Tuesday, July 4, 2017
My new normal
All through to the end of March, I received my income twice a month. Enter official retirement from my former career, a sudden home purchase and subsequent remodel, a move and things have been in flux. Years of saving, post divorce, and living cautiously, always well below my means, allowed me to make these significant moves. The dust is literally still settling on the remodel, I am adjusting to once a month pay. Buying and refurbishing this forever home meant depleating my savings, amassing some credit card debt (planned for on the short term).
My new normal is evolving.
Once I receive my electronic pay, I calculate the extra leftover after my monthly budget is accounted for, and then I decide next steps, leaving a cushion in the end for the upcoming month (I am paid on the last day of each month). My mortgage comes out electronically on the 1st of the month, so that is taken care of. I am currently prioritizing home improvements.
In July, I will have a water treatment system installed. While I do not relish the idea of yet another, large house related expense, the high mineral content of the water could* damage the expensive on demand water heater I had installed, not to mention, coat all of the water and waste lines that I just had installed, create a build up in all of my new bathroom fixtures, the water line to my new refrigerator. So yes, this was this month's priority. Additionally, the cats recently had their annual physical, which I budget for monthly. The male cat is again having teeth issues so an upcoming followup appointment was made to have his teeth cleaned (it's been 3 years) and one removed that is starting to show decay and most likely is starting to bother him. Hate spending the additional monies, but am glad that I am able to do so. I'm calling this preventative maintenance.
I also have a number of smaller projects of home repair/upgrade items to tackle over the next few months, most of which I also consider preventative maintenance-something the former owner was quite negligent about, and he was of means. I have reached out to my new handyman and asked for set quotes for 3 different jobs (no by the hour jobs as I need a definitive price). He will be getting back to me this week.
I also have my energy audit coming up, and I already know that I will have attic insulation done before Fall. I estimate that this will cost $2000 +/-. I am very much into energy conservation, however, as I look at the big picture: reduced energy costs so ultimately saving $, as well as increased comfort in the home.
More upcoming items to address prior to Winter:
-installation of my new patio door
-installation of my replacement window in the laundry/half bath
-repair of the front step (previously quoted $50 by former landscapper)
-filling in cracks and a gap at the top of the driveway by the garage door and topsealing of the driveway (got quote for $350)
-powerwashing of the deck and "new" garage entry steps, staining both
-powerwashing of the home
-professional window cleaning (besides the actual window glass, they do all of the inside tracks, etc. This is the same company that cleaned my basement-they did an awesome job)
I also have some smaller items to address, as monies allow.
My overarching priority is to get some part-time work (my current health situation won't accomodate full-time at the moment) in order to absorb the cost of medical insurance. I heard back from my former employer; the costs are simply prohibative and supposedly* I could only remain on that plan for up to 18 months. Meanwhile, I have other avenues to explore for insurance coverage for myself. The kids are another matter; I've told them to reach out to Dad and see if he'd add them to his plan. DD has no alternative, she's about to age off of either parent's plan and will have to seek her own private or ACA plan; DS #1 can get it thru work, DS # 2-I'd have to find something for him if DX won't add him, DS #3 can get it thru school. Many of the plans I've perused are so expensive, don't offer much by the way of coverage and have high deductibles as well. My goal is to have this sorted out within a month. We have our current coverage through the end of August, and have planned accordingly with physicals, RX orders, treatments.
Additionally, I am coming up with a plan of attack to eliminate the aforementioned remodeling debt, ultimately then moving to pay down my mortgage within 15 years, if not sooner. I also will be amassing some savings to absorb any unexpected costs. That's the plan . . life happens, and I adjust accordingly.