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Archive for April, 2016

House Hunting--Sort Of

April 28th, 2016 at 02:10 am

We looked at a couple of houses today, both old farmhouses. One we really liked the property, but the house, while good in overall square footage, was not so good in the usability of the footage. The one downstairs bedroom was too small to hold both our bed and dresser and the closet was pretty makeshift.

And one side of the upstairs was a foot higher than the other end, so a very noticeable slope. It also had two cracked windows, some bad siding (holes, or half missing pieces), what looked like a giant rust stain, and a roof that was only partially new and the rest looked bad. The shop smelled like mold.

It had cherry trees, apple trees, plum trees, and walnut trees, plus blackberries, and plenty of cleared land, really just what I want in land. Just that house was a major no-go. Doesn't matter how perfect the land is if the house is not good. There's always a reason why a house sits on the market that long.

The second house we looked at needs a new roof, new paint, has no hood for the gas stove in the kitchen, and I think the wood stove was installed without a permit, since there is no tile or heat shield under it or behind it. It is up on legs, but I think it still has to have the tile and heat shield. Which would be easy enough to do. Otherwise we really like the house. It was a craftsman and was spacious, the stairway to the second floor was wide and had a good banister on one side and a hand rail on the other. The downstairs bathroom had a handicap accessible shower and had an extra long bathtub with jets.

The land was really nice and next to the river. While it is legally in the flood zone, it hasn't flooded in that area in 150 years. It will flood half a mile away, so we might not be able to get out once in a while, but it doesn't get to the property. So if we did decide on it, we would have to still carry flood insurance. Two of the outbuildings are falling down and would have to come down eventually. The paddock and horse shelter is overgrown with blackberry brambles and would require a machete to be cleared and then who knows what it would take to get the roots out.

But there is a lot of cleared land. 3 acres of it are rented for another year and in potatoes. Unfortunately they use pesticide. Plenty of it is not in use, though, and not been sprayed. It's 6.9 acres, so we could work around it.

Still, there are a lot of other houses to look at. And we are only getting a jump at looking, since the contract announcement isn't made until the end of the week. But if we did find something that was actually perfect, we'd be able to jump on it if the contract goes to DH's company. Or it could be a couple months of looking. Who knows? I won't pick something I don't think we can handle.

Farm Sales to the EF

April 23rd, 2016 at 04:21 am

We had some sales so I was able to add even more to the Emergency Fund today.

$19,591.92 Starting Balance
+__,_88.00 Farm sales and Coin Jar
------------------
$19,679.92 New Balance

$320.08 to go to hit $20K. So, so close.

Huge Deposit to the Emergency Fund--OT Pay

April 22nd, 2016 at 05:38 pm

$17,591.92 Starting Balance
+_2,000.00 Overtime Money Deposited
------------------
$19,591.92 New Balance

$408.08 left to hit my milestone goal of $20K. I don't know if I will hit it before I have to give my mother the $10K lump sum. It would be nice if I could just for the sake of doing it. But if not I'll have the new goal of getting it to $10K.

One More Week of Limbo

April 21st, 2016 at 07:56 pm

So apparently the contract has been awarded, but we won't know for another week yet to exactly who. I'm like ?????????? I guess all the t's still need to be crossed and the i's still need to be dotted. But that does mean we really should know by the end of next week. One more week of limbo.

If it does get renewed by DH's company, I have found what I think is THE HOUSE. We are ready to move on it the minute we know if his job is secure. If you all pray, please, please pray that his company got the contract.

Emergency Fund Update

April 21st, 2016 at 07:40 pm

$17,392.32 Starting Balance
+__,199.60 Medical Check Refund
----------------
$17,591.92 New Balance

The first of the medical checks for things that got caught up in the time period where the deductible was met, but it hadn't fully processed, came. I put it in the EF.

$408.08 to go to hit my next mini-goal of $18K. I may have more to add today still. I have someone coming to buy 2 rabbit hutches for $45. And I possibly have someone coming to buy 3 hens for $25. But I don't know if it will all get sorted before it is too late to put the money in the credit union.

