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July Check In - Raise, Bonus, Bills

July 29th, 2022 at 03:10 pm

Debts

Mortgage −$117,032.04 (-$238.37)
Land Loan -$11,778.85 (-$181.61)

Savings

Roth IRAs +$22,154 (+$665)
401K +$42,353 (+$1,659)
Emergency Fund +$7,598 (-$1,635)
Maternity Fund +$1,570 (-$1,430)
Animal Fund +$1,670 (+$2)
Car Fund +$20 (-$0)
HSA +$2,216 (-$853)

Overall: -$1,172.02

Retirement accounts were actually up a bit. But not enough to counter the dumpster fire that July was. One of the kids needed an ER trip. Then we all caught covid again and husband was out of work unpaid. Had to purchase the rental car for vacation which doubled in price since last year's vacation and quadrupled the price of our 2015 vacation. $1,600 vs $400! Embarrassment I'm still waiting on another person to pay me back for their share. 

Our propane which has always been on budget billing was increasing from $110 to $200 with no changes in usage. When I inquired they told me they could no longer offer a rate cap and this is how much they expected the rate to increase. Yikes. I found out if I pre-paid for the entire year they would lock in $2.14 a gallon so we went ahead and did that. Which was another large expense. 

Still have some large medical expenses coming, some of which I pre-paid but I expect another two thousand or so next month. 

Basically had to use up my entire buffer and pull from my maternity fund to cover things. About one thousand will be reimbursed from the HSA and thankfully husband is getting a bonus in August. Just kind of bummed because we were hoping to use that to get ahead and instead we will have to use it to dig ourselves out of the hole.

Some good news is that husband’s union contract is up on Monday and the entire plant is fighting for a large wage increase. They are wanting $5 an hour effective immediately and then 5% a year for the next 5 years to battle inflation. For reference he has usually gotten about $.30 a year in the past. So it would be a significant bump in pay for him. We really need that since the price of everything like groceries have ballooned and are really killing us. It could be months before they come to an agreement so we’ll see what we end up with, but husband says the workers are pretty firm so fingers crossed.

June Check In

July 11th, 2022 at 03:19 pm

Debts

Mortgage −$117,271.22 (-$238.61)
Land Loan -$11,960.46  (-$184.54)

Savings

Roth IRAs +$21,489 (-$914)
401K +$40,694 (-$2,279)
Emergency Fund +$9,233 (-$400)
Maternity Fund +$3,000 (-$500)
Animal Fund +$1,668 (+$301)
Car Fund +$20 (-$0)
HSA +$3,069 (+$257)

Overall: -$3,111.85

Retirement accounts were down as usual. It was a hard month for us with little overtime and some bigger expenses so sadly we had to pull from our buffers/savings. July is shaping up to be better though. Except some looming medical bills which will probably deplete our HSA. 

May Check In & Land Purchase

May 30th, 2022 at 07:02 pm

Debts

Mortgage −$117,509.83 (-$238.04)
Land Loan -$12,145.00 (+$12,145) New Loan!

Savings

Roth IRAs +$22,403 (-$389)
401K +$42,250 (+$723)
Emergency Fund +$9,633 (+$203)
Maternity Fund +$3,500 (-$500)
Animal Fund +$1,367 (+$501)
Car Fund +$20 (-$0)
HSA +$2,812 (+$208)

Overall: -$11,160.96

Retirement accounts were almost even with our contributions this month. Sold some goats, paid for hay and hired someone to clean the barn. Several more goats will be leaving in June. 

Land purchase went through, waiting on the county to record it so we can combine with our existing property and move onto the septic. Super excited!

April Check In (Late)

May 30th, 2022 at 06:42 pm

Debts

Mortgage −$117,747.87 (-$237.47)

Savings

Roth IRAs +$22,792 (-$2,010)
401K +$42,250 (-$3,497)
Emergency Fund +$9,430 (+$743)
Maternity Fund +$4,000 (-$500)
Animal Fund +$866 (-$0)
Car Fund +$20 (-$0)
HSA +$2,604 (+$200)

Overall: -$4,826.53

Retirement accounts plummeted again. Saving as usual.

Land Purchase

April 7th, 2022 at 08:31 pm

Things have turned out better than expected! We are getting approximately two acres and he is only charging us a total of $10,000!!! We were honestly expecting to pay around $30,000. 

