This Was A Week For Stupid Tax

Apparently, DH and I are NOT paying attention to our financial matters. This can be a problem as you will soon find out when you hear about all the stupid tax fees we got hit with this week!

At the start of every work week, DH is given $60 in cash (his calculations, not mine). This is supposed to cover his gas and any little emergencies that might come up. Unfortunately, DH considers a little emergency buying himself a bottle of flavored seltzer each and every afternoon ($2) and an occasional candy bar (despite packing both candy & bottled water in his lunch box). DH says he works hard and he deserves these treats. Throw in a banana every once in a while at a buck a-piece for good luck.

On Friday, DH’s car ran out of gas. He just barely made it to the gas station only to find out their network was down and he couldn’t use his credit card. Why did DH want to use his credit card to buy gas after he had his allotted weekly sixty bucks to supposedly cover this expenditure? Because he had no cash! How could he when he’s spending about 33% of his alloted allowance on soda, candy bars and bananas? The gas station attendant told him their ATM machine was working if he needed cash to buy gas. DH called me first before using the ATM where I promptly scolded him for mishandling his money so improperly. DH’s solution was for me to give him more cash for the week. Really? I don’t think so.

Anyway, DH was stuck at that gas station because he let his gas tank go so low he couldn’t drive to another gas station or find one of our bank’s ATM machines. DH used the gas station’s ATM machine where he was immediately charged a $3 fee and our bank also charged another $3. SIX DOLLARS TO TAKE OUR OWN MONEY OUT OF THE BANK! I called our bank the next day to request a refund and they told me they eliminated that benefit a year ago. This was the first time in 16 years, since we first started banking with this bank, that I ever had to pay any ATM fees. The bank didn’t care about my loyalty or good behavior. DH and I were now out $6.00 because of his inability to manage his own life. Yes, things happen BUT when you are on a fixed income, things like this should be easy to avoid.

This wasn’t the end to bank fees, however. I needed a bank check this week as the down payment on our new RV. The bank charged me $10 for this privilege. WHAT? I usually got this service free because of all the total funds we have deposited in this bank. No more, said the clerk. “We stopped that two years ago“. That shows you how long it has been since I have used any of the bank services.

The next two faux pas are my fault. I usually pay all of the bills near the end of the month when I get my SS check. This month the check came in super late and I was NOT paying attention to all the due dates. I paid two bills one day late AND got charged $27 and $5 for these two stupid tax errors respectively. The first was on DH’s credit card, which he promptly called and got the money refunded (as it was his first offense) with no bad mark on his credit file. The second was to a utility company and no, they weren’t waving the fee. Too bad.

The total amount for this week of Stupid Tax came to $48! When you are on a fixed income, as DH and I try to be on, we can not be making mistakes like this. Forty-eight dollars is an awful lot of money. Almost half of a weekly grocery shopping spree. That would have meant buying less groceries for a week if we didn’t have a back up savings account. It was just pure carelessness on both of our parts. Now that I am aware of our joint stupidity, it’ll probably never happen again.

FullSizeRenderExcept that DH called me late yesterday, after work as he still was in the company parking lot. He needed gas again and he ran out of cash. (if I give him more cash he’ll just buy more stuff, so more cash is NOT the answer). This time I was better prepared and technically, so was he. He had enough gas in his car to shop around if need be. I had more money in our debit card account and I told him to fill up to $25.

Starting next week, his cash allowance will be reduced and he will use the debit card for gas.

I hope he enjoys his seltzer treats.

Live well and prosper, my friend.

Live well and prosper.

Is A Recession On Its Way?

expansions-1There’s no doubt that a recession is coming. After 8+ years of expansion, the third largest in US history, it’s only natural that our good times (?) will soon be ending. When we have bloggers, such as Mr. Money Mustache writing posts about an upcoming recession (Great News: There’s Another Recession Coming), then we all know for sure one is on its way!

