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Farm Down Payment Fund and Old Remodel Payment Situation

September 26th, 2015 at 03:15 pm

$31,500.00 Starting Balance
+__,500.00 Deposit Added
$32,000.00 New Balance

Also, on the money we've been holding for the guy who remodeled our old house and then immediately went through bankruptcy before we could pay him, we were finally able to make a $5000 payment yesterday and then in 21 to 28 days we will be able to make the remainder payment of $36,000. I will be so glad to not have that money in our credit union account anymore.

I mean, yes, the interest we were collecting on it was nice, but I still didn't like the situation. With the $5000 he is able to open his business account and get all the proper licensing and then when that all runs through, he can then take the additional $36,000 and put it in the business and then he can pull from that gradually as he needs income since he is allowed to pay himself a salary.

What a mess this has all been and I am really glad to see it nearly done.

Cross Your Fingers

May 31st, 2015 at 11:40 pm

Well, it looks like DH will be able to get 4 extra days this hitch to make up for the 4 days he will miss by staying over for DD's graduation. There is plenty of work for him to do. It all hinges on whether or not they can find a bed for him at work for those 4 days. I really hope so, because to not have to scramble and cut back and take money from other savings categories to cover this would be very nice.

He will know sometime tomorrow. I was not looking forward to depleting the January Money Fund, which was what I would have to do if he can't get the extra time at work.

Househopeful asked what the January Money Fund is about. Every year over the Christmas holidays, DH's work shuts down for a couple of weeks. So he has to go his usual 2 weeks off from a regular 2 on/2 off shift, plus 2 more weeks off. So he ends up with 4 weeks off in a row with no pay. Now we are used to budgeting for the 2 weeks off and we stretch the money to cover the whole 4 week cycle. But when those four weeks off come up (be it in January or December, we never really know until closer to time), that gives us four weeks we have to stretch money over, which is a lot harder.

This year I started saving for that time period quite early. When we were paying off debt and the mortgage I generally didn't start saving for it until September or October, but now I can save all year for it. Usually we can count on DH's Christmas bonus to help some, but last year most of that went to fixing the leaking moon roofs in the van. So I don't want to depend on the Christmas bonus for anything, because who knows what might come up. So hence this fund.

Plus we still don't know what our tax situation is going to be for next year. Since we only lived in the house we sold 1 out of the last 5 years before it sold, we may have to pay some taxes on the sale. Maybe not, but we won't know for sure how much of the remodel and repairs and improvement we can deduct until we get all the tax paperwork.

I am thinking it will probably all be a wash, but if it is not, we won't owe more than we generally get back, which is around $7000 due to our medical costs. It'll be a bummer if we don't get a refund, because I usually use the money to bump up the Emergency Fund and in the past to pay down debt, but now to save for a down payment on our upcoming farm purchase. But we should at least walk away without having to pay out, which is better than having to pay in by a long shot.

I really do think it is criminal of them to tax our house sale this way, though. We lived in that house for many, many years, and it was our only house. The money that is in savings from the sale is intended for our next home and that should be allowed to be kept. It used to be you could keep it if you rolled it over into a new home, but not anymore. And it's not like it was a huge sale or anything. We're not talking about a $300K plus house here. Or even a $150K house.

Well, this turned into a rant. I guess things have just been on my mind a lot lately.

As a quick update on my daughter, she finally, after 10.5 weeks has stopped bleeding. She's still in a lot of pain though. They are testing her for a clotting disorder and a bleeding disorder. We should find out in the next day or three. She is having nosebleeds, unexplained bruising, and severe cramping in her calves as well. She's still anemic. Please continue to pray for her.

Woo Hoo! Now I Believe It!!!!!

March 7th, 2015 at 12:29 pm

The house is sold. It has been recorded and the money is sitting in our bank account. It is weird to see that much money in the account. It is very nice to have the weight of that house lifted from our shoulders.

