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Archive for March, 2018

Sick Kitty; Credit Sesame

March 18th, 2018 at 05:10 pm

I have the vet coming to pay a house call tomorrow morning. It's $90 for the vet + a vet tech, plus the usual exam and lab fees. But the kitty for whom I scheduled the appointment completely freaks out at the vet. I've only taken her once since I adopted her, and that time, it took 3 vet techs + the vet and me and a sedative to get her examined. It stressed her out so much I decided just to let her be until something was clearly wrong.

That time has come. She's been dropping weight and a couple of weeks ago I noticed that her fur was looking patchy too. Plus her digestion--which has never been as good as her sister kitty's--has been worse. The *best* outcome would be a diagnosis that she is hyperthyroid, but chances are it is something worse than that. She is 13.5, her "sister" (from the same home but not biologically related) turns 13 on the 30th...and the only other two cats I had lived to be 13 and 14, which makes me anxious. The first two kitties were fed on dry food and both developed kidney disease--one had to be put down immediately after diagnosis and the other I kept going with sub-q fluids for 2.5 years. I learned a lot about feline chronic renal disease over that time and these two kitties have been fed mostly with canned food to try to prevent it.

Anyways, I am quite nervous about what news tomorrow morning will bring.

The other cat gets taken to the vet regularly, and I'll be able to have the vet examine her as well as long as he is out here. I know she needs dental work, which will cost about a thousand. She's been eating well and there is no sign that the bad tooth bothers her, so I've let it go for six months since I was told she needed the work done, but spring is time.

So I transferred about $1,500 from my sinking fund account at Schwab to the bank so that costs will be covered.

Prayers for Miss Bridget are appreciated! I hope hyperthyroid is all that it is. If it is anything that needs regular intervention by me, she is too scared of a cat to adapt easily. When Teddy needed subcutaneous fluids for all that time, he fought the first few weeks, but then realized that he felt better after the fluids and stopped fighting. When Buffy was diagnosed diabetic, she hated getting the ear prick tests but there was a while there where it became easier to do. (Now that her diabetes is well controlled with diet and she needs the test only occasionally, it is much harder to do.) But Bridget was the cat who hid in a box for two months when I first adopted her, whom I've never even dared to pick up until the past month (and only extremely briefly), who spends an entire day hissing at me and at Buffy whenever I take Buffy to the vet, so I don't feel as tho anything that requires daily administrations from me is going to go over well with her.

On another front, I got an email from Credit Sesame today that I found informative, on suggested credit usage. The one thing that always dings my credit score a bit is having high balances relative to the limit. Mostly that's due to the one 0% balance transfer cardI maintain. But this time I got a link to actual balance limits and percent utilized, and discovered that the maximum you should use of any card is 10% of the your limit. After finding that out, I went and requested a credit limit increase on my Discover card, and I was granted an immediate $6,300 increase. The 0% balance transfer card is still going to knock things off, but I'm going to have to do another transfer by May, and I'll check out the limits before I do so this time. I didn't know before that 10% of your limit is the most you should use before they start counting your usage against you.

(On the other hand, they *also* ding me for not having enough TYPES of credit open--just a mortgage and the credit cards, no auto loan, student loan, or personal loan, so *that* brings my score down a bit too.

Mortgage Milestone

March 2nd, 2018 at 05:46 pm

When I took out my mortgage at the end of 2005, I started by owing $92,800 (at 5.875%). I refinanced in 2012 for a lower rate and changed the term from a 30 year to a 20 year. And whenever possible, I've paid some extra principal in, usually down to the next "round" number.

At the beginning of the year, I started by owing $60,700. Now that the March payment is made, I'm down to $59,900--I threw an extra $65 in this month to get down to a multiple of $100. Feels good having broken the $60K barrier. I'm 57.5, so it feels doable to have the mortgage paid off by the time I am 65.

I am not planning to retire at that age at this point, but having the freedom to be able to afford to would be nice. Once the mortgage and other debt are gone, I'll be accelerating my savings into a brokerage account, building a bucket of "safe" money I can live off of during any market downturns in my early retirement years.