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Archive for March, 2020

Home From Cruise

March 27th, 2020 at 01:43 am

Well, that was an eventful vacation. As you know, we were booked on the Caribbean Princess. We flew to Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Tuesday, 3/10/20. My daughter drove from Illinois and met us at our motel. We were having dinner in the attached restaurant about 9pm when I received emails from Princess that our cruise had been cancelled. The email also said we would receive a 100% refund plus a 100% credit towards a future Princess voyage. (I have already received credits to my credit card). Following a short discussion, I called VacationsToGo and was able to book a 7 day cruise on the Holland America Veendam leaving Fort Lauderdale the next day. It had a different itinerary of course. The ship is a much smaller ship than we are used to, but it was perfectly nice. Because of all of the cancellations (I assume), the fare was surprisingly low.
Before boarding the Veendam, every passenger had their temperature taken and anyone out of the normal range was not allowed to board.
We visited Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas, Ocho Rios in Jamaica, and Cozumel in Mexico. We were scheduled to visit Grand Cayman but were not allowed to stop there. We returned to Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday 3/18/20. Since we had originally booked a 10 day cruise, we had a few extra days to play with.
We decided to return to the same motel (it was affordable, surprisingly nice, with a great shuttle service). On Thursday, we visited the Everglades and took a fan boat into the swamp to view wildlife. For me, that was the highlight of the trip. I called to see if we could change our flights from Saturday 3/21/20 to Friday 3/20/20, and if so what it would cost. Well, they switched our flights with no fee whatsoever plus a $52 voucher per person.
As always, it was no fun to say good-bye to my daughter after having enjoyed her company non-stop for 10 days. We had a wonderful time together, though.
As it happened, we landed in Saramento a few hours before the shelter-in-place order in our state went into effect.
So what is going on with my job? It turns out that my department has been deemed essential so we are working. Some people are choosing to work from home which isn't really a good option for me as our internet is unreliable (to put it mildly). I have chosen to self-isolate and am taking sick time. (My supervisor is fully aware that I am not actually sick, nor is anyone in my family). We are having a lot of rain, hail, and snow, so I am not even going outside much.

Going With a Partial; Almost Time for Cruise

March 7th, 2020 at 05:16 pm

On Thursday my new dentist confirmed that a partial would work for me. So, that is the route I am going. I realize it will be an adjustment to get used to wearing it, but lots of people do it and I can do it too. The cost for a partial is about $1600 before insurance pays their portion. Currently, there is a balance of $2232.79 in my dental sinking fund. I will wait until all is done and paid for, then throw the remaining balance at debt.

Yesterday was payday and I was able to send $248.29 off to the 5th wheel loan, bringing the balance down to $34,351.95. It feels great to make a little progress.

We fly to Florida Tuesday morning and sail on Wednesday. We are not canceling our trip due to the current panic, which I personally feel is blown way out of proportion.

The cruise line sent an email stating that we can cancel for a 100% credit towards another sailing if we wish. We don't. Also, they are crediting us $200 per cabin as a thank you for not canceling.

Our ship is the Caribbean Princess. So I guess if you hear that the Caribbean Princess has been detained someplace, you'll know what is going on with me.

February 2020 Budget Report

March 1st, 2020 at 08:04 pm

Wages - as expected.

Transfer in - money in from sinking funds (see below).

Buffer - beginning checking account balance.

Other - income tax refunds, a cash birthday gift, CC rewards, and checking account interest.

Managed to spend a bit less than budgeted. It's a wash, though. (See Wal-mart item under "other").

Now that Ting is offering service on Verizon's network, I am looking forward to shaving a bit of money from my phone bill. I will be looking into that this month.

Deposits went mostly as expected. I think I have sufficient money now for my dental expense. I have an appointment this Thursday and will know more then.

Money that went out:

Car Ins & Reg - CR-V registration

Car R & M - a minor tune-up

Clothing - replaced my jacket which got too close to a space heater and melted a bit. Also, a new bathing suit, cover up, and casual dress for the cruise. All items purchased on Amazon.

travel/vacation - paid for cruise fare for self and daughter, air fare for self. Remaining balance plus $300 Capital One Savor sign-up bonus will need to cover gratuity, excursions, and 1 night lodging in a motel. It should be enough.

These items were mostly paid with sinking funds, so discussed above. Those which weren't:

Bella vet - transferring money from the appropriate sinking fund would have wiped it out. Instead, I just let it go.

electric toothbrush - recommended by dental hygienist.

Wal-Mart - a mixed bag of household and personal items. Normally I would pay cash for these items, but I just used a CC as it was simpler at the time.

And that is it. Not a bad month all in all, and I am hopeful that I am now ready to apply extra funds to the 5th wheel loan.