Na Na pinches her pennies

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

Where to go from here?

WordPress is changing.   Tomorrow – Monday – the WordPress post editor is going away to be replaced by a new editor.  Anyone who has been reading my blog for awhile may remember how frustrating tech stuff is for me.  When one tech makes changes everyone else will make changes too.  I wanted to post this before the change just in case it takes me awhile to learn how it works.

Closing down the blog was not about paying the fee.  I had been doing quite a lot of thinking about my future and my focus.  I was deciding whether to use my time to work or to write.   What I mean is this.  Sometimes being old and poor really sucks.  When a $5 item is much too expensive it makes a $500 item or a $5,000 item impossibly out of reach.  Big ticket items are financial wishes we know will never come true.  Unless we put money aside one dollar at a time.  If I went back to work I wouldn’t earn much but it would be steady income.

Originally I had hoped to earn enough from my blog through ad revenue to pay for a new set of dentures.  I figured if other people could do well with ad revenue why couldn’t I?  There are many things I could wish for such as a working furnace or plumbing repairs or blacktop of the driveway but all I want is teeth.  Teeth to eat healthy food to lose weight and get my A1C back under control.  I’m not due for another test until July but I’m fairly sure its been going up.   My finger sticks are consistently higher.

I’m so tired of eating baby food.  Err, I mean smoothie meals.  Unless you are toothless like me you can’t understand how sad it is when you want to eat a Caesars salad but it must be made into a smoothie first.  The taste and texture just ain’t the same.  I can only bring up vague memories of biting into a fresh apple after so many years of making them into applesauce first.  I’m craving the bite and crunch of homemade onion rings which can’t be done without teeth.  Then there is something as simple as biting into a lunch meat sandwich made completely impossible without teeth.  You ever eaten your sandwiches in smoothie form?  How delightful it would be to bite corn off the cob instead of using a knife.  Oh the joyful memories of munching on a few walnuts or almonds or sun flower seeds.  Alright, I’m making myself feel worse so I’ll stop talking about food.

Why don’t I have dentures?  I did have dentures made by the dental school five years ago.  Before someone asks – no, the dental school is not free.  It cost me a little over $10,000 for the student to pull my teeth and make my dentures.   I used all my savings and I made monthly payments until I had paid them the full amount in order to get the work done.  It was kinda like dental work on the lay away plan.   The student did try his best but he was only a student.  I have a mouth deformity preventing me from wearing normal dentures.  He told me I need snap-in dentures and tried to sign me up for them.  Snap in dentures don’t require suction on the roof of the mouth.  Now why wasn’t I told this before giving the school my money?

I decided I didn’t want to go with a student again.  I wanted a second opinion.  I began to check with in-practice dentists about cost.  I’ve done lots of research for everything from bootleg dentures to professionally made guaranteed dentures.  From my research a set of snap in dentures is going to cost somewhere around $20,000 from a good reputable dentist.  No I am not considering going to Mexico.  By the time I pay all expenses for me and a caregiver to get from KY to Mexico and spend a few days in a motel for us while having the work done plus paying the dentist costs I’ll have spent as much as paying a dentist right here at home.

Seven years ago I looked at ways to earn money for my teeth.  Ad revenue from the blog seemed like the best way because I was already writing blogs.  I needed lots and lots of followers in order to earn a few dollars.  How hard could it be?  Well, all the monetized blogs I saw were covered with so many ads it was hard to see the content.  Ad revenue is also taxable income which means I’d have to give half of everything earned to the government.

Next I looked at monetizing youtube.  Youtube is growing daily.  Its easier and less time consuming to make a video than writing blog posts.  I would need 1000 subscribers plus many hours of watching time to monetize.   That revenue is also taxable.  So here’s what I found on youtube.   People with the most subscribers have the most gross videos.  A woman with videos of popping pimples and cysts has over 15 million subscribers.  Yes, millions.  I can’t be that way.  I’ll do a video once in awhile but not for the purpose of monetizing.

I’ve given up on monetizing a blog or a youtube channel.  It would be like having a full time job in addition to all the other time consuming tasks of my life.  Monetizing requires constant new content.  I never know how I’ll feel from one day to the next with all my health issues so I couldn’t commit to full time vlogging or blogging.  Thankfully the donations given to me through my blog are not taxable.  They are considered “gifts” from one person to another and not income.

