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Home > Archive: September, 2019

Archive for September, 2019

September outlook

September 2nd, 2019 at 05:40 am

The third quarter has been VERY expensive for me.

In August, Luther's dental bills came to $805, between the exam/rabies shot, pre-op bloodwork and the procedure itself.

Luther was shocked, but said he was worth it.

Later in August, a variety of unremarkable maintenance issues with my 2013 Honda came to $657 (front brake pads, tire rotation, oil change, brake fluid flush and 2 air filters), and that was after I used my 10% discount from AAA.

Speaking of AAA, rejoined recently and saw they offer a safe driving course that earns you a discount on your car insurance, which varies according to the insurer. I sat through the 4-hour class at the police station, got my certificate of completion, and sent it to my insurance agency. I earned $24 off my insurance for the next 3 years. Hey, every dollar counts and I'm a little wiser about driving, too.

And later this month, I'll be looking at combined auto and homeowners insurance of about $,1300. OMG.

Also later in September, I'll be getting my new Harvey garden/greenhouse window put in.

It will replace an existing double-hung window (most of my windows here are 24 years old), but because I have the space and the window will look better centered in the space, it will be 6 inches wider than the current window. The windows in front and on top are fixed, but there are cranks to open the windows on both sides with a screen in each, and it will come with one shelf, where some of my succulents will go. (My builder said he could probably put in a second shelf too.)

The plants should do really well there as the window, which extends out from the side of the house, will capture both south and west sun exposure.

My paddle plant

Of course, Luther will be sure to claim the window as his own (he loves sunny spots), so I have to be careful about what plants I put there. Since I close off the unheated sun room in winter, this will surely become Luther's new go-to space to soak in the sun. I hope he can share it without nibbling my houseplants.

The window's on order now. It's basically a custom window, so it's going to cost a lot, but for me, grower of all things, it's worth it, and I really can't wait to get it. Hopefully before I turn the heat on.

Nearly all of my big spending on the house over the years has been for maintenance of things that needed to be done (roof, siding, driveway, furnace, hot water heater, insulation, etc.) to replace something old or worn out. The greenhouse window is one of the few things done purely for my pleasure.

The final big bill of the year will come in December, when the second half of my property taxes will come due, about $3300.

I had one of my laddered CDs that matured in August, and I had been planning on reinvesting it, but I decided to just keep it in my checking account to pay the first 3 of these big upcoming bills. That's what money's for, I guess.

Still, I expect I will be in the red at year's end when I compare spending vs income.

In other news....

I had a few late nights last week at work as deadlines are approaching for a few big projects. On Monday, I didn't leave the office til 11:15 pm; the next night, I left around 9 pm and considered myself lucky.

All of that extra effort didn't buy me much, since today, normally a workday for me, I'm not working due to the holiday, so I'll lose a significant portion of my p/t pay this week and not be able to make it up (unless we have a few more late nights).

Sometimes they buy us dinner, sometimes they don't. If they don't, I start feeling cranky and lacking in concentration because I'm hungry, and then when I get home 40 minutes later, I can't eat a big meal so close to going to bed. So it throws everything off.

We had a beautiful two weather days here this weekend, and what did I end up doing for hours over the course of 2 days? Hauling down boxes of old paperwork... my mother's medical bills... from the attic and shredding much of it. I had to read things first before deciding whether to shred, dispose intact or keep, so the whole exercise brought up a lot of old, painful memories of 2015. It was very emotionally draining, but it needed to be done. Every time I came across it up there looking for something else, it depressed me, and in fact I avoided going toward that corner of the attic.

I kept just a small folder of what I felt were essential items, including the last tax return, my POA paperwork, the funeral certificate and some other key documents. I'm relieved that it's done.

After that, I was looking around the attic and identified 6 large plastic storage drawers/bins I really don't need (my mom's), which took up quite a bit of space, so I posted them for sale on Marketplace. I'm keeping one underbed bin for my own use, but really, my philosophy is that if I need to start using too many storage bins for clothing, I just have too much stuff. I've been working to thin out my clothing to just those items that really fit, aren't damaged and which I like to wear.