This changes things because now we can take a lien out on our car instead of getting a second mortgage. This reduces the loan fees from over $1,000 to around $75. We don't have to get an appraisal or do a proper closing or anything like that, so it also speeds up the timeline by over a month!

We are getting the survey next week and I already have a lawyer in waiting to prepare the deeds. Unfortunately, we must get a deed on the new property and then combine it with our current property and get a new deed again. Which means lawyer and recording fees x 2 but we are still getting a huge deal. We are estimating a final cost of $13,500 and hopefully it will be ours by the end of the month and then a few more weeks to get it combined.

The septic will take a while longer, but we are still hoping to complete it by the end of summer. It’s $700 just to file a permit and do the required soil testing which can’t be started until the land is purchased and combined.

March Check In

April 1st, 2022 at 02:57 pm

Debts

Mortgage −$117,985.34 (-$236.90)

Savings

Roth IRAs +$24,802 (+$995)
401K +$45,747 (+$3,475)
Emergency Fund +$8,687 (-$287)
Maternity Fund +$4,500 (-$500)
Animal Fund +$866 (-$100)
Car Fund +$20 (-$0)
HSA +$2,404 (+$69)

Overall: +$3,888.90

Retirement accounts rebounded a little. Cash is down due to buying hay and also getting some old trees cut down. Thankfully I am owed $1,000 in web design which should come in this week. I will refill my buffer and then start saving the rest for our land purchase.

We also bought all our plane tickets for the year and our hotel for our fall vacation. So glad that is done and there was cash set aside for this. Makes vacations so much better to not have to worry about money! Just need to get a rental car and everything big will be paid for in advance. 

We actually have one ten day vacation and four long weekend trips planned this year. Plus I'll be going on three goat related weekend trips as well. Lots of traveling!

Changes and Chance of a Lifetime

March 23rd, 2022 at 02:52 pm

We had septic problems last week again. Our septic is 50+ years old, homemade, and every year we just hope it holds on another year because replacement is expensive. 

Well we finally told the company to go ahead and put us on the list for replacement this year. Then we realized that our property line is too close to our house to put it where we want. Currently part of our septic is on the farmer's land who sold us the property. We would have to put it in the front yard and also do a more complicated and more expensive type of septic because of limited room and distance from the house.

So we called the farmer and asked again if we could buy some more land from him. (We have asked multiple times over the last 10 years and he has always said no way.) Surprisingly he said yes! He is going to come over and walk about and talk to us about how much he is willing to part with. I'm guessing somewhere between 1-3 acres.

We are suuuuper excited to be offered the chance to purchase more land, but also a bit nervous because we were not expecting that and so we are going to have to get a loan. Which is a bummer when you are debt free. But we can't pass up this chance of a lifetime!

We will have to wait and see how much land and what price he offers and then decide if we are going to have to cancel the septic or not for another year. I've already talked to the bank and have some options. Most likely a land loan for 4.25% which we would pay off asap.

We have been working on all our different yard projects. We got our old trees all cut down. Still need to bury the gutters, run the new main water line, get a hydrant installed, install the septic, regrade the yard again and plant grass and trees. I wish we had known about buying more land before we agreed to all these expensive projects. But it is what it is. 

February Check In

March 2nd, 2022 at 09:38 pm

Debts

Mortgage −$118,222.24 (-$586.33)

Savings

Roth IRAs +$23,807 (+$2,426)
401K +$42,272 (-$450)
Emergency Fund +$8,974 (+$303)
Maternity Fund +$5,000 (+$3,000)
Animal Fund +$966 (+$1)
Car Fund +$20 (-$0)
HSA +$2,335 (+$469)

Overall: +$6,335.33

Big bump from our tax return and overtime. We contributed quite a bit to savings and retirement and started saving for multiple vacations this year. (Not included in above figures)

We paid a little extra on the house since we have a separate checking account that gets weekly deposits where the mortgage is paid from and it’s a pain to withdrawal the extra from the 5th week months. Figured we might as well just start sending it to the mortgage in the future. 

