Friday, August 31, 2012

Prescripton drugs and their cost

One of the benefits of being a frugal person is that I am always looking for a cheaper costs on everything.  I rarely just accept that the price I am told is the final price. I've learned quite a bit about prescription pricing in the past year, especially in the past month.

You know those commercials you always see on TV for prescription medications? Well, I've always kind of noticed at the end where the manufacturer states "if you have trouble paying for your prescription.....etc.".  When my husband first went on Crestor for his cholesterol last year the price was $76. His insurance didn't cover brand name drugs.  This was the price for just 15 pills! He cuts them in half for 5 mg per day per dr.'s dosage for him.  I got online and looked up Crestor's website and found where I could get the first month free and then get a "Crestor savings card" where Crestor would pay up to $50 each month for a year. While over the past 10 months it's gone up to $82 in total, but I've been paying $32 per month.  I was very happy with a $600+ savings for a year!

Now add in his first try at treating Fibromyalgia with Cymbalta and I went to their website to see if they have something similar to what Crestor offers. I couldn't find anything but I noticed a link to the actual manufacturer and from there found a patient assistance link. There were a few plans offered, depending on your situation. Looking into the criteria it appeared we qualified for the free medication, based on our income and the fact that DH does not have prescription coverage. The doctor had given him samples to try, so at least we weren't out any money while he tried this medication out. It turned out not to work for him and then the doctor put him on Lyrica, which is manufactured by Pfizer.

Then I thought - who is the manufacturer for Crestor? Maybe we qualify under a similar plan with them. It was Astra Zeneca and yes, they basically offered the same plans. A family of 4, making less than $70,000 a year (it might have been $90,000) and no prescription coverage on Dh's insurance plan was the criteria. I had to fax in some documentation - my recent pay stub and last years tax return, along with some doctor info and the doctor had to fax in a prescription for it. Astra Zeneca was quite good about calling me and following up with what was still needed to process. I got a voicemail today that all was processed and the first month's medicine is on it's way in the mail! Free!

The Lyrica manufacturer, Pfizer, offers the same type of plan to cover the meds at no charge. I have all the paperwork filled out and ready to take with us to Dh's doctor's appointment next Friday. There is one page the doctor needs to fill out, along with sending an actual prescription for him. If it turns out that DH will stay on the Lyrica, this will save me SO MUCH money. This is a very expensive drug. So far I have filled a 2 week prescription to try it that cost me $96, then the doctor prescribed it for another full month - that cost me $204.  If he stays on it now, his dosage will be doubled, so I am anticipating a $400 per month cost. Ouch! Kind of hard to do on one income, that's for sure. I was really not sure how I was going to afford it.

Now that we easily qualified for the Crestor/Astra Zeneca meds at no charge, I'm sure they Lyrica/Pfizer will be just as easy and will be covered too.  I would never have dreamed we would qualify for free meds. I was just hoping for a discount.  It pays to check into things and not just accept that there aren't other options available.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Still working on the old home and other things

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.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to normal

DH's excitement and plan for eating healthier and losing weight lasted all of about 8 hours.  So, back to square one (though now I am $83 poorer and have a juicer taking up valuable counter space!). He liked the first juice I made. Hated the second one I tried, so lost interest - just like that. He also decided against the shake diet, at least until he gets his meds situation figured out.  I tried one of the shakes and totally felt like I had had caffeine (which I have an allergy to) for almost 24 hours! Not good.

I did get a $53 refund check in the mail from the lab my doctor sent my bloodwork to - a year ago! It was their error and they were supposed to pay it. I finally just paid the lab myself and sent the doctor's office a copy with a crabby letter. They ended up getting the lab to write off most of it and sent me a refund.