Mr. Money Mustache has these words of wisdom:

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the US economy in recent years, you might notice that things are looking pretty darned rosy. Unemployment is at its lowest level in 40 years, wages are rising, and house prices have not only recovered from their fiery crash of 2009 – they have had several years of record breaking prices in most regions, just like the stock market.

It’s a lot easier to fix your problems right now, with a stiff economic tailwind at your back, than it will be in just a couple of short years (or less?) when the high seas and lighting bolts and whirlpools are ripping at your pockets. Fair weather preparations include:

  • Rake in your big paycheck while it lasts and don’t blow it on temporary luxuries
  • Keep your living footprint efficient – in expensive cities this is a great time to rent, and not a great time to spring for the sprawling home of your dreams on a big mortgage.
  • Eliminate any last shreds of consumer and student loan debt.
  • With the stock market at higher price-to-earnings ratio than usual, there is less harm in paying off your mortgage earlier, keeping six months of living expenses in cash or money market funds, and other non-stock investments like rental properties in low-cost cities (where reliable rent is over 1% of total property price per month).
  • Design your career and your self-employment side gigs so that they are resilient: multiple streams of income from different sources, and an easy answer for “What would I do if my job or industry ceased to exist?

My own rule of thumb, as crude as it may be is HGTV. During the 2008 Great Recession, which hosted the biggest collapse in the housing industry, I don’t know how that cable television station stayed in business. Its whole core operating system is based on the housing market. No housing, no tickee. Yet, somehow HGTV hung on and did more decorating shows than renovating. Have you recently spent a Saturday afternoon watching HGTV lately? Their entire lineup seems to be an endless supply of young, fresh-faced, eager couples, intent on buying as many fixxer-uppers as they can, renovate them back from the bone up and then flip the house for a neat, clean profit. Sound familiar? Yup, it’s 2008 all over again.

Two indicators of a recession are the housing market and the car sales market. To me, the housing market has slowly gotten out of control again (see above). Perhaps, unbeknownst to you, BUT a lot of people lately have been getting easy credit car loans and guess what? They’ve been defaulting. Sub-prime auto loans (just like the housing sub-prime loans) have been on the rise since 2015 AND in equally rising default numbers since 2015. Why have these red flags gone un-noticed?

Also, you can’t walk away from a car loan default like you can with a mortgage default. When you take out a loan to buy a car, somewhere in all those papers you signed is a clause that states if your car is repossessed, you are still personally responsible for the balance of the loan and all the interest and related fees that go with it. Those collections and wage garnishments can go on for years, long after your car is gone.

Ouch. Looks like this recession is going to hurt. Literally!

So, as Mr. Money Mustache (and I) ask: should you be worried? No, of course not says the Mister. After all: who cares about the price of gasoline, or affording cholesterol pills, or how to make the next truck payment, when you’re a wiry and muscular Mustachian, riding your swift and sensible bike a few miles to work and banking almost all of your enormous paycheck every two weeks? As for me, I don’t ride a bike nor have truck payments BUT I do worry about my cholesterol pills and the price of gasoline. I’m on a fixed income and I do live from Social Security paycheck to Social Security paycheck. And it’s not enormous. The best way for me to prepare for the upcoming recession is to make sure I am no longer  in debt, have ample savings in the bank and continue (no matter what) to live slightly below my means.

I know for sure a recession is coming. The only unknown is when. Statistics state it will be within the next two to three years. Personally, as the country’s luck will have it, it’ll probably be much sooner. In any event, I’m getting ready for it today. Paying down debt, reigning in spending, stockpiling as much cash as possible, de-cluttering and continuing to live small. That’s my key to a successful recession roller coaster ride. When you know it’s coming, it’ll be a lot more fun (if you consider recessions fun, that is) if you’re prepared.

Live well and prosper, my friend. Live well and prosper.



Aldi Is Turning Into Just Another American Rip-Off Food Store.

