Home > Archive: November, 2021

Archive for November, 2021

Vehicle Insurance Admin

November 29th, 2021 at 01:35 am

DS5 is now a licensed driver. I spent about $350 on six hours of driving lessons several months ago and it was worth it to me. With DS1 & DS2 I wasn’t so afraid to ride in the passenger seat with a driver-in-training but I am now. Relatives helped on getting driving time for him too when we visited them last month. I’m glad that we’ve got the last one over the line.


I don’t know how much the insurance will go up from adding a third teenaged boy to the policy. Yikes! I’m expecting an invoice soon.


I had an annoyance with the car insurance & our state’s DOT but fortunately it didn’t cost me money – just inconvenience. While we don’t buy cars for the boys, I am willing to have them in my name and to insure them while the boys are in school if they choose to buy a car. [And their driving record is clean.] As a result, I have four cars in my name though I drive just one of them.


DS4 decided to sell his car and buy a different one so for a short while I had five cars insured. I didn’t realize it until later when I noticed different policy numbers, but apparently only 4 cars can be on one policy so the insurance company had the fifth car on a separate policy. Then when DS4 sold the car, the newest one was moved to the original policy so all the vehicles were together again. That’s when I received a notice from the DOT that they had been informed that my policy was cancelled. I know from the experience of one of my boys that if the DOT doesn’t receive proof of insurance by the deadline, they assume that you had a lapse in coverage and they fine you $500. You can appeal it by going to court and showing proof of insurance but the appeal is $150 for court costs. Sooo, I sent my proof of insurance to the DOT by registered mail so I’d get confirmation of its receipt. I may complain to the insurance company. Why would they contact the DOT when they just changed the policy? I don’t know if it was a mistake or if they’re required to do it.


I’m enjoying the last few weeks of our CSA season. My brother and his wife gifted me a couple of boxes from Farmbox Direct for my birthday so right now we’re getting fresh organic vegetables AND fruits! Heaven.

New Fireplace

November 23rd, 2021 at 04:23 pm

Our gas (with fake logs) fireplace gave out last year. We were able to hire a handyman to do some tweaking to limp it along last winter while I planned to replace it this year. Replacing it became a bigger and bigger deal. No place could just replace the ‘guts’ of it. Even the mantel couldn’t stay because it would break when the fireplace was pulled out. The fireplace came with the house so it was almost 20 years old.


That meant that an upgrade that I originally thought would be a couple thousand dollars was about ten thousand dollars. And the two places that sold & installed them were booked out for months. I think it was in July when I signed the contract and the installation was finally completed yesterday. The good news is that we have it in time for cold weather and it is far (far!) superior to our older one. This one is heating the house! It has a remote control that allows us to control the flame (5 settings), the lighting, the ‘embers’ (cosmetic only), and the fan. With the fan, it blows the warm air out into our family room which is open to the kitchen. I’m in love with it.


I set aside the money for it in the online Ally savings account so it would earn interest while we waited. I paid with a credit card and will move the money into checking when the CC is due next month. I’m doing the same thing with the money set aside for the fence – contract signed in May and it looks like it’ll be 2022 before it is installed because of material supply chain issues. Another post…  A picture of the new fancy fireplace:

Free Non-Weis Turkey

November 15th, 2021 at 05:24 pm

Well, it turns out that it wasn’t Weis where I earned the free turkey certificate. It was Giant. And I discovered this because I tried to redeem it at Weis! Yikes, embarrassing. But I did get the turkey and it was indeed free. A 20-pounder. Since the boys selected other meats for Thanksgiving Day (The choice is our tradition.), we’ll be cooking the big bird in the next few days. DH is the meat cooker so this is all him.

Christmas gifts: check

November 12th, 2021 at 02:40 pm

I have completed my Christmas shopping – even stocking stuffers. Never in my life have I accomplished this before Thanksgiving. The news of supply chain issues and potential shortages gave me a sense of urgency I guess. But it feels good to be able to enjoy the time now.


We will still have expenses for a tree and our traditional Christmas Day seafood gumbo ingredients. Maybe we’ll get a couple of gingerbread house kits this year too. The boys used to decorate them and then we would gift the best-looking ones to select neighbors.

