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Rounding Up

September 21st, 2018 at 07:31 am

We got husband's first check at the new job. I am so thankful that we essentially got double paid+ since he also received a full check from his old employer and vacation hours.

This will essentially pay off all of our personal monthly credit cards, and allow us to put money back to switch from our currently bi-weekly budget to a new weekly budget since his new job gets paid weekly, and so do I.

Something I found as odd is that his new employer rounds up the hours. They don't do partial hours for regular pay and they don't pay less than .5 hours for overtime which is interesting. I've never seen a job do that before. He actually worked almost 1 hour less one day, and then worked about 15 minutes over another day. They do their overtime as anything over 8 hours in a day. So his check was surprisingly a full 40 hours of regular pay plus .5 hours of overtime. Even though he actually worked less than 40. It's a small amount of extra but we'll take it!

Tomorrow we are going out to dinner to celebrate his new job.

I sold a couple goats and have put that money back for the fence repair. The guy is hopefully finally starting this weekend. (weather permitting)

I added up my house CC payments and so far this year I have paid $3,576 in debt. That means I have $1,424 to go before the end of the year or about $475 a month. I'm not sure if that is doable or not but it will be close. I don't think this is bad at all though considering I had to spend over $2k on an unexpected fence repair.

Easy Come, Easy Go & 401K Questions

September 10th, 2018 at 12:11 pm

I received multiple checks today that I had been waiting on so I went ahead and made a trip to town to deposit and pay some bills.

I paid the mortgage, our final real estate tax installment, my estimated self employment income tax for the year, and paid the rest towards the credit cards. Whew, it is crazy when several thousand go in and out in one day. But it feels good to tick some bills off.

Husband's first day at his new job is today. He was feeling quite sad about leaving his old one all weekend. They really did love him at his old job. His coworkers got together and gave him a card and $150 as a goodbye gift, and he received a gift card for dining and some cookies and candy. His boss said if he ever wants to come back he is welcome. It is a real shame that he had to give up such a nice job due to expensive health insurance. USA healthcare stinks.

Over the weekend we went out with friends and spent some of his gift money on having fun and taking his mind off the new job.

Now for a question. I've seen it mentioned that instead of putting his old 401k in his new 401k that we should move it to an IRA. What is the benefit of this, when all three accounts are at Vanguard and in the same funds? His 401K and his IRA are both ROTH. Can we move rollover his Roth 401K to his Roth IRA without any penalties or taxes? I plan on calling Vanguard and discussing with them but I have to add myself as an agent on his account first.

Extra Check & Retirement

September 5th, 2018 at 06:42 am

Trying to do some financial planning for husband's job transition.

It appears we will be getting about $1,500 in "extra" money since his current job pays a check behind and also he is cashing in his retirement days.

Don't know exact numbers yet but we plan on paying off both of our monthly credit cards, putting back enough to pay the house & car insurance in full, go out to a nice celebratory dinner, and the rest will probably be put towards either the fence or one of the home credit cards.

We got his 401K numbers yesterday. He currently has $18,167 in his account. We will be rolling this over to the new employer's 401K plan. Both are held at Vanguard so hopefully it will be easy.

Back From a Wedding

August 27th, 2018 at 06:51 am

This weekend we went across the country for a friend's wedding. We went with couple of friends and their parents. I am very fortunate that the parents (my doctor, lol!) paid for the hotel rooms and we just pitched in a bit of money. They were also so sweet and paid for most all of everyone's food and gas all weekend. They said it was their treat. We would have not been able to go otherwise....

It was sort of a strange wedding. For one they have only been together a couple months. We've (including the groom's immediate family) only met her once for like 2 hours. One of the groom's sister met her for the first time at rehearsal dinner actually. The venue was in the middle of nowhere but counted as a "resort." The rooms were $250 a NIGHT. I almost choked when I heard that. You would think it would be the best hotel ever but the rooms were pretty standard rooms that you would find at any cheap hotel. There was not even a microwave in the room. All the amenities cost of course so we mostly sat around and chatted with old friends or played games.

The hotel had 3 restaurants and the standard dinner plate price was $30, breakfast was $20.

I expected the wedding to be very lavish because of the venue but it was actually one of the most odd/simple weddings I have been to.