DS got another job interview today, but probably not something he will take if offered. It's almost 60 miles away and probably 2 hours each way in rush hour traffic. I'm not even sure why he applied for it, but, like I told him, at least he was picked out of all the resumes for an interview.  He was visiting a family friend later today and by chance another of his friends showed up. An engineer and big wig for a very large company and noticed DS was all dressed up so DS told him he had just been at a job interview. He has been sending DS links to job openings he thinks DS might be qualified for.

DD has worked 3 days at her new job and is liking it.  She is supposed to just work weekends, so I imagine will work next Monday, Labor Day, too. 

That's about all that is going on in my world lately.

Friday, August 24, 2012

A new day

The lightbulb seems to have gone off in DH's head as far as nutrition and his health is concerned! Quite some months ago I mentioned to him that he should try going on a VERY healthy diet for a couple of months and see if that helps his symptoms any. What could it hurt? His response was he's miserable enough as it is, he at least wanted to be able to eat food he likes (which is double cheeseburgers, fries, potato chips, pop, Hostess get the picture).

This past month or two he's put on a few more pounds and is now up to 220 (6'0" height). A couple we know (both quite a bit overweight) has been doing the Visalus shake diet and the wife is now selling the product (that's a whole story in itself). She posts quite often about it on Facebook and DH mentioned a couple of months ago maybe he should try it to lose some weight, especially since he can't excercise to burn calories. I kind of blew him off for a couple of reasons.  One the cost, another being I didn't see a plan for how to eat after you've lost the weight and don't want to drink shakes the rest of your life. He'd just gain it all back if he went back to eating his normal crap.

DH mentioned it again this week and even sent the friend a message about it. We have agreed to have them come over this evening and give DH (and me) a sample shake and discuss it. At this point I'm willing to try anything DH is, especially if it's healthier than what he eats now.  I'll find out more details tonight but it appears the cost of 2 shakes a day (replacing 2 meals a day) will cost $99 for a month - so $25/wk for 14 of his meals. If I'm not buying regular food and snacks to feed him, it will probably be a wash.  There is also a vitamin pack that seems to be recommended for those who suffer from fibromyalgia and the like. Not sure of the cost of that, but I'm sure a good dose of vitamins would be very beneficial to him.  The friend that is coming over to show us these shakes has been doing it since February and has always suffered terrible migraines and was always sick. She hasn't had a migraine now since February and is feeling so much better.

Another friend (why do they always listen to someone else BUT their spouse??!) has sent him a couple of links, the latest being about a juicing recipe. I decided to strike while he's gung-ho about all this and go purchase a juicer. I knew from talking with our friend who passed away from cancer and had to live on a liquid diet for his last few months, that buying a better one would be smarter than a cheap one. While I can't afford $200 + I did find one at Macy's that was regularly $140 and online was showing on sale for $99. I got to the store and even better, it was on sale for $83! Stopped at the grocery store and bought a bunch of fruit and veggies and came home and made our very first ever glass of juice (carrots, apples and a few grapes). It was very good!  A "confession" note here: I did charge it on my Macy's card. It is the only credit card I still have after the bankruptcy and I do try to use it on occasion, hoping it will help my credit score.  Also, I have been spending so much on prescriptions I didn't want to use more of my savings right now on the juicer - so now I have 30 days or so before I have to pay for it all.

Dh even took a "before" picture of his big 'ol gut and is excited to start eating healthier. I will join him, as the pounds have been creeping on me the past year or so and I'd like to lose 10 pounds (and I'm a terrible exerciser) and get rid of this little jelly roll that has formed and not have my pants be so tight.

Fruits and veggies are pretty expensive, I see. (not that I would have known, I never bought a whole bunch at one time before!) and I keep reading that of course, organic is best for juicing, so you are not juicing the chemicals/pesticides, so that brings the price up more. I might have to check into a Costco membership (do they even have organic produce?) to help bring the cost of bulk produce down.

