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July 11th, 2022 at 01:16 pm
It was our DD's 20th (eek) birthday this weekend, and although no one except maybe Jeff Bezos would describe it as frugal, it was lovely. We spent Friday night at the Brewers' game on an absolutely stellar evening with an exciting game. Saturday DD worked, but she got free tickets to Summerfest, so we met one of her friends there. I was concerned about paying mega$$ for parking, but she found us a Spothero spot for $5. Honestly, I had a hard time planning her "real" birthday yesterday with her somewhat boring parents. But we've always enjoyed the Chicago river boat trips, the European city boats, etc, so I thought, why not try the river boat architecture tour right here in Beer City.
It was a spectacularly gorgeous day, and we really enjoyed the narration, learning more about the place where we've lived so long, and just being on the water. We topped it off with dinner at a local Italian place and an ice cream cake.
That was the weekend, with more activities than we've had the last month or so combined. Time to rein in the budget just a bit, reducing where I can. We have leftovers from yesterday--and a heckuva lot of cake which we'll share with friends. Tomorrow I'm headed to northern Minnesota to spend a couple of days with my best friends, followed by a weekend along the Mississippi with my university friends. Packing a lunch for tomorrow, staying with friends for a few days, and I'll pick up an audio book at the library before I go.
And I am again aware of how much I've enjoyed this site over the years. I see more than a few of you on other sites, including Frugalwoods too--and am grateful for the friendship from the Lauras, Scottish Sarah, and so many of the rest of you. It's always funny trying to explain who y'all are to my family--although as my DD casually tells my DH--"That's one of mom's blog friends. " It's a pleasure and a privilege to know you.
July 4th, 2022 at 12:09 am
Well, our DD is home from her whirlwind European tour--14 countries, one by accident as they missed the Copenhagen stop and spent 20 minutes in Malmo, Sweden. She has some serious replenishingof her bank account to tend to. And predictably our grocery spending has gone up.
What have we done--some minor decluttering and book selling, some travel planning for the first week of September when she returns to Scotland, making some dr appts to use up my flex spending and taking advantage of my paid deductibles before we switch to DH's insurance.
I have a lot to do, but am taking this day off to sort of soak up summer, have a patio dinner and relax. Happy July to all of you!
June 17th, 2022 at 05:14 pm
Yeah, that's what we always say here in Beertown. In fact "Cooler by the Lake" used to be the Summerfest motto.
I was happy to turn off the a/c last night and open things up. I still have the east-facing blinds drawn, but it looks like a great weekend. Despite the gorgeous weather, or maybe because of it, I'm getting a little stir-crazy. I've spent far too many hours grading online papers and updating content. One week until the class itself is done, but with residual grading, of course. Four, or maybe five of my 25 students have not logged in this week. I do think the accelerated summer pacing is hard for them, and who knows what kind of other issues they face.
I've been throwing away rafts of teaching materials and finding miscellaneous things to sell on FB. I think most of my serious canning days are over and sold 12 jars this morning, awaiting pick-up.
Our DD is now in Prague after lovely days in Vienna. She'll be home in 12 days.
No big weekend plans--more grading, some gardening and more decluttering. I need to pick up a Father's Day gift from DD to DH.,DH and I worked on a project when he got his Master's degree about local soldiers killed in WW1. We still have some things to explore on that topic and have decided to spend some time over the weekend on it. We both love it, so it could be quite fun.
I'm hoping some of the online banks will soon raise their savings account rates. I'd like to make a bit more on the emergency fund.
June 9th, 2022 at 06:51 pm
After almost 3" of rain yesterday, I'm happy to see the sunshine. My garden was looking a little tired of the wet too.
I have some errands, including a birthday gift for DH and plenty of grading to do. Online classes-bleah. Summer online classes-double bleah. but only a bit over two weeks to go. I'm eager to get into serious decluttering and planning, but too much grading hovering over my head. Soon!
DD is in Rome now, and they've had a great time. She and her BF have alternated picking the places to stay, and I they've had quite the variety including great hostels in Spain and London. The one in Venice also looks fantastic, a far cry from the shabby hostels of my long-gone youth.