It happened so late in the day that I was only able to cancel our homeowner's insurance and our phone. DH was able to cancel the security monitoring. We did get the good news that our contract was up. For some reason I thought it was 2 years, but I guess it was only 18 months, which we hit.

I will still have to call the electric and the water/sewer on Monday. I forgot to ask DH if he'd done the propane or not. He might have run out of time during business hours. We have almost a $50 credit with them and I want to get that back.

I called and left a message with the new house owners yesterday that the phone company says I have to give the phone modem back. Even though they are going to be using the same phone company. That seems really stupid to me. If we don't get it back it will cost $80. I wish I had known this as we kept the phone on to keep the security on until the house was no longer in our names.

I did not get a chance to see if the money in the bank has a hold on it or not before they closed. I will go down to the credit union on Monday and ask. For now it is sitting in the savings account there collecting .5% until I know I can move it or start using it to pay off the van and to pay the guy who remodeled the house. The next van statement hasn't come yet, anyway. It usually comes on the 9th and then I'll have the exact payoff number.

I will be so glad to have the van paid off and not have that monthly obligation any longer. Plus it means our car insurance will drop. To be out of consumer debt completely will be wonderful. Then we can start saving really, really hard.

Oh, I have a question. My son barely ever uses his phone. He texts maybe a few times a week. Is there a Tracfone or the like that is super cheap and does just texting? Or anything else like that? There is no point in having him on the expensive family plan at this point.

Bits and Pieces

March 5th, 2015 at 03:12 pm

I went in this morning and signed the last paper for the house. They said that the sale should be recorded and official some time tomorrow. I hope the money shows up in my account on Friday and not on Monday. I then will have to check with the credit union to make sure that I can use the money right away or see if there is a hold on it. I know with checks like that there can sometimes be a hold, but the title company wasn't sure about whether there would be a hold on a direct deposit or not. I wouldn't think so, but I will ask just to be on the safe side before paying off the van.

We did not have a payday last week, but I still made some payments from money saved over for this week's bills. These were all autopays.

$250.00 AMEX
__45.30 Life Insurance DH
__44.66 Life Insurance Me
__74.41 Car Insurance
__48.75 Homeowner's Insurance
_186.00 Storage
__16.17 Power Old House
$665.29 Total Money Out

I won round 1 of my transformer 6 month dietbet. Don't know what my winnings are yet. I also signed up for another 4 week dietbet with the same group I did the first one for. It has way more support being a smaller group. The transformer has over 1800 people in it, so it feels extremely anonymous when it comes to support. So that was $20.

I have to make a list of people to call tomorrow once the sale has been recorded. So far I'm thinking:

Power company
Phone company
Security company
Propane co-op (DH will have to do this one, it's in his name)
Home Owner's insurance company (should get a partial refund)

There was no cable or internet hooked up out there so that's not an issue. The water/sewer has been taken care of by the title company since it is owned by the homeowner's association out there. It was mixed in with the sale and is current and up to date.

I will probably go to Comcast in person tomorrow. It is faster than trying to get through their customer service line. I will be over there anyway as my daughter has a doctor's appointment in the afternoon. I will also drop by the insurance office in person since it is by the high school.

The rabbit kits are doing well. The runt died. Not sure if I said that, but it did. I knew it would. It was just too tiny. But everyone else is doing great. Here is a video of the babies and some photos:


House Update

March 4th, 2015 at 07:37 pm

So the buyers went in to sign today and it turns out there was one paper that the bank did not have there when Chris and I signed before he left for Alaska. So for a couple of hours I had thought it would be done today, but then this paper cropped up so it won't be. They emailed it to DH and he signed it in front of the notary up there, and I have to go down and sign it in the morning, since I didn't even find this out until an hour ago and the place was closed.

But hopefully after signing that paper tomorrow it means they actually will close this week and I'll have the money in the bank soon. Because honestly, until that money is actually in my bank account, I still don't believe anything is a done deal. We gave the keys to the realtor today, though. So I'm finding it just a little harder to remain cynical on this deal than previously. I still feel like Murphy is going to come out of left field and smack me upside the head, you know?