Emergency Fund Update

April 19th, 2016 at 06:26 pm

$17,127.32 Starting Balance
+__,265.00 Deposit Added
------------------
$17,392.32 New Balance

It may be a month or two before my mom needs the $10,000 out of my Emergency Fund, so I am just going to keep adding to the total and won't worry about adjusting it downwards until the time comes. When it all washes out though, my new goal for the year will be to have the thing at $10K instead of $20K.

Farm Down Payment Fund Update

April 19th, 2016 at 06:21 pm

$41,500.00 Starting Balance
+_1,000.00 Deposit Added
--------------
$42,500.00 New Balance

Best Laid Plans and a Money Gift Limit Question

April 17th, 2016 at 08:05 pm

Sometimes I don't know why I bother planning for anything. Life just throws curve balls and then everything changes.

My mom needs money for major house repairs and since we still owe her $43,000.00 and she's given us a 0% interest rate all these years, I don't really feel like I should say no to the request, nor do I want to. We do have the money and the need is real. So we will be paying a lump sum of $10,000 to her this month on our loan, plus the usual $1000 monthly payment.

We have made the decision to take it out of our Emergency Fund and not out of our Down Payment Fund. In a real world emergency we'd use the DPF after the EF ran out anyway, so we consider it a back up EF for the time being, anyway. It's all semantics.

It feels disheartening, feels like a step backwards in our goals. Yet, it also means we will only have 32 payments left after this month is paid. That is 2 years and 8 months of payments left. Which puts it a lot closer, of course, to being done with.

If I knew what was happening with DH's job, because surprise, surprise, another deadline has gone by with very little progress being made, I'd probably make the decision to give her more. I mean if he got the contract. If the loan to her was reduced or gone, then it would free up a huge amount of money that we could then throw back into saving. But I'm not going to consider that until we know, because we may need that money to live on.

I actually do have enough to pay her off in full, it would just wipe out most of what is in our savings. I'm not sure we could give it all this year taxwise though. With the $12,000 per year we already pay her and the $10,000 lump sum, that'll be $22,000 this year. Isn't that the limit on what can be "given" to someone without it being income? Or can DH and I both "give" her $22,000 a year? Since it is not an official loan, we would be "gifting" it for legal reasons.

Online Payments--Just Venting

April 15th, 2016 at 05:41 pm

You know, the credit card companies want you to pay online. They want paperless billing. They want to not have to deal with humans in person as much as possible. So why do they always insist on doing the upgrades to their online payment systems on Fridays? It's only the day that most Americans have their paychecks deposited and pay their bills.

Either they don't think it through, or they are hoping most people will wait until the last minute to pay it and then get a late fee or a pay by phone fee because they can't actually pay it on time with the system down. My guess is the latter.

My bill isn't due for another week because I never wait until the last minute, but it is annoying as I want to pay it today. So now I have to go down there in person, which fortunately I can do, if I want it done today. I have to pick up something on that side of town today anyway.

What I really don't get is that I was able to pay my BoA VISA just fine from the same portal, but when I tried to pay the BoA Master Card my daughter used at the Con she went to, it is down. I tried to pay it both before and after I paid the VISA, which went through just fine. I suppose it could just be they are working on the MC side of things and not the VISA side of things.

BoA is getting my stink eye for today. I never have this problem with the other credit cards, actually, so maybe it is just them. There is a reason I refer to them as the evil empire.

Medical is a Budget Killer

April 14th, 2016 at 07:08 pm

I've plotted out the money for the rest of this month and it does look like I will be able to put $1500 into the EF from the overtime work, assuming nothing changes. That won't be tomorrow's payday, but the next. A large chunk of tomorrow's payday will go towards paying the credit card. I had to put an unexpected doctor's bill on there so it is higher than usual. A portion of next week's pay will finish paying it off for the month.

