We are going to start posting a monthly update with general news on our retirement activities and how we are trying to stay frugal, as well as our income and expenditures for each month.
We visited family in Toronto in May, then returned to Iowa just in time to attend our niece Katelynn’s graduation from Simpson College. Kara took a quick trip back to Iowa alone at the end of May to attend our nephew Christopher’s high school graduation.
The worst part of May was discovering that Chiqui’s congestive heart failure was getting worse. Her belly became bloated and we took her straight to the vet, who sent us right over to the veterinary cardiologist. After an echocardiogram, they removed three liters of fluid from her belly! She clearly felt better right away. The cardiologist added new medications to her Atenolol, so she now also takes Benazepril, Furosemide, and Pimobendan.
Kara has been doing some part-time consulting with her former employer, since the person who replaced her at work quit. She flew out to the Bay Area to do some training with the replacement for her replacement, and has also been working remotely from Colorado.
Kara won $1750 in gift cards for Cost Plus World Market from the blog Pretty Providence, which was pretty exciting. This actually happened in April, but we thought it was significant enough to include, plus they didn’t arrive until May.
Stephen spent some time shooting photos of waterfalls at Eldorado Canyon State Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. May has been extremely rainy, so everything is lush and green, and the waterfalls were beautiful.
We also worked on planning camping trips to Great Sand Dunes National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park for June. Hopefully it won’t be quite as rainy as it has been in May.
- Kara’s Part Time work at Stanford: $3,400 ($2,783 net after taxes and withholding)
- Cost Plus World Market gift cards $875 (we’re listing this at 50% of face value, since it isn’t as useful as cash and may go toward items we wouldn’t have bought otherwise)
- Sold Passion Planner $35 on eBay
- Sold Olympus cable remote $26 on eBay
- Fidelity Rewards ~$100 Kara put all her Stanford travel on her Fidelity Rewards Amex, which was reimbursed, and had them deposit the 2% cash back directly into her brokerage account
- Stephen’s cash back from credit cards $66
May was an abnormally bad month for us in terms of expenses, because we had more than $1,700 in pet bills, which were mostly for the vet and medications, but there was also about $350 for boarding her when we went to Toronto.
We also splurged and bought two down sleeping bags for $348 from REI. Although these are expensive items, we expect them to last many years.