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Archive for October, 2016

The Crazy Week is Here!

October 31st, 2016 at 11:42 am

I just have to make it through this week. On the docket are moving small things throughout the week, painting samples on the walls today to see if we like the paint we picked (our painter's wife had a baby Saturday, so we didn't end up painting this past weekend), handing out candy to our new neighbors (!), medical appointments for both DH and I, painting (well, overseeing painting), two more house showings for the current place, cheer practice prep for their upcoming showcase, and Verizon hookup.

Wish me luck...

Mental Health Day and Upcoming Weekend

October 28th, 2016 at 04:00 pm

Yesterday, I took a mental health day. Took PTO, brought the pups over to the dog park and then spent the afternoon relaxing and watching Netflix until cheer practice. There was an altercation at practice that made my blood boil a bit, but overall, I feel much better rested and prepared to tackle the upcoming challenges.

Since posting on Zillow, we've gotten a handful more responses about the current place. We have a few showings scheduled in the next week and hoping to set up a few more in the next day or two. I haven't totally given up hope. We have until the 20th to try and find someone, so I'll keep trucking along.

I'm out of one allergy medicine. I'm going to just refill it at CVS and after the move, I'll look into transferring all my prescriptions to home delivery. I also have to schedule an appointment with my doctor to get a new prescription since the other medicine was $150 (even after insurance was applied)!

I scheduled the UHaul for next Saturday. It should run no more than $120, but I'm hoping to come in at considerably less (~$80).

The previous owners are officially out as of Wednesday. They had to give us 3 days' notice of an early vacate date, so the official house handover is tomorrow. We'll owe them prorated rent for Sat., Sun. and Mon totaling about $230.

DH put his name up for overtime this weekend, so hopefully they'll schedule him for both Saturday and Sunday. Since this job requires early hours, he should be done by 230/3 and we'll still have plenty of time together in the evening. Tomorrow morning, I'm meeting my FIL at the house. We'll go over paint samples, and he's going to give me an estimate on the painting. I'm leaning towards just doing the master bedroom for now, but we'll see what the cost estimate is. He's not working this weekend, so he wants to go to Home Depot and get started on the painting that afternoon. I'll help if he wants it, and tomorrow evening, we're going to bring the dogs over so they can start acclimating to the house. Sunday, we have a tentative 4 pm showing and I'm hoping to set up at least 1 more at 6 pm if the timing works for them.

Monday night, we'll hand out candy at our new home!

In a Funk

October 26th, 2016 at 02:06 pm

Things are just getting to me. I feel so unsettled, and while I don't seem particularly stressed, I think it's definitely affecting me. I was so distracted that I missed a regular meeting yesterday morning.

In addition to the move, sorting out finances/health insurances, and DH's new job, we found out about a potential medical problem. We're getting it checked next week, but hopefully, it turns out to be nothing.

I paid my first mortgage payment this morning. Apparently, the company my mortgage was sold to isn't the best when it comes to managing things, so I'd really like to stay on top of it.

We thought we'd found a tenant for our current place last weekend, but when we sent her over to the landlord, he said her paperwork wasn't looking good. He has yet to give me an official answer, but I'm guessing it's no. I renewed the posting again, but nothing yet. It's looking like we may be on the hook for $1000 with the other $1000 being our security deposit. Fortunately, it's already funded and set aside in YNAB.

The other big thing we're currently dealing with is painting. We'd really like to get the place painted before we settle in and start moving bigger furniture over. DH's dad is going to come look at the place with us this weekend and give us an estimate. We have a bunch of paint chip samples and have already picked some color combos that we want.

I just can't wait to be in the place already...with the hot tub set up and glass of wine in hand.

Stress and other things

October 21st, 2016 at 01:05 pm

DH had me measure my heartbeat to determine my stress level on his phone last night because the headache was back. It was right about to cross into the red zone, while his was only about 1/3 of the way up well in the green. I know those things aren't accurate, but wow. He suggested I get away by myself for a few days, but I don't think that will necessarily help. All the stresses will still be here when I get back. Plus, there's too much going on right now. We did agree that he would start giving me some space though. I love having him home, but I realized that when he came home late, those evenings were my recharge time. I'd watch silly television comfortably on the couch without any judgment. Now that he beats me home, I don't feel like I can just veg out on the couch, and the second TV is upstairs in the spare bedroom and just not as comfy.

I do think it'll be better in the new place as we plan to move the TV back into our bedroom. That way, I'll have my own place to retreat and recharge without hogging the TV connected to the gaming system.

