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Payday

October 5th, 2018 at 05:45 am

Today is payday!

Our mortgage should now be 115,009.55.

I went ahead and set up a $75 weekly transfer from my checking to savings for our Escrow and EF. I've never done an automatic savings transfer before so that is exciting! Before we always just tried to save what we had left. It's nice to be able make it a priority.

In my last post someone commented that maybe my husband's company matches 50% up to 10% for retirement. I wonder if they are right! Husband was told 10% but he isn't very knowledgeable about stuff like that, so he might have mis-understood. That would be awesome if that is true. He is set to contribute 3% for now, and it increases 1% every year automatically. I am hoping we will be able to raise it next year but we need to settle into the budget first.

Thanks for all the comments and advice about my husband and the budget. He definitely is not a big spender or usually a whiner about money but I think he is nervous about the new job and changes and he is just projecting. I averaged all his credit card statements and showed him that he has been spending an exact average of what fun money he will be getting and that he will be saving about $10 a week in gas with the job change. Plus he won't have to pay for so many discrepancies. He will be fine. I am okay if he wants to buy a little treat for himself to celebrate us getting insurance and a better job. We've been tight for so long, and he deserves it.

Retirement Surprise & Grumpy Husband

October 4th, 2018 at 07:42 am

Husband's new retirement contributions started this week. We were told they give you 10% of whatever you contribute which is a really awful match. But his paycheck is showing that they matched 50% of what he put it... So who knows. lol. We will take it!

Unfortunately husband had a bit of another melt down once he saw his spending get even smaller... I've asked him to do the budget himself or handle the finances but he won't. I think he believes I am taking all his money and spending it on myself or something. So frustrating.

I have everything mapped out to the dollar so everything is accounted for. But he just can't understand how he can make $400 more a month and it's already gone without increasing our fun money. He doesn't grasp that we were living check to check and that the $400 a month was floating on credit cards, and borrowing from his car money all the time.

I have always done all the budgeting and bills so I guess he just didn't realize how tight we were. I will have to keep encouraging him to be more involved in our finances, but it's like pulling teeth. Ugh.

He is going to have to start paying union dues next week which will be another $10 a week out. But he should be receiving a $20 a week raise in the next month, so it will even out.

I'm not sure how much fun money he is wanting a week. If he would just give me a number I would just let him have it and figure out a way to cover the difference so he stops driving me crazy. I don't think he even knows or really wants more. I think he is just upset that he is working a harder job and doesn't feel like he is getting anything more from it compared to his old job. I'm sure he will settle down eventually, just one of those moods.

Spending Forecast

October 3rd, 2018 at 07:24 am

Today I am feeling the squeeze with the budget. Which is crazy since our income increased, and I was just reassuring husband that is was fine, lol.

We have all our needs met, we are putting back money every week. We aren't struggling. But I looked at the forecast for the next several months and realized that I have already planned out all my spending for the next 7 weeks. 3 weeks for the blinds and bathroom accessories, 2 weeks for a new car battery, 2 weeks for a fun item I have been wanting.

That puts me all the way at Thanksgiving. And we were going to do a little black Friday shopping this year. So I'd like to put some sort of money back for that.

Christmas is quickly approaching. Husband and I agreed to purchase one larger item to share on black Friday as our main "present" and we will set a smaller limit for each other for gifts to open on Christmas.

Our anniversary is this month and we were wanting to go away for the weekend since we did nothing at all last year. But I don't see how we can swing it without pulling from savings which I'd rather not. Plus we aren't sure with husband's new job if he will be working weekends or not so I really can't make reservations or anything. Ugh.

I have a goat sold at the end of the month. Normally that money is put back into my animal saving fund but I may end up using it for either black Friday shopping, Christmas presents, or for our anniversary.

Otherwise I would love to figure out a way to scrounge up some extra income. I am owed about $133 from past web projects but payment is sketchy at best. They recently asked me to do another project for them and I implied that I wasn't willing to pick up any more work because they never pay me. They promised they will send it soon... Hopefully that will light the fire, but we'll see.

Home Remodel & Fencing

October 1st, 2018 at 06:13 am

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!

Payday & Budgets

September 28th, 2018 at 07:02 am

2nd paycheck from husband's new job. I've been sticking with YNAB and it is nice to see GREEN categories for all our bills because I have put back the money.

I worked extra on web design this month and I should have about $450 to throw at the credit cards. That is nice, hopefully I can keep it up and pay them down quickly.

Husband did a little bit of balking last night at our new budget. He seemed to have thought that the $400 additional money he will be getting a month would just be "extra" and he was miffed when he only ended up with $70 for spending money this week... (He thought he would get to blow that first $400 extra) I had to sit him down and go through the budget with him explaining that in the past we didn't budget for things like car insurance so we would just scramble to pay that large chunk every 6 months. Now on paper we have a line item for everything and it is taken out weekly. No more living check to check.

