Time sure does seem to be passing quickly. It seems like I just barely finish the data process for one month when its time to start the process all over again.
I took a couple days off this week to attempt to get some home projects done. I did actually manage to accomplish a few things - changed out my winter clothes for spring/summer clothes, and used a Rug Doctor on our upstairs carpets. I also strongly hinted to my DH about wanting to have someone come and tile our bathroom - get rid of the carpet!! (No, he doesn't want us to DIY - he thinks it would be too easy to do a bad job.)
So ... I had a Zoom with my supervisor yesterday. I found out that they are not replacing the second receptionist at our office due to budget cuts (she retired in January I think.) Guess what? I get to be the main receptionists permanent break giver now - and back up if she's gone on vacation or sick. Woo hoo! (can you read the sarcasm? if not, add a lot and you'll get close) It doesn't start until we are all back to "normal" working in office.
I just have to repeat to myself - at least I still have a job. We did actually technically fire someone - although the term was = we chose to not renew her contract (after 19 years!)
I was looking at paydays - it looks like we're going to have a 6 paycheck month in July! I told DH if he wanted to take 2 or 3 days off, July would be the easy month to do it without affecting our budget. I doubt he'll actually do it though, it would cut into his spending money too much. (which, I will say, he's been putting a lot of it into the stocks/etf's and has done pretty well)
But, he can't say he didn't have the opportunity!
I have something like 16 vacation days left (and still accruing) since I didn't use 9 days for Ireland. I need to look into it more, but I think we can sell back vacation days in August - though with the budget cuts, maybe not?? I really need to get a better handle on that - I usually use all my vacation time each year, so don't worry too much about it. (My supervisor was telling me that the receptionist is wanting to take the week after Christmas off and wanted to know if it would conflict with my vacation plans - I told her nope, the only day I plan to take off is the weekend of my birthday (15th.) But then we looked at the date, and it is a Tuesday, so we were both saying - may as well take Monday and Tuesday! Do up my 45th birthday big! -- likely not actually do anything ... but will be nice to have a really long weekend.)
So ... by September 22 I need to have lost about 20 pounds or I will be saying say'o'nara (sp?) to nearly $1k (HealthyWage.) Yeah, I don't like that idea. (About $300 of it would be my actual money, the rest would be winnings.)
I've been fighting the same five - ten pounds most of the past five months. (Mainly because I keep jumping off the cliff into junkfood'ville and have trouble climbing out.)
At any rate, I am committing to absolutely NO:
Processed foods (that means Amy's, Laura!!)
flour of any kind
sugar (this includes my beloved date sugar ..)
My focus is going to be on eating as much as possible foods without labels - legumes, whole grains (not processed into flour), vegetables, greens, and fruit (not dried, but whole.)
This is for the month of June. I will reevaluate at the end of June to see if it is actually working, and if I want to keep going with it.
I do hope to eliminate processed food and dairy completely from my diet, but one way or the other, whole grains flour will come back into my diet, and possibly the "healthier" sweetners like date sugar.
My DH is doing keto - one meal a day. He eats around 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. So ... we aren't eating together at all anymore. This makes it so I can change my eating timing to around ten a.m. to six p.m. - which is healthier than going as late as 8 p.m. and pushing up against bedtime.
(DH has lost 25lbs in two weeks. He is ecstatic. I'm happy for him, but also worried about what some of the weight he's losing is actually comprised of. Not to mention the copious amounts of meat he's eating ... and fat - but - silver lining -- he's eating spinach!!)
This will definitely save us money in our date night category! (i.e. no eating out, even if I was willing to go to a restaurant right now)
Viewing the 'Budget' Category
Time sure does seem to be passing quickly. It seems like I just barely finish the data process for one month when its time to start the process all over again.
Here are my goals for 2020. I found a Google template which I used to break the goals down further, and to be able to track them on my phone. There's two sheets - 1 with the goals, and one for tracking my chore cards (part of one of my goals.)
For some of these goals I actually chose a number that is 40-50% less than what I'd really like to achieve. However, in an effort to actually ACHIEVE these goals, I made them for a lower amount.
Here is a link to my goals spreadsheet -
1. Win my HealthyWage bet (Approx. 3.5lbs/mo) (Ends Sept 22.)
2. Eat healthier -
a-Reduce dairy intake to 2x a week and limited amounts.
b- Reduce processed food products to 2x a month i.e. Amy’s or store bought veggie products.)
c - Reduce junkfood intake to only stuff others buy. IOW - no money spent on chocolate or other overly junky food products.
3. Run for 30 continuous minutes at a 17 mpm pace.
4. Win 5 Stepbets.
5. Win 5 RunBets.
6. Do a weight routine 25 times.
7. Fund Ireland Trip by April. Go on trip in May.
8. Read 25 books - at least 5 non-fiction.
9. Memorize two complete songs on the piano from the simplified Hymn book.
10. Complete Lead Sheet 1 and Classical 1 in Simply Piano app, as well as at least 2 stars on all songs up to those levels.
