For those who are new, my style of “spending” is a little convoluted. I have two checking accounts. I keep the majority of my money in the secondary account, transferring $250 a week into the main account. But I charge everything to the card to maximize rewards. As charges accrue, I transfer money out of the main account into the secondary one. Then I make a weekly payment on my credit card.
A tad confusing, perhaps, but it works for me. Anyway, here’s how spending went this week.
I woke up and got through emails, then left for Harbor Freight to return the hammer drill, which had made only incremental progress on drilling into cement. There was just no way I could get the patio done with it, since I had to drill not just two 4″ holes but also about 22 thinner 2″ holes.
Also at one point a screw randomly fell out. Eesh.
Thankfully, they didn’t give me a hard time, so it was done quickly. I came home and rested/answered emails the rest of the day. After work, I left for my much-needed massage. All the hammer drill’s vibrations, my neck and shoulders were a mess.
She only charges me $50 for an hour, but I tip on the whole amount. So the total was $65. Amounts of $60 or more don’t come out of weekly funds.
I came home and got ready for dinner, since Mom and I were meeting Aaron at Chili’s for a meal. It went well, and he was nice enough to pay.
He went back to Tempe, and we came home and watched some TV. Mom’s visits usually consist of chatting and my catching her up on shows, since she and her sweetie don’t have a TV.
We called it a night around 10:30 p.m. and I fell asleep about half an hour later.
Total spent: $65 ($0 out of weekly funds)
I woke up and got through emails, then Mom and I ran to Fry’s for snacks ($13.72). I also chatted with my friend from trivia who was coming over the next day to help with project.
The plan was to go to my favorite BBQ place after work, since Mom loves the food there too. We were both famished by 3 p.m. when I finished work, so we had a very late lunch/very early dinner. I treated her because, uh, she’d paid for a plane ticket. The place is a bit pricey, so the total after tax and tip was $76.36.
We came back and rested since we had a long day ahead of us. I did take a few minutes to drill pocket holes on the boards we’d need to attach to the posts.
Otherwise, we just chatted and watched TV. I went to bed at 10 p.m. since my friend was coming over at 9 a.m. the next day.
Total spent: $90.08 ($13.72 out of weekly funds)
I woke up a bit before my 8:30 a.m. alarm went off. I had wanted to make sure I was fully awake when my friend came over to help out.
He showed up at 9 a.m. and we put up one of the new support posts. But then he noticed that the middle post was supporting where the two different boards running horizontally below the patio roof — and thus helping to support the patio roof — joined.
He said that this meant we would need to put the second new post in the exact same spot, or one of the boards might come down. But I wanted some symmetry for the distance between posts. So we agreed to just do four posts instead of two.
We got one more anchor into the ground — I put the wood on 1″ bases this time, since that helps keep the wood from going bad, eaten by insect — and placed the post.
Then we went to rent the hammer drill from Home Depot and to get the fourth post and its base. We figured a more industrial-strength drill would work better. For reasons you’ll see below, I’m not counting that cost at all. The post was $16.27, but all costs associated with the patio project is coming out of savings, so it won’t be taken out of my weekly funds.
While we were out, I suggested lunch — my treat obviously as he was giving me hours of help. We went to Chipotle and… I can’t find the charge anywhere on my card. No idea why, but I guess it didn’t go through? Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch?
We came back, and my friend started drilling the third post hole. We had to change out the out battery twice (it came with an extra battery) and still made only small progress. Partially because the drill kept getting super hot. We were using a potholder on the hand stabilizing the drill, and even so, we had to keep giving the machine a break.
At 4 p.m. he had to take off, as he had plans with his wife. I thanked him profusely, and he said to let him know if I needed help again the next day. Such a nice guy!
I kept drilling a bit, but the battery died again. And when I tried to charge them, I got a flashing light that the manual said meant there was something wrong with the battery pack.
I packed up the drill, and took it to the rental department. Of course, the battery packs charged fine when I was there. I asked why the batteries were dying so quickly. The guy said that using a hammer drill to punch holes in concrete would make the machine work extra hard and use up the battery faster. And that I should be using a rotary hammer instead of a hammer drill.
He was very nice and just voided the charge for the hammer drill, saying he tries to get his guys to ask what the customer is using the tool for. So I should’ve been told when I picked up the tool that it was the wrong one.
By the time we got home, it was 8:30 p.m. and I was too weary to do anything else. But I did check the YouTube video and, yup, she was using a rotary drill but had called it a hammer drill. I left a very displeased comment on the video.
I called it a night at 10:30 p.m. and was, unsurprisingly, asleep quickly.