January Check In

February 8th, 2022 at 03:03 pm

Debts

Mortgage −$118,808.57 (-$234.93)

Savings

Roth IRAs +$21,329 (+$529)
401K +$42,722 (-$2,572)
Emergency Fund +$8,671 (-$616)
Maternity Fund +$2,000 (-$0)
Animal Fund +$965 (-$250)
Car Fund +$20 (-$0)
HSA +$1,866 (+$375)

Overall: -$2,299.07

The first time we have lost in a while. Markets are down despite contributing to retirement. Bought hay with my animal fund, and had to pay for a home project and car insurance with our emergency fund. (Our short term savings are lumped together with our EF.) Just unfortunate that it all hit at the same time. But this month should be better!

In other news husband was told he is likely going to have to work 7 days a week until April. Frown He has already worked 7 days the last 3 weeks. And also a worker is out possibly for up to 13 weeks. Which means 12 hour shifts... They are training a new guy but he won't be ready for at least 5 more weeks. My husband really needs a new job. He is worn to a frazzle. 

 

 

Taxes

January 26th, 2022 at 07:43 pm

I submitted our taxes today. We are getting back a little over $10k which is super high but most of it is from having a kid in 2021 and qualifying for the child tax credits and 3rd stimulus. 

 

We are putting $3k into my Roth IRA, $3k for vacation, and I'm saving $4k so I can continue to "pay myself" a monthly salary. I don't want to use it and then have a deficit later in the year without my income. So I will continue to pull and use only $500 a month from my saved buffer towards specific savings or expenses. This is working well so far and making the transition to a one income household much easier. If husband has overtime (always does) or I bring in any extra income then I don't have to pull from the buffer. I have enough saved to keep receiving my previous salary for this entire year and therefore not put any strain on our normal budget. 

 

I still have the original $2k I saved for maternity leave back in September. I have pulled from it a couple times and then was able to refill it with extra income. So perhaps keeping a $6k buffer seems a bit superfluous but it makes me feel more comfortable about not having a job to rely on, and we could always pull from it in a pinch. Just increasing our emergency fund I guess.

2022 Goals

January 26th, 2022 at 07:23 pm

2021 was a good year for us despite the pandemic. 

2021 Goal Priorities
1.) ($3,500 / $3,500) Medial OOP
2.) Regrade Yard & Install Water Heater
3.) ($3,000 / $3,000) Vacation

We managed to complete all our goals, plus some extra ones! We gutted and redid our kitchen which was $10k+, we got a much newer car as a gift from family, we had a new baby and didn't need to take out any medical loans for our crazy high out of pocket expenses $7k+ and we managed to survive on only one income. 

2022 feels comfortable and I am unsure what goals I have. Almost everything I can think of it less about money and more about living. Which is good I think. I no longer have to have laser focus to pay down debt or save for the next big purchase... we are okay and happy. 

But here are a few easy to reach things I want to accomplish this year. 

Goal 1.) $5,000 Added to Roth IRAs

I have already put in $775 and with another $3k earmarked from our tax return this will be easy but necessary since we have put retirement on the back burner that last couple years while having and paying for children. We are nearing 30 years old and need to make this a priority. Extra income will probably also be added to this. 

We also just bumped husband's 401k contribution up to the match which is 5%.

Goal 2.) New Water Line & Bury Gutters

This was sort of part of last year's goal which got pushed back because the price of materials went from $2 a foot to $10. (Yikes!) Money is there and we will wait until prices regulate before finishing the project. 

Goal 3.) Go on Vacation

This is a reoccuring goal. We always try to take a long vacation somewhere and make memories. We have one big and several shorter trips planned this year. Approximately $3,000 for the main one. 

Goal 4.) Be More Organized

Not a financial goal but a personal one. I would really like to be a better steward of my time. Which means keeping a cleaner house, cooking more healthy meals, and wasting less of my time on things like social media and stuff that doesn't matter. This will be my first full year not working (except my web design which I am doing minimally). With our finances pretty much on auto pilot and us now being a family of four it's time to get the rest of our house in order. Which will help free me up for my last goal.

 Goal 5.) Enjoy Life

I want to spend more time enjoying the important things and things I love. Spending more fun time with the kids, such as going to the park, library, swimming. More time with my goats, more time with friends, etc. 

 

Here's to 2022!