I have one other option I haven’t tried yet.  That would be to create a gofundme account.  I don’t believe it works but I’m willing to try.  Does anyone have experience with it?  I’ll need to read more to figure out exactly how its done.  Right now I feel as if teeth are one of those impossible wishes never to come true.   Teeth are something I will never have again.  Without teeth my health will never get much better.

Well, for those who are wondering, I paid the WP fee for another year.  I believe the economy is going to get worse.  Its going to take all of us frugal minded people to pull together to survive.  I don’t plan to visit a foodbank again anytime soon.  It all depends on whether the crowds thin down.  I have enough food to last for a few months.  My food storage doesn’t have much variety so I may get bored but I certainly won’t go hungry.   As you can tell from the photos I’ve been cleaning and moving things around.  The table is gone now.  I never used it anymore except to pile STUFF on it.  Without the table, no more STUFF to gather dust.  When its safe to go places again I’ll look for a small table for two at the thrift stores.

Stay safe everyone.

28 comments on “Where to go from here?

  1. katie
    June 30, 2020

    i live in galveston, texas. i found your blog looking for something else. maybe it was god who directed me here. i know of a wonderful dentist on the border of texas and mexico. my husband, mother in law (89 yrs old) and sister in law have all used him. we flew into harlingen, texas. from there you rent a car and drive to progresso, texas. they have an good holiday inn. in the morning you can drive to the border only a couple of miles away. park ave walk over. the dentist is 1000 feet from the border in nuevo progresso. i would be happy to help you set up a go fund me. i just lost my brother unexpectedly and helping you would msu’s me happy. my mother in law had dentures put in. she loves them. is there a way to reach you personally or an email? the whole dental cost plus travel was fairly inexpensive compared to the cost here in the states. thank you katie

    Like

    • Anita
      July 1, 2020

      I’m sorry for your loss Katie. I thank you for the suggestion but going to Mexico is NOT an option. By the time I spend all that money for me and a companion to fly to Texas, rent a hotel for several days, pay for meals, rent a car for a few days, and pay for the surgery and dental work; I will have spent just as much or more as having the work done right here by a dentist I know and would be available if there is a problem with healing. Having dental work done in Mexico is cheaper only if you live close to the border or have that kind of money to spend. Besides, CV19 is rampant everywhere. If I caught it while in Texas I would be far away from family. anitaestes3718 gmail.com I thought it was in the TIP JAR. Don’t know what happened to it. I’ll put it back again.

      Like

  2. Tamara
    June 7, 2020

    do the have RAM clinic in your area? I know it would be a hard day or couple of days but might be something to check out when the covid 19 stuff calms down a bit. I pulled this off their website..”Remote Area Medical (RAM) is a major nonprofit provider of free pop-up clinics. Our mission is to prevent pain and alleviate suffering by providing free, quality healthcare to those in need. We do this by delivering free dental, vision, and medical services to underserved and uninsured individuals.” I did see them talk about getting dentures for a patient. Just an FYI.

    Like

    • Anita
      June 7, 2020

      Thank you, thats a good suggestion. As far as I know we don’t have RAM here in Louisville because we have several clinics for the poor and uninsured. There used to be a RAM that did things for the homeless. Teeth were pulled only. Eyes were checked and glasses came from donated frames. Ears were checked but no hearing aids given. It was later changed to moving around in rural areas with no hospital or clinics. The homeless can get free bus tickets to visit a clinic. Trust me, for the last 5 years I’ve done a whole lot of searching for help. I found several sites offering “free” dental help but to qualify I either had to be home bound, on state Medicaid, or pay for an initial exam that turned out to be a pyramid scheme. Another “free” dental program was scholarships which said I had to come up with 80% of the cost before applying. And, live in the state where offered. What a crock.

      Like

  3. Tamara
    June 7, 2020

    Hi there. .. I would love to put a bit towards your new teeth when you figure out how to do it. I have never used go fund me or Facebook to raise funds so I am not sure how it works. I have enjoyed you posts and the beautiful quilts you make- definitely art. Take care and be safe.

    Like

    • Anita
      June 7, 2020

      Thank you. I appreciate the offer. I’ll write a post when/if I do the gofundme. I’m still checking the legal part and deciding what to say in a video. I’m camera shy and being toothless doesn’t make it any easier. You be safe too.

      Like

  4. catherine young
    June 4, 2020

    Several bloggers I know have gone to Facebook because it’s free and easily accessible and easy shares and links to build readership. How one makes money from that I do not know.