The couple are very conservative and the long sermon was about women submitting and being gentle. It was very stern and sounded more like a business transaction than a celebration. No one hardly smiled. The bride wore a very simple dress that looks like it was off the rack from the mall. All of them wore flowered crowns and bare feet.

The reception was equally odd. The wedding started at 5 and then the dinner was around 6:30. (waited for pictures) The food was buffet style and you got a brownie with your meal. There was no cake! There were no decorations. Just white tablecloths and a couple tea lights on each table. Everyone was served water only. They had one pitcher of unsweet tea and lemonade way in the back but no one ever announced where it was or to go get some.

The entire thing seemed very rushed. As you finished your plate someone would come in the scoop it up asap. By 8pm they made everyone get up and the workers cleared all tables and put everything away.

No music, no dancing, etc. The couple left at 8pm sharp. We barely had anytime to enjoy dinner or friends before we were shooed out.

The entire thing just really had no joy or personalization. But for the wedding being so odd we did have a good time sitting around afterwards and catching up. Overall I'm glad we went and it was fun to "play rich" for a couple days.

Life Changing

August 23rd, 2018 at 07:14 am

I am happy to announce that husband has accepted a job offer. Smile

He won't start for a few weeks yet, but this change should very positively affect our life. The pay is even better than expected. Not only does he get a 25% salary increase, he will get at least another $1 raise after his probationary period.

But most of all we will have access to very affordable and good health insurance. Worrying about getting insurance when I am kicked off mine next year was a huge stressing point for me. Now I feel secure that my expensive medicines and healthcare needs will be taken care of.

We have to decide if we want the HRA or HSA plan. We are leaning towards the HSA just so I can roll it over and save it up for the future.

The only downside to the new job is that husband may have to work nights for a while until a daytime position opens up. But hopefully it is only temporary.

We will also have to cancel our planned trip to Yellowstone next year since his vacation time won't kick in for 12 months.

Overall we are both excited and a little nervous but the thought of being much more comfortable financially sounds almost too good to be true. I am expecting a $400 a month increase after taxes and tithes, with good raises and growth in the future.

Until the end of the year we will use the extra money to "catch up." We have taxes, home and car insurance, and the fence repair all due in the next month or so.

Another Interview

August 13th, 2018 at 10:29 am

Husband passed the first phone interview. Now he has an in person interview tomorrow evening. I would appreciate any prayers and good thoughts.

Starting pay is $3 an hour more than he is making now plus room for advancement. The biggest plus though is insurance! I need affordable health insurance badly, so this could be an answer to our prayers.

Trying not to get my hopes up too much in case it doesn't work out, but it's hard not to imagine the positive impact this would make on our life...

Hopefully we will know something soon.

Car Repair & Taxes

August 8th, 2018 at 11:11 am

Husband has been wanting a new used car for a while and we have saved for years but unfortunately it seems like his car fund is the first thing to get raided every time something comes up. We finally decided that he will make some repairs to his old car and continue to drive it as long as possible and hold off on a new car for now.

Since we are hoping to get a couple more years out of it we went ahead and did some minor repairs we have been putting off. Thankfully husband and his dad can do most repairs and so far we have only had a $50 charge from the mechanic and about $100 in materials, which is amazing. Father in law frequents junk yards and always finds the best sales online.

They have replaced the breaks, a wheel bearing, some old rusted tie rods, tracking bar, new door, spark plugs, and the fuel filter. Also going to get new headlights.

I paid the first installment of property taxes for the first time.

We have started working on the house again and just have a few more minor things until we are on to optional and fun projects only.

Husband has applied for another job. Fingers crossed.

Worn Out

July 27th, 2018 at 07:16 am

This has been a busy week. We've been volunteering for vacation bible school at church nightly. We leave as soon as husband gets home from work and don't get home until after 9pm. Tonight is the last day thank goodness.

Yesterday I had to get a couple hundred bales of hay bought, picked up, and stored away. My parents usually assist with this (it's half theirs) but they are gone on vacation so I had to hire some help.

Tomorrow we are volunteering in the morning and then we have to go shopping, clean the house, and work on the new bathroom.