Hope your June days are beautiful too!
June 6th, 2022 at 10:11 pm
Is it really summer? I'm bundled up in a sweatshirt, jeans and warm socks.
We had a low-key weekend, which was fine with me. My Friday pineapple upside down cake came out fine, and my friend's kids LOVED it. I was so pleased. The cauliflower soup was also a hit which makes me feel good.
I spent some time Saturday scanning medical receipts to submit to my FLEX account and organizing papers. This impending retirement thing is starting to feel real, so we need to take a closer look at DH's company health insurance. I can escrow my unused sick leave from the university to buy health insurance later, so that's our plan for now. But DD's allergies and xolair shot could be an issue. I also listened to a Suze Orman webinar on retirement during these (ugh) challenging times. We seem to be doing everything ok-ish, but I am thinking about moving some of DD's 529 account money into I bonds for her fourth year of school. Because we paid half of her tuition out of pocket, there's some squoosh room if we withdraw it now.
But the Suze Orman webinar made me a little uncomfortable. I know it's challenging now for a lot of people, but I need to find a way to keep that in mind without worrying too much. I can become a little too wound-up about things (to say the least).
Food seems easy this week. Black bean and rice stuffed peppers, chicken soup, and hopefully some decent grilling weather. Friday is DH's birthday, so we'll go somewhere for Mexican. He's easily entertained! DD is currently in Spain, and we're loving her pictures.
We had AT&T come out and install faster internet this morning. The tech was super! She told me her story of being in her late 40s and returning to AT&T after being away for seven years. She was lured back by their offer of 100% retirement vesting, including her prior years there. Props to her for scrambling up ladders in the rain. What a smart woman. But annoyingly, for her first 20 minutes here, they also sent out a salesperson who tried VERY hard to sell us AT&T TV and cell service. Their new rate saves us $10/month on internet, but I practically had to shoo the salesperson out of the house.
But $10/month savings is good news!
June 1st, 2022 at 03:28 am
It's been a spendy week, our anniversary dinner out, some "fun" food for the weekend, and the garden plants. Like all of you, I'm a bit aghast at the cost of restaurant meals. We only go out for a "fancy" dinner on our birthdays or anniversary, and although we had less expensive (and lovely) fish entrees, a $38 pork chop was on the menu. It was a really nice new restaurant, but still, $38 for a pork chop? Who knows? Maybe it was stuffed with $5 bills?
But today my summer class began, I met a friend for coffee (and I had a free one from my punch card!), returned some library books, and even got a load of laundry on the line. DH cleaned out the A/C thinking we might need to have it on, but thankfully, it seems like it's cooling off now. And although DH's carpool isn't quite what he had in mind (she leaves at 630am), so far he's hanging in with it. I predict it won't last long. Since he's only in the office three days a week, he hasn't readjusted to an earlier schedule, and it's affected his sleep. But so far, so good. And he's been enjoying the free lunches at the office.
I have to go into the university for a planning meeting tomorrow, but hope to combine it with a few errands including a Goodwill drop off.
May 26th, 2022 at 04:44 pm
I spent an hour this morning filing some Flex spending reimbursements. I'd gotten behind on that since the paperwork is a bit fussy, but the totals were over $100 with DD's allergists and various prescriptions. I likely have more to do, but that's a start.
I got a much-needed haircut yesterday, but couldn't get a color appointment until (eek) July. I'm not the most skilled colorist and without DD doing the back of my head, I was not enthusiastic. But I bought a Madison Reed color kit which I've had success with before, and spent a good hour on it this morning. I don't like doing it; I have thick hair and it's a process. The results are fine, I've saved $50 or so, and am presentable for a while.
Now off to another meeting; they're endless in these weeks after classes are over.
May 23rd, 2022 at 09:35 pm
Pheww--It was a long weekend of grading final projects and figuring final grades.
I did manage to slip away for a couple hours to see the Downton Abbey movie with DD. I can't say it was the best movie ever, but it's always a lovely escape to Downton for a little while. And speaking of DD, she's left for her European jaunt today with her BF. They'll be gone almost five weeks and covering way too much territory. They start with a couple of days back in Edinburgh where thankfully they can stay in her dorm room with her BF in another dorm room for free. Most of the rest of the time they're staying in hostels and a few days with family friends. Yeah, I am a little nervous about two 19-year-olds wandering a big continent, but I like to think they're careful girls.
