<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Home > Category: House Mortgage

Viewing the 'House Mortgage' Category

Pending Mortgage Pre-Approval but Life in Limbo Continues

May 4th, 2016 at 01:25 pm

So we heard from our credit union and have been tentatively pre-qualified for a mortgage. We just have to get them the last two statements from my savings account to prove we have money for closing, the last two tax returns, and the last two W-2's. We had everything except the 2014 tax return, which DH says is at work.

He is on his way back up to Alaska so hopefully he is right, but work can issue him a copy if not, so either way we should be able to send those documents in soon.

But we can't move forward ourselves until the company DH's work has bid on the contract for makes the announcement on who got it. They've known for almost 2 weeks now, but as per usual, they let their announcement deadlines go whizzing past. It is frustrating beyond belief to continue to have to live in limbo.

I am such a planner, especially financially, so not being able to plan seriously screws with my head and my sense of security. It kind of feels like when I have some OCD stuff going on and something prevents me from going through the rituals to calm it down. Like checking my alarm clock four times at night, but I can't because the power is out. It builds up and makes me a little antsy. Only this is bigger than that sort of thing. It's a low level of anxiety that is almost constant and doesn't want to be shoved back down into its hole. And I don't like it.

Goals Met This Year

December 6th, 2014 at 02:28 pm

I've been thinking a lot about what I've accomplished this year and what I want to accomplish next year. The last couple of years have been pretty big for us in paying down debt and this year was, too.

Milestones hit in 2014:

--Paying off the Mortgage

--Hitting the halfway mark on paying off the loan to Mom

--Paying down the van loan far enough that we owe less on it than it is worth

--Hitting $10K on the Emergency Fund. It wasn't there for long, but it was there, and it will be again by the end of this year so I count that as a win.

We have also made great strides towards becoming self-sufficient, though we still have a long way to go. What happened this year:

--Expanding the farm to four types of livestock as well as building the housing for those animals

--Butchering chickens, turkeys, and ducks for our own consumption (joining the rabbits we have been doing previously), so we almost never have to purchase meat (just the occasional beef and pork)

Joining a Bartering and Sales group within the local farm community, within which I have been able to sell rabbit breeding stock, rabbit livers for dog food, duck eggs, and barter for raw goat's milk cheddar and chevre, natural homemade salves, and beef

Found a processing facility that is WSDA approved AND nearby so if we want to move into meat sales next year, we can

Grew a marginally successful organic garden that netted 80 pounds of potatoes, 20 pounds of tomatoes, 8 quarts of green beans, 2 quarts of yellow beans, excessive amounts of lettuce, kale, and leeks, 15 bunches of green onions, enough parsley (still drying) for a year, 12 heads of broccoli, 5 heads of cauliflower, 1 pound of chard 1 dozen kohlrabi, 10 pounds of cucumbers, 30 pounds of zucchini, 35 pounds of sweet meat squash, 5 gallons of blueberries, 10 quarts of raspberries, 3 gallons of blackberries, enough apples for 80 pints of applesauce and 22 quarts of pie apples, and 10 pounds of Italian plums. This provided nicely for us and our animals.

All in all, the year has been a lot more successful than it has felt at times. I think we can be very happy with what we have accomplished.

I'll Get Used to It

June 8th, 2014 at 09:39 am

I had a moment of blind panic yesterday. I was checking the date for something else and I realized I forgot to pay the mortgage this month. It took me a full 30 seconds to remember that I didn't pay it because I had paid off the mortgage and anyway, I would have had until the 15th before it would have been considered a late fee even if I had. But for those 30 seconds I was a little crazy.

I wonder when that will go away? I guess 16 years of paying something became so automatic it is still hard to get used to not having that hanging over our heads. 2 months of being mortgage free is not long enough to have that fully sink in yet.

We Paid Off Our Mortgage!

May 5th, 2014 at 06:11 pm

Today was the day. We officially have a $0.00 balance on our mortgage. And I still have over $9000 in the Emergency Fund. I am really excited about finally having the house paid off. We bought it 16 years ago, so I think we did a pretty good job in getting it paid off early. Now if it will sell, I will be ecstatic.

We have been crazy busy these last two weeks. The last five days were spent building the turkey coop. We got enough done to move them in tomorrow, which is when DH leaves for Alaska. We will do the run when he comes back in two weeks. The turkeys aren't allowed to go outside for 3 more weeks so that will work out.

Here is a vid of the turkey coop being built if you are interested:


The ducks are getting very big and are now 7 weeks old. The turkeys will be 4 weeks old on the 7nth and the chicks will be 6 weeks old on the 8th. They are all growing very fast, too. I'll try to get some photos or vids rendered to put on here in the next couple of days.

Lola died today. Her kits are just 4 weeks old. It's a little early to wean for my comfort, but kits can be weaned at this age, and we have no choice. I am not going to breed from the genetic line anymore. There is a flaw somewhere and it is clearly not recessive in this generation. I don't care what they say about line-breeding being perfectly safe. I'm not doing it period, and I won't buy anymore stock that has been line-bred either.

