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Archive for April, 2017

Roasted Veggies, A Grill, A Vet Visit, and Other Happenings

April 20th, 2017 at 08:41 am

It's been a busy few days. I bought a bunch of groceries, including some veggies. DH and I don't really eat vegetables, but I'm trying to incorporate them more. I got tomatoes for his sandwiches and zucchini. I decided to roast those the other night (along with some leftover Easter green beans). It was pretty good. I'm going to make zucchini pasta tomorrow with some chicken.

DH's parents are giving us a new grill that they bought recently. We hinted that since the old one was still functional, that we'd be glad to take that one. But they decided to just give us the new one. They are so generous, and I'm incredibly grateful for their generosity. They're bringing it over this Friday.

DD1 hurt his paw two nights ago. We noticed him limping, and after inspecting his paw, found a crack nail. Unfortunately, it was the worst kind of crack - still firmly attached. I took him to the vet yesterday morning, and they had to cut off the part that had cracked. My champion of a dog did it without sedation. My heart broke a little because I was holding him, and he cried and yelped when they actually cut the nail. But an hour later, he was moving around. Total cost was much less than expected - $200 for the visit and procedure, plus $80 for 6 months of heartworm meds.

On the financial side of things, we're doing okay. We do have the final payoffs coming up on the Amazon Rewards CC, the ring CC, and the Chase Slate CC. I am also paying the full balance on the Marriott card. It's a small start, but I feel cautiously optimistic.

Ticks and more ticks...and poision ivy too.

April 12th, 2017 at 05:10 am

It's bug season again. Now that DH works outdoors, we're discovering new challenges. The big two are ticks and poison ivy. DH first encountered poison ivy over the winter. That's when we realized he is highly sensitive to it. I think we have a relatively good treatment plan in place now, but if anyone has any tips, please let me know. If he thinks he's exposed, he immediately washes with the Fels-Naptha soap when he gets home, and then throws all of his work clothes and gear into the wash. If it still develops, he gets by with lots of calamine lotion and hot showers. He's already got some nasty scars from his first bout, so I'm hoping we're now prepared for future outbreaks.

The second challenge is ticks. About a month ago, I bought 6 months worth of flea and tick meds for the pups. We tend to be a little more lax in the winter and didn't even do it last summer since they were never really exposed to the elements. However, now that we're in our house with a huge yard for them to play in that backs up to a wooded area, we needed to start treatment again. Yesterday, after lying down with the pups, DH found 3 ticks on himself. He says that he checked himself when he got home and didn't even work in a wooded area, so he assumed it was from the dogs. He then proceeded to inspect the house, and found several dead ticks on the floor. I did a very thorough deep cleaning yesterday (like washed the carpets thorough). Today, I plan to wipe down the baseboards and crevices with a mix of peppermint and lavender oils as those are tick and ant repellents. We didn't find anything on any of the animals, even the cat who doesn't have flea and tick repellent on. It looks like the medicine probably killed them off (hence the dead ones on the floor), but we have to be vigilant these next few months to ensure we don't have any more unwanted visitors.

Getting Things Under Control

April 11th, 2017 at 05:32 am

Things have really spiraled this past year and this is embarrassing to post. While I'm upset at the financial side of things, I'm also incredibly happy with our current life. We had an amazing wedding and are now in our dream home (with DH in a much less stressful, albeit much smaller salaried, job), so even though we took a few steps backward, I'm mostly okay with it. However, it does seem like we're finally normalizing, so now it's time to focus on undoing all the damage..

We did get 2 new 0% credit cards and transferred a couple of bigger/interest charging balances over to it. On the BoA card, I split the total amount by 17 (it's 18 months), and set that up to autopay, so that card will be completely paid off. We will pay the minimum on the other card while we work on some of the remaining credit cards.

Here are the credit cards I currently own and their balances:
Chase Slate - $17.79 (the only thing I use this for now that's been paid off is my essential oils order which is $10-20/monthly)
Chase Freedom - $2753.86 (this is the card my family has for backup; I just transferred 5k from here to the NavyFed card and part of my husband agreeing to that was that we take all of the Freedom cards and put them away which I'll do the next time I see my family)
Chase Marriott - $497.92 (We transferred almost 7k from here to the NavyFed card. This card gets charged our health insurance, DH's soccer tickets, and SlingTV monthly and will be paid in full moving forward.)
Amazon Rewards - $13.31 (This is the interest from the balance we just transferred to the new BoA card. This will be paid in full this month and moving forward if we even continue using it.)
Target - 0 (I rarely shop here as there's a Walmart 3 minutes from my house. My mom actually keeps this card as an emergency card, and only uses it 2-3 times a year. When she does use it, she pays the balance.)
NFL Points - $2557.11 (Average monthly payment is around $60. I pay $75 each month. We don't/can't use this card anymore as it expired in December. I supposedly received a new one, but have no idea where it may be and haven't bothered tracking it down since I don't want to use it.)
Capital One Venture - $3724.63 (About $800 of this is interest-bearing. The remainder is interest free through October. It will not be paid off by then as we're just paying the minimums.)
BoA Rewards - $1442 (This card is the transferred Amazon Rewards balance. It will be completely paid by the end of the 0% interest period.)
NavyFed - $14400 (This is all the transferred balances. I'm not sure what the minimum will be, but I'm guessing around $250/month. It basically just consolidated all the other payments, but since it's 0% interest at least everything is going to principal on it. It's obviously not going to be paid off by March 2018, but at that point, I'm hoping to be able to transfer again.)

We didn't get here overnight, so I definitely don't expect to get out of it overnight. I might need to consider a name change. I'm not even sure debt-free by 33 is possible at this point, but we will get there. I paid the full remaining balance of Slate this month (that $18 charge is new). The next debt on my list is a leftover Mariner Finance loan. It has less than a thousand left, and I should be able to pay it by June. After that, the plan is to stockpile cash. Before the end of the year, we have a wedding to attend (in which I'm a bridesmaid), car taxes (this surprised us last year when DH's were almost a grand), and some house stuff we want to accomplish (landscaping the backyard, fencing, the fireplace and the hot tub). We also want to begin working on an emergency fund since kids are on our radar.

If everything goes well, then by the end of the year, we will have eliminated/consolidated 5 debts in to 2 and gone from about 17400 to about 14000 on those debts in addition to getting some house stuff done. I'm hoping to do even better if we both get raises this year.

It's going to be slow going, but I'm in it for the long haul now that we seem to be in a stable place.

**It should also be worth noting that while we're both committed to this, there are definitely more drastic things we could do that we're just not considering. My car is paid off, but DH's car is about $400/month and still has 5ish years. We fully realize that the smart thing to do would be to get a cheaper car, but sometimes the emotional beats the financial. Other examples are DH's soccer tickets and my essential oils. Neither of these things are needs, but we enjoy them and at this time, aren't willing to consider parting with them. We do try to keep them minimal though. Other drastic measures include putting off home improvements/not going to my friend's wedding, but again, not something we're willing to consider at this point.