I got a second unexpected doctor's bill for my toe surgery. I know the deductible was met, so I'm not sure why it was so high. I mean, it wasn't more complicated than getting a cavity filled. I was out of there within the hour. But my portion is still $355? Maybe the insurance denied part of it or something. I'll investigate a little further. They are supposed to pay 90% after the deductible has been met. I don't think the overall total was anywhere near $3500. He's supposed to be in network. I don't know.

I am tired of medical bills. I've shelled out $2000 just this month and that is without any physical therapy, since my PT has influenza and I have not seen her this month at all. It should get better from here, though, since nothing else big should be coming in for a while. DD did see the doctor at the start of the month, but just for a regular visit so our portion should be quite low.
Although DS is getting a cavity filled next week that won't be charged until some time in May.

I don't know how people with low incomes and high deductibles do it. We struggle to get the medical bills paid and we have a good income. Without the overtime work, though, we'd be having a tough time this month. Without the OT we'd be saving nothing and might even have had to make a choice to dip into the Emergency Fund or carry a balance this month on the credit card. How are people who have no EF and no room on their credit card going to make it in the same circumstance. Oh, wait, I know this one. Not go to the doctor at all.

A New Addition to the Homestead

April 13th, 2016 at 02:23 am

I bought a new breeding buck rabbit today. He cost $30. I am selling some old hutches this week at $30 each, so one of the hutches will pay for the little boy. He is a purebred New Zealand broken black. He is only 12 weeks old, so we have 3 months before he can start doing his duty. My son named him Zander.

I am trying to add a photo. Hopefully this will work.

Well, That Should Help

April 11th, 2016 at 06:23 am

DH told me today that he got confirmed for an extra week of overtime, so that should really help me to stop stressing out over the Emergency Fund. I should be able to get it to $20K by the end of the year easily now, at least if the job continues. He also said that he should know the contract status by the end of the week. We've all heard that before, though. I am not holding my breath that they will not extend it again.

We had a big medical bill come in for my daughter yesterday. I thought we were done with big bills from the sleep doctor, but apparently not. Well, the overtime will cover it. I went ahead and paid it on the credit card, but will pay it off next Friday now that I know the income will be there for it. I would have just used the money allocated to go for the down payment fund if I'd had to. It would have been a bummer to not put money in that fund that month, but better than dipping into the EF.

DH finally got the numbers to me on what his new income will be and it was $97 more than I'd projected, so yay. I'm still resentful of the pay cut, mind you, but the extra almost $100 is going to make it a little easier and less stressful than I thought it would be on the new budget. I'm all for easier and less stressful.

It's My Ten Year Blogoversary!

April 10th, 2016 at 12:38 am

I almost missed it! 7.5 million hits and ten years ago today I started this blog. I was desperate about our debt and had no idea at all how to start saving money for an Emergency Fund. In the past ten years my husband and I have really changed our lives around. We paid off our mortgage in 12 years instead of 15 (then sold the house), paid off our van, paid off all of our credit cards, and now have just the 0% loan to my mother that we are working on.

Blogging about it all has been a sanity saver and you guys have all been so amazing, giving me advice, tough love when I needed it, and hand-holding when I would panic. The support has been amazing. Thank you all for taking this journey with me!

Payday Report and Need to do Something about the Storage Units

April 9th, 2016 at 05:58 pm

I really need to start doing the payday reports again. It keeps me super focused and on top of my spending, which I really need to be. We have had a lot of medical expenses already this month. Some of it we will get reimbursed for when everything is straightened out with our insurance company, but that could still take a month or two to shake out.

$400.00 Utilities
$150.00 Emergency Fund
$_80.82 Internet
$_47.86 Life Insurance DH
$_45.30 Life Insurance Me
$150.00 Laptop
$227.00 Storage (went up again, ouch)
$250.00 Chiropractic Monthly Family Plan
$140.52 Sleep Doctor
$_86.01 ENT Doctor
$369.00 Dentist (getting a partial reimbursement)
$_50.00 Allowances
$100.00 Garden/Household
-------------------------
$2096.51 Total

I have $167 and some change left in the checking account. $90 of that is allocated to physical therapy, but she's cancelled on my 2 weeks running, so that money may get dumped into the EF if I don't hear from her by next Friday.

