Managing My Finances Has Become A Full Time Job

There’s too much monetary discussions going on in my life right now. So much so, I’m becoming overwhelmed. It’s Medicare option time right now and the plethora of choices being offered currently is astounding. Too many choices confuse me. Hubby’s health insurance was up for renewal. He was able to renew but the new policy differs from the old one. Our investments took a hit thanks to the Fed lowering interest rates. It’s been a scramble to find equal earnings for the same amount of money. I’m being floored by the actual knowledge of what true inflation is. I’m finding it exceedingly hard to keep up with all the changes going on in our lives right now.

I need a break!

I tackled one problem at a time. I got hubby’s health insurance renewed (after I made two mistakes). His new insurance requires a PCP, Primary Care Provider, which he chose but is now subject to. No more going off to see a doctor willy nilly. Everything now has to be coordinated by the PCP. Thankfully, his costs haven’t risen.

A high paying CD I had for a year and a half got called. I scrambled to find a replacement that would produce the same income but to no avail. I finally settled on a new investment strategy BUT at $138 less per month. A reduction of $1656 annually. OUCH!

Thankfully, my new application to get my property taxes reduced under the Senior Over 65 regulation came through. I was able to lower my school taxes from $3500 to $1114 annually. That was an actual annual savings of $2346. Hubby made sure to note that this adjustment made up for our investment loss. See above.

medicare drug plans.png
My original plan is on your left. The plan that Humana automatically switched me to is in the middle. The one plan I eventually chose is on your right. BIG friggin’ difference!

Next came my Medicare renewals. I got a notice that my drug Plan D was going to increase by 101%. It was going from $447.60 a year to $901.20. I was able to find a new plan that covered my same meds but for only $266.40 a year. That was a 40% drop in prescription drug costs, a savings of $181 for the year. My Medigap only increased by $2 a month ($24 for the year) so it stayed the same.

 

medical bills.pngIn the ‘old’ days whenever hubby and I came into extra money, we would go out and spend it. Not anymore. I made a vow that if and when we ever came into money again, I’d save and invest as much as possible. Hubby and I both had an income surge this past month. He by $4875 (net). Me, by $140. I’m happy to say that I used a small bit of this money to pay off some medical bills (especially the dentist) and the rest I deposited into savings! I didn’t buy one single thing with this windfall!

I normally allot $50 a month in medical co-pays. It’s only October 12th and already the total has surpassed $400. Our medical bills are mounting and that’s the sad but truest part of retirement: mounting medical bills.

On the food front, since we switched to paying our food costs in cash only, I have seen a great reduction in our grocery bill. It’s amazing how holding $70 cash in your hand rather than a credit card, keeps everything in perspective. No more just tossing food items into our cart. I keep a calculator in one hand, a shopping list in the other. The rest is history. I’ve been lowering our food costs by at least 20%. The other side of reigning in our grocery bill is more cooking at home and NO eating out in restaurants. We also keep lowering our electricity costs (see status report below) and this month I caught a few credit card billing errors.

Truthfully folks, I’m exhausted. Managing our expenses is a full time, daily chore!

electricity comparison.png
EVERY MONTH WE KEEP LOWERING OUR ELECTRICITY COSTS! YAY!
cvs overbill.png
TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT MY CREDIT CARD BILL. CVS PHARMACY CHARGED ME FIVE TIMES FOR THE VERY SAME EXACT THING. LOOK AT ALL YOUR RECORDS/RECEIPTS PEOPLE!

Pledge: I’m going to try harder in the future to NOT talk about money anymore. I need a break. I’ve done as much as I can. I monitor everything every single day. I’m determined to just go out now and enjoy my life. Time to have fun.

 

 

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9 comments

  1. We talk about money twice a month. I check books daily- no more then 30 min- except on the last day of the month when I do my monthly books. We have had the exact sane amount in savings for five years. Oh I miss the days of doubling money in seven years!
    Nice work on the electricity. We are consistent- low until January, then high for a few months. I am ready for the jump this year. It is the price we pay for living in this great place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Janette. Thanks for sharing your tips. I’ve got to back down. Everything just came due at once and it was too much. My husband hasn’t a clue what to do. I handle most everything. Not good.
      We’ll be outta here for the winter. We save a bundle by doing that. Go figure.
      Thanks again for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Not in retirement mode yet, but am looking at the costs of things and what we will feasibly have in retirement. Only wildcard is healthcare and it’s a big one.

    We are dumping $$$ into our Health Savings Accounts for future use to offset some of the costs, and I’m sure we’ll need it. Although we want to stay in this area, we may downsize our home for lower taxes and maintenance. We would love a walkable community, but there aren’t many here. We definitely will go down to one car.

    LOVE cooking at home, and have not been thrilled with restaurants. They tend to cook with too much butter and salt. We are trying to lose weight which has been keeping us out so $$ has been saved. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do our finances every Friday plus on the 15th of each month, I make the next month’s budget and menu. I plan our weekly menu on Friday and do grocery shopping early on Saturday morning. This is my system for keeping on top of finances without being overwhelmed by it.
    Our medical system is a total fiasco. I wish someone would come up with a better way. In the meantime, take care of your health and hope for the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I do All my bills Once a month and withdrawal spending money at the same time. Charge most things and reap the rewards. Check the credit cards all at one time.Rectify bank and investment accounts at the same time. Skim off at least 10% into a money market savings account for Specific longer term goals paying 1.72%. One of the uses of this account is inflation. Eliminates stressing and fretting over finances and recognizing you are in control of your circumstances.
    Then ready to enjoy the rest of the month living life. If I need to tap more before the end of the month I do. No worries! Sincerely, Lara

    Liked by 1 person

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