I think one of the main benefits of all this is will be mentally. If he thinks it helping it's going to help him feel better and more positive.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Just waiting and waiting

I feel like we're all just hanging out here in limbo land...waiting for something to happen.  DH is waiting for the new medicine combination to start working, DS is waiting for a job offer so he can start working, DD is waiting to hear about her job interview....Me? I'm just waiting with them.

DH had an MRI yesterday that showed no irregularities, in fact, it was noted that he has less age related degeneration at his age then is often seen.  So, the fibromyalgia diagnosis will be sticking with him. He is currently on a medicine plan to gradually reduce (gradually, otherwise he'll have problems if he goes off it too fast) one medicine to a lower level and then double the Lyrica dosage and see how that helps. So, it will be several more weeks before we know if the increased dosage of Lyrica will help.

Over the weekend DS was told, by the guy he has been talking with about the job doing websites and computer repair, that he had an offer for him he thinks DS will like and wanted him to come in for another meeting on Monday, but didn't give him a time. He texted DS Monday morning and asked when he was free and DS said anytime. Then the guy must have gotten busy and he never called back. So, now it's Wednesday morning and DS still hasn't heard from him. He's getting pretty frustrated with it all to say the least.  He did manage to pick up another website job for an out of state friend that he was able to complete rather quickly, in just a few days, and there is an $800 check on it's way to him.

DD was told by the restaurant managers they'd make a decision mid week, so she is hoping for a call saying she got the hostess job. Grandma gave her $100 for some additional school clothes shopping and she's having a hard time spending it all! What a frugal kid she is! At least she found a pair of shoes she wanted and I won't have to buy them for her, as I had budgeted for at the end of this month.

Maybe between the 3 of them 1 of them will get some good news soon.

UPDATE: DD got the hostess job!! She starts on Friday :)

Friday, August 17, 2012


I've spent over $300 today on prescriptions.....please excuse me while I go throw up.......

Decisions Decisions

DS met with the potential employer Wednesday.  Some good news, some bad news.  Decisions need to be made on both sides. First off is the owner (who has one other full time employee and one part time) wants to pay as contract labor, with a 1099 at end of year instead of a W-2.  The downside of course, would be that DS would be paying his own taxes, he would be incurring more tax as he has to pay the full Social Security tax as a self employed person.  He would get to deduct some expenses on his tax return, such as his health and dental insurance premiums and half of the social security paid and I'd have him deduct his cell phone as a business expense. I'm still looking into his mileage, but that is a sticky area and I'm finding answers on both sides of the coin on that one. I'll consult a CPA, if DS decides to take the job.

I really emphasized to DS that paying his own taxes he would have to be VERY disciplined to set that money aside each paycheck so he can pay his quarterly tax estimate. On his own, I don't think he'd do too well on that, but still living here at home (which he plans for quite awhile) I would make sure it happened and hopefully get him into a routine of setting that money aside and not touching it.

I ran the numbers comparing a $40k a year job (that is the salary range of jobs DS has been applying for) as an employee compared to a $40k a year job as contract labor, with taking some of the expenses on his tax return. Basically he'd pay about $2000 more in taxes as a contract labor compared to an employee.  He'd also not have a benefit package and the employer would not be paying into unemployment.

The pro's are that since DS would be paid half of the website work done - there is the potential to make quite a bit more than the $40k a year, thereby making up for some of the cons. The company owner also stated that he treats his employees well and when he is making more than expected he gives out nice bonus's. Most recently giving his full time employee a gift worth $3000.  DS has already worked a few hours updating and sprucing up his company website and the guy paid him $200 for that and also gave him an extra $100 for spending afternoon with him and going on some service calls. DS really likes him and enjoyed the work he observed while going on the calls.

If website work is slow, then DS would help out in the computer repair side of the business, so sounds like enough to keep him busy 40 hours a week.  At this point, the owner is still trying to decide on an hourly rate for that work.  That is really the only hold up now, waiting to hear his decision on that and confirmation on the requirement that DS needs to at least make a base salary and not solely rely on website jobs coming in.

