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Archive for May, 2013

Payday Entry

June 1st, 2013 at 12:00 am

So I added the $40.50 in the coin jar and the $31.96 leftover in checking to the EF. Along with the June deposit of $100, which I made today even though it's not June yet, bumps the Emergency Fund to $3844.78., so the normal goal would be to scrape up enough to get it to $4000, but since DH has overtime, June's goal is $5000.

I went ahead and funded my funds as usual today, even though I know that eventually that money will probably be wiped out for the Wisconsin trip. But I'm keeping it in the funds sections anyway until we know either way what is going to happen there. Available fund totals are now $1300 ($1000, if I don't count the meager college fund). This does not count the property tax fund or the propane fund, or any other fund that is a bill paying fund for bills not paid monthly. We'll only be taking from the non-essential funds like Christmas, Laptop, etc.

Here's what came out of today's paycheck:

$300.00 to Mom for June utilities
__90.00 Physical therapy
__39.53 DH Life Insurance
__32.70 Me Life Insurance
__66.62 Car Insurance
__45.67 Old House Insurance
__41.16 Old House Security
_168.00 Storage
_600.00 Mortgage ($224.14 extra to principal)
_100.00 Cash for week
__30.00 Kids Allowances
_620.64 AMEX (gas and eating out)
__72.00 Water/sewer Fund
_100.00 Emergency Fund
__19.00 Garbage Fund
_100.00 Hawaii 2018 Fund
__19.00 Dues Fund
_100.00 Propane Fund
_100.00 College Fund
_100.00 Laptop Fund
_100.00 Christmas Fund
------------
3165.77 Total Paid Out

I have $241 in checking, msot of that will go for groceries and over the counter medicines to restock up after the three of us were ill.

When the mortgage payment hits the remaining mortgage will be under $12K. I am excited. $10K left seems closer than ever

Oh, I forgot, there was also a medical bill of $157.41 for my daughter.

Emergency Fund/Coin Jar/Goals

May 31st, 2013 at 04:28 am

Today was the $10 auto deposit to the Emergency Fund, which brings it to $3672.68.

I emptied my wallet and added $25.00 to the coin jar. Tomorrow I will take the bills and roll of pennies to the CU and deposit it. There is $40.50, which will put me over my May goal of $3700.00 by $13.18.

Depsite my earlier post and the financial setback family stuff may cause, I am still going to try to get the EF to $5000 by the end of June. $1000 from overtime, $100 from the normal monthly deposit, $40 from the 4 $10 Thursday deposits, so scratching up $146.82 from somewhere. Well, a tiny bit less since there will be a small interest deposit in my Capital One 360 account on the 1st.

There is $31.96 left in my checking account so maybe I'll throw that in there, too. I just feel some urgency to get to $5000. Not sure why. After that my next big goal will be trying to figure out how to get to $8000, which is one month's income. Ideally, I'd like to do that by the end of 2013, but not sure how practical that is, especially with saving the Christmas bonus for college expenses. Unless there is more overtime. I know I can at least hit $6000 by the end of the year if we don't have to actually use the EF for anything.

Leftover Money

May 30th, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Being sick for a week has been good for our bottom line. I ended up with $205 in savings from money I didn't spend this week. I had originally intended for this to go for groceries. Of course, not eating for 3 days and DD not eating for 3 days, made a big difference in groceries, too.

So I am setting that money aside. I am not going to put it into the Emergency Fund no matter how much I want to. I am going to put it into a temporary fund earmarked towards FIL's upcoming heart surgery. He is going to be having one for a bulging aorta soon, which was a result of the myocardial infarction he had a couple of years ago. He is choosing to go to Wisconsin to do it. The best doctor for that particular operation is there. The second best is here, but I guess they don't want to take that chance, even though it would be massively less expensive.

So they'll be there for a while and MIL wants DH to be able to come for part of it. DH can't take off work so it would have to be during one of his home shifts. We really can't afford it without wiping out a lot of our savings. Round trip flight will be around $800. Several days in a hotel and food around $1200. So we're looking at trying to come up with $2000.

I won't take it out of our Emergency Fund. The EF is for our emergencies, not other people's decisions to fly halfway across the country. So I'm going to try to squeeze it out elsewhere. I figure if I raid some of our other funds, the laptop fund, the Christmas fund, the Hawaii 2018 Fund, the appliance fund and the college fund, that's $700. So that puts me at $905. I'd just need to figure out where the other $1095 will come from.

I guess some of it can come from the overtime week DH is working. I still want to save $1000 for the EF from that, but I figure I can at least put the freezer on hold again and the $1000 for that could be saved in the temp fund. I doubt he'll get it scheduled before the end of summer, so we can likely save the difference.