Yet, at the same time I want to be hopeful. Because when this goes through we can stop holding our breath and waiting for the other shoe to drop. We can finally move out of the holding pattern we've been in for the past few years.

House Update

February 20th, 2015 at 11:13 pm

So yesterday we went in to Chicago Title and signed the closing papers on the house. We did it early since DH will be in Alaska on the closing date. It feels one step closer, but who knows? I don't think I'll believe it until the money is in my bank account.

The buyers requested to push the closing date back to March 6th. They have a very good reason and I can't fault it. The wife was due to have her baby in a couple of weeks and she'd been having trouble with preterm labor and they found out something was wrong with it, and then the baby died. So, yeah. They need a little time. They still want the house, it's nothing like they want to back out. They just want some time to grieve, arrange a funeral, and get their heads together.

The realtor says they still might sign before that, it just depends on how things go with stuff. I feel so bad for them and I feel they should take the time they need (as long as they don't try to extend it again). And I feel bad that even knowing this, I'm still impatient. Not that I would ever show it, or anything. It's just been such a long process. I mean, not this part, but the whole fixing it up and putting it on the market and having the first buyers fall through and then finally getting another offer. From offer to now, really hasn't been too bad. Just a couple months.

I can't help it, though. We should have closed in 6 days and now it is 14 days. I just want to close this chapter of our lives and start the next one. I want it done so I don't have to worry about it anymore.

Stuff and Things and House

February 4th, 2015 at 10:27 am

So yesterday I sent for 2 more $5 Amazon gift card from Swagbucks. I can order the last $5 one today. Then in a few days I should have enough to get a $25 gift card. So that will give me $50 total at Amazon. I am going to use it to buy a case of the olive oil based Miracle Whip that has no high fructose corn syrup in it. All of the stores around here quit carrying it and I won't go back to regular.

A case of 12 is $95 on Amazon, with no shipping fees. That works out to almost $8 a jar. So with $50 in Amazon gift cards I can get it for $45, which works out to a more reasonable $4 per jar. 12 jars should last me 2 to 3 years. I only eat it with tuna fish, which I don't eat terribly frequently.

Pinecone sent a letter that isn't even accurate to how much money you can cash out at now. They were all, you can just cash out with the $3 option and then add the quantity multiple times so we only have to send one check. But there is no $3 option anymore. I had sent for a $15 check and a $5 check. Now I know that means that I could have cashed out the $5 choice 4 times, but I wasn't even thinking about that at the time.

But considering how I feel about the changes, I probably would have cashed out $5 four different times a few days apart. So they got off lucky with me cashing out for 2 checks instead of 4. They will probably just send the $15 and $5 cash outs in one check. The letter didn't say that, but I'm assuming. It won't matter in the future. I will cash out every time I have at least $5 in the account from now on.

We've completed all the extra stuff on the house to bring it up to code. The wood stove fix was $567. The hot water tank replacement and install was $800. The cost to bring the outlet valve up to code and install earthquake/tornado belts on the hot water tank, also to bring it up to code, was an additional $326. He worked on it for 6 hours. His company is one of the very few who will install hot water heaters into this type of home. And the cost to take off the front porch, pour a concrete pad underneath it, and put the porch back on was $400. $1000 of that will be refunded to us by the buyers on closing.

L&I has signed off on what it needed to sign off on. So their bank will come out sometime in the next two weeks and if they find all to be well and find it appraises properly, then we are good to go for signing. We are hoping to sign by the 24th, though the official closing date is on or before the 26th. DH will only be home from the 12th to the 24th. It would be easier to do it in person than for him to have to find a notary up there at work. Though they did say he might be able to sign in advance.