I am having a flare up with my lungs and any sort of physical exertion makes me very short of breath. I also feel exhausted. But unfortunately I have a TON of web design work to do which is quickly falling behind. Ugh. I feel like I could just curl up and sleep for a week. I tried to go to bed really early last night but as per usual I couldn't sleep. I toss and turn all night even with sleeping pills.

My birthday is next week and I am just not excited at all. I feel poorly, and have so much to do. I also have to work on my birthday so it's just another busy day to me.

As a side note: Husband did not get his dream job. He didn't even get an interview which is really disheartening. I think the position was probably filled by someone in the inside or a friend.

First House Payment

July 6th, 2018 at 11:33 am

Paid my first house payment last week. Our new mortgage is now $115,449.32

We are keeping our payments a month ahead since I use my side income to pay for part of it and that income sometimes takes a couple weeks to come in.

Goats are going to their new homes. Very thankful to sell some and cut down on my numbers while making some income. Still have plenty more to get rid of.

Possible New Job

June 27th, 2018 at 06:47 am

My husband applied for a "dream job" yesterday. It would solve a LOT of our problems, and it is a lifetime career kind of job.

I would appreciate any prayers, well wishes, good mojo, etc. I'm sure a LOT of people are applying so it's a long shot but a girl can hope.

New Mortgage

June 18th, 2018 at 06:36 am

The new mortgage will completed today allowing me to finish one of my 2018 goals! Huzzah!

My new mortgage amount is $115,594.76.

Our new payment (counting escrow and some extra) is $750 which is actually lower than old mortgage and LOC. It ranged anywhere from $800 - $900 for interest ONLY on the LOC. It will be nice to see the numbers finally starting to go down albeit slowly.

The only thing I am upset about is that I am taking over the escrow for the insurance and taxes. Instead of asking me they just took all the escrow I had already built over the last year and used it to pay down the loan. Now my taxes are due in August and the insurance in November and I am going to have to start from scratch. Approximately $1,500, ugh. They took too long getting the papers together and too late to rewrite everything to give me the escrow. Oh well. I'll come up with it somehow. I put back $200 from this check already.

Weekly Update

June 11th, 2018 at 12:20 pm

I paid both of my personal credit cards down to $0. Which is great considering I just got the statement today. Wednesday when I deposit my check I will also pay the monthly minimums of the house CCs.

Goats have started selling. I have over $1,000 put back for hay. (Need $1,500 total for the year.) Once I get the remaining $500 set aside, I will start applying the goat money towards fixing the fence. I am hoping if I can get all my kids sold I will have enough to pay for it out of pocket.

Besides that not much to report. Hoping for a relaxing and calm summer.

Looking Good

June 6th, 2018 at 08:18 am

I don't want to jinx it but we are on the home stretch of the remodel, the refinance, and our lean times.

I have submitted all the paperwork and we will be signing for our refinance next week. Thankfully the first payment won't be due until August! So we are going to pay one month ahead and use one month's payment money to pay down debt.


After my 2nd income comes in for May I will be able to pay off all the credit cards that aren't for the house. We always pay the statement balance monthly but it's nice for the actual balance to be $0.

We have stopped bleeding money finally. Our only main issue left is the stupid fence problem that I still have not gotten anywhere with. Everyone I call passes me to someone else. I have been in contact with a lawyer that is willing to help me but he doesn't think I will get them to pay. I'm about to give up and we will just have save and pay for it myself. Sadly the fence guy can not get to it for at least another month.

The remodel is down to trim and little stuff. We were going to move into our new bedroom this weekend but I am leaving for a goat show so we will move in next week.

Appraisal Came Back! **Updated

May 25th, 2018 at 07:52 am

Our appraisal came back at $150,000 which is exactly what we needed to refinance without a secondary loan.

Hurray!


I also checked out retirement accounts. I was off over $4,000 on our 401K so we actually have over $30,500 in retirement accounts! That sounds pretty good for our ages and income.

** Update

Met with the banker today to work out the numbers. I still have to get a few more paperwork items together but it looks like we are good to go, and our payment will actually decrease by $100 a month from what we are paying now. So that is great news!

House Appraisal

May 21st, 2018 at 08:42 am

House appraisal was today! He said he was hoping the numbers would be in by tomorrow so I could use some good thoughts and prayers that everything comes back well.

