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Spring has Sprung :)

Gelly

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We saw it coming, gradually, but it's pretty much here now. I am loving no longer driving to work in the pitch black dark... And that gorgeous sun is pouring into the office in the mornings :) The trees and many flowers are blooming. Our veggie starts are thriving and the garden is getting planted in little sections at a time.

 

I've done some much-needed budget look-overs. Our budget 4 months ago is a bit different from our budget today, but I've still been using the numbers from that old budget. We've had to dip into the BEF so I want to get on top of this again and make sure our budget covers things so they're no longer surprises.

 

We made Casper a permanent line item on the budget, and figuring out what he needed every month and how much, initially, has been a learning experience. Now that I have the food on auto-enroll and free shipping, and some things I get via Amazon, I feel the #s are able to be accurate now. My original number of allotting $50 per DHs paycheck for "Casper stuff" was not cutting it. Now I see why. Here's what I tallied up today:

Insulin about 3mo supply $95 x 4 = $380 (this has potential to be less if we find the refrigerated insulin shelf life lasts longer than 3mo!)

100 Test strips/1mo supply $65 x 12 = $780 (also potential to be less as DH says we test 2x/day but there are some days we test more often)

100 Lancets 1 mo supply $5 x 12 = $60 (same as above)

6mo supply Flea treatment $80 x 2 = $160

Food per day $2.40 x 365 = $876 (based upon our $46 every 20 days auto ship diabetic food)

Litter about 1mo supply $17 x 12 = $204 (I haven't paid enough attention to how much is a 1-mo supply so I'm going with 1 big container per mo.)

Toys/extra padding $50 = $50

TOTAL = $2510 / 12 = $209/month!!!

 

Ouch.

 

Meanwhile, chipping away at the Verizon bill due to my cancelled line. $288 to go (about $80 of that is DH's line). We come out ahead if you run the numbers staying with the plan vs cancelling.. But it still bites. On the plus side, my cousin was talking to me last weekend and was showing me her broken phone (smashed screen, she has 4 kids and not a ton of income between her and the father.) She said she wanted to look into a Verizon plan but she does not want their new selection of huge-screened, fragile phones that look more like tablets.. and she commented that she liked mine (because it was all wrapped up in an Otterbox). I told her I have a spare Iphone 4S in my kitchen that I only use for the Pandora on WiFi. She might be the perfect person to gift the like-new iPhone too since I really don't need it.

 

The Doctors Clinic bills from DH knee surgery took a while to process and come in. So the balance in my signature is not accurate and will need to be changed. We still have as of today, $338.68 total to pay off on it. Still using HSA card each payroll to chip away at that so not very concerned about it.

 

In addition to the knee surgery expenses we are potentially looking at the counseling expenses. We're still going, and now are on a bi-weekly schedule. I think it's helped tremendously and DH feels really good about it, so we will keep going. We've gone about 5-6 times since January and have been working with the office, but still no billing has officially come out from them for us to pay. I know it's not free or 100% covered so I am bracing myself. We used my insurance primarily and then DH's parent's insurance as a backup, and I think that might be the cause of the holdup. I know I'll have the HSA to use towards it and they will work with payments - but my HSA only accrues about $115 biweekly. And we are putting off DH's dental work until we have about $400 in the HSA to use. At this rate he won't get his dental work done for a while longer.. heh.

 

I really hope that we can payoff the VISA by our 4/30 date. It seems to float away from our reach more and more! I think I will sit down with DH over tonight's dinner and ask him to try to do his part in making this happen. There's got to be somethings we can sell or do for cash, it's not like we live in an empty, barren home and have sold off everything with value. I KNOW we can do this but it's going to take more than saying "well it's a 3 paycheck month". That 3rd check may cover a good chunk but not all of it.

 

One thing I was contemplating was knocking our internet down to 12mbps, into a 3yr locked rate for $19.95/mo. Right now we pay about $31 monthly for 20mbps. We use netflix, normal internet stuff, and he has some games on his XBOX that can be played online (but hasnt seemed to be gaming as much now that the weather got nice). I've asked, he wants to keep the 20meg, but I personally think we could manage the decrease. Would you guys think it would be awful if I made the switch without telling him and see if he even notices? :ph34r:

We could be more mindful of our electric usage. Our average usage over the last 3 months has been higher than the previous year's average of the same month. And it's not colder this year really. So there's no excuse.

 

Well, here's to another week, let's see what we are capable of :)

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On the internet, we have 6mps (or whatever the unit is.)  And speed tests regularly peg us at 2.  Our tv is almost all internet-netflix, amazon prime, etc, through the Roku.  Plus all our other devices run off our wireless, often at the same time.  There are times we have the kids watching My Little Pony on Netflix, Dh on his laptop, I am working on mine, plus running SBs or Perk videos on 3 phones, plus a tablet and everything runs just fine.  So for netflix, normal internet stuff and some gaming, I would think that 12 would be fine. 

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I would call and ask if you can try the lower speed and switch back if it doesn't work. T g et should let you. I switched us to a slower plan (5 mbps difference) at one point and it was a while before DH noticed. Interestingly, after we switched back, he was still asking if we were on the lower plan as his game was laggy, so I don't know how much a few mbps matter. We are now at 50 as we need it now t g at more of us are online and streaming more.

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I talked with them and the deal had some hidden unknowns. It is $19.99/mo for the internet price plus the "landline with long-distance" price for a grand total of $64 something per month. So, we are just going to keep the internet package that we have (which is good for 2yrs starting Aug 2014). Bummer! I will ask them next time though, gazelle, about "trying" 12mbps for a month or so and see if they will let me switch back if we hate it. I also wonder how much less expensive 12meg is compared to 20! :)

 

Also that multi-family yard sale my cousins and aunts and I are putting on, is getting pushed out to late April or early May. Also a bummer, BUT, I hopped onto eBay today out of curiosity on how some things I own were priced there... and WOW.. I just did not realize how user friendly it had gotten again. I decided to list some items! Last time I tried to list stuff (years ago??) there were fees and such that I did not appreciate. But now it's all free again, and I've got a random smattering of items listed that I can't wait to see if they get bids on. I've used the previously sold listings of the same items as references. So I'll be eBaying, I think?! Until the yard sale anyway. Most of the stuff I am listing online is of more value or brand name, so I'm not listing every bitty single thing I want to sell. But I feel hopeful again that with eBay's help we may knock the VISA debt out before April 30 after all!

 

OK, a friend's BBQ bonfire tonight, so I gotta run and get changed, and fry up some bacon and chop some hardboiled eggs and ham. Putting together a cobb style salad to contribute but I only have half the ingredients here. The lettuce and dressing I need to get at the store on the way to the BBQ! I have a fiver in my wallet so I think we will manage.

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Spring? What is that??? Haha! So very jealous, we have had maybe 2 days that reached the upper 50's that felt spring like, but it has been brutal mostly. We still have snow on the ground and we got some fresh white stuff just yesterday along with its friends cold and windy!!!!

 

Glad someone is enjoying the season!!!

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I would NOT switch without DH knowing - you are building a union and this isn't a time to keep secrets, etc

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