DS and I have discussed this at length the past 2 days. Finding a job, in this economy and with very little experience, has proven to be very hard.  I told him he should take this job and just see how it goes for 3-6 months.  He's really got nothing to lose and it could potentially turn out to be a very decent salary for him.  The company owner sounds like he has lots of great ideas to expand his business, the main one now being adding website design. He just put the word out at the beginning of this week and already has 2 jobs lined up worth $2,000 each.

On another good note:  DD had a job interview yesterday for the hostess job she applied for a couple of weeks ago. They will let her know next week. It was her very first interview ever and she was so nervous. She thought it went well and said the 2 managers interviewing her were very nice and asked her if she was nervous, since it was her first interview.  She said, yes, a little and they told her well, it doesn't show! Hopefully she will get the job.  She knows 2 of the other people that work there, so that is good references for her.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Doctor update

We saw DH's primary care physician this morning. What a difference in listening and explaining things to us compared with the pain management doctor we were seeing. We are back to having his PCP handle the pain management for fibromyalgia (as that is apparently what he has been diagnosed with now) and he is also referring him to have an MRI done of his lower back to see if there is anything specific causing the lower back/hip/leg pain he's been having so bad the past several months.  It was a much better visit than we've been having with the doctor we had started seeing for the pain management. He really took a lot of time with us today and listened and came up with a continued plan that he printed out for us (very helpful when you are trying to remember so much info). 

He will gradually reduce one of his medicines and gradually increase the Lyrica to see if a higher dosage is any help. He doesn't see the point of being on both medicines as they are basically supposed to do the same type of thing.  DH also got very swollen ankles last night - apparently a side effect of the Lyrica (as well as some weight gain already - as Patti warned about) but not serious and should go away as his body adjusts to the medicine in his system. His ankles were back to normal this morning.  I'm sure if I would have had to call that other doctor to ask about the swollen ankles it would have been another 5 days before they got back to me.

I am relieved his PCP has agreed to handle this for now rather than referring us to another pain specialist. He has always been good to respond to email messages and questions. He's always answered messages by the end of the day and just a short 2 mile drive to see him.  Still keeping my fingers crossed that DH will finally see some relief soon.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Doing the happy dance right now.  I got home from work and logged into my work email (I always work a bit when I get home at 4pm-ish, so I get my 8 hours in for the day). My boss had sent an email telling me she forgot to tell me today that she put my raise in...........$3766 more per year!! Woooo! I'll take it and am pleased with a 6% raise.

Now if DS can just find a job, I'll have even more money per month.  He should know more this week about the computer repair technician job. The company owner has been telling him he wants to hire him and wants it to be sooner rather than later.

What would you do?

I'm still upset that Dh's pain management doctor could not be bothered to return our "distress" calls.  I have made an appointment tomorrow with his regular primary care physician.  I want to discuss his pain management plan (trying to find something that works besides morphine) and what he, as a patient, should expect from a doctor in dealing with this. We are also going to ask that a scan be done on his back, as that is where most of his intense pain the past 6 months seems to be. It has been 9-10 year since he had an MRI done - who knows that there isn't something specific or separate from fibromyalgia causing his back pain?

He is supposed to have a follow up appointment (regarding the Lyrica) on Friday with the pain management doctor. I am seriously considering just cancelling it and forgetting about this doctor.  Either have his primary care physcian make the decision if he should up the Lyrica dosage (he's on a "starter" dosage) to the "therapeutic range" and then see for sure if it will help or not or have the primary care physician refer him to someone else in the area.  He didn't originally refer us to this pain management doctor - the university neurologist did.  Should I have Dh discontinue care with this pain managment doctor?  I'm hoping his regular doctor will give me some advice tomorrow.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Some deals I got today

I haven't been using coupons and finding good deals too often, but managed to find a few today:

Clairol Foam Haircolor - after sale price, coupons, and $5 Target gift card I got back = $2.50 each
Travel size Wet Ones - .22 each
Jamba Juice frozen packets $1.38 ea (tried these for Dd to eat with her wisdom teeth surgery - yummy!)
Gain dryer sheets (small pack) $.97
Stayfree pads .86
Carefree pads .44

I'm really happy to get the haircolor so cheap!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Wow - just wow...

