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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.

Bills Again & Christmas Shopping

November 27th, 2017 at 09:39 am

Arg! It's almost time for the flurry of bills due all at the same time again. I was hoping to be in a better spot this month, but my owed check STILL hasn't come yet. Looks like I am going to be about $180 short if I don't scrape up some more hours or the check doesn't come. I really really don't want to pull from savings again. But I will if I have to. I'll be glad when our refinance is over and I can get better control over the finances again.

Not only that but it was a big spendy weekend. I got several things for the remodel we needed. (Thankfully we had money back for this.) I got most of my Christmas shopping done, and also bought a baby shower gift. Only spent $10 on myself, on some much needed undergarments.

All told I spent about $220 that wasn't previously saved for. Which isn't a huge amount to spend on Christmas, but is still money that will have to be paid by the statement.

Our remodel deadline is quickly approaching. I am happy to say the tile, and vanity has been ordered, and the drywall upstairs is complete! Now we are waiting on the mud and taper to finish so we can start painting, hooking up electric, etc.

The main big expenses left is paying for the plumbing hookup, and the flooring. After that we will be on the home stretch, thank goodness!

Husband should be getting a Christmas bonus in the next couple weeks. Planning on using about $200 for gifts. The rest will be put towards retirement or into paying down house bills. Not sure on the total he will get but in years past it has averaged about $700.

Payments & a Raise

November 8th, 2017 at 08:12 am

Well I did it. This was the week of all the large bills hitting at once. I paid everything today. I did end up transferring $300 from savings, but will pay it back as soon as I get the check I am waiting on (hopefully sometime next week).

Mortgage is down to $44,415.49

Now I have to be more careful in the future to make sure I have enough cash to cover expenses even if my design check is late.

I am hoping to do a little black Friday shopping for Christmas presents this year, and also there are a couple tools we could really use for the house. I will have to work extra or brainstorm ideas on how to come up with some extra money for this.

Some good news. I found out I am getting a $.50 raise and also another week of vacation next year at my office job. It only equates to about $25 a month, so not much, but everything helps.

House Update (For Snafu)

October 31st, 2017 at 07:51 am

Here is the status of our large home remodel/addition.

What has been done...
Entire house has new exterior insulation, new siding, new windows, new gutters, and foundation repair. New front and back doors, new porch lights. New roof on the mudroom and front porch. (Rest of the house got a new roof in 2012) We also dug out part of our pond to make it deep enough for fish.

Basement/addition was added. Insulation, electric, and plumbing drains have been installed. Drywall is complete and we are about halfway done with mud and tape.


Still needs to be done...

Addition foundation needs parged and backfilled. Yard needs graded. (Perhaps next year?)

3 more upstairs rooms needs drywalled. (Two are small rooms, this is our current daily project) Mud and tape needs finished in addition, and totally done upstairs. (We are waiting on a quote for this.)

Addition: Trim, plumbing, doors, septic hookup, bedroom closet, bathroom faucets, lights, shower/bathtub tile, flooring, bathroom vanity.


Propane tanked needs moved, gas lines dug, and hooked back up to furnace. (Currently no heat and it is 30 degrees outside...)


Our deadline is supposed to be the end of the year!! We are getting significant delays due to quotes for tile and flooring taking way way too long. I just contacted another company and I am hoping they will be faster.

The problem with building/remodeling is that it is a domino effect. We are held up waiting on quotes/builders to get back to us. Once the tile is in we can install the floor and vanity. Once the mud and tape is done we can install lights outlets, trim, etc.

I highly doubt we will be 100% finished by Christmas. But I think everything can be drywalled, painted, and have lights/outlets. I am worried mostly about the tile timeline. Which is out of our control. Most of the finishes such as lights and faucets are already purchased and waiting for install.

Lots of Bills

October 30th, 2017 at 06:39 am

Ugh. This is the first month where I've really had to be on top of bill dates and what order I am going to pay. Usually I just pay as they come in. But stupid me put $800 (home remodel stuff) on a credit card thinking I'd be able to pay if off before the due date no problem. Well I forgot we don't have as much wiggle room anymore to just cash flow such large expenses.

Money is coming in. I just never know which day I will get my design check. So in case it is late I need to pay bills carefully.

