I paid my mortgage today. Balance is at $44,217.39!
I missed my 2nd job work hours goal this month by one hour. 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.
Viewing the '2017 Goals' Category
I paid my mortgage today. Balance is at $44,217.39!
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
I sent $100 to the IRA today. Double my normal amount. Want to get that done ASAP so I don't have to think about it anymore.
Remodel is going... Exterior on current home is just about finished. It's so nice to have all new windows, front porch, front door, siding, etc. 100% improvement.
Bad news is we are projected to currently be about $10,000 over budget. So that is a downer. But we had several issues pop up, and also added several things so not really unexpected.
We are going to push ahead with the addition. Money will have to be made up by choosing cheaper finishes, working more, and/or perhaps cutting out replacing the duct work for now. ($8k)
I have received deposits for all the puppies and they have started going to their new homes. :'(
Weekly $50 contribution to Roth today.
I have purchased our plane tickets for our May vacation. My husband changed his mind last minute about flying or driving back home, so I had to buy an extra ticket I didn't plan on. Also the ticket price was $60 more than I had planned. Boo.
So far we have spent $860 on plane tickets. Ugh. But better than riding in a crowded 15 passenger van with a bunch of children for four days. We will be flying and meeting his family down there, and also flying home. Flying saves us the cost of 2 hotel rooms, and we get to take one less day off work (and have an extra vacation day). So really the cost of the tickets are greatly offset, and much more comfortable for traveling. Well worth it, especially since I get high car anxiety.
So since the beginning I have kept part of my emergency fund in my Roth IRA since we get the savers tax credit for contributing. On my sidebar I had been listing that money under EF instead of Roth, but as our numbers grow it is getting complicated to keep track of how much is for the EF and how much is not. So in order to simplify I am changing it. Everything in the Roth is now correctly listed under Roth, and the EF total is the only cash we carry in our checking/saving accounts. That said, if we really did have an emergency we could still pull from our Roth, but it is silly to not put the majority of our savings in there to get the tax advantages. We do also keep quite a bit of cash for other random short term savings which I do not keep track of on my sidebar that we could definitely use in an emergency as well.
For more info on why I put part of my EF in my Roth here is a good link.
Roth IRA as an Emergency Fund
A goal that I don't see happening this year is the truck fund. We used $1,000 of it for a down payment on our remodel. We had originally planned to take that out of the loan and put the cash back, but it seems silly to be paying 6% interest just to have the cash sitting in a savings account. Husband is also wanting to focus on the remodel and has not been contributing faithfully to the truck fund this year. He says he can get a couple more years out of his car. So, we will continue to contribute to the fund, but it is on the back burner for now. No way it will get to $3,000 this year. We would like to have enough in there so that if something did happen to our of our cars we could afford to pay cash for a beater at least.
Home remodel is going well but money is getting spent quickly. We are up to around $11,000 already. It is so nice to see things getting done on the house though. Especially long lasting changes like siding and foundation repair.
With my payday today I sent $80 to the IRA. I will be getting an "extra" paycheck next month and will have $450 to put towards something. Perhaps the IRA.
Puppies are getting their shots this week, and will be ready to go to their new homes in just 2 weeks. :'(
My goats will start having babies this week!
Today is husband's payday so I went ahead and paid the mortgage payment and the LOC interest even though they aren't due for two weeks.
Mortgage is now at $45,499.86.
Well we are in the home remodel. It's going well, although it is really hard to write such large checks.
It's going a little slower than I expected, and I am worried about them needing more time/labor than allotted. Of course we are only on day 4 of a 10 week remodel. lol. So it's too early to tell if we are on track and on budget.
Money is/will be tight for a while. Things like lights, paint, etc, are being cash flowed. I am super excited to see my house looking better every day, and we have only just begun. Right now they are working on the front of the house, which included foundation repair, redoing the porch, new door, two new windows, and siding. This is the most complicated side, and I think the others will go faster.
After the exterior is complete, then they will start work on the actual addition/basement.
Got the money owed to me so I sent $170 to my IRA. Yippe!
Also, good news on the gym front. My mom is going to share a family plan with me and my husband so we can split the cost. She gets a discount through her job, also the owner gave me a discount because he knows/likes me.
