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Archive for March, 2020

March Saving/Spending

March 29th, 2020 at 02:07 pm

Posting a little early but everything is paid for the month, and I won't be going out.

Total Spending: $1432.24
Total Savings: $7300.00 (includes a tax refund)
Additional Income: Swagbucks earnings: $104.75 (odd amount due to a $4.75 payout from a reoccurring panel survey)

Fixed Expenses:
Verizon bundle (internet, cable, home phone): 159.16
Cell phone: 61.33
HVAC and water heater contract: 27.95
Condo Fee (includes water) 190.00

Utilities: 83.92
Gasoline: 26.01
Groceries: 386.90 (stocked up)
Health:40.02 (scripts refills, vitamins and personal health care items)
Dining Out: 61.56
Shopping and Entertainment: 95.39
Hair: 130.00 (cut, color, style, tip)
Tax prep fee: 95.00
AAA yearly renewal: 75.00

* Condo is paid in full
* Car is paid in full (2017 Camry)
* No other debt

*The grocery category was way high due to stocking up. April will be much lower!

*Dining out occurred very early in the month.

*Shopping included purchasing a new air circulator (Vornado floor fan). My old one that I know I had for probably ten years finally died. I got a larger size this time and using this in the summer really cools well, so I don’t need the central AC as much.

*I had my taxes done by my CPA friend and received a $3800 refund. This is why my savings was so high this month.

*I’m glad I had my hair done because this won’t be happening again for a while!

Keeping busy

March 25th, 2020 at 04:31 pm

The Governor of Maryland just extended school closures (k-12) through April 26th. I’m pretty impressed with his handling of this pandemic in my state so far. He is proactive, calm, helpful, level-headed, and doesn’t get sucked into political drama and the blame game. It’s interesting that we have a Republican Governor in a historically democratic state. My college is closed this week for spring break, and as far as I know I will continue to work from home starting Monday.

On Monday I went to the grocery store. It was raining, and I went very early right after stores opened hoping for no crowds. It was a good strategy, with only a handful of shoppers and only one person in line in front of me at check out. I was happy to see a good selection of fresh fruit and veggies which I was completely out of. While there, I stocked up on chicken, ground meat, milk and eggs (there was a 2 per item limit on each of these) and other items. I’m good for at least a month, and I could easily stretch it out much farther if I need to. My goal is to stay home and out of the stores. I only need to go out to walk, get my mail, and take out the trash.

Each day this week I have tackled a particular chore. Monday was grocery shopping and I cleaned out and organized my fridge, freezer and pantry. Yesterday, I stripped the bed, turned the mattress, washed the mattress pad, blankets, sheets and pillow cases. Today I am deep cleaning the master bathroom. Tomorrow I will deep clean the guest bathroom, and Friday I plan to start on the living room. I like to keep busy as I do much better with a structured routine.

I miss getting together with my friends and family, but we call and text frequently. Everyone is trying to do their part by staying home as much as possible.
Please take good care of yourselves, and don’t forget to check on elderly and/or disabled family, friends, and neighbors if you are able.

Update from Maryland

March 15th, 2020 at 01:15 pm

The Governor of Maryland was one of the first in the country to shut down public schools across the state. Many people thought he was overreacting at the time. Not so much now. Many college systems soon followed, with classes cancelled or entirely moved to on-line delivery. My employer (a very large community college) is allowing most of us to work from home through the end of March, which is what I will be doing starting Tuesday. I have to go in tomorrow to collect some materials that I will need and pick up a college laptop. They will reevaluate things in 2 weeks. Public libraries, churches and some government agencies are all closed.

I went out before work last week on Thursday morning to do my grocery shopping. It was a good time to go. Few people were there that early. I stocked up on what I needed for 2 weeks. The only thing I needed that they were out of were eggs. I will stop in later this week to see if they have any.

Because I already have a stockpile of toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning products, toiletries etc. that I have been building up over the past year (to prepare for retirement) I didn’t need to purchase any of those items. My friends who used to poke fun at me for couponing and having a stockpile (in a friendly way) are now wishing they had done a bit of that preparation too! I will of course share with my friends and family if they need anything.

I’ve been seeing lots of posts on social media from people in my area with pictures of long lines to get into the local Costco, Walmart’s and some grocery stores. Shelves have been wiped cleaned of bread, milk, cleaning products, TP, meats, and fresh fruit and veggies. Some stores have shortened their hours of operation somewhat so they can clean and restock.

I made a big pot of chicken soup yesterday, and today I’ll be making chicken salad. I still have some chili in the freezer. I’m sure I can easily stretch my food out for a good month if that were necessary, and although I prefer fresh fruit and veggies, I picked up some frozen ones to tide me over if need be. So, I feel like I am in good shape to stay home and ride this thing out. I am “older” (almost 60) and had a pretty bad case of pneumonia last year that was really hard for me to heal from so I don’t want to take any unnecessary chances.
I hope everyone stays safe and healthy!

Today was the day!

March 5th, 2020 at 11:43 pm

I woke up this morning in a great mood! I slept well, felt rested and was even singing in the shower getting ready for work. I stopped and treated myself to an iced coffee on the way in and had some early morning laughs with coworkers. Then I decided that today was the day I was going to give my boss my official notice that I am retiring, and May 1st will be my last day. I have been holding off because she has been out on medical leave, and wanted to wait until she came back, but she keeps delaying her return, although she has e-mailed us that she is feeling better and "will be returning soon". She encouraged us to e-mail or call her with anything important. So, I did just that and now it is all official! I had already met with HR, and filled out and turned in all of my paperwork. All that was left was to notify my boss.

So today was the day! I think I took that great mood as a sign. I sang in the car all the way home!