May Wrap Up

May, 2017 is in the books! It wasn’t a bad month and we crossed the $14,000 line growing the fund almost 7% this month.

Monthly Deposits Beginning Gain Ending % Growth
         
July, 2016 0 $509.86 $509.86 N/A
August, 2016 $509.86 $1,214.77 $1,724.63 238.26%
September, 2016 $1,724.63 $1,422.87 $3,147.50 82.50%
October, 2016 $3,147.50 $1,493.36 $4,640.86 47.45%
November, 2016 $4,640.86 $1,119.90 $5,760.76 24.13%
December, 2016 $5,760.76 $1,502.69 $7,263.45 26.08%
January, 2017 $7,263.45 $473.73 $7,737.18 6.52%
February, 2017 $7,737.18 $979.77 $8,716.95 12.66%
March, 2017 $8,716.95 $3,795.91 $12,512.86 43.55%
April, 2017 $12,512.86 $896.85 $13,409.71 7.17%
May, 2017 $13,409.71 $937.35 $14,347.06 6.99%

You may remember that I also started keeping track of any sick days since we stopped eating sugar and processed foods. Neither one of us has had a cold or flu (or any other illness thankfully) since I started blogging. Actually we haven’t been sick in years but I never kept any former records so I can’t say for sure how long that’s been.

Why do I take time to write about this? I was constantly sick before I started eating right and I spent a ton of money on prescriptions, lab tests, etc. It was free and easy enough to stop buying and eating junk food. I wish I had known this years ago. If you have frequent colds and/or aches and pains in your joints, this is something worth trying. It doesn’t cost money and it doesn’t hurt to try.

Even though George has health insurance for us through his employer, we are now cash patients when we go to the chiropractor or have an annual physical. We’ve been cash patients for about 10 years. We barely make a dent in our deductible and it makes sense to pay less. Our doctor’s have assured us that if we hit a year where we meet the deductible, they’ll be happy to submit our claims for us. This has saved us some money on our every six week chiropractor visits.

I know we are experiencing some huge blessings from this and that could literally change overnight due to an accident, developing cancer, etc. Please don’t take what I’m writing as bragging or as any type of guarantee. At the same time, if you do some internet searches, you’ll find tons of people are reversing diabetes and getting well by changing their diets. Again, I share this simply because I wish someone had told me. When I had constant sinus and urinary tract infections, my former M.D. didn’t tell me. I honestly don’t think he knew. I’ve switched doctors since then and am thankful for a GP who recognizes and supports my choices.

If you are reading this and you’re wondering where to start, consider watching Sugar: The Bitter Truth by Dr. Lustig on YouTube. Part of wealth is health right? This video has had over 7 million views. It’s a bit long. I watched it 15 minutes at a time but it’s worth it. I knew I wasn’t supposed to eat sweets but I didn’t understand why until I watched Dr. Lustig’s lecture.  His lecture also showed me why I was constantly hungry (sugar interfere’s with your body’s ability to feel satiated). It was amazing to feel the fog and constant hunger lift after kicking sugar to the curb.

Dr. Lustig is an M.D. and head of the Pediatric Obesity clinic at the University of California in San Francisco. His credentials are solid and his advice has worked well for us here in the Pinnacle Point household.

Sugar: The Bitter Truth (a lecture by Dr. Lustig)

Powering up at McKays

McKays Used Books is well known and loved here. I exchanged a book for a cute sticker book to add to our granddaughter’s birthday gifts. That was a $5 freebie. She’ll love these cute Melissa and Doug fairy stickers and our MG fund loves the $5 deposit.

We also used our regular birthday gift budget to get her a few art supplies and a snap circuit building set. Every little girl wants to build circuits that really turn on lights, shoot off a helicopter blade and emit sounds right? Knowing Ro, she’ll love it.

I just went to Amazon to try to grab a stock picture of the snap circuit kit. I’ve been falling down on the birthday budget. It is almost half the price of what we just paid at Hobby Lobby. Lesson learned – shop ahead and get a deal!! This power up could have been $25 instead of $5 and she would have had the same gifts.

Short work week + staycation

= less driving and another power up. I admit I’m pushing it all trying to get as many of these as I can before the month ends. Costco is closed today which is where we fill up for the week so fuel purchasing is done for the week. We can’t even top off.

Today’s deposit is $19.44.

(In case you are wondering, we budget $80 a week for fuel. We almost always come in under but gas prices have come down. We’re reluctant to change the budget as the price of fuel fluctuates. For now, these weekly power ups are nice to grab and we don’t have to stress or have a budget meeting if the price of gas goes up. DH’s driving each week also fluctuates. He works for a manufacturing company that has plants in several states. On any given day, he could be driving to facilities that are several hours away.)

Level Completed: 163 out of 251
Amount Deposited this month: $927.63
Total Balance: $14,337.34
Our Money Game fund has increased 6.9% so far this month.

$591.12 is needed to reach the next level

New? Start here …

Google Doc spreadsheet showing all 250 levels of the Money Game

Chez Georges for brunch

BrunchEggs

I hope you all are having a great weekend! We’re using it to clean and organize getting ready to have some contractors over. The upstairs heat pump is going to get replaced and we’re having new tile floors installed in the poweder room, laundry room and master bath.

Memorial Day weekend means time for a nice brunch. George is a great cook and he’s creative and inventive. He came up with a new dish this morning that I thought was as good as anything I’ve tasted at Canoe in Atlanta (our favorite place for brunch).

This recipe didn’t take more time or money. It was just a great combination of cruncy lettuce greens with scrambled eggs and mushrooms. The buttery eggs and rich mushrooms contrast with the wilted greens and it has a wonderful taste and texture.

I’m offering this up as an example of a way to make a day extra special without any extra cost or fuss. I usually cook breakfast during the week days and I’m adding this to our regular rotation.