Andromeda kindled today, but no idea how many are in her litter yet. I wasn't entirely sure she was done giving birth and didn't want to bother her.

Phoebe is due today or tomorrow, but no sign of kits yet.

It has been a day of mixed emotions. So far the good has outweighed the bad. The house is paid for and that frees up a ton of room in the budget and I can't stay sad on a day like that, but I can't be entirely happy either.

Muscial Ducks, Turkeys, Chicks, and the Mortgage

April 28th, 2014 at 08:53 pm


The ducklings are very happy with their new space. I was glad to get them moved in yesterday and boy were they glad to go.

We got the turkey poults and chicks moved into the garage brooder today and they were happy with their new space, too. We modified the brooder to put a perch about 8 inches off the floor. They love it. I think the turkeys are mad though because we have a screen over the top of the brooder and they can't fly out like they were doing out of the bathtub. 2.5 weeks old and they can fly really well. They don't even have all their feather yet, but they have their wing feathers and that's enough.

DH and I worked on fencing. Right now we are just keeping the ducklings locked in their house for a couple days until they realize it is home now, and hopefully we will get the new fencing finished tomorrow and can let them out in their little yard. I say little, but it'll be at least 128 square feet.

This week it feels like we are handing our paycheck directly to the home improvement store. We're not, we're actually taking it from savings, where we put it earlier in the year, but it is still the same feeling. It is worth it though for all the animals. It is fun to raise them, but they sure are work.

Mom's meat chickens got moved into their new coop tonight. It was quite the process and they weren't sure they liked it at first, at least until they found the food and water. I'm sure they'll be happy for the space as they get used to it, though.

I am still debating paying off the mortgage. I just really want it over with. It hit today and the new balance is $4860.40. I had estimated it at $4882.62, so was off by $22.22 in my favor.

If I wiped out all of my funds except the Property Tax Fund, the Dues Fund, and the College Fund, I would have $4293.93 to put on the mortgage. That would leave me with $566.47 to pay it off. I could justify taking that much money out of the Emergency Fund to pay it off. And I could pay it back to the EF within a couple of months. I need to talk to DH about this tonight and see where he stands. I am so ready to be done with this.

This and That

April 9th, 2014 at 11:51 am

I added $9.68 to the coin jar. DH cleaned out his wallet last night before heading back to Alaska and that was all the ones and change that he had, plus 3 quarters from my purse that were knocking around.

After all the building we have done so far this spring, we have decided to put the green house on hold. With the duck house yet to be built and a turkey house next on the agenda, then fixing all the rabbit tractors with new roofs and building a large outdoor hutch with two big grow out cages for the rabbits that we can put in deep shade during the heart of the summer's heat, I just can't see it getting done.

That is okay though. We are planning on a straw bale garden, so it will be an easy set-up. We can put low tunnels over them to keep the birds out of the ones they would love to eat.

There have still been no serious buyers on the house. There are people that want it but don't have any money ready to buy it. I am hoping that now that it is spring and we are heading into summer that there will be someone who actually has money who wants it. It is such a nice house. If it weren't for the location I'm sure it would be long sold.

If it doesn't sell by summer, I think we are going to try to rent it. I know of one person who has said they would rent it for $1000 a month and pay all the utilities. That was the guy who painted the house in exchange for our old car. That way I could at least start paying the handyman back. He did the work based on being paid when it sold and being allowed to use it for his portfolio book, though all materials were paid for at the time. We just owe him on the labor.

If the house ever sells, we are planning on paying off the van with part of the proceeds. That will give us a smaller down payment, but it will free up a lot of money each month.

The mortgage hit and the remaining balance is 5362.82, so after May's payment it will be under $5K. I am so tempted to just pay it off using half the Emergency Fund. I could then use the money I've been putting on the mortgage to get the Emergency Fund back up to $10K. It would be a risk. Everything is these days, but to own the house free and clear means that at least in an Emergency situation no one could take that away from us, evening if it means moving back to the boonies.

I have been thinking about getting a used fridge and washing machine to put in the house, too. I am wondering if that might not be a small issue with some of the people looking to buy. They might want to have it ready to just walk in and live, not have to buy a few big appliances themselves. If they are only looking at the listing and seeing it doesn't have that, it might be enough to keep them from coming out and falling in love with the house. At the very least I think it needs a fridge. I see fridges on Craigslist for $100 quite often and washers from $50 to $150. It would be a small investment to possibly make a big difference.

Payday Report

March 28th, 2014 at 11:23 pm

$323.41 AMEX
_500.00 Mortgage
_100.00 Emergency Fund
__19.00 HoA Dues Fund
__75.65 Internet
__72.00 Water/Sewer Holding Tank
_225.00 Monthly Chiropractic Plan
_100.00 Property Tax Fund
_113.22 Propane Fund
_100.00 Laptop Holding Tank
_100.00 College Fund
_100.00 Vacation Fund
_100.00 Christmas Fund
_100.00 Appliance Fund
_100.00 Moving Fund
_100.00 Aquaponics Fund
_100.00 January Money Fund
_334.60 Dentist
_104.02 Medical
_168.00 Storage
__45.30 Life Insurance DH
__41.88 Life Insurance Me
__69.89 Car Insurance
__47.17 House Insurance
__41.16 Security System (Old House)
$2356.89 Total Money Out

I will be having a car payment coming out of this paycheck, but it isn't due until the 19th so the money is being set aside. I will list it when I pay it.


