I set a goal for myself for the month of October of getting the Emergency Fund to $7510. Today's weekly auto deposit of $10 from savings put me over that range.
$7508.61 Beginning EF Amount
+__10.00 Amount Added
$7518.61 New EF Amount
My goals for November are twofold. One is to get the EF to $7565.91, which is the one month's expenses milestone, which I am pretty darn close to.
And because I need a higher goal to shoot for during the month of November than $47.30, my primary goal for the month is to get the EF to $7720. That will be a total of $203.39, $140 of which will be provided by the 4 $10 weekly deposits of the month, and my usual $100 monthly transfer to the EF, and leaving me to come up with $61.39 from other areas of the budget.
Archive for October, 2013
I set a goal for myself for the month of October of getting the Emergency Fund to $7510. Today's weekly auto deposit of $10 from savings put me over that range.
I have a doctor's appointment for tomorrow to find out if that is what it is. It could just be a sinus infection gone really wrong. Hopefully it has not gone into walking pneumonia.
I wrote a really cranky post this morning, but deleted it. It was mostly about giant ads being obtrusive on websites *cough* SA *cough* lately. And also a top ten reasons why I hate top ten articles or lists in general. Yes, the irony of that is not lost on me.
There is not too much going on in the financial area for me. Spent $53 on prescriptions on Monday and $41 on takeaway.
We are force nursing one of the rabbit kits which takes up a lot of time. Basically you hold the doe rabbit confined and put the kit on her to nurse. He was not thriving and was starving. He is doing better now, but is still half the size of his siblings. I think he will do okay now that he has learned how to nurse.
I think the sucking reflex was not very strong in him, but that has improved. We are doing it twice a day and will likely do so for another week. He is starting to fill out and is gaining strength. He was kind of grey when we found him on day 3 and 1/4 the size of his siblings, but now is a healthy pink and white and his fur has started to get shiny. I've weighed him a couple times to make sure he is gaining. He is. His legs finally started filling out. Now I think he is going to make it.
We tried to bottle feed so we could monitor intake and because Piper really doesn't like being held in place, and he would have none of it, but he is happy to nurse. He's nine days old now and I think the worst of it is behind him. It has still been very stressful for me worrying though and I've had to spend too much time out in the cold, which is making the bronchitis or whatever worse. Not much I can do about that. It takes two people, one to hold Piper and one to hold the kit in place.
Hopefully the doctor will give me some medicine tomorrow that can kick this to the curb. What I really need is cough medicine, hopefully the good stuff with hydrocodone in it, so I won't be up all night coughing my lungs up.
We went down to the ranch today to buy our meat for the next six weeks, plus 5 beef chuck roasts and 6 pounds of hamburger extra to can this week. We paid $380. The usual amount for six weeks or so worth of meat is $300. We took $400 down to allow for the extra. $400 is half our grocery budget for the month. I will use the leftover $20 to buy some chicken legs from Trader Joe's.
We also spent $35 on Arby's because we had some coupons and we were pooped after cleaning out the rabbit shed and scrubbing cages today. No one wanted to cook. Wow, that is getting up there in price. I remember when a family of four could eat there for $20. It's not been that long ago, either.
Our house had its first showing today. I doubt anything will come of it, but you never know. It would be lovely if it did, but I know how long it can sometimes take for homes to sell and I'm not counting my chickens before they are hatched. I refuse to get my hopes up.
Tomorrow is slaughter day for six of the rabbits. I never look forward to that day, but I do look forward to having another 17 pounds or so of meat in the canning jars or the freezer this week.
Nephew-in-law also dropped off some fish that he caught today. He likes to fish, but doesn't like to eat the fish. That's a win-win situation for this household.
I am still fighting this flu bug. I have more energy than I did, but will be glad when I am all the way back to normal. If I get to be before the next cold hits.
Today is payday. I paid a few bills and set aside some extra money for the farm so we can purchase some extra beef to can this weekend.