If you’d like to make these, chop some crunch lettuce (he used romaine) and put in a small serving bowl. Season the greens with some salt and pepper. Next sautee chopped mushrooms in half butter/half olive oil. Spoon the cooked mushrooms over the greens to give the greens a chance to wilt and absorb the flavors. Finally soft scramble eggs and spoon on top. He added 1/2 teaspoon of original Mrs. Dash to the egg mixture before scrambling in more butter.

Be sure to spoon all the layers as you serve this dish. I can think of a lot of ways to vary this with the regular vegetables we keep on hand. Mornings just got a lot better!

We served this with green smoothies (made with more lettuce, green apple, avocado and lime) and cut up fresh cantelope.

To me, there’s nothing better than getting to have a meal at home that rivals a fine restaurant. We have all the comforts of home around us to enjoy after we eat and we don’t have to fight traffic all the way home. This is one of the unexpected joys of frugal living. If you are more of an extrovert, just make a little more and invite some people over!

DH delivers a power up

The toilet wasn’t flushing right. George mentioned he was going to go to Home Depot to buy a valve kit or something.

20 minutes later his head popped around the bedroom door. He had watched a You Tube video on cleaning the valves and the toilet was repaired. No kit was needed. I joked asking him if that meant I could put $20 in the Money Game fund and he countered with $10. (We are in the middle of doing some home maintenance in the kitchen and powder room if you’re wondering why he’s guarding funds in our home maintenance category.)

We met in the middle so today’s deposit is $10. If you’re an interested reader, I know I’m preaching to the choir but it all adds up.

Level Completed: 163 out of 251
Amount Deposited this month: $908.19
Total Balance: $14,317.90
Our Money Game fund has increased 6.8% so far this month.

$610.56 is needed to reach the next level

New? Start here …

Google Doc spreadsheet showing all 250 levels of the Money Game

Level 163: Thanking God for the rain

and the cooler temps that gave us another unusually lower utility bill. We budget $300 and the bill was $126.36. Holy cow that’s low.

Today’s deposit is 173.64. With that we finish Level 163 and have 89 levels left to complete.

Level Completed: 163 out of 251
Amount Deposited this month: $898.19
Total Balance: $14,307.90
Our Money Game fund has increased 6.7% so far this month.

$620.56 is needed to reach the next level

New? Start here …

Google Doc spreadsheet showing all 250 levels of the Money Game

Gleaning – end of month power ups

I realize these posts are boring. I’m glad I take the time to journal them though. Our one big deposit (the tax refund) was only 23% of our total. All of these little boring power ups have carried the load. They really add up.

Because someone asked – I actually make these deposits into the savings account we designated for the Money Game. Online banking is a modern miracle.

I went through YNAB again and $2.74 left in the spending category for getting my hair cut and colored. I have better use for that money!

Today’s deposit: $2.74

Level Completed: 162 out of 251
Amount Deposited this month: $724.55
Total Balance: $14,134.26
Our Money Game fund has increased 5.4% so far this month.

$83.32 is needed to reach the next level

New? Start here …

Google Doc spreadsheet showing all 250 levels of the Money Game

Living richly

counter fern
(photo by George)

Today, it meant finishing the job. I had washed the dishes and tidied up the kitchen and frankly I was done. I just wanted to check out.

I glanced down and the counter on the island was dirty. George was on his way home and I wanted things to look nice for him. I got out some spray and wiped them down.

It was a simple chore and didn’t take an extra two minutes. It just struck me how that extra step made the kitchen sparkle and yea, he noticed and commented when he came in.

It also struck me that sparkling felt rich. And it didn’t cost any extra money. I had to let it sink in that what feels rich isn’t always what one might think. When I was an older kid, I remember how luxurious my bedroom felt if all my clothes were picked up and the bed was made. We were dirt poor by the way.

It’s funny that simple act made me feel “richer” than the MG balance. It was a change you could feel. I need to remember that. It really drives home the fact that money is just an idea. If you sat in one corner with your pile and I sat in my corner with my pile, we’d just be two people in opposite corners holding piles. It’s what we do with what we have that makes a difference.

I’m still doing end of the month power ups. I haven’t needed much and have over $60 left in my personal spending category. I moved it to the Money Game. The percent growth for the month is now over 5% and that makes me really happy. The utility bill should give us a power up and I have a few more up my sleeve. The month isn’t over yet.

Today’s deposit: $62.52

Level Completed: 162 out of 251
Amount Deposited this month: $721.81
Total Balance: $14,131.52
Our Money Game fund has increased 5.4% so far this month.

$86.06 is needed to reach the next level

New? Start here …

Google Doc spreadsheet showing all 250 levels of the Money Game

Powering up with our regular monthly deposit

We deposit $125 a month into the Money Game near the end of each month. Today’s the day and it’s always a nice boost. Nice enough to get us over the $14,000 line. It’s a great way to end the month but I think I can still find a few more power ups.

While we keep saving enough to make our real estate move, George pointed out that we could buy and sell the cars we drive if we take time to find great cars at good prices and just flip them. I asked him if that’s a sneaky way to get the Money Game to start funding our car purchases? It’s a thought though. Since I’m not working, I can be flexible and go without a car if a buyer emerges before we’ve found our next one.

Anyone want to buy a 2002 Lexus SC430 with 190,000 miles? I promise – it’s a sweet ride and it’s been well maintained! $10,500

Today’s deposit: $125.00

Level Completed: 162 out of 251
Amount Deposited this month: $661.29
Total Balance: $14,071.00
Our Money Game fund has increased 4.9% so far this month.

$146.58 is needed to reach the next level

New? Start here …

Google Doc spreadsheet showing all 250 levels of the Money Game