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Anniversary Weekend Costs

July 17th, 2022 at 04:44 am

Tickets to Hamilton $360 (for the two additional tickets, my ticket was part of my season pass)

Hotel $324.27
Dinner $233.10
Lunch $49.88

Parking $10.50

Cash tipping $15

 

Nearly $1000. That will be a couple of weekends at my PRN job. It was more than I figured in my head and probably doesn't include everything, but the cost was priceless when my mom told me is was the best weekend ever. 

Condo-free & loving it

July 3rd, 2022 at 10:48 pm

I can't recall if I blogged about this, but an office from my former condo association contacted me several weeks back. It seems that our management company was paying bills for other associations out of our account. They fired them of course, but also wanted an audit done.

That's where I came in as I was one of two owners that was on the old accounts who could request the archived statements. The other person being elderly & maybe at the onset of dementia. I still do not have the statements. They had to be requested from their archives then my former neighbor needed an invoice to get the new management company to cut a check.

The strange thing is now the bank is not responsive, which is frustrating. I am not getting calls returned & when I went into the bank on my day off I was told to return. I got a strange vibe & I now wonder if they are dragging their heels because they are worried that the association may hold them partially liable. I don't know the reason, but I wish o could get this completed so I can be done with this.

The association is anxious for the records as well as they are needing money for other projects like roof leaks & termites. I have never been more thankful that I sold my condo. It was so stressful living there & dealing with all these never-ending issues. I am thankful to be renting & never having to worry about maintenance or since. Yes, it's much more expensive (and rising), but I don't know if you can put a price on peace of mind.

Speaking of rent, I recently checked out the going rate at my apartment complex. I am paying $1600 plus $32 for water. The lowest priced a 2 bedroom unit is currently listed at is $1930 and water has gone up to $47. I only moved into my unit last August! It's unbelievable how quickly prices are rising.

Car Maintenance

June 18th, 2022 at 12:41 pm

I wrote a blog earlier this week regarding my car maintenance & it seems to be lost. That's so frustrating.

Anyway, I spent $281.42 on my scheduled 70,000 mile maintenance for my 2015 CR-V. That included some extra things like patching a tire with a nail in it & replacing windshield wipers which were badly in need of replacement.

I guess you would consider this a splurge as I always get my maintenance done at the dealership. When I bought my first (used) car I used to get my service done at Wal-Mart, but since then I have always gone to the dealership. I think it's worth it in the long run. I don't have any problems with my car & I'd like to keep it that way.

When I was almost to work the tire pressure light came on. I was frustrated because I figure they either didn't correctly patch the tire or they just forgot to check the tire pressure on all tires. The service rep gave me his card with his cell phone number so I called him. He said to just reset it. I didn't think of that since the light didn't come on immediately, but only after driving several miles. Anyway, it worked. Lesson learned to always just reset the tire pressure even if I don't think it will change anything.

I was worried that my tires were worn & needed replacing. They checked the tread as a part of service & they are fine for now. I'm glad that they do that as part of their checklist because I forgot to ask, even though it has been on my mind for a while.

 

 

Step Increase & TSP

June 4th, 2022 at 02:31 pm

The TSP website went down on May 26th to switch to a new management company & upgrade the site. Normally if this has happened on the 6th, rather than the 26th I wouldn't be bothered. But I like to chart my investments at the end of every month as you well know. Some people have been able to get into the new website, but many others including myself, are still having issues. I am trying to be patient & wait for the busyness to subside. Few are able to get through the helpline.

I am looking forward to seeing the new website. They have taken away one feature that I loved which was the historical look back. You used to be able to search to see your balance on a particular date & I hear that is gone. So I guess I won't be able to get my balance as of May 31st. Bummer. Hopefully the Daily TSP app has that feature when I can link my updated account again.

June 6th is my anniversary date for my new position so I'll be getting a step increase with the pay period starting tomorrow. $1.33 per hour or $106.40 biweekly will buy me a couple of tanks of gas so I'm thankful. ⛽️ 

Heavy Spending Month so far…

April 21st, 2022 at 07:41 pm

This month has had some big spending due to work expenses, most of which as being reimbursed for our laboratory's recognition week. I also paid the first installment of next season's theatre tickets.