Otherwise the way the money went today was:
$1000.00 Loan Payback to Mom
__400.00 Utilities to Mom
___90.00 Physical Therapy
__400.00 Beef Money
__100.00 Cash for Week
__144.00 Water/Sewer Old House
___53.82 Medical (DD ER Trip)
___82.30 Propane Old House
__424.49 Property Tax Old House
__500.00 January Money Fund
$3934.61 Total Money Out
The January Money Fund is now at $1275.25. The budget is running smoothly.
Today is the weekly auto transfer of $10 to savings. I moved it to the Emergency Fund.
$7498.61 Beginning EF Amount
+__10.00 Amount Added
$7508.61 Ending EF Amount
I have $1.39 to go to meet my October goal of $7510.
After trying to fend off a cold for weeks, I am down. I am just exhausted even after sleeping for 12 hours. Well, there was a break in there to get up and feed the rabbits and let out the chickens and call my daughter in sick to school. But then I went back to sleep. I think it might be the flu. Everything aches, I have a headache, constant post nasal drip, coughing, and bad headache. I was doing okay yesterday, did all that canning and everything, but I feel like a truck ran me over today.
Both kids are sick, too, but they have a stomach virus. One kid is puking and the other kid has the other end of the issue. I do not want either of those things. I had a stomach virus in September and really don't want to go through that again anytime soon. I do have an appetite, though it is small. So far today I have eaten a can of soup. Neither kid is eating much of anything.
Today is a no spend day because of not feeling good enough to go anywhere. I also cleaned out my purse and added $1.76 to the coin jar.
I was able to count kits last night. Sweetie Belle had nine and Piper had seven, 16 altogether. That brings the rabbit population in our rabbitry to 44. The mother's are both doing well with their kits.
So far there are no freezes in the night time forecasts. Hopefully it will stay that way for a while. I am worried about water bottles freezing over night. I may end up putting a small heater out there at night to keep that from happening. Or possibly I can insulate the water bottles. They have that thick foam that goes over pipes. I wonder if they have some big enough to go around a 3 inch diameter water bottle? Hmm...I'll have to investigate that.
So last night I bought a whole salmon, 5 1/2 pounds, and today I cut it up and canned it. Surprisingly it only makes 6 pints of canned fish. I will know for next time to buy twice as much fish so I can do a full canner load. The salmon was wild caught coho on sale for $6.99 a pound, so it came out to $38 and some odd cents. It will definitely be cheaper for us to catch our own fish in the future, but for now we'll have some easy to eat salmon for one of those days I do not want to cook.
I also bought a 25 pound bag of organic carrots for $22 at the food co-op. It made 19 quart jars and there was enough peels and tips and ends cut off to feed to the rabbits for about 3 days. Of course I can't feed them carrots every day because of high sugar content, but I can give them some every other day. I am keeping the scraps in water to prevent them drying out.
My back and shoulders are killing me, though. It takes a lot of work to peel and cut up 25 pounds of carrots. It'll be worth it though when we have the makings for quick crockpot stew this winter.
Sweetie Belle had her first litter of kits yesterday late afternoon. I don't know how many yet as she was adamant about me not going into her cage even when I bribed her with a piece of purple kale. She just snatched the kale and then shoved the door shut with her nose. I will do it this afternoon and make sure they are all healthy. She actually gave birth in the nesting box which is a rarity for first time mothers, but I guess she thought it was the best place.
Piper gave birth to her fifth litter this morning. Not in the nesting box, surprisingly. I will also count and check on the health of her babies this afternoon. Judging from the size of the pile of fur this is not a small litter of six kits. Maybe she felt the nesting box was not large enough.
So we've gone from a rabbit population of 28 to who knows how many. Could be over 40. Six are due for slaughter soon, but not for another week at least. And we'll start weaning Lola's litter on Thursday and move them to the one empty grow out cage. By the time they are ready to be split up the other six will have gone to freezer camp. Or pressure canner camp. Either way we'll have a whole lot more meat put up for the winter.
Today is payday and here is an accounting of what was paid or put into savings.
