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.
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.
In 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!
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.