February 25th, 2014 at 11:57 am

This is way more exciting than watching the credit card go down was. And that was exciting. The mortgage hit and the grand total left to pay it off is $5,836.07. It is so close I can taste it. I mean, in an ideal world the house would sell before it is completely paid for, but part of me really wants to pay it off on our own. Not that I'd say no to a good offer if I got it, though!

Doing Some Math and A Tax Question

February 16th, 2014 at 11:55 am

So this morning I figured out that if I pay $680 a month on the mortgage it will be paid off this year. If I pay $2000 out of our income tax refund and pay $690 a month it will be paid off in October. This is assuming I make a payment March 1 as I don't expect to see the tax refund before the end of March.

We could actually pay off the entire mortgage with our tax refund and still have some left over. (Don't judge the big tax refund. We are getting it because of our HSA being maxed out this year.) Except I want to put $2000 into the college/tuition fund as well as pay $2000 on the mortgage. And put a substantial chunk of it into the Aquaponics Fund.

Does anyone know if a portion of high school tuition is deductible like college tuition is? I know we won't be able to deduct it until next year, but it would be good to know now. My daughter will be enrolling in an online high school to finish her senior year and we'll be paying between $690 and $1445 depending on how many credits transfer. I think 17 will transfer but they won't know until they get her transcript.

Also, can you deduct tuition or college expenses for more than one person or is it a set amount per year regardless of how many people in your family are going?

Mortgage Hit and Good-bye to Sweetie Belle

February 12th, 2014 at 01:01 pm

The mortgage hit, or rather, I finally got around to checking whether the mortgage hit or not. I didn't send as much in this month, half of what I usually send since we're still recovering from the 4 weeks unpaid time off in January, but it's still going down. New balance is $6406.71.

It has been a difficult week here and we lost another animal, Sweetie Belle, one of our breeding doe rabbits died, so I haven't felt like posting or paying attention to finances until now. She had become one of my favorites and it just hurt to see her go from a thriving, beautiful girl to losing 4 pounds in 3 days, which is a lot for a rabbit that only weighed 10 pounds 6 ounces.

We have to make tough choices in farming and paying $145 just to get in the door at the vets before they even do anything for a $25 rabbit is just not going to happen. And they don't know anything about rabbits. These are dog and cat vets. Farm vets don't see small animals, either. Rabbits get caught in the no nothing zone it seems.

I know what was wrong with her and they couldn't have done anything about it. They could have given her intravenous fluids, but she still would have died. It just would have taken longer. We gave her medicine so she wasn't in discomfort and lots of attention. We gave her some parsley to try to entice her appetite, but even that she only ate a bit of.

I gave her water by syringe several times a day. But I knew what I was facing. You still have to try, though. I kept hoping I was wrong, but post mortem examination showed me she had an intestinal blockage. It happens in rabbits. We've had it once before with a kit.

We buried her in a place where the chickens couldn't dig her up and eat her. Even if we could have taken her to the raptor center for the recovering birds of prey (they won't take them if they have been treated with medicine), we wouldn't have. She was a working part of the farm, but she was also like a pet in that she was well loved in the short 10 months she was with us. She would have been one year old next month.

Payday Report

February 1st, 2014 at 04:12 pm

AMEX was higher than usual because of buying the food saver on that card. The MC DH accidentally charged on because he forgot the right card at home. I've restarted my Appliance Fund and my Vacation Fund after wiping them out to buy the new refrigerator. Everything else is business as usual.

I closed out the January budget and started the February one, though very little was marked off the February one, most was finishing up January's short term savings funds. But dollar wise most of it was for February.

$1500.00 to BoA VISA (DH's travel expenses)
__540.00 Mortgage (Old House)
__400.00 to Mom for her Utilities
__350.09 AMEX (in full)
___67.53 BoA MC (in full)
__100.00 College Fund
__100.00 Vacation Fund
__100.00 Moving Fund
__100.00 Christmas Fund
__100.00 Appliance Fund
__225.00 Monthly Chiropractic Plan
__100.00 Cash for Week
___40.00 Allowances
+__90.00 Physical Therapy
$3812.62 Total Money Out


January 1st, 2014 at 01:19 pm

And that, my dears, is how much debt is left to pay off my mortgage. Can't believe I'm under $7K. It feels fantastic.

No one has put an offer on our house yet. People are looking but no one is buying. The holidays are not a good time for it, I know. I just wish it would happen. I know houses can sit for years. I don't want to be one of the people that happens to. And I don't really want to be a landlord either.

I got some nice things from my in-laws for Christmas. I am looking forward to trying the ravioli maker and press. And to using the electric meat grinder. We're going to make rabbit burger this week after the rabbits are finished aging. I'd like to be able to replace our ground beef consumption with it if possible, or at least do a half and half ratio.