Lots of odds and ends to clean up from the semester, and my summer class starts in a week. But I hope to take some time with the garden, the house, and some additional planning before the next class begins.
I've been combing through the guest room closet--a sort of catchall and gift closet. I sold a set of sheets that I bought on impulse for the guest room, so will send that $25 and some misc refunds to savings soon.
May 21st, 2022 at 01:50 am
I got my final retirement date from the university today. They'd orginally told me August 21, now they're changing it to August 11. I'm not sure it matters as I'll just do a bit of clean-up, perhaps sit in on some candidate interviews etc between when my summer teaching ends in late June and then. The university health insurance continues until the end of August when we'll switch to DH's health insurance.
That switch may take some getting used to. He has a variety of plans from which to choose, so we'll need to look those over more carefully, especially now that DD is getting more intensive allergy treatments. I'm busily booking dentist and a variety of doctor's appointments as we've already hit the copay with our current insurance.
I've decided to take the lump-sum incentive as a 403b contribution. I will hit the upper limit for those almost exactly with the incentive. Because I don't want that settlement money exposed to current volatility, I changed my mutual fund selections today and will temporarily stash that in a money market fund. We're considering all sorts of possibilities including keeping a base in the US when we move to the UK. It will be nice to have that money a bit liquid.
I can also escrow sick leave to buy into the state insurance plans later which I will do once I hear all the options. I have some time to decide that and have any appointment with the state benefits people later in June.
Lots of decisions! And still...lots of grading to finish.
In simpler news, it was a no-spend day, I hung a load of laundry outside and DH and I ate leftovers for lunch and chicken burgers and a cucumber salad for dinner. I'm itching to do some house things, but back to the grading. Grades due on Thursday, but man, I'd like to finish this sooner.
May 18th, 2022 at 11:29 pm
Today was indeed a one-off. I had a sit-down meeting with my boss and told him I was taking the retirement incentive package. I'll teach a summer class but my last day at the university will be August 21. I turn in the papers tomorrow. Because I've always had impeccable timing, this has coincided nicely with the giant stock market sell-off.
But heck, DH's job is going well, the university pension will almost be as much as my current take-home pay (minus, of course, the health insurance and 403b contributions. I'll delay any other withdrawals from investments as long as possible and Social Security for years. Except for traveling, we're pretty lean livers. I'm forever grateful that DH grew up eating whatever was put in front of him and never wasting food. DD's education is pretty well paid for,and she's decided to be an RA her final year at uni to save on rent and food.
So here we go. I've got a series of benefits meetings with the HR folks, lots of house cleaning and clearing, and a complete inventory of things to do.
And yes, I did find a penny at ALDI today!
May 13th, 2022 at 08:28 pm
We took advantage of some reduced price movie tickets last night to see "The Duke." I know I'm a supergeek, but I thought it was charming with Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren set in 1960s England. I'm so delighted to see a movie for adults without a Marvel superhero in them.
It's going to be a weekend full of grading for me. Hope you all have a good one!
May 11th, 2022 at 02:33 pm
Hello my SA Friends:
Yeah, it's been a couple of months. I spent a wonderful 10 days in London and Scotland visiting DD.
She's home now finishing up her last final of her sophomore year and working part-time. She has an internship this summer and is plotting another trip. She clearly has my wanderlust.
Unfortunately I returned from Scotland and immediately got COVID, but both DH and I recovered pretty well.
And now I have nine days to decide whether to take my retirement incentive or not. I'm certainly leaning that way, trying NOT to look at the stock market. DH (he's such a youngster) will continue working, and I can switch our health insurance to his. But the prospect of not teaching after so many years leaves me a touch sad.
I looked at a couple new London neighborhoods with a friend, and we're trying to plot whether we can indeed be transatlantic. As soon as I can finish up the semester's grading, I'll make a final decision.
Hope you're all well! As I focus on financial matters, I hope to be back here more often.