End of the 2021 Year Net Worth Update

January 20th, 2022 at 10:00 pm

Cash/Liquid Savings:

$1,214 Animal Fund ($209)
$7,537 Escrow Fund ($5,814)
$6,427 Checkings ($1,700)
$20 Car Fund ($1,805)
$1,491 HSA ($416)

$16,689 Total Liquid Savings ($9,944)

Retirement:

$45,294 DH's 401K ($34,945)
$5,463 DH's IRA ($4,892)
$15,337 My IRA ($13,741)

$66,094 Total Retirement ($53,578)

Liabilities:

-$119,044 Mortgage (-$121,847)

Assets:

$185,000 House
$20,000 in Cars (not counted in figures)



2021 Total Net Worth: $148,739 ($126, 675)
2021 Net Worth without Mortgage & House: $82,783 ($63,522)

Numbers in () are 2020 figures for comparison.

Some of the 2020 numbers are best estimate because I did not post a detailed net worth update last year. But I do have all the figures in my budgeting software. In 2021 we managed to stay out of consumer debt, went on vacation, got a newer car, paid for another baby with cash, made some significant home improvements, and I quit my job to be a SAHM! Lots of changes and we still managed to raise our net worth! Here is to hoping next year is even better!

December Check In

January 3rd, 2022 at 04:28 pm

Debts

Mortgage −$119,043.50 (-$234.37)

Savings

Roth IRAs +$20,800 (-$571)
401K +$45,294 (+$2,217)
Emergency Fund +$9,287 (-$129)
Maternity Fund +$2,000 (-$100)
Animal Fund +$1,215 (+$1)
Car Fund +$20 (-$0)
HSA +$1,491 801 (-$310)

Overall: +$1,522.37

 

Work's end of the year retirement deposit is the only thing that kept us in the green this month. Thankfully depsite most of these numbers being down we are actually in pretty good shape this month. There is a lot of money that I don't count or include in these numbers. We have about $3k more in our checking account at any given time that we have saved to pay for the month's bills, eating out, etc. Since I use YNAB I have enough extra money on hand to basically pay for a full month of expenses at any given time that I don't figure in the numbers above. I will make another post about year end net worth and our past and future goals. 

November Check In

December 8th, 2021 at 03:55 pm

Debts

Mortgage −$119,277.87 (-$233.81)

Savings

Roth IRAs +$21,371 (-$213)
401K +$43,077 (-$969)
Emergency Fund +$9,416 (-$88)
Maternity Fund +$2,100 (-$200)
Animal Fund +$1,214 (+$0)
Car Fund +$20 (-$0)
HSA +$1,801 (-$1,302)

Overall: -$2,538.19

 

November was a bad month for the markets and also because we paid all our medical bills for the baby. Hopefully this month will be better!

October Check In and Baby

November 5th, 2021 at 04:41 pm

Debts

Mortgage −$119,511.68 (-$233.25)

Savings

Roth IRAs +$21,584 (+$256)
401K +$44,046 (+$706)
Emergency Fund +$9,504 (+$257)
Maternity Fund +$2,300 (+$300)
Animal Fund +$1,214 (+$2)
Car Fund +$20 (-$0)
HSA +$3,103 (+$106)

Overall: +$1,860.25

 

Baby is here! She is almost a month old already and big sister loves her. Things are going pretty well. She had to have a minor surgery and I got sick but we are both on the mend. It is exhausting taking care of two under two sometimes but we are loving it.

So far I am not missing my job, but I know it's early yet. 

September Check In & Becoming a SAHM

September 25th, 2021 at 02:58 pm

Debts

Mortgage −$119,744.93 (-$232.69)

Savings

Roth IRAs +$21,328 (-$2)
401K +$43,340 (-$146)
Emergency Fund +$9,247 (+$250)
Maternity Fund +$2,000 (+$575)
Animal Fund +$1,212 (-$250)
Car Fund +$20 (-$0)
HSA +$2,997  (+$335)

Overall: +$994.69

 

Our smallest gain in a while but still a gain. Markets were all down, I had to buy hay, and I've been puchasing a lot a little items that I needed since this was my offical last week of work! I also have some smaller saving buckets stashed away not accounted for here like gas, eating out, etc, to last me a while without a paycheck. 

I have enough in the maternity fund to last about 6 months without pay (including the monthly child tax credits until the end of the year.) That is not including the credits for the upcoming baby, or our tax return or anything. So I am hopeful I will manage okay. Work is still begging me to come back eventually, we'll see. It is definetly going to be an adjustment to pull from savings to buy stuff instead of depositing a paycheck each week. Still figuing out the best way to budget for my expenses. Currently thinking about making a "payment" to myself at the beginning of the month and budgeting it all out. That way I am not tempted to keep pulling little amounts from my savings and go over my allotted amount of spending.