11. Complete three classes with an A or better.
Home / Financial:
12. Complete 3 Chore Cards each week.
13. Scoop the litter boxes 150 times.
14. Digitize 250 slides and upload to FB group.
15. Finish basic financial info backup system for DH - including a binder putting all important documents in one place. (Possibly use The Big Book of Everything as a guideline.)
16. Clean out - sort, shred, file, one file drawers worth of stuff in home office.
17. Dishes - Go to bed with an empty sink, or a dishwasher full of dirty dishes being washed, AND no dirty dishes or silverware anywhere upstairs but the kitchen - 120 times.
18. Write 3 real letters - handwritten, not email.
19. Make the office into a “homey” space - i.e. look like someone who knows about homemaking lives here. (i.e. purchase and hang artwork or other decorations, clean off, sort, organize bookshelves so they look neat and organized, keep desk clear of stuff, maybe replace dad’s 13+ year old office chair, make the makeshift monitor stand look less makeshift …)
20. Make 10 real recipes I have not made before.
What can I say? So far, so good!
Best thing so far - I have my own office!!
Next best thing - once I get trained on the databases, I will be BUSY!
Next best thing - my new supervisor seems easy to get along with so far
Next best thing - people seem happy for me to be there - very friendly so far
Next best thing - Flex time!! I worked an extra 15 minutes on Friday, so tomorrow I get to leave 15 minutes early. This Friday I'm going to my former supervisor's retirement party - and am able to use my two breaks plus work an extra 30 minutes - so I don't have to use vacation time.
I've taken the bus every day. So far the weather has only needed a light jacket, but I think that will change on Thursday. Brrr!
I made my deposit for the Ireland trip! I have u7ntil Dec 16 to make the first installment payment. I'm going to be looking into a credit card rewards for that. Maybe BOFA - $200 after spending $500 I think. Then maybe a second one with a bigger spend requirement / bonus for the remainder.
My DH has been sick this last weekend. I told him to stay home. That our budget would be fine next month if he misses a few days. He wouldn't do it. He wanted to know how we could afford it, if I'm bellyaching about finding $90 / month for parking downtown. Ugh! Not the same thing! Even after close to 4 years, I'm not sure he gets the whole budget thing.
He did finally agree to go to an urgent care place where he got antibiotics for his issue, and is now feeling better.
I really wish he had paid sick days.
Today was my last day at the bus company. So weird! Some people stopped by especially to say bye ... others not so much. Oh well. I got to say bye to those I really wanted to.
I *think* I left it to where the new supervisor and whoever is the new me will be able to be successful. The new supervisor has my email and permission to email me if needed.
Something seriously funny - I was on my afternoon break and had just finished my Lara bar when an important trick hit me that I hadn't told J. I ran to her office to tell her before I forgot ... C was in there and had JUST finished telling her the same thing! (Essentially the trick is how to forward calls to the answering service - esp. for route questions. At least until she gets more familiar with it all.)
I had a lot more at the office than I realized - took two trips to get it all out!
DH is going to drop me off tomorrow so I can take a box of stuff with me - which would be a bit impractical on the bus. I'm going to have to be much more organized ... no more leaving my purse or phone at home ... or waiting til morning to make my lunch or decide what to wear ...
DH asked me if the hassle was really worth saving $3/day ($90/mo parking garage) -- I asked him where exactly that $90 would come from? Date night? Vacation? Where?? With my last paycheck increase we are just now hitting our basic budget. (We had enough to cover the essentials before, but now we have enough to cover the essentials plus the basic funding level for sinking funds like pets, car repair, medical, etc.)
So .. the bus it is, plus DH willing to drop off once in a while.
The temperature has seemed to get better today, and the forecast looks decent (high of 40 tomorrow) so a good way to start my bus adventures. I ordered some high waisted silk long johns that should be here tomorrow.
I saw this on the YNAB forum and signed up for it - took a few days to get it, but I used it today and it worked!!
If you use Synthroid and have insurance, sign up at this link (synthroid . com before breakfast club) They'll send you a membership card which makes your Synthroid only $25!! (I've been paying $38 .. and it seems to be a little more every month.)
If you don't have insurance, I think there are other prescription savings cards you can sign up for. But this is the first I've seen for someone with insurance. (I take that back, my DH has a couple meds we were given a coupon for which lasted a year.)
This afternoon I received an email with my scheduled interview time. Monday at 1:15 p.m.!!!!
I really hadn't been expecting it to happen so quickly, but I am glad it is kind of ... pull the bandaid off ... hurts less?
Hopefully they'll move just as quickly with making their decision??
If I get it, in less than a month I could possibly have a completely new job! And be working on finding a replacement for me. (Too bad the woman doing light duty wouldn't want to do it, she does a great job. But makes a LOT more as a bus driver.)
I told my aunt about it, and she asked me if I had a cute outfit picked out. I told her I hadn't really figured that one out yet. She then offered to pay for one, so I could get something new.