For food, we're doing well. I did have to spend another $30 that I took from other categories. I got eggs, bread, strawberries, bananas, grapes, ground beef, and wonton wrappers. Of the first 5 items, we're on track to have it used up by the end of next week. We each take sandwiches every day, DH usually has an egg sandwich for breakfast, and the fruit helps round out our lunches. The ground beef and wonton wrappers are going to be used tomorrow to make lumpia (Filipino egg rolls) for a Halloween potluck we're going to. I'm debating dying the dipping sauce red, so it's like fingers and blood or something ridiculous like that.

For moving, I still need to schedule the truck (which I'll do after this entry). We're going to use our spare time this weekend to focus on packing. During the last move, we just used a lot of bags that we have to throw stuff into. I'd like to pack several of these smaller bags in boxes to minimize the back and forth. The guy who gave us a hot tub is also giving us a couch. We're picking it up tomorrow and dropping it off at the house since we have no room for it.

Lastly, just a funny story to share: My dog (DD2 - the GSD/husky rescue) decided to lock me out of the house yesterday morning. I was walking DD1 and she must have jumped up and pushed the lock down. After unsuccessfully trying to get her to jump and push it back up, I was finally able to borrow a screwdriver, pop out my front screen, and get into the house. Fortunately, the windows were unlocked from a few weeks back when I turned on the toaster oven and didn't realize it was burning some spilled leftovers on the bottom pan. That now marks 2 times that I've had to break into my own home. Luckily, we have 2 large, scary dogs to deter anyone else from trying it.

November Planning

October 20th, 2016 at 06:01 pm

A few weeks ago, I had mentioned a couple of stretch goals that I wanted to try and reach: funding the back-out fund, prorated rent, and new mortgage, plus paying off one credit card at $831.

Since my budget hasn't fully been firmed up, I found out I was missing some things/some estimates were off, and it looks like I way overanticipated what we could do. Currently those funds look as follows:

Mortgage - $2400 (fully funded and then some as the actual mortgage is $2370.xx)
Prorated Rent - $1123 (fully funded and covers rent through 11/10)
Rent Back-Out Fund - $67.xx

Tomorrow, we have $1568.xx coming in. This would technically allow us to finish out the rent back-out fund and pay off the credit card if I combine it with debt funds I have in my own account.

However, after thinking it through more, I think my problem is that I'm so busy trying to throw money at debt that I'm not accounting for what I actually have to spend so I then have to use cards for those things...

So I've decided not to pay off the $831 card in full. I will throw all of my own debt funds (~290) at it to make a decent dent, but I will keep the remaining $600ish in our account to put towards next month's budget. That puts us a little short on living on last month's income, but we're almost there.

Once we move, the dust should settle and I'll have a better idea of consistent numbers moving forward.

Migraines and Medicines

October 18th, 2016 at 02:28 pm

Lately, I've been having really bad migraines. They only seem to come in the evening and they feel dull/far away in the mornings. I'm not sure if it's dehydration, stress, or something else. They've been accompanied by a slightly nauseous feeling, but I find that once I eat dinner, the nauseous feeling goes away.

Starting 10/1, I switched to DH's insurance with the Army Reserves. However, I found out yesterday that my birth control isn't covered at retail facilities. One of my allergies is actually a dollar and change cheaper, but the 3-month generic birth control rang up at $150!!! Turns out, it is covered, but it's 50/mo at retail facilities. The home delivery option is 49/mo, so not any better. I'm going to call the military pharmacy tonight and see if they carry it as it is free at military pharmacies, but there was a note that the pharmacy may not carry it.

Once I get that sorted, I'm going to see about signing up for the home delivery option for all my maintenance meds except the birth control. When I visit my OBGYN early next year, I'm going to find out if there might be a better option that won't require me to drive 45 minutes to base just to get it.

Utilities, Pantry Eat-Down, and Moving Updates

October 17th, 2016 at 01:05 pm

I can't believe we're down to just two weeks! The plan is to start packing nightly over the next two weeks. Almost everything is in boxes already, but we do have a little bit to do. The goal will be to have everything packed by the 30th.

I've called the water and electric and set those up to start the 1st. I haven't set up any disconnect notices yet though. I'm still hoping we can get someone in here and avoid the fee, but if not, then around 11/10, I'll call and have everything set to disconnect on the 20th (our official vacate date).

We need to figure out the move though. We can start moving things in Nov. 1st, but that's the middle of the week. I think we're going to move a few boxes/things each evening and move all the large furniture on the 5th. This way, we should only need the truck 2 hrs.