March 13th, 2022 at 06:23 pm
Oof, I've been out of touch for a while. Blame the university, personal concerns, general weltschmerz. But we're ok here. We recently had to say goodbye to our wonderful almost 16-year-old dog, and are still feeling that pretty badly.
But money things are fine, and I'm contemplating a retirement buyout from the university. I'm again frustrated with them and will certainly look at their offer. I need to submit an indication of interest next week.
Will read some blogs to catch up, and hope you're all well.
November 15th, 2021 at 03:43 am
Yes, with four or so weeks left in the semeser, I'm in my usual mire of grading and planning and not much else. The dog saga continues as now we're wondering if her issues might be an ongoing ear infection. So we're off the antibiotics and trying ear meds hoping that will help her jaw issues. She hangs on and seem to eat only in the afternoons and evenings. She's kind of herself sometimes. --some wagging, some dancing around. I'm going to try taking her to the park after school tomorrow to see if that perks her up.
Tomorrow is my scheduled booster shot. I'm glad to get it as I'm headed to Minnesota next weekend to see a bunch of friends and the numbers--especially outside the Twin Cities are not good. In other snooze-inducing news I spent a small fortune at the grocery store and on an oil change. I've had to dip into savings short term to cover this month's remaining tuition bills, hosing for DD, and the new range. But we should be able to pay things back over the next few months.
Which brings me to the somewhat unexpected news about DH's job. He's been a contractor at a large local firm for almost 20 years--with a blip of about a year at another company. The last two years have been his happiest there, still a contractor. And now it finally appears they're offering him a job. So we'll see what they offer. But while we would've been overjoyed at the news for years, it's now sort of "meh." We want to move to London. But this will at least offer some stability while we prepare for that.
November 4th, 2021 at 03:57 am
Let's start with the good news: Our 15 1/2 year old dog is still ticking, still wagging a little. Now the saga: Thursday she went to the vet for a bad itch that didn't seem to ever go away. Treatment --claritin and see us if it gets worse. Friday she started strangely trembling and in a lot of pain. Diagnosis--bulging disc in her back which needs rest and a strong pain reliever. Saturday morning after one dose of the pain pills, she couldn't walk, seem overdosed and unfocused. When the drug wore off, she ate a little something and then sort of revived. By Sunday and Monday she seemed much worse. Lots of accidents, no food, running a temp. I spent a good hour googling at home euthanasia. By Monday night I was convinced it was not a back issue, but instead an infection. We were up all night with her.
Yesterday morning it was back to the vet. My husband had to carry her in, but while she was there, a huge abscess burst which was apparently the source of the infection. Either it was not there at the previous appointments or they missed it. Since then she's been on antibiotics and has really perked up. She's still struggling, but she's eating and is bright eyed. Please don't ask the total of the unused drugs and bills. But she's worth it if she still wants to hang in there.
Oof. There will need to be cutbacks
September 7th, 2021 at 09:48 pm
I have no idea why, but I've had Sinatra singing "September Song" in my head for days. I guess it must be back-to-school time.
We're at Day 2 of masked instruction, and despite my qualms, it's going ok. Cross your fingers that it continues to go ok. All of our staff is nervous, students are unsure, but we're there and we're doing it.
In non-university news, our DD is safely ensconced in Scotland. We had a wonderful trip despite less-than-wonderful flights. On our flight out, the Chicago PD had to haul off the jerk in front of me for hitting a flight attendant and then refusing to mask. His horrible behavior delayed us two hours which meant 200 people missed their connections in Dublin. Part of me wishes they could've jettisoned him out at 35,000 feet. But I don't have enough good things to say about Aer Lingus. They were not my favorite airline before, but they sure are now. They handled things so professionally and even comped us meals and a hotel room for 8 hours so we could shower and nap before the next connection. And the paperwork for this trip was immense. But despite all that, we did it!
We had a great time in Edinburgh and environs, going all around and to the Scotish border abbeys and to Stirling, then back to the area where DD and I stayed last year with a trip to southern England for five days to visit DH's family. DD is handling thing brilliantly. She's signed up with the NHS, has a UK bank account, got her phone straightened out,and has been meeting people and exploring every day. Uni starts in another two weeks, and she's encountered the fun of adulting, realizing that despite making meals today, she'll have to make them again tomorrow!
