Monday, January 27, 2014

How the heck did we cut our expenses?

I know so many bloggers that track their spending.....all their spending. I track SOME of our spending but not to the level that a lot do. I really only track spending for 3 main categories as I feel they are the ones that we can change if needed. They are Groceries, which includes all HBA/cleaning/pet supplies; gas for the cars; and cigarettes for Hubby. Yes, he still smokes, but he has cut back.

I was not really that excited to compare 2013 totals to 2012 totals, assuming that since a lot of prices have gone up that our spending did, too. I was WRONG! I love saying that in this instance!

Our expenditures went down! In 2012 the total for those 3 categories was $9,141.56. Total in 2013 - $7,872.48. $1,269.07 LESS! An almost 14% decrease. I am pretty impressed with us! Even if I missed a entry or two..which I am pretty sure I didn't, our spending still went down about $100/month.

We also paid off a car loan 5 months early and just let that $300 payment go into the credit union account, giving us a nice little fund. I intend to leave that money and let the auto deposits continue to be added to that account so that when it is time to buy a new car for Hubby....some day.....we will have a hefty cash amount toward the purchase. It should be hefty as he plans to drive his car until it won't go anymore and it IS a Honda. LOL!

Our medical expenses went up a LOT, but I am not even going to compare them. So, despite the fact that we may get hit by another Winter storm tomorrow, today is a GOOD day!

Monday, January 20, 2014

They did not make me look $136 better!

Have you missed me? I know I have not been too busy to update, but it feels like it most days. I have been working about 9 1/2 hour days at work plus 2 hour round trip commute and by the time I get home, all I feel like doing is vegging out. You would think that I would be catching up after 4 1/2 months of working extra hours, but the work just keeps piling up. Oh, well, at least I am being paid well for it.

On other fronts, I had my cataract evaluation last week and though I CAN have it done now, I am choosing not to. The cataract in my left eye is JUST too the point that insurance will cover removing it. And insurance would cover the one in my right eye even though it is really small. Neither are imparing my vision, so I have decided not to do it now. Especially after I found out how much my part of the cost would be. The least expensive route would run me around $1000, though I could only be given doctor's rate and not the facility's. So, it could have run more. Of course, the adviser tried to really upsell....the "better" procedure would cost me about $4000. That would be to treat my cataracts and my astigmatism. astigmatism has NEVER been treated before. Every eye doctor has told me that I am so near sighted that the astigmatism isn't even a consideration.

Of course, the "best" option would be to have my astigmatism treated and have multifocul lenses implanted so I would never have to wear glasses. For the amazing price of only around $6000. Yeah, I can get a lifetime of glasses for a lot less than that. So, no thanks. And though everyone kept talking about "getting you out of glasses", they failed to understand that I don't mind wearing glasses. I have worn them since I was seven. I just don't mind them a bit. (I did wear contacts for quite a few years, but still wore glasses some.)

So I decided to just order some new glasses. Hubby and I went Saturday to order them as I wanted him to help me pick them out, since it is hard for me to see them. LOL! I did take digital pics of myself to see what they looked like, but still wanted his opinion.

We finally settled on a pair and got all the measurements taken and they guy brought over what my cost would be after insurance. $509!!! What!!!!!! I have never paid more than $200 for a pair as we have had really good vision insurance for years. He started breaking it down the cost and I happened to pick up the frame and look at the price. $349!!! I had never even SEEN a pair that expensive in this store.

You all know how cost conscious I am, but it is so hard for me to find glasses frames that I like that I usually don't even worry about price on the frames. Our insurance covers $160 of it, so I don't mind if I pay some over to find what I like. But I learned my lesson and I will never not look at the prices again. Fortunately, before we settled on that pair, we had settled on another pair that I liked okay. Hubby liked them very much. I guess I was being finicky. So I settled on the original pair we had picked out and the price came to $373. I was still a little shocked, but found out that my insurance no longer covers the full cost of my progressive lenses which it used to. Plus it used to cover transition lenses and doesn't any longer. I still got discounts on those and I did not want to switch to lined bifocals, so I sucked it up.

Could we afford the $509? Yes, we could have. But Hubby and I agreed that those glassed did NOT make me look $136 better than the ones I ended up ordering. If they had, I would have gotten them.

In other news, I recovered from my most recent illness which really sucked. I was out of it for quite a bit. On the down side, the steroids did nothing for my knees this time. Ugh! And it seems like the shot I got only 2 months ago is wearing off. I hope it is just that I was using some generic Osteo Biflex for a while that is the problem. I got back on the real stuff and am hoping to be able to walk pain free soon. If not, I will go back to the doc for better drugs.

Happy Monday, All!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Back to the land of the living.

I have spent the last 4 days totally vegging out. I did have to take care of myself, as Hubby went camping this weekend. But that is okay as I feel less guilty about doing nothing when he is not here. I don't know why, as he does not care a bit if I just sit around.

And I pretty much just sat around. Though I have cleaned up after myself and made sure the cats had food and water daily.

I feel much better today, which means I will be back at work tomorrow. Oh, lucky me.

Glad to be back in the land of the living.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Being sick is not a good way to spend a day off.

I was thinking that this week would be rough as it would be my first full week at work since before Thanksgiving. I know how to arrange my days off in December. :-)

My allergies have been driving me crazy this week, but they do that sometimes, so I wasn't too worried. Despite the fact that there are sick people EVERYWHERE.

Well, a couple nights ago I woke up with an irritated throat. I drank some cold medicine and went back to sleep. I went to work yesterday and though my throat was a bit irritated, I figured it was just from sinus drainage.

Last night, I drank cold medicine before going to bed and still woke up with my throat, though this time it was more than irritated. It HURT. I felt like this this morning...

So, I called in sick and called my doctor's office. They told me to come at 11:00. It is a good thing I went. I have beginning stages of a sinus infection, upper respiratory infection, swollen tonsils and possible strep. She didn't swab for strep as she said it looked like it might be and we were catching it early if it is and said the antibiotic she was giving me would kill it if that is what it was. I also am on steroids as well.

I spent most of the afternoon and evening sleeping or sitting in our recliner. If I don't feel a LOT better in the morning, this is where I will spend tomorrow as well. I can't blame anyone for this as I haven't been around any obviously sick people. And I don't want to be the one people blame their illness on.