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Archive for April, 2010

Somewhat of a Milestone

April 28th, 2010 at 05:39 pm

Well, today I paid Mom $1000, bringing the amount owed to her to an even $100,000. That means so far we've paid her back $58,000 in six years or so. So much progress has been made on this debt. I know that $100,000 still sounds overwhelming, but it brings us down to having exactly 100 payments left. In eight years and four months that debt will be gone. Sooner if we find a way to add another $100 per month to it.

It's been a really long road, but I'd rather be in debt to her at 0% than the hospital and its 18% interest. I really do want to find a way to dig up another $100 a month though. If I could add just that much more to each payment it would knock down the time left to seven years and seven months. I know that Chris will probably get raises between now and then, he gets them every 18 months to 2 years, so we'll definitely be adding more money to debt then. At least his job is secure and thriving.

I also sent off $500 to credit card debt today and wrote out the check for property taxes which I'll drop by the courthouse tommorrow when I'm down town.

I cleaned out my purse today and found $7.22 in ones and coins so added that to my coin jar.

$87.94 starting amount
+ 7.22 amount added
------
$95.16 ending amount

Tomorrow when I go to the courthouse I am going to deposit at least the ones I've been saving, which is $49, and pick up some coin wrappers and ask them if they have a counter that I can just bring a jar of coins in and put through or if they need to be rolled. Normally I'd just roll them, but there is just so much change that if I don't have to, I'd just as soon not.

Little Bit of Everything

April 21st, 2010 at 03:04 am

Not too much going on around here this week. I sent off $2600 to credit card debt, paid off my surgery debt of $863, and paid the phone bill for the old house (have to keep the line for the security system).

The most excitement I had was chasing three ducklings and one chick who refused to go back into the chicken coop after their airing. It took three of us to catch them all. It's a far sight harder catching those ducks now they weigh two pounds then it was when they could fit in the palm of your hand and only had a bathtub to race around instead of a yard.

I've finally gotten a medication that seems to be killing this sinus infection I've had forever and am feeling a little better. At least I'm able to breathe through my nose again which does wonders for my ability to sleep through the night. I have been eating out too much though this last week when I was feeling miserable. I was getting the cheapy fast food meals which was better for my wallet, but not great for my health. I did eat up the pre-cooked frozen meals first though at least.

Because of the eating out I had $8.46 in change to add to my change jar. No, I still haven't gotten around to taking it into the bank.

$79.84 starting amount
+ 8.46 amount added
-------
$87.94 ending amount

I think tomorrow I will feel good enough to start cooking again so my goal is no more meals out for the rest of the week. One of the nice things about being so sick was that I did manage to get off Pepsi. My soda habit was getting expensive again and even if I was drinking the Throwback instead of the stuff with high fructose corn syrup, pop is just never healthy. I can already see improvements in my sleep pattern and in my skin tone, both of which always suffer from the combination of caffeine and that much sugar. I think I will start adding the $15 a week I was spending on soda to my EF. And that's about it.

Bit of an Update

April 13th, 2010 at 01:59 am

I know I've been AWOL for the last two weeks but our house was broken into twice and we've been dealing with a lot of stuff because of it. The first time they jimmied a window open it happened to be the one that was wired to the alarm system. It was originally the nursery and the only bedroom that the door wasn't covered by the motion sensor. The alarm went off and it was enough to scare them away. The police found the window raised two inches.

We came out and saw that nothing that was still in the house had been touched so we figured that was that. We made triple sure all the windows were locked and the deadbolts were drawn and came back home. That was a Friday afternoon. That Sunday morning at six a.m. we got another call that our alarm was going off so we let my mother know what was going on so we could leave the kids and we went out there.

Another window was open two inches, but the weird thing was that the screen was in place. So somehow they were jimmying the lock again and it was for sure that we hadn't accidentally left one unlocked. This time, though nothing was stolen, they ripped both the alarm box and the alarm code panel off the wall. The back door deadbolt was not in place. So we figure they came in, ripped the alarm off with the hope of coming back later and it no longer working, and stealing. Then they ran through the house and out the back door leaving the dead bolt open. Then they came back and put the screen in place.

Well, this time Chris and I put screws in all the window frames to prevent the windows from being raised at all. Chris, being an electrical engineer was able to rewire both the alarm box and the alarm code panel and put them back into place and we tested them to be sure they were working again and they were. We spent the next week packing boxes and moving them to storage. It's ridiculous how much still needs to be done there, but at least there have been no more alarms going off and no more breaking in, though they may have attemtped it. The sheriff's deputy was able to get one really nice fingerprint off the window, but nothing has come of it so far and nothing probably will.

I don't actually feel violated, probably because nothing was stolen and we weren't living there at the time and all of the stuff that's really worth anything except the piano was moved before any of this happened. And the piano we never paid any money for, it was a family hand me down and really, who's going to try to walk off with a piano? Yeah, it would be sad if it were vandalized, but in the end we can get a good used piano for $500 out of the want ads. No one is playing right now anyway. We are going to have it moved the next time Chris comes home though.

Mostly I feel like all of the money we've paid to the security company over the years hasn't been wasted, because even if there was nothing to steal, there still could have been an opportunity for vandalism and I do not want to have to clean up after that. It's no fun. I've seen what some of the homeowners out there have gone through when they've gone on vacation and had no security system and come back to shaving gel and silly string and spray paint on the walls inside their homes.

In other news, my emergency fund made a whopping forty-eight cents in interest last month. We got $800 more than we were expecting back on our tax return. Something about not making over $150,000 so we got a stimulus thingy or something. I had no idea they were doing that this year. Before when it's happened it hasn't been part of the return it was a seperate check sent at a different time.

I decided to put $1000.00 of the return into the EF and $1000.00 of it away for summer camp. Both kids want to go for at least a week this summer and with the extra money we can actually swing two weeks for both of them, plus some day camp for my son. That brings the EF to $1,520.64.

$1000.00 has been set aside for moving expenses and house repairs and the last $1000.00 I haven't done anything with yet, but half of it will go to pay for half year property taxes and the other half will go into the safety net short term savings.

I hate having such big returns, we could really use that money throughout the year, but because of how Chris works we can't. He works two weeks on, two weeks off, but they tax his paychecks as if he were bringing one home of equal amount each week, instead of two weeks pay covering four weeks. Or now that he's switching to 3 on, 3 off for the spring/summer, it'll be 3 weeks pay covering 6 weeks. It sucks and it's stupid, but there is nothing we can do about it. Every year we check the tax law to see if anything has changed so that won't happen, but the answer is always no.

I haven't been using much cash for the past three weeks so I haven't bothered to empty out my purse in that amount of time. I did tonight and was pleasantly surprised to find $6.16 in coins. No wonder it was feeling heavy.

$73.32 starting balance
+ 6.16 amount added
-------
$79.48 ending balance

I really need to take that in soon. I keep procrastinating it.

We got an "extra" paycheck this month. We get two a year, where it just happens to fall in such a way that no bills have to paid out of it. That money will go into short term savings for the adjustment period into the 3 on, 3 off changeover, just in case. If the adjustment goes smoothly and we don't use it, after a couple of months I'll move that money into the EF. If it doesn't, and it usually doesn't, we'll end up using it. I'm better prepared for it this year though, so I'm hoping we won't need it. And that about wraps things up.