I am trying not to be resentful of the fact that we will have to spend this $2000 on something that is not our goals. I know this is important to offer support to the in-laws. But I can't help feeling like if it was me, I'd do it locally and save the extra expense. It's not like the doc here is bad at this surgery. The other guy has just done it more. But this guy trained under that guy so the skill set should be there.

It's one thing if there was no one available locally, but there is. At least FIL can do all of his follow up care here. I will work on keeping my resentment to myself. It is uncharitable of me and not something I want the in-laws to see, because I do love them like parents. Parents who often think with their hearts and not their heads, but parents nonetheless.

Brief Update

May 29th, 2013 at 11:40 pm

There is very little going on here. No spending, as I am recovering from a nasty stomach virus I had over the weekend. Definitely on the upswing, but I feel bruised and like I have been put through the wringer.

I did add $1.80 to the coin jar.

I should meet my goal of $3700 in the EF by the end of the month. Not much else to add. Things continue to go smoothly on autopilot.

The rabbits are doing well. They new kits are starting to come out of the nesting box now and explore the bigger cage and pester their mother. The chickens continue to lay eggs well. And I guess that's it.

Meal Planning for the Week

May 28th, 2013 at 03:28 am

Tuesday:
Barbecue chicken (I'm totally cheating with this. I am grilling boneless skinless thighs on the George Foreman grill and then pouring barbecue sauce on top of them. It's easy and fast and I'm definitely into that this week after spending the long weekend with a stomach virus.
Pineapple
Baked potatoes (in the microwave, again, a time saver)
Green beans

Wednesday:
Homemde pizza (yellow bell pepper strips, yellow onions, ham)
Pineapple
Cole slaw

Thursday:
Beef Ribs
Baked potatoes
Broccoli/cauliflower

Friday:
Bacon cheeseburgers
Fried potatoes (from leftover baked)
Cole slaw

Saturday:
Grilled pork chops
Watermelon
Fried potatoes (from leftover baked)
Salad

Sunday:
Beef chuck pot roast
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Drop biscuits with choice of homemade jams
Broccoli/cauliflower

Monday:
Tropical Chicken Stir-fry
Blueberry cornbread muffins


A Few Things

May 26th, 2013 at 05:40 am

I received $10 in Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks raising my total to $130. I haven't spent as much time on them this month or last. I've been too busy with the rabbits. The kits are growing fast. This is them two days ago. They are 13 days old.



They all have their eyes open now. In another week or so they will start jumping out of the nesting box.

There isn't really anything else going on. Oh, I paid the propane bill, but that money has been set aside for awhile so affects nothing.

Basically I'm just waiting for the 31st to get here to start on the next cycle of paying bills. Everything is pretty much on autopilot at this point.

Bits and Bobs

May 24th, 2013 at 11:57 pm

I went to the sleep doctor today and we are trying yet another C-Pap mask. This one is smaller and is a much better fit. In fact I took a nap using it this afternoon (woke up feeling sick this morning and very tired, but it could just be the cottonwood blooming and the Scotch broom) and I didn't take it off in my sleep and I slept pretty hard for 3 hours. So I think we may finally have a winner. I had to pay $144 upfront for my visit since the doctor's practice quit playing nice with Aetna who is one of stingiest reimbursers for medical insurance.

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Yesterday was the day of the $10 auto deposit to savings. That brings the Emergency Fund to $3662.32. $37.68 to go to hit my May goal of $3700.

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The three people that were trapped in the bridge collapse yesterday are in stable condition with only minor injuries. It was a miracle only three cars went down with the bridge.

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4 out of the 7 rabbit kits have opened their eyes. The other 3 are working on it. They are so adorable. They are 12 days old.

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The carpet is going to be laid on May 30th, which hopefully means the finishing touches will be put on the house the weekend of the 1st and 2nd. I really wanted to put it on the market in May, but now if we get it on there by mid-June it will still be early enough to hit those buyers who want to buy and move in over the summer so they are all set for school for their children before it begins in the fall. Since it's a 4 bedroom home in a neighborhood with lots of kids, I'm assuming it will appeal to the family market as opposed to the Canadian vacationer or the American retiree. Hopefully it won't just sit there.

Of course I can't get my hopes up yet, because I'm sure they will find a way to make it take longer than it should. That's been the case since this began. At least the rug is being installed by rug people and not the people doing the rest of the work so they won't be able to back out of it for spurious reasons.

Skagit River Bridge Collapsed

May 24th, 2013 at 03:32 am

We go over this bridge all the time, once or twice a month. We were just on it 11 days ago. There are people trapped in the water. It is really scary to see something like this on the news, happening in a place I am so familiar with. First thing we did was make sure our neighbor was home safe. She works in Seattle and commutes over this bridge ten times a week.

That part of the freeway people are going 60 to 65 MPH. It's four lanes of traffic. I can't even imagine. I am just glad that rush hour was over when it happened because it could have been so much worse. My mother was going to be going over that bridge tomorrow on her way to visit relatives in Eastern Washington. It's a very unsettling thought.