It's a pain, but I'm not too worried. I do have an EF I can pull from, but it's in a savings account so I would have to transfer and I just don't want to if I can help it.

In the future I need to be much more careful. I also realize I need to keep a bigger buffer in my checking account. I don't want to have to juggle things again.

In better news. I set a goal for working on design this month, and not only did I do all those hours, I set a bigger goal and did those too! Hurray! If I can keep that up our finances will be in much better shape.

Mortgage & Budgets

October 6th, 2017 at 07:06 am

I paid my main mortgage today. It now stands at $44,551.21!

I love watching that number go down, too bad all our other loans just continue to climb...

I also started a free trial of YNAB. I used it previously for a short time, but fell out of it when my free student offer ended. I'm going to give it a go again and really try to be faithful. I need to start tracking every dollar and try to keep our spending minimal until our debt goes down.

I am feeling a little better about the home remodel today. Not any better about finances, but we have 95% of the drywall completed in the addition so it finally feels like progress. There is still so much to do, but most of the "invisible" things are done, and soon we get to move onto the fun stuff like paint/flooring/lighting. Of course I still have to tape and mud all the drywall which is the worst job of the project...

Nothing Much

October 2nd, 2017 at 02:12 pm

It has been a month since my last entry and not much new to report.

Trip was great! We stayed on budget, and had a great time.

Getting ready to leave on another short weekend trip for a wedding I am in. I also had two baby showers to help at this week. I'm so busy, and all these gifts and party foods are killing me!

I am feeling quite discouraged about our home remodel. It is looking like we are going to be right round $5k short to finish everything, and there is just no way to come up with it in time for the year end deadline.

My mother has graciously offered to purchase the remaining needed items partly as a Christmas gift, and partly as a "pay me back later when you can." And that is very generous of her, but I am sick of borrowing money, and I HATE having to take advantage of family. Will have to wait and see what others options I can come up with.

I am also worn out from working on the house, and everything being messy and a disaster. I'm sick of a 5 year long construction zone and I just want it to be all finished so we can get on with our lives and I can properly clean/organize/decorate.

I am going to really really try hard to start picking up more design work. An extra 5 hours a week could go a long way towards paying down our debt. I got all my invoices caught up today and sent out. So it's a fresh start and I am going to set a goal to do at least 5 hours of extra work a week.

Looking at the 2017 Goals

September 1st, 2017 at 08:00 am

As I look at the goals I set for 2017 I realize I am not going to complete anymore of them. That makes me sad but I also realize things change, and life can't always be planned. Goals are a good idea, even if they seem impossible because they give you something to work towards.

Our home remodel is way over our original budget. But it is coming along and I am hopeful we will be able to finish without surpassing our new budget.

I have been selling goats and continuing to add to the animal fund. I will make it to $2k, but I don't think I will continue to save after that. My feed bills were actually down this year, and I really just don't need the extra thousand in there. Which is a good thing! I've managed to pay for my food, and I will still have a buffer in the account in case something comes up.

The Roth goal is about 2/3s done, but at this point I think it is wiser to send our extra money towards paying house debt and put the Roth on the back burner this year.

Same with the car fund. We had money saved which we raided for the house. A car just seems unimportant compared to the house debt we have. I think our focus needs to be 100% on paying down the home remodel this year.

___________________

We are leaving for our trip today. Should have enough money set aside to pay for everything with cash.

Lots of Trips

August 11th, 2017 at 12:53 pm

Husband did not get the high paying job he applied for, which was expected.

No word yet on the job with good hours. It has been a couple months now and they still haven't hired anyone, so I am doubting they will.

Oh well. We are okay for now.

I have about a million trips planned the next couple months. Ugh! This month I will be gone for a weekend for a show. Then another 14 hour trip to deliver goats and visit a friend. Then next month we are going on a weekend road trip with some friends as a last hurrah before husband's friend leaves for the military. One of my friends is getting married a couple states over and I am in the wedding so I will be gone for a weekend for that. Then most likely we will go camping or something for our anniversary. Yikes!

Thankfully they are all cheap trips. But still a lot of driving, planning, etc.

Today is payday, and next payday is an "extra" one. We will likely use some of the funds for our weekend trips, and some to pay down our home loans.