Eating down the pantry is going a little too well. I think I can get through this week with the remaining stuff in the freezer, but then we'll need food for next week. I'm going to try and stretch it though. I do know that I need eggs (and we may need bread/1 thing of milk). We've been doing very simple breakfasts/lunch, but they require a lot of bread/eggs/milk. Worst case, we do have a box of MREs, so I'm going to try and alternate those into the remaining meals I have planned, so we're not stuck eating MREs for a week straight next week. I'm also going to get a few frozen pizzas if I can find them on sale. They're not the healthiest option, but it's better than eating out. I do also have a bogo Chipotle offer if we do decide to resort to eating out.

I've been using YNAB again. I think it's helping as we've turned down several offers for activities/eating out since those categories are already filled. There's about $40 left in the stuff I forgot to budget for category. I'll have to remember to add some budget money in for moving expense in Nov.

Update on Rent Back-Out Fund and other money things

October 14th, 2016 at 04:22 pm

Our rent back-out fund is at $1397 in our accounts. I'm thinking we're going to have to pay it as we haven't had anyone solid other than the first guy who had his move-out date wrong. (Side rant: Why are people so rude? If you change your mind or are no longer interested, I don't care, but at least have the courtesy to say thanks, but no thanks rather than just being completely unresponsive!) I also have to add $300 from my account and $234 from a check at home which will bring us to $1931. The last $69 will be funded with DH's last check from his old job.

That check was mailed, so I'm thinking we'll get it early next week. It should be in the $2000 range, so the remainder will jump-start November's mortgage payment.

My $800 will finish it out and start November's rent in our current place through the 20th. We'll need my first paycheck from November to finish out that fund. All other payments have already been accounted for for the remainder of October. We'll probably be a little short with living on last month's income, but I'm hoping to boost that up next month.

Halloween on a Budget

October 13th, 2016 at 08:40 pm

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Several years ago, I made a mini haunted house in my one car garage with a mad science room and a cemetery. The Halloween before last, DH (back then, he was just some guy I was seeing) and I went to a drive-in Halloween movie marathon dressed as Aladdin and Jasmine (complete with our magic car-pet) and gave out candy to kids.

This year, I can't quite go as all out as I'd like, but since the sellers will be out of our house that day, DH and I are going there for our first Halloween in our home. I figured it'd be a great chance to start getting to know our neighbors and get a good idea of what Halloween is like in our neighborhood for future years. Since it's not Halloween without costumes, I came up with a (relatively) inexpensive costume idea. We're going to be Mr. and Mrs. Pac-man. We already have a ton of boxes, so I can fasten something out of that. I bought yellow paint and candy from Amazon today to the tune of $34. I have a mixing bowl set, and my orange bowl is one of the largest, so I'm going to use that as our candy dish.

I'd also like some form of decorations, so I'll probably dig out my homemade tombstones and spiders. I do think I'll need to buy some webbing, but I can make do with what I have for the rest.

We're really excited to start creating memories in our new house!

New Job Celebration & an Interesting Errand

October 11th, 2016 at 04:07 pm

Yesterday, DH and I went to one of our favorite mexican restaurants for HH to celebrate his first day on the job. The restaurant serves free nachos during happy hour, so we ate our fill and had a few drinks Total cost was $15 for 2 beers and a margarita.

On the way home, we stopped at PetSmart to get food for the dogs. This guy complimented DH's shirt and proceeded to strike up a conversation with us. He seemed perfectly nice until the conversation turned to our high cost of living area. He then proceeded to feel us out on a 'job opportunity' involving marketing to major companies which allowed his wife to retire from her job. Uh, thanks, but no thanks. It's a shame because DH and I just thought they were genuinely friendly people we happened to meet in a PetSmart.

DH is loving his new job. He's so much happier, and I already see a big boost in our home life. The puppies are calmer and happier to see him, we have plenty of time together in the evening, and DH is less stressed, so he's able to play a larger role in the household. The other small plus is that he gets paid every 2 weeks, so this is the first time that we'll have 2 months of 3-paychecks. The plan will be to send half to savings and half towards debt. DH is even getting on board with the payoff. He's agreed to download YNAB and start helping with the tracking. Just a few more weeks until the big move!

More Free Things and Utilities

October 10th, 2016 at 02:16 pm

We dropped off the hot tub yesterday. I still can't believe we were able to get a free one since that was one of our 3 big improvements this first year.