It's a "wow" kind of day.  The first "wow" is I have had 2 phone calls into DH's pain management doctor for the last 2 days now. He has been in very bad pain since Wednesday. He got about 3 hours sleep Wednesday night and 5 hours last night. I called and left a message with the issue yesterday morning. The nurse finally called me back at 3:15pm - telling me the doctor had already left for the day, so she'd talk to him in the morning and get back to me. By 11:30 this morning, we still had not heard back on what he thinks Dh should I called again and had to leave a message.  Still no call back.  Unbelievable!  You have a patient who is in such bad pain they can't stand it and ignore it?  His family physician isn't in until Monday, so no option there, either.  I guess if it keeps up I'll just take him to ER - maybe there he'll finally get some scans of his body done.  It's been over 8 years since the last tests/scans and they keep telling us now that doing any more now isn't necessary.  He wasn't in pain 8-10 years ago - obviously something has changed.  Maybe what he's having right now is just something more specific - like a disc or pinched nerve. Who knows? I also did some more research into Lyrica side effects and for some it looks like it can cause muscle and joint pain (they ver thing we are trying to get rid of)

The 2nd "wow" is my new blinds for the living room came today. I just set them aside, until DH feels well enough to help me put them up. I just walked out into the living room and my kids are putting them up for me! Yay!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A new job prospect

DS has a lead on another job but sounds like won't really know for sure for maybe a few weeks. He had advertised his laptop for sale on craigslist (he's always changing what he uses for a computer!) and a guy called yesterday wanting to know if he'd trade for a desktop he has. They got to talking and he owns a small computer repair shop and is looking to hire another full time person (he has one full time and one part time person now) because he's expanding his office space and business. He had DS send him his resume.  He went down there this afternoon to look at the computer he wanted to trade and talk with him about the job. The owner didn't offer any details like pay and being such a small company I'm thinking he probably doesn't offer benefits.  He mentioned on the phone yesterday "well, I can't afford to pay someone $35 an hour...." so DS is thinking it still must be pretty decent pay per hour (not like the $12/hr at his last job), if he'd use that # as his "example" of what's too high.  He won't get into his bigger office area until Oct 1st, but said he'd want him start before that. DS also talked quite a bit with the other full time employee - his service manager - and thought that went really well, too.

At least it sounds like this guy hasn't really advertised for the position, so DS wouldn't be trying to compete with 300+ others.  They also got to talking and he saw on DS's resume he does websites so he's going to hire DS as a little side job to update his website. I'm thinking if DS does well on that, he'd probably hire him for the regular job.  We'll just have to wait and see, I guess!  So, back to keeping fingers crossed.

Old appliances

DD went to open the dishwasher last night and CRASH! - the door slammed down. It sounded like the whole door fell off, it was so loud.  I was just thinking the other day that, boy, this dishwasher sure has lasted a long time at 23 years.  The door is so heavy now!  I did some online research this morning and apparently it's just a $7 spring that needs to be replaced, so that plus shipping is better than having to get a new dishwasher.  I guess we could live with the heavy, broken door but it looks like an easy fix so DH will get to be a bit of a handy man once the part gets here.

Our refrigerator is seeing it's last days too, but I'm not replacing it until I absolutely have to....and I don't have enough to pay cash for one right now anyway. Close, but the medical bills have eaten up most of my EF fund (as anticipated).  The range was replaced a few years ago, so we are good on that piece of appliance. I went all summer without a range (stovetop worked) to save up cash for the range. We did lots of BBQ'ing that summer!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Let me out!