Total spent: $16.27 ($0 out of weekly funds)
Josie woke me up crying sometime before 7 a.m. I fought it for half an hour, but gave up and got up. Her food was low — low, not out — so I guess that was the issue. Either way, I was not happy to be awake so early. So for the rest of the day, any time I saw her sleeping, I poked her awake. Because I’m petty.
I got started with the rotary hammer and sure enough it made the hole in almost no time at all. I grumbled, thinking about all the time I’d spent with the hammer drill and how knotted my neck and shoulders were from the vibrations.
Mom woke up not too long after I did the last two holes, and we put up the support posts. One of which was too tall and splintered the boards a bit. Oops. We trimmed it down… and made it a bit too short. Double oops.
Luckily, we had plenty of shim-size pieces of wood from other cutting attempts, so we just put those in the base until the post was tall enough.
I drilled holes for the screws that would attach the posts to the boards at the top, then added the screws. And nearly injured myself like three times, forgetting I was on the second step instead of the first one and stepping off to the side. Eek!
Unfortunately, our attempts to get the posts in place — which required hammering them a bit, given how snug the fit needed to be — meant the two bases we’d installed had moved a bit to be slightly horizontal to the edge of the patio, instead of perpendicular. Which meant we had to cut the baseboards at a bit of an angle. But we got it done.
By this point, I was starting to get pretty worn out — yay chronic fatigue — and Aaron videocalled to see how I was doing. When he learned how much had gone awry, he offered to come over, which I was more than happy to accept.
By the time he got there, I’d put in the concrete screws for two of the four baseboards. He took over and did the last two, which is good because I was exhausted.
I cleaned all the dust off the rotary drill because there’s a cleaning fee if you turn in a dirty one. Then Aaron drove me to Home Depot to drop it off. With the protection coverage (not optional, I guess) and tax, the rental was $70.19. Ouch. But worth it.
I ordered some takeout for us ($29.59), and he, me and Mom relaxed for the rest of the night. We fell asleep around 10 p.m.
Total spent: $99.78 ($29.59 out of weekly funds)
We must’ve been exhausted because Aaron woke me up saying it was past 8 a.m.
I said goodbye to him and then jumped into work. Thankfully, I got caught up quickly.
I had a doctor’s appointment late morning. My insurance took my doctor off their network, so I’m paying $85 to see him each month. Sigh. But it’s almost time to switch plans.
I stopped on the way home and got some more snacks ($19.55), then came home and finished my workday. After which, Mom and I just chilled out and occasionally admired the patio work we’d done. Vastly imperfect, but I was still pretty proud.
Mom and I stayed up too late enjoying Letterkenney, which I’d introduced her to this visit. So I fell asleep around 11:30 p.m.
Total spent: $104.55 ($19.55 out of weekly funds)
This was a blissfully uneventful day. No appointments, work was quiet, and Mom and I just chilled out and watched more Letterkenney.
It was such a quiet day that I can’t think of anything else to mention. Just relaxing and kibitzing with Mom until bedtime.
I fell asleep around 10:30 p.m.
Total spent: $0 (FINALLY!!!)
I woke up, got through emails and then picked up the Lowe’s order I’d placed the week before. This was for materials for the screen door. Yes, I’m building the screen door. Only because I had to make it 36″ wide, and a used screen door that size won’t fit in my car and new screen doors are overpriced. And by the time we realized that I’d need to do four posts, I’d already drilled the hole and put in the anchor wedge for the post for the doorway, and I wasn’t going to redo that. So… DIY door it was!
I had forgotten a couple things, so I spent $12.53 on those.
I came home and dealt with emails as they came in. I’d hoped I could trim the boards for the middle part of the patio frame (you can’t keep 7′ of continuous screen taut, so each section needed to be broken up into two parts) while Mom was around to hold the board while I used the circular saw. But I was beat. So instead, I sat around just trying to enjoy my last few hours with Mom, since I was taking her to the airport that evening.
After work, Mom and I relaxed a little, then left to get her to the airport. We stopped at Fry’s so she could get some food for the plane, then I dropped her off at 5:15 p.m. I swear she was here only a few days and not two weeks.
The airport is close to Tempe, so Aaron and I had agreed I’d come over. I got there around 5:30 p.m. He was watching a basketball game. I’m not a huge fan of sports, but I find basketball the most tolerable. So I watched the game off and on while playing on my phone/chatting with Aaron.
He ordered dinner, and we ended up going to bed pretty early — around 9 p.m.
But my bug bites — I’d sustained four sometime Saturday night/Sunday morning — were going crazy, so it took me at least an hour to fall asleep.
Total spent: $0
Total spent: $375.68 ($62.8 out of weekly funds)
Wow, I haven’t had this much of a low-spend week (from weekly funds) in a while. This was a frantic week — a frustrating one, at that. But I guess at least Mom and I enjoyed her visit. In and among my cursing about the patio.
How did everyone’s week go financially?