I hope they get the people out soon. A couple are sitting on top of their cars and one person is trapped inside a truck. Head above water, apparently, but they are worried about hypothermia. It just seems crazy that something like this can just happen. One minute a solid foundation, the next plunging into the water.

I think I'll be glued to the news tonight.

Credit Score Went Up

May 22nd, 2013 at 10:16 pm

I got an alert from my credit monitoring service today. I have it because of a past incident with a stolen wallet. Anyway, my credit score has gone up six points to 793. According to the report we are using only 12 percent of our available credit and the national average is to use 16 percent. Ideally I'd like to be at 800 by the end of the year, but I'm not sure what it would take to do that. Probably paying the van loan down some.

I feel like we are really positioning ourselves well to buy a new house in the near future. I am still thinking along the lines of paying off our van loan if we get enough extra when our house sells. It would be one less thing to worry about and it would free up some money for upcoming college costs.

McDonald's has started hiring again. I think DD should throw her hat in the ring and try to get a summer job. She has plans to volunteer at the animal shelter but that is only 2 hours a week and you can go in at whatever time you want during their open hours. She could easily do both.

It's Pouring

May 21st, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Yesterday was so beautiful and today is so wet that the chickens are taking it as a personal insult. I am tired of the weather swings, but it could be so much worse. I feel guilty complaining about the weather here when I read the news and see the photos coming out of Oklahoma.

That sort of devastation seems unreal to me because I've never seen it in real life. The only things I have personally experienced are massive floods big enough to declare us a disaster area and the day the creek exploded and the town was under a black mushroom cloud. And even that can't compare to the scale of the tornado there. My heart and prayers go out to the people who have survived this devastation.

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I didn't sleep last night. I hate it when that happens. It makes it so hard to cope with the day in a good financial state of mind. So my planned homemade pizza turned into an XL carry out pizza from Round Table instead. $29.35. It has gone up from $27.18, what it's been for the last year. That left me with 65 cents for the coin jar.

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I am so behind on where I want to be with gardening. There has been so much to do lately between homeschooling and the animals and whenever I finally get that wrapped up, it starts raining. Usually May is nicer than this, especially in the second half. I know by mid-June it will stop raining and then we won't see much of it until the fall, but it always feels like forever waiting out the nine months of the year when it does almost nothing but rain here.

Meal Planning for the Week

May 21st, 2013 at 04:14 am

Goodness, it's practically Tuesday. I used to be very good at posting these every Sunday. Oh, well. I guess I'll just post Tuesday through Monday this week instead. I am trying a few new recipes out as well as using a couple standbys this week. It kind of felt like we were getting into a rut so I wanted to change things up.

I'm trying two new recipes from the Owlhaven blog and the good California (organic) strawberries are in, so will be using those a good bit this week.

Tuesday--
Homemade Pizza (pepperoni, ham, onions, and peppers)
Cole slaw
Pineapple

Wednesday--
Thai Beef Chard Wraps http://www.owlhaven.net/2008/07/01/works-for-me-thai-swiss-c...
Strawberries

Thursday--
Pork and Veggie Stirfry http://www.owlhaven.net/2013/04/08/pork-and-veggie-stir-fry/
Oranges

Friday--
Whole roasted chicken
Roasted carrots and potatoes
Green beans

Saturday--
Spaghetti with homemade sauce
Beef and Pork meatballs
Cole slaw
Bananas

Sunday--
Slow cooked pulled pork burritos
Spanish rice
Salad
Oranges

Monday--
Open-faced leftover meatball sandwiches http://luckyrobin.savingadvice.com/2012/01/05/open-faced-mea...
Broccoli/cauliflower
Strawberries

Random Bits

May 21st, 2013 at 12:43 am

DH cleaned out his wallet in preperation for leaving tonight and I cleaned out my purse. Together we had $13.63 for the coin jar.

DH's work called an hour ago. They've asked him to work an extra week so this hitch will be a 3 and 1, instead of a 2 and 2. It will be nice to have some overtime that we can actually save part of it. I'm going to put at least $1000 of it into the EF. I am hoping to have $5000 in it by the end of June.

DH needs a new laptop and I've only got $200 saved towards it. It'll be $300 saved by the next time he comes home, but with the overtime we'll be able to make up the difference. We could do 18 months same as cash, but I'd prefer not to. I'm trying to get away from that sort of thing.

He's been babying it along for a while. His DVD/CD drive quit working a couple months ago, his head phone jack is broken (he's been using a USB head phone set), the battery only holds 5 minutes of charge, and there is something wrong with the internal wifi card because it doesn't matter whose internet it's on, it drops it every five minutes or so. By the time he got everything fixed it would be about the cost of a new laptop. This one is a few years old and doesn't have a service agreement anymore. I think it's running Vista or ME for Windows.