After a week off, I'm back to work, working from home today. Boy, am I ready to get out of the house and back up to the office tomorrow! Two people not feeling well in this house is more than enough. DD is on the mend from her wisdom teeth, but of course, still feeling a bit poopy.  DH is bouncing back and forth between good moods and bad, depending on his pain level.  He tends to get himself all riled up over issues, most that really have nothing to do with him or he has no control over, which I'm sure doesn't help his stress level (ie pain level) any. Or he tends to dwell on old issues and just not let go of them. I'm tired of listening to him complain about things he can't do anything about. I think I just need a day away from them all to recharge!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Last day of vacation

It's back to work tomorrow. A week off goes way too fast, as always. Dd had her wisdom teeth out yesterday and is doing as well as can be expected. She wasn't really "loopy" at all (like her brother was when he had his out) so we didn't get to laugh at her too much :)  The only funny thing she said on the way home (and she was just being her usual funny self), when she looked into the visor mirror, was "want to go do my school pictures now?!"  The surgeon's office was smart this time - they gave me the prescriptions to fill while they were doing the surgery, so I went and did that instead of sitting in the waiting room.  I was a bit nervous as to what they might all cost me now, since the insurance doesn't have generic coverage anymore starting this month, but for 4 prescriptions it all came to only $21.  Today I will just be here at home, making sure she is icing her jaws and rinsing out her mouth a bunch of times and taking her meds.

As I was typing this Ds just got an email that he did not get the job he interviewed for and really wanted - he is terribly disappointed. Especially as the family friend who works there seemed so sure he'd get it.  Damn!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Staycation Day 3

Day 3 was also supposed to be just a normal spending day (groceries) but we went to Dh's follow up doctor appointment and the doc decided to have him try Lyrica, instead of the Cymbalta (which wasn't helping at all). Unfortunately, he had no samples and wrote a 2 week prescription to try it.  $96 - thank you very much! Good grief. But, in looking at Lyrica's website we'd qualify for free or reduced meds based on our family income, so if the Lyrica works and he's to stay on it, I'll get all that paperwork filled out. If this doesn't work I don't know what else there is to try - the doctor didn't mention any other meds.

After the appointment Dh wanted to stop somewhere for lunch.  I can't remember the last time we went out to lunch together. It was kind of nice for a change, but there went another $25.

Ds had his big job interview yesterday. He thought it went really well, but of course, still waiting to hear on a final decision. No idea on what the pay would be, other than what I could find with some online research on this company. We're guessing in the $38,000 to $42,000 range for this position. Their benefits look good - 2 weeks vacation, 3 weeks after 5 years, 6 holidays and 5 "personal" days.  Pension and matching 401k. Full medical/dental/vision.

I don't have much on the agenda today. Still working on cleaning the floors (ugh!) and a visit to see my 94 yr old grandma later today.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Day 2

Day 2 of Staycation - I really had no plan to spend any money this day. Really, I didn't.  Dd and I decided to take a drive to walk through Ikea, just to walk around. I've only been once and it was years ago.  I thought Dd would enjoy spending an hour or two walking through looking at everything and I was right.  We were doing great just "window shopping" until we got to the desks....she's been wanting a new desk for her bedroom for quite some time. She has her brother's old desk, a small, piece of junk corner unit with very little actual desk space. We saw a nice looking desk that included a tall book case for only $75.  As we were getting ready to head out Dd says she wants to come back sometime soon and get the desk.  Well, it's a 40 minute drive so I said why don't we just get it now, then?  So, we wound our way back through the departments, using the shortcuts (that's a big store!) and got the desk # so we could find it out in the self-service warehouse.

