It’s sure been a year, friends. What a heckin’ roller coaster. I started 2020 still recovering from my failed heart procedure. I adopted Charles and worked 6 weeks before Covid hit the PNW. By March 15th, every single 2020 booking for petsitting was cancelled. I was unemployed, but did not qualify for unemployment until they passed the Cares Act. After six weeks, I began receiving unemployment. I WAS RICH. This was more than I had ever made in my entire life. $835 a week (pretax)!? My god!
What follows is recap of what I did with unemployment funds. For more details: GO HERE.
Paid off debt from 2019 heart issues.
Donated over $2k to various organizations, including $500 to get a friend out of a domestic violence situation.
Set aside $3,500 for income taxes on unemployment, because I am NOT being surprised again.
Paid extra on my house to get the balance under $45K (My 2020 financial goal.)
Cash flowed my office remodel (post and photos to come!)
And saved, saved, saved, as much as I could in my ABLE account.
In July unemployment dropped to $235 a week pre tax – less than my normal working income. And unfortunately, covid has made living a lot more expensive for someone high risk and disabled. Delivery costs, etc. My medications cost $25 to have delivered via instacart. If I want groceries I have to place a minimum $35 order. I can’t shop at the discount/liquidation stores I usually do. I can’t buy meat on clearance, but have to pay full price for everything.
Then, come December at my Medicaid renewal I find that unemployment cost me health care coverage – increasing my spend down/deductible to $7,000. The only money I have available to pay that is my ABLE account. The entire point of an ABLE account is to protect funds from Medicaid, but if that is the only money I have – is it actually protected if I have to use it to cover the deductible?
My current mission is to keep isolating hardcore and not get sick so that I don’t use up all I managed to save from this once in a lifetime unemployment opportunity.
I didn’t just lose Medicaid coverage, I also lost the Medicare savings program. This means I am now paying the Medicare monthly premium out of my SSDI check instead of the state covering it.
I received my last unemployment check of $235 December 26th. My only January income? $691 in SSDI, because they are garnishing my check for multiple Medicare payments.
I will reapply to the programs once I qualify again, but as soon as unemployment restarts: I’ll be in the same position unless some sort of exemptions are made. Here is the issue of tying income to medical coverage. I make just enough to get kicked off, and then have to use those funds to manage until I’m back on again, and so on. It continues prohibiting a person from saving/getting out of the cycle. BAH!
How about some blog stat updates? We’ve definitely grown, friends! Thank you for being a part of my life. Views doubled in 2020 over 2019, and are 10x more than they were in 2018! Huzzah!
I’ve 100 subscribers to the blog – what the heck?! I am thrilled 100 of you want to know when there is an update. In addition, we’ve got 29 newsletter subscribers. Woots!
Between all social media platforms we’re approaching 1k followers – I’m honestly flabbergasted at the number of people who want to hang around. This is not always a super fun blog – but it’s honest and I’m showing what life can be like for people like me and that this many people want to interact – is mind blowing. Thank you, friends!
I keep trying different avenues of expression: blogs, social media, insta stories, Twitch – live streaming, and doing some audio work now too – I just keep throwing spaghetti on the wall and hope something will stick. Your feedback is essential in this process. Thank you for sharing it and please continue to do so!
Now, is the blog paying for itself? Absolutely not. The website costs about $150 to run, plus the mailbox for privacy protection is $288. I’ve yet to get a penny in ad revenue from the site. However, I am pleased to announce I have my first real affiliate sponsor coming soon! I can’t wait to share with you and I hope you will make them welcome and offer some support.
And hey – I LOVE mail. LOVE IT. In isolation, seeing something in the box is about the best gift ever. If you’d like to send a card, postcard, or just a dang smiley face to make the darn box worth the money, I’d be ever so grateful. You can reach me here:
4227 South Meridian
Puyallup, WA 98373
I know I’ll start receiving unemployment at some point in the future. I don’t know when, nor for how long it will last. I know I qualify under 1B – 3 (Individual with multiple co-morbidities) for the covid vaccine in my state, but that could be April to Summer. Who knows? It’s REALLY hard to plan for the future, with so little known, but here are the dream financial stretch goals for 2021.
I’ve decided to open a savings account because I’m allowed $2k in assets and I want some sort of funds quickly available and not locked into the ABLE account. I feel $1k is a safe number, and I’ll never go over $2k in assets as long as I keep any funds moving straight into my ABLE account.
Sinking fund $1k (Currently $270)
Mortgage under $40K (Currently around $44,200.)
ABLE contributions $5k (Currently $200)
Double viewership over 2020
Generate enough to cover the cost of blog
Write a guest blog post
I’ve also been talking with some people about doing some freelancing, but any opportunities must be short term. I never know when I’m going to be well or not. I can get something done with a short term timeline, but I cannot commit to a long term position with my uncertain health.
I did apply to one gig, but they never responded to my email. I chatted with another person about an opportunity, but it was long term and therefore not a great fit.
I know we can get it figured out folks – together. Mutual support! I’ve received so much kind help in the past few years, and I’ve done my best to pass it on this year as I have been able. If we just keep up the cycle, eventually all of us will rise.
Much love, and a safe, healthy 2021 to you all,