We were also gifted a TON of diapers, wipes, and gift cards for the new baby. So these will help us stretch our budget.

Glad my husband makes enough for us to manage a single income and that we are frugal enough to have savings to do this! I am looking forward to my lifestyle changing a bit and trying something new. 

August Check In

August 30th, 2021 at 08:11 pm

Debts

Mortgage −$119,977.62 (-$232.14)

Savings

Roth IRAs +$21,330 (+$179)
401K +$43,486 (+$764)
Emergency Fund +$8,997 (+$206)
Maternity Fund +$1,425 (+$425)
Animal Fund +$1,462(+$201)
Car Fund +$20 (-$0)
HSA +$2,662  (+$362)

Overall: +$2,369.14

 

 

Feels like time before the baby is slipping away. Still so much to do at home to prepare such as get a car seat and clean the house. We are in the home stretch which is both exciting and scary!

My old dog has both cancer and heartworms. Not completely unexpected because he has been declining for a while. He does get monthly heartworm prevention but I am not perfectly good at giving it at the same time every month. Sadly the steroids which would slow down the tumor growth would also quicken the heartworms, and heartworm treatment would be too hard on his frail body. We are going to try the slow kill method, recheck in 6 months and if the worms have decreased we will start him on steroids to hopefully slow down the cancer. Surgery or chemo was not advised by the vet because of his age and tumor growth. Of course the vet has no idea on a timeline, he could pass away tomorrow or make it another year or more. Just taking each day one at a time and making sure to make him comfortable and happy as long as possible.

 

July Check In

July 30th, 2021 at 03:38 pm

Debts

Mortgage −$120,209.76 (-$235.59)

Savings

Roth IRAs +$21,151 (+$95)
401K +$42,722 (+$625)
Emergency Fund +$8,791 (+$7)
Maternity Fund +$1,000 (+$1,000)
Animal Fund +$1,261 (+$200)
Car Fund +$20 (-$0)
HSA +$2,300  (-$53)

Overall: +$2,109.59

 

Kitchen is 95% done except for installing knobs, some caulk, hanging shelves and decor, etc. The main things are all installed, paid for, and in working order. I LOVE it. So much better.

I put my notice in at my job. I will be officially quitting the last week of September. 10 years is a good run. I'm nervous and excited to be a SAHM for at least a while.

We are currently all caught back up on the money we owed ourselves. I've been trying to save like crazy to put back enough money to lessen the stress of quitting my job for several months. Looking to need about $500 a month and I would love to save 4 months’ worth by the time I quit. Halfway there already, so I'm hopeful I will be able to complete and/or over accomplish that goal. 

I finally got a large chunk of web design money I was owed. $500 more still to come.

Surprise Check & Job

July 6th, 2021 at 03:27 pm

Husband got notified of a possible class action lawsuit a few months ago regarding ADP at his last employer. Well he filled it out and thought nothing of it, and last week we received a surprise $400 check for our settlement. Sweet! His employer also just sent him another one concerning his health insurance, so we submitted it as well. I used to think they were scams, but I’ve successfully received money for several of them now. Never hurts to fill them out and see what happens.

 

I am seriously considering quitting my office job again. I am feeling very burnt out and busy and tired. I’m sure part of it is pregnancy, but I can’t see me getting anymore energy or time after having two kids. My work also hired someone new as a salary position, and I’ve been asking for salary pay for many years. I’ve worked 10 years now (with one year off in the middle) and the new person is making pretty much the same as me, gets to do all their work from home, and doesn’t have the responsibilities that I have… I was a bit upset and asked if I could also get salary pay. I was told if I wanted more money I needed to work more, and that I wasn’t as needed or as important as the new hire which is why they got salary and I didn’t…

 

Since then I feel like the office attitude has shifted. My boss seems short tempered with me, and I know I feel pretty unmotivated to put much effort in and want to only do the bare minimum. I am good friends with my boss and I feel like this is detrimental to our relationship, which in my opinion is worth more than the job. The problem is I really need the income to pay for my animal hobbies since my web design job is also struggling. So I am a bit stuck at what to do.

I have never aspired to be a stay at home mom but it seems to be heading that way at least for a while. I want to be able to take my kids to the park and to story hour at the library, etc. Right now I’m just too busy and I feel like I’m being run ragged. I think a couple years break from working would do me good while the kids are young.