As for the rest of it, I'm not sure. I'll figure that out when we get closer. I could fully fund the appliance fund so we can buy a chest freezer when we are ready. I'm just not sure yet.

We paid the phone bill for the old house today, $45.03. The only other bill due for the rest of the month is the propane and I have the money set aside for that. I'll pay it on Friday.

Speaking of the old house they completed most of the flooring this weekend. There is only one bathroom left to do and it won't interfere with the carpeting, so we have the rug laying scheduled now. Finally. Did I mention that the guy in charge of everything sliced his hand open and had to get 14 stitches, last Sunday? It looks nasty. He didn't cut anything important like a tendon, though. He was lucky. It is his dominant hand, too.

Mom is going away for the weekend, so I'll be on full time chicken duty Friday through Tuesday. Most of the time I just let them out in the morning and check their food and water. Mom usually puts them away at night and gathers the eggs during the day.

The kits are growing well. They are now completely furred, even the area around their mouths, so only their noses are pink now. They are so adorable. In a few more days they will open their eyes. In two more days I can change the nest box litter. They recommend waiting until they are ten days old before you do.

Hopefully tomorrow we will actually get the garden started.

Busy Weekend--Rabbit Stuff--Payday Stuff--House Stuff

May 19th, 2013 at 11:03 pm



Our newborn kits are a week old already. They have sure grown!

We spent a good portion of Saturday at a meat rabbit expo. I fell in love with a New Zealand Red and a couple of the New Zealand Black rabbits. They are really beautiful and I wanted some, but we have made the decision to not buy any more rabbits for our little rabbitry until next year. We have enough to make a go of it, and we don't want to bite off more than we can chew.

Most of them were for sale for $20, so I will keep the expo in mind for next year when I am ready to buy rabbits. Rabbits usually cost $25 to $30 directly from breeders, but they were less at the expo just because they are trying to encourage more people to get into it and the whole homesteading movement with small, sustainably raised meat animals.

I wrote more about it on my farm blog, so if you want more details than that you can go there to read about it. My side bar has details how.

This payday was a small one and there wasn't much to do. The only bills coming out of it are $72 to savings for the water bill, and the phone bill from the old house. Oh, and we renewed our license tabs. They were $85.70.

We worked some more on the PVC hutch frame, adding a second layer. It's going to make things so much easier. In fact it already has. The new rabbits we bought last Sunday have one more week in quarantine before I can put them in with the other rabbits. That will streamline care again.

Yesterday and today all of the non-carpet flooring is going down. No more excuses, although the guy did have a good one, he sliced his hand open last weekend and had to get 14 stitches, he didn't use it. He was working only in a supervisory capacity today, but the work is being done. It's both bathrooms, the laundery room the kitchen, the dining room and the walkway from the front door to the dining room.

That means we should be able to call the carpet guys tomorrow to schedule an appointment. Carpet is going into the living room and the four bedrooms. The floors get too cold out there if you are only using the wood stove to heat with to not have carpet in the main rooms. It's not as bad if you are using the propane furnace, but I still always wore socks out there. After the carpet is laid, the doors go into the frames, new laminate goes on the bathroom vanity tops and then the house is done. We may have to do a bit of landscaping outside, but hopefully not too much more than add a couple of plants, keep the lawn mowed, and the ditches weed-eaten.

I hope this means we can put it on the market in June. I really want to have it ready for the summer buyers. It can take people up to 90 days to get approved for a mortgage sometimes, even with pre-approval, so even if we do find a buyer, unless they are using cash, it's still going to take some time. I just really want to be on the other side of this and seriously looking for our dream home/farm.

Not the Payday Post

May 17th, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Today is payday, but I won't get to the payday post until later.

Part of my son's homeschool requirements is that he take a test every fall and spring to see that he's on track for his grade level. This is different from the MSP testing he did last week. He did this back in April.

Anyway, scores came out today and his math was 850 points above the state average. Our state average is above the national average, but I don't know by how much. He's very analytical and that part of his brain doesn't seem to have been damaged last June. He's a 7nth grader and this score puts him on the math level of an average 10nth grader.

His reading skills were about where I expected them to be. High in vocabulary and non-fiction comprehension and lower in fiction and long passage reading. This is directly related to his head injury and where the brain damage occurred. Vocabulary and non-fiction are again the areas where analytical thinking comes in, while fiction is where creative thinking comes in. Long passages he still loses a bit of focus on.

There were also some issues with the test itself glitching. It's one of those tests where it adapts itself to how you're doing. If it is too easy for you and you answer all the questions it gets harder. If it is too hard, it gets easier. Well, it kept going back and forth and what should have been an hour long test ended up being a three hour test. So towards the end there I know he was just kind of wildly guessing to try to get it to finish. I'm not overly worried about it being a little low.