I did my regular weekly (I’ll use that term lightly and I’ll tell you why in a second) shopping at Aldi this morning. Have you noticed more and more products just aren’t on the shelves anymore? For instance: ready-made pie crusts. It’s been three weeks and still no pie crusts at my neighborhood Aldi. I specifically went into Aldi today (instead of Wednesday, my usual day) to buy dog food. The bag just doesn’t seem to last as long as it used to despite me feeding my doggie a bit less every day.

I was told they were out of the dog food because Aldi was having the packaging redone. That was an odd answer, don’t you think? Are they getting a new supplier? I asked. No, was the response. Just new packaging.

New packaging?

It wasn’t until I got home from shopping at Aldi did I understand what the term ‘new packaging’ meant. Take a look at the ‘new packaging’ large can of coffee I always buy at Aldi:


‘new packaging’ means 30 less cups of coffee for the same price of $5.29

I bought a new can of coffee at Aldi, paid the same price I have always been paying, $5.29 but when I went to pour some of the old remaining coffee grounds into the new can I made a startling discovery. The new can (on the left)was much smaller than the old can (on the right), contained 3 ounces less than the old can, which turns out to be 30 less cups of coffee than the old can! I started looking around at all of the other products I had been buying at Aldi and I noticed I had been shortchanged on many other items, such as cookies (9 biscotti instead of 10) dry goods (15 ounces instead of 16) pasta (12 ounces instead of 16) and so on and so on.

Aldi has now officially become like all the other rip-off grocery stores in America.

This was probably why I had to do my weekly shopping twice-a-week vs once-a-week and why my monthly food budget rose from $350 a month to almost $500!! DH and I kept running out of stuff long before 7 days have passed. These last two shopping weeks, I have been buying double of what we always eat (such as chocolate, bread, cereal, sliced turkey and block cheese) Even with the double shopping, there just never seemed to be enough food in the pantry. DH was always hungry.

I’m going to have to start looking at things more deeply now. I seem to be affected by a triple threat: buying twice, preparing more and eating less.  Hmmmm? In the interim, here’s what I’ve been doing lately to seemingly save some money on food:


I’ve been making my own refrigerator pickles


savings bits of leftover fruit in the freezer for smoothies



here’s a strawberry smoothie, with a bit of plain yogurt


marinated Greek chicken breasts (garlic, lemon juice, oregano, olive oil)

What To Expect In Your 60’s

th-1This month’s AARP magazine (click here) has a ‘surprising snapshot’ about what we all can expect in our 60’s regarding our health and wealth. Sure we have a few challenges along the way, but when you get right down to it, our 60’s can be a whole lotta fun. It’s the time when we have the money and the resources to do what we always wanted to do. We aren’t afraid to career-jump, travel, spend money, find our passion, balance and party-hearty (I’m guilty of that last one…….)

Did you know that we 60-year-olds spend about $90 a day? We lead the nation in workforce growth, have incredibly high credit scores, are less stressed out about money (after all, our mortgages are paid off) and we all look great as a result? We may party too hearty BUT we carry that partying into our bedrooms. We probably take daily multi-vitamins and we also get our annual exams thus keeping our blood pressure, sugar count and cancer screenings in check. We’re keeping up with the news, staying in contact thanks to social media, we know what matters most, we tend to be charitable and we live our faith. Amen to that!

In our 60’s we’re also very adventurous. Now is the time for us to see Zion National Park, take that cruise down the Danube River and finally for the first time ever, drive that fancy sports car! Over 40% of boomers have a travel wish list (guilty!) like to bask in the sun (guilty!) bathe in the sea (guilty!) enjoy bringing the family along but now, secretly plan on having fun at Disney with or without them (guilty as charged, baby!)

If you thought your 30’s, 40’s or even your 50’s were fun, you ain’t seen nothing yet. For me, turning and being in my 60’s was the chance to finally toss off all the negative feelings and emotional crap I had clinging to my mind and body (BTW, we ladies in our 60’s love, love, love yoga and meditation…..who knew?) I don’t give a rats ass what anyone has to say about me, mumble about me or spread rumors about me. This is MY time now and no one, including you, is going to ruin my almost last and final chance to live a good and fulfilling life. I’m having fun and enjoying my new-found freedom with my same-age wonderful new friends!