 I’ve already started saving for my maternity leave, our medical bills are all saved for, and husband’s income pays our bills. My income is literally only used for my animals, my spending such as eating out, and extra savings/spendings like vacations or house projects. I will continue to get some income for web design which will help, but it will be about a $500-$600 drop a month in total income. Honestly the new child tax credits are equal to my monthly pay, and part of me hopes they will continue thru at least next year as that would replace my missing income and make the transition much easier. Or I need to make some serious animal cuts and reduce the spending.

 

 Current goal is to possibly quit my job when I take maternity leave in October. Stretch goal would be to quit in September and have a couple weeks without working to prepare for the baby, spend some extra time with our current child and to relax towards the end. I haven’t decided 100% what I want to do yet. Thoughts?

 

June Check In

June 29th, 2021 at 02:39 pm

Debts

Mortgage −$120,445.36 (-$235.03)

Savings

Roth IRAs +$21,056 (+$316)
401K +$42,097 (+$828)
Emergency Fund +$8,784 (+$230)
Animal Fund +$1,061 (+$1)
Car Fund +$20 (-$425)
HSA +$2,300  (+$375)

Overall: +$1,560.03

 

We are back from vacation and came in under budget. We did have some issues with the rental car company not honoring our pre-paid price at pickup and charging us an extra $300. But I was able to contact support (it took forever) and they refunded the overage. 

The truck fund is wiped and is now the "car fund." Since we won't be needing anymore vehicles in the near future we will change this to just save for general maintance, repairs, and license renewals. Ideally we would like to keep $500 - $1k in there just in case.

It's been a crazy couple weeks with vacation and my obgyn unexpectedly dropped me from care. I am/was so devastated because I LOVED my last birth. I've been scrambling to meet and find a new doctor but I think I have one picked out which is a major relief since I am almost in my third trimester. 

We are still picking away at the kitchen. We got the dishwasher mostly installed last night, hoping to finish today. I can't wait to use it. Fingers crossed we did it right and it works correctly. lol. 

May Check In

May 29th, 2021 at 01:34 pm

Debts

Mortgage −$120,680.38 (-$234.47)

Savings

Roth IRAs +$20,740 (+$385)
401K +$41,269 (+$976)
Emergency Fund +$8,554 (-$277)
Animal Fund +$1,060 (+$0)
Truck Fund +$445 (-$750)
HSA +$1,925  (+$375)

Overall: +$943.47

 

Had to steal from the car fund and the emergency fund to pay for kitchen remodel overages. I expect to pay ourselves back asap. Vacation is coming up quickly!

Life and Death

May 28th, 2021 at 06:00 pm

The reason we needed to save for our Medical OOP again this year is that I am pregnant again! Baby #2 will be arriving this fall. So far things are going well. My kitchen remodel was definitely a project based on nesting. lol. Construction work is done and now husband and I are finishing up the trim and small details. 

In sadder news my grandma passed away recently very unexpectedly. This is quite a shock since she was healthy and we had dinner plans only a couple hours later. Her and my grandpa have been extremely frugal and hard workers their whole lives. They left a sizable inheritance to their children which they are in the process of sorting out. But my family has graciously gifted me her car. It's only a couple years old and much nicer than any car I have owned or could probably ever afford to own. 

My husband is still driving his first car and it's basically one mile away from dying at any moment so we have been saving off and on for several years for a replacement. He will start driving the new car which gets about 3x better gas mileage and we will use our car savings budget for other things. 

Although we are all sad about grandma it is such a nice parting gift to leave your family an inheritance instead of debt. I hope someday I will be able to leave something for my own children. 

Worth the Time

May 21st, 2021 at 05:34 pm

I've been dishwasher shopping for several months now but the one I picked has been completely out of stock this entire time. Last night after randomly checking I saw Lowes had just a few available for purchase on backorder (not to arrive until July.) Best Buy had also gotten a few in stock for the same timeframe and $70 cheaper but you had to pay $80 delivery or pick up yourself. My credit card is currently running 5% back at Lowes. So what to do?

 

I went ahead and purchased from Lowes before they were gone. This morning during business hours I called their customer support line and talked to a very nice lady. After explaining to her the same dishwasher was $70 cheaper at BestBuy she confirmed and refunded $70 back to my credit card. Super easy and quick way to save $70 AND I also get my 5% cash back and free delivery. It never hurts to look at competitor prices and ask for a price match. 