He wants to be in a field that uses math heavily when he grows up so fiction comprehension isn't really going to come into much play as a real life skill. Still, we'll work on that and spelling this summer. There is no spelling curriculum in middle school be it public school or homeschool, which I think is really stupid. So I'll have him log on to Spelling City and play it through out the summer.

All in all it's been a pretty successful homeschool year, though. I look forward to getting his MSP results back. They track a little more realistically when it comes to reading and writing.

Not Too Much Going On Here This Week

May 17th, 2013 at 07:30 am

Today (well, yesterday, it's after midnight) was the day of the $10 auto transfer to savings, bringing the Emergency Fund to $3652.32. That leaves me with $47.68 to come up with by month's end to meet my May savings goal.

I've been taking care of the newborn kits. They are just starting to get a tiny bit of fur so they aren't all pink now, but starting to turn white.



And we (mostly DH) put together this:



What is that? The base for this:



The rabbits are very happy in their larger grow out cages.



There is a rabbit expo on Saturday that we are going to. DD will be at an overnight and we are hoping to ditch DS with DH's parents for the day.

It's Been an Eventful Last Few Days

May 15th, 2013 at 06:47 am

On Sunday we went down to Arlington and brought home three new purebred, pedigreed New Zealand White rabbits from a different lineage for our breeding stock for $25 each. They are eight weeks old and it will take them a while to grow up. They are show quality rabbits. I forgot how small eight week olds are.

Meet Starbuck, Serenity, and Sweetie Belle.



Then on late Monday afternoon Piper kindled. She had seven healthy kits. They are the sweetest things, just these tiny, naked, pink squirmy bundles. If they weren't so squirmy I could fit three in one hand at a time. They make the cutest little noises. All of them had fat little tummies today so they are nursing well. Piper is such a good mama.

So right now with the seven newborns we have 19 rabbits in residence. That won't be the case for long though. Soon 5 of the 6 thirteen week olds will go to freezer camp, leaving only Lola to grow up and be breeding stock. It will be hard, but the whole point of this venture was to grow our own meat, so we would know exactly what went into it. We know what they have been fed and that they have been loved and cuddled and had happy lives. And we will know that those lives ended in a humane way.

DH is hard at work on a new frame for the new cages. We are keeping ahead of the space needs, but only just. I want to be completely ready for when I can move the three new youngsters out of quarantine and into the rabbit shed with the others after two weeks' time.

I am trying to locate a small livestock scale, so I can see the before and after amounts so I will know the dress out rate.

In six months' time I will have 3 breeding does and 1 breeding buck in one breeding line and 2 breeding does and 1 breeding buck in the other breeding line. Then I won't have to breed related rabbits to each other at all. It's not that big of a deal in meat rabbits, but a lot of people think it is weird based on human conventions. So if I ever want to sell live rabbits to people in the future, having bunnies from an unrelated doe and buck will make the squick factor not be there.

Aside from the $75 for the rabbits, I spent $30 for a new hay manger for them, and bought another $15 40 pound bag of feed. I found a new source for feed that uses no soy and no GMO. I found out about it from the breeder. And sure enough, one of the feed stores here carries it. And coincidentally they happen to have a meat rabbit expo going on this weekend, with a butchering demo. So we will buy a 50 pound bag of this feed when we go to it and start mixing the two together until the first is gone and then switch completely over.

So between the bunnies and homeschooling I have been pretty busy. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have a chance to catch up on the blogs again.

Meal Planning for the Week

May 14th, 2013 at 12:58 am

Monday--
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Salad
Strawberries

Tuesday--
Pork chops
Fried potatoes
Applesauce
Broccoli

Wednesday--
Beef stir-fry (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, green beans, bean sprouts)
Oranges

Thursday--
Homeamde pizza (pepperoni, ham, onions, bell pepper strips)
Salad

Friday--
Barbecue chicken
Pineapple
Coleslaw

Saturday--
Bacon cheeseburgers
Cucumber slices or homemade pickles
Homemade French fries

Sunday--
Beef chuck pot roast
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Blueberry cornbread muffins
Green beans

Same Old, Same Old

May 12th, 2013 at 07:32 am

I am really so very tired of this. This being yet another day when the flooring didn't get done out at the house. The excuse a couple of weeks ago? The guy coming down from Seattle to help had something come up. The excuse today? The guy coming down from Seattle to help couldn't make it. Um...so do it without the guy from Seattle, okay? Because you claimed that the two of you could do it, why does person number three, who is clearly unreliable as all get out, need to be there? Rolleyes

They claim they will do it tomorrow. Why the heck does anyone ever remodel anything? Or maybe I should say how the heck, because what should have been a six week job that started last summer is still going on. The price is still the same, thank goodness, and the quality is high, but the timeliness is ridiculous.

I just want to get on with things. I want it done. I want it sold. And I want to buy my farm and move. It feels like I am being held hostage to someone else's whims. I am just so over it.