What's with the ugly obtrusive ads all over SA? I go offline for a few days and come back to that? Yeesh. It looks awful. One of the things I always liked about this place was how unobtrusive the ads were. Now they are totally in my face. *sighs*

Random Thoughts on the House

December 15th, 2013 at 05:50 pm

I keep thinking about paying off the mortgage. We are so close now at under $8K and I really think it would be a good thing to do, just to have it done with. It would mean one more thing to cross off our list. It would be one less payment we'd be making every month. It would mean between $400 and $1000 (which is where my payments generally are, depending on the month) that could go elsewhere.

I am also thinking about having the water turned off at the house. Because there is no need for it now that it is winter and nothing will need watering out there until summer. We have so many rains in the spring that it isn't necessary. It is $72 a month to keep the water turned on. While the workmen were there it was necessary, but now it isn't. Also, with the water turned off we won't risk the pipes freezing or anything like that.

Another thing I will have DH do the next time we go out there is to turn off the hot water heater. The electric isn't that high out there, but we could cut the bill from $30ish to $15ish by turning off the hot water heater. Between the two things that could give us $87 a month to throw into our down payment fund.

The house has been shown a half dozen times and while it has been in the running for at least two people, it has not been the house picked. I think it is probably priced too high, but I hate to lower the price before it has been on the market for 3 months. When I see houses reduce the price too quickly after coming on the market it always looks like desperation to me.

Our realtors are supposed to be finding out from the ones who showed it what the deal is. If the people looking are finding it too expensive or just don't like the area or don't like the school district. There is nothing we can do about the last two, but we can drop the price if that is the sticking point. I just don't want to have to drop it too much if that isn't even the issue. It could just be as simple as they found something they liked better or that had more land.

I just don't want to end up as one of those people who has the house sit on the market for years. But considering we bought it for $65,000, I don't want to see it drop anywhere close to that, either. We've done too many improvements to the lot and the house that to not get at least $100K for it would feel pretty lousy.

It's set at $129K for now, but I'm not sure that was ever a realistic number. I just thought people would haggle if they didn't like the number. I mean that is what we did when we bought it, we went back and forth several times until we settled on a number between what they wanted and our original offer. Sometimes I think people just don't want to be bothered with bargaining.

Mortgage Now Under $8000

December 1st, 2013 at 01:24 pm

Whoops!I forgot to add this to the payday report, but I also made the mortgage payment and that officially puts us under $8K owed on the house.

I didn't make a very big payment this time, just $400, which is $24 and some change above the actual payment. Just with Christmas coming up and 4 weeks of no pay following the last payday on the 27th of December, I am saving as much as I can. I will make up for it when I know where things stand for sure.

DH said that he might have the option to go back to work early. If he does that would be great. Even though we prepare for this unpaid time off every year, it still is quite a stretch of our dollars.

19 days and counting until the yearly bonuses are sent out. They usually arrive pretty quickly after they are mailed out. I am crossing my fingers for 10%, but expecting 5% or less.

My SIL has some friends interested in buying some rabbit meat from us. DH and I have set the price at $25 a rabbit. It costs $18 to raise one up to slaughtering age with feed costs (no GMO, no soy, no corn feed), hay, and organic produce during the fall and winter. And we want to see some profit for our time and effort. I see chickens go for $30 with that sort of feeding so hopefully she won't balk at that.

Actual Mortgage Balance

September 25th, 2013 at 01:15 am

I had guesstimated on Friday when I paid the mortgage that the balance would be around $8937.89, but it was actually $8931.90. That's $5.99 less, not the $1 or $2 I thought I'd be off by. Nice. Just that much less left to pay the thing off.

The roofer is most likely going out on Thursday at that is the only day it is not supposed to rain this week. If it doesn't rain tomorrow though he will give a call and have Mom meet him out there. I've got too much going on this week between homeschooling, DH coming home, running R around, and having to do a meat rabbit slaughter on the one sunny day we have.

On top of that I start Piper's litter weaning on Thursday as they will be 8 weeks old, so I'll have to figure out who are the two biggest and take them away to start the process. AND Phoebe is due to kindle her second litter on Thursday and with all the going in and out of the rabbit shed I'll be doing, she may not get the privacy she will want. I am anxious if the big first litter will be the norm. Since all the other rabbits seem stuck on six kits, it would be nice if she'd kindle 9 again.

And I found a 13 acre spread that I desperately want to go see because it is absolutely perfect for our farming wants. We would easily be able to expand the rabbitry. We could have our flock of chickens, our ducks, our geese, our quail, pigs, goats, and a guard alpaca or two to free range with the chickens. Not all of once of course, but over time.

I should not even be looking at farms until our house sells and we can't put it on the market until the roof is repaired. That ranch will probably be long gone by the time we are ready to buy. But I fell in love with it just from the photos. And it is in our price range.

