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Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Some of my blogger friends will do a no-spend month, trying to save some money. And several do a pantry/freezer challenge to use up some food that has been 'hanging around' a little too long, and again trying to save money.

I have had some large bills to pay in December and January and am now trying to catch up. My no-spend month has turned into two months and might last even longer. I am by no means lacking anything so it hasn't been so hard to do, but when I see some good sales I am tempted to shop for bargains. And those 'bargains' are for things I really don't need so they really aren't bargains after all. When I get emails telling me of big sales I just delete without reading them. Yes, I would like some new bedding as my comforter is looking pretty sad, plus could use some new pillows. But right now neither one is necessary, and there will always be other sales in the future.

In December I had to pay my annual premium for Medicare supplement insurance, which is huge. Add to that my 6 month car insurance bill, and annual home renter's insurance, car license and I forget what else. The only way I know I will have enough money for these bills is to use the cash envelope system. I also keep track of my income and spending with a computer software program, but I need that visual of cash in an envelope, even if it is play money.

In my January Walmart bill I had charges from Nov 25 and Dec. 18 for store purchases and Dec. 11 for an online purchase. Most of that was for stocking up on groceries and paper products that were needed so that I had enough on hand that I would not have to make a trip to the store when weather and roads were bad. That bill was almost $600. I have never had charges that high for one month! Thank goodness there were no charges on any other accounts for the month.

Starting the new year I have an annual deductible of $405 for my med prescriptions, and not all of my meds qualify for the deductible! Unfortunately, I needed all my meds refilled right after January 1. So that bill that had to be paid in February, which was again, almost $600 and that was for only prescriptions, nothing else. So you can see why I am in a no-spending period. And my Walmart bill was $0 so that helped a lot.

I did really well with no spending, but then I had to order a new rolling stool because the one I had has a crack in the place where the caster goes and it isn't safe for me to sit on. So my first expense on the February bill was a new stool ordered online on Jan 24, for $113, free shipping and no tax! I ordered through Walmart so I got 3% reward dollars, and I went through Ebates so got another 1% back. And I had about $53 built up from Walmart Savings Catcher, making the charge only $60, so I think I did fairly well on that deal. I tried to do my work without a stool but it just was not working at all. So the stool is a necessity.

I finally had to give in and buy groceries Jan 31. I stocked up again plus bought some winter boots for $25 and some walking shoes for $5. I really need some boots and I liked these, but when I tried to get my foot in them, it would not go in, even with the zipper on the side, so I need to return them. I forgot to take them along on my most recent trip. :( I have a high instep so I guess I will not be able to have boots for now. The charge for that trip was $215. So I went from Dec. 18 until January 31 without buying any food. And I still had plenty to eat, just needed ordinary things like milk, bread, cheese, yogurt and fresh produce. I did get a few things I think I can't do without, like my flavored coffee mixes.

On Feb 5 I ordered necessary paper products and personal needs online and my total bill for the month is $360. I made another grocery trip Feb 27 and only bought the minimum things I really needed and was able to limit my amount to $85. Now it is March 5 and I don't need anything else so far.

March is a medical month. I go in for a protime test this week, but Medicare will take care of the whole bill. Next week I see my family doctor for a med check and I might have to pay a deductible for Medicare on that bill. The next day is my 6 month checkup at the dentist and I will have to pay all of that bill. I think I had x-rays taken last time so should not have to have them done this time. I just hope the dentist doesn't find anything that needs to be fixed.

My electric bill has to be paid yet and that is $142. I think it is quite reasonable since everything is electric here. I was talking about the bills with my niece and she said their bill was over $500 for the month! But they have a large 3-bedroom house with full basement and she has a small beauty shop in her house that takes a little more power.

I hope to get through March without unnecessary spending again and see if I can get the 'cash' built up in my Rx envelope to cover my next refills. Since I have already paid toward the deductible for the year, the bill should be much less. It is really hard to increase the amounts in my cash envelopes when I do not get a bigger Social Security check. We got a 3% increase but then Medicare took out more so I am still getting the same size check that I have had for several years, but I am hanging in there.


  1. My dad said the same thing about his SS increase; that Medicare took it. It sounds like you are very mindful of your money and doing a great job. The more I shop in real stores, the more I like online shopping! I may have to look into the walmart thing.

    1. I have a Walmart charge card which gives me cash rewards of 1% for in-store purchases and 3% for Walmart.com orders. And be sure to use Ebates as well. Sometimes Ebates has double or triple rebates for some stores and those are good days to order. Walmart Savings Catcher only works for in-store purchases. I have saved over $100 through that, even though I don't buy as much as a family would. I could probably earn more if I had a smartphone to apply all coupons, but that smartphone costs more than what I would save with coupons. As with any online shopping, some prices are higher online than they are in the store, and vice-versa, so it is a good thing to know your prices.

  2. You are doing very well on your limited income. But you are a wise woman.


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