Tag: FOE

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!

3 Financial Focuses for 4th Quarter of 2017

3 Financial Focuses for 4th Quarter of 2017

September 7, 2017

Hey Everyone,

It’s coming upon the last quarter of 2017 so this is the time of the year we need to be more financially focused to end the year strong and start 2018 even more financially stable.

Here are 3 financial goals that my husband and I are focusing in the 4th quarter of 2017:

  1. Financial Diligence
    1. What I mean by financial diligence is sticking to the budget. I found a great free budgeting document that allows me to use Excel, and see any adjusted amounts. At first, it was a little time consuming to re-name everything because I did it individually for each page and then, my husband seeing my frustration was like, “What the f**** are you doing? You can just copy and paste the name into the cell you want because those don’t have any formulas.” He then proceeded to take over and finished what I had been slaving over for an hour in 2 minutes. I still say I did most of the work, it still got done.
    2. With all the extra money I will be working during the Federal Open Enrollment (FOE) we cannot just spend the money earned unwisely. We need to be focusing specifically putting that extra money on paying rent ahead. The goal is to pay 4 months of rent ahead in 2018 (January- April), so that during January- April when we get the GI Bill and Tax return we can put it towards the rest of the 2018 rent. That may sound confusing, but my husband is losing his GI Bill in May of 2018, so it will no longer be paying for housing or the last semester of his schooling. We really need to be financially diligent so that when we lose 1/3 of our income it won’t be as much of a blow because we have that covered. Wish us luck on that we will need it for sure.
  2. Work, Work, Work
    1. October 15- December 7 is OEP. That is the time of the year that my job hours jump from 40 hours a week up to about 100 hours. That is some hard earned money for sure. The great thing about my job is that we DO NOT HAVE to take any extra over time (OT) that we don’t want to take, outside of the 6-10 hours mandatory. We even have the freedom to spread out the OT to whenever we want to take it. That is fantastic because I still have my training scheduled on my calendar that is not to be missed.
    2. I am actually limiting myself to about 70.5 hours a week so that I don’t get burned out, can spend some time with my family, and still make some very good money. By the end, I will be totally exhausted and want to sleep for a week, but there are only 2 more years (’17/’18) where I absolutely need to push myself to my limits. I probably still will push myself year after year, so that we get closer to our financial goals.
    3. My husband’s goal is to go to college and get good grades. So far he has a 4.0 GPA, part of the honor society, Dean’s list and even does some tutoring for those struggling in his classes. We really want him to finish school, so to help financially he put in his application at Wal-Mart as a part time courtesy clerk (a.k.a cart pusher) on the weekends. It shouldn’t interfere with his studies. That will help us financially put aside some money for 2018.
  3. Forward Dreaming
    1. We cannot be planning and pushing ourselves to this extreme without some dreams of the future. During this post, it should have given you an idea of what some of our financial dreams are for the future.
      1. End of 2017- 4 months of rent paid for 2018
      2. 2018- Finish College
      3. 2019- Pay off 25,000 in debt and save 8,000 for Dopey Challenge Adventure in January 2020
      4. 2020- Pay off 35,000 in debt
      5. 2025- 30% Down payment on a house

This is going to be one turbulent adventure for sure, glad you came along for the ride.

See you on the other side!

5 Things to Do After a Long Run

5 Things to Do After a Long Run

August 27, 2017

Hey Everyone!

The miles are starting to build up on us, last week I ran enough miles to make my legs double think their strength, but after this routine, I felt like a whole new person. Taking proper care of yourself during this journey is very crucial not just to your physical health, but your mind. We are building and pushing our bodies to their limit, especially as we build miles on our training. This routine is what I do before going to bed after a long run.

