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Archive for November, 2013

Running Around Like Turkey Without a Head

November 26th, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I feel like I am over stressed and overloaded!

I an at work now. I get off in 2 hours. Then I have 1.5 hours to go to the store, pick up everything for Thanksgiving, and get home and cook dinner before I have to go to school.

I have not even done my homework for school tonight yet!

I won't get home until 11pm. Then it is up again at 7 and back to work until 4pm again. Then at 5pm we go to my grandparents to eat dinner.

Our friends all are home for the holidays, and husband told me yesterday he invited his friends over to visit tomorrow night at 6pm!

So I'll have 1 hour tomorrow after work to drive home and clean the entire house before we have guests!

Then Thursday we are eating with his family at 11am, then I'm going home for a couple hours to cook for my family. Then we have to go back to his parents to put up their Christmas tree. Won't be back until late.

Friday I am going shopping, then it's my families dinner and thanksgiving.

Not to mention it is also FINALS week for one of my classes at school! Ahhhhh.

I am also super busy at work, and I have no idea how I am ever going to get it all done. I am freaking out a little!

Whew. This week is going to be the death of me.

I also have not bought one single Christmas present yet, or have any ideas. I have no idea when we are going to get time to decorate our house or put up our tree.

I love the holidays. But they also bring a huge amount of stress.

Pray that I can make it thought. *gulp*

Progress on 2013 Saving Goals

November 25th, 2013 at 07:32 am

I was able to add $350 to our EF this week.

Now I'm just waiting for my new SS card to I can finish opening my Ally account and transfer it in.

So that brings my EF goal to $1,150 / $1,500 or [77% Complete]

Wait for Ally Account?

November 22nd, 2013 at 07:13 am

So I just tried to set up an account with Ally Bank.

When I completed the application it said that more assistance was needed and gave me a number to call.

I just called them and they said my account information was in review, and that they would be calling me within 3-5 business days to deny or accept me.

When she first told me this I could have sworn she said 35 days. But I certainly hope it was 3-5. lol.

I wonder what the hold up is. I just got my last name changed, so I wonder if it's because of that. Sigh.

Hopefully it will go through and all will be well.

Propane Fireplace

November 18th, 2013 at 08:37 am



We are really trying to figure out all our options for heating our house as cheaply as possible.

Lately I have been most interested in propane fireplaces.

I have always liked the looks of them, but I have never heard of anyone using them for a main heat source.

I looked up on google, and people do use them. But not a lot of information was to be found.

I think the cost of running one would be cheaper than our furnace. It's so inefficient, the air it does blow is barely even warm. I really only need to heat 3 rooms which are all open to each other. Around 650 square feet. We have a big open foyer with no furniture, so I think this would be a great place for a fireplace, especially since that is exactly where the propane line comes into the house.

The model I'm looking at is $400 to $500. Which seems like a lot, but if it could save us $1,000 this year, I'd say it's worth it.

Does anyone have experience with a propane fireplace?

Outrageous Heating Bills

November 15th, 2013 at 09:40 am

I HATE winter!

We spent over $1,500 last year buying propane.

Our furnace is old. And while I am glad this year it started up fine without having to call someone to come fix it like last year, it wastes so much propane.

We thought maybe our house was just leaking a lot last year because we were remodeling and just had insulation up, no drywall. But it does not seem any better this year.

We turned the heat on a chilly 55 degrees only 2 days ago, and we have already went down 4% of propane. Which is 60 dollars!!!

And another problem is that I think the duct to the bathroom is disconnected because no air is coming out of it. And there is NO WAY to get to the crawl space under the kitchen/bathroom addition because it is separate from the rest of the house and there is no door. The previous owners had cut a hole through the kitchen floor. Well we just fixed that and installed a brand new floor. *face palm* So it appears we will just have to continue heating under our house. On the side of the house there is a place without siding where there is just some plywood. I’m seriously considering ripping it off and seeing if we can squeeze under and fix the duct.

