Home > Archive: March, 2021

Archive for March, 2021

Impending Transition

March 30th, 2021 at 07:09 pm

Tomorrow we move back to Dad’s house and a week and a half later, we head home. Then I return to work. Change will be the norm for the next couple of weeks.


Our annual egg hunt will include only two of the five boys but the addition of three cousins this year, and it’ll be at Dad’s house. I mailed each of the three boys at home a consolation prize. I paid just as much for the shipping as the value of the contents. It was a case where the sentimental value made the shipping cost worth it. (around $20 each)


Half my amalgam fillings are replaced now and the other half scheduled for the Fall. I met with the dentist here this morning to review sleep study results and to do an entire head scan. The information that can be gleaned from the tests about my breathing and potential health conditions is surprising to me. I found it interesting.


I spent over $100 buying books and CDs related to the boys' classes and calculators with trig functions since they left theirs at home. 'Educational' budget line item.





Holistic Dentistry

March 23rd, 2021 at 03:12 pm

I hadn’t had my teeth cleaned in more than a year thanks to Covid so I decided to make a dentist appointment here instead of waiting to return home. In line with my intentions to move to holistic healthcare providers, I searched for a holistic dentist here. Since it’s a large city there are many more options here than at home.


Last week I went to my appointment and there I made the decision to have my old fillings with mercury replaced with a healthier alternative. This dental practice has all the expertise and equipment to do it safely. Half my mouth will be done this week and the other half in 6 months or so. I’ll coordinate that dental visit with a trip to see Dad, maybe for his birthday this Fall.  It’s not going to be cheap but I’ve been contemplating this health improvement for a few years. The cost will be slightly more than $1000 per side so $2000 total.


I was impressed with the dental office. They have their own clean water system and clean air system and everything is high-tech and online. Such a contrast to my dentist at home who I like a lot BTW. It’s time though to make a move – I think he’ll be retiring soon. So next on my action list is to find a holistic dentist nearish to home.

CC Rewards

March 22nd, 2021 at 06:08 pm

I redeem credit card points for gift cards as soon as I’ve earned enough to qualify for one. This month I chose a Lowe’s gift card for the $50 reward. I’m sure we’ll use it this spring for yard work or a home repair.



March 20th, 2021 at 06:19 pm

As hoped, we received a stimulus payment based on our 2019 AGI since we haven’t filed our 2020 taxes yet. The $2100 is a pleasant surprise and will be used to pay for our annual CSA membership and the travel costs of returning home next month.

Land Closing

March 15th, 2021 at 08:02 pm

The closing for the SC land sale occurred at the end of last week. UPS delivered a check with my proceeds this morning and within an hour I deposited it into my account with mobile banking and paid the 0% interest credit card in full online. Done!! Now we only have house debt.

Battery Life

March 12th, 2021 at 02:24 pm

I started replacing some things before they failed several years ago. Like water heaters and car batteries. The kind of things that will certainly fail at a time that’s inconvenient and possibly risky. It may be a little more expensive to replace an item prematurely but that beats being inconvenienced when it eventually fails.

The newest (2010) car’s battery just got us though. We bought it used about a year and a half ago so I didn’t know how old the battery was. Because we weren’t sure it was the battery, it was taken to the shop. Now we’ll pay for a new battery and labor. Not next time though. I will place a tickler on the online family calendar to replace this battery at the end of its warranty.


Battery cost with labor: $198


Company Coffee

March 10th, 2021 at 02:20 pm

One day this past week was ‘Colleague Appreciation Day’. I’m not sure if that’s a thing or if it’s just something that’s created and celebrated at my company. We each received an e-mail with an electronic coupon for a free Starbucks drink. How nice that it’s everywhere – I got a free fancy coffee at a Starbuck’s with a drive-thru between the hospital and our temporary home.