In the past he got about $30 a week to cover any spending he did. Usually his extra spending was going over on groceries or a clothing/house shopping trip every once in a while. Right now he is getting $70 a week which he will use to buy a couple splurge items he has been wanting. In about 2 weeks $20 a week will start coming out for retirement, and then in March another $25 a week will be taken for insurance. Then he will be down to $25 a week spending. He is freaking out that his spending will be even tighter than it used it be but we also budgeted more for groceries so his personal spending should be able to be used for actual fun stuff rather than than covering discrepancies.

I asked him to just try it for a while and see how it goes. We can make adjustments if needed but I think $100 a month for fun is more than enough... He honestly doesn't buy anything for himself, it is always groceries, or getting Chinese takeout once a month or less, or getting a few needed clothes. Now that our entire budget will be less tight I think he will actually get to use his fun money for fun and he won't feel so poor. We'll see how it goes.

I get about $55 a week for "spending" which is almost always used for housing purchases, or covering discrepancies in the budget. Neither of us are big wasters or have expensive hobbies thank goodness.

For example, since husband is going to be starting night shift soon we HAD to get some blackout blinds for our bedroom. (We have no curtains or blinds anywhere in the house.) Well I found some on sale for over 50% off, after searching for a while I could not find anything else that would fit our windows that was cheaper so I went ahead and bought them. About $115, yikes. But a needed purchase, so there goes my "spending" for a couple weeks.

Once we get used to this budget we might have to chunk out our spending categories even more. Maybe add a clothing line item and a housing line item. But I didn't want to get too strict right away. We will re-evaluate at the new year.

Rounding Up

September 21st, 2018 at 07:31 am

We got husband's first check at the new job. I am so thankful that we essentially got double paid+ since he also received a full check from his old employer and vacation hours.

This will essentially pay off all of our personal monthly credit cards, and allow us to put money back to switch from our currently bi-weekly budget to a new weekly budget since his new job gets paid weekly, and so do I.

Something I found as odd is that his new employer rounds up the hours. They don't do partial hours for regular pay and they don't pay less than .5 hours for overtime which is interesting. I've never seen a job do that before. He actually worked almost 1 hour less one day, and then worked about 15 minutes over another day. They do their overtime as anything over 8 hours in a day. So his check was surprisingly a full 40 hours of regular pay plus .5 hours of overtime. Even though he actually worked less than 40. It's a small amount of extra but we'll take it!

Tomorrow we are going out to dinner to celebrate his new job.

I sold a couple goats and have put that money back for the fence repair. The guy is hopefully finally starting this weekend. (weather permitting)

I added up my house CC payments and so far this year I have paid $3,576 in debt. That means I have $1,424 to go before the end of the year or about $475 a month. I'm not sure if that is doable or not but it will be close. I don't think this is bad at all though considering I had to spend over $2k on an unexpected fence repair.

Easy Come, Easy Go & 401K Questions

September 10th, 2018 at 12:11 pm

I received multiple checks today that I had been waiting on so I went ahead and made a trip to town to deposit and pay some bills.

I paid the mortgage, our final real estate tax installment, my estimated self employment income tax for the year, and paid the rest towards the credit cards. Whew, it is crazy when several thousand go in and out in one day. But it feels good to tick some bills off.

Husband's first day at his new job is today. He was feeling quite sad about leaving his old one all weekend. They really did love him at his old job. His coworkers got together and gave him a card and $150 as a goodbye gift, and he received a gift card for dining and some cookies and candy. His boss said if he ever wants to come back he is welcome. It is a real shame that he had to give up such a nice job due to expensive health insurance. USA healthcare stinks.

Over the weekend we went out with friends and spent some of his gift money on having fun and taking his mind off the new job.

Now for a question. I've seen it mentioned that instead of putting his old 401k in his new 401k that we should move it to an IRA. What is the benefit of this, when all three accounts are at Vanguard and in the same funds? His 401K and his IRA are both ROTH. Can we move rollover his Roth 401K to his Roth IRA without any penalties or taxes? I plan on calling Vanguard and discussing with them but I have to add myself as an agent on his account first.

Extra Check & Retirement

September 5th, 2018 at 06:42 am

Trying to do some financial planning for husband's job transition.

It appears we will be getting about $1,500 in "extra" money since his current job pays a check behind and also he is cashing in his retirement days.

Don't know exact numbers yet but we plan on paying off both of our monthly credit cards, putting back enough to pay the house & car insurance in full, go out to a nice celebratory dinner, and the rest will probably be put towards either the fence or one of the home credit cards.

We got his 401K numbers yesterday. He currently has $18,167 in his account. We will be rolling this over to the new employer's 401K plan. Both are held at Vanguard so hopefully it will be easy.

