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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


Mortgage −$120,914.85 (-$233.91)


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. 

Refinance & Goal Progress

July 9th, 2020 at 03:00 pm

We closed on our appraisal and got a total of $7,005 cash out. $5,000 will be saved back to finish our dirt work project. $1,770 will be used to pay for the water heater, and the rest will be put towards the new fridge we had to buy since ours went out this week... Ugh.

At least every appliance is new now.

We also effectively gained the $2,000 I had set back for our taxes and insurance since the new loan has escrow included now. It will just remain in our savings account for our EF.

Our payment went from $603 to $510 (Plus $175 for escrow) with an additional $11,000 added to the loan. Our interest rate dropped from 4.75% to 2.875%. We are going to pay $525 a month and save the other $75 difference in our EF.

With the money saved from this month's mortgage payment I went ahead and paid off the first medical loan!! So now we are down to just one 0% loan. This crosses goal #3 off our list. Goal #4 is soooo close.

Refinance and Appraisal

June 13th, 2020 at 01:05 pm

Our appraisal came back! Last year our house appraised for $150k and we needed that much again to refinance and get out $5k extra to do the dirt work.

Unexpectedly our appraisal came back at $184k! I'm not sure why it went up so much. We did finish some random little projects but nothing major. I can't believe it. They offered to let us have more money out and we decided to go ahead and add $2k more to cover part of the cost of the water heater. That way I don't have to open another 0% CC. I will still have to cash flow the installation cost, which I am not sure about yet but guessing around $1k or less hopefully.

We could have gotten more which would have been nice to finish some other projects but I really didn't want to add a bunch more debt even if it low interest.

By rolling it into our mortgage I am hoping to still be debt free except the mortgage by the end of the year. We will probably pay some extra on the mortgage as well just to offset the $2k we added.

What a relief and now we can finish projects on our own timeline and save cash for a while. I would still really like AC some day...

I did work some extra web design last month and will have some money to put towards our vacation. We still need to come up with about $1,500 in the next couple months. So may have to shift from debt repayment to savings for a bit.

Bonuses & Driveway

March 29th, 2019 at 01:28 pm

Husband got a couple of good surprises.

His job deposited 2% of his 2018 salary into his 401K as an additional annual contribution. It wasn't a ton since he only worked a few months last year and he was at the lower trainee rate, but it was still about $300 dollars extra. I am wondering (hoping) if this is a yearly thing. That would be sweet.

Also they are supposed to be receiving a bonus for a year of being accident free. Word on the street it is $500, but not 100% on that yet.

Unfortunately he also found out he has to work all weekend. Which is a bummer, but good for our finances. Between that and the bonus we should have enough money to grade our yard. Except a neighbor stopped by yesterday and offered to help us do it for free... But it would probably take several months since it would be in his free time. So now we have to decide if delaying it would be worth saving around $1,000. Or if we would rather get it done ASAP so we can plant grass, and start landscaping. I'm fine waiting, but I'll let my husband decide.

Our driveway finally got rocked yesterday, so that is big progress. It looks so much better. It is exciting to have enough money to be able to finish some projects. I'm picking up a door today for our basement. We are rushing to tie up some loose ends because we are having quite a bit of company next month and would love to have the house "done."

Home Remodel & Fencing

October 1st, 2018 at 01:13 pm

Our master suite addition is soooo close to being done. Our vanity mirror is at the welder getting fixed right now and once that comes back the bathroom will be pretty much complete. I have already taken a few baths which is so awesome.

Once the mirror is hung I will officially strike that goal from our 2018 list. Of course we still have a lot of little projects to do around the house like trim but that is always going to be a work in progress. Our bedroom and bathroom will be done and we have never had any rooms that are finished before so it is quite exciting!

My fence is also finally fixed!!! The installer ended up giving me about $470 off the price which was very nice of him. Since I had that saved back, now I have extra! I put $300 into my animal savings account since I may need to purchase a bit more hay this year. The rest I used to get all of our budget caught up. Hoping to stick with green categories from here on out.

This past month really feels like a fresh start to our life and budget. I'm hoping for exciting things in the next year!

Looking Good

June 6th, 2018 at 03:18 pm

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.

Appraisal Came Back! **Updated

May 25th, 2018 at 02:52 pm

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.

** Update

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

May 21st, 2018 at 03:42 pm

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.

Drywall Contractor Paid!

March 27th, 2018 at 01:02 pm

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.

Making Progress & Clothes Shopping

January 30th, 2018 at 03:04 pm

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.

Calming Down

January 16th, 2018 at 03:12 pm

The $1,200 HVAC bill is still looming over our heads. But I feel okay now. I am hoping to sell a couple goats which will almost cover it.

I got husband's W2 and entered the numbers. As of right now we are getting $2,000 back. But I have to enter my W2 and my 1099 for my self-employee business so I am expecting the number to drop quite a bit.

If we get $1,000 back that would be great. We will use that in conjunction with the goat money to pay the HVAC and the rest will be put towards a few remaining house items.

I called the HVAC guy and he said there was no bill due date and to just pay him when I can. He is super easy and chill. No rush. Of course I don't want it drug out forever, but at least I have some wiggle room.

House is seeing some finish work in spots. The master bath is now painted, and we hooked up the first circuit of electric and hung a few lights. It was so fun to turn the switch on and see electricity. Bathroom is still far from finished though, still needs trim, tile, vanity, another light, flooring, and the toilet. But at least it looks like a bathroom now!

Can't Get Ahead

January 5th, 2018 at 03:21 pm

We finally made some good progress on the house. That is the end of the good news.

I just now received the bill for HVAC work I got done back in May. It's over $1,000. Frown I planned/should have kept some money back for it. But I had no idea how much the cost would be, and the guy it notorious for billing delays or not billing at all. So the money ended up getting spent on other house things. I have no idea how we are going to scrounge up this money. Will probably have to pull from our meager cash reserves. Trying not to panic and just take each day at a time. We have $800 put back which is earmarked for mudding/taping. May have to delay that for now and apply the cash towards HVAC.

The guy is a family friend so I may call him and ask if he would be willing to take 2 or 3 payments. I'm doubting it though.

I have some bigger web design work coming up. I need to buckle down and really try to pump out some extra hours. My other hope is that we will get some tax return money. *fingers crossed W2s come in quickly*

Ugh. I just want this to be over! Deadlines and money are running short.

Mortgage & 2nd Income

December 1st, 2017 at 02:40 pm

I paid my mortgage today. Balance is at $44,217.39!

I missed my 2nd job work hours goal this month by one hour. Frown Booo. But I am only looking at about $20 short on bills not counting the $300 I am still owed so that's good news. I'll do better this month!

Hoping the Christmas bonus will get here next week. Also hoping we get husband's profit sharing update soon.

Got the plumbing and septic hooked up in the addition! Also ordered the last big piece of the puzzle today, the flooring. Things are slowly but surely getting done.

House Update (For Snafu)

October 31st, 2017 at 02:51 pm

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.

Mortgage & Budgets

October 6th, 2017 at 02:06 pm

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

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

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

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

Nothing Much

October 2nd, 2017 at 09:12 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spendy Weekend

July 10th, 2017 at 02:01 pm

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

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

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

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

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

Win Some Lose Some

May 30th, 2017 at 04:20 pm

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.

Basement is Done!

May 12th, 2017 at 02:42 pm

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

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

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

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

Reallocating Funds & Goals

February 28th, 2017 at 02:42 pm

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.

Text is Roth IRA as an Emergency Fund and Link is
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!

Going Well

February 20th, 2017 at 06:52 pm

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.