DH and I are going to start going through our big storage unit when he comes home next time and seeing what we can get rid of/sell/donate. We really need to get down to having just one storage unit. The second one is $120 and it doesn't have too much in it, but the first one is jam packed. If we can free up about 8 square feet we can get everything into one unit and clear up the additional expense.

I know some of it is just stuff we didn't want to deal with when we moved, like boxes of papers, bags of outgrown clothes, little kid toys, and multiple outdated electronics. I know there are at least 3 VCR's and while keeping one to play all the old VHS tapes is fine, we certainly don't need 3. We used to have one for our bedroom, one for the living room, and one for the kid's playroom.

We could probably even sell one bundled with a bunch of old Blue's Clues, Dora the Explorer, Bear in the Big Blue House, and kiddie movie VHS tapes at a garage sale. I mean who really buys VHS tapes anymore, not many folks still have VCR's, but might with a big enough stash of tapes and a player with a working remote. Obviously not for a huge amount of money, but maybe $10 to $15.

And I know we have all the fairy Barbies and their forest, too. Which could go for another small lump sum. Complete Fisher Price Little people set-ups, both original and modern are kicking around. And a huge toddler train layout from Little Lionel, which would go for a bit more. Just a lot of stuff like that. Not that we'd make a fortune or anything at all, but we might be able to get a decent garage sale together for June.

I know that when the time comes to move, I don't want to be hauling a ton of useless stuff to our new home. And I certainly don't want to deal with boxes of old junk mail and statements then, either. Our car has an outlet in it, so we can even shred things right there, pack them into paper sacks, and take them to be recycled, without ever bringing them home.

It'll take a lot of work, but he is going to have 3 weeks off in a row and this is probably the best time to do it, before gardening season gets into full swing.

2016 Goals for the Emergency Fund

April 9th, 2016 at 05:11 pm

I ran the numbers and in order for me to hit my goal of $20,000 in the Emergency Fund by the end of 2016 I need to come up with $1672.68 total beyond the $150 per month that I deposit normally now. That is $209.08 a month extra I'd need to be saving, or a total of $359.08 a month.

With the interest I earn on my savings accounts of $35 or so a month, I can bring the $209.08 down to $174.08 extra each month to scrape up. I'm not sure if that is going to be doable. It would have been before the pay cut, but I don't know otherwise.

If I drop my goal for the year down to $19,000 I would only have to find an additional $84.08 a month, minus the $35 for interest each month, so $49.08. I usually manage to scrape an extra $50 or so together each month between farm sales, the coin jar, and any non-allocated money left at the end of each pay period. So I know I can actually hit the $19,000 goal as long as nothing unforeseen comes up.

I might be able to hit the $20K goal if I am able to sell some rabbits or rabbit meat often enough, but not just from general scrimping and saving.

I think I need to be realistic in having $19K be my goal for 2016, with $20K being more of a stretch goal that I can aim for, but not get discouraged if I can't actually hit that. If DH gets any over time, assuming his job stays stable, we can hit $20K, because then I can grab a $1000 chunk from the OT paycheck for the EF. But that is not something we can depend on.

I know he has one day of overtime coming up, but that is not anything like a full week of it. Still, that one day might help sway the balance towards hitting $20K. Or at least $19,500. I really, really, really want that $20K.

$20K means that we would have 5 months of tight living expenses or 6 months of extremely bare bones living expenses in the bank and from there it would mean we would probably have 6 months of tight living expenses by mid-2017 since part of the tax return would go into it. At which point I could head towards $30K, which would mean 6 months of comfortable living expenses or 7.5 months of tight living expenses or 10 months of bare bones living expenses.

Once I get to $24K I feel like I can start laddering six month CD's and start earning a little bit more interest than I am earning now.