Floating along. We haven't wracked up anymore house debt, but we have had several larger household expenses pop up such as doctors visits, vet visits, etc. Just trying to keep everything cash flowed.

Finally Paid

July 31st, 2017 at 06:21 am

Finally got some checks I have been owed since May. Yikes! That allowed me to pay the mortgage, LOC, and the minimums on both home CCs. All caught up for now.

Home addition is still going well. We are started putting up drywall! That makes such a large difference.

Friend is committed to the military and can't back out now. He signed up for 6 years. Frown Oh well. I am just hoping that getting away from his family will help him. He is going to leave most of his stuff here where it will be safe.

Husband has gotten no word back on the two jobs he has applied for. Phewy. He will test for the two other jobs soon.

Sad Situation

July 19th, 2017 at 07:07 am

We got some sad news last week.

My husband's best friend is too nice. His family is lazy, has a lot of kids, and is dirt poor. They have always struggled badly. As the older brother he has always felt the need to help them out, and they take advantage of him. He moved back in with them to help. For some more back story they live in a shed they fixed up in someone's back yard. He shares a very small room with his two younger brothers...

He pays the bills, keeps the heat on, feeds the kids, loans them money, etc. He can not/will not say no. They have opened personal loans in his name and credit cards. He is naive and let them on their word of they will pay him back. They even convinced him to buy a house in his name for them this year. Thankfully it fell through.

He is not good with money, but he isn't bad. He works hard, and pays his bills. But he doesn't really understand interest rates, saving, etc. He is going to school full time, does an unpaid internship full time, and works full time. He is pulling 16 hour days. His mom has never worked, and his dad is a part time "handy man." (eye roll)

Well last week out of the blue he told us that his parents have so much debt in his name that he is drowning and can no longer keep up with the bills. His only option would be to drop out of school and the internship so he could pick up a second job which he doesn't want to do. I think he wants a quick fix. So he came up with his great idea that he would join the military and use the sign on bonus to pay off his debt, and they would pay for his school.

This guy is not cut out for the military. He is sensitive, quiet, and way too meek and kind. I think it would ruin him. He isn't excited about it or wants to do it but in his head it is the only way to get out of the mess.

He only has $20-$30k debt. We told him we would help him budget and if he got a better job he could pay it off. He says he will never get anywhere unless he gets away from his parents. Which I agree, but he has been unsuccessful finding a roommate and can't afford to live on his own. Husband's parents offered to let him live with them. (He is like family and has lived with them when he was younger.) But he refuses to pause school to pay down the debt.

He sprung this on us last week and said he was going to meet with a recruiter. Husband advised him to not sign up for anything and think about it for a while. We invited him over for the weekend so we could sit down and work out a solution for him. Well the next day he called back and said he signed up. Husband is ticked and says he has made up his mind and refuses to try and reason with him anymore. But I think he is making a horrible split second decision and is going to regret it.

I am so mad and sick about this. How DARE his parents use him, and take advantage, and feel no remorse about him having to join the military to pay for them. Oh BTW his mom is on vacation in Florida right now...

It is sad that he is making a life changing decision over $20k in debt. His parents are toxic, and once he gets out he is just going to get into the same mess again if he can't learn to tell them no and budget better.

Ugh. Just needed to rant. He has signed up but not sworn in yet. So I'm not sure if it is too late now. But I am still hoping he comes to his senses. Husband is being mad about it right now and doesn't want to talk about it, but I know he is upset and hurt. His friend stays at our house several times a month and even has a toothbrush here. Friend lived at his parents house during their teenage years (family couldn't afford their kids), so they are like brothers. I think he feels betrayed that his friend signed up without even talking to him about it first.

Pray that he makes the right decision. Frown

Spendy Weekend

July 10th, 2017 at 07:01 am

Ugh so much money out this weekend. I had a mild freak out last night and husband had to calm me down and remind me that we have the loan to spend money.

I bought an oven. It was 40% off and had free delivery. It should be here next week. Freelance checks that are owed to me will cover this so no big deal.

I also bought a chandelier I had been eyeballing for a while that was 25% off. It was more pricey than what I could have chosen so I am counting that as my splurge for the remodel.