All said my husband and I only have to pay $15 a month for BOTH of us. The normal price is $35 a person!!
The only downside is we had to pay for the whole year at once. But now it's paid for and over with and we can work out and get healthy. Yay!
I need to deposit $650 more into the IRA before April 15th so I can count it on 2016 taxes. I was going to just save it up and send it in one large chunk. But with the remodel happening, I think it would be safer and less stressful to just sent a small amount every paycheck. There are ten weeks left, so if I do $50 a week that will almost get me there. I also have $150 of side income that is owed to me and should be paid in the next week or so. That will make up the difference. I went ahead and sent $50 today.
Got a $105 bonus this month for having happy customers. (BTW my web design boss is awesome and really encourages me/spoils me.) I used that along with my normal web design check to pay off one of my credit cards. Now I just have the $500 from the door left.
Siding and windows have been ordered, roofing will be ordered later this week. I talked to the crew and they are going to be starting in earnest on Monday. They got held up at their current job.
I am beginning to get deposits for the puppies despite me wanting to wait until they were 6 weeks old. They are only 4 weeks now, but people keep bugging me to pick theirs. As of now 5 out of 7 are on lock down. Have several interested people in the remaining 2 but not settled yet. (Not bad for not advertising any yet! These people all found me.)
I went ahead and made my mortgage payment today a little early. Balance is now $45,693.06.
I am anxiously awaiting to hear how much the windows and siding are going to cost to know how close we are on budget.
I'm thankful that I ordered the door and handle and can cash flow that expense.
My HVAC estimate came back... $8,200. Eek! But spot on with the rough estimate he gave me a few years ago. That includes a new furnace, AC, and all new duct work. It's a huge job. He said if everything goes smoothly that the labor might go down because he planned worst case scenario, but I'm not going to bet on it. Our house is always worst case scenario on every single thing.
But oh how nice it will be to not worry about pipes freezing, having to run multiple oil heaters 24/7 to keep the house warm, and to have AC.
I'm sending $500 to my IRA today!! Whoot!
Also paying $500 for 6 months of car insurance. Glad to have two bigger things taken care of.
Purchasing our front door today. Exciting!
I worked a lot this month, so I am hoping for a bigger check in the next week or two.
Good thing, because the dumb dog jumped up and busted one of our windows out on accident. Of course it was one of the few windows we were NOT going to replace. It was very fragile old glass and when her paw put pressure on it she punched right through. Thankfully she just got a small cut and is fine, so it could have been a lot worse.
Somebody dumped another stray cat off at our house. ARG. I'm hoping it will go to a neighbors, otherwise I'll have to find it a home or be stuck with it.
Here are a couple pictures of the puppies. They are so precious!
Half of them are for sure sold already. Have a few other people interested as well. Not bad considering I haven't even advertised them yet. lol. Any profit is earmarked for our vacation.
Waiting on a call back to set up the date/time for our appraisal. I'm nervous it won't come back high enough, so fingers crossed!
I have 2/4 of my W2s back. Tentatively it looks like I will be getting $500 - $1k back. Plus get to keep the $500 I had set back from my self employment. What a relief, since I had no idea how much I was going to owe. Most likely whatever I get to keep/get back will be going into the IRA.
Mortgage is now $45,848.29!
We got our bathroom repainted this weekend, so all we have left to do is patch the drywall, finish trim, and paint the door. We couldn't do these projects because of rain.
Builders are saying last week of January or first week of February for starting the remodel. Huzzah!
We've picked out our siding and windows. Things are rolling!
I've mostly decided on my new goals for 2017.
1.) Stay Below $105k Home Budget
2.) $1,500 for May Vacation
3.) $3,000 in Animal Fund
4.) $9,000 in Roth
5.) $3,000 in Truck Fund
My main goal for 2017 is completing a home addition, and substantial work on the existing house. We are going to cash flow as much as we can as we go along. This is so variable, but in the end I don't want more than $105k in total debt. With our current mortgage and LOC we owe $51,000. So that means we can only add up to $54,000. The rest will have to be delayed or paid for with cash.
I am going on vacation/business trip in May. I'm estimating to need around $1,500 for this. I already have $400. So it's a start.
The other 3 goals are recurring from previous years. I want to continue to add to our IRAs, animal fund, and truck fund. With the animal fund being the only need.