Your 60’s is also a time to give back to your community. I’ve teamed up with a long time friend of mine (46 years and counting) who for over twenty-five years has been working with women who are recovering from cancer. She helps fit women who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy and radiation with either custom-made or OTC wigs, hairpieces, scarves, hats and sometimes make-up to hide their scars. I’ve been working on her website and have been instrumental in her press releases and promotion. In the very near future, I hope to be accompanying her when she does a wig consultation. Her office or your home, she will meet the needs of these women and help them get through one of the most difficult times in their life.

Enjoy your sixties. Welcome them into your life. They are the gateway to your seventies and if all my summations are correct, our 70’s are going to be even brighter than our 60’s.

Live well and prosper, my friends. Live well and prosper.


Debt Snowball Report.

We started on May 30th, and to date so far we have paid off $4,746.98 of zero-based credit card debt. We plan on paying another $2,621.31 by the end of June. In the interim, we paid our HOA quarterly fee of $1226, got a certified bank check for $1,500 as our RV down payment and somehow managed to put an additional $1,650 into our savings account. WHEW!

Then we will be taking a break from paying down our debt for the first two weeks of July because we’ll be in Michigan picking up our new RV. On our way back we’ll be spending a few days at the Letchworth State Park in upstate New York (click here).


Letchworth is oftentimes referred to as  ‘The Grand Canyon’ of the east. DH and I have been looking forward to visiting the state park for some time. Now, with our RV, it will be possible.

Once we are back from vacation, we will be ‘attacking’ the last strand of old consumer debt in the amount of $5,729.60. We set up a six week plan of paying $955 a week (with a final adjustment on week #6). Once this final debt has been paid off, DH and I will have paid off approximately $13,097.89 in consumer debt (not including the HOA, RV down payment or savings).

Why are DH and I so gung-ho in paying off this zero-based consumer credit debt (after all, it’s at 0% and we have many more months to go)? We did it to make way for NEW consumer debt, in the guise of the RV loan, which will be slightly under $15K and spread out over 10 years. DH was fortunate to take on this high-paying project work purposely to pay off the old debt and make way for the new debt. Once DH complete this job, it will be his last. He will officially retire. He will probably sell his car (since we won’t need two cars anymore) and pay off the RV loan balance in full. Could we have waited? Should we have waited before we bought the RV? In retrospect……..NO…….life begins today. Especially when you are in your sixties and life is ebbing away. Let the young work, toil and save. We sixty-somethings have a time limit.

Once DH officially retires at the end of August, come September DH, the dog and I will pack up our RV and start touring America.

Go west, old man. Go west.

And so we shall.


There are over three separate falls at Letchworth.

Want It All? Think Small.

thThe only way, I have been able to afford it “all” is by thinking and buying small. I’m not saying ‘tiny’ but I am saying small. By owning a small house, small car, small vacation home, small boat, small RV and by living small, I’ve been able to have everything I wanted. I know my way of reasoning has been contrary to the usual mode of thinking but over the decades, my living small has worked out perfectly for me. By reducing the size of almost everything, I’ve been able to have more, enjoy more and afford more.

My homes have never been more than a few square feet over 1000. Smaller homes mean smaller: cleaning expenses, maintenance costs, living expenses, furniture requirements and utility costs. Space is a premium, so you are compelled to only buy and store what you need. Nothing more. Nothing less.

The only thing that is big in my life is my bank account. By living the smallish lifestyle I can save more money and build up more wealth. I have found over the years that living with less has actually made me happier. I detest clutter, so nothing gives me greater joy than living in an environment that is affordable, cleanable, maintainable and within budget. I don’t buy anything other than what’s necessary for me and DH. I don’t envision parties or guests or family members nor do I make room for their infrequent visits. That’s what backyards or the local neighborhood diner is for.