 

Kitchen remodel is going pretty well. This is week two of no sink or stove but my countertops are being delivered today! My husband has the next four days off and my construction worker is coming to hopefully install the counters on Monday. So if we can get everything painted and trim up over the weekend hopefully we can move back in early next week. I am SUPER excited and ready to not be eating microwave food off paper plates every day anymore. 

I am still waiting on my last $1,000 web design check to pay for the kitchen remodel. And I don't have the money saved for the dishwasher purchase but since it's been out of stock so long I had no idea when I would get another chance. Thankfully they won't bill until it ships which is weeks from now so we should be able to come up with the money by then or at worst we can borrow from ourselves for a short time. 

April Check In

May 6th, 2021 at 06:29 pm

Debts

Mortgage −$120,914.85 (-$233.91)

Savings

Roth IRAs +$20,355 (+$623)
401K +$40,293 (+$1,457)
Emergency Fund +$8,831 (+$353)
Animal Fund +$1,060 (+$0)
Truck Fund +$1,1195 (-$10)
HSA +$1,550  (+$375)

Overall: +$3,031.91

 

Kitchen remodel is starting tomorrow! I am scared and excited. I have been very sick this week and it seems like a terrible time to get started but we can't delay since the contractor is scheduled and the cabinets are waiting to be picked up. I am worried about not having a kitchen for a couple weeks and that seems really hard with a toddler but I'm sure we'll make do. Hopefully it goes quicker than expected and it turns out well. 

Vacation is only a month away which is also exciting and scary. Thankful everything is already reserved and paid for. 

March Check In

March 29th, 2021 at 02:10 pm

Debts

Mortgage -$$121,148.76 (-$233.35)

Savings

Roth IRAs +$19,732 (+$355)
401K +$38,836 (+$2,005)
Emergency Fund +$8,478 376 (+$102)
Animal Fund +$1,060 (+$0)
Truck Fund +$1,205 (-$0)
HSA +$1,175  (+$116)

Overall: +$2,801.35

 

Still plugging along. Kitchen remodel budget actually doubled but thankfully I also got a web design job which covers the entire amount. After we get a few more little saving items done and replenish the car fund I will probably start bumping up our retirement savings. It has been a year or more since we saved anything in the IRAs which has been sad. But we also paid off like $25k of debt or something crazy and this year we have saved over $15k. That is an insane amount of money for our income. We have been putting some into the 401K this entire time, but we can do better. Glad we are young and time is on our side. We have more saved than most people our age and income I think. 

Stimulus & Goals

March 17th, 2021 at 01:39 pm

I received my stimulus today and used it to finish saving for my medical out of pocket max for the year. What a relief to have it already saved for! No more medical debt. I am still fighting out of network charges from last year but I am hopeful for a resolution soon. 

Which means we have nearly completed all our goals for the year except for regrading the yard. We are waiting on the weather to cooperate, but the money is saved.

We went ahead and added another saving/project goal which is a small kitchen remodel. I already have $3,000 set aside for that. If we go over budget I may have to save a little more, but hopefully that will mostly cover it. 

Now that all our goals and wants this year are basically saved for I'm not sure what we will use extra income towards. I do know I need to save a bit for some time off work I will be taking this fall. So I have been taking a small amount from each check. Otherwise I'm not sure if we will contribute more to retirement, save for more home projects, a new car, or perhaps just a general savings fund and then decide later. What a good problem to have!

February Check In

March 3rd, 2021 at 04:24 pm

Debts

Mortgage -$121,382.11 (-$232.79)

Savings

Roth IRAs +$19,377 (+$243)
401K +$36,831 (+$995)
Emergency Fund +$8,376 (+$203)
Animal Fund +$1,060 (+$1)
Truck Fund +$1,205 (-$0)
HSA +$1,059 (+$206)

Overall: +$1,880.79

 

These numbers are actually not completely reflective of our total savings because I also have $3,000 saved for vacation and $2,500 saved for medical expenses. But since those funds are fluctuating and will be eventually drained I don't want to include them. 

Besides that I also use YNAB so I have several thousand dollars sitting around that is alloted for different budget items and future bills. It's crazy to see my checking account pushing $10k but I don't consider myself to have "extra spending money." Everything is accounted for and budgeted for. 