I'm excited about the season which includes: Six, Moulin Rouge, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lion King, Tina, Pretty Woman, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Fiddler on the Roof. I passed on the season option of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I've seen it before (as I've seen many of these shows) and the holidays are busy enough as is. If the Christmas show was White Christmas I probably wouldn't pass it up. I love that movie. ☃️ 

Our Easter was nice & quiet filled with good food and beautiful spring weather. I love this time of year before it gets crazy hot. I am trying to think of a getaway before the temps start rising. I would say Maine, but we already have our trip to Maine booked for this fall. I am looking forward to it, rustic as the trip may be. I have been wanting to visit Maine for a while. Maybe I will venture further north, like Quebec. 🇨🇦 

We have not yet received our retention incentive, but I continue to work overtime and my PRN job. This month is also a 3 paycheck month, so yay! I'm not making any big money moves right now, but I may get back to adding to my brokerage account for a future home purchase. Right now it stands at $75k.

 

Happy Thanksgiving! 🍁🦃🍽

November 28th, 2021 at 04:24 pm

I see the website has been upgraded in my absence. I like what I see so far!

I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving. Ours was quiet as usual. We continued our new tradition from last year of Rock Cornish game hens instead of turkey, along with ham, cornbread dressing, carrot soufflé, and my homemade cranberry sauce. I usually do the fresh snap beans with potatoes & bacon, but my dad said to just cooked the stir-fry veggies we had in the freezer. Fine by me! Everything was delish & I'm eating my leftovers today. 🍗🍖🥕

My last two paychecks have had OT on them & that adds up quick. I'm always surprised by how much of an impact it has, but at a rate of 1.5 pay plus the shift differentials, it is significant. Much better than my pay when I had two PRN jobs. Work is about to get busier as my lab manager retires at the end of the year & I am the assistant lab manager. 

I traveled for the first time since 2019! My friends & I met up with my sister in New York. We had a great time. We saw 4 shows, ate great food, & did a ton of walking. 🍎🚖🗽

I have two more trips booked: Nashville in January & Maine next fall. 🎸🪕🦞⛵️ It is also my parents' 50th anniversary this summer so we may do a family trip.

I thought I might hit a million dollars by the end of the year in my TSP, but then the market pulled back due to Omicron. It still may hit those elusive 7 figures in 2021, we shall see. 

Yesterday I went to Hobby Lobby & Michael's looking for a Christmas tree. I had thrown my tree out last year as it had seen better days. I got a 7.5 ft pencil tree at Michael's and a tree skirt at Hobby Lobby. Michael's was much less crowded than Hobby Lobby. The pencil tree will take some getting used to, but it's decked out in rose gold, gold, & silver this year. It's a very pretty color combination, if I do say so myself. 🎄

My birthday is next week & I will probably have a quiet dinner with my parents. 🎂

 

Hurricane Ida

August 27th, 2021 at 04:33 pm

We have a hurricane headed this way. It is expected to make landfall Sunday as a category 3. I am prepared as I am going to be at the point, but I will make one last trip to the store & gas station when I get off work this afternoon. Hopefully it won't be too crazy. I just want to grab any last thing that I can think of. Stay safe with these fires & hurricanes out there! 💨🔥

Sunday Funday

April 14th, 2021 at 07:33 am

We had a good time celebrating my friend's birthday. The morning started out cool which was good, as it warms up quickly here. Even the drive there was enjoyable to me. I haven't been out of town since since March 2020. We met up at the parking garage then walked to the street fair downtown. It was 7 of us, as 2 weren't able to make it. Only one of us hadn't been vaccinated. We wore our masks. We had lunch at a restaurant under their covered patio. We shopped the street booths, took in some sights, then headed to an outdoor museum of an Acadian village. All in all it was a very enjoyable day & it was so good to be among friends again. I didn't find anything that I wanted to buy so it was the cost of lunch, museum entrance fee, & gas for the hour drive that was my total cost. It was worth every penny!

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

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

Thank You

February 3rd, 2021 at 11:26 pm

Thank you so much for your condolences. I truly am touched by your kindness & thoughtfulness.

My evening job has slowed down & I'm perfectly okay with that. I also took off February at my weekend job. I'm ready to scale back. 

Today I sent a full balance payment plus 10% to my credit card. I really want to keep both credit card balances as close to zero as possible from here on out. I'm being very mindful of spending as well. I've noticed that I've been doing a little too much shopping online. I am paying the balance in full with each bill, but after working so hard to pay off $22k in less than a year, I don't want to end up back in the same boat.

My dad officially did my taxes after I ran the numbers through the calculator & it's what I expected. I will owe about $1400 between federal & state. I've been keeping $5k in my checking account so I'll be able to pay it out without pulling from my growing savings. I bumped my savings from $100 to $500 monthly at the first of the year now that my debt has been paid off.

