It Never Rains But It Pours

By on February 8, 2018

So, folks, it’s been an expensive few weeks for us. We’ve had to cough up quite a bit of dough that is painful to spend, but at least we’re able to do so, right? 

It sure feels like expensive things always pile up simultaneously. Here’s the rundown on the recent COD big money drains. 

Medical Expenses

Dual dental checkup!

  • We (finally) took both Junior and Mini COD to the dentist! Thanks to a recommendation from a local friend, we found a wonderful dental office that caters to kids. Safari-themed main room, a racecar x-ray seat, neon sunglasses for them to wear during their checkup…it was a fun time. Mini’s first visit and Junior’s second ever, and the dentist liked what he saw. 
  • I (Mrs. COD) went to see a new podiatrist. Plantar fasciitis has returned with a vengeance. I’ve dealt with heel and arch pain since just before our wedding almost eight years ago, but it had been largely under control until the past few months. Now, there are days when I can barely walk due to the stabbing pain in my left heel. Thus, a visit to a doc for my foot was in order. I’m just doing extensive stretching so far, which is helping somewhat, but I may need to start getting cortisone shots for more effective pain relief. 
  • There’s also that pesky issue with my knees, which began back at the end of March. I certainly am not surprised by the knee pain, given my longtime running habit and my family’s notoriously bad history in that area. (Three out of four of my parents’ knees have been replaced, one brother had Osgood Schlatter Disease and surgery, another does ultra-distance races and has suffered various injuries.) Anyway, I had been cutting back more and more on my running mileage and frequency, but after Thanksgiving the pain became so bad I had to go cold-turkey. No running at all. It sucks. Only took two more months to get me in to a doctor, and I just had a MRI to ascertain whether surgery will be required. $$$…

Takeaway from all of the medical issues: having insurance is a good thing and SO important. We will still have quite a bit of out-of-pocket expenses, but perhaps once we meet our deductible it won’t be so bad. 

House Repairs

  • Our heat pump needed some work before Christmas, and we shelled out about a grand for that. Unfortunately, we then had a leak occur at the beginning of our eleven-day holiday trip (when temps hovered around ZERO the whole time). Our subsequent bill due in January was…not fun. 
  • We needed to completely replace the heat pump to the tune of over $7,000. Grrr. After spending a chunk to fix it already, that one really hurt. However, the past three days of our home actually warm has been so lovely! 
  • Our old house has an old roof, one that doesn’t inspire awesome levels of confidence. Honestly, we probably should have asked the seller to spring for a new roof when we bought the house, but we didn’t have the nerve. So, as I type this, a crew is up on the roof making quite a racket removing the old shingles. I’m avoiding the seat directly under glass light fixtures, ha! By the weekend, we’ll have a brand-new roof over our heads! More payments. Cha-ching! 
  • Less drastic spending: new paint and painting supplies. The little guys have miraculously begin playing together more amicably, freeing up a bit of time during the day for me. I feel less guilty about painting for an hour or two if I don’t have to park the kids in front of the TV to make any progress. I’m beginning to get the sense that room and trim painting is my part-time job! So far, we’ve freshened up two-and-three-quarters of the bedrooms, a downstairs hall, tons of wood trim, and the kitchen. I don’t believe any part of this house had been painted in at least ten years, so it’s making a huge difference. Walls look so much cleaner. Plus, some fresh colors are always nice! 

Home Sweet Home

Our Feline Family Loss

One more thing got tacked on to our crazy few weeks. We had to put down our oldest cat, Sadie, who had been with me over ten years. She had to be near twenty years old, as I took her from a friend of mine who’d had her a good 8-10 years as well. 

Sweet Sadie

With her advanced age and other signs such as more labored movements and lack of proper litter box use, we knew it was only a matter of time. Neither Mr. COD nor I expected her to last long enough to move to Kentucky with us, but we’re thankful she did. She seemed much more content here, possibly because of the larger space in the house.  

Sadie’s health took a pronounced turn for the worse these last couple of weeks. Last Friday, she was clearly just done. She peed on the upstairs floor, which she’d never done before (she’d at least attempted to use the litter downstairs, though not always successfully). And she suddenly had a terrible skin infection. We sadly made the decision to let her go, seeing how much she had deteriorated. 

The vet bill was an added expense, of course, but worth it to know her final moments were peaceful. We certainly didn’t wish her any prolonged suffering. Mr. COD took her to the vet’s office and sat with her and held her paw through the end. 

It’s a relief to know our old girl is no longer in pain, though we’ll miss her. Of our three cats, she was the most tolerant of the boys and their (sometimes overenthusiastic) affection. This was likely because she was too old and tired to run away, but still, she was sweet to them. 

Thoughts On Expensive Times In Life

Anytime a bunch of high-cost items sort of crop up all at once, it’s hard to part with the additional money. We are financing the roof and heat expenses, which is so irritating, as we really dislike being in debt. However, being on one income this year means a tighter budget, without much wiggle room. 

The positive side of all of this expensive stuff: it only adds to my motivation to ramp up my side hustles. My freelance income hasn’t grown as quickly as I’d like, but it is on the upswing. I’m finding more writing opportunities gradually and working on how to find proofreading clients as well. Knowing that every additional dollar I can bring in will help pay off the roof and heater helps light a fire in me. Freelance work is hugely about hustle, and that’s what I’m learning to do better. 

How do you handle big, sometimes unexpected expenses?