We also got 14 recessed lights, in-wall tv cord kit, wire, bathroom vent, sand paper, ceiling boxes, etc. Lots of little stuff that is needed. Some of it we had cash for thankfully. But the rest was added to the remodel loan.

We still have a long way to go with the remodel, but I can at least see progress.

Update on Jobs

July 7th, 2017 at 12:02 pm

To update on my husband's job situation:

He had finally decided to apply for a job with good pay / benefits but crappy work and hours. Before he could do that someone told him about a much better job that was hiring. He applied for that but they are saying they aren't going to start the hiring process until after July 15th. So we are still waiting.

Then another job came open which has GREAT pay and benefits but just okay hours. He applied for that (along with probably 100 other people, ugh). Well they called today to let him know he has made it to the final hiring process and he is scheduled for an interview on the 17th. Yay!

The original planned job is also now hiring. So husband will probably go ahead and apply for that as well. All this to say there are 3 good jobs in the running and we are hoping and praying that husband can manage to snag one of them. He is a great worker and has never called in sick or been late. Just wish someone would give him a chance to shine.

In recap 3 possible jobs.

#1 decent pay, awesome hours (days, no weekends or holidays)
#2 great pay, boring work
#3 good pay, swing shifts and evenings, boring work

Husband is still wishing for #1, although #2 would be great for us financially. He would be getting about a 50% raise. Which is equally to what I am currently making. All of them offer good benefits and retirement which is a major improvement over what we currently have.

Please keep us in your thoughts and pray that interviews go well. This could be a real life changer for us.

Into the $44ks

July 5th, 2017 at 01:17 pm

Mortgage payment was sent today, bringing our balance down to $44,986.18!

Have to enjoy these last few months of a small mortgage before our LOC is rolled into it and the balance more than doubles. :/

Sold a goat so I was able to add $350 to the animal fund. Happy to see at least one goal making progress.

Gutters were installed today.

Gutters & Ovens

July 3rd, 2017 at 10:17 am

I got my estimate back for my new gutters. They came in about $500 less than budgeted. Score!

Then my oven stopped working... It is at least 30 years old and came with the house when we bought it. It has been going out/not working off and on for a couple years now. But if you wiggle/bang on it enough it will come on.

Everyday it gets a little harder to get it working. Finally a couple days ago I thought it finally gave up the ghost, then yesterday it magically started again. Today it is broke again. lol. It makes me crazy wondering when it is really going to be its last day.

Several stores are offering up to 40% off on ovens right now because of the holiday so it might be time to bite the bullet and buy a new one. We are going to go window shopping next week and see how good of a deal we can find. I worry if I don't get it now, it will die in a couple weeks and then we will have to wait months until the next sale. If we do purchase something we will use the $500 we saved on the gutters.

I did look on the local craigslist and sellers clubs but the used ones are only $50 - $100 cheaper than a brand new one on sale!

Last year we replaced our failing washer during a holiday sale and I am still super happy with my purchase. I consider myself a frugal person. But a purchase is definitely worth it if it improves your quality of life. And let me tell you I am so over having to fidget with my oven for 10 minutes every time I need to cook something. What a frustration and waste of time.

Another Trip

June 19th, 2017 at 07:10 am

Just got back from a short weekend trip to the windy city. One of my friends travels for work and is currently living there, so a few of us got together for a girls weekend at her place.

I had a great time and only spent $40. (which I had saved over the last couple weeks) We of course wanted to experience Chicago living so we saw the giant bean, ate classic style pizza and hotdogs, had a picnic on lake Michigan, and toured the field museum. We would have liked to see the aquarium but it was closed for the day.

I am SO not a fan of crowds or traffic, but I kept my anxiety in check and we got there and back safely. It was nice to have a weekend away from the remodel and work.

I am all caught up on bills and credit cards besides the giant LOC and 0% cards for the house. It is nice to be able to have money in the check left over to pay more than the minimums. I am determined to pay down debt ASAP.

Win Some Lose Some

May 30th, 2017 at 09:20 am

Back from vacation! It was great, and we stayed on budget! Yay.

Our home addition made crazy progress while we were away. When we left it was a hole in the ground. Now all the framing is up, windows are in, and they are putting on shingles right now.

