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Getting a handle on dollars and cents

August 29th, 2015 at 05:15 am

I finally figured out what I wanted to do in terms of managing my mother's expenses...in other words, should I pay a portion of them out of my own pocket or reimburse myself? Or strike some happy balance?

My thoughts have been this: I don't want to shorten my mother's expected 3-year stay at the assisted living place by having to dip into her savings to pay the many out-of-pocket expenses we're incurring, yet I don't want any big impact on my own personal finances either.

So I've decided to continue paying all of my mother's out of pocket expenses. These include:

Condo, until it is sold:
HOA fees: $343.62 a month
Taxes: $90 a month (thanks to senior discounts)
Electric: About $40 a month with nothing but the hot water heat and digital stove on? Hard to tell right now becus she's on a budget plan with electric company and I'm still paying over $200/mth for last year's incredibly high heat bills.
Minimal heat in winter: ??

Homeowners insurance: $16.50 a month
Meds & various over the counter supplements: @ $50 a mth
Other costs vary, but the costs above total $540 a month. This seems manageable to me, especially given that I will be reimbursing myself from the sale of my mother's yarns. This month I raised $441 from the sale of yarns and another $152 from the sale of weaving accessories. The yarn and accessories sales were 16 individual sales and a lot of work but I do feel a sense of accomplishment about that.

I still have at least another 100 yarn cones to go. When that's gone, I can continue reimbursing myself from the sale of art. It doesn't mean I can sell every last piece; it can be hard to unload this stuff, but I can make a dent. When the best pieces are gone (and that's excluding the ones I've already chosen for myself), I can start in on the photography equipment and a few diamond rings. the trick is finding the right market and the right buyers for each of these categories.

In short, I believe I can probably reimburse myself for costs indefinitely, especially since once the condo is sold, my ongoing expenses (outside of the assisted living place rent) will drop considerably, which will be a huge relief.

Several of you suggested taking photos of all art before it's sold. I have been doing that anyway because I've been using my photos to email to friends at the office. Plus, my mother has mountains of slides of all her work..something I've been contemplating throwing out...it's just that it takes up so much room and I will probably rarely if ever look at those slides. It's her one archive and I don't really have a suitable place to store the stuff so it won't get damaged. Remember, I don't have central air here and I do swelter with the humidity for much of the summer. For now, I'll hold onto it. I have too much to think about without adding that to the mix.

6 Responses to “Getting a handle on dollars and cents”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Eventually pictures of the art could be turned into a photo book or books to save space and have easy viewing access.

  2. snafu Says:

    Wonderful that you can carry $ 675. in monthly operating fees for mom's condo. This plus all the updates [carpet, sliders] adds up to a significant sum over time. What data has your realtor offered about showings and condo sales in that complex/area? Do you think sister needs to be kept aware of how you've decided to manage mom's finances? Does mom's ongoing income pay a major percentage of the cost of her assisted living accommodation?

  3. Merilu Says:

    Have you thought of scanning the slides and putting them on your computer? We did that with many of ours and then got rid of the actual slides. Saved lots of closet space and we can still view them if we want to.

  4. PatientSaver Says:

    Merilu, how do you do that?

    You mean I would just scan it on on my scanner? But then the image would be super tiny,no?

  5. Merilu Says:

    You have to have something special to scan them with. My husband did it with a slide scanner we purchased several years ago. The slide scanners are available on Amazon. We had a friend who used his regular scanner and seemed happy with the outcome. You might try it. Just enlarge it on your scanner and see what happens. Good luck. Let me know how it turns out.



  6. PatientSaver Says:

    Thank you, Merilu. Amazon has one for $99 which I think I'm going to buy in a few weeks, after I earn more gift cards for my forum survey work...thanks! It could take a while, but i like the idea of keeping record of all those slides..without the slides taking up so much room. I'll get memory cards.

    Snafu,no, I have not heard from my sister for several months. She hasn't visited my mother once since my mother moved to assisted living in May so no, I don't feel particularly compelled to keep her informed as she's shown negligible interest.

    Mom's Social Security is $958 a month; assisted living costs $5850 a month.

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