Mortgage Update, Payday Post, and More on How Premera Sucks

September 20th, 2013 at 10:02 pm

After making a larger than usual mortgage payment today, we are now under $9K! Estimated balance is $8937.89. It will likely be $1 or $2 less than that when it actually posts. I used last month's interest to calculate it and I paid it 3 days earlier this month so it will definitely be a bit less. Wasn't due until the 1st. I forgot to reorder checks while I was there making the payment, darn it. Got to remember to do that Monday.

I added $4.85 to the coin jar today.

Today is payday. Not a lot of bills went out today, but large amounts of money did.

$1500.00 BoA VISA
_1075.86 Mortgage payment
__100.00 Cash for the Week
___40.00 Allowances
__202.00 Medical
__100.00 Emergency Fund
$3017.86 Total Money Out

I am also setting aside $600 of this paycheck to go towards a medical bill that I won't be able to pay in full until next Friday. It is $923.54 and is the result of my medical insurance (worst) company (in the US) Premera "we suck eggs" Blue Cross trying to get out of paying for, oh, just about anything EVER. Not that I'm ticked off or anything.

And we haven't even got the hospital bill for DD's emergency middle of the night visit at the start of the month yet. I don't even want to think about what that will be. I never thought I'd see the day where I'd actually miss Aetna. Mind you, I only miss them a little bit, but still.

Under $10K

August 24th, 2013 at 12:15 am

It is official. After today's payment, the mortgage is now under $10K. Boo yah!

Today was payday, but other than making a mortgage payment and going grocery shopping, I have not done anything about it. This is because I am still procrastinating rebuilding my spreadsheet. Well, I did make some progress. I loaded Office. Now I just need to build the spreadsheet, which I will do tomorrow since I have nothing else on the agenda, except maybe making more pickles.

I made and canned 6 pints of pickles yesterday:

I put my coin jar money into the Emergency Fund today.

$5912.45 Beginning EF Balance
+__32.50 Amount Added
$5944.95 New EF Balance

I went to the food co-op after the credit union because of locations, so the dividend check from the food co-op of $7.43 was not cashed until I'd already deposited the coin jar money. So that $7.43 is now in the coin jar for my next deposit. I also added $4.40 in change and ones to the coin jar left from my purchases today. I did have a bit left in checking so that will be transferred to the EF when I make the monthly $100 deposit as well. I will hit my $6000 goal without problems.

DH will be bringing work home with him next week. He'll have a week's worth of work to do during his two weeks off, so we'll get an extra paycheck (or two halves of one) next month, on top of the extra one we're getting because of the number of Fridays this month. Some of it will go to the January Money Fund, some to the Laptop Fund, and some to the Emergency Fund.

Payday, Bill Paying, EF Update, and Dyed My Hair

July 26th, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Today was payday. I transferred $100 to the EF and I had $36.50 in my coin jar ready to deposit so did that as well. This brings my EF to $5618.14. My goal for July was to get the EF to $5500, so I exceeded that quite nicely. My goal for August is $5800. I also added $5.54 to the coin jar this evening.

It looks like DH's next shift will be a 3 weeks on/1 week off, so we will definitely get one extra paycheck. DH says there is enough work that he will probably do two 3 and 1's. If that is so, we should be able to pay off the mortgage by the end of September without touching the Emergency Fund. I had forgot about the extra paycheck, of which we can send $3000 to the mortgage.

I made a mortgage payment today leaving us with a new total of $10616.89. Minus $3000 in principal will leave us at $7616.89. There will be the August payment of $700 minus the 52.50 interest, which will put us at 6969.39. Two extra paychecks in August and September will give us $7200. So if that all works out it's gone. I hope it does. I will be so happy if it does. I just want to own it free and clear, so that if it takes a while to sell, at least we are not making payments meanwhile.

Then that will leave just the van loan to start throwing money at. Without the mortgage payment and the extra principal we've been paying each month, we should be able to throw $1500 at the van loan each month.

Okay, on to the accounting of the paycheck:

$1000.00 to Mom Loan
__700.00 to mortgage
___90.00 Physical Therapy
___45.67 House Insurance
___41.16 Security Monitoring (Old House)
__168.00 Storage
___32.70 Life Insurance Me
___39.53 Life Insurance DH
___66.62 Car Insurance
__100.00 Emergency Fund
__100.00 Laptop Fund
__100.00 Freezer Fund
___80.00 Kids
__100.00 Cash for Week

I also spent $200 on groceries and $100 to build up my over the counter medicine stock. I needed to buy Zyrtec, nasal spray, cold medicine, sleeping medicine, and heartburn meds. I also bought two bottles of hair dye.

DD dyed my hair tonight. It takes two bottles because from root to ends it measures two feet long and it is so thick it is ridiculous. So no more gray at all. It's a darker auburn than my own hair which is sort of a brownish, goldish, red with grey streaks at my temples that when I was much younger were naturally ash blonde streaks. I used to say I had chameleon hair because it has so many colors in it.

We used a natural hair dye that my food co-op sells. I haven't colored my hair in a couple of years so it kind of surprised me what a difference it makes. It took forever to rinse out, though. I think I may cut my bangs again. They are already in my eyes. I have gotten quite good at bang trims. I have been debating going in to have it done, but honestly, if it is just a bang trim it seems silly to waste $10.

