Counting Pennies


Not a happy camper, trying to manage the budget that’s tighter than tight, as I try and get my home in shape.  (The wall over my shoulder is partially painted, as I’ve run out of cash in the short term, so the ceiling has to wait to be finished as I’m just not seeing my vision coming to life).  But, the couch is set up and I’m busy repairing the breakfast bar (replacing the missing formica with slender wood strips, stapling them in place, then spackling to fill in the holes, and then painting.  Luckily, that can of Rustoleum only costs $11 with tax, vs. the $65 gallon of paint that I need for painting the ceiling the right color.

I think I’m going to manage to squeak by this month (Nov into Dec), for necessary expenses as I have a $274 mileage rebate coming from Kia for my Soul, but it’s going to be close.

Hopefully, our craft show on December 10th will give me a few bucks, as every penny counts right now.

Today’s good news, though, was that my anticipated $75 in medical costs for my breathing and high blood pressure meds as well as my flu shot were all free.  Surprise, surprise, surprise – I hit the co-pay deductible ceiling in November so this month and next month shouldn’t cost me anything.  Phew !

My cupboard is full.  Neither Katie nor I will starve.  Unfortunately, the budget will not allow me to keep any kind of household help, so the cleaner’s last fixed appointment will be December 7th ($100) and then I’ll be back to keeping it together on my own.  I’m feeling well enough to do so, which means that it’s not a hardship, but if my health takes a turn, it’s going to be hard to come up with that extra $100 moving forward.  But, that’s a worry for another day.

My car has had its oil changed and the tires rotated, so I’m hopeful that my budget will be stable for at least this little bit while my appeal is pending with my employer’s insurance company.

According to my lawyer, the delay in firing me (now that I’m on full time disability through the Feds) is because they were waiting until my appeal was filed.  Now that the filing has happened, they are back to being free to terminate me at any time (but why they aren’t doing that, when the threat is hanging constantly over my head, is a whole other question that stronger brains than mine will untangle at some point).

The next update on termination status will be December 5th, for finding out whether or not the SSDI folks sent over the complete medical / decision / award criteria file they have requested now that I’ve been approved for long-term disability.

What’s crazy, though, is that the Insurance Company for my employer already have everything in that file as I provided it to them as part of my overall disability case (since the lawyer taking on my employer would not take on the Feds, so I had to file myself).  But – whatever – governmental and insurance company wheels will progress as fast or as slowly as each choses.

If nothing else, the Insurance Company has advised my lawyer that I should have a decision on my appeal by January 17th.  So, we’ll wait to see what happens from here.

For now, I’m out of discretionary funds / savings to pay for the therapist ($125), to pay for any luxury items like getting my hair done properly ($75) vs. Supercuts ($25), and I’m scrambling to keep the Cat’s grooming appointment on schedule ($50), as well as my pedicure appointment ($50).  If I could get access to my 401K, though, I could at least lie to myself with a little more funds to live on while the overall case continues to go at a snail’s pace through the bureaucratic labyrinth that is the benefits game in this country.

I’m going to really miss my salt spa treatments for staying healthy this Winter, however $150 for 12 visits over a quarter is now out of the budget until I have access to either my benefits or my 401K.

Hopefully, I’ll get my W2’s in a timely manner and can get my taxes filed a.s.a.p. in 2017 (and how I’ll pay the tax guys bill ($300) is a whole other challenge, especially as I’ll be back to out of pocket $75 for my meds each month), but I’ll find a way to make it work.

Swimming has been cancelled ($85 per month) until further notice, and I’ll cut back on my socializing / movies / meals out as much as possible to keep my incidental expenses as low as they can go until somebody blinks, or I win the lottery.

It may be foolish to continue to demand that I’m paid for my RSU’s and profit sharing as promised in the benefits handbook, never mind my matching salary benefits, but we’ll see what happens as things proceed as I’m not quitting without a fight.

For now, I’m taking every paid survey and swagbucks opportunity I can find, and also following up on some potential “paid” writing opportunities.  I got an extra $100 last month (rec’d this month) for taking a survey, so if I can continue to qualify for those revenue leads, things will look better than my actual budget can currently promise.  For now, we’ll see what’s possible and what’s a scam.  If I’m going to be housebound through the Winter, though, I have nothing to lose as I keep on trying to reduce the number of meals I have each day, and stay indoors and out of the damp weather so that I remain healthy.

Better weather comes back around February or March, so I only have another 3-4 months to get through before I can get out and do more physical activities to keep wellness front and center.

As long as I’m not dealing with an exacerbation, everything is manageable.  Fingers are crossed that things will remain that way.

2 thoughts on “Counting Pennies

  1. Scrappy! You are so amazing! Here’s hoping the 401K becomes accessible, that the decision process is decided in your favor and that you win the lottery! All possibles! I don’t know how I missed this post, but WP apparently only sends certain notifications to my email and how they choose who gets sent is a mystery. I’ve tried tweaking the appropriate tools, but so far they’re still hit or miss. Now how do you feel about gift cards?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I still feel the same. I have cookies in the cupboard, and still have funds for the necessities, so all gift cards are nice thoughts but I’m not suffering. Talking about hating to be on a budget is very different than actually missing important milestones / the bills falling behind, LOL.

    I appreciate the thought, though. But, no worries, it’s all good. I just want to speed up time. I don’t think that’s too much to hope for, right?


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