$1500.00 Bank of America VISA
__100.00 Emergency Fund
___19.00 HoA Dues (Old House)
__100.00 College Fund
__100.00 Christmas Fund
__100.00 Moving Fund
__100.00 Appliance Fund
__100.00 Canning Jars* and Rabbit Supplies**
__100.00 Cash for the Week
$2284.00 Total Money Out
*2 cases of quart jars and 1 case of pint jars
**Water bottles, a hay tunnel, and a bottle of Vetrimycin eye wash ($27, ouch)
I also spent $50 on gas yesterday. I will be buying a 25 pounds of organic carrots to can and a whole salmon to can.
Left to pay for the month of October is the water/sewer bill, half of which has been set aside already, and the property tax for the half year, all of which has been set aside except $25 and the propane bill, which is $80. Those will be paid next Friday. I will also pay the mortgage then instead of waiting until the first and will also put $500 into the January Money Fund. All the rest of next payday's money is allocated for November bills.
Today is the first payday of the cycle, so I sent $100 to Emergency Fund at C1-360.
$7398.61 Beginning EF Amount
+_100.00 Monthly EF Deposit
$7498.61 New EF Amount
I am $11.39 away from making my October goal of $7510.
I had $5.61 left in cash from the last paycheck. I added it to the coin jar.
I have also made the decision to continue to fund my funds for now instead of diverting them to January money. Instead of making extra large principal payments on the mortgage, I will save $500 of that for January money and then go back to making the extra large payments in February. I will still be making a payment big enough to pay off $500 in principal each month, just not $1000.
And come January I can always dip into other funds if necessary, particularly the vacation fund or the appliance fund. But I don't think it will be necessary, since we are getting more money each month through year's end due to having hit the amount for the year of that one tax they can take out. With this plan, I should be able to put $500 a month into the January Money Fund, which will bring the total there to $2203.25. I should also be able to scrape up another $1300 between now and year's end. That should be plenty to take care of the unpaid time off.
Today is the day of the auto deposit of $10 to savings. I transferred it to the Emergency Fund.
$7388.61 Beginning EF Balance
+__10.00 Amount Added
$7388.61 Ending EF Balance
$111.39 to go to hit my October goal of $7510. Since there are two more Thursdays this month and I will be making my $100 monthly deposit tomorrow, I don't foresee anything getting in the way of reaching my goal.
I haven't written much the past couple of days, because every time I've started a post it has been so whiney and complainy that I thought better of it. I've got a cold which is halfway between exhaustion and misery. If it were complete misery I'd just stay in bed and not do anything other than rabbit care, but it's not. It's just enough to make me grumpy and tired and wish I could breathe better, but not enough to keep me from doing things like laundry or dishes or canning the last of the apples into applesauce.
I am trying to take it somewhat easy, but I do have to breed two pairs of rabbits today. I have two litters due on Monday. If each doe has at least six kits we will have a population of 40 rabbits. Six are due to be processed in about a week and a half, though.
There hasn't been anything to do financially and won't be until payday on Friday. I will then have bills to pay and I need to buy canning jars as well so we can put up the next batch of rabbits and make some more rabbit broth to can as well. It is so good. It tastes way better than chicken soup. I can't even believe how much better.
Paydays will be different now that DH is going up on Tuesdays and coming home on Wednesdays. We'll be moving to a 5 day check, a 7 day check, a 3 day check, and no check cycle, instead of a 6 day, 7 day, 3 day check, and no check cycle. It will still be the same amount of money, just assigned to different weeks. I'll need to adjust my budget accordingly, but the stuff that will be adjusted is all short term savings stuff that can come out of any paycheck and not bills.
DH says he will be bringing home a couple days worth of work. That should at least pay for one of the extra tickets he bought. He bought 3 so he could get the Thanksgiving and Christmas time trips taken care of before they doubled or tripled in price.
DH says there is a possibility of raises next year when the new contract is negotiated. I hope so. Insurance and taxes both went up this year, to the tune of about $800 less in the month than last year. And insurance will likely go up again right before the Affordable Care Act comes into play. We've been managing well, but only because we paid off all that credit card debt. Plane tickets were also about $100 more each month, so that's about $1200 more we weren't spending in 2012, also.
We are still managing to save for both the long-term (Emergency Fund, Hawaii 2018 Fund) and the short-term (Christmas Fund, College Fund, Computer Fund, etc.), but it would be easier if college weren't looming in the fall. The community college is still $7000 a year between tuition and books, and this is with DD living at home. WWU would be $10,000 a year, but I'm not sure she has the GPA to get in there.
