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Archive for September, 2017

New Workout Schedule

September 25th, 2017 at 12:13 pm

DH and I have won every round of our dietbet so far. The one we're in doesn't seem to have as much participation. We've more than doubled our money in almost every round, and we're not even to the big money.

Lately, I've been cutting it very close, so this month I'm trying to get ahead of things. DH has a Planet Fitness membership. When he had all of that out of town work, we upgraded him to the Black card. He's now able to use any Planet Fitness, has access to the hydromassage equipment, and can bring unlimited guests. I've gone with him a couple of times, so we've devised a new workout schedule. He will still go every weekday except Thursday. I will go with him on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. On Mondays, we'll do our own workouts, but on Wed. and Fri., we'll do a half hour run and the 30 minute circuit. I normally hate the gym because I don't feel comfortable when I feel like people are judging me, but it's not too bad with DH cheering me on.

The consistent workouts should help me to get a few pounds under my 10% goal which would be great since my friend's wedding is the weekend before weigh-in. I'm currently about a half-pound above my 10% with 2 weeks left.

Wedding-Related Expenses

September 22nd, 2017 at 11:42 am

We had a case of trigger fingers this week that was a mistake. DH mentioned that our mini-vacation wasn't sitting well with him because he had a test the following week and didn't want to miss his class. One of the other options we'd discussed was him flying in Friday morning, so I looked up flights. One way to Boston was under $150 with taxes and fees, so I told him that was an option. He said he'd feel better being able to go to class, and since there were only 3 seats left, I went ahead and bought his ticket.

I was really bummed the next several hours because I'd been looking forward to some time with him, and now it was gone.

Fast forward to yesterday, DH texts me that he messed up bad and feels really ashamed. After some prompting, he explained that he hadn't really looked at the syllabus, and his test wasn't until the end of October. Essentially, he could have skipped class and come up with me after all. I told him what's done is done and let it go.

Looking at the plane fare, they'd take a $100 fee and refund the remainder in the form of credit. Since we rarely fly, it's better for him to stick with flying up.

He can only miss 5 classes in the entire school year, and he'll for sure miss at least 2 with drill weekends, so this is one less class he'll miss. And now, he won't have to use all his leave during one week. I'm bummed, but I also took some responsibility as I should have made him double check his schedule before committing to the ticket.

I suspect it'll end up about the same budget-wise, as I now won't be out and about during my extra days up there. I volunteered my assistance with any last-minute wedding prep, and if my friend can play hooky, we'll still go hiking. Otherwise, the new plan is to spend those days focusing on my certification studies.

The other wedding-related expenses that popped up this week are alterations and shoes. I need to find a pair of champagne flats and take in my dress since I lost weight. Technically, it fits now, but it's very obvious that I lost weight since it hangs off me. I need to get the straps taken in and have it taken it a bit at the waist. For the shoes, I'm going to ask my friend that I'm staying with what she has available for me to borrow. If that doesn't work, I'll just get a cheap pair from Amazon or DSW.

Marriott Payoff and Upcoming Expenses

September 15th, 2017 at 12:27 pm

I set the last payment today to pay the Marriott card in full. I'm so grateful we were able to weather this spat of bad luck and hope that things go smoothly for a bit.

We have two big upcoming expenses to work into the budget. The first is car taxes due in early October. Since we moved to a slightly cheaper county, the cost for both cars comes out to somewhere around $800. My husband's car is still new which is why it's so expensive. Mine was only $130.

The other big expense depends on how well we execute it. One of my closest friends is getting married the first weekend of October in Boston, and I'm in the bridal party. We had originally planned to drive up on Friday, have two nights of hotel expenses, and drive home Sunday...

But then, the maid of honor planned the bachelorette party for the Tuesday before. I already missed her bridal shower due to a flat tire, and this friend stood by me during my wedding and made it to all of my pre-wedding events, so I'd like to be there for her. After discussing some various options with my husband (including some elaborate plans around one of us driving up and one flying so we could arrive at separate times), we decided to just both take that week off and make it a mini-vacation. DH just got back from almost two months of 60-hr. workweeks, and I finally finished my work cycle on two major projects, so it seems like a good time for a break.

Some things we're doing to frugalize our now almost week-long vacation include:

1) Staying with a friend Tuesday-Thursday: My maid of honor also lives in Boston and turned 30 this week. DH and I will be staying with her Tuesday-Thursday night so as not to impose on my friend getting married while she's prepping last minute things for the wedding.

2) Using points/certificate for the hotel: On Friday, we'll drive to the actual city where the wedding is. I've booked a hotel for two nights using a combination of points/our annual free night from the Marriott card.

3) Cheap Entertainment: Since we'll have Wednesday/Thursday/Fri. morning to ourselves, we plan to do some sightseeing. I've always wanted to show DH around my college campus and Faneuil (sp.?) Hall. We also plan to get in some hiking since we'll be there when the Fall colors are coming in.

4) Cheap Food: Since we'll be staying with my friend most of the time, we'll get some sandwich stuff for picnics during our daytime excursions. I'm also going to offer to cook one of the nights we're there or help chip in for groceries if she cooks the whole time.