While there, we got to chat with the previous owners a bit. They were very nice, giving us loads of advice. They even offered to leave us a push mower and weedeater. We were very touched as we hadn't even thought about lawn care yet.

We also found out more about utilities. There is no gas which I had budgeted for. He said that for the 2 of us, electric should run 150, 200 in the winter when the heat pump runs. Water usually runs 50-60, depending on use. Trash is 30/month, but optional. The dump is about a 5 minute drive away. I'm leaning towards dumping it ourselves for the first few months and then working the convenience in if there's room in the budget.

October Goals

October 7th, 2016 at 05:28 pm

Today, I had to turn down a free piano. It would've cost almost $400 to move it to our new place, and we decided that since it wasn't an expense we'd already planned, we should forgo it.

I'm still pretty upset about it, but I told myself that if I really want our financial situation to change, then I need to stop rationalizing spending for things I didn't originally plan.

I think we're in pretty good shape to have the money we need for the lease break ($2000), prorated rent in our place ($1300), and our mortgage ($2300) by early November. I was hoping to have it all by Nov. 1, but I think we'll need some funds from my first Nov. paycheck (11/7).

The other big goal for October is to completely wipe out one of the credit cards. The Chase Slate card has about $800 on it. Since the statement just closed, we have until 11/2.

We currently have 1800 saved up, so that means, we'll need 4600 in October. I know we have $3500 coming from paychecks, so we'll need another $1100. I think DH will make that in this month at his new job, but we'll see. Challenge accepted.

Property Taxes

October 4th, 2016 at 06:00 pm

Several people mentioned property taxes on here when I had posted my budget. They are due this month. Mine are reasonable and can be cash-flowed. However, DH's are in the $800-900 range. While we certainly could cash flow this as well, I've been hoarding cash for various reasons that are coming up: $2000 for the potential move-out fee, $2400 first mortgage payment, $1150 to cover rent up until the 60-day mark in our current place, not to mention the $77/day proration we will owe the current sellers if they move before the end of October.

In November and December, I'd like to put 50 aside for this. In January, I want to up it to $100. That'll give us $1000 at the beginning of next October.

For this year, here are my options:

- Tap into savings: DH has about $500 in his own separate savings account. We could clean that out and cash flow the other $300.
- Credit Card: We could put it on a credit card that recently closed and then we'd have almost 2 months to cash flow it before interest started.
- Cash Flow: We could cash flow it outright, but that taps into our $2000 fund.

I'm leaning towards the credit card, but any thoughts?

So Many Updates

October 3rd, 2016 at 03:01 pm

Where to begin? We've had several things happen in the past week...some of which I can discuss and others which I can only allude to. Here goes:

DH's Job: DH was scheduled to get two notifications on Friday about the two jobs. The first was great. He was offered a position, albeit at an even lower salary than we thought. We didn't even bother negotiating because after running the numbers, we are okay as long as DH works at least 10 hrs. overtime/wk. The second call was to tell him they went with someone else, but that they'd keep him in mind when ramping up to full staff next February. DH was a little bummed, but the job he was offered was ultimately the company he wanted. We were just hoping for the second offer for leverage to negotiate on the first.

Renting the Current Place: Our landlord has agreed to waive the $2000 move out fee if we put in the effort to find a tenant and coordinate the move out. We had one gentleman look at it yesterday, and we have another person coming by Wednesday evening. I also renewed the posting in case neither of these pan out.

Additional Income: Because this new job is a huge pay cut (but a ginormous boost to our home life), we've been looking at some ways to make up the missing income.
1) DH can do overtime at time and a half. The company said they offer overtime about 80% of the time, and since DH is used to 70+ hr. workweeks, he's more than willing to put in 50-60 hr. workweeks.
2) DH's dad has offered to have DH come back and help him on the weekends again. This would allow DH to build up his home craftsmanship skills and earn some extra money.
3) A coworker of mine has a friend looking for after-school tutors. Hours are flexible and pay $10-20/hr. The other plus is that it's near where I will live, so I can detour there an hour or two on the way home and make some extra money.
4) I'm beginning to realize just how underpaid I am at my job. I've always known that I was, but I stick it out because the job offers flexibility, I enjoy my coworkers and the culture, and I will eventually move into a lead position which will be a big income boost. However, with this change, if we're finding it difficult, I may have to start looking into something that is more in line with my experience/skill set. Looking at the average salaries for my job and experience, I would easily make up the difference in DH's income and then some (we'd be pretty close to 6 figures on my income alone). I'd rather avoid this route as I truly enjoy my company, but it's definitely on the table and something we are thinking about.