Her grades are screwed because of how sick she has been and she had too many absences, so unless she aces the ACT or the SAT it's likely community college for her to get her grades up. She is smart enough to do well, and she is a good test taker. At least in college she won't have classes every day and can have some down time to recover if she gets sick.
Hopefully she can get a job this coming summer. The fast food places and some of the diners are hiring again and DH and I still have an in with the owner of the restaurant we worked at when we were in college, so we can probably pull a few strings if needed. We would have done it last summer, but no one was hiring then and DD was focused on volunteering. She has no work experience at all, so strings will likely need to be pulled.
DH told me he will have four unpaid weeks off at Christmas, so I really need to start shoveling money over to the January Fund. Which means most of the short-term savings will stop for now, except the property tax fund, the moving fund, and the dues fund. Those must go on. But I can put a hold on the computer fund, the Christmas fund, the appliance fund, and the college fund for Oct/Nov/Dec, which will be $1500 to add to the January Fund. Plus the $100 a month I was already saving.
I know that he will get a bonus at Christmas, but I don't know how much it will be. It's never been less than 5% of yearly income, but we want to save that money for college, not use it to live on.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Meatball sandwiches on homemade bread
Baked potato soup
Toasted ham and cheese sandwiches on homemade bread
Homemade pizza with ham, sausage, onions, and bell pepper strips
Beef chuck pot roast
Drop biscuits with choice of homemade jams
Mashed potatoes and gravy
I didn't make it to the CU where I keep the safety net portion of my Emergency Fund to deposit money yesterday, but made it today. I also got the statement for the quarter yesterday and earned a whopping 54 cents in that account.
$7335.51 Beginning EF Amount
___52.56 Coin Jar Savings Added
_____.54 Interest Added
$7388.61 New EF Amount
$121.39 to go to hit my October goal of $7510.
I also finally got that account set up so I can access it online. And I added that account to my online C1-360 account so I can now transfer money from the safety net to the main EF. Since the original plan was to only have $1000 in the safety net account I've got quite a bit I can transfer. They will make test deposits in a couple of business days, which with the holiday Monday likely means on Wednesday.
I can also now wet up this CU account to receive paypal deposits. DH already has our main account hooked up to the allotted number of email accounts. Now I can have my own paypal hooked up to an account. This last month I did the 5 $5 gift cards from Amazon and then the $25 gift card instead of getting a $25 cash check just because I couldn't hook up my email to our main account and I didn't have the routing information on the other bank.
This month after I get the 5 Amazon cards, I will go for the $25 cash. Then I can get it dumped into the CU account and from there grab it from the C1-360 account. It's a few extra steps, but I don't have a checking account with C1-360, just savings, and at least when I first set it up when it was ING, you couldn't paypal to a savings account. Now I just need to go set up the paypal account with my email and then set it up with the safety net CU checking account. As long as I can get the money to where I want it to go eventually, then I'm happy.
Today is the day of the $10 deposit to savings, so I transferred that to the EF.
$7325.51 Beginning EF Amount
+__10.00 Amount Added
$7325.41 Ending EF Amount
I'll also be depositing my coin jar money later today and I will be even closer to hitting my October goal of $7510 in the EF by the end of the month.
Some more photos of the house remodel.
Master Bedroom windows:
Master Bedroom Closet and Door looking out towards living room:
We chose not to put new doors on the closet as they were originally those atrocious double door sliding ones that constantly jump the tracks. That spot on the back wall isn't actually there. It was on the camera lens.
Master Bathroom Sinks:
Cabinets were refinished, new countertops went on top of vanity to match the new ones in the kitchen, the frames around the mirrors were refinished, the lighting fixtures are new, and the bathroom was texturized and painted yellow (not my first choice of color, but it was free paint as the contractor had it left over from another job).
Master Bathroom 2:
New tub and surround, new fixtures, new ceiling light, new bathroom fan, new high pressure/low water use toilet with options for flushing solids or liquids.
