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October spending and update

October 31st, 2015 at 02:02 pm

Happy Halloween!

I just remembered that we have an extra hour tonight with the time change!

First of all, an update on my mom's health. She was diagnosed with early stage 2 breast cancer and had an appointment with a surgeon last week to learn about treatment options. Thankfully my sister-in-law was available to go with her to really listen, take notes and advocate on her behalf. My mom tends to be anxious and only hears negative things. From what I can gather, this is not uncommon for someone of my mom's age (81) and sounds very treatable with a lumpectomy and radiation. It remains to be seen how the radiation will affect her. She's very strong and still fully living life, so hopefully her body will be able to handle the treatments. My SIL is taking her for a second opinion this week and then she'll choose a doctor, set a surgery date and begin the process. I feel sad that my mom is facing this, but I feel relieved that it sounds like a fairly positive prognosis. When my dad was diagnosed with ALS 16 years ago in his mid-60s, the doctor told him that there was nothing they could do and advised him to get his affairs in order. It was brutal.

We haven't decided on Thanksgiving plans yet. I've gone to visit my mom in my hometown the past few years and for two years before that, she and my brother and his family made the trek to visit me. I'm torn on which I'd prefer this year. My mom is talking about visiting me, but she may be recovering from surgery and unable to travel. I'm flexible, so we'll have to see how it all plays out.

Spending was a little higher in October than in the past two months since I started keeping track of my finances in YNAB. I had money from three pay periods available to spend in October - two from September and one from early October. October was a three-paycheck month, so the funds from the two later checks will be used for my November budget.

October breakdown

regular monthly expenses
landline/DSL/wireless 87.97
cell phone 11.53
skype 2.99
electricity 51.15
insurance - car & home 115.37
hair appt 105.00

everyday expenses
healthy food 76.68
junk food 25.32
gas 94.29
medical 120
entertainment 12.40
eating out 54.25
toiletries 11.22
trash 5.00
clothing 24.30
laundry 10.75
cat 24.46
household goods 1.05

miscellaneous
driver's license renewal (four years) 48.00
online dating* 101.94
stamps 1.47
small architecture book 7.40

property taxes 549.73 (added to cash left from Aug & Sept for a total of $1895.25 paid on Oct 1)

debt
bathroom renovation 500.00 (1684.48 balance remaining which i plan to pay off by January 1)

TOTAL $$ AVAILABLE FOR OCT: 3051.29
TOTAL SPENT: 2034.87
TOTAL REMAINING: 1016.42

*This charge was for my profile on a dating site. i forgot to go thru the cancellation process to get a steep discount and my credit card was automatically charged. I didn't have the energy to call and cancel, so I just accepted it. Maybe I'll be motivated to actually interact on the site and go on some dates! I reactivated a year ago and have basically ignored it.

So, essentially, I have the extra October paycheck amount leftover - yay! I plan to roll that into the following savings accounts:
heating oil account $100
2016 property taxes $167
Roof repair account $749.42

This is all based on my net monthly income. Contributions to my 403B retirement plan get withdrawn automatically each pay period. I'm trying to determine if my take home pay is adequate to cover my actual living expenses or if I should decrease the amount I contribute to retirement in order to live more realistically today.

I'm mostly satisfied with my October spending except for the $25.32 for junk food and $54.25 for eating out which includes $19.65 total spent on three take out lunches. When I get stressed I tend to comfort myself with eating. Overall, I'm pretty impressed that the amount wasn't much higher given the combination of intense work stress in early October and finding out that my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. It's actually quite an improvement over past compulsive spending on junk food. But, I would like to learn to take that money and spend it on other things that could provide comfort and joy in my life. I tend to be miserly with myself and for some reason, food is the one category where I seem to be able to spend freely. It's a comfort zone for me and I'd like to stretch into new zones.

Well, I'm off to meet my friend M and her daughter J for some trick or treating! Boo! Smile

5 Responses to “October spending and update ”

  1. PNWMom Says:

    It's a good idea to have someone go with your mom to all her appointments....that's what I did with my sister when she was going through breast cancer...it helps to have someone there who can take notes and advocate if necessary...sometimes the person who is ill, just can't focus and take it all in....my brother has my aunt (who was a nurse), going with him and his wife to his appointments as he was just diagnosed with throat cancer. He is in a bit of denial and it's good to have another set of ears to hear and remember any plans for treatment.

    Prayers and hugs to you and your mom!

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    That's good news about your mom's cancer being treatable/not as serious as you thought before. I hope her treatment goes well!

  3. snafu Says:

    It seems your mom will have a lumpectomy followed with radiation. I hope everyone who talks to mom keeps the conversation upbeat and positive. All of the research repeats the importance of attitude.

    Did they schedule a biopsy? Ask SIL to get details, size of excision [how big, specific centimeters], anticipated size f excision site, probability of clear edges and whether the Oncologist anticipates lymph node involvement. Following surgery it's important to prevent having the site get infected or oozing. Has mom had a flu shot? This is the worst possible time for added problems.

    Radiation sessions are more likely to interrupt Thanksgiving plans as they are quite fierce about patients keeping/not skipping appointments. The actual treatment is ok but all the traveling back and forth, waiting room and worrying is really stressful.

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    Good points from others. So glad they caught it early! I was surprised how dh and I interpreted the same comments so differently sometimes, from Doctors. (I think we mostly heard the same things, and made sure to take notes, but it's always kind of fascinating to me how two people can interpret the same conversation or comment so differently).

  5. Livingalmostlarge Says:

    Good luck. Sounds like a treatment plan is in order. Whatever happens have a good thanksgiving with them.

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