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.
regular monthly expenses
cell phone 11.53
insurance - car & home 115.37
hair appt 105.00
healthy food 76.68
junk food 25.32
eating out 54.25
household goods 1.05
driver's license renewal (four years) 48.00
online dating* 101.94
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)
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!
October spending and update