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Archive for April, 2018

Boring Old Update and Light at End of the Tunnel

April 29th, 2018 at 04:09 pm


I had $500 allotted for all living expenses for 4/20 through 5/3, as in cash only in a jar.

Here is the breakdown of how its been spent:

$180 for groceries
$80 for gas (my daughters are contributing more so this expense has gone down)
$75 for 2 Rxs (last of the FSA funds were used for dental expenses earlier in the month) One was a 90 day
$75 for Home Maintenance (5 gallons of driveway filler/sealer and weed killer)
$68 for Miscellaneous ($30 for DH's boss's going away party/$20 for son's volleyball activity, $7 for sewing supplies for other son's project, $6 for Zumba for me)

I have $20 remaining for milk and produce and few necessary items for dinners Tues/Wed/Thurs.

I am confident that for 5/4 through 5/17, we'll be able to do it on $400 cash.

The menu plan is fairly basic, we're eating meatless one night and breakfast items for another. I used a rebate check for the weed killer at Menards and saved $15. I purchased the black top filler sealer from Menards because it was on sale this week.

Today I completed the last day of the two weekend seminar. I'd say I'm 65% done with the research and writing for the final for that (5 questions due on 5/38). My research project's review of the literature is done and I'm moving onto design planning (about 65% done with that project also).

I've started doing some preliminary looking, need to get update on linked-in, and think that I have a good chance of becoming employed in a reasonable amount of time! DH is meeting with a temp agency for contract work (they pay a regular salary, offer 401K and health insurance). We think that contact work might be the way to go for him as we transition to the next phase of life.

Unemployment is still looming, but maybe not as large as I made it out to be. Still the EF isn't what I'd like it to be, but we should be OK.

Back in the Saddle

April 22nd, 2018 at 04:14 pm

Three paychecks left until Official Unemployment (5/4, 5/18, 6/1).

Goal is to spend as little as possible. I've neglected mostly everything except schoolwork lately. That's not a good thing given our situation.

Mostly for accountability, I'm posting this here.

For 4/20 - 5/3, our living money (groceries/gas/miscellaneous) is $500. We ran out of FSA funds and had to spend $70 for a prescription. So our current economic reality is: $215/week.

Thus far, have spent:
$85 on groceries
$30 on gas
$30 on DH's outing to celebrate boss's last day. The department is going to a Happy Hour. Reality is: DH can't exceed that amount since we're on a cash basis.

Thus far $145/$215

The $85 on groceries for the week (our cupboards are fairly well stocked). The menu plan is this:
1) frozen pizzas
2) homemade mac and cheese
3) chili
4) baked chicken
5) tacos
6) beef and peppers
7) curried chickpeas

We are also back to cash only.

This will most likely be the tone of future posts; boring/numbers and tracking.

Honest Opinions, Please.

April 20th, 2018 at 07:06 am


Is it okay to attend a Meet & Greet without purchasing the guest's book to be personalized?

I am attending a university-sponsored event tomorrow at no cost because I am a current student. I have paid to join the professional organization (student rate). My goal is to not only learn the topic, but to network.

I will add that we just made some necessary upgrades to the rental property (new front/back/garage doors purchased from Menards and installed and bath tub paint, etc) to the tune of $1,100.00 (Paid cash)

DH's last month of work is May. We will have three final paychecks; he is currently working with a recruiter and I am finishing up a graduate certificate in Organizational Development. Our only extraneous spending has been a $100 suit for him from Kohls on sale and $80 textbook for me.

I don't know the etiquette of attending Meet and Greets and don't particularly want to purchase this book. Is it OK if I go and don't spend the $40.

I really haven't a clue; thus the question. Thanks for the advice. In the event that it is tacky to go and not buy the book, I will buy the book and attend.

I have no point of reference for this. Thanks!

College book stores price match. Who knew?

April 10th, 2018 at 01:07 pm


I had a snafu with the last textbook I purchased online from Amazon. On the cover it clearly stated that it was intended for international students and not those in the US or Canada. Boo. I was so happy to get it at a reasonable price; after all the angst, I was able to use it in class and cannot quite actually determine what the differences in the text books are.

I was on campus at the bookstore today for the textbook for the two-weekend seminar upcoming. They only had new books for $105. While being helped, I said I could probably find it cheaper on Amazon, to which the worker said they price match. I ended up with the text book for $73.00 out the door. I was happy with that.

Who knew that they price match? I also found out that the eye doctor sells the contact lens boxes at warehouse club prices. I suppose it always helps to ask if they price match.

I guess this qualifies as "Saving while spending". I will need to Whack a Mole for this puchase (I am $23 short from the EXTRANEOUS FUND). But its fine. Spending across all other categories is at expected or less.

Investing in Professional Self, and Good Test Results!

April 9th, 2018 at 11:32 am

I'm in second the ten-week quarter for a graduate cerficiate in Organizational Development. This is the third week of classes; I am fairly organized in what needs to be done as far as the research project for my Methods class (meeting with library research specialist tomorrow) and also for a two-weekend seminar.

I found out that I can attend the university's Lecture/Speaker Series for free. I have decided to purchase the speaker's book and attend the Meet and Greet the night before for network purposes, and I've also decided to pay $130 for the annual student fee to join the professional network.

I think that I've realized that sometimes capital needs to be invested into a product in order to keep it current. Or, Hello Professional Life.

Also: I've ammended this to say thank you for the prayers and well wishes from the earlier post where I mentioned a new nodule on DH's lung. He's two years post cancer diagnosis and his doctor is conservative. The results of the PET scan were fine, non cancer. Thank you again! Anxiety is ugly.


Win Some. Lose Others. Today was a Loss.

April 3rd, 2018 at 03:29 pm


I was riding high on the thrill of the economical suit purchase for DH.

And I was super proud that I got my required textbook in an earlier version for $35 on Amazon. It arrived today and ... big fail. It's for international students and not intended for use in the United States or Canada.
Topic: Methods of Research in Organizational Behavior. I thought that statistics were universal, but apparently not. The only way to remedy this is to see if I can take out a general methods textbook and try to supplement. It's required for tomorrow, I will limp along.

Also in an effort to corral expenses, I did not renew my Amazon prime today.

I did spend $33 at the grocery store and $25 in gas.

Prayers please for DH's upcoming test. It's a PET scan to confirm that a small nodule on his lung is really the "highly unlikely to be harmful" kind that his doctor thinks it is. DH does have some small nodules of insignificance on his lungs, this is a new one. His other CAT scan results were all fine, he is two years post-cancer diagnosis. I know logically this is probably nothing, but the anxiety and stress is kicking in. Anyhow, he needs to eat a particular diet tomorrow before test on Thurs.

That's all for now. Stay warm; hard to believe its spring out there!

Batten down the Hatches

April 2nd, 2018 at 11:11 am


Goal for April: No to Low Spend.

Already spent $101.66 on a new suit for DH. He hasn't had to interview in about a decade and we decluttered his previous career clothes. He had a variety of pant sizes (36" to 42") (he's been up and down the weight continuum). We cleared it all out and he is starting over.

Kohl's had a great sale ($200 suit coat for $75, $100 pants for $44. On top of that I used 20% off and it was free shipping, plus $10 Kohls Cash back for future use). Used debit card - so I'll consider it a win-win.

Ham bone went into crockpot for bean soup, another crockpot has homemade granola going. I've baked brownies for boys' lunch snacks tomorrow. I did spend $18 building up a stockpile last month.

So trying to plug those money leaks. Prepping for short-term unemployment. Outlook is still sunny.