    I don’t know how GoFundMe works either but those I know who have done campaigns haven’t made much on them, certainly not what you need for your teeth, but it can maybe add a bit to what you have saved.

    I went to work after not working for so many years. I can do seasonal work, just first quarter or third of the year and then collect unemployment for the rest. You have a great skill in quilt finishing and quilting. Perhaps you can take on some business, not as intensely as before, and put half that money away.

    I’ve figured what I need as I get older, and am trying to make up the gap now. It’s such a shame that in this great country of ours, the elderly lose their eyes , teeth and ears. None of those things are adequately covered by Medicare, in fact, often not at all. I know the first two cost me a lot each year and the third will be in a few years. It’s impossible to save money when fixed expenses don’t even leave enough to live decently. My biggest regular expense category is household supplies for cleaning and repair , house, yard and me. I am stuck with taxes on the house, electric, gas, internet, insurance and water/sewage with only leeway in the electric and gas. I am trying to keep the AC off till July, and I keep the heat at 50 degrees. Also other than the bathroom and cousin’s room, the central heat and AC is only for the first floor. There just is no way to cut back on those bills anymore, and there are always repairs and other such needs that come up.

    I had a taco at Taco Bell today with my cousin/friend who insisted on testing. I got 10% off my Soft taco supreme and free soda! It tasted so good to have something outside the house. I did get some tortillas—i have lettuce, tomatoes and fixings to make soft tacos this week. I think Ill do a huge pot of chilie and that will be the main filling. I think there is a bit of cheddar cheese in the fridge I can grate. Because cousin buys most of food here, I am lucky to have a very small food bill.

    I’ll put some money in the tip jar when i figure out my paypal password again. Have to reset, I think. I do enjoy your posts.

    Take care

    Like

    • Anita
      June 6, 2020

      Hi Catherine, glad to see you are well. Hee, hee, I made a big pot of chili this week too. I put mine in the freezer in portion size. I haven’t had soda for about 15 years but I do remember how they tasted. If I had the proper supplies I’d make myself some ginger ale and root beer. I watched/helped Grandma Mama make them lots of times.

      You’re right its extremely difficult to save money when every dime of the SS check is going for normal living expenses. Nothing extra. Please don’t give me money that you can use for something you need. Take care of yourself first. I’ll be fine. My WP fee is paid for another year thanks to donations from readers. Hopefully in my next few blog posts I can offer suggestions for lowering the gas/electric and water/sewer bills without sacrificing comfort.

      Like

  5. Christina
    June 3, 2020

    Sorry, I think my last post had some typos! I need to edit before posting. 🙂

    My husband and I have three blogs. It definitely takes time, but we’re starting to earn a little more with our blogs. We’re also trying to learn search engine optimization (SEO) in order to rank higher on Google. Then you get more visitors and can earn a little more with ads.

    But, it takes time. It can seem painfully slow at first – thankfully my husband is very patient! (I’m not…haha)

    Hope this helps. I love your blog and listed it last year as one of my top 10 Frugal blogs. If I do another list this year, you’ll be on it again.

    Like

    • Anita
      June 6, 2020

      Hi there Christina. Three blogs. That must be a lot of work. I have a hard time keeping up with one blog. I can’t imagine how many hours you put into three blogs. Yes, I’m staying for awhile. A couple of donations paid my WP fee for another year. I used to think I’d love to have lots of followers so I could have income from ads but now I feel the opposite. I just want to keep it simple and helpful as if I’m the friendly old lady next door. Or everybody’s great-grandma giving helpful advice. Take care

      Like

  6. Hi Anita,

    I would gladly donate something to a Go Fund me page for your new teeth. And I’m so glad you are sticking with blogging. I think your blog is an important one that people need to read.

    Take care,
    Christinaadmin

    Like

  7. Selena
    June 2, 2020

    I’m not sure why you made the statement “give half back to the government”. Based on your age, you can make unlimited income without affecting your social security. Unless your social security plus income is over $25K, your social security is not taxable. Yes, you’d like have to pay some federal taxes. I don’t know KY state tax structure but if like some states, the income threshold whereby one has to pay state tax is ridiculously low.