The trip reinforced our desire to move back to the UK, so we've been decluttering and making a plan.
That's it for now. After all, it's September which means I have work to do!
July 31st, 2021 at 04:29 am
Hi SA Friends:
Long-time, no check-in. I guess I'm tired of screens--teaching on screens, chatting on screens, working on screens. But I need to get back on the SA Wagon.
So what's news in our world?
DD and I spent most of July in Minnesota seeing friends and relatives--lots of hiking, eating, drinking and fun.
DD is headed back to Scotland for university in a few weeks--more on that to follow.
DH is still working from home
I taught a summer class remotely.
So overall, not much. We've spent some $ on landscaping which is lovely and more on new doors which we're waiting on. We also got new family room blinds when our old ones fell apart. Our old dog has renal failure but is hanging in there so far.
That's enough for now, but I promise to be back soon.
Hope you're all well!
March 10th, 2021 at 03:56 am
When else would that be such exciting news? It's my second haircut in a year. . And just a cut, no color. I'll handle the color myself as I've actually liked the Madison Reed color I used in November. And I tipped my stylist a lot; what a hard year she's had.
My DD has been cooking one night a week--all vegetarian dishes. Tonight she made the Tiktok feta pasta which was rich, but delicious. I feel a bit restless, but am eagerly looking forward to break in a week and a half.
No other news to report.
February 19th, 2021 at 05:45 am
It's been a busy day with student zoom conferences and an unexpected vet visit. Our old dog had a strange episode last night--something the vet called an acute collapse. She came running in from the yard, and when I turned around she was flat on the floor and not moving. She stayed that way--though conscious --for about 4 or 5 minutes while I sat next to her trying to comfort her. There was no sign of injury, so I'm not sure whether she ran into our unforgiving iron chair legs or collapsed for another reason. But when my DH came in, she raised her head, and a few minutes later as I tried to carry her to her bed, she got up, drank some water, and sat there staring for a while. By midnight she seemed almost fine, eating, drinking, etc
The vet was unsure too--did she have a concussion from running into something? A cardiac event? He ruled out a seizure as there was no shaking or spasms. But she seems pretty good today for almost a 15-year-old. So aside from $70 at the vet, I stopped into ALDI on the way home for some bargains. I also am slowly paying myself back for DD's first year at university. I owe myself $15,000 but have paid back $3000 since November. A few other minor additions from refunds and Swagbucks added more to my big goal. Financial goals for the weekend include DD's taxes. Happy it'll be warmer!
February 15th, 2021 at 08:03 pm
It's cold cold cold. We were whining abut -4 until I checked my friends in central MN at -26. My cabin fever comes and goes, but February--ugh.
We had a nice cheap Valentine's Day with lots of good food. I made strawbery pancakes and sausage for breakfast, then jambalaya for dinner with a bakewell tart--my first attempt at those. I'd ordered some cute penguin earrings for DD, and DH bought a pretty blooming plant for me. It was a nice day.
I have student conferences all week. They're challenging weeks as I try to juggle regular work with talking to them. But it really helps us all to talk to each other and build a solid bond.
In between I'm decluttering, and adding more layers to my bulky Michelin man conference clothes.
Good luck to all of you with the weather challenges!
February 9th, 2021 at 11:08 pm
Yes, it's my least favorite month of the year, and we have a long cold snap. Oh yeah, and everything else that's going on. COVID has hit our circle hard--My best friend has lost her mother-in-law, two work colleagues have lost parents, and Friday my aunt died. In between those, we lost two friends to colon cancer. Man, I'm cheery, aren't I?
So we keep on keeping on. Work is fine for all of us. DD is very busy with online classes, and my minor victory is I actually got on the treadmill today. Little money news here. I've become a fairly regular ALDI shopper as it's big and mostly empty when I go--and cheap. I'll do the taxes this weekend.