I was given a gift in my lifetime. There was a period in my life when I was able to clearly see what was most important in my life. That’s when the stock market crashed in 2001 and almost everything I owned was either gone or taken away. I was living large and over leveraged.  My lifestyle was technically ‘rented’. It didn’t take long for me to default on my responsibilities, have my savings and checking accounts seized, my car repossessed. It was through the grace of God that I sold my home one day before it went into foreclosure. The equity I made on the sale got me out of all my troubles BUT not without teaching me a very valuable lesson. Every night, before I fell asleep, I would say this prayer I composed, to God:

Thank you God for my comfy bed

And the roof above my head

Every day a hot shower and three meals I’m fed

Thank you, Lord for this homestead 

If you have a comfortable bed to sleep in every night, a safe environment to live in, access to hot water and ample nutritious food, you my dear friend, are living large. Very large indeed. Learn what is most important in your life and live smaller.

Manage with less. Do without.

Live small and you can have it all.

I Feel Terrific! Best In Years.

It took my cardiologist a bit of time and experimentation to finally get my meds in balance (in the beginning statins and other drugs he prescribed were making me sick, nauseous, weak and depressed) BUT I am happy to report that these last three weeks, I have felt terrific. With no end in sight! I got my nighttime sleeping habit (or lack thereof) under control and I am actually going to sleep at night at a decent hour (around midnight, a BIG improvement from 3AM!) and waking up in the morning at a reasonable hour: 5AM (instead of noon!) I’m breathing much better at night, thanks to ‘Breathe Right’ nose strips (I have a deviated septum).

My whole body seems to be functioning much better and clearer. I guess my arteries are running smoother, my heart must be beating better and everything feels like it’s doing what it was supposed to do all along. But, I must say that the Number One thing that is gone from my life, which, if you have been following my blog, was a BIG Hindrance Factor (BHF), is gone! And that BHF was stress! I finally chucked it to whatever was irking me and said to hell with it all! Once I put that stress out of my life, the rest just fell in to place.

I’m feeling terrific now. I’m feeling positive and I actually am happy when I wake up in the morning. No more dread. No more fear. I’m not afraid of anything anymore. I’m losing weight. I’m more mindful of the food I have been eating currently (or wrongly eating in the past) and have made many positive changes to my lifestyle. DH and I got rid of so much clutter that I am even more certain that living in a clutter-free zone helps my mental status tremendously. My home runs now like a fine tuned engine. Everything has a purpose and a place. If it doesn’t, it’s tossed into the garbage. No regrets. I am absolutely peaceful just sitting in my comfy chair, on my back yard deck staring off into the tree tops just so happy to be alive AND to feeling so, so good.

Have you ever known me to be so happy and content? I don’t complain about anything anymore. And NO! my doctor hasn’t put me on mood swinging drugs. Just a statin to help lower my cholesterol, which has been making my blood flow more freely, thus nourishing my brain. The other drug I take helps prevent heart attacks.

I guess it takes a while to find the right doctor, who understands you and takes the time to prescribe the right medicines that are right for you. I also realize that this point in my life, may be my last hurrah, so I had better make the best of it.


My sister and I both just recently got this book: :1,000 Places To See In The US & Canada Before You Die. I rented mine from the library but will be buying a used copy as soon as my library rental is up. My sister has already started her travel journey and is determined to see as much of the world as she can. DH and I are a little bit behind her BUT we should be off in our RV seeing as much of the US and Canada as possible, within the next two months. Our main goal is to travel together in the future. We’re all eying a cross country trek to Alaska! That’s going to be super fun!

Another one of our mutual friends has been eying an Airstream RV Bambi model, and will probably join us on our travels to Alaska. The more the merrier!

Live well my friend and prosper. Take care of your health. Downsize and de-clutter. Pay no attention to the negative, toxic people you may meet on your journey. Toss them aside and just concentrate on yourself. Because in the end, you’re going to be ALL you have.

All Hands On Deck.

old deck

I think this photo of my deck says it all.