We've gotten to know one of the neighborsWe've gotten to know one of the neighbors

Timing for Tax Filing

March 9th, 2021 at 03:26 am

I’ve probably mentioned before that we received stimulus payments during 2020 because they were based on 2019 income. We lucked out because 2019 is the last year the twins qualified for the child tax credit and that positively impacted the payment we received. Our adjusted gross income is within the phase-out range but even the reduced amount was a pleasant surprise.

 I’ve held off on filing our 2020 tax forms because we’re going to owe money this year as a result of the unexpected stock bonus just before the company went public last year. It could be that my delay will work in our favor and result in another reduced stimulus payment. I’ve read that the phase-out range is smaller and steeper so even if we qualify, it may be next to nothing. But again, anything would be a pleasant surprise.



Financial Learning from Cosmo?

March 7th, 2021 at 12:12 am

A funny thing happened. Somehow my dad received an issue of Cosmopolitan in the mail. We joked about it but I did read it before it went to the trash. And guess what? I learned a financial fact. According to the article inside, the last coronavirus relief legislation (CARES Act) increased the list of allowable expenses for HSAs and FSAs. Now in addition to medical co-pays and medications, items like menstrual products, over-the-counter meds, and sunscreen are now qualified expenses for reimbursement.  And Amazon even has a filter for them:  That’s useful information!

Property Sale

March 5th, 2021 at 01:32 pm

In 2009 when my Grandma died, she owned a piece of land that she’d inherited from a childless sibling. We didn’t realize that she had it because she’d never mentioned it or used it. The South Carolina land is bounded by train tracks on one side and has huge power lines running over it. My brothers and I inherited the land and decided to keep it. We paid the property taxes each year but we haven’t done anything with it either. After a brief conversation with them two weeks ago, my brother put an ad on Facebook Marketplace. Within a few hours, we had offers! It turns out that the little town is growing and despite features that I would consider undesirable, the 3-acre lot was attractive to several businessmen.

 We accepted an offer and have just completed paperwork to have the closing done without us in attendance. My third of the proceeds will be about $8000. Unexpected money is always nice and I know exactly what I will do with it. I will pay off the 0% interest credit card that expires next month where I have $7400 of debt parked. I feel fortunate that it’s just enough to pay it completely without touching savings and that I don’t need to look for any more 0% CC offers.




February Monthly Net Worth Update

March 4th, 2021 at 02:44 pm

I calculate our net worth each month on the 3rd after the house debt payments have cleared. It’s up $32k from last month. The increase is due mostly to the market rather than anything new or different – savings and investment contributions are automated. Our house value is up too according to Zillow.

The weather is getting warmer here so we've begun getting outside to exercise. I want to make sure I'm consistent with walking to support my bone density.


Medical Prices

March 3rd, 2021 at 08:50 pm

Even though I’m living away from home, I followed up on some medical tests – bloodwork, an ultrasound, and a baseline bone density scan. I am thankful that my doctor suggested the bone density scan because it showed that I already have osteoporosis in my spine. Yikes! I’m researching osteoporosis now.


Our family deductible was already met so the out-of-pocket costs for those things was insignificant, about $30. What surprised me though was the price of the bone density scan. It was about $100. Given my results and the fact that it’s a quick and painless procedure, I may choose to have them annually even if insurance doesn’t cover them that often.


On the other side of the fence, Dad’s hospital bill – just the hospital bill – for his organ transplant is $289k. With the associated bills for the professionals involved, it’ll be at least $350k. He’s doubly insured so his cost should be a tiny fraction of that.

New Year, New Semester

March 2nd, 2021 at 03:24 pm

DS3 went back to college for the spring semester. The dorms are open though the classes are online. Students have the option of attending from home but he’s an athlete and so far, spring sports are on. The semester will be split up into mini-phases like they did in the Fall so that if a course returns to the classroom, the classes will be small. It’s interesting to see the creative responses to the Covid-related constraints in place now.


The semester bill including food and housing but not books and materials was $10,400. This is how the funding was cobbled together this time:

                $1000 – scholarship

                $4000 – cash set aside

                $5400 – 529 savings


DS3 is looking into other scholarships since he knows we’d split them with him. No word yet on any successful results.