Saturday, September 6, 2014
Working on the books
With my medical plan year finally ended (we moved to a one time, 14 month "year" but are now at a 12 month "year"), and new household bills taking shape, I spent several hours this evening, going over my budget, where monies have been going, where I anticipate they will go next, etc. I will receive my first paycheck for the new year, in about a week (paid on 15th and 30th), so I will finally have a better handle on my actual take home pay, and therefor my budget as that is how I tally for it. My review of recent expenses showed the following:
-While we unexpectedly moved in Aug, my actual move came in under budget
-grocery expenses are increasing, due to several reasons: having eaten down our stores before moving, intentionally running out of items as we combined 2 households which created some overages that had to be used first before adding additional options, finally needing to replenish/fill the gaps, rising food costs, no income (although monies as set aside earlier in the year)since June 30th, other than C/S and sales of a washer/dryer and seasoned firewood, as I moved, we also have 2 more in the family, including DS who seems to constantly graze (bizare schedule working retail doesn't help either) No worries, the pantry shelves, refrigerator, stand freezer are all well stocked for September. Meat protein variety is becoming more and more of a challenge. I warned the kids that once again we are moving to a month of chicken as that is what I have been able to get at a reasonable cost. Beef? $5.49/lb for a CHUCK roast? no thanks. Bad enough that even Aldi's raised it's fzn grnd beef to $2.99 from $2.69/lb tube. Still, it's much better than $5.49 and up at S & S. I chanced upon some marked down drums (47/lb) and leg quarters (75/lb) today at Aldi's as well as Ball Park Angus beef hotdogs @ $1.99 and Aldi's Bratwurst also @ $1.99. I made franks and beans for supper tonight-quick and easy. I relish the coming of Fall and economical soups to be served at our dining table
-I have spent very little in making this new home more comfortable for us: 2 matching, second hand end tables; 4 lamps and a replacement lamp shade for a 5th lamp we already owned, fabric to make a cafe curtain and valence for the master bathroom, 2 light timers, 2 extension cords. $164.04 to date, not including the charges for the Handyman service.
-there are a few more items we want for the home, such as a rug for DD's room. We had ordered one thru JCP, taking advantage of a 15% off code, but alas, they discontinued the item/ran out, so my cc was credited. We now have to find another one. I would also like a tall, stand lamp for my room, a sideboard for the dining room, a replacement bath rug for the Master bath (LL left one behind, but it's on it's last legs)
-I recently had to put a bit of money into my car (tire picked up a nail so it was patched, then tires were rotated) but that is good money spent. I must maintain my car as I rely so heavily upon it.
-medical expenses were nill but now that the new "plan year" is started, all expenses save preventative care (physicals, flu shots for instance) will be incurred by us until we hit $4000. I knew that this was coming and planned accordingly. A lump sum was placed into my HSA and biweekly deposits from my paychecks will pad out the rest. I still have a balance from last year as an additional cushion.
-I await the processing of some final (last year's plan year) EOB's and then will soon be making arrangements with the hospital to pay off (no interest charges involved) the outstanding PT bills that I have from my second shoulder surgery. I knew that I would run out of covered visits/benefit, but my recovery was/is a one shot, let's get this right kind of a deal. Once I have the final figures, I will call the hospital's business office and make a monthly payment arrangement, anticipating having it all paid off by June, if not sooner.
-Although today was terribly, unusually hot and humid, Fall and cold weather is coming. I am also fixed on planning for that, saving $ for a set of snow tires; will be soon ordering my seasoned fire wood delivery.
-I still have some projects to address before Winter, if possible, but they are all things that I can complete with what I have on hand, or can do so for little additional cost.
-I remain a bit anxious to see the new electric bill for this place. Not all have been as vigilent about shutting lights off, for example. Time will tell.