Tag: 2018

January 2018 Update

January 2018 Update

February 1, 2018

Hey Everyone,

I can’t believe that 1/12 of the year is already over. Seems like yesterday that it was the stroke of midnight welcoming in a brand new year with lots of things to accomplish. While there have been many strides forward during this month to kick off the 2018 year, there have been a couple setbacks.  As with any journey we keep pushing through to reach the finish line.

Husband and I reevaluated our financial situation for this upcoming 2018 year, especially since he is losing his GI Benefits in May and we needed to figure out how to pay for his summer classes and then the last semester of college for him. At first, it was going to be so constricting that we would have been having absolutely no room to breath, not even a penny could be squeezed out anymore.

After our conversation, we found some breathing room with him filing his FASFA for his last semester early. We just needed to figure out how to pay for the last three weeks of the current semester, summer classes and books for those times Which would have still caused it to be tight but breathable. Another windfall came as well in the form of my in-laws. Goodness, I love them. They kinda knew that with the loss of the GI Bill that we were going to have some difficulties so they gave us some money to finish paying the last three weeks of this semester, and then books for the summer. Now we just need to put aside money for books for the last semester at the University of Nevada, Reno. Much easier to come up with $500-$750 for books than an extra $6,000+.

We celebrated a whole year of braces for me, a successful eye surgery for Monster, and I even got a small promotion at work, and Husband is working on a promotion at his job. We even dropped my youngest down to two partial days at daycare to cut some daycare costs.

With all this stress and more “free time” since there isn’t as much overtime at my job at the moment (still an extra 12-20 hours a week, but less than what I did during OEP) I’ve been able to hit the streets more often. During the month of January, I’ve accumulated 36 miles under my feet. Yup, only 36. Those miles certainly feel fantastic right now. I’m only 7% accomplished with my goal of 500, but I’m slow and steady. I do not want a medical bill to worry about during this year. That can wait for a time of never.

January 36-500 miles

How about you? Did you accomplish any of your 2018 goals? Was it as hard as you thought it would be? Tell me in the comments.

Also, whoever can guess correctly the number of running miles completed by the end of February will get a special gift from me. Give me your best guess. Who knows? You might be a winner.

See you on the other side.


OEP Finale

January 9, 2018

Hey Everyone,

So during 2017 the Anual Open Enrollment period that goes from 10/15- 12/07 didn’t technically start early by any means because that would be going against the federal government or some such thing as that, but people certainly started calling about three weeks before the official start date to begin calling. My hours really ballooned starting at the end of September going from 40 hours a week, up to a maximum of 76 hours a week. It was super crazy and exhausting.

My work week looked very much like this, but with some breaks, during the day as legally allowed, of course:

Sunday: 7:00 A.M.- 3:00 P.M.

Monday- Friday: 4:00 A.M.- 8:00 P.M.

Saturday: 6:00 A.M.- 5:00 PM.

This was my work schedule for the entire 8 weeks period. In the middle of November, I even came down with a fever for three days and had body aches, a headache, nausea, and vomiting. I pushed through though; no rest for the wicked. This time of the year is the busiest, most beneficial time of the year for making money. No way was I going to pass it up because I got sick. Knowing that it was a temporary situation to a permanent solution.

Over my desk, I had a calendar where I was counting down the days until it was finally completed. Next, to the calendar, there was a list of things that needed to be accomplished with that extra money, more specifically paying forward rent for the first 4 months of the year, and also putting more payments on the car, want that payment finished by May at the latest.

Even though it is the middle of January, it is now the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period that goes from 01/01- 02/14 where people are signing up for prescription drug plans as well as the time where all the new members call in with follow up questions about their plan for the new year. So the overtime is still very steady throughout the week. 60 hours each week.

If these hours keep going as they are for the rest of the year and there are no unexpected hiccups, we will be able to make it financially.

Bring it on, 2018!

See you on the other side!

Recap of 2017. Welcome, 2018.