Then we have to deal with the fact that the female half of the couple is pregnant and due in six weeks, but has already had to go to the hospital once to have early labor stopped. So that may upset the apple cart as well. It does make them more apt to want to sign early if possible, though. They really would like to be settled before the baby comes.

Anyway, I am counting down the next 3.5 weeks. I am finally starting to believe this is really going to happen. And getting a little excited about it, but not too much because the bank could still decide the house isn't worth that much, though it appraises $17K above what they are paying.

I want that check in my hot little hands so badly. I want to pay off the remodeler and the van, bring my EF to $15K and then dump the rest into savings for a down payment. I just want to be there with no more consumer debt hanging over us.

I have a doctor's appointment today. My cholesterol numbers were so good at my blood test that I am going to ask him about either stopping the medication or reducing it. I'd like to get off it. I want to see if I can try going without it for a month and then have another blood test to see if the levels are doing okay. Crestor is expensive and I've changed my eating habits enough now that I may no longer have issues with it. Or to get a cheaper medication. Another option would be to get the 40mg pill and cut it in half. It would be cheaper in the long run.

My insurance has decided it is going to cover my blood pressure medicine 100%. I was in shock the other day when I picked it up. Last year it was $40. That is so helpful to the budget. That is $480 a year I can put towards the farm down payment savings.

My ultimate goal is to get off the BP meds, too. But I think it will take me at least a year of weight loss to be at that point. And weight loss may not be enough. High BP runs in my family. We tried reducing them once from 40mg to 20mg and I felt awful, so definitely need to lose the weight before trying that again.

And if I lose enough weight, I can have a new sleep study done and I might no longer need the sleep apnea machine. I don't have too many breathing incidents, so this might really be achievable. Then I wouldn't have to buy filters, hoses, masks, etc., as they wear out.

Speaking of weight loss I am now 14 pounds down. I think finding dietbet was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Not A Payday Report

February 1st, 2015 at 09:46 pm

This last Friday is not a payday, but of course I always save money over from previous paydays for the one Friday that has no paycheck each month. So these are the bills that went out today.

$250.00 AMEX
_186.00 Storage
__44.66 Life Insurance (Me)
__45.30 Life Insurance (DH)
__74.41 Car Insurance
__48.75 House Insurance
_120.00 Physical Therapy
$769.12 Total Money Out

I need to sign up for a new bank savings account tomorrow, the one Julie posted about today. It will be with a bank that has 1.05% interest. That is .30% higher than what I am getting now. I could be earning $11.50 on my EF each month instead of $7.21. It doesn't seem like much but over a year that is $138 or $86.52, a difference of $51.48. And of course it'll be far more than that once the house sells and there is more money in the bank.

I think I'll probably end up completely closing out the Capitol One 360 account. I've been holding on to it due to old ING loyalty, which is silly because they aren't ING and they have never been as good as ING was. They've had plenty of time to match the other couple of online banks that are giving higher interest rates and they haven't done it, so it is time to say good-bye to them. But I will keep it open until we are done with taxes, probably just with $5 in it.

Emergency Fund Update

January 22nd, 2015 at 11:29 am

$11,549.20 Beginning EF Balance
___,_20.00 Last week's and this week's auto deposits
$11,569.20 New EF Balance

I have done some figuring and we might be able to get around using the EF for house stuff by using money in the other funds instead.

$500.00 from Propane Fund
$300.00 from Property Tax Fund
$800.00 from School Fund
$200.00 from January 2016 Money Fund
+_70.00 from Dues Fund Excess
1870.00 Total

That would leave us with $200 in the Propane Fund and $200 in the School Fund. Property Tax is paid in full through April and with the house closing at the end of February we would not need to use that money to pay PT. However that is the last place I will take it from just in case the sale falls through. I would draw it from the other funds first.

Things and Other Things

January 21st, 2015 at 07:44 pm

There really hasn't been all that much to write about this week. I've lost 9 pounds since December 31st, so my diet is going pretty well. We haven't spent much money this week.

