meter was changed out last month & I got a crazy bill. I called to ask for a review almost 3 weeks ago &
I’m still waiting. The bill was outrageously high (almost 3 times last month’s bill!). The issue is with what they charged me before the meter was changed & now it’s gone so I can’t check it myself. They charged me for 2449 kWh for 23 days, then 102 kWh for 7 days. The 102 kWh lines up with my usually usage. If they can’t verify what they charged me with my old meter I’m going to ask them to prorate me based on the 7 days use.


March 14th, 2020 at 03:37 pm

I know everyone is tired of hearing about COVID-19, especially us health care professionals, but it affecting all aspects of life. This week my facility had the first positive patient in our state.

I was supposed to leave for Montreal tomorrow, but that trip (and the event I was traveling for) is now canceled. Also looking very iffy at the moment is my trip to Switzerland booked for May. It may be a blessing in disguise that I can stay home & focus on paying off debt rather than traveling.

I’m down nearly $200k in the market. Sure wish I had been sitting on some cash that I could have dumped in the market.

Sick Days

March 6th, 2020 at 01:59 pm

I am home sick, yesterday & today. Doctor says it’s allergies, but I feel whipped. Cough, chilly, achy, low energy. And now a runny nose I guess from the cough medicine breaking up the congestion. He gave me a steroid shot, prescribed cough medicine, and gave me a chest x-ray because I didn’t like the way my breathing sounded. After he examined me he sent me out to the waiting area with a mask. That got me a lot of wary looks. 😷

Facebook Marketplace

February 8th, 2020 at 05:03 pm

Does anyone here sell items on Facebook? I have had a real urge to declutter my home. I have given away closets of clothes, but for things that I have not used like candles I’d like to get some of my money back. I have a ton of Yankee & B&BW candles. 🕯

What has your experiences been selling on Marketplace?