I haven't worked out the full budget for the trip, but I think we'll have around $400 for everything including gas, tolls, food, entertainment, etc. I'm hoping to come in well under that number, but we'll see. That number also doesn't include the wedding gift.

My Drug Costs

September 14th, 2017 at 11:58 am

Seeing PatientSaver's post about the cost of drugs and Snafu's comments on my last post about my allergy meds has made me consider the cost of my own meds. I have terrible allergies. If you name it, I'm probably allergic to it (with the exception of food allergies). To combat them, I take 4 maintenance medications, and I have a rescue inhaler for emergency situations or winter activities (I also have seasonal bronchitis). The cost of these meds have gone up and down over the years, but I think I'm currently in a pretty good spot. I buy the generic Zyrtec in a yearly supply from Costco ($10). I also will start getting my generic nasal spray from them as I found that a 5-month supply was $17. Previously, I was buying a generic one from Wal-Mart at $10 for a 1-month supply. The steroid inhaler and Montelukast tablets are on my plan's home delivery program. It's wonderful because I no longer have to make a monthly trip to the pharmacist, plus I get a 90-day supply each time. The Montelukast is covered, while the inhaler has a $20 refill cost for the 3-month supply. My rescue inhaler is by far the most expensive of these at $50/refill. The good news is that I only fill that one once/maybe twice a year since I don't use it that often.

All told, I spend about $180/year or $15/month on maintenance meds. I'd always wanted to try allergy shots. Maybe I should look into plan coverage on that and price out what would be cheaper. My only concern is that I know people way less allergy-prone than myself who've gotten the shots, but had no noticeable improvement.

CC, Dietbet, and Food Updates

September 11th, 2017 at 11:40 am

We made an $1835 payment to the card, so the remaining amount we need to pay by the 20th to pay it in full is 1068.94. DH gets his last reimbursement this Friday, so that will go towards it, and we'll pay the rest of our account.

Our dietbet month 4 weigh-out was this weekend. DH is at his 10% goal and has been for awhile, so he weighed out on Saturday. Since I was sick last week, I wasn't able to work out, so I pushed myself hard Saturday and Sunday morning to end up .1 lb. under goal, but I made it! Now, that DH is home, that should eliminate some stress, and I'll be able to focus more on measured loss.

I can also get back into meals now that DH is home. I prepped four salads over the weekend for these next few days, and we still have some sandwich stuff on hand. I'm defrosting some ground beef to make some sort of taco rice casserole concoction.

I also want to make a pasta salad tonight or tomorrow for lunches/light dinners. I do have to stop at the grocery store tonight for allergy meds and fruit.

Credit Cards Update

September 6th, 2017 at 12:39 pm

I sent a payment in to the Amazon Rewards CC. It's now paid in full and paid off. We'd been paying it off for several months, only to order more and have new charges hit. Since I paid the last $82 off, I will not be ordering anything else on the Amazon card that wasn't in the budget.

So far, the Slate and Amazon cards are paid off. The other cards are not being used, and I'm working on paying their balances down. Most are at 0 % interest except for one card with a balance of about $600 and one with a balance of $3600. I've been watching for transfer offers on my current cards, but no luck so far (I want to avoid opening another CC).

The Marriott card is the only one that we use regularly, and we've been paying it in full for awhile now. I'm hoping to continue that this month despite the much larger $4000 balance (normally it's about $325). We have to pay 2800 more to pay it in full. The next payment to that will be on Friday for around 1800. I'll know the exact amount this evening when DH's pending deposit shows up in our account.

Spendy LDW

September 5th, 2017 at 04:44 pm

We definitely spent a lot more than anticipated this weekend. We started off good eating things from his room on Friday night, bagels I'd brought with me on Saturday morning, and packing picnic lunches for our Saturday waterfalls hike, but it went downhill from there. Saturday night, we had dinner out as planned at the restaurant run by his hotel. They gave us a free dessert because no one helped us and we sat there for about 10 minutes before someone even took our drink order. We didn't really mind waiting as we weren't in any sort of rush, but it's a small place and the owner felt terrible that we'd gotten missed.

Sunday was rainy, so in looking for something to do, we found a red deer farm. Unfortunately, it was closed on Sunday, but still sounded cool, so we decided to go on Monday morning before I drove home. The cost for that was $9 pp, plus $1 for a bucket of feed.

On Sunday, we drove to the nearest town and did DH's laundry. While waiting, we popped into an Antiques shop and ended up with 3 purchases totaling $13 - a New Orleans souvenir glass for the dining room display and two Navajo sand paintings for DH's mom.

On Sunday night, DH wanted his weekly pizza. Papa John's still had their spend $15, get enough rewards points for a free pizza, so we did that. We now have enough points for 3 pizza orders, so no eating out budget needed for September.

Monday was the spendy day. In addition to the $20 deer farm admission, we ended up with jerky, dog treats, an antler, and a hat totaling over $100. We also ate at Cracker Barrel ($25) after the tour because DH wasn't ready to say goodbye yet.

The total spending all came from DH's personal account, so no impact to our budget and really just ate up the extra he'd been accumulating from being so careful with his spending. Of his $150/wk allowance, the most DH spent in any given week was $80 and most weeks, he was well under that.

DH comes home this Friday for good, and it's back to the grind.