Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Bug Got the Better of Me

I was down and out for a week with whatever the heck this bug was.  Fever, chills, cough, you name it, I had it.

The meds started working midweek but it came back again.  More meds and I think I have it beat.  I have missed a week of everything and it will take a bit to get back on track.  Fingers crossed that is it for this year as far as getting sick. Sheesh.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Guess Who Is Sick Now?

Yep, you guessed it. ME.  I have finally been taken down with whatever the hubs has and am now
enjoying the same symptoms he has enjoyed for the last few days. It's great, let me tell ya.

The stuffed up nose and cough woke me up early this morning, and while I am waiting for the Dayquil to kick in I thought I would update the Valentine/Birthday adventure that we had yesterday.

To start off, earlier this week, I ordered a new bed online.  It was a big purchase, but we were in desperate need of a replacement.  I tried a couple of beds at the bajillion of bed stores we have here in town ( do you have multiple bed stores where you live?), I tried them at JC Penny, Sears was not close by so I didn't go there.

I talked to friends that have recently bought new beds, one friend bought a fancy adjustable bed about a year ago and she hates it.  She is ready to put it to the road.  My daughter bought a Purple bed and she is so-so about it.  Choosing a bed is an individual choice and not always an easy one.  Even if you
love the one you tried out in the store, there is no guarantee you will like it when it is set up in your home.

This is why after hours of research online I ordered a Tuft and Needle  King size foam bed.  It had consistently good reviews, reasonable return policy and they offered a military discount. 

I went with the semi-firm bed and I also bought a set of pillows.  (Oh, the upsell worked).  The bed has been in our garage since Tuesday and the hubs was finally feeling well enough to take out the old mattress and haul in the new one.  We wrestled the old mattress off the bed, down the hall and onto the back of his truck to carry it to the county dump.  Our county has several substations for the dump and this one was only about 20 minutes away.  It was right in the middle of a bunch of beautiful homes that probably were not there 20 years ago.  I bet they love the traffic that goes in and out of that place.

Luckily, a worker at the dump helped us unload the mattress and we were on our way back to the house to unbox the new mattress.  It was as heavy as the old mattress but once we got all the plastic off it was fairly easy to maneuver.  The manufacturer said to leave it uncovered for at least 2 hours before putting new bedding on it, which we did.  They also stated that it is best to give the bed at least 2 weeks totally unfluff and become the best bed it can. 

It first seems a little soft but when you are lying down as a side sleeper it seems to provide pretty good support.  Time will definitely tell and I sure hope the hubs likes it.   I am not a fan of the Tuft and  Needle pillows and they may be going back.  It is too fluffy and I can't seem to find a good position without my head sliding off which hurts my neck.i think pillow positioning is more challenging when you are hooked up to a CPAP machine too.

We celebrated my son's birthday and my husband's birthday yesterday with a cookout cake and ice cream.  The hubs had to have cake and ice cream ( they never grow up, do they?)  I may still be a bit bitter due to this darn cold/flu I am getting, but really it was a lot of money for the store-bought cake that we don't really need, and the ice cream that will now stay in the freezer until it is overtaken by freezer burn.   As long as he is happy, it is fine.  We all like what we like and want what we want. 

Yeah, I am not feeling that great and it is spilling over into this post.  On the plus side, I did get to spend the afternoon with two of my grown kids, (the middle son was at Daytona for the races) and overall the day went pretty good.  I am so glad this birthday/Valentine week is over and we can resume our normal schedule. 

Time to get the dogs up and out to use the bathroom and then go back to bed. 

Friday, February 14, 2020

Birthday, Valentine's Day and a Sick Husband

It is almost over, Valentine's Day AND my husband's birthday and the hubs is down with the flu and or cold.  Does it matter which?

 He is miserable when he is sick and that fact is well known in our family.  It makes for a long day, let me tell you. 

That being said, we did get through dinner tonight and we have a family cookout tomorrow to continue the festivities.  I have already spent too much on his gift that he picked out and pretty much insisted upon, although he said it can be his Father's Day gift too.   How nice. 

There is no joy picking out a gift for this man.  I really do not enjoy Birthdays or Holidays anymore. 

I would be fine not exchanging Valentine's Day gifts too.  It is like he is doing a favor buying me flowers I don't even care for.  I love carnations, NOT roses.  It is well known that carnations are my flowers of choice.  Not Roses.  What did I get for Valentine's Day? ROSES.  Good grief. 

Rereading this, I do sound a bit ungrateful.  I am not ungrateful,  maybe a bit resentful. I want only to be heard.

Tomorrow will be a better day! I am meeting a former coworker for breakfast, quick shopping trip to get cat litter and dog food and then I will get to see most of my kids at tomorrow's cookout.  That always makes my heart happy.