All of that to say, $19K is my reasonable goal and $20K is my hopeful goal for this year.

$17K Hit in the Emergency Fund

April 9th, 2016 at 08:31 am

$16,977.32 Starting Balance
+__,150.00 Monthly Deposit
---------------
$17,127.32 New Balance

So I've hit my second 2016 mini-goal of $17K. My next mini-goal is $18K. I have $872.68 to go for that. And $2,872.68 to go to hit my next milestone goal of $20K.

I've Gotten a Lot Done

April 7th, 2016 at 12:39 am

It has been a very busy week for me here. I have canned 15 pints of rabbit meat, 7 quarts and 4 half pints of rabbit bone broth, 9 pints of leek and potato soup, made two trays of rabbit jerky, dehydrated 3 trays of Thai basil from my Aerogarden and 3 trays of leeks, and am currently steeping dandelion petals for at least 12 hours so I can make and can dandelion jelly tomorrow.

I made the leek and potato soup from scratch in the crockpot, using some leeks that had overwintered in the garden. I had to pull them all up so I could add about a foot of compost and new soil to the bed, so I had to do something with them. I used 3 quarts of canned Yukon gold potatoes in the process. The first quart was pureed with the leeks and then the other 2 quarts were added about an hour from the end so it would have hearty chunks of potatoes as well, so no expense really. We had it for dinner before canning the rest.

As for the jelly, we have the sugar, pectin, and lemon juice in our food storage and the dandelions were free from our no spray yard. The amount of jelly I make here will last for the year and while I will make some strawberry jelly as well in late May or early June just because it is our favorite, I wouldn't actually need to.

I will make some buttermilk biscuits tomorrow and we will have them with the fresh jelly that is left over. It never comes out completely even, there's always about a quarter of a pint left it seems, and there is nothing like jelly made in the morning slathered on hot from the oven biscuits at dinner time.

The eat from the pantry challenge is going well. So far the only purchase I have made this week at the grocery store was for fresh fruit (watermelon, blueberries, and a cantaloupe) and a gallon of milk. I did also pick up some cleaning supplies and Puffs tissues. DD has the flu (the actual flu) and the rest of us have allergies and went through my stockpile pretty hard and fast. I ended up spending $45.47.

I will spend a little bit more on payday. I am going to try my hand at making homemade laundry detergent. I have always held off on making it as I can never find Washing Soda. Well, I found out how you can make regular baking soda into Washing Soda by baking it in the oven at a certain temperature. So all I need to buy is Borax and either Fels Naptha or Zote soap, which Walmart carries. Don't really like going all the way over there, but it'll be worth the trip for the savings on the soap.

And I am going to buy some plant starts for the garden. I did not get my seeds going soon enough so have decided that I will get a few starts. Not a lot though, just some kale and maybe shallots, green onions, and red and yellow keeping onions. Several things I can direct seed into the garden in about 2 more weeks so there is no need to start them inside.

I did get my tomatoes and peppers started today. They are on a plant heat mat on my seed growing stand. We can't plant those until the end of May or beginning of June regardless, so they'll be fine. I started those at the end of March last year and they were ready in time. I'm not worried about it. I had excellent germination using a regular heating pad last year, so I think it'll be just as good with a heat mat actually made to sprout heat loving plants.

Tomorrow I will plant some seeds in the garden. I will put in parsnips, 3 types of carrots, radishes, and snap and snow peas. All of those things can be planted at this time of year. We think we've finally blocked out all the escape routes for the chickens, so the garden should be safe to plant in now. I do need to purchase a new hose nozzle so I can mist the carrots, parsnips, and radishes until they sprout. They can't take full on watering until they've developed a root system.

I have a feeling this will be another excellent gardening and homesteading year.

Emergency Fund, Missing Money Back, and Farm Sales

April 4th, 2016 at 09:23 pm

Last month I found that some money seemed to be missing from one of my savings accounts. I was sure I hadn't made any errors, and my paperwork supported me. I adjusted my numbers accordingly until it could get figured out.

