We continue to work on home improvement projects, though now that we spent our budget, it has to be things we can do that aren't costing much of anything at this point. Our old deck on the back half of the house is about 20 years or more old. Quite a large deck, but several of the boards are rotting and it just needs to be replaced. Dh tried advertising the wood for free on Craiglist some time back - take it apart and it's all yours. No bites. I suggested us taking it apart and then offering it. Well, by "us" I mean DS, with help from DD. I was at work the days they worked on it. Taking out all the nails or hammering down the ones sticking out took quite a bit of time to finish. But, as soon as DH advertised it all on Craigslist for $100 he got quite a few replies. Someone came and picked it all up today. Hopefully next spring or summer I will have enough saved up again to put in a stone or concrete patio. I think we'll grass some of the area and make a smaller patio - save some money, rather than making a patio that was as large as the deck was.
We also have a working dishwasher door now! I had to buy 2 cables that attach to the springs (one broke) and DS put it in in about 2 minutes. He's been learning to be quite the handyman lately, which is very helpful. DH is a terrible handyman - always has been.
I continue to nibble away at expenses and increase my income. So far:
Net, after taxes, salary increase of $280 per month
DS will start (again!) paying his auto insurance of $50 per month (he already pays his own gas and phone)
DD will now pay for her own gas - which during school months runs me about $75 per month and resume paying for half her cell phone, which is $15
I also stopped by DH's doctors office this morning for their assistance in completing the paperwork I need to submit to the pharmaceutical company that makes Crestor. They had sent me a letter that they were just needing an actual prescription from the doctor. The front desk person took the letter and said they would fax the prescription with the letter today - so hopefully that will be taken care of soon and I will save another $32 a month. I have been getting a $50 a month discount on this medication from a Crestor savings card, but that only lasts a year, so almost up. I didn't realize that the manufacturer offers it free to those who qualify! So, actually I'll end up saving about $82 a month once I lose my $50 discount. Once we know for sure if DH will stay on the Lyrica, I will apply for assistance with that manufacturer. That savings will be huge - so far for 1 month at his current dosage cost me $204. Starting Friday we will be doubling the dosage and then go back to the doctor a week later to see how it's working for him. It sounds like it will take a month for the paperwork to get processed, so I'll be out of pocket one more month - but it will probably be $400, since the dosage will be doubled. Ouch! In the meantime I just went online and applied and printed a pharmacy discount card that includes Lyrica - not sure how much of a discount but maybe it will help some for this next refill, until I get get approved for the plan that covers it in full.
All that extra income and reduced expenses adds up to $452 a month! Very nice! Once DS gets a job (will it ever happen?!) he will also reimburse me for his medical and dental insurance - $113 per month total. He wasn't too impressed with the guy that interviewed him on Monday. Thought he was a terrible interviewer and didn't even give any info about the position or ask DS if he had any questions about the job or company. Plus, with it being 60 miles away, I'm not too gung ho on it anyway. Though we did come up with a plan that DS could stay with a friend Mon-Thurs nights, who lives about 18 miles from that office. He's a single guy with a 3 bedroom home, who's uncle just lives with him. DS could pay rent to stay there during the week and come home for weekends.
He also has 2 more interviews lined up. One on Friday for a temporary 1 month job with the potential to be full time. Only about 20 miles away - if nothing else could give him some extra income for a month and sounds like he'd learn a lot more about web design. The other interview is next week with an agency that finds employees for IT type companies. Could be a good thing to get his resume in their system for other potential jobs, if the one he is interviewing for doesn't pan out.
Next week I am going to work on getting DH a new cell phone and pay as you go plan through T-Mobile, like DD and I have. I know it was a total pain getting them to switch DD's phone number from Verizon to T-Mobile (he absolutely wants to keep his phone number he's had forever) but will be worth it to save about $30 a month over what I have been paying for a cell phone he hardly even uses anymore.