Monday, April 28, 2014

Tired of tires ...

A week or so ago, I had to get 4 new tires put on DS's wheelchair. Today, I had to get 4 new tires put on my van. Would you believe the van's tires were cheaper? The tires for the van were $88 apiece. The wheelchair tires cost $125 per.

At any rate, I decided I wasn't going to moan and groan about either. Had to be done and we had the cash. That's life. 

I did allow just a bit of self-pity, though, when DH announced this morning that he needs new tires, too. I mean, really? Twelve new tires is taking it a bit far, don't you think?? I guess it's like ripping off a Band-Aid ... you do what you gotta do. 

To make myself feel better, I ran through our debt numbers and updated those that have changed. The numbers keep going down, so tires be damned, we're doing something right!

Sarah

Friday, April 18, 2014

Afraid of the upsell

I scheduled a maintenance check on our A/C this week in advance of the warmer months. We are on a service plan so there would be no charge for the visit. I have had mixed feelings about this company, but not knowing of anything better I've stuck with them. A couple months ago, when our heat went out, they sent a serviceman within an hour and he stayed all day trying to figure out what was wrong with it. He fixed it and we were charged $800. He felt good about the repair and said the furnace was in good shape.

Fast forward to yesterday and a different serviceman did the maintenance call. He spent about 30 minutes at the unit. I heard him cleaning coils etc. When he came back in, he told me that there were all kinds of things wrong and that we just needed to replace both the furnace and the A/C. He mentioned that the furnace is rusted (the previous guy didn't say a word about rust) and that the A/C is not in good shape. He then wanted me to schedule something right then to have a salesman come out and show me what deals they had. He also said the crawlspace is damp, but they could fix that for $3,900.

Call me a cynic, but it just didn't feel right. I thanked him and sent him on his way.

Maybe the units are on their last legs, but I'm not getting rid of them until they have breathed their last. And I think DH will be replacing the vapor barrier in the crawlspace on his vacation next month :) 

Times like this, renting sounds awfully appealing ....

Sarah

Thursday, April 10, 2014

They like me again!

I know my finances are looking better. Know how I know? Because I signed on to the Discover account and a screen popped up saying I was eligible for an increase in my credit limit. Because that's what I need .... more credit.

In case there's any doubt, I declined.

This has been a week of Mondays. One thing after another. Yesterday, I drove DS 45 miles to an appointment, only to find out the appointment is next week. My fault. I read the reminder wrong. And since one of the people we are to see is coming from out of state, we couldn't be squeezed in.

Today, I'm going to work from home. As long as I keep the windows closed and the pollen out, all should be good.

Sarah

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Lots going on

The days have been passing in a blur lately. Appointments, bills, family obligations - and at some point we finally bid farewell to winter and hello to glorious spring ... Of course, for me that means allergy season, but I'm willing to grin and bear it to not see any more snow or ice!

We ended up with some extra funds in March and after much discussion, threw an extra $500 at the American Express card. Of course, two days later, our medical equipment provider called to say insurance wouldn't pay for a needed adaptation on DS's wheelchair and we were on our own to the tune of $327. They kindly did not charge us labor or shipping. We have the cash, so we paid it. That is such a huge improvement over past years. We wouldn't have blinked at putting it on a credit card. Medical expenses like that are a big part of our current debt. It's a relief not to be adding to it.

One of the reasons we had some extra to spare is because the grocery bill was considerably lower. I attribute that to two things: all the meat I was able to get for basically free with some awesome coupons and the store's doubling. The second is my giving up soda. I figure that is worth about $15 a week. No kidding. I could put away some diet soda. Haven't touched the stuff since Feb. 14 and I no longer think about it.

Jane suggested I do something with that soda money and I've decided she's right. So I've set up an automatic deposit into a separate savings account - $15 a week. I'm earmarking that account for a 30th anniversary trip. We've been married 28 years and the past 10 have had precious little time alone because of DS's needs. But if the nursing care we are pursuing works out, it might be possible for us to get away for a few days. Just dreaming about it has done wonders for my attitude and knowing that I'm actively saving for it makes it seem like it might one day become a reality.

Hanging over our heads, though, is yet another piece of medical equipment. DS has become considerably weaker in the past year or two and is no longer to lift his arms at all, making feeding himself or even adjusting his glasses on his own impossible. At a clinic visit, his neurologist suggested a mobile arm support that allows some range of motion. DS was able to try it out this week and absolutely loved it. In fact, he wants one for each arm. Just being able to touch his face made him light up. (We able-bodied folks take so much for granted!). DH says he looks like Doc Oc - I think that's the bad guy in one of the Spiderman movies. Of course, the technology comes with a price tag - $5,000. Per arm. Did I mention they are powered by rubber bands. Seriously. So now begins the process of convincing insurance that they are necessary for DS to be independent. The vendor is optimistic and so I'm going to share his optimism for now. Obviously, we won't be able to provide them for DS if insurance doesn't come through. Lots of prayers going up around here.

And now I'm off to update the April numbers.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Sarah