Now that missing money is suddenly back in the account. No explanation and no one seems to know what I am talking about. So I adjusted the EF accordingly again now that it is back. So my new starting total for the EF has changed.

I have made $30 in farm sales so far this month. I sold two flats of strawberry plants for $20 and 2 dozen duck eggs for $10. Not bad. I also received a $12 check from Pinecone. All of that goes to the Emergency Fund. I am so close to $17K now I can taste it.

$16,892.30 Starting Balance
+__,_12.00 Pinecone Check
+__,_30.00 April Farm Sales
+__,_43.00 Leftover March Grocery Money
+__,___.02 CU #2 Interest Income
---------------------
$16,977.32 New Balance

$22.68 to go to hit my second mini-goal of the year of $17,000.

New Credit Card

April 4th, 2016 at 02:24 am

I applied for and was accepted by the AMEX Everyday Blue Cash Card since my AMEX Costco card is expiring soon and they won't exist anymore. It's the first time in years that I have opened a new credit card account I got my husband a card as well as I never did add him to the Costco AMEX card. He could use it at the gas pump regardless, so it didn't seem important.

His VISA miles reward card is just not that good anymore, plus it has a yearly fee, and he was only earning one plane ticket a year for using it. We'll come out ahead using the new AMEX card. He'll still have to use the a VISA card in some places as not everyone accepts AMEX, but not too much.

And I can start putting the groceries on there, too, to be paid off each month, of course. But then I can tell at a glance how much I've spent on groceries without having to add up receipts. It'll just make things a bit easier.

I will have to do the math to see if I get a greater benefit for using the card for gas, or getting the 10 cents off per gallon for using cash.

There is an up front amount for spending so much in the first 3 months, too, which we will easily get just through DH's work travel expenses. It said there was something else for spending on wireless phone. I'm not sure what that one was, but if it is as simple as just charging our monthly Verizon bill on it, then we'd be set, because I planned to do that anyway. I'll read through the paperwork thoroughly when it comes.

I'm not sure if I'm going to get the new Citi card for Costco when it comes out. We pretty much just pay by check there and since I don't buy gas there anymore since I can get it cheaper at Safeway with my grocery points, there isn't really a reason. Although, actually, maybe that would be a good VISA for him to use in place of the miles card since I believe it is the one with 1% cash back when you purchase and 1% cash back when you pay it off. We'll see.

No new news on the contract front, though DH did get his resume to one of the other two companies that are putting in bids. One of the guys there had requested it specifically.

I found out the other company is the one he used to work for way back when we were first married, that is actually based where we live. So he might still know someone from there as well and having a solid work history with that company can only be a benefit if they get the contract. Although it really looks like it will go to his current company or the second company at this point. But as usual, nothing is ever written in stone. Anyway, I'm cautiously less pessimistic at the moment, if one can be such a thing.

Man, I'm Sore

April 3rd, 2016 at 06:49 am

I think I broke myself today. I moved 2 cubic yards of garden soil by myself. It took me 4 hours to do it, and I took a little break between every load because I did not want to stress my body out too much. And now my shoulder and my neck hate me. But all in all, I am actually doing better than I thought I would be. And I know I will sleep hard tonight.

I am mad at the chickens. They keep escaping and they dug up and broke my newly planted kale. I only planted it two days ago. It wouldn't be so bad if they had just dug it up, but they broke off all the leaves in the process. I'm going to have to figure something out to protect the beds if the little monsters are going to keep being such escape artists.

I transplanted about 24 strawberry plants into my gutter garden and then dug up and separated the rest of them, replanting a little over half and potting the rest up to hopefully sell for $10 bucks for a flat of 24. I have one flat of Junebearing and one flat of Everbearing.

My eat from the pantry challenge is going well, but it has only been two days. Dinner last night was spice-rubbed rabbit, fried red potatoes with onions and bell peppers, salad, strawberries, and mixed veggies. Tonight it was spaghetti with Italian sausage, green beans, strawberries, and pull apart garlic herb bread since I had leftover pizza dough from earlier in the week.

