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The many ways I can spend my money

February 10th, 2010 at 06:06 am

Lots of the white stuff expected. It's going to snow all day today. I guess I'll get out there sometime this afternoon to clear some of it with the snow blower before it gets too high to use it.

In the meantime, I'm still sitting here at the computer in my red jammies.

I had a hard workout Tuesday at the gym and burned 300 calories doing cardio. The workout was hard because it came right after my Monday workout. I wasn't supposed to have another workout until today, but because of the expected snow storm, my trainer rescheduled that workout for yesterday.

My final workout (the last of the 3 free weeks) is this Friday, when we'll do the "weigh in" and see if I've lost any body fat. I'm very upset that not only haven't i lost any weight, but i gained 4 pounds in these past 3 weeks, part of a gradual increase in weight I haven't been able to control! My trainer said it was probably weight gain due to muscle gain. I hope we can find that out for sure on Friday becus, never having been really heavy in my life, it's very distressing to me.

I know the trainer is going to try to get me to sign up for membership at the Friday weigh-in and I've already decided that much as I would LOVE to do so, I don't feel I can justify spending $35 a month while I'm not working. (I have already decided that I WILL spend $18 every six weeks to maintain my new (short) haircut, so I guess it's all about choices.) I hope she doesn't try to pressure me too much. It's ironic, because right now, I have the time to do it but not the money; if i got a job, I'd have the money but probably not the time!

Yesterday, I also arranged to bring my neighbor to the surgical center for her knee surgery. It was orthoscopic, but we were both surprised by how good she felt, with no pain, not only immediately after the surgery but also later that night, when i called to check up on her.

After this one heals completely, she has to have knee replacement surgery done on the other knee, and that will be a longer recovery period. It's essential that she does it, though, because she's in danger of becoming an invalid without it, having more and more trouble walking, etc.

When I dropped her off at the surgical center around 11:30 a.m. yesterday, she said I could pick her up around 2:30 or 3 pm. I figured that was too long a gap in between to find ways to kill time in that city, so I decided to just do my grocery shopping at the nearby Shop Rite and then go home.

I had picked my neighbor up right from the gym and I was very tired from that workout. After each workout, I go home and usually end up collapsed on the bed for at least an hour, feeling utterly tired and sore. It's been a while since I had this much exercise, but I DO need it and am glad to take advantage of the chance to do so.

But anyway, I dropped H. off, fought the mob at Shop Rite (everyone stocking up before the storm) and then got home, looking forward to resting from that workout. I walked in the door just in time to get a phone call from the surgical center saying I could pick H. up now. Grrr.

I make an effort to help her out, partly because she's estranged from her own daughter and wouldn't have too many other people to ask, and partly because, should i ever need a similar helping hand, i want to feel comfortable asking her for help. One hand washes the other, as my dear
grandmother used to say.

Eagerly waiting for my $4,000+ tax refund, but it'll be a few weeks at least. Still wondering what, if anything I should do with that money. The smart thing would be to simply sit on it in the event i need it to pay for living expenses during my extended unemployment.

By living very simply (something I do anyway) I've been able to get through 5 months of unemployment using my unemployment benefits plus a relatively small amount of freelance and survey work so I haven't spent any of my savings.

Between my checking account and an online money market, I have about $10,000 in liquid money, if I should need to tap that, but I think it would help to bank the tax refund money too. I have to think about painting the house again this summer as the lousy job the painters did 4 years ago is really showing. (My small claims case against them last year came to naught as the guy left the country and went back to his native Brazil.)

I know i shouldn't be thinking of this, but there's one home improvement project I've been LONGING to do, although it's completely cosmetic and not cheap.

The builder who did my sun room did such a nice job of putting a stone facade on the exterior of the sun room that i had the brilliant idea of having him extend the stone on the 2 walls of my attached 1 car garage. Stone walls already surround the driveway and i have a lovely set of stone stairs leading to the backyard. (My "Stairway to Heaven.") I get comments from people already that my place looks like an English country house, and stone around the garage, which is the first thing you see when you come up the driveway, would really enhance that look.


The Stairway to Heaven

My builder said last summer he could do it but that it'd be fairly expensive due to the cost of materials. (It would include the side of the garage, but there's a door and a large window on the side that take up space, and then of course, the front of the garage, but the garage door takes up most of that space. It would also include a small concrete wall to the right of the garage door.)

I don't really know (at all) how much we're talking, so I'm tempted to have Ralph come over and price it out for me so at least I know what I'm dealing with. If I had to guess, I'd say between $2500 and $3,000 tops, but i don't really know. I thought Ralph was pretty reasonably priced when it came to the sun room, so maybe it'd be less.

Would it be smart to spend that kind of cash when I'm not working full-time? No, i guess not, but I am a gal addicted to beautifying her home. There are other smaller projects I'd love to do this year: 1. install a ceiling fan in the newly done sun room; it gets stifling hot there in the heat of summer. 2. have a plumber fix the downstairs toilet. Now that i've started wallpapering in there, it could become a functioning bathroom again, which it should be, since i already spent money putting in a new window and new lighting and 3. aforementioned painting of house exterior.

There was a time i talked a lot about selling this place and buying a condo that didn't require all the outdoor maintenance, but if i do home improvements like the stone facade, i kind of commit myself to staying here for as much as another 10 years, so as to enjoy those improvements! While I like the maintenance-free aspects of condo life, every time I think about having to give up 1. my vegetable garden, 2. my clothesline and 3. my bird feeding, I don't know how I'd ever adjust to a condo.

Maybe what i should really do is move to a smaller, more manageable house with a smaller, more manageable yard (one-third acre would be fine.) But then i think, would it be worth the trouble of moving for just a slightly smaller home and property, especially when I'd probably feel compelled to make all sorts of updates to a new home and considering that I have many/most of the things I want right here in this house?

It's an old debate I've had with myself for years. I'll probably end up staying here a good while longer since chances are that if i moved, it would put me further away from area job centers, not closer. It would make sense to defer any move until I'm ready to retire. That's still 10 years away.

2 Responses to “The many ways I can spend my money”

  1. Analise Says:

    The stairs are beautiful! I agree that if you make improvements you will want to enjoy them for a while.

    In 2006, we downsized from a house with big yard to a condo with a small patio and I do miss my garden sometimes. But the move made our housing more affordable and traveling is now less complicated.

  2. baselle Says:

    As far as gaining/losing weight - I'm very similar. I could swear that I have lost weight, yet the scale does not agree. Big question: do your clothes fit differently? Freshly washed clothes don't lie - if they are a little bit looser then you probably have dropped an inch or so. (Muscle is denser than fat) Also, its very, very easy to overeat your exercise. Checkout http://www.fitday.com/ - the free online food journal is one of the better ones that I've seen.

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