Payday and Musings

May 11th, 2013 at 02:58 am

Okay, now for all the things that went out of this paycheck.

$1000.00 to Mom
___90.00 Physical Therapy
___35.42 Electric Old House
__757.82 Van Loan (plus extra)
___51.78 Garbage (one extra can this month)
__212.71 Medical
___41.78 Security Old House
___72.56 Internet
__225.00 Monthly Chiropractic Family Plan
__105.00 Propane Fund
___19.00 Dues Fund
__100.00 Property Tax Fund
__100.00 College Fund
__100.00 Appliance Fund
__100.00 Christmas Fund
__100.00 Laptop Fund
__100.00 Vacation Fund (Hawaii 2018)
___28.00 Kids' Allowances
___75.00 Three NZW rabbits from different bloodline
__100.00 Cash for the Week
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$3414.07 Total Paid Out

We are down to owing Mom $72,000. That means 6 years left to go, if we continue on the repayment of $1000 a month. It will be gone when we are both 49. Our van will be paid off well before that. After that is paid off we will work on paying off the mortgage on our small farm that we plan to buy once our house sells. And also play mega catch up with retirement. We want to go into retirement 100% debt free, which will make it easier to get by on less. As will raising our own meat and growing our own produce as much as possible.

It feels like we are finally starting to really pull ahead as I plan for future needs and am able to set the money aside each month. We are two paychecks ahead of our bills now and we have half a month's income in the Emergency Fund. It's getting there and each small step I take has built on the last one. Some people may scoff at $10 here or $5 there, but I know. I know from experience that it is the little things just as much as the big things that get you there.

Updating Funds

May 11th, 2013 at 12:35 am

I added $36 to the Emergency Fund today. It was what was left in checking when the new paycheck hit. That brings the EF to $3642.32. I'm going to bump my May goal up to $3700.

I also funded some funds today, which I'll put the amounts in my payday post, but I thought I'd post my fund totals.

$1000.00 in the Mac Book Fund
__200.00 in the Laptop Fund
__200.00 in the Christmas Fund
__200.00 in the College Fund
__100.00 in the Appliance Fund
__200.00 in the Hawaii 2018 Fund
__100.00 in the Property Tax Fund
__305.00 in the Propane Fund
___89.00 in the HoA Dues Fund

We've got a long way to go on some of these, especially the College Fund, but we will be putting the Christmas Bonus in, as well as most of the tax refund next year (which is ridiculously big because of our HSA that we always manage to use all of).

The Christmas Fund will be augmented by the Amazon gift cards I get from swagbucks. DH's Laptop is limping along and hopefully will continue to do so until I've got the replacement money in place. DD will be getting her MacBook (or equivalent laptop) in August. She's taking some graphics intensive classes next year as a senior. The Appliance Fund is currently earmarked for a chest freezer. Property tax was just paid last month. Propane Fund is just a holding fund until the bill comes and I pay it.

All in all, things are going along pretty smoothly in the Funds department.

I Hit 2 Million!

May 10th, 2013 at 06:16 pm

No, not dollars. I wish! No, but this blog has now had 2,000,000 visits. Thanks to everyone who has been reading these past seven years!

Oh, and I added $5.43 to the coin jar last night.

Emergency Fund Update

May 10th, 2013 at 05:47 am

Today was the weekly $10 autopay to the Emergency Fund bringing the new total to $3606.32.

A Few More Odds and Ends

May 9th, 2013 at 05:35 am

I checked my accounts tonight and the mortgage payment hit, so the new total is $12453.13. I love seeing how much more it goes down each month now that we are in the home stretch.

I also added $13.33 to the coin jar. Ten of that was from my daughter who wanted to exchange her coins for bills. And since my rule is all coins and ones go in the coin jar, in it went. I only had $3.33 in change in my own purse.

Odds and Ends

May 9th, 2013 at 12:09 am

There is not too much going on in my little corner of the world right now. My son is doing MSP testing so there isn't even much going on with homeschooling this week.

We are awaiting the birth of Piper's new kits. It is day 28 in her pregnancy and they usually give birth between day 28 and day 32, so it's all up in the air which day she'll have them. She has made her nest but as of this morning has not pulled any fur yet, so I don't think it's going to be today. Since rabbits are born without fur, the doe pulls the fur off her underside to cover them with before she gives birth so it is the sign to watch for. Not only does that give them fur to be covered with, it clears the way for easier nursing for the kits.

Fortunately it will be cool the next few days. It was 80 on Monday which is not a good temperature for any rabbit, let alone a pregnant one.

I've managed to pull a few weeds, but the garden has not come any further than that. Now the DH is home, we should be able to get some work done and get things going.

Not much in the way of spending money this week, except yesterday and today I got DS Mcdonalds on the way to testing just because it was easier and more convenient that early in the morning. So $6 bucks each day and will likely do that for the next two days of testing.