My major decision looming is whether to try to figure out our retirement timeline myself or hire a CFP. I know some of you have experience with them, and I think I'd feel reassured if I go that route. Dido? Anyone else have recommendations? My only qualm is that many of them I've found want huge $$ of assets, some stipulating over 2 million. That's not us. But we are a bit complicated with money in two countries and juggling tuition etc.
January 14th, 2021 at 04:20 am
This week and next week are all meetings all the time. Those of you who are able to sit still and not fidget in long zoom meetings, please divulge your secrets. I find myself moving around, nodding like a bobble head, or messing with pens and paper.
DD has started back (virtually) at Edinburgh, but my university doesn't begin classes until 25 January. I have lots of prep for my classes and a lot of training for new instructors.
Our only real significant financial news is getting our stimulus check. We've decided to donate at least half and have set DD to find the best new donation spots. It's been officially 10 months of this now, and I know how great the need is everywhere.
I sold a pair of extra ice skates and will throw that cash into the 100K fund soon.
Wishing you all safe and peaceful days.
December 28th, 2020 at 05:39 pm
There's always a post-Christmas lull, isn't there? I've finished up my grading for my regular classes, but have some work to do for the FLEX classes I'm babysitting. And I'll need to start planning for next term. And there are some errands to be done. But I'm starting it slow today and trying to think of what I want/need to do.
I've put a few things on the calendar: our teaching symposium will be virtual, there are students that will need to be talked to, we'll need to cancel some classes. For me, the biggest item will be finding a financial planner to help us sort through retirement/relocation planning. I've done a lot of the online calcultors, contacted my university pension people, etc, but I'd llike to have a firmer plan in place in a few months.
DH is still working away in the basement. His office is closed (even virtually) but since he's a contractor, he's still working. even over the holidays. We're glad for the regular paycheck. Grateful for the stability so many lack right now.
Not much financial news: I'll pay half the property taxes this week, we'll make some donations. Our Christmas was pretty cheap with minimal gifts. The holding pattern continues,.
December 25th, 2020 at 07:33 am
I was half dreading today, knowing I'd miss my usual Christmas breakfast with my Minneapolis friends, and then Christmas with my brother and his family. But it went very well with just the three of us home. It's been a food-centered week. On Tuesday I drove out to our admin's house. She's been the only one in the office since March, but was recently diagnosed with cancer. A bunch of my co-workers made food. I made chicken soup and squash soup and gingerbread, and dropped it off. She'd just got back from chemo.
And today we had a lovely cheese fondue, homemade bread, veggies etc. It was a quiet night, but we lit candles and watched our church's service. A peaceful end to the day. Merry Christmas all.
December 14th, 2020 at 08:31 pm
That will be my slogan for the next four or five days: Still Grading. I'm never quite sure whether I should take a day off now classes are over and just do house things and errands or push straight through the grading. I certainly hit the wall on grading on Saturday, and I wasn't alone. All my teaching pals were cooking, messaging, decorating--anything to step away from the dropboxes for a while.
I have another meeting and a final student session to round out the afternoon, but then will go back to grading.
It's been a cheap weekend here--a no-spend Saturday and Sunday though we did look at dining chairs.
I also listed few things on Facebook and have started yet another Goodwill box. Our wondrous admin person at the university is starting chemo this week, so I'll make some soup, collect some things from others, and drive out to her house this week.
My biggest "gulp" has been our property tax bill which which has risen by more than $500. Ugh. I normally auto-save each month for that bill, but borrowed some for DD's tuition. I think I'll pay it in three installments this year since there's no tax advantage to paying it all before December 31 any more.
Such a frugal December here....
December 7th, 2020 at 11:39 pm
Let's see; what's happened? I'm in full grading mode and not doing much else.
We got a tree on Saturday. The local nursery was out of Frasiers so we got a pretty balsam.
Half the lights are on as that's DH's task and he's torn between work, school, and home chores.
Honestly, we're all very cranky. My DD is waiting to take her exams, DH is busy, and I don't have enough time in the day to get everything done. We keep getting stalled on things like replacing the dining room table and curtains. We get halfway there, but cannot find anyone to take our free and pretty table. So both are in the crowded dining room now. I need to touch up the paint where the old blinds were, but also need to finish the mountain of grading.