We may have some house expenses coming up. Apparently there has to be an inspection of the foundation and we will have to pay for that. I'm not sure why the sellers have to pay it, though. It seems like the buyers should have to pay for all inspections, but I guess not in this case. I swear, I never want to deal with this type of house again in my life.

So, so far, it looks like we're going to have to pay $1000 between the wood stove fix and the foundation inspection. So I probably will end up taking money out of the EF. Since DH also is having dental work done tomorrow and just had a second sleep study done and will have to buy a B-PAP machine, which is more expensive than a normal C-PAP machine, and since our deductible started over insurance won't cover much if any of it, we may really be seeing a dent in the EF.

DH says I can take most of his school money ($800 of the $1000 we set aside) since he doesn't think he'll be ready to do that until after the income tax refund comes back anyway. I hate to do that, though. Of course I hate depleting the EF even more, but we'll see.

Our real estate agents (husband/wife team) wants to sit down and discuss our looking at houses as soon as the sale closes. I don't want to and don't like the pressure. I think we will need to save for an additional year before we are ready to buy a house, possibly longer. I just want a bigger EF and a bigger down payment so our mortgage payment doesn't cost an arm and a leg every month. I just don't think I am ready to go through the stress of looking at houses. DH is probably going to have to tell them to back off.

Plus I want to enjoy being totally debt free for a while (except the loan from Mom), which we will be once we pay the guy who did the house repairs and pay off the van. I just want to have all that stress free time to save like maniacs. Of course that is assuming we can put up with Mom's particular brand of crazy for another year. At the very least we want to finish off the school year, here, though.

Also DD is talking about moving in with two of her friends in the summer of 2016 and if that is the case we can actually look at some smaller houses. She wants to find a job after graduation and work for a year, saving as much money as she can, before getting an apartment. We will try to pay for one class a semester at the community college for her. She'll have one credit when she graduates because her Psychology class counts as a college level credit.

The ducks laid two eggs today. We haven't gotten 2 eggs in a day from them since December, so either they are starting to gear back up again due to the longer days or one of the 2 new ducks has relaxed enough to start laying. Wade has been mating both of them so that might have kicked one of them into gear. Both ducks have been completely accepted into the flock now.

Nothing else really going on around here. Sticking to the meal plan and not going out to eat.

Stuff and Other Stuff

January 16th, 2015 at 11:06 pm

We went to Costco today and spent $211. I stocked up on toilet paper, bought some tikka masala spices, vitamins, fuzzy socks(!), and of course groceries. We also got gas. It was $1.84 a gallon and we got just over 11 gallons. We paid just a smidgeon above $20. I can't even remember the last time that happened.

The house contract was signed Monday night by all parties. They have scheduled their inspection. We have to do $500 worth of work on the wood stove to bring it up to code. I think we will be able to swing that without touching the Emergency Fund. Since I have $700 in the propane fund (and still have $50 of credit with the co-op) and still haven't had to fill the tank, I can take most of it from there, and I also have an extra $70 in the dues fund. I am trying not to get excited about the house sale happening because it fell through last time, but I am a little bit.

I have now lost 8 pounds since starting my diet December 31st. I hope that continues to go well. I still need to lose a few more pounds to win my dietbet. I think I am going to make it. I've got 15 days left. Even if I don't win, the support of the group has been wonderful and it is worth that for $30. But I want to win.

I have managed to keep my calorie intake in my goal range every day but one. I went over by 15 calories that day, so I still consider it a win.

Tomorrow I have someone dropping off a baby aloe plant for me and another person buying 2 dozen duck eggs for $10. That will bring farm sales for the month to $37.50.

I received my Costco bonus check for $46.27 today. Of course I didn't open the mail until after we'd come back from our shopping trip to Costco. Wish I had because that check can only be cashed at Costco. DH will have to run in there on Sunday. We'll be going past it on the way to visit his parents so we won't have to make a special trip.

I think that about covers everything.