The hubs will be better soon,  the birthday weekend will be almost done and things will be back to normal.  I can't wait.

I hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Cash Envelope Reconfiguration Update

Yesterday I had an appointment to take our English Bulldog to the Vet.  She has been experiencing a runny nose and it was hard for her to comfortably breathe.

So, I had an envelope to cover the pet care expenses to include grooming and vet appointments.  I pulled the envelope out of the stash and put it down... somewhere.

Making a deposit at the bank
Yeah, I put is somewhere and between getting the bulldog ready to go while not alerting the other dog that we were going somewhere.  She would have lost her mind if she knew we were going without her.

Before that happened, I was pondering putting the money from the cash envelopes into the bank, or more specifically an online bank where I can still track the cash and then when I need it I can transfer it to MY bank or Rewards CC.

In between misplacing the cat and dog care envelope, getting the bulldog ready to go, sneaking out of the house before the small dog loses her mind, and counting the cash out of the envelopes to deposit at the bank, remembering to put packages in my car to drop off at Post Office, find my phone......AND I had to count that cash a couple of times to get the right number, good grief it was a mess.

The vet said the dog will be fine and gave her antibiotics, the small dog never knew we were gone, I did get the cash counted and deposited at the bank.  And... after dinner, I found the missing cat and dog envelope in /on my laptop, the top was down and when I popped it open there it was. Sheesh!

This morning I decided to go ahead and open (or reopen since I was an ING customer many, many years ago) my Capital 360 checking/savings account.  I made the transfer of all the cash envelope money to Capital 360 and will be setting up sinking funds/savings accounts for what was previously my cash envelopes.

My previous experience with ING/Capital360 was a positive one.  It was a way for me to put away and save money for a down payment on our current home many years ago.  Once we bought this house, I never used the accounts again and pretty much forgot about them.  I was probably trying to simplify things financially.  Did that simplification lead to losing sight of the finances? Maybe.  That and other life events.

I know, it appears I am all over the place when it comes to managing money.  And for the most part, that is a true statement.  But, I gave myself a year to figure it out and find the best way to save, budget, and direct our money.  It is trial and error finding out what works for us.  On the plus side, have paid down debt,  I have kept our grocery spending within a reasonable budget, when before I really did not HAVE a grocery budget because we ate out a lot.

Future cash envelopes will be for grocery, eating out, and blow cash (buy whatever we want).  Anyway, the adventure continues!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Transfer Tuesday (A Day Late) and Paying Down Debt

Happy Wednesday!  A day late but still on track to reduce debt. My weekly goal is to apply ANY amount to our debt EVERY Tuesday, or in this case, Wednesday.  Sometimes it is a large payment and sometimes it is a tiny payment.  Regardless, I am motivated to put "something" on the debt every Tuesday and lower the balance.

Our previous balance was $82,231.86

  • Today's Payment $20.00

Our new balance is 82,211.86

Every little bit helps but we really have a ways to go.  This week there are a few expenses that are expected and on the positive side, I can pay cash instead of charging it.  There are two family birthdays this week, my oldest son and my husband.  They are a day apart and although I have designated savings for such occasions we did go a bit over budget. Not my choice, but whatever.  

The hubs gets all kinda crazy when it comes to birthdays and holidays.  That's all I will say about that. 

I have been busy with eBay, moving my listing station from one room to another.  Organizing the packing and shipping area and moving around storage containers in the shed.  Typically I get more sales on the weekend than during the week.  Sunday and Monday are packing and shipping days and the rest of the week is listing and organizing.  

Overall, sales are still slower this year than last.  I am in a couple of eBay Facebook groups an that seems to be the general consensus with most buyers.  Perhaps that is because there are more online venues to buy from such as Poshmark, Mercai, and Etsy.  Etsy is an established online venue and I do list on there as well.  

Or, it can be the fact that no one wants my stuff!  When sales are slow, doubt raises its ugly head and you start second-guessing yourself. That happens once in a while but for the most part, I just keep listing.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Over Spent at the Grocery Store and a Disney Afternoon

Yesterday was a busy day, breakfast with animal shelter friends and a nice visit to catch up, stopping at Target to pick up eggs, creamer, and found a bonus pack of chicken breasts with a $5 coupon.  The final price was $3.84 for 3 pounds of chicken.   I dropped that off at the house and then ran to Publix to pick up Publix milk and Publix grape soda for my husband.  He will only drink Publix milk and Publix grape soda, so what are you going to do?

I did have a few more things on my list which included Pepsi and Diet Pepsi, and Canada Dry Ginger Ale.  Publix had a sale, buy two 12 packs of cans and get two free.  There were a couple of more things I picked up, oh yes, paper towels and shampoo.  The shampoo had a digital coupon that made it affordable.