Our house isn't done yet but we are oh so close. Now that we have been inspected/appraised we can slow down a bit. We are taking today and tomorrow off of working on it to relax and spend social time with friends.

I also cleaned every nook and cranny so the house is spotless and looking better than it ever has. I can feel my stress level dropping.

Now I just have to deal with getting all the paperwork together and filled out for the refinance. I hate dealing with it, but hopefully this will be the last time.

I may be getting a large side job for web design that will give me a nice chunk of change. That would be awesome, but it is not a done deal yet so we'll see.

Flying Cars & Horrible Week

April 19th, 2018 at 06:16 pm

So a lot has happened.

#1 I booked a girls weekend trip to Florida on our remodel deadline as a push to finish and then celebrate... Maybe not the best idea, but I do get free housing and we are doing red eye flights for cheap.

#2 A brand new camaro missed the curve, ran through about 200 feet of my fence and then ramped over my dam and about 50 feet out into my pond. They must have been going over 100 MPH. The car sunk. The people managed to swim to safety. Driver and passenger were unharmed surprisingly, just cold and wet. They came inside to warm up and I gave them some clothes. Police, firemen, EMTs showed up.

Well they got the car out the next day. Which was fun to watch. But now I have 40 goats without a pasture to eat and no hay. No one has hay this time of year. Pond is likely unsafe due to antifreeze and other fluids leaking. Vet says wait at least 2 weeks. Fencing guy can't come for a while to replace fence. Had to go purchase $500 worth of supplies and had friends help me fence off part of the yard so they had somewhere to go temporarily.

Well today I find out they likely don't have any insurance. Frown Frown Frown

It is going to cost me about $2,000 for the temporary fence and to replace the original. Not counting labor, stress, time, etc. There is tiny bits of glass and plastic all over my pasture to clean up. It is a disaster. I've been on the phone for hours trying to track the insurance down. No one will help me. Police doesn't care, my insurance doesn't care. I'm screwed. I'll have to take them to small claims court, but not sure if it is even worth it.

Our house deadline is just a couple weeks away and now I have to deal with all this. I have no money and no time. It's just been a horrible week.

April Finances

April 6th, 2018 at 06:14 am

Paid my mortgage today bringing the total to $43,627.40. I also paid my LOC.

Sold a goat this morning. Once my web design check gets here I will be able to pay off the remaining $600 on the credit card statement and I am hoping I might even be able to send $100 to the EF.

Now that I am caught up, if the overtime continues we will be able to save it or pay down extra debt.

I ended up falling short of my monthly 30 hour web design goal by just an hour, which isn't bad. This month I am already ahead of schedule, so hopefully I can stay on track.

We have continued to put money into the 401K and the truck fund but I need to check balances before I can update the sidebar.

Overall we are on an up swing right now. If we can keep this up it would be nice to pay down some of home CC debt to up our credit scores before we refinance in June.


Drywall Contractor Paid!

March 27th, 2018 at 06:02 am

The drywall contractor finished up and I've paid him. We only have one small hallway left to finish ourselves and our entire house will be done with drywall!

I have been able to pay $800 of the $1,400 credit cards already. Hoping husband's overtime continues for a couple more weeks so we can get ahead in our budget.

Unfortunately I am not going to meet my quota goal of 30 hours of web design a month for March. But this is also my busiest month at church so I've not really been slacking. Just had different priorities.

HVAC Paid!

March 16th, 2018 at 09:44 am

I am sending the check today for the HVAC to be paid in full. Very happy the owner was willing to give me some time to come up with the money.

Have about $1,400 on CCs that need paid next month. Thankfully husband has been working 2 hours of overtime daily for the last 3 weeks. Still continuing for now. Long days for him but thankful for the extra cash. He isn't usually offered overtime so this is a special occurrence.

Ahead of Schedule

February 15th, 2018 at 07:58 am

Today I paid all the credit card bills and utilities. This was on the first statement day for the March due dates, so now I'm "free" until April! Whoot whoot.

I love paying sooner rather than later. It means I'm caught up and not falling behind. Saturday we will be going shopping for a couple house items and clothing. I have some left over gift cards from Christmas so we will go out to a nice free dinner.