Grandpa not doing well

January 26th, 2021 at 11:04 pm

My mom called me at work this morning to tell me that my grandfather wasn't doing well. I left work to take her to the hospital. Though we thought he could have more than one visitor a day since leaving ICU, it's still only one per day. They made an exception today and both my mom & my uncle were able to visit. I still haven't seen him. The would like to arrange a hospice nurse for him. It's so strange because although he is 90, until the last month or so he was so healthy. The last time I took him to a doctor the doctor mentioned to me that he was very thin, but he always been like that. He lost weight so quickly once he started to have issues, and again, he didn't have anything to lose. We just want him comfortable for as long as he has left with us. They took him in for another surgery Sunday, but we don't want them to keep performing surgeries.

In financial news, I have received all of my income documents for the year. Still need to upload a few other statements before my appt. My dad mentioned that I would be able to deduct my charitable contributions last year even if I didn't exceed my standard deduction. That's good. I continued to give to church & the local food bank. I still have a feeling that I will owe.

I think I mentioned that I bought a SodaStream during the Christmas sales. I finally just tried it today. I had bought a couple of zero calorie flavors through Kohl's. I can't wait to try it after it chills. I love my sparkling water & will enjoy being able to make my own. And yay for less waste! 

Net Worth: $1,168,011

 

Black Friday Shopping

November 29th, 2020 at 07:26 pm

I did a little Black Friday shopping. On Wednesday I took advantage of Old Navy's 50% off the entire store to buy a pair of leggings. Last week (or maybe it was the week prior?) I bought some Moose Munch popcorn through Macy's. Thursday I ordered a couple of shirts to layer underneath my scrubs from Kohl's. Friday I bought a couple of soaps from World Market. I also bought a $100 gift card to a nice local Italian restaurant. I will get a bonus $50 gift card in addition to the $100 gift card. That is my dad's Christmas & birthday gifts. His birthday is in January. Saturday I bought a few fun holiday items from Joann's, marked down 70%. I definitely didn't buy any big ticket items, though I am eyeing a Soda Stream from Kohl's that is greatly marked down. I drink a lot of sparkling water. 

Baby Gift

August 19th, 2020 at 11:12 pm

My employee is going out on maternity leave next week. We’re having a low-key, socially distanced baby shower for her. This is her second baby so I don’t think she’ll be too disappointed with not having a huge celebration. I got her my usual shower gift which is lot of bath supplies. Johnson & Johnson has a new newborn line so I got her that as well as the bedtime & soothing products.

I stopped in a few stores because I’m still on the hunt for bedding. I still didn’t find anything, but I remain surprised by how early the shops are closing & the low inventory/turnover of inventory I see. One store even had the lights half off, I guess to save money. And the clothing stores seem to still have a lot of summer clothing in stock, with little clothing for colder temperatures. September is less than 2 weeks away. I guess we’re all being more frugal now, but it’s honestly a little unsettling to see the mall so empty when it was once bustling. And yet my investments continue to climb. Honestly, I just keep expecting the bottom to fall out, but I’m just curious to see if I can hit double commas before that happens.

Net Worth: $971,396

Costco Membership

August 17th, 2020 at 02:52 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 03:23 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

Back to School

August 7th, 2020 at 01:56 pm

I can't believe it's back to school time again! Even though kids got out early this year, it seems like it was only yesterday. My friends have been posting their kids’ first day pictures on Facebook. I pray that everyone from the children to the school administrators stay safe & healthy this year.

Last week I spent a good bit of time reviewing my budget journal. I also bought new binders to replace my financial statements binder that is falling apart. I will have separate binders for my TSP, SS, Vanguard, etc. I suppose I could pull some things & file them away, but I like having all statements at hand for my open accounts. I usually only file away accounts that have been closed.

My credit cards are now down to $10k from a high of $22k. When they are paid off I know that I will need to dedicate some money to taking care of things around my home. Until then, every dollar goes to debt paydown.

I did a little too much shopping last month so I ended up returning several items. Other items were household items that I know I'll use, especially the cleaning supplies. I also bought a bunch of those $2 masks from Target, because if we're going to be wearing these masks for the foreseeable future it makes sense to have more than a few. Plus I like coordinating with my outfits/scrubs. Smile

I continue to work the 3 jobs & I'm glad that I didn't give any up since the work hasn't been consistent for the third job, even though it pays more. I'm back on the schedule at the hospital for August. Though I was supposed to be off all of July, I still got called in twice for coverage. I wasn't complaining. It gave me some hours when I wasn't getting much elsewhere.