Recap of 2017. Welcome, 2018.

January 02, 2018

Hey Everyone,

The last time I spoke with you was in September. Wow! It’s been so long. I know I kinda went off the face of the Earth but I kinda had a whirlwind of chaos enter my life. Don’t you hate when that happens? I certainly do.

Well, I was in a car accident and totaled the car. Everyone was okay, including the other person I was in the accident with and my boys who were in their car seats. It was one of the scariest days of my life. I will go over at a later date in more detail about what happened and how we were able to replace the car within a week of the accident. That was the end of September.

After the accident, I decided that instead of trying to work a budget out every month and not being able to see into the financial future that I would use Excel. At first, Husband thought that I had gone and lost my mind when I made this document, but after I had it set up how I wanted he was a little impressed. I didn’t organize it by month because we get paid bi-weekly, and that would frustrate me to no end. So I did it by paycheck and then put in the amounts that are expected for income and then what bills are coming out in the pay period. All across the sheet until the end of the year. When I put in the formulas the numbers would change accordingly, which is exactly what I wanted so that I can see ahead what time frames are going to be hard for us and see what we can limit, or use some savings on. (Also, if you look the savings is only $75 which is the automatic transfer that happens from the bank each month, not including the automatic savings that comes from my paycheck each pay period, so that is slightly misleading.) I already started putting in the numbers for the 2018 year using expected numbers.

I swear the hardest part was the pie charts. The chart down below in the Expenses for the 2017 year from 10/06 to 12/28. I cannot put the income chart for that same time frame due to legal reasons with my company, but just know that during this time I made 71% of our income.

2017 Expenses Pie Chart

For some strange and blissful reason, people started panicking and calling the call center so the Overtime opportunities got greater and well before OEP started I was working 50+ hours a week, leaving me super exhausted. With the car totaled and needing to pay off the replacement, I decided to throw myself into working as much Overtime as possible. From 10/15- 12/08 I worked Monday through Friday from 4:00 AM to 8:00 PM with two 45 minute breaks before and after my regular shift to have breakfast and dinner with my family. Working Saturdays and Sundays was super difficult but I also worked from 6:00 A.M- 5:00 PM. 8 Weeks straight. I even got sick in the middle of November and had a fever of 104 degrees, with body aches, headaches and some vomiting and diarrhea. Not pleasant, but I pushed through and worked my butt off. I knew that it was worth it in the end.

I did get Thanksgiving off and spent it with my family and some very close friends.

Husband also started his job at Wal-Mart as a courtesy clerk, a.k.a. cart pusher. Since he has classes Monday through Thursday, he works Friday through Sunday. It isn’t the most glamorous job, there are days he comes home telling me about someone ODing in the parking lot, getting yelled at for closing the doors when the person’s vehicle is “Right there” and even, getting told that it is a shame that he can’t do better, on and on. We know that this job is only going to be temporary, i.e. a year. It is a temporary situation to a permanent solution.

Also, you know that chore chart stuff that I made for the boys at the beginning of the school year? It didn’t work for very long. Not because the boys weren’t doing the chores, but because they were too easy. I’ll tell you more about that in a little bit.

The last thing that would be a great thing to acknowledge is that I am so grateful to my company to allow people, such as myself, to be able to turn in our unused purchased PTO and get it the first paycheck in December. Even though we were financially stable and could have put the money towards paying off our “new” vehicle we decided to use it for Christmas gifts for the kids and family. It was our fail-safe measure to make sure that no matter what, we didn’t dip into our Christmas savings. It definitely worked.

Welcome, to 2018. Even though Husband worked New Year’s Eve until 11:00 PM. We did a mini celebration on his lunch break for the kids at 6:00 PM. This is the year that we are buckling down. We are using our Excel document, doing as much overtime as we can stand, and just making it through this year. I will still be running, but not as much as I would have hoped. This is going to be a bumpy road.

See you on the other Side.