2021 Q4 Quarterly Status of Retirement Prerequisites

November 10th, 2021 at 03:36 pm

As mentioned in a previous post (2020) I have a deadline set for the start of my retirement. And I have a list of prerequisites to determine whether I’m in a safe-enough-for-me position to retire sooner. Each quarter I evaluate my progress against those prerequisites, and my quarterly check-in for this is aligned with my birthday instead of the standard calendar quarter. That’s because a couple of my prerequisites are based on my 60th birthday so the calculation is simpler.

 Result for this check-in: I’m slowly getting closer! I’m now planning to pull the trigger in 2023 ahead of my original target of 2025.


 In order to pull the plug immediately, I’d have to have these things accomplished:


++ Retirement account on target for 7 figures by 60th birthday

++ College savings on target for full funding

++ Mortgage paid off

++ Savings of basic expenses until 60th birthday set aside

++ No consumer debt


 Currently my progress is:


++ 100+%

++ 57.5%

++ 76.5%

++ 14.7%

++ 100%

 Assumptions for these calculations: average annual return on investments will be 5%, no further contributions to investments, full funding = 40 semesters (8 x 5 boys), $36,000k annually for basic expenses, starting consumer debt was $10k.


 College for the twins may be cheaper because they both are planning to start at the local community college but I’m keeping assumptions the same so I’m comparing apples to apples each quarter.


Trip South

November 9th, 2021 at 06:51 pm

We traveled south last month to celebrate my Dad’s milestone birthday with him. It was special because a year ago we hoped and prayed but didn’t expect that he’d live to see this one. My brothers and I hosted a surprise party at a nice restaurant and it was indeed a surprise. Everything turned out perfectly. My share was about $450. Worth. Every. Penny.

The boys still attended school each weekday morning while we were gone since they’re in cyber school. I had the other half of my amalgam fillings replaced while we were there with the dentist who did the first half. I bought an annual subscription with that dentist to keep the price lower for my dental work. I may need to cancel it within the next few months so it doesn’t auto-renew. I don’t remember if that was a default in their contract. No sense in having a dentist more than a thousand miles away!


I’m so glad we traveled before American Airlines started cancelling flights. That would have been awful. I’m happy to say that our travel was uneventful.



November 8th, 2021 at 02:55 pm

I know it’s my age/generation but whenever I hear anything about cryptocurrency, it seems like fake money to me. I don’t get it. And I do realize that our paper money is no longer backed by precious metals so in effect its value is debatable too. I admit that I’m an old fogie in this area.

So recently DS2 installed something on DS5’s computer that earns cryptocurrency. The best I can understand after asking for an explanation is that DS5’s graphics card is being rented out for processing power when he isn’t using it. He’s making the equivalent of $2/day by having his computer run this. That piqued my interest. DS2 has his computer set up with multiple graphics cards connected to a single motherboard and he’s making a few hundred dollars a month while he’s at his real mechanical engineering job. That’s wild to me. He occasionally converts the crypto to dollars and transfers them to his bank account. Apparently the only gotcha is that you have to have a quality graphics card and they’re hard to come by now because lots of people are doing this. I assume that all that processing uses some electricity too.


 I just find it interesting that young adults have discovered an automated income stream. Kids today!


Life of leisure


Open Enrollment for 2022

November 7th, 2021 at 12:02 am

We’re in the open enrollment period for benefits at work. I was happy to see that my share of the health insurance premiums will not increase in 2022. Both the 401k maximum contribution and the HSA maximum contribution will increase by $1000 so that’ll be about $170/month in additional deductions. I get paid twice each month so it won’t be too noticeable.

DS1 is no longer on my insurance since he turned 26 in 2021. It was a little sad seeing “coverage terminated” by his name but of course it’s a good thing – he’s completely on his own. DS2 is on his own as well but still on the insurance to save money. It doesn’t cost me any more to keep him on and his employer would require that he pay a premium for their insurance. He’ll be able to do that for a couple more years.

In other financial news, DS4 & DS5 turned 18 recently so I no longer pay allowance – to anyone. Woohoo! That’s like a raise. With my progressive rate allowance system, they were each costing me $34/week.