I did have to spend some money today. I spent $40.47 buying Claritin D for my son and generic Prilosec for my daughter. Man, Claritin D is expensive. I miss having allergy medicine being paid for by insurance. It used to be $15 for a 30 day supply. Now it is $22 plus tax for a 15 day supply. Prescriptions aren't taxable. OTC meds are. We tried DS on generic, but it didn't work for him. The generic is a lot cheaper, but that doesn't matter if he can't breathe.

I need to start making ice. I am usually lazy and just buy bags of ice, but with the challenge that is not an option. I have lots of ice cube trays so it isn't like I can't do it, just that it is kind of a pain. But the whole goal of the challenge is to stop spending money on convenience items, which honestly eat up a lot of the grocery budget. I just need to remember to actually do it.

We lost another rabbit. Our red buck. After having to put two down a couple of weeks ago, this just was devastating. I didn't know he was that sick or we would have put him down with the other two. He only had one symptom and he seemed to be responding to treatment.

We only have 3 other rabbits that got sick. Coccidia is super contagious, but they are away from the pregnant rabbits, thankfully. One is completely free of symptoms and the other two are getting another round of Corid. Both are eating well and one is gaining back the weight she lost, but has diarrhea. I will have to pick dandelion leaves for her tomorrow and give her blackberry canes as well. Those help with it.

I won't put those rabbits back into the breeding program until they have been free of symptoms for 8 weeks. Even with Persephone, who is better, trying to get her back in too soon may put stress on her that is enough to cause it to reoccur.

So now we don't have any red bucks and no way of breeding more. I'm not ready to bring any new rabbits in, not with the outbreak. Leo is still not well enough to breed does, so Starbuck is the only one on duty right now. We have 4 red does (2 of which are Wildfire's daughters so I still have the line, thankfully) and 2 white ones that are healthy. 2 of the red does are due to kindle this week. We do have a lovely little white buck growing up, but I really don't want another white buck. I want a red one or a broken one or a black one.

Tomorrow I am going to do nothing but the basics. Feed and water the animals. Feed and water the children. Be lazy. I think I got enough done today for the whole weekend. I was going to plant radishes, carrots, and peas, but not until I can keep those rotten chicken escape artists from getting out again.

Life in Limbo

April 2nd, 2016 at 04:29 am

So we were supposed to know yesterday about whether or not DH's company got the contract. Well, we still don't know. Apparently they are taking 2 MORE weeks to decide. Something that should have been decided in January. I am not holding my breath about 2 weeks from now, either. Do they not understand that they are fooling around with people's lives here and their livelihoods?

I am just hoping that DH can get some overtime in. There appears to be the work for it. If he can get in enough OT to get the EF up to $20K, I might (probably not), just might relax a little bit.

I have decided to do an eat from the pantry challenge for the month of April. I want to cut our grocery spending all the way down to $400. If I can, it will go a long way towards easing the pain of the pay cut. I don't need to buy meat at all during this month. I don't need to buy potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, pasta, tomato sauce, rice, or flour, or sugar.

I am allowing myself to buy fresh fruit, milk, and some greens and onions if I run out, but that is all. I will be baking all my bread, rolls, and buns. I've got plenty of food in the freezer and on the canning shelves. My Aerogarden is producing a couple of salads a week. I've got lettuce planted that will hopefully take off by the end of the month. This should be easy. It goes without saying that there will be no eating out.

If I can figure this out and stick to a much stricter grocery budget, and we can get used to not getting everything we want food-wise all the time, then if his pay does go back up, we can save the difference then, too. That would be nice. And if it doesn't, we'll know we can get by on much less.

Interest Income to the Emergency Fund

April 2nd, 2016 at 04:15 am

$16,604.95 Starting Balance
+__,_35.78 C1-360 Interest
+__,__1.27 CU #1 Interest
---------------------
$16,642.01 New Balance

$357.99 to go to hit my next mini-goal of $17K.