Anyway, I ended up spending more than I had in my grocery envelope and ended up charging the rest on my rewards card,  I was about $45.00 short but whatever.  When I got home I moved money from checking to the rewards card to keep the balance at zero.  It was a spendy 2 weeks with groceries this time.  But, I have certainly done much worse so I am not going to beat myself up about it.

After putting the groceries up, I put together a spaghetti casserole for the men, as they had no desire to go to Disney with us.  My son in law put it in the oven and prepped the bread for their dinner.  My daughter and I had some when we got home from Disney.  It was much better than McDonald's drive-thru.

Expedition Everest

Usually, Wednesday is our Disney day. (We are passholders use our passes often!) The kids get out of school early on Wednesdays so it gives us an extra hour to get on the road to the parks and the plus is that turnpike traffic is light at this time during the day.  Yesterday, we went to my daughter's favorite park, Animal Kingdom.

We had Fast Passes for the show Finding Nemo, which is one of my favorites, The roller coaster at e Expedition Everest, and the safari ride.  My daughter and I love roller coasters and luckily my granddaughter loves them too.  She was a trooper and rode Expedition like a champ.  The safari ride was nice as it was feeding time and we were able to see most of the animals.  After all that, we were home by 8'O clock.

Today is a day of listing on eBay, cleaning out one of the kiddo's bedroom and figuring out what is for dinner tonight.  I need to prep some hard boiled eggs for my husbands lunch which does not take long .Dinner may be breakfast, eggs, french toast, bacon, etc.  And I have to wash and freeze those Target chicken breasts for a future meal.

How was your Wednesday?

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Wednesday Stuff: Money and Mowing the Yard

Revisiting the cash envelopes and how it has impacted my spending, let's see...It has definitely held me accountable!  Every 2 weeks I take out $400 cash and disperse it to my cash envelopes.  Of that $400, $220 is for groceries.  I divide the grocery money, $100 one week and $120 the second week.  For the most part, the grocery spending falls within the limits of $220 biweekly.  That alone is a huge accomplishment. 

The remaining $180 cash is distributed into 12 sinking funds/cash envelopes.  I have found that I REALLY like having the cash on hand, but it is inconvenient when a purchase is made let's say for home improvement and I then have to get the cash out of the envelope and deposit it to the checking account.   For the most part, I just leave the cash in the envelope and use the cash cushion in the checking account to cover the purchase.  Unless it is a HUGE purchase, then I will literally move the money. 

I hesitate to put the cash envelope money into one general savings account because I am pretty sure I
would find a way to spend it.  My husband is not the only one that can spend money, just saying!   I am still on the fence about opening an online account at Capital One 360 where you can have up to 20 savings accounts.

  It might be easier to move the money around, but would I be more likely to spend it if it was so easy to move around??   Maybe, I just don't know.  I could always try it out and see. 

Most of our tax stuff has arrived and it will be time to get it all together and take it to our CPA.  My goal is to get it ready by the end of next week and call for an appt by the end of February.   Last year we did get a small refund, I hope this year it is the same.  If we do, at least half will go on the HELOC. 

The weather has been mild enough to get out the lawn tractor and mow the yard. We have not had a significant cold snap or freeze that has killed the grass or stopped its growth.  Yesterday, I gassed up the tractor and mowed the front and back yard in sunny, clear weather.  It is perfect weather for February, but I wanted to get it done as a string of storms is moving through Thursday and Friday. 

I also planted ( I use that term lightly) a few bags of Zinnia seeds in the front bed.  Last year I planted a few bags of Zinnia seeds that I found at Dollar General for 90% off and they bloomed all summer!  I am hoping for the same success this year with seeds from Wal-Mart.  The Zinnias can take the heat of summer and are a magnet for butterflies and bees.  We really enjoyed them last year.

Today I am meeting two of my animal shelter buddies for breakfast.  Side note: My husband and I don't eat out much at all, but me, that is another story.  It seems I have lunch/breakfast dates weekly.  Which is okay, I need to stay connected to friends and family outside of the home.  I also try to limit it to once a week.    

Have a great Wednesday! 

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Transfer Tuesday And Paying Down Debt 2/4/2020

It is Tuesday and time to pay down debt.  My weekly goal is to apply ANY amount to our EVERY Tuesday.  Sometimes it is a large payment and sometimes it is a tiny payment. Regardless, I am motivated to put "something" on the debt every Tuesday and bring lower the balance.

This is one of those weeks that I am applying a tiny payment to the debt.  Sometimes I get a little underwhelmed when I can only apply a small amount, but then I remember what the debt was before I started in November and I let that negative thought go.

Previous Principal Balance $82,256.65
  • $25 payment 
New Principal Balance $ 82,231.65

That is it for this week!