There is a bank of cabinets in the bathroom, similar to ones in the kitchen but in sorting through the photos no one got a shot of it. They were refinished as well.
Play structure was removed due to rot and grass has been reseeded, but has not finished growing back in.
Removed rotting wooden carport that was attached to shed. Put on new roof. New paint. The white board at the bottom and the skirting was added. The white doorframe around the outer doorway is new.
Removed the fifteen-year-old raised beds due to rotting wood, removed the picket fence surrounding the garden for same reason. Space is 20' x 45', rototilled and ready to be planted come spring.
After all the annoyance and grief of the last year over getting the house in shape to sell, it is really beautiful now that it is finished. The listing went up today and I am now beginning that long game of waiting for the next uncertainty to become a certainty. To distract myself from going completely crazy, I thought I'd share some photos, but so as not to tank anyone's ability for a page to load, thought I'd do a few photos a day until they are done.
I chose the kitchen to start with. I do not have before photos. Before was boring anyway.
Looking towards dining room/bonus room:
New sink and new countertops:
Refinished cabinets, stove, dishwasher, sink:
Additional Cabinet Storage and Fridge Alcove:
Flooring is new as is the crown molding, texturized walls, and paint.
This kitchen was a dream to work in, but not anywhere near as nice as it is now. I am slightly jealous I will never get to use it.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Toasted turkey and provolone sandwiches on rosemary bread
Chicken and veggie stir-fry
Home canned rabbit
Microwave baked potatoes
Baked potato soup
Homemade pizza with ham, onion, bell pepper strips and pepperoni
Beef pot roast
Roasted potatoes and carrots
Wow, I can't believe we have finally gotten to this point. It has been so long. The meeting with the realtor went well. It is actually a husband/wife team who will be selling the house. There was a lot more paperwork involved than I thought there would be, but they were very thorough and explained everything well. They showed us the research they had gone through and what had led them to the price they had arrived at.
It is interesting to note that our house is somewhat of a rarity out there, since it is a four bedroom/2 bath home. There were no comparable four bedroom homes. Almost every house out there that has sold in the last several years has been a three bedroom/2 bath home. I remember that when we were looking to buy four bedrooms out there how hard it was to find one, actually. If it was a four bedroom it was on 5 acres, instead of something close to the .39 acres we own.
But they more or less figured out things based on lot size, square footage, condition of the home, comparable valuation of a house on the wrong sized lot, or a right sized lot with a different valued home, added the correct sized home to the correct sized lot, etc. They showed us all the calculations that went into it. I was impressed with how much work they had done. They will be scheduling an open house soon. Possibly as soon as next weekend.
There have been a couple of houses out there that sold really fast. One in 4 days and one in 10 days so I am crossing my fingers that ours will go quickly. I know we could be in for the long haul, but it would be so nice if we were not. Realtor said it was all about being priced appropriately and showed us a house that was 3 bed with similar footage and yard size, but not nearly as nice on the inside. It was overpriced, he thought, by $35,000. It has been on the market for 425 days. So...yeah. The right price is important.
This kind of feels like a crazy time to put a house on the market. Federal employees certainly won't be looking for homes any time soon. Anyone who needs a federal loan won't be either. But hopefully there are folks out there that are in a good place financially and can get a normal loan and will fall in love with our place and it will move. I will keep my fingers crossed. Well, not the broken one, but the other nine.
We're meeting with the realtor today to set the final price on the house and officially sign the 3 month contract to have him as our realtor. Then we can get the sign up and the photos on the web. I am really looking forward to that. It feels like we're finally taking another step forward towards getting our freedom back.
I just hope that someone will want to buy it and will have the financing in place for it, and won't need a government loan or VA loan. So far the government shut down hasn't affected me on a personal level, but I can see it doing so if this continues.
I can also see it being a problem later on if we need to get a USDA farm loan. I think we can buy a farm without one, but having that as an option would be nice.
At this stage of the game, I'm rather proud of myself for having voted neither republican or democrat. At this point independents are probably the only ones who can save this country from the bickering and pettiness going on.
The $10 auto deposit went to savings today. I transferred it as always to the EF.