LASSE Desk with bookcase IKEA Adjustable shelves; adjust according to need.

and I bought some small juice glasses for a whopping $1.49.  They also had some really cheap ($25) dark wood blinds like I have been wanting to put in my 3 living room windows, but they didn't carry my uncommon width of 29".  I've looked online before but couldn't find anything less than around $50 each. I looked on amazon when I got home and found some faux wood (works for me - I have this in my kitchen and really like them) blinds in size 29" and on sale half off for $19.98 each. I decided to use some of my money from my $20 envelope and get 3 of them. Before checking out I googled for a coupon code and found one for 15% off, saving me another $9.  I can't wait until they get here!  I think these will really make the living room look nice and match the dark wood of our tv cabinet.  One more home improvement out of the way.  Best of all, it's all paid with cash - no credit cards (not that I have any, anyway!). 

Faux Wood Plantation Blinds

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A spendy day

Vacation "staycation" day one, yesterday, was spendy! It started out with Dd and I heading to a larger mall in the next city over.  They have a few stores that our mall doesn't.  I had budgeted $200 for her.  Fortunately, she likes to get as much as she can for her $200.  We spent $167 on her clothes and she got 4 pair of jeans and 10 tops (still need some shoes).  We spent $7 on Starbucks to start the morning out and had lunch at Panera Bread for $14.  A little spendy, especially since I only had a half a sandwich and neither of us had anything to drink.  Plus we had to wait almost 25 minutes for our food to be brought.  It was good, but I wasn't that impressed.

I also found a pair of jeans for myself (much needed for work attire) for $20. I've always liked the JC Penney Arizona jeans. Good price and good fit on me. We walked around the "new" JCP and didn't find any. They only make them in juniors sizes now, so that's kind of a bummer. I also picked up Ds a pair of jeans there for $18.

Then we got a phone call from Dh.  Seems he's finally ready to start the landscape project that I have about $1200 set aside for. BUT, of course it's much more than that! - at least in the initial outlay. He talked to the neighbor (who actually caused this need for the retaining wall between our properties) and he said he'll pay for half. He just doesn't have it right now but will pay us back. I know he will be good for it.  I spent $1575 on 10 pallets of retaining blocks.  Neighbors share will be about $500, as half of the blocks will be used for a separate project out front. We decided just to get them all delivered now, so to only pay one delivery fee and we got a discount on the quantity.  Plus, I'll get $110 deposit back on the pallets after we return them.  The neighbor and his son will help install too, so we needed them delivered by tomorrow, so they can do it this weekend. Otherwise the neighbor will be out of town for awhile and won't be able to help out.  Once I get my $110 back and the $500 from the neighbor our cost will be $965. I'm so happy he said he would pay half.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Oh so close.....

I feel like the good changes to increase my monthly budget are sooo close I can almost reach out and touch them, but just can't quite get to them yet!  It's a combination of events, that if they all turn out well, could mean about an extra $500 per month.

Ds getting a full time job with benefits will mean at least $230 a month I won't be spending anymore for his health, dental and auto insurance. I'm not exactly sure how much I pay for him on my auto insurance - the detail breaks it down by car, not by driver, but my estimate is $100 for him and the car he drives. If he gets a job I will call the insurance company and find out exactly what it costs to have him and the car he drives on there. He will then start reimbursing me for it each month.  Our family friend who referred him for one of the jobs he phone interviewed with last week, is almost positive he will get the job! He has an in-person interview on Friday. He already heard a no on the other job he phone interviewed for. They said they got almost 400 resumes - crazy!

Me getting a raise soon....I'm estimating $200 a month.  I think this one is pretty much a given - just don't know exactly when yet, but soon, I'm sure.  Since I'll be off work for a week starting today, I guess I'll be waiting at least another week to find out.

Dd is applying for a part-time weekend hostess job today. Ds's girlfriend works there and told her there is an opening, so hopefully, since she comes referred, she will get the job!  That will save me about $70 a month in gas for her car. I will still pay her insurance, since she gets such awesome grades. I'm sure it will save me more, as she will use her money for clothes and other things, too.

I just want it all and I want it now!!