He's done great so far, but the writing portion starts tomorrow so that may be more difficult for him. He would be great doing it orally, but MSP doesn't allow for that.

I'm way behind on reading the blogs here again. Hopefully everyone is doing well and having a nice spring this week.

Meal Planning and Some Other Stuff

May 6th, 2013 at 12:00 am

I have managed to get all of my spreadsheets updated, closing out April, creating and filling in the first bills from May, and updating my EF/Holding Tank spreadsheet. My checkbook is balanced and it seems there will be a slight surplus of money even before we hit the extra payday for the month on the 31st. I plan to divide it between the Emergency Fund, the Appliance Fund, and the College Fund.

The slight surplus is because we won't be going to the farm this month, so that $300 I usually spend will not be spent. I need to work on using up the food that is our freezer because in about two weeks I am going to need that space for our butchered rabbits. So this week's meal plans will be based on using up that meat.

Monday--
Lamb chops
Fried potatoes
Green Beans
Bananas

Tuesday--
Tacos
Oranges

Wednesday--
Open face meatball sandwiches
Cole slaw
Grapes

Thursday--
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Broccoli/Cauliflower

Friday--
Beef stir-fry
Oranges

Saturday--
Bacon cheeseburgers
Homemade Fries
Bananas

Sunday--
Roasted Duck
Baked potatoes
Green beans
Drop biscuits with choice of jam

Payday Post

May 4th, 2013 at 02:23 am

Okay, bills paid today:

$2000.00 BoA VISA (Vacation Leftovers)
___45.67 Old House Insurance
___66.65 Van Insurance
___39.53 DH Life Insurance
___32.70 Me Life Insurance
__600.00 Old House Mortgage
__168.00 Storage
__300.00 To Mom for her Utilities
__100.00 Emergency Fund
---------------
$3352.55 Total Spent

I also have $200 in cash and took out money for the kid's allowances. Part of the money paid to BOA VISA was from the last paycheck. This will leave us with about a $1700 balance on the card from our vacation. It will be paid off on May 31. With today's $100 deposit the Emergency Fund now sits at $3596.32. $88.68 to go to meet May's goal of $3685. I paid extra on the mortgage. About $61 will go to interest and the balance should be under $12.5K when it hits.

The house is supposed to be done to the point of being able to install the carpets after this weekend. I will believe it when I see it.

Leave It to Me to Fall Up the Stairs

May 4th, 2013 at 01:19 am

The wing of the house we live in is connected to the main house by two steps. They are very big steps, one foot deep by four feet long. Last night I managed to miss the top step and went sprawling forward at a 45 degree angle. I put my hands out to stop myself against the furnace closet doors and that did slow me down for a second, but then I went all the way down onto my knees and managed to end up on my elbows, too, somehow.

It took me five minutes to get myself together. I had to scoot on my butt to the bathroom because I had hurt my hands and knees enough I couldn't crawl and I couldn't push myself off the floor. I had to use my forearms on the bathtub to leverage myself back up.

I had to sleep on my back last night because I couldn't sleep on either arm and when I'd roll in my sleep I'd wake up from it. This morning my elbows have black bruises and my knees are very blue. Even the heels of my hands are bruised. Thankfully I can walk okay today except it hurts to climb the stairs. The part ofthe knees I hit was just under the knee caps, not on them, thank goodness. My hands are a bit sore, but not as bad as last night or even this morning. My neck and shoulders were stiff. I jarred myself good. It's the elbows that are the worst, though.

I am going to go sit in the hot tub at the health club tomorrow. I don't dare take a bath because getting up out of it might be impossible, even with handicapped grab bars, since my hands don't want to grip right. I can type okay, so I don't think it's more than bruising. I don't think any of it is more than bruising and muscle strain.

I went and got a massage today ($90) and it made a big difference in my functionality the rest of the day. I really wanted to work in the garden this weekend. Not sure what I can do because there will be no sitting on my knees, but I might be able to use a shovel to get the bigger weeds out. This will be the first dry weekend in ages and I really wanted to make use of it. I don't want to just lay around all weekend because I think that will make it worse, not better. At least my back is okay.

I need to do a payday post, but I haven't gotten my stuff together yet. I have food in the crockpot so no matter the temptation to eat out to take it easy on myself, the smell of the food cooking is preventing that. I did switch out my menu plan days though so I could have the ease of cooking a roast today. The nice thing about having plans for several meals is that when life throws you a curve ball like this you can adjust accordingly. So I did.

No Spend Day and Rabbit Update

May 3rd, 2013 at 05:50 am

Today was a no spend day, though both kids tried to convince me to get takeaway, I still made the salmon, which they of course gobbled up like crazy. I feel a bit better today. 4 days of my own cooking is definitely helping though I still am having an allergic reaction to the apple blossoms.