If the % drop continues at this rate we will spend over $2,000 dollars this winter to keep the house only 55 degrees. I can not stand it!

We also have a oil space heater running in the bathroom and the bedroom, which raises are electric bill another $80 - $100 dollars a month.

No one believes how much we spend on heat, we have had them come out and test for leaks TWICE and nothing.

We have all new insulation. There is no reason to be wasting this much.

It has to be the furnace. And while I would love to replace it and get an outdoor wood burner I just do not have the money now. It is so frustrating.

More bad news is that our new windows have not been put in yet. Over 6 weeks later... gr. I just called him again and he is leaving on vacation and wont be able to get to it at least for 2 more weeks. Mean while, cold air is leaking through our old windows.

It is weird. In the summer our house stayed cool with no air conditioning. We had a window unit in our room for sleeping. But the rest of the house never got above 80 on the very hottest days. Most of the time staying in the low 70s. If it is insulated enough to stay cool, why wont it stay hot! Gr.

Tough Job Decisions

November 13th, 2013 at 07:23 am

My job is something that I have gone back and forth on for so long. I'm so indecisive.

I have one class and my internship left and I will graduate with a Degree in Website Design. My passion.

But, in order to really make a living off Website Design I wll have to devote a lot of effort and time into getting a steady following built up before I would be able to call it a reasonable job. That could take years.

So for now I work as a secretary, because it's a relevant job in my area.

The problem is, I currently only work 30 hours a week. But they are split shifts. I work an average 5 days a week, and 2 evenings. I put a lot of time in, but somehow don't come out with many hours. My job is stressful, I have no benefits, they can call me any time, day or night and need for me to do something. I have a lot of trouble getting off, especially for more than one day because I am the only secretary. If our organization has any events, I have to be here, so that might mean I have to work over my days off, or come back in the evening. Such as last week when I worked 10 days straight, and it's not an option.

My job entails so many little details and jobs, and I do not enjoy it. I have trouble keeping track of everything.

I have been here 2.5 years nearly. I only make $1.25 over minimum wage and that is after the $.50 raise I am getting next month.

While it is a stable job, I seriously feel over worked and underpaid, especially for my experience and skills. Because my schedule is so eccentric, I really do not have any time to put into developing my web design base, or getting any clients, so I feel like it is a catch 22. I can't quit until I build a business, but I can't build a business until I quit.

Ideally I would like to work somewhere 2 or 3 days a week at an active job such as waitressing, so I have a little steady cash flow, and then devote the rest of my time into web design.

I would like to be able to get web design business before we begin having children, so I can stay home and care for them, and still make money.

My mother who has a masters in nursing is currently taking an internship at a local Mental Institution. She absolutely loves it, and they are begging her to quit her current job and come work for them. She is considering it. But she told me they are also looking to hire a secretary. My aunt works there as a secretary. This isn’t just some job. This is a career. Complete with pensions, and benefits, and retirement, and all that jazz. Besides working straight week days, paid holidays off, vacations, the pay is more than twice what I am making. People fight for these jobs, but due to an expansion they are in the process of hiring over 100 people, which is usually hard to get into.

I know in less than 5 years I will be wanting to quit and become a mother. So I am trying to decide if it is worth it to disrupt my job where I am comfortable at, and try something new. Especially since being a secretary isn’t my desire. But heck. At 2 or even 3 times the pay, it might be worth it to work there 5 years. I could save up quite a tidy sum. Maybe even a thousand a month, which would really help us out.
I’m just not sure what to do. Is a job change worth it for only a few years? I would love to get out of my current job, I think about it every day. But I’m not sure if I am ready to jump into being another secretary. Mom tells me the work there is a lot better though, and I think I could put up with anything for that much money.

I am going to ask if they would let me come shadow there a couple times. To see what I would be doing. But I am not sure what their security protocols are, so that may not happen.

Even if I put my application in it might be months or a year before they call you back. I am thinking about just putting my resume in and seeing what happens.
What would you do?