With my weight gain this year, my options in my closet which would be appropriate for a higher level position interview ... well ... not much there. So, I took her up on it.
I stopped at Lane Bryant after work, because even though they are on the expensive side, I figured I had a better shot of finding *something* decent in my size quickly. (rather than the billards shot in the dark of going to other department stores or thrift stores ...)
I ended up getting a blue dress and a blue suit jacket. (I also bought this brown skirt I fell in love with, but the jacket which would have gone with it was $100 alone ... I did buy a turtleneck that looks really nice with it.) It was a buy one get one 50% off. Even so, I spent WAY too much money. (Especially considering I had just declared a moratorium on spending for two weeks. Of course, I hadn't expected the interview to happen so soon either!)
There is another job posting which is closing tomorrow - I need to finish my cover letter for it. Then I need to focus on figuring out answers to interview questions.
The lady at LB kept saying something about unbuttoning my jacket when I sat down. Is that customary?? I never did that before when interviewing. Although, I suppose it makes a better appearance when sitting, and then rebuttoning when standing up.
Hopefully I won't need a second interview (the position closing tomorrow) but the outfit I got today will work for that as well. Also will be a nice church outfit (with or without the jacket)
I am sad to have lost several months of blog posts. Although I haven't been that active here the past year or so, so not that many posts of mine lost.
On another forum I'm on, someone figured out a way to download posts. Once I'm past this interview stuff, I will see if I can find out what that was, and if it would work for a site like this. 15 years of blog posts would take a LONG time to copy and paste.
Just checking in. Not really too much to report. The most interesting? thing going on recently is all the flooding in my state (NE) and Iowa.
The immediate impact has only been felt as water restrictions - which were mandatory for two days, and then voluntary for 3 days. Seeing all the pictures of the animals who were stuck in the water or snow for days - their flesh eaten away at … All those homes and people's livelihoods GONE. So sad.
The longer term impact I think will be felt much further away than just the Midwest. I expect meat prices to go up, and probably wheat/corn too.
Being so close to so much devastation, and yet not really being affected by it, makes you wonder how that happens. How do people move forward after losing everything but their lives?
We work so hard to be financially smart. To work towards financial goals like retirement or being debt free or paying off a house … Yet all that work and effort could be gone in an instant through no fault of your own.
I was talking to my insurance person (the company that has our home insurance and auto is pulling out of NE) and she was telling me that the majority of the people don't have flood insurance. So FEMA is their only hope.
Then you see what is happening in Africa, and our flooding issues become insignificant.
In other news … I finished my second class - an A+ of course. I start my 3rd one in a few weeks - Business English. Not particularly looking forward to that - but a refresh of grammar probably won't hurt.
DH and I took a road trip to Des Moines plus 2 hours last Sunday. He wanted to attend a fish swap and buy a huge tub thing from some guy out in the country. We stopped at Bennigan's for dinner - so DH got his corned beef meal. That was a LONG ten hours of driving.
DH is really getting going on the fish thing - has been breeding like crazy. He has a contact at a local fish store that is buying some off of him. There's fish tanks all over the basement …
He's lost 70lbs since his heart attack (Oct) and just got his most recent bloodwork - cholesterol under 100!! Blood sugar was back in normal range. He's done it completely by just losing weight - not by eating healthier … just less.
A CD that paid 5% for 12 months came due this month. I had them put the money back into cash. I'll be moving it into our checking which pays 4%. (The renewal rate was something ridiculous - around 2%)
I haven't filed our taxes yet. In no hurry since we owe.
I got back to my highest weight … sigh.
Am trying a method espoused by a book titled Mini-habits for weight loss. I picked four super small habits which I religiously try to accomplish - 1. Do one (wall) pushup. 2. Walk/run/dance for one minute. 3. Eat one salad. 4. Fill water bottle and drink it all.
I also added two more mini-habits - 1. Clean something for one minute. 2. Open a French app.
About 9 days into it, and I only missed 100% on last Sunday with the marathon drive. Most days I'm doing way more than the minimum. It seems to be working - I'm back down 3 lbs and I'm getting things done at home.
Anyway, this is pretty long now. I will try to check in more often. I do read everyone's blogs, even if I'm not leaving many comments anymore.
I got my W2 today, as well as the last two tax forms from banks. I had entered in my stock sale info based off what I could find on Vanguard's site.
I had fully expected to not only not get the tax saver's credit this year, but to have to pay 3 or 4 thousand in taxes.
I guess this tax bill worked in our favor this year....
Not only do we not have to pay anything in, but it looks like a $554 Federal refund! I am flabbergasted.
The money I left sitting in the account to cover the taxes can now actually be put to use!
I'm going to test this on a couple other tax prep sites just to be sure …
One thing I'm not sure about. I paid for one class in 2018. I'm being reimbursed for it in 2019. Do I claim it on my 2018 taxes - because the reimbursement will be on my 2019 taxes?