Honesty is not something generally expected of the Federal Government.
So imagine my surprise (and joy) when I received a notification from the Social Security Administration that they had made an error in initially calculating my benefits and that a larger amount was due to me.
I had wondered why I received a direct deposit of $5.10 from SSA and thought perhaps it was quarterly interest or something. No, they had made a deposit for the difference between what I had been paid and what I should have received over the last 5 months or so.
But, the more exciting part of the SSA notification was the sentence which stated that henceforth, my monthly payment would change from $xxxx to $xxxx. A raise! And that increase is a whole 90 cents a month!
The joy is almost overwhelming. Now I must decide how I wish to spend that extra 90 cents a month. I’ve made a short (and not at all comprehensive) list of items I could purchase, in no particular order:
♥ A small candy bar – you know, the ones found at the side of the checkout registers that the little kids are always trying to grab. I’ll have to eat it really slowly to make it last the whole month.
♥ If I hurry, I can get a single-serve package of Halloween Peeps! But if I miss those, I’m pretty sure there will be Thanksgiving and Christmas Peeps. Everyone loves Peeps. Don’t they?
♥ One fresh bakery donut.
♥ One single-serve container of yogurt. I hate yogurt, so I’ll pass.
♥ A can of condensed tomato soup (store brand) – but I’ll have to prepare it with water since I can’t afford the milk.
♥ Two 4×6 prints of my favorite Puppy Cody or Teddy Rosalie photographs – but I can’t afford frames for them.
♥ Two nails to hang the Puppy Cody/Teddy Rosalie photos – if I ever get frames.
♥ One very small paintbrush for patching up nail holes. Fortunately, I already have the paint.
♥ Since I already have paper and envelopes, I could write and mail one short letter to someone in the USA. Anyone want a “real” letter from Cordelia’s Mom? I’ll put you at the very top of next month’s list.
I scoured the local store ads and looked around various stores for bargains, and this is the best I could do. I had hoped the list could be longer, but even the dollar stores offer few things for less than 99 cents, and of course, I have to allow for sales tax. Heck, even “travel size” bottles of shampoo and conditioner are usually more than 90 cents.
Sure, some products can be purchased for much less than a dollar apiece – if you buy them in multi-packs. Which, of course, I can’t do if I’m limited to 90 cents per month for my “mad money.”
Maybe I should just put the extra 90 cents into savings each month, and let it build interest. After all, those pennies can really add up in time – a really, really long time. My kids know not to hold their breath waiting for an inheritance – unless Puppy Cody outlives me (and my husband), in which case they can fight over who gets her.
My October Social Security payment has been received, but the huge increase won’t kick in until next month. No shopping for me today.
Fortunately, dog kisses are free – and Puppy Cody is always willing.
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Images by Cordelia’s Mom