    Like

    • Anita
      June 2, 2020

      I was referring to taxes on earned income. The federal income tax, KY state tax, Jefferson county tax, Louisville city tax, Shively city tax, and Jefferson county school tax which eat up taxable earnings not social security. I can’t remember when it was (maybe six years ago) but someone figured out how much of a wage earners salary actually made it home to be spent here in Kentucky. It was determined that only 54% was take home pay. Or roughly about half. Ky was one of the five lowest take home pay states because of higher tax rates. If I remember correctly the person first started a study for how much of the KY lottery winnings were actually received after taxes and then later did the study about wages. So if money from gofundme donations is considered earned income and not gifts then I would get about half and the government would take the other half in taxes. What I’m trying to find out – are gofundme monies received gifts or income. Income is taxed, gifts are not.

      Like

  8. Sharon
    June 2, 2020

    Anita: Have you tried calling your elected reps offices – either state or national? Oftentimes, they are aware of programs that can assist the constituency with specific problems that don’t show up on Google. I’ve had great luck in calling these folks in different states (GA, NY, PA). You won’t talk with the representative themselves, but many of them have very talented staffers with tons of contacts and a willingness to help. It’s also an election year, and the pols are always looking for an opportunity to look good.

    Like

    • Anita
      June 2, 2020

      Yes, I’ve called lots of people. No luck. The funds for just about every social service is over worked with requests. Especially since the virus and lost jobs. I’ve tried and keep trying. I have faith and hope.

      Like

  9. Rhonda A.
    June 2, 2020

    I’m glad you have decided to continue blogging. I found it interesting to read how the ads in blogs don’t always earn you money. Most of the info I’ve read that encourages blogging really hype how you can make lots of money this way. Now I know what the catch is…you have to have lots of followers. Personally, I hate reading blogs with lots of ads. They are constantly popping up or in the way while trying to read the content I came there for in the first place! So annoying!

    I hope you find a way to fund some new dentures. Where there’s a will, there’s a way,
    right? Can you not use the ones you have at all? I know they don’t fit right and definitely need replacing. But it sounds like they might be better than nothing, at least until you can get new ones.

    Anyways, if you do decide to do a go-fund-me page, and you will have to pay taxes on that money, ask for slightly more than you might need to help cover that too. After all, you only have a quote, and the final bill could end up being more. So asking for slightly more doesn’t seem unreasonable to me. Also, I assume your taxes are like ours here in Canada, and lower income brackets pay less taxes. I’d hope the amount you’d have to pay wouldn’t be too excessive. it is the US, so I might be wrong about that, though. Regardless, I really hope this works out for you. Please keep us posted on how it all goes!

    Like

    • Anita
      June 2, 2020

      Thank you Rhonda, yes I will keep trying. No, I can’t wear them at all. I wish I could. I’ve been having strong cravings for salads. Nice crunchy salad with lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, squash, zucchini, peppers, pea pods, celery, sprouts, turnips, walnuts, apples, ……………… well any fresh veggie or fruit that can only be eaten with teeth. I can’t get new teeth so I’ll just have to live without them as I’ve been doing.

      Like

  10. captnmike
    May 31, 2020

    my sympathies on the food – way back in another lifetime (my 20’s) I crashed my motorcycle and was eating through a straw but it was only a month or two – no major injuries but sucked

    good luck with everything – I am also getting a bit bored and food is not very exciting – liked the trips to the grocery store –

    take care

    Like

    • Anita
      June 1, 2020

      Ooo, ouch, a long time ago but still brings back memories? I miss the monthly trips to the foodbank and checking the store discount bins. It was always a surprise what I’d find.

      Like

  11. Selena
    May 31, 2020

    GoFundMe is taxable also. The site will withhold taxes and when you file your taxes, either you pony up more or get. refund.

    Like

    • Anita
      June 1, 2020

      Thanks for the info. I’ve been drafting an email to you. Hope to finish today.

      Like

  12. Stephanie Tatum-Ford
    May 31, 2020

    I don’t know how to put together a GoFundMe page … but I’d donate to yours when you can get it going … you’re a lil sweetheart of a person.. I want to help out with $25.00 .. once it can be up and running NaNa … ❤️

    Like

    • Anita
      June 1, 2020

      Thank you Stephanie, I’ll let you know. Anything will be appreciated.

      Like

  13. simplywendi
    May 31, 2020

    I am so very sorry Anita. I do not have personal experience with GoFundMe, but I know others who have used it and they didn’t have any issues using it. I do have ads on my blog but I make virtually nothing. I was hoping that the ads would help pay a bill or two every year but not a chance………..maybe someday. I really hope you find a way…….

    Like

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This entry was posted on May 31, 2020 by in 2020 PANDEMIC, CLEANING, JUST THINKING.

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