Goats will start kidding in two weeks. I can't believe spring is already just around the corner!

Worn to a Frazzle

February 7th, 2018 at 08:33 am

First the good news. My parents are receiving a very large tax return and have graciously decided to give us a gift large enough to cover the entire HVAC bill!

That means I only need to come up with $350 more to cover paying the drywall finisher. Which I will have in March from our "extra" paycheck. It will be so nice to be caught up and only have our normal bills.

Now for good (I guess?) but not so fun part. I've been working a lot of hours at my web design job. Yay for money! But I've also been trucking on the house every single day, and my secretary job is crazy busy. I'm getting really burnt/worn out with everything.

Here is my current schedule:
Monday, Tuesday, & Thursday I get up early and work on web design until noon. Then my dad comes over and we work on the house until 5. At which time my husband gets home and we cook dinner, feed animals, and then work on the house again until usually 10pm.

Wednesday I work all day at my secretary job until about 8pm except for a short break to run home and feed animals and then come home and work on the house until bed.

Friday's I work all day and then we go grocery shopping/run errands, get home around 9 after which is our "time off."

Saturday and Sunday we work on the house all day...

As you can see there isn't much time for sleeping, relaxing, friends, etc. Both jobs have been crazy busy, and I have been having to bring home secretary work to finish at night to keep up. And as if I didn't have enough to do my boss told me today I need to start working on Tuesdays again for a while. UGH!

I keep telling myself this is only temporary but goodness I can't do this much longer. I am driven to work hard on the house to finish. But I am getting quite sour about my real jobs. Especially my secretary job which contributes the most frustration/stress and rewards the least. I hope I can get through the next two months.

Down into the $43ks

January 31st, 2018 at 07:10 am

Paid our mortgage today which pushed it down to $43,909.35!

Our federal tax return came in. That was fast! I will send a check to the HVAC bill as soon as my other paycheck comes in a couple days.

Making Progress & Clothes Shopping

January 30th, 2018 at 07:04 am

We are still chugging along with our house. We have started the tile which is both scary and exciting. I am still terrified about messing it up, but so far it looks nice. Once this project is out of the way the rest of the remodel should be a cake walk comparatively.

I've actually worked enough web design this month where I think I will have $65+ left over after paying all necessaries! That doesn't sound like much but for many months I have been basically treading water, and so it is very nice to see a little extra for once. I am in dire need of clothes and shoes. I am down to two pairs of pants and my only pair of non-dress shoes are on their last leg. We may take a tiny bit of the tax refund to purchase a couple items.

Retirement Savings & Secondary Income

January 26th, 2018 at 08:16 am

Husband's work finally has the profit sharing switched over to a Vanguard 401k. Hallelujah. We can now see that we have $12,900 in the account. He is currently contributing 3% and they are matching.

We also have $13,787 in our Roth IRAs. I don't think that is too bad considering we only make about $43k a year and have only been saving for retirement for about 4 years.

We have a total of $26,687 saved for retirement, or about 62% of our gross yearly income. I think that is about average or above for being in our mid-twenties. I am pleased with that.

My web design work is also going well this month. I am already past my monthly hours goal and still have a week to go. I think I need to raise my goal for February.

I have filed our taxes. We are getting about $650 back, which we will use to pay towards the HVAC bill.

Calming Down

January 16th, 2018 at 07:12 am

The $1,200 HVAC bill is still looming over our heads. But I feel okay now. I am hoping to sell a couple goats which will almost cover it.

I got husband's W2 and entered the numbers. As of right now we are getting $2,000 back. But I have to enter my W2 and my 1099 for my self-employee business so I am expecting the number to drop quite a bit.

If we get $1,000 back that would be great. We will use that in conjunction with the goat money to pay the HVAC and the rest will be put towards a few remaining house items.

I called the HVAC guy and he said there was no bill due date and to just pay him when I can. He is super easy and chill. No rush. Of course I don't want it drug out forever, but at least I have some wiggle room.

House is seeing some finish work in spots. The master bath is now painted, and we hooked up the first circuit of electric and hung a few lights. It was so fun to turn the switch on and see electricity. Bathroom is still far from finished though, still needs trim, tile, vanity, another light, flooring, and the toilet. But at least it looks like a bathroom now!