The kids and I did a major clean out in the rabbit shed today. We spent 2 hours on it. We also did a complete spray out, bleach scrub, and heavy duty rinse of the cages for the six junior rabbits. They are eleven weeks old so no longer called kits.

The rabbits are doing well. The youngsters are growing like weeds. I have been able to determine that 3 are does, 2 are bucks, and one will kick me until the sun goes down before it lets me check. Well, that one will definitely be going to freezer camp. Would anyway, since I've already picked out the male and female I'm keeping from this litter. Phoebe is growing up and is 4 months old today. Leo is pretty laid back and doesn't do too much. Piper is pregnant and it shows in a slight rounding of her belly and a bit of a mischievous streak.

Tomorrow I will scrub down Piper's old cage and if Leo will let me pick him up I will try to scrub his cage, too. DS is going away overnight with my mother tomorrow to a decoy show to sell off the last of Dad's decoys (hopefully). He helps her run the table and earns part of the profit. The show is actually on Saturday, but they go down early Friday evening. So if I can't get Leo out of his cage, the scrubbing of his will wait until Sunday. I will also do Phoebe's cage on Sunday.

Piper's cage is clean and I won't be disturbing her anymore, other than to remove the droppings tray and spray it out daily, until after she's given birth and the kits are at least a week old. She's 22 days pregnant and is starting to make nests in her cage with straw and hay.



I won't put the nest box in until day 27, though. Rabbits gestation runs anywhere from 28 to 32 days and they don't recommend you put the nest box in until day 27 or the rabbit might decide it is a litter box and not a nest box.

I am getting excited. Although I was pretty sure she was pregnant from her behavior, palpating the abdomen, and her rounded belly, nest making proves it. I won't be such a nervous breeder next time, but since this is my first time I was worried it wouldn't take or something.

While my cat had kittens once when I was a child, we didn't see them until they were about 3 weeks old. I will be able to see the kits the day they are born or the next morning if they are born at night. It should be an interesting experience and hopefully nothing will go wrong.

EF Deposit

May 2nd, 2013 at 10:31 pm

$3496.32 Starting amount
+__10.00 Amount Added
-----------
$3506.32 Ending Amount

It all adds up. Found another dime today. This makes six. Why are people throwing their dimes away?

Emergency Fund, Monthly Goals, and Whining About Standardized Testing

May 2nd, 2013 at 05:17 am

Okay, so yesterday I deposited $50.25 to the EF, and then today I shifted a bit of money around and deposited $29.24, and I also got my interest from Capitol One 360 of $2.03 today. This brings the new amount in the [/b]Emergency Fund[/b] to $3496.32. My goal for May is $3685. So I have $188.68 to go.

Tomorrow will be the regular ten dollar auto deposit and Friday I will put in $100. Since there are 5 Thursdays this month, I will have four more $10 deposits. So that is $150 and that leaves me with $38.68 to scrape up this month. That should be doable. I might even be able to hit $3700, but we'll see how things go this month. It's only an extra $15, but you never now how things will be towards the end of the month.

I would really like to get the mortgage under $12K this month. I should be able to do that, barely, since I will make a payment on the 3rd and then a payment on the 31st. The 31st will be June's payment, but it's still a psychological hit to know that in theory I'll be under $12K by month's end.

I picked up a piece of salmon today on impulse when I was getting milk, so I will be inserting it into the menu plan tomorrow and bumping the stir-fry to next week since I forgot to buy broccoli and cauliflower anyway. I'll pick some up on Saturday so we can have it as planned with Sunday dinner and then the leftovers can go into the stir-fry on Monday.

Today is the 3rd day I have stuck to my meal plan and avoided eating out or takeaway. Four days to go. I might make it a two week challenge. My stomach has stopped hurting with the end of the non-homecooked meals. It always does. I don't know why I do that to myself.

We have MSP testing starting on Monday. Rolleyes I really wish we didn't have to do it. It's not even in our city and it's at nine in the morning. Which means getting DS up before DD goes to school, which DD hates because she is low energy in the morning and DS is bouncing off the walls energy. I don't particularly appreciate having him up at seven, either. Low energy Mama that early in the morning.

And I know that despite his energy, DS will not test well in the morning. Freaking standardized state tests. He'd have to do it in public school, too. I just find it to be a useless waste of time. As I did when I was a kid and had to waste my own time on the Iowa test.

Well, it is 7nth grade. That is one of the banner years, like 10nth grade. But all those tests do is measure how well a kid takes a test. And when you've got an auditory and kinesthetic learner, a written test is the absolute worst judge anyway. He always gets above average though, so I guess I should just quit my griping and deal with it. Except driving to another town 4 days in a row is not my idea of a great way to spend my time, especially since there is no waiting area for the parents and the public library doesn't open until ten. Fortunately I will only have to do it on Tuesday. DH will do it on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I'm just glad he'll be home for most of it.


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