This is the point in the semester where I wish I could lock myself in a room and have someone leave food outside. I'd emerge in six or so days. Isn't that Holly Jolly? I think we're also just like the rest of the world, weary of isolation and sameness. But will keep pushing through grading as best as I can. Onward.
November 18th, 2020 at 05:01 pm
Since March, my DH has been mostly living in the basement. His office shut down and he has been working from home 9-5. Plus all his grad classes moved online and his thesis prep and his approximately 200,000 books are all downstairs too. Other items downstaris include the laundry room, furnace, water heater, freezer, canned goods, and way too much other storage along with the treadmill. And a small bathroom.
Now the toilet down there has started leaking around the seal. He's an ambitious but somewhat inept DIY-er and shut off the water, drained the tanks, and was ready to replace the seal which is about 40 years old. Then he got stuck. The seal was a mess, he's frustrated, and it's taking away from his work time. he's paid by the hour. So we've called the plumber. They can reseal and replace the original old toilet, reseal and replace a new toilet we buy, or reseal and bring their own. After a bunch of hours evaluating, we've decided they should do the whole darn thing. Their estimate is about $750. I guess I'm thankful they can't come until early December; we have two lovely bathrooms upstairs, and early December means another pay period before they'll want their cash.
This afternoon I'm taking a look at how much money I'll need to transfer from DD's 529 plan to cover her tuition, 2/3 of which is currently on my credit card. As my dear father-in-law used to say, "So much spending out."
Despite our three-person and one small dog Thanksgiving, I got a 15lb turkey for 37cents a lb. This was after I'd bought a turkey breast, but we'll cook the big one and save the breast for later. I couldn't pass up that much turkey for that little cash.
That's my spending report. Back to work to finance all this.
November 11th, 2020 at 09:23 pm
Yeah, it's 45 degrees out, I've got wild rice in the cupboard, and a budget that needs a little help, so, as usual, it's soup time. I love the Instant Pot wild rice soup I started making last winter, so will start a pot as soon as I get offline.
I'm trying very very hard to pay DD's tuition bill without moving money from her 529 plan or our savings. I think I'll be short, but not by much. And since they let me put it on the credit card with no additional charges, the cash back feature will repay it. Trying hard for zero spending until the next card date rollover early next week. So soup it is!
I went to my university office to work today; it's quiet as a tomb and not much more cheerful. But I put the lamps on, turned on some music and got stuff done. Unfortunately the kitchen was locked up, and my tempting casserole leftovers were not nearly as nice stone cold. But we got through it.
November 5th, 2020 at 01:26 am
We're trying to make November as frugal as possible. Some of this comes from the desire to pay DD's tuition without dipping heavily into her 529 plan, while some of comes from wanting to accomplish a few home improvements.
We'd like to knock out part of a kitchen wall and put in French doors onto our patio. it's a bit complicated as there would be masonry work, moving electric switches and a heat register. We also got a bid on a new front door. I expected the French doors to be expensive, but over $3000 for a new front door and storm/screen door seems excessive. I may need to get a new bid on that.
So frugality! Lots of leftovers eaten in the past few days and the only spending for the month has been $140 on ear drops for the dog's infected ear and the vet appointment.
I'd like to update my blog statistics to show a deposit to the 100K goal, but can't seem to update those. Anyone else have control panel issues?
November 2nd, 2020 at 05:23 am
It's been a busy time; online teaching, well, I find it draining. It's more computer-based work than regular teaching with none of the fun. But we're getting it done.
The biggest news there is that the university is struggling with their budgets and I've been informed I may be eligible for an early retirement package. If they do offer it to me, we'll need to sit down and see what that would do for/to our budget. I really am not eager for an early retirment, but I may take it. I'd like to have more freedom than I have, and we're again talking about moving back to the UK.
Not much other news: One of DD's friends came for the weekend. Her university has same-day testing, and she was tested before she arrived. She stayed with us because her whole family--who she hasn't seen in a month have all tested positive. So it was either another weekend in her dorm room, or a weekend with us. We were happy to have her. Lots of treats purchased, but we also have lots of leftovers.
We're supposed to have some warmer days this week, so looking forward to going out for some longer walks.