Can't Get Ahead

January 5th, 2018 at 07:21 am

We finally made some good progress on the house. That is the end of the good news.

I just now received the bill for HVAC work I got done back in May. It's over $1,000. Frown I planned/should have kept some money back for it. But I had no idea how much the cost would be, and the guy it notorious for billing delays or not billing at all. So the money ended up getting spent on other house things. I have no idea how we are going to scrounge up this money. Will probably have to pull from our meager cash reserves. Trying not to panic and just take each day at a time. We have $800 put back which is earmarked for mudding/taping. May have to delay that for now and apply the cash towards HVAC.

The guy is a family friend so I may call him and ask if he would be willing to take 2 or 3 payments. I'm doubting it though.

I have some bigger web design work coming up. I need to buckle down and really try to pump out some extra hours. My other hope is that we will get some tax return money. *fingers crossed W2s come in quickly*

Ugh. I just want this to be over! Deadlines and money are running short.

Trying to Make Goals

December 19th, 2017 at 07:54 am

I am still indecisive about my goals for 2018. My life seems so unstable with the remodel and pulled in so many directions that I don't know where to put my efforts. I know that my main goal isn't even a financial goal. I just want to finish our house.

I also know that I have never been able to finish my yearly goals and that is disappointing. Especially this year, I bombed them. So for 2018 I am going to try to be much more realistic about what I am able to achieve.

Here are my preliminary thoughts:

1.) Finish remodel
2.) Refinance mortgage
3.) Pay off $5,000 in non-mortgage debt
4.) Add $1,000 to truck fund
5.) Add $1,000 to Roth

My Roth goal is a LOT smaller this year. This is for several reasons. #1 being that husband is going to start contributing to a 401K this year. #2 is that I want this year to be about paying down debt. I will happily add more than $1,000 to my Roth, but I don't want to stress myself out with too lofty goals. So I will start here and adjust if needed.

Hopefully 2018 will be a calmer and less stressful year! I just want to tie up some loose ends, and finish all our ongoing projects to get back to some sort of normal.

Getting Worried

December 18th, 2017 at 08:27 am

Husband's work still hasn't given out their Christmas bonus... It is normally deposited by now. No one knows what is going on, but the workers are starting to worry that there won't be a bonus this year. I hope not. So many people live check to check and husband said lots of people have already spent that money on Christmas presents, etc. (Including us!)

If it doesn't come we will manage. But the thought of a company not giving out a bonus (which they have given out for 75 years) makes me sick. How could they do that to their workers? They continue to get greedier and greedier, so it wouldn't be a huge surprise. Husband is saying people will strike if they withhold the bonus. I hope they are just taking longer than normal. *fingers crossed*

In other news, house is slowly going along. Still waiting on the mud/taper. He was supposed to start today but no word yet. :/ That is holding up a lot of progress.

Still trying to figure out goals for 2018. I will have to make another post for that.

401K with Matching!

December 4th, 2017 at 01:10 pm

Husband's job is going to be offering 401ks with Vanguard in 2018! How exciting!

Also, they will 100% match contributions up to 3% and 50% match up to 5%.

For now I think we are going to start with 3%. They said you can change the amount at any time. So once our budget crisis is over hopefully we can up it to 5%.

With this 401k I'm not sure if they are doing away with profit sharing then? I kind of hope not. Because on average they have contributed about $2,000 a year. If they do 3% contribution matching they will only be giving us about $1,000 a year. Ugh. BUT at least it will be with Vanguard and accessible. Right now the profit sharing is all very sketchy. We don't know where the funds are and have no way to track them. They just give us a statement of what we have once a year. It doesn't really feel like our money.

Mortgage & 2nd Income

December 1st, 2017 at 06:40 am

I paid my mortgage today. Balance is at $44,217.39!

I missed my 2nd job work hours goal this month by one hour. Frown Booo. But I am only looking at about $20 short on bills not counting the $300 I am still owed so that's good news. I'll do better this month!

Hoping the Christmas bonus will get here next week. Also hoping we get husband's profit sharing update soon.

Got the plumbing and septic hooked up in the addition! Also ordered the last big piece of the puzzle today, the flooring. Things are slowly but surely getting done.


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