Now for the bad news. Remodel budget has hit our original max. We knew this day would come, but still I was hoping for different. Waiting on a call back from the banker to find out what our options are. We are pre-approved for $12k more. But in all honestly it is probably going to take at least $20,000 to finish everything. Not sure if I am willing to take out that much more on a loan though. Ugh. Have to sit down and figure out payments and all that. I HAVE to start working more web design. That would easily cover payments, so I need to make it a priority. If husband got the new job he applied for that would also make things a lot easier. So many variables. Don't want to get in over our heads, so must tread carefully.

Prayers for Job & Vacation

May 19th, 2017 at 06:55 am

Well my husband did end up getting a raise this year. $.08... Yes you read that right. That is pretty much an insult. Not even enough for inflation.

Anyway, despite my husband not telling anyone he is starting to look for a different career, a neighbor contacted my father in law randomly about a job opening that he thinks would be a good fit for my husband. This job would be the same pay or more than he is currently working, only 4 days a week, no weekend/holidays, daytime, large yearly raises, and room for growth. And best of all it has awesome benefits, which is what we really need because of all my health issues. This job would be a God send for my husband. We are leaving for vacation TONIGHT! So I picked up an application on my way to work, we are going to fill it out and drop it off in the neighbors mailbox on our way to the airport. He said he will take it in for us!

Could really use some prayers that it works out. It sounds too good to be true. Husband has always wanted to work there but they rarely hire, and don't advertise so you have to know someone. It has been years since they have hired anyone, but one of their employees just retired.

Preparing for vacation is super stressful when I have to have all the animals ready, all my invoices for construction work taken care of, all my real work done, clean for the pet sitters to stay here, etc. Ugh. I'm glad it is about over.

See you all in 10 days!

Basement is Done!

May 12th, 2017 at 07:42 am

The rains finally held off enough to get our basement finished! On to framing next. We only have about $10,000 left in the original remodel budget. I can not see the framing getting completed for that amount but we will see. Fingers crossed. We can get more money out but would prefer not to if at all possible.

Our money seems to have went so quick. But I have to keep reminding myself of all the projects that did get completed. We had foundation and structural repair on all 4 sides, all new exterior insulation, siding, new roof, new porch, new windows, dug out our pond, dug and poured a basement, etc.

One puppy and one goat are leaving this week, giving our goals a small boost.

Only one week until vacation. So much to do before!

Mortgage Payment & Job Blues

May 5th, 2017 at 06:34 am

Mortgage Payment today: new balance $45,268.89.

HELOC is now up to $44,500 but progress is/has been halted for a couple weeks now due to massive rain/flooding.

Goats will start to go to their new homes this month, along with one more puppy.

Husband is feeling super bummed at his job. Business has been slow and he is bored/worried they will lay off. He is actively looking at new jobs. There are a couple positions that pay really well/have good benefits but he didn't want them in the past because they work swing shifts and we don't want to work different schedules. But since I am now mostly working from home, husband has decided swing shifts wouldn't be such a big deal anymore. Once he gets more vacation time in July, he will go take the tests for them.

Also bummed because it appears that he isn't getting a raise again this year. His bosses are still getting bonuses and raises, but they have really been greedy towards employees the last couple years. It didn't used to be like that, and he is getting quite scour. I think this is due to the business being turned over to the next generation in the family. They do not treat the employees like their parents did... His first year he got a $3 raise. Since then he has only gotten one $.25 raise. They used to buy pizza for everyone on Fridays, Christmas bonuses were twice as much, etc. All that is dwindling, despite the business making tens of millions more in profit each year. He said job morale for everyone is at a low. What a shame for the younger generation to ruin a family business.

Caught Up & Vacation Tips

April 25th, 2017 at 07:49 am

I am FINALLY caught up on all my extra expenses. I was able to pay the credit cards to $0 and still had $75 left over which I sent to the LOC. $75 seems like a drop in the bucket when the total is going to be over $100k but I guess every little bit helps.

I also got a goat deposit, and some puppy money. So I added $100 to vacation and $50 to the animal fund.

Thankful to be caught up. Just in time to pay for 3yr vaccines for two of the cats. (May is shot discount month) And also be able to take off work for vacation without stressing about money.

