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Oct 7, 2015 |


I May have Messed Up – Storm Prep

Last week, the governor declared a state of emergency and our pantry was EMPTY!  We had been eating through our pantry prior to our trip to see my parents, so it was pretty bare around here.  With the imminent arrival of Joaquin predicted and our empty cupboard…I may have overspent on groceries, spending our entire monthly budget in one fell swoop. (I did not spend the weekly amount allotted for fresh, organic milk delivery.)

I wanted to be prepared for the storm.  (They compared the predicted results to a storm here in the Fall of 2003 when we lost power and clean water for almost 2 weeks.) I stocked up on gallons of water, batteries for flashlights and canned/non-refrigerated food.

And I wanted to fill our cupboards for our regular meals. So I restocked the freezer with frozen meats and veggies, brought fresh fruit and sandwich makings.  I realize this was counter-productive if we had faced significant power outages, but with grills and cooler and ice, this has worked for us in the past.

The food overwhelmed our tiny space and our counter tops are covered in cans and boxes.  It looks like the olden days when we had plenty of room to store food.

We are very thankful that the storm did not come ashore here, and that we kept power for the most part during the 6 days of solid rain.  And we are truly enjoying having a bounty of food to choose from during our days to cook the family meals (we rotate through the week based on our ever changing activity schedules.)

But I’m doubtful that the groceries will last the month, especially the fresh fruit.  I guess only time will tell, but for the first time in some months I may go over on a grocery budget by a pretty penny.

On the flip side…got a call about a potential job which means I may bring in some extra money this month.  Woot, woot!

Oct 6, 2015 |


Oops… Again

Hey everyone and Happy Tuesday!

No debt update this week. Along with my post from last week (here ), I made another oops. Back in August, I began spreading my mortgage payment across the month on a weekly basis. I did this so that I wouldn’t have to make a single, large mortgage payment at the end of the month. It worked awesome in August and I was able to pay a little bit on my student loans every week, instead of having to skip weeks. Again, September was a 5 paycheck month and the 4th paycheck I received was going to go to nothing but my student loans. Since September would have also been a month which I made 5 weekly mortgage payments. My intent was to turn off the weekly payment schedule on my 4th paycheck, make my student loans payment, and turned the weekly mortgage payments back on to make the last payment of the month. When I did this, I didn’t realize Wells Fargo would immediately apply the 3 banked payments to my mortgage principle and leave me with a week to make my regular mortgage payment. Thankfully, I have the cash flow to do it, but it meant I made nearly 2 mortgage payments in September- money that I could have used to pay down my student loans a little faster. The good news is Sallie Mae 04 will be paid off next week! Then it will be on to Sallie Mae 01 (the big one) after a bit of a delay to refund my EF.

On a separate note, I’ve been looking into ways I can save a little money come spring time. We are planning on saving our garage sale until then, but I was thinking of using the proceeds of the sale and whatever money I need to make the difference to buy an electric bicycle. It would

make sense since the places I travel to most (95% of my travel is to work) are within 5 miles of our house, the perfect distance for this mode of transportation. I could just use my 10 speed, but, unfortunately, we don’t have any showers or lockers here at work to get changed after pedaling that much. The only thing stopping me at this point are the prices. Of the highly rated, road-style bikes, the prices ranged from $2,000 to $4,000. The one I really, really like, from Easy Motion, is listed at $3,000. I’d love to get one of these bikes in March or April, but I don’t think spending that kind of money would benefit me much until I’m debt free. If I spend $20 a week on gas (a generous amount), that amounts to only $480 of savings if I use it as my only mode of transportation and I get 6 months of use.

Have any of you paid more for something up front that you felt would save you money in the long run?

Debt balance update will occur on next week’s post.

Have a great week!!

Raising Awareness

It’s October. We all know what that means. Breast cancer awareness month, right? Pink everywhere!

Which is fantastic! We all know someone who has been affected by breast cancer.

But do you know what other “awareness” week is going on right now?

Frontotemporal degeneration awareness.

Frontotemporal degeneration.  Fronto (as in the frontal lobe), temporal (as in the temporal lobe) degeneration (as in…degenerating).

So, I guess the cat’s out of the bag. This is what my Dad’s got.

It’s a terrible, dehumanizing, crippling disease. It destroys the very essence of the human being.

Right now there is no cure. Unlike Alzheimer’s disease, there aren’t even any treatments to slow progression (just meds to help manage side-effects, such as OCD-type qualities or anti-psychotics to help assuage delusions/hallucinations).

I’m not going to pretend to be an expert. I’ve read plenty, but we’re still relatively new to the disease as a whole, so I’m not going to spout off a lot of statistics at you. You can read about it for yourself.

Initially I wasn’t even going to post anything. I’ve never revealed my Dad’s illness. But why suffer in silence? This dementia is the second most diagnosed dementia for people under the age of 60. And there is a serious lack of funding right now for it. Mainly because (I can’t help to think) no one has heard of it! What is it, even. What does it do?

In short? It wreaks havoc. It causes the person’s thoughts and behaviors to change. It will likely force the diagnosed individual into early retirement (or could precipitate an untimely termination). It robs the person of his or her very essence, changing fundamental personality traits.

Frontotemporal degeneration awareness week spans from October 4-11. As you are inundated with breast cancer awareness messages in social media, maybe take a moment to think about this lesser known disease that is every bit as crippling and debilitating. This disease for which there is no chemotherapy or radiation treatment. For which those diagnosed are rarely seen as heroic; no imagery of warriors “battling” the disease. Instead, most are ostracized. Their odd patterns of behavior cause people to cut social ties, forcing them into an increasingly withdrawn, sad, and lonely world.

Given the closeness to home, you can bet that this is going to become something very near to my heart. As we get out of debt, I’d love to be able to start donating to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration to raise awareness and provide funds for research. With any luck, one day we’ll have medications to help slow the progression of this wretched disease. Seeing the physical and mental anguish it causes is nothing short of heart-breaking. Research is needed. So spread the word.

Hugs to all!

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” (source)

Category: Payday loans

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