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Weekend retrospective

July 23rd, 2018 at 05:24 am

Another week of the muggies are forecast, and yesterday was the first day of it. UGH. I stayed inside all day except to weed a garden bed for about an hour.

Otherwise, I picked up a little around the house and spent too much time on Facebook again. BAD HABIT.

I need to start buckling down on the spending. Year to date, I've spent $23,916 but only earned $19,053, a shortfall of $4,863. Although I feel I've been too spendy the last few months, it's probably mostly due to the patio redo. I think by most people's standards, my spending is really pretty reasonable; I'm not buying a fancy new car or going on lavish trips, just spending on my growing cacti/succulent collection, trying out different potting mixes and buying pretty pots and always on the lookout for interesting new shelving systems. That and probably more shoes than I need.

In any case, I would like to get the spending more in line with income. I was never sure my newish p/t hours would cover 100% of living expenses, but am confident it will cover at least 80% of expenses, and preferably closer to 95%.

It's only July, and already I'm starting to feel a little anxious about what's coming up in November: announcement of new ACA premium amounts for those of us who get our health insurance that way. I know there will be an increase; I just hope it's reasonable, given what's been happening in the death-by-a-thousand-cuts effort to dismantle Obamacare.

First there was Dido's visit, then my happy hour for the neighbors, and dad, of course. Next up, to help me enjoy the patio, I've invited my cousin from New Jersey, the one I connected with after my mom passed. I would have invited her a long time ago (I've been down to see her at least 4 times), but she has so many animals I thought it would be too much of a hassle for her to find someone to look after them. But I vaguely remember some comment she made a while ago that she might like to come up for an overnight visit at some point, so I figure September might be nice....cooler, but not too cool.

Like some other people here, I am trying to improve my social life..something that can be more challenging if you are single, I think. And it seems easier to create your own opportunities instead of waiting for someone else to do it. Smile I'd love to do some travel, but while Luther is still around, I guess I'll try to be content having people come to me.

Back to work today....

Gosh, I'm so out of the walking habit.. I haven't walked at all for at least a week, mainly because either the weather was not cooperating or I just didn't make it a priority and ran out of time. This past weekend I did get a few yardwork chores done, something that is becoming more and more difficult as I seem to have lost interest in yardwork. Mainly becus of my fear of ticks. I don't think it's worth the risk so I do only what seems absolutely necessary. And I keep looking for small ways to simplify or reduce yardwork, like a current project to get rid of one small portion of the old brick walking path from old patio and just reseeding with grass, because having the guy I pay mow it all is much easier than me having to keep a path weeded/trimmed which I rarely would use anyway.

I was working on that project and hoping to have it all reseeded in time for this whole week of rain we're expecting, but I wasn't able to do that. I DID reseed areas running the length of the new patio that had all bare spots along the edge. So I reseeded and then threw hay on top of it to reduce seed lost to birds. The aforementioned little path project was, as usual, a bigger project than I realized. I had to use a shovel tip to dislodge all the brick mostly buried in the ground, toss them in a wheelbarrow and then cart 4 full and very heavy wheelbarrows full of briks to my driveway, then unload them there (then eventually load them again into car trunk to drop off at dump...all told, I'll have moved those bricks by hand FOUR TIMES).

So most of the bricks are down by driveway. Next I need to dig up some weeds growing adjacent to the old brick path and shake them all out, then rake everything smooth before seeding. It all takes a fair amount of work.

So many other yard projects calling for my attention. Invasive vines overtaking my little tool shed. Bittersweet popping up in the pachysandra beds, to climb more shrubs/trees if I don't at least cut or dig it up (hard to do in established pachysandra). Finally getting rid of brushy overgrowth and poison ivy in north corner by old picket fence. I used to enjoy doing this kind of physical work, but now it's become harder and it's all such a production to even get ready to do it becus I "suit up" (due to ticks) in special white clothing, pants inside socks, boots, hair in pony tail with baseball cap and of course gloves.

8 Responses to “Weekend retrospective”

  1. Wink Says:

    My goal is the same, to have a part time job after retirement from full time work that pays the majority of my monthly expenses!

  2. Dido Says:

    Sounds like you are beginning to feel a little like me about the yard work in terms of regarding it a hassle, except that I never liked it in the first place!

    Your spending is overall reasonable--you know that your year-end total isn't going to be double that 23K but more like 38-40k since you won't have another expense as big as the patio this year.

    If you are taking cash from your brokerage account at all (as opposed to your bank) to fill up the gap and you have that invested in stocks/bonds, mutual funds, then just make sure that you take a look at your year-end statement for that account, see how much each investment throws off in terms of interest, dividends, and capital gains, and then set each account NOT to reinvest the income (interest and dividends) and, if need be, the cap gains in order to keep a pool of cash available in that account that you can access without incurring a taxable sale. That will avoid the need to sell an investment to generate cash if/when you draw from that account.

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    Wink, it's definitely doable! I truly just lucked into this with the contract job I took (f/t) back last September. It just takes knowing your manager and what their priorities are, so when I proposed this work arrangement to him, I emphasized that with the new schedule, I could see myself working there indefinitely. And I knew he'd been thru a bunch of contract workers and didn't really enjoy the endless round of people coming and going. Which is even more true now, becus I find it very painless, and it happens they want me to get a late start, 10:30 each morning, which I really love becuss I hate rushing around early in the am. This gives me plenty of leisure time to do my thing.

  4. Dido Says:

    By the way, I just spent the weekend helping my neighbor plan to retire. She's turning 65 next month, has a full retirement age of 66 for Social Security but is pretty burnt out by her job. She told me that she has taken just ONE sick day in 40 years! We figured that if she can wait until January to retire to get the additional 5/9s of a percent per month SS benefit and works a minimum of 10 hours a week, she'll generate enough take-home cash to equate what she has now plus the additional that she'll need for her Medicare and Medigap premiums. In encouraged her to work 20 hours a week to start, since working that much at a less stressful job will feel like a piece of cake and the extra 10 hours a week income will help her build up a better emergency and car replacement fund.

  5. PatientSaver Says:

    That's exactly right, Dido...my total for the year should not be double what it was end of June because much of the spike is due to the patio, a big expense. (I do have many more projects, but I'm pacing myself, and I intentionally started out with what I thought would be the most expensive.

    Thanks for that tip about not reinvesting...I will do that at some point, but right now, I've taken a few occasional money transfers from my online money market. I wouldn't want to do that too much as this is my cash reserve, but as mentioned, I hope to reel in the spending and cover most of my annual spending needs.

  6. PatientSaver Says:

    Dido: I'm sure that must be very rewarding to know you've helped enable someone do that. I bet she appreciates you!

  7. Dido Says:

    Yes, she does. She knows she can work for $10 cleaning houses at an agency and she enjoys doing that (unlike me). People at work are telling her, why would you work for $10 an hour when you are earning $25 an hour here, but she is really fed up with her job. She doesn't even take her vacation time because she's an administrator and no one picks up the slack when she is gone; they just throw stuff on her desk, so that she feels that taking a vacation isn't worth the catch-up stress it engenders. They won't pay her the accrued vacation, either. She has 8 weeks accrued and I encouraged her to take at least SOME of it before leaving!

  8. PatientSaver Says:

    Oh my gosh, she's got to make use of that vacation time. Sounds like a terrible situation.

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