The Scoop on the Refinance

November 12th, 2013 at 11:33 am

So today I went and had a talk with our lender.

When we got the loan we had such non-existent credit (always paid cash) that we couldn't get into the low interest rates. So we got the loan at a 6% rate, and we were told we had to refinance in 2 years.

Well after today I learned some new information.

We don't have to refinance within 2 years. He said he can extend it as long as we like, nothing happens. So we don't have a strict timeline anymore, except for worrying about if rates are going to increase.

Current 30 year fixed are at 4.5% at my bank. Which is already higher than I was hoping, when we first got our mortgage they were like 3.75%.

The big things holding us back from refinancing now is the loan fees. They charge more the lower your credit score is.



Credit Score | Refinance Fee

700 | 1.25%
720 | .75%
740 | .50%



Any less than that your talking 2% or 3% fees

Well since it's been over a year since our mortgage I told him to go ahead and pull our credit score to see how we were doing.

Mine is about 680 and husbands is about 670.

Frown

Not much progress in a year. He said there is nothing bad on there, the low score is just from "length of history."

So now it's a waiting game for our scores to go up to get in the lower bracket.

In all honesty with the amount we are going to refinance at the lowest our fee will be $300 and at the high end $750. So it's not all that much of a difference.

But we will just keep making payments and let our score grow.

Now the main question is, do we do as planned and refinance in the summer, or do we wait another year or two until we are actually ready for our remodel with the chance that interest rates will rise more?





New Lower Taxes

November 12th, 2013 at 06:59 am

When we bought out house it was rented out. So we didn't get the owner occupied tax credit last year. Our taxes were nearly double what we should be paying on a old farmhouse. Today I went and got our new tax estimate because the bank is re figuring our escrow amount for the coming year.

I'm happy to report that the taxes will be even lower than I expected. Saving us nearly $50 a month starting in January.

I think I will continue paying the mortgage at the same rate. That will curb my itch to prepay a little, and I'm not missing that money now so I see no reason to take it and spend it. Plus I'd really love to get our mortgage down to $50,000 before we refinance and with an extra $50 that might just happen!

Today I also paid back my small loan to my mother. So now all my money can focus on our Emergency Fund.

Oh happy day!

As a side note... Brrrr. It's cold here. It was in the sixties last night before bed. This morning it's a chilly 25 degrees, and super windy. Good ol' Midwestern weather.

Extra Payday!

November 8th, 2013 at 07:39 am

I am so excited. I was looking at the calendar and I realized somehow husband will have an extra payday in two weeks that falls in between bills and such. So I should be able to put the $300 that usually goes to bills straight into our EF!!

I am super excited, because that means we should be able to meet our goals no problem. I also have an extra payday in December. Whoot!

Battle of the Mortgage

November 5th, 2013 at 07:26 am

Guys I have a problem.

It might just be me, but EVERY single time I make a mortgage payment I argue with myself for at least 30 minutes.



I have a little voice on one shoulder going, "Why dont you put an extra $30 on that payment... or an extra $100. It would pay it off so much faster."

Then another voice is going, "Oh no. Don't pay extra, your trying to build up a savings fund. It would be silly to put more on a mortgage when you have so many other things to save for."

And I go back and forth and back and forth. Im serious! I have trouble writing out the amount every time, and Im sooo tempted to add a little extra.

How do you guys fight this? Is it okay to pay a little extra every once in a while to get some satisfaction? Or am I just crazy for even considering this when I haven't completed my Emergency Fund?

What do you guys do? Do you ever add a little extra payment just to feel like your getting somewhere?

In other news, my Mortgage is now $51,241.45

2013 Saving Goals

November 4th, 2013 at 07:52 am

I just wanted to post what we goals were for the rest of this year.

I would LOVE to have $1,500 in my Emergency Fund. I have $800 right now.

I also owe my mother $200, and I have $100 of that now.
So I have $900/$1700 or [53% progress]

Due to some unexpected expenses Im not sure if Ill make the goals or not, but it will be close. So Im hoping I can scrap it together.