I can't say enough about how great it is to save for a vacation ahead of time instead of relying on credit cards and paying later. I don't feel nearly as bad splurging a bit without guilt if I know the money is there and earmarked. It also helps you keep to a budget if you have the cash in hand and don't spend more than you have. I highly recommend cash only vacations.

For a low income, young couple; my husband and I have really went on quite a few large vacations since we have been married. We have went to Charleston, Savannah, Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, Albuquerque, Yellowstone, Smokey Mountains, Florida, etc, some of these places multiple times in only 5 years. This vacation will be our most expensive at $2,000. Travel doesn't have to be expensive. You plan ahead, purchase tickets and rental cars at the right time, cook your own meals, be willing to camp or stay with friends, etc. We have got to do several once in a lifetime opportunities by doing thrifty shopping, or having friends/family across the country. Think outside the box with travel!

Not Much to Report

April 17th, 2017 at 08:16 am

Home addition is still going fine. It is exciting to see progress. We have a basement now.

Got my new $5 raise this paycheck so that was nice to help me catch up on some credit card bills. Another week or two and I will be caught up on everything and be able to start funneling to the remodel. In just a couple weeks it will be time to start working on the interior.

Vacation is only about a month away. Plane tickets, rental car, and home are all ordered and paid for. Just need to purchase/pay for whatever attractions we are going to, and food while there.

Purchased a few much needed clothing items such as a swim suit top. Can't go to the beach without a swim suit! I got a $50 top for only $17!

May have to go shopping once more because I couldn't find everything I needed but first I want to go through all my clothes and purge/inventory check.

My house is a major disaster. I think it is time for a spring cleaning / take everything out and organize. It is hard to keep up with when I work every day, milk/bottle feed goats (which takes 2+ hours a day), care for the rest of the animals, work on the home addition, and try to get some rest time in. House cleaning is definitely what gets slacked on. I need to do better.

Taxes & Mortgage

April 7th, 2017 at 06:15 am

Tax refund was deposited into my account and I sent it straight to the Roth!

Mortgage payment is today. Balance is now $45,437.60.

Good News All Around!

April 3rd, 2017 at 08:34 am

Lots of good news this week!!

Start with the small things. I sold a goat and put that $350 in the animal fund. I sent $250 to my Roth.

Taxes are supposed to be deposited into my account this week for $450 that I will send to the Roth.

Puppy money continues to come in. I upped the vacation fund goal another $500 to give us more wiggle room for fun things.

I am owed $467 for client work. Not sure where I will use this yet.

FINALLY got husband's yearly profit sharing statement. (It is dated December 2016, geez) They contributed over $4,000 this year. So we are now at $10,662 in our account and 80% vested. Husband is worried that means there will be no raises again this year... But we'll see. Hopefully not. It is nice that his employer is contributing more than we are to retirement.

I was brave and asked for a $5 hourly raise from one of my design clients. I got it!

The web design company I work for mainly also mentioned giving me a $10 a hour raise in the near future as soon as funds allow. Big Grin That means I would be making 3 times the amount per hour than my secretary job... Which brings me to my next point. I asked to reduce my hours to take Tuesdays off permanently. They said okay. Smile

Addition is still on hold due to weather. But it feels nice that my income streams are slowly growing. I am feeling more confident that we can meet most of our goals this year.

My real big picture goal is to get paid enough an hour than I can work less hours and devote more time to living life and enjoying my hobbies, mainly farming.

The only bad news this week is that I have 4 bottle baby goats which need fed every 4 hours, day and night. I also have to get up an hour early to milk goats so I can feed said babies. Which is really hurting my sleep schedule.

Overall a very good week financially.

Roth IRA & Taxes Filed

March 28th, 2017 at 06:33 am

Sent $100 to the Roth. I also submitted my taxes finally and both federal and state were accepted. I will be getting $455 back which I will send to the Roth.

Besides that, all the puppies are sold but some are staying here longer for training so I get a few more snuggles in. Vacation fund is almost done.

Goats will start leaving soon and I will be able to contribute to my animal fund.

My web design has picked up and is overwhelming. I took off from my "real job" today so I could stay home and work on it. Because doing web design I make 2 - 3 times MORE an hour. I think I am going to ask about permanently going down one less day at my secretary job. I really can't afford not to.


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