I'm still trying out new lean & green recipes every week. I invested in a Dash mini waffle maker & a Dash mini griddle. They were on sale for $12 at Belk & I got an additional 10% off for picking up my order. The first time I attempted to pick up my order I didn't realize that the stores were closing so early & I just missed the closing time.

I'm now down 15.5 pounds in 5 weeks. I hope to be close to goal by Christmas. I originally set a goal of losing 40 pounds, but I'm starting to believe I can get back down to where I got to when I did Weight Watchers. Not by Christmas necessarily, but sometime in spring. I also have my 25th high school reunion in the spring so that's a great motivator.

Net Worth $955,181

August Already

August 2nd, 2020 at 12:41 pm

Time flies when you’re having fun. July was a good month for me. Although I didn’t get as many hours as I did in June, I still consistently paid down debt. I’ll be getting more hours this month. I also did a bit too much spending on July so I’m taking/sending some things back.

My debt continues to go down & my investments continue to grow. Next year when all my debts are paid off & I get another raise maybe I can start looking at doing stock trades. I have a couple of friends as well as my mom that seem to really enjoy it. I won’t start with much at first.

I got my hair done for the first time since everything got shut down. It was $90 including tip. She had to trim a good bit. I’ll have to be more consistent about going now. Hopefully we don’t get shut down all over again.

A couple of things that I won’t be sending back is my new Dash minis: griddle & waffle maker. I got such a great deal at Belk’s thanks to a tip. $12 on sale and another 10% off with pick-up. I already made roasted garlic mashed potato waffles & they were so good.🥔🧄🧇

My friend invited me to an online Croatian cooking class at the end of the month. The theme is Jewish foods & I think it will be fun. I can’t eat the food on my current plan, but I can bring it to my parents. I will have a little to taste test if I decide to participate.

Payday Friday

May 29th, 2020 at 02:57 pm

It’s payday Friday & I received 2 of my paychecks. Hopefully they’ll have my third check for me at my new job this evening. I thought it would be direct deposited, but maybe it will take another cycle before that starts.

This payday I wrote checks for my state & federal taxes, as well as a donation to my high school alma mater. They took out my full loan amount for my TSP, so they will need to refund me the overpayment as my loan will be paid off. My increased TSP contribution didn’t go through this pay period so I expect it to go through next pay period.

My first week at the new job was a little rough. We got slammed with Covid-19 samples due to a cluster, but this week has been much better. I’m getting into my groove with it. My introvert nature doesn’t mind working alone in the lab, either.

Hope you have a relaxing weekend!

Crazy Utilities Bill

May 9th, 2020 at 04:56 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.

Still Working

April 29th, 2020 at 06:21 am

I’m still working, 6 days a week in fact. I know I could work 7 days a week if I wanted to, but I’m just not physically/mentally able.

I’m eating at home a lot more. I am also getting a lot of sun & exercise with our daily walks. They are not leisurely walks. We cover 4 miles in an hour. Today we tried, but ended up turning around before getting caught in a downpour just before we made it to our cars. My friend joked that it was my initiation.

Our shelter in place order was extended until May 15th & I wouldn’t be surprised if it keeps getting extended as people aren’t taking proper precautions.

I think my stimulus payment might hit my bank account this Friday. I did my part to stimulate the economy by buying a Roomba that was on sale.

The Revealing

March 3rd, 2020 at 06:26 pm

So through a set of circumstances that my mom is calling divine intervention, almost the entirety of my debt was revealed to her. Of course I was...there is not a word that could accurately describe what I felt. My debt is definitely a source of shame & fear. Not fear in that I can’t pay it, but that it’s a cycle that I’ll never get out of.

So we had a discussion over the phone. She wanted to wait until later to talk since I was at work, but I hate that. When people have something serious to say to me I want to hear it now, not later. Anyway, after the discussion I went in & cut my TSP contributions down to the minimum I needed for my full match. That will put $600 more in my check before taxes. Once I finish paying off my TSP loan in July I’ll have another $250 a paycheck after taxes. Once I pay off my car I’ll have another $150 per paycheck, also after taxes of course. If I suspend my IRA contributions that’s another $500 a month.

I’m going to pull out my Dave Ramsey book & get serious. I may even take the course offered at church. I’m tired of this debt yo-yo & I’m going to nip it in the bud once & for all.

My mom asked me about my travel & will take the next 2 trips that I have scheduled. After that I’m on hiatus. It will be hard to pass up trips with my friends, but I’m so determined to do this. Also, I think my mom is somewhat in shock & I’d like her to not worry. She says that she isn’t, but like me, she’s a worrier by nature.