Every Sunday night before bed, I make sure that I do these 5 things:Bubble Bath

  1. Epsom salt bath and bubble bath-
    1. I specifically use Dr. Teal’s Soothe & Sleep- Lavender because lavender is supposed to be a soothing scent and used before bed. Filling my tub with hot water, I add  2 cups of the Epsom salt and then allow the salt the dissolve before doing a 20-minute soak. My body really feels so much better after, my muscles are relaxed and feel gelatinous. Just utterly relaxed.
    2. I also add in Foaming Bubble Bath because, why not? If I’m going to take the time to do an entire body soak might as well add bubbles.
  2. Face Mask-
    1. Oh my goodness, after a week of running, working out, running after kids, and just living life our faces need a little cleansing love. I make sure to use my face cleanser and then this Green Tea Wash-Off Mask while I soak in my bath. It says to only have the mask on for 10- 15 minutes, but 5 more minutes can’t hurt too much, right?
    2. As soon as this mask touches my face I can feel the refreshing feel of it working into my skin. There’s just a burst of freshness as it just sits on my face. My husband says I look like a green monster when I do this.
  3. Decompress-
    1. While I’m sitting there just allowing my body to soak, and my face to get cleaned, the stress just melts away into nothingness and I can clearly think about all the wonderful events that are happening or just allow my mind to wander into creative thoughts about my Temperature Blanket, 2018 Financial Goals, gifts to buy for Christmas season (and stay in budget), and quite a few other things.
  4. Audible-
    1. I love listening to stories as well. Even though I really want to clear my mind of all the jumble of life, just laying there listening to Audible will help clear my mind. Right now I’m listening to the Unabridged Peter Pan read by Lily Collins, it is a great story that just takes me to another world. Even though I only listen in 20-minute increments I am able to keep up with the story.
  5. Sleep-
    1. Sleep is one of those important things that we must all experience, otherwise, we become crazy people that randomly start crying at our husband, wait. . . .that might be just me.  I don’t know about all of you but I really need my sleep, 10 hours would be wonderful. Looking at my Fitbit it seems that 7.5 hours is actually what I get each night. During the Federal Open Enrollment (October 15- December 7) it’s looking like I might be getting much less sleep. When you get more sleep after a run it is your body recovering and strengthening itself for your next run.

Start adopting a routine after a long run so that you can recover nicely. Mix and match what works for you, because what works for me will not necessarily work for you. I know some runners that will give themselves an ice bath or will binge on some full body massage. Would love some recommendations in the comments.

See you on the other side!


Let’s Not Stress

Let’s Not Stress

August 24, 2017

Hey Everyone,

Let’s talk about stress. It seems that no matter what happens, at some point in time we all get stressed, some more than others. I am a planner by nature to help alleviate unnecessary stress. When things are not planned out, or when major things suddenly change, I stress. My husband is the best person around that will say, “Let it go” which at the time I really don’t appreciate, but later on, I do.

Last week I was super stressed because the Federal Open Enrollment (FOE) is going to start the day after my first race towards the Dopey Challenge and I need to plan out what hours I’m going to work, and still be able to keep to my training calendar dates. You might think that it’s no big deal, but since I work from home for my company and my kids need to stay quiet while I’m working it’s harder on them which I really do not like making them be, especially in the cold weather when they can’t go outside and play like they can otherwise during the year. And with my husband not understanding how to cook properly, or how to do dishes BEFORE they actually need to be used. It stresses me out. Also working 11-14 hours a day is just plain stressful all on its own.

Also, my oldest boy has some eye problems and needs to start a series of eye surgeries to correct his vision. Before the surgeries can start he needs to have an MRI-MRA. I work for the company that has my insurance (in a separate department) so I have a better understanding of how it works. Being told that just to have the MRI-MRA done will cost $6,538 (which covers the entire deductible and the 20% coinsurance) and the ophthalmologist is saying that this needs to start before my boy turns 6 for him to have the best chance at correcting the issues. His 6th birthday is the middle of September. Yikes!!

Another stressor is that my husband still has 3 more semesters of college left (he’s going to graduate December 2018), and he is going to lose his GI benefits (that he got from his mom) in May. We are going to lose 1/3 of our income so that leaves me as a sole provider for my family for 7-10 months.

Lot’s of reasons to stress it seems in my life. I do know that stress is not good for me. Just looking at all the effects it has on the body is a horrible thought. I will try to be better at managing it. Usually by running 5-7 miles or so on the treadmill.

Stress on the Body

What are some ways that you try and keep stress away? I would love to hear from you.

See you on the other side!