Extra Weeks

July 24th, 2013 at 01:03 pm

It is looking like DH may be working some extra weeks in the next month or two. If he can get a total of two full weeks extra, that would be an extra $7200. If I dropped the EF down to $2000, that would pay off the mortgage in the next few months. Then our focus would be rebuilding the EF. If he ends up getting 3 extra weeks total that would be enough to pay it off without touching savings. I'm not sure why I have such a strong urge to pay it off, but I do. It's like the closer we get to it, the more I want it gone. It's not a logical feeling at all. Very much a psychological one.

Possible House Buyer (Maybe)

July 23rd, 2013 at 08:46 pm

So one of my neighbors out at the old house has some family in Michigan who are looking to move to our county. He asked if he could video the outside of the house, the yard, and the inside of the house to send to them. We let him and he sent it to them and they really liked what they saw. Proximity to him is key in their decision.

Of course they want to wait until it is finished, which will likely be another couple of weeks or months considering, but it is possible they will want to buy it. Man, if I could avoid the whole putting it on the market process entirely and not have to worry about realtor commission, that would be wonderful. Mom told him we are wanting $150K and they seemed okay with that. Of course I am only wanting $100K, but if they'll pay $150K...

I am not counting any chickens before they are hatched though. Sometimes it seems like things do work out after not working out for a long time. It would be nice, but I'm not holding my breath. If we could actually get $150K we could put down an $80K down payment on a new house, pay for the remodel, and pay off the van.

Part of me is getting anxious about the mortgage and thinking about emptying out savings to pay it down as much as possible. Which is stupid, I know, but the urge is really strong. We could pay off $10,000 by the end of the month if we did. It would leave us with $1300 which I think we could pay off by the end of July if we really, really scrimped, and August for sure. Of course that would leave us with no emergency fund. But it would leave us with no debt but the van loan, too.

And we do have credit cards if a real emergency came up. And I'd slam as much money back into the EF and all of the funds as I could as soon as it was paid off. Having it free and clear when we sold it seems like a better position to be in.

What do you guys think? Should I stay the course and not empty out my savings, or should I go for it and pay off the mortgage ASAP? What really makes sense here? I need some sensible advice.

Mortgage Math and Travel Club

July 13th, 2013 at 05:38 pm

Assuming our house does not sell, if I continue to make payments of $700 a month, our mortgage will be under $8000 by the December 1st payment. And it will be completely paid off by the November 1st payment of 2014. Of course I am really hoping it sells when we put it on the market, but it is nice to know just exactly how close it is to being paid off.

If I could somehow figure out how to squeeze out $300 more to make a $1000 payment each month it would be at $6500 by the December 1st payment and paid off in full by the July 1st payment of 2014.

Our required payment is only $384.76 so I have always tried to pay extra on it, even if it was only to round the payment up to $400 when we were dirt poor and up to our eyeballs in medical debt. It has only been in the last year that I have been trying to pay $700 a month. I did have a couple of years at $500 a month.

I talked to Mom earlier this week about her travel club. She had wanted to sell it to us at half price, which would be $10,000. DH and I decided we just don't want to take that on, so told her she should try to sell it to someone else. There won't be much more travelling with all four of us, since DD will be in college in another year, which opens up our options a lot more.

When you have a boy and a girl they get to a certain age where they can't share a bed anymore, which makes standard hotel stays pretty bad, especially when there isn't enough room to fit in a roll away bed. And pull out couches are very uncomfortable. We would often have to rent two hotel rooms. So we would make use of Mom's travel club (paying the dues for her on years we used it) so that we could get a condo with two bedrooms, the second of which had twin beds. But you had to book a year in advance practically for anything big and at least six months for anything with beach access. It was useless for quick getaways.

But soon it will be just the 3 of us and two beds in a standard hotel will work fine. Plus there are options we didn't have before, like Airbnb, where you can rent out a home or a small apartment without it being ridiculously expensive. Dues for the travel club were $672 a year. I'd rather save that money on our own and not saddle ourselves with a commitment.

Random Things

July 5th, 2013 at 05:27 pm

It took longer than usual for the mortgage to hit this time because I mailed it. Only a couple of days, though. I had too much going on at the time to swing by there and wanted to make sure it arrived on time. So the new mortgage total is $11,264.80. $10K is getting closer and closer. Only $54.59 went to interest. I can't wait until it drops below $50 a month.

I sent for and received another Swagbucks cashout of a $5 Amazon gift card. I now have $150 in Amazon gift cards earmarked for Christmas. I also have $200 cash saved for Christmas, so a total of $350 so far. Not too shabby.

We built more rabbit tractors and now have enough for every rabbit to be outside on nice days unless they are more than three weeks pregnant or nursing young kits, in which case they will not leave the rabbit shed, until the kits are 4 weeks old.

Phoebe's litter is still doing great. They are five days old, fur is coming in, and they are nursing well. We can't tell which bunny was born on the wire, they all look healthy and strong.