We are currently in a good spot so even though I have been working less lately our net worth is still slowly climbing. Right now I am trying to finish up our medical OOP savings, then I will replenish the truck fund and then start saving for more home projects. If we happen to get another stimulus as expected it will pretty much finish everything off at once. We are fortunate that stimulus money has been an unexpected windfall and not needed for daily living. 

Tax Refund

February 24th, 2021 at 04:15 pm

I got my federal tax refund this week. Still waiting on state. I got over $6k this year. So I took tithes out, put $3,000 into our vacation fund, and put the rest back for medical expenses. Unfortunately I am on a new medication that is about $300 a month and not covered by insurance. So that will be a drain on our medical fund which I did not count on. 

I also received another unexpected medical bill from our NICU stay in January 2020. Sigh. It was supposedly taken care of back in September but here it is again. So I'm working on still fighting that. I am hoping I can get it from $3k+ down to about $400 which at the point I will just pay it and be done. I still think I should have to pay none of it, but I'm tired. 

I think I have husband convinced to replace our kitchen cabinets and get a dishwasher. I think I can do it for around $3,000. So we'll have to save that up first. Hopefully within the next few months. 

January Check In

January 30th, 2021 at 08:14 pm

Debts

Mortgage -$121,614.90 (-$232.23)

Savings

Roth IRAs +$19,134 (+$501)
401K +$35,836 (+$891)
Emergency Fund +$8,173 (+$659)
Animal Fund +$1,059 (+$850)
Truck Fund +$1,205 (-$600)
HSA +$853(+$437)

Overall: +$2,970.23

 

Lots of progress this month. I was able to fully replenish my buffer and I sold a few goats to boost my animal fund. I can't stress how amazing it is getting a paycheck and getting to decide where I want to save the money rather than figuring out how I can make debt payments. 

Taxes and Jobs

January 27th, 2021 at 03:46 pm

I have most of my taxes filled out and it looks like we will be getting back around $6.5k!!?? Usually we break even. 

This is a combinaition of a lot less self employment income, having a baby and also the stimulus checks for the baby which we did not get yet. 

If the numbers are correct we will basically be able to fund all our goals for the entire year which is just crazy to me. I'm not sure what we will save for this year. Perhaps retirement, or some other future large home projects we want to do in a year or two. 

Anyway, every year around tax time I always re-evaluate working. I work 2 part time jobs which are both sort of high stress. I only pulled in about $12k this year, and my tax rate is crazy high because of it being self employement income, AND it pushes us out of some tax breaks. Around half of my income seems gobbled up by taxes. Which I am just not sure is worth working a few days a week plus random weekends, evenings, late night calls, etc. Especially since we are basically getting back in taxes what I net in a year. lol.

Especially now that I have a child and finding a babysitter has been hard. Our parents watch her, but my in-laws are super afraid of Covid, so we are frequently banned from visiting and babysitting if we see anyone else. Example: They will not be babysitting for possibly the next 8 weeks because of a few engagments we have to attend.

My mom is in healthcare and works crazy hours, and although she is always willing I feel terrible making her babysit when she worked 12 hours all night and has to babysit for 8 hours and then go back to to work. It's not really fair. I also can't pay someone to babysit because I would have to pay more than I bring in. So it's just kind of lose lose. We have been talking about more children and that just seems like it will make it even harder. 

I am afraid of quitting my job(s) though. I like having a little spending money, and I also like getting out of the house a couple days a week. I think I would get extrememly bored and lonely at home all day every day. I'm also afraid I would get lazy and fall into the trap of laying around all day. If I had some hobbies, or a few things to do every week I think I would be okay. But I'm just hesitant. I have always worked. I took one year off to do only web design for a year and I kind of hated it after like a month. I was so stir crazy. But that was before I had kids, and I enjoyed my 6 weeks maternity leave so I just don't know. 

My part time office job can be stressful but it is also kind of gravy. Especially since Covid, I come in late and leave early whenever. I called into today because of snow and I'm working from home. I don't get paid much, but I also like the flexibilty and time away from the house, so I am hesitant to give that up. But part of me would also like the 2 or 3 days a week at home to do other things. I'm worried if I quit I will regret it like I did previously. But I also see quitting as possibility if I get pregnant and have a bad pregnancy like I did last time. 

Thoughts? Has anyone else transitioned to stay at home mom?


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