Back From a Wedding

August 27th, 2018 at 06:51 am

This weekend we went across the country for a friend's wedding. We went with couple of friends and their parents. I am very fortunate that the parents (my doctor, lol!) paid for the hotel rooms and we just pitched in a bit of money. They were also so sweet and paid for most all of everyone's food and gas all weekend. They said it was their treat. We would have not been able to go otherwise....

It was sort of a strange wedding. For one they have only been together a couple months. We've (including the groom's immediate family) only met her once for like 2 hours. One of the groom's sister met her for the first time at rehearsal dinner actually. The venue was in the middle of nowhere but counted as a "resort." The rooms were $250 a NIGHT. I almost choked when I heard that. You would think it would be the best hotel ever but the rooms were pretty standard rooms that you would find at any cheap hotel. There was not even a microwave in the room. All the amenities cost of course so we mostly sat around and chatted with old friends or played games.

The hotel had 3 restaurants and the standard dinner plate price was $30, breakfast was $20.

I expected the wedding to be very lavish because of the venue but it was actually one of the most odd/simple weddings I have been to.

The couple are very conservative and the long sermon was about women submitting and being gentle. It was very stern and sounded more like a business transaction than a celebration. No one hardly smiled. The bride wore a very simple dress that looks like it was off the rack from the mall. All of them wore flowered crowns and bare feet.

The reception was equally odd. The wedding started at 5 and then the dinner was around 6:30. (waited for pictures) The food was buffet style and you got a brownie with your meal. There was no cake! There were no decorations. Just white tablecloths and a couple tea lights on each table. Everyone was served water only. They had one pitcher of unsweet tea and lemonade way in the back but no one ever announced where it was or to go get some.

The entire thing seemed very rushed. As you finished your plate someone would come in the scoop it up asap. By 8pm they made everyone get up and the workers cleared all tables and put everything away.

No music, no dancing, etc. The couple left at 8pm sharp. We barely had anytime to enjoy dinner or friends before we were shooed out.

The entire thing just really had no joy or personalization. But for the wedding being so odd we did have a good time sitting around afterwards and catching up. Overall I'm glad we went and it was fun to "play rich" for a couple days.

Life Changing

August 23rd, 2018 at 07:14 am

I am happy to announce that husband has accepted a job offer. Smile

He won't start for a few weeks yet, but this change should very positively affect our life. The pay is even better than expected. Not only does he get a 25% salary increase, he will get at least another $1 raise after his probationary period.

But most of all we will have access to very affordable and good health insurance. Worrying about getting insurance when I am kicked off mine next year was a huge stressing point for me. Now I feel secure that my expensive medicines and healthcare needs will be taken care of.

We have to decide if we want the HRA or HSA plan. We are leaning towards the HSA just so I can roll it over and save it up for the future.

The only downside to the new job is that husband may have to work nights for a while until a daytime position opens up. But hopefully it is only temporary.

We will also have to cancel our planned trip to Yellowstone next year since his vacation time won't kick in for 12 months.

Overall we are both excited and a little nervous but the thought of being much more comfortable financially sounds almost too good to be true. I am expecting a $400 a month increase after taxes and tithes, with good raises and growth in the future.

Until the end of the year we will use the extra money to "catch up." We have taxes, home and car insurance, and the fence repair all due in the next month or so.

Another Interview

August 13th, 2018 at 10:29 am

Husband passed the first phone interview. Now he has an in person interview tomorrow evening. I would appreciate any prayers and good thoughts.

Starting pay is $3 an hour more than he is making now plus room for advancement. The biggest plus though is insurance! I need affordable health insurance badly, so this could be an answer to our prayers.

Trying not to get my hopes up too much in case it doesn't work out, but it's hard not to imagine the positive impact this would make on our life...

Hopefully we will know something soon.

Car Repair & Taxes

August 8th, 2018 at 11:11 am

Husband has been wanting a new used car for a while and we have saved for years but unfortunately it seems like his car fund is the first thing to get raided every time something comes up. We finally decided that he will make some repairs to his old car and continue to drive it as long as possible and hold off on a new car for now.

Since we are hoping to get a couple more years out of it we went ahead and did some minor repairs we have been putting off. Thankfully husband and his dad can do most repairs and so far we have only had a $50 charge from the mechanic and about $100 in materials, which is amazing. Father in law frequents junk yards and always finds the best sales online.

They have replaced the breaks, a wheel bearing, some old rusted tie rods, tracking bar, new door, spark plugs, and the fuel filter. Also going to get new headlights.

I paid the first installment of property taxes for the first time.

We have started working on the house again and just have a few more minor things until we are on to optional and fun projects only.

Husband has applied for another job. Fingers crossed.

Worn Out

July 27th, 2018 at 07:16 am

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.

First House Payment

July 6th, 2018 at 11:33 am

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.

Possible New Job

June 27th, 2018 at 06:47 am

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.