$7315.51 Beginning EF
+__10.00 Amount Added
$7525.51 New EF Amonunt
$184.49 to go to meet my October goal of $7510.
This week has been ridiculous with expenses coming out of the school. DD came home with an order form for cap and gown for graduation on Monday, saying something about an $80 deposit that had to be in the next day and that the total would be $226. I kind of went through the roof (not at her or anything), but $226 for a flimsy robe and cardboard hat? Umm, yeah, no.
Fortunately on further investigation, the $226 packet included a whole bunch of crap that had nothing whatsoever to do with what was required. Things like graduation t-shirt, graduation hoody, graduation key chain, 50 announcements with two sets of envelopes, tissues, name cards, and class ring. They were selling it as a package. Um, yeah, no.
In the very back of the order packet, was a different order sheet and on it, you could buy the actual necessities for graduation, which were the cap/gown/tassel/stole for $53.50. And you could order just 25 announcements with just one set of envelopes. No need for inner and outer envelopes, special inner and outer seals, tissues, return address labels, etc. 25 announcements and envelopes was $30. Still way too much, and we don't need 25 announcements, we only need 15, but that was the least I could go.
So a total of $83.50 plus $8.95 handling fee and 7.8% sales tax, ended up with us paying $99.66, although I'm not sure if it was actually legal for them to tax the handling fee. Still $99.66 beats $226 by a mile and we saved $126.34 just because I thoroughly read through the packet. I wonder how many parents don't? I charged it to the AMEX and will pay it off on payday.
School needs to give more than 1 day's notice though. And then yesterday DD comes home with a class t-shirt order form that was due, guess when, today. I have gotten her a class t-shirt every year of high school, so I managed to eek out the $14.50 for that, as well, from the $48 left in checking until Friday. I don't mind buying these things, I just want a week's notice so I can put it in the budget, you know?
I've also come to the conclusion that the ASB needs to change its name to BYD for bleed you dry as that is what they seem to try to do in the beginning of the school year.
Most of the time I only manage to get $25 in gift cards to Amazon from my Swagbucks stuff, but I had a little more time to waste in September since DS is actually doing most of his homeschooling without my input. So I managed to get $50 in gift cards this month.
And I hit the daily goal every day, so will get a bonus for that on top of the daily goal bonus here in a day or two. Probably my biggest change is doing their surveys. I didn't even start trying to do surveys until August. I tend to qualify for 3 to 4 of the big ones each week and at least one of the smaller ones.
I had originally planned on using my Amazon gift cards for Christmas, but I have been saving cash for that as well and have a good balance. So I am thinking of using my gift cards to buy quail supplies instead. I can get a good book on raising them and an incubator with quail egg inserts from Amazon.
I can make the brooder out of a cattle watering tub and a plywood board we already have with a spot cut out for the heat lamp to go through. They would live in the garage. We have the feeders from raising chicks and all I'd need is to get some marbles to put in the chick waterers we have. The marbles prevent the baby quail from climbing in and drowning.
The quail stay in the brooder until they are five weeks old. We'd have to build a pen for them to finish growing out in. We will be raising coturnix and they start laying eggs at 7 weeks old and are fully mature at 8 weeks old. We will then choose three males and 9 females. We will set them up in the outdoor rabbit hutches as breeding quartets for eggs. The rest we will butcher for meat. Incubation of eggs only takes 17 days. I'd like to eventually have 6 males with 18 females for breeding and eggs, but space constraints make that impossible before we move.
I canned my first batch of rabbit meat. I've never canned meat before. I ended up with six quart jars of meat. I didn't can the ribcage sections. Instead I used them to make stock and canned it, too. You can read about that on the farm blog if you like: http://whendidthisbecomeafarm.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/first... It is nice to have some canned meat. I am always afraid the freezer will go out in a power failure. They rarely happen here, but they used to happen all the time at the old house.
Speaking of the old house, we are meeting with a realtor there tomorrow. Can't believe we finally get to move forward on getting it on the market.
My monthly interest for my C1-360 savings account showed up today. $5.51. I added it to the Emergency Fund.
$7310.00 Old EF Amount
+___5.51 Interest Added
$7315.51 New EF Amount
$194.49 to go to hit my October goal.