We spent $169 on fireworks. This is the last year that it is legal to let them off within the city limits, although we did sign a petition to reverse the city council's arbitrary decision that they made with no input from the people of the city. We probably didn't need to spend any of it, considering what our neighbors let off, including multiple aerial fireworks that were already illegal as of this year in the city limits. After watching what they set off we moved to the end of the driveway and watched the fireworks over the bay from the city. Then we let off our fountains and went to bed. This is the first year I didn't hear fireworks after midnight.

We hope to have a house outside the city limits next year. The county is far less intrusive into your life than the city. But who knows if that will ever happen, since they are still not done fixing up our house. Middle of June, my eye. At this rate it won't be done until summer of next year. I just hope they get the new gutters on before the rainy season starts this fall.

Today is payday. I will do a payday post later when I have everything figured out.

Payday Post and Mother Musings

June 29th, 2013 at 04:04 pm

Yesterday was payday. I had a couple of things left on the June Budget spreadsheet, and then set up and started recording things for the July Budget spreadsheet. I figured out which bills would be coming out of which paycheck. As long as nothing comes up we should be able to handle everything and have some money left over for savings. Of course that is the small check that stretches over two weeks, so I won't know how much I will have to save until the July 26th paycheck. I am hoping for at least $200.

Anyway, the bills I paid out were:

$1000.00 to Mom (July)
__300.00 to Mom for July utilities
__100.00 to EF
__140.00 Cash for week (includes allowances)
___90.00 Physical Therapy
___39.53 Life Insurance DH
___32.70 Life Insurance Me
___66.62 Car Insurance
___45.67 Old House Insurance
___41.16 Old House Security System
__168.00 Storage
__700.00 Mortgage (plus extra)
__270.49 to AMEX (in full)
__100.00 to Appliance Fun
$3094.17 Total Paid Out

Our regular mortgage payment is less than $400, so we added a little over $300 extra to the mortgage principle for the July payment. The August payment should put us well under $11K. I am hoping to have it under $10K by September, but I'm not sure if we will. We'll have to see.

I had a bit of a kerfuffle with my mother yesterday. Not an argument per se, just her trying to force her will on stuff. She wants to be the one who sets the selling price on our house and she wants to be there to read the paperwork when it sells, etc. I told her no and she didn't react well. She thinks we should try to sell the house by owner instead of through a realtor and I said no again. FSBO's take forever to sell.

She was there for all of that stuff when we bought this house, but we were young, DH was in Alaska when the house sold so I had to have temporary power of attorney for him on that sale, it was our first house, and we needed her experience. But now we've been through it and we are older and we know what we are doing. She's very opinionated and wants her nose in every aspect of our business. I have asked her in to certain areas (like medical), but she isn't always so good about waiting to be asked. And I don't want her nose in our financials.

I think she's got it in her head that we are rich. I'm not sure where she gets that from. Yes, DH makes a very good income, but that's only in the last five years or so. And we have spent most of the last five years aggressively paying down the medical debt we incurred when I was so ill and having multiple surgeries so it's not like we felt that money. I never let her know the extent of it, just the amount she loaned us and we are paying her back.

It has only been this year that we have been able to pull ahead and start saving money or take a real vacation again. We might be rich some day, it's possible, but that's only if the economy doesn't tank over the next twenty years and we start getting serious interest on savings accounts again. But we have college to try to pay for with two kids and retirement to save for and we are behind from getting out of debt. Not to mention we'll be buying a new house when this one sells.

She has no idea of our income because we won't tell her. Mom lives on her social security, the $1000 a month we pay her, and we give her money to pay for all of the electric, gas, water/sewer bills, and pay the garbage directly. I know she's saving at least $1000 a month from it and living on the rest. Her only expenses are gas, property tax with a senior exemption to lower it, vehicle taxes, prescriptions, and food. The house has been paid for for a long time and is worth at least $300,000 and that's estimating on the low side, so she can sell it in the future and get a smaller house and live off the rest of it if needed.

She's so worried about the future that she won't spend today. We'll be paying her back until she's 80 unless we up the payments, which she doesn't want, and of course, we've told her numerous times that we will make sure she is taken care of if she lives longer than that.

I don't know, but I'm not going to let her force her insecurities on us, by trying to control what we do with selling the house. I am grateful for everything my mother has done for us, don't get me wrong. And I love her very much. After DH, she is my probably my best friend. We get along very well most of the time. Just once in a while she gets very pushy. I've learned through experience that this is the time where I have to push back.

Under $12K

June 3rd, 2013 at 05:53 am

And my mortgage hit this morning, too. $11,910.21 remaining. I love the countdown, and every $1K down means something to me, but I have to say the one I am really looking forward to is 4 digits instead of 5. Under $10K will make my year. Whereas this just makes my week. LOL

A Few More Odds and Ends

May 8th, 2013 at 10:35 pm

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.

Payday Post

May 3rd, 2013 at 07:23 pm

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.

Emergency Fund, Monthly Goals, and Whining About Standardized Testing

May 1st, 2013 at 10:17 pm

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.