What do you do when you have a perfectly good deck, sturdy, well built etc BUT it looks like crap? Thankfully Home Depot has this great product called Behr DeckOver (click here) that if applied properly, makes your worn out deck look almost brand new.

deck overAt only $35 a gallon (we needed two for our 15 X 12 deck) Home Depot had a sale two weeks ago for $10 off per gallon, as per mail in (or online) rebate. Needless to say, we took advantage of the sale. We also purchased two containers of deck cleaner. DH power washed the deck, which took a few hours. We let the deck dry in the sun for a few days. Our carpenter friend did the rest of the work which was to sand down the deck, re-secure the nails, and apply two coats of the Behr paint. The sales clerk told me to select a light color otherwise my bare feet would burn on the hot (literally) color. I selected rose beige which turned out a bit too pink for my taste. It is a backyard deck, after all!

Nonetheless, the newly painted deck came out spectacular (when you compare it to the before photo). I’m going to put down a tan/brownish indoor/outdoor carpet, a few potted plants and voila, my back deck transformation will be complete.

new deck

Finished deck. What do you think? Better?

When Your Peers Start To Die

tom's death

One of our photography members has passed away

One of the saddest things you are going to encounter in retirement will be the announcements of the deaths of your peers. Try as you might to avoid hearing such bad news, you won’t be able to escape it. This may sound cruel but the only way I have been able to deal with the many death announcements I have been encountering lately is to follow the old army rule. That is, if your buddy next to you has been shot or injured, just keep your eyes focused straight ahead and keep on moving. There’s nothing you can do about your injured comrade. You have to concentrate on preserving your own life stream. And that is precisely what I do. I concentrate on myself and try to make it through yet another day. This is NOT to say the death of a peer, loved one or friend hasn’t affected me. It has. I have my own inner demons to slay each and every day. I can fall prey to depression at the drop of a hat. And when that happens to me, I oftentimes wish for my own death. It takes an effort for me to snap out of this malaise but I do it because I am aware of it. For others, it may not be as easy.

I start my day with the bluetooth transmission of upbeat (soft rock) music. I don’t think there will ever be a day when music is NOT being echoed throughout my home. I have found that I can not be sad while I’m humming upbeat songs from either Elton John or Neil Diamond. Once I’ve finished my coffee and read my emails, I have a daily systematic routine that I MUST follow. On the days where my mind is a vast ocean of chaos and confusion, I have that daily routine to get me back together again and centered.

There’s no doubt that living life is hard for almost all of us. We’ve all had our shares of horror stories. My life has been no exception. I don’t know exactly what motivates me off the imaginary bridge when I contemplate plunging to my death and instead, get up out of my bed each and every morning to happily face yet another day…..but I do it! And I really don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I like my life too much. I do have fun! Sure I may not have a friend in the world right now and my kids wish I would just go away, but I don’t need them to make my life complete. I have myself AND my spiritual belief that God is my friend and the only friend who will never fail nor desert me. I suppose when you know you have HIM, and that you and He can face the world’s challenges together, everything else will be fine.

Unfortunately, I don’t believe in life after death. I think that this is it. Jesus promises us a life after death but I have a hard time believing and accepting that divine principle. So, make the best of it. Live each day to its fullest. Take risks. Make a fool out of yourself if necessary. Try new things. There is no such thing as failure. It doesn’t matter one iota what other people think of you or what names they call you because in the end, no one will know nor remember. Unless you have discovered the cure for the common cold, most of us just pass through this life in the blink of an eye. I hate to break this to you BUT our lives really don’t matter much to anyone other than ourselves. And God.

I’m not sad that Tom has died. I celebrate his life. Not his death at 74. He was living a great, well deserved life in his retirement years. Tom served his country honorably in the Navy, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during an extremely contentious time in American history.  Some of his hobbies included car racing, fishing, golfing, photography, traveling, scuba diving and skiing. How fortunate and lucky he was to have gone and experienced Africa. I bet he took some beautiful photographs that hopefully his wife will share with all of us at the club. I don’t mind my own life being as lonely as it is because I know in the end, just like Paula (Tom’s wife) will quickly find out, in the end, we are all we will have.

