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