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Woe Is Me

July 31st, 2022 at 03:38 pm

July expenses and income do not look pretty.

I'm in the hole for the month for $9,400. Partly because a) I had no earned income this month; my first paycheck with the new employer will be delayed as they pay once monthly (!) and you have to wait up to a month after submitting your bill for the first month's work. and b) July is traditionally the most expensive month of the year for me because that's when I pay my car insurance, homeowner's insurance, semi-annual property taxes and, oh, yeah, estimated quarterly taxes were paid a week late.

Today, for the first time in probably decades, I had to redeem $2,000 from my Vanguard money market account (a taxable event for which I had to pay withholding), just to make sure I can cover the 2nd/final payment of $3,600 to my contractor for the board and batten work he's doing in my downstairs, and (together with what's left in my checking account) to cover me until September, when I have an $11K CD coming due. I shouldn't have to rely on that CD money since by then I should have started getting paid by my new employer, but just in case, I will have it.

Hopefully, this redemption (something I'm just not used to) will be a one-time thing until I retire 100% in 2 years' time. I guess things would be ok now if I continued doing this, but mentally, I'm just not ready to start any kind of drawdown in my retirement savings.

As far as liquidity goes, I do also have about $60K in the Vanguard MM. I had greatly added to my balance in that account a number of months ago, knowing that as a young senior it would be good to have that cash available to avoid withdrawals from other Vanguard accounts with true market exposure during a market downturn. So I'm glad now to have done that. I still have to pay taxes on those redemptions, as if they were income, but I'm not shooting myself in the foot by cashing out a stock mutual fund, for example, when its value is depressed.

As far as my downstairs renovation, my guy is coming on Monday for what I hope will be his final day; the painter he works with is also coming to start work prepping the walls for painting. If all goes well, the whole job will be done by week's end, or  maybe a day sooner, which would be a good thing given the forecast of record high heat in the high 90s again.

(The contractor has been in and out, in and out of my house all day long for weeks now as he cuts the boards outside in my driveway. I'm working upstairs, so have to have the central air on, and was surprised my electric bill was not higher than the $126 it was.)

In my last post I wrote about losing both my driver's license and my prescription sunglasses not once, but twice. Well, guess what? I've found both, the 2nd time around, and I'm embarrassed to say where they were. Both were in my purse. I had checked my purse more than once for both, and somehow, I think, the sunglasses in their hard case were not felt or seen and maybe slipped into the bottom recess of the purse. The driver's license just mysteriously showed up, again, in my purse. This happened after I spent $30 for the replacement license and another $65 for replacement sunglasses. But , oh well. Now with 2 of each, there'll be less chance of losing both.

This is what I get for continuously removing the driver's license from my wallet and sticking it into a back pocket so I don't have to worry about a purse being stolen from either my car or the gym locker when I work out; I also do this sometimes when I head to the store and just don't feel like carrying a purse.

As for the sunglasses, I'd read that you shouldn't leave them in a hot car as the heat can damage the tint on the lenses...which means I am continually bringing them inside, bringing them out with me, and it's that much easier to lose track of them.

Everything else is pretty much business as usual. I feel like I've passed up a LOT of social events this year, either over Covid concerns or it was just too darn hot...a memorial get-together for the late  husband of someone in my gardening group; my friend's party, my cousin's pool party, even a group walk...There was even someone from online whom I was about to meet for lunch until I asked if he'd been vaccinated. Apparently, he didn't like the question (because he wasn't vaccinated) and he called it off, saying he no longer felt we were "compatible." Good riddance. Since when are vaccines political?

But yesterday, I did accept an invite from another gardening group friend, this time for late August. I also have tickets to a garden tour with another friend the same day; hopefully we can go in the morning.

My big accomplishment this month was a colonscopy; I was overdue, but what was holding me up was having a designated driver. One of my friends is now fully retired, and could take me there. Everything was fine.

I've been harvesting lots of kale, zucchini, cucumbers and now, tomatoes. Also picked some small eggplant yesterday. Wineberry season has come and gone. The baby bunny born in my raised bed is now often seen grazing on my lawn with its mother.


5 Responses to “Woe Is Me”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    Glad you found both your sunglasses and license although you replaced both. Guess you have a spare of each.

    Hopefully your paycheck will come in a timely manner and relieve the stress of covering your bills with your savings and investments.

    Nothing beats garden vegetables from your own garden, does it?

  2. Dido Says:

    I'm glad you were able to get your health test done and that the glasses and driver's licenses turned up. Good for you for having a healthy cash stash before semi-retiring. That basket of liquidity is what I've most failed on in my own retirement planning. I had it built up at one time, then the down-payment on the house followed by my career retrenching wiped it out, and the various crises of the kind you can expect to have (car/house/pet unusual costs) always end up wiping out whatever I've built up (and then some).

    I'm hoping your social calendar fills up a bit as the weather cools (and hopefully the next batch of vaccines they are talking about rolling out in September will decrease the latest COVID spike).

  3. Lots of ideas Says:

    I can’t quite wrap my mind around the math, but if you did a taxable withdrawal to bridge an income gap, can you do an IRA deposit to move a like amount out of taxable income?
    You have taxable income.
    Are you maxing out the annual amount allowed in an IRA?

    I think you can deposit $7000 per year.
    If you already do that, this is moot.

    But if you don’t, your annual income will increase by the $2000 you withdrew.
    if you took $2000 from the CD when it matures and use it for an IRA deposit, that will move that $2000 out of income.

    Just a thought.

  4. terri77 Says:

    My sunglasses are very inexpensive. I often get them for free with a business’s logo on the side. I’m not picky. I keep them in my car because my CR-V has the sunglass compartment which is too convenient to not use. If I bought more expensive sunglasses I would definitely take your advice to bring them inside.

  5. LuckyRobin Says:

    I keep my sunglasses in the center console of the van. If you don't have a center console they will fit in your glove box, assuming you have room for them there. But half the time I wear them into the house, so they go directly into the front compartment of my purse so I know where to find them if I do that. I've found that by having exacting rules about them, I don't lose them. Since my memory sucks these days, being consistent helps a lot. You might need to get over not wanting to bring your purse with you, or at least use a belt bag that you immediately empty back into your purse when you get home.

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