Little Bits

April 10th, 2013 at 11:12 pm

I received a check from ACOP, a survey company, today for $17.10. It will go into the Emergency Fund.

The mortgage payment hit and is now under $13K at $12,993.58.

The car loan payment finally hit. I got impatient this month when the statement didn't come and paid it online. The next day the statement came, of course. I don't much like paying it online, because it takes forever for them to post it, but I just wanted it done. I think it actually posts faster when I mail it than when I pay it online.

We bred the rabbits today. Hopefully that will result in another 6 to 8 kits a month from now. It feels like we are really on our way to raising a sustainable meat supply now.

I am anxious to start gardening, but I know that I shouldn't until after the 15th. It's hard to wait, but so many people have been getting unexpected frost, snow, or hail that I know better than to push the date. If it stops raining long enough I can do some weeding though. I'll need to block off part of the garden this year or between the chickens and the stray rabbit, I'll not have any greens.

Mortgage Under $14K

February 11th, 2013 at 03:03 pm

The mortgage payment hit the account today. New total is $13,943.05. $10K seems so close. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe I can get excited about paying down the mortgage.

As for tax return, it's a waiting game. 2 more days supposedly for it to hit the credit union. Not that that stops me from checking! I've spent so much of 2013 just waiting. Patience is clearly not a virtue that I am particularly acquainted with. In fact people used to tell me to be patient and I would say, "I don't do patient." I still don't, or at least not very well. You would think with all the practice I've had I would be better at it.

If I can swing $1600 a month the mortgage would be paid off this year. But I don't know if I will do that, because I really do want to build the EF up. Maybe it's not all that necessary with the amount of work there is for DH right now, his job security is pretty high. But I'd feel better with at least $10K in the bank.

Maybe It's Silly, But...

February 10th, 2013 at 05:57 pm

Sometimes I worry that I will be at loose ends once the credit card debt is gone. I mean we've been in it for almost ten years. And I've been working hard to get out of it since I started blogging in April of 2006. There were ups and downs along the way as we added to and subtracted from the debt, but more or less it's gone steadily down.

And in a few days it will be gone. It's just been such a big part of my life for so long. I've had this goal, this huge, challenging goal that frankly, at times, I thought I was never going to meet. But now I am about to. And it's leaving me with an unsettled feeling, like maybe I won't be firmly focused and driven anymore.

I've got other goals, of course I do. There's college and there's the Emergency Fund and there's the van loan and the mortgage. But somehow I just don't feel as pumped about those things. Take the van loan for example. It's a lot and it's got a pretty low interest rate, but it feels "okay" because when I look out the window it's sitting there. It's tangible. And it doesn't bother me in the same way credit card debt does.

Maybe that's because credit card debt is so intangible. You are paying for the past, sometimes for stuff you don't even remember you charged. Okay, and I have scars on my body that remind of each and every medical procedure I went through, but that's it. The meals out, and hotel fees, and all the things we did to help the family get by while I was recovering, I can't see those as tangible. So I hated having it, this debt that seemed like it gave us no value after the original purchase. The van does give us value still and will for many, many years to come.

Maybe I just need to adjust my focus and make that seem as big a deal as the credit cards did? It's hard though. I mean how do you change that if it's ingrained like this? And with the mortgage, well, I dislike it, and it's so close to being paid off, but when the house sells it will be paid off and then we'll start all over again with a new house and a new mortgage, so how hard, really should I try to work on it.

College is a bit easier. DD is a junior and we need to save $7000 for her first year and $7000 for her second year at the local community college. I can see that as a tangible goal now. And if she follows the plan and joins the peace corp after the first two years before coming back to finish at the local university with a $7000 scholarship, we'll have plenty of time to save up for her third and fourth years and DS's first year at CC.

Investing in their educations seems both tangible and intangible at the same time. I don't want them saddled with debt, but at the same time part of me is wishing college weren't so darn expensive. Part of me is not wanting to decide between funding retirement and starting the kids off on the best financial footing we can. I just hope jobs are more available then, because right now I don't know if they'll even be able to work to help pay for school.

The Emergency Fund is what I really need to worry about the most though. I want it at $18,000 by the time we hit 2015. I want it double that by 2017. And sooner or later, we really need to start putting money into the 401K. DH's work doesn't match at all so part of me has wondered if it is even worth it. I suppose for the pre-tax dollars, but maybe it would be better to just save on our own. I worry about the stock market crashing again just as we get back into it.

The economy worries me. They fiddle with numbers so much to try to say things are better than they are, they print money that isn't backed by anything, and they say it's getting better out there, but all I'm seeing is people that have run out of their unemployment so they are no longer counted as jobless, but they still are. The lines at the food bank stretch longer and longer every week (it's near my daughter's school so I drive by it frequently). Food prices are higher, gas prices are higher, interest rates drop lower and lower on savings. Maybe I just think too darn much.

Maybe in another week I can refocus myself, figure out which things are really the most important. All I know for sure is that I don't want to start frittering our money away.

<< Newer EntriesOlder Entries >>