About me Early Retirement Journey Fall 2018

My Back to School Shopping and Life List

My body is rejecting my current level of inactivity. But obviously, like a human, instead of trying to fix the problem, I’m throwing money at it. I love back-to-school season anyway. It’s a new spring so to speak. Historically, I do better with structure and automation. The less decisions I have to make in any one day, the better. In trying to get my life back on track so I can make it to Sabbatical 2020, here’s some pending expenses to hit my budget this Fall.


back to school

1, A new mattress
Rationale: I’ve been waking up with back and shoulder pain which is only compounded with my 8 hour workday behind a desk.  I looked at the two mattress companies that appeared first on a Google search. One has 2 locations on my way to work. Stopped in and it was mildly helpful, but went with the the one, US Mattress (no affiliate), that had the better clicking experience and hauled my old mattress away. I picked the mattress based on number of reviews, cost, and estimated comfort. Eh, we’ll see. It took me about 10 days to make a decision from when I identified the problem.
Cost: $700 (rounded) for mattress + box spring + frame
Budget Category: Incidentals, $340/mon x 3 mos + Miscellany, $144/mon  x 3 mos

2, New shoes
Rationale: Because of back pain, along with shoulder pain, my tailbone starts to hurt near the end of the work day and the end of the work week. My work has accommodated me by providing me a sit-to-stand desk. However, while the standing desk alleviates pressure off my tailbone and shanks (do humans have shanks), it makes my feet and legs hurt.
Cost: $125 $0
Notes. I mentioned interest in getting Dansko clogs (no affiliate), and my nurse colleague offered up her old ones from her clinical days. Win for the single 30-something!

3, Meal plan
Rationale: I haven’t been eating well lately. I thought I’d kick off back-to-school season with some prepared meals (not meal kits) delivered to my house. I  did a quick Google search and a few names (no affiliate) popped up that met my lactard needs (lactose-intolerant): The Good Kitchen, Pete’s Paleo, and  Trifecta Nutrition. The Good Kitchen provided the easiest clicking experience, so I ended up going with them. I might try the others, might not.  Trifecta Nutrition was definitely the most interesting, but it was too many clicks.
Cost: $75 (rounded) for 5 meals
Budget Category: Groceries, $200/mon

4, An Activity
Rationale: So I guess I’m taking a small step in doing something about the rapid decline of my physical health. Walking for free hasn’t really worked much in the last 2.5 years. Although I promised myself that I would never buy a gym membership since I’m not that girl for a number of reasons, desperation and loss of common sense got the better of me. I picked out a class in the community recreating guide, T’ai Chi, that may help me loosen some tension and fits in with my schedule.
Cost: $88 for 7 classes
Budget Category: Incidentals, $340/mon

5, Working late shift
Rationale: I’m having so much trouble sleeping lately, I decided to ask my boss for a more regular shift. Usually we rotate start times between 8a-12n. The two reasonable options were 11a -7p or 12-8p. I don’t like being the last person walking across that dark parking lot, so I think I’m going to go with the 11a-7p. At the very least I can wake up a few times during the night and still have time to fall back asleep. And maybe staying up longer will help me stay asleep longer.  We’ll see.
Rationale 2: Also helps automate my life as I focus on getting to Sabbatical 2020. Regular shift can mean regular bed time, regular meal times and regular times to decompress.
Rationale 3: Work day goes a little slower, but overall the day goes by more quickly.
Cost: $0 but we’ll see (I may end up eating out more, or I may end up eating less altogether)

6, Plane tickets to visit Aunty MERJ (Aug – Dec 2018)
Rationale: She’s not doing well and I feel a sense of duty because she took care of my first 10 years in America. And I’m managing parts of her life until we can get her full time care. I spent about 2 to 3 hours searching Allegiant (budget airline), Southwest, and Kayak and looking at open vacation days on my work calendar to pick out these monthly visits. I was initially thinking every 3 months, but I don’t know, somehow this seemed easier. She just seems to need so much little stuff done and last minute flights not only increase my anxiety but cost more, so I’ll just start here and see.

Cost: $1608, est. initial transactional cost  + whatever incidental expenses that come with travelling
Budget Category: Tithe/Gift, $250/mon x 5 mos +  Incidentals, $340/mon x 1 mon + Miscellany, $144/mon x 1 mon
Note. Hmm, now that I look at this number, this would probably be a good time to look into credit card travel-hacking, but I’m trying to automate my life not add asterisks to it. So, while I hear the virtual frugalists cringing, I’ve accepted my limitations.

Total estimated costs: $2471 (my budgeted expenses for a month! Will see how this stacks up at next quarterly or annual income and expenses report)

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  1. Buckeyecub says:

    Something to keep in mind with airline tickets… Southwest is most flexible if you ever need to change tickets. No change fees just pay fare difference. After having to pay a lot in change fees recently we decided to stick to Southwest unless the cost difference was larger then other airline’s change fee.

    1. myearlyretirej says:

      You’re right about that. Had to utilize that feature for Aunty MERJ this summer. I keep listening to her eventhough I know better. When I know for sure, I try to pick Allegiant. They’re a little inconvenient but half the price sometimes.

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