My eyes are focused straight ahead. God has given ME more days to live and I’m not going to waste a single second.

Live well and prosper, my friend. Live well and prosper.

This Is What Keeps Me Wealthy

DH and I are on a two month journey to pay off $11,357.61 in credit card debt (at zero interest). DH took on a job as a project manager for 2 to 3 months with the intention that 90% of his take home salary is to be applied to this debt. We started the pay down by withdrawing $2500 first out of our savings to immediately pay off the airline credit cards before interest was charged. Most of this total debt was to pay for newish furniture for our recently purchased Florida condo AND for repairs and remodeling projects to make our primary New York home sale-ready.

June and July have a total of 9 weeks. Once I made the initial payment of $2,500, each and every week since then I’ve been paying $1,000 towards our debt. I started with the smallest debt first and every week I pay down the next debt in order. The last debt to pay off is a whopper at $5,719.90. But every pay-day, like clockwork, the debt is being paid off in $1,000 weekly increments till eventually it’s all gone.

Now, I know most people can’t pay off their debt as DH and I have been doing. They need their income to live day-to-day. Oftentimes, it will take an average person many months, perhaps years to pay down their debt. DH and I live a very basic life on $1500 a month which is fully covered by our passive income. That’s why and how we can use his weekly take-home pay to quickly pay off these debts.

But, I have to say one thing: paying off debt is hard! Granted yes, I have it a whole lot easier than most people BUT nonetheless, paying off your debt is hard work! You have to sacrifice, you have to be determined and as Dave Ramsey put it, you have to be gazelle-like in getting rid of your debt. Even if it is at zero percent! DH and I have stopped all expenditures. We’ve stopped going out. I’ve been cooking 3 meals a day 7 times a week (I’m exhausted). ALL our energy and resources have been re-directed to pay off this debt. Which makes the logical conclusion: why go into debt in the first place?

First off, the debt alloted us to furnish our new condo quickly. DH refused to transport our 11-year-old furniture from NY to Florida for a $3,500 moving fee. He said we could equally use that $3,500 to buy newish (consignment store) furniture. WRONG! It cost us $8,500. That was a big fail and a huge miscalculation. Second, because DH is currently working, we had to hire a contractor to do DH’s work PLUS mow the lawn. Ka-ching! Dual edged financial sword. So, sometimes debt in your life has a good purpose. Now, however, it’s time to pay it back.

In a way, I’m glad it’s been a bit difficult paying back our debt. It’s a lesson to be learned, a pain to be felt thus keeping oneself out of debt for the near and distant future. In the interim, I am continuing to be a frugal and as cost-effective as possible. This week I did extremely well in the budget department. A local supermarket was having a meat and poultry sale: buy one, get one free. Their chicken didn’t look great BUT their steaks, pork chops and sausages looked divine PLUS when combined with the buy one/get one sale, when I did the calculations, I was getting the meat at a very fair price. I bought $66.51 worth of meat BUT paid only $37.03 after discount. That’s a savings of $29.48!

Also, my doctor has prescribed a new statin to help keep my cholesterol in check. The last one made me nauseous. The last one had a value of $32 but with my Humana Part D Medicare supplement insurance, my cost was only $4. This new drug, however, has a whopping cost of $226.56 per month! but with my Humana insurance my cost is only $11.50. That’s a savings of $215.06 per month or/and $2,580.72 over the year! (since I need these meds monthly) NOW my medical insurance is starting to pay off since my Humana monthly insurance cost is only $17. That seventeen dollars is turning out to have been a very wise investment on my part.

Lastly, I grabbed a bag of my regular dog food at Aldi this past week BUT when I got home, the bag was really cat food! I swear, the two bags looked identical! Anyway, my dog was starving so I fed her the cat food regardless. (she liked it!) I immediately brought the bag back to Aldi, got a $6.47 refund AND a bag of real dog food for free! Their mistake. Not mine. The two items should not have been co-mingled together on the same self.

And that’s what keeps the money in my pocket and DH and I wealthy.