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Archive for December, 2018

(Very) Tentative Planning

December 27th, 2018 at 05:34 am

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. I was managing fairly well until I went to sit at the table and couldn't decide whether to sit at the head of the table (DH's normal spot) or leave his chair open and sit next to it. Once the floodgates opened, it was difficult to stop. DH was able to sort of participate though. He was off, so he Skyped in and watched us open gifts. We were able to broadcast him up on our TV and get all 8 of us into the camera view for him to see everything. My MIL also does small prize bags, but she forgot games this year. So we had DH host Christmas trivia. In all, it turned out okay, but certainly didn't feel as happy as a normal Christmas. FIL and I did bond over how much we miss him though.

In regards to the planning, DH got his first pay statement. He said future ones may be a little less, but we're not entirely sure since he was still charged life insurance, and overseas should have some additional pay things in there. I was expecting around 3k/mo (his civilian job brings home 2k). It looks like it is more likely going to be 3.5-4k.

I've made a list of 2019 goals and think we can hit most (if not all of them):

Debt Payoff - 6 debts in the following order: NavyFed Loan ($975), Chase Slate CC ($1044), Dept of Ed Student Loan 3 ($1490), Chase Freedom CC ($3060), Chase Marriott ($1890), UAS Student Loan ($2540); NOTE: There's no real rhyme or reason to these other than some are my highest interest debts and others are low-hanging fruit to free up monthly cash flow and feel like I'm making progress. I anticipate paying the NavyFed loan off in Jan to free up the $200 monthly payment, but all other debt payoffs will wait until after baby is born, so we can stockpile money. It'll be assigned to the right categories in YNAB, but I'll be holding on to all the cash until we know things are okay.

Savings Goals - These are a little more fluid. I will definitely put aside money to the first 3. The others are projects that I hope we can at least start to save up for: EF (Currently at $1000, would like to add $300/mo to start building it up. We will also have a one-month buffer in place starting in Jan.); Car Replacement ($500/mo); Disney Trip ($500/mo); Fireplace (Need $800); Backyard Landscaping (Need $2k); Hot Tub Repair (Need $650)

Even though I hate being apart, I'm hoping to make it count and make some real progress towards more stable financial footings.

In the first few days of the new year, I'm going to fresh start YNAB zeroing out all categories and living off last month's income (which will actually be pretty meager since DH wasn't getting paychecks). I'll lay out all remaining debts and a full financial picture.

Starting to reset early

December 21st, 2018 at 06:46 am

I'm going to try and take some small steps over the next few weeks to get a jump start on our reset year.

Here's the high-level view of what we're looking at with more detailed numbers and plans over the next few weeks as the dust settles.

High-risk pregnancy: Things are going well here. I'm seen every 2 weeks and despite the complete disregard for self-care as of late, baby is thriving. (Side note: the disregard certainly isn't intentional...I just don't sleep well, have severe veggie aversions, and forget to drink water since I'm constantly on the move.) I'm trying really hard to just accept things as they come and not stress.

Deployment: I think we've finally got things in a semi-decent place. I have 3 or 4 things to follow up on over the next month or two. Additionally, I recently found out about SCRA benefits, so I'm looking into those to see if we can take advantage of lower interest rates on some things to maximize this year. Unfortunately, I didn't add my husband to most of my debt and even on most credit cards, he's just an authorized user rather a joint owner, so I'm not sure that we'll actually be able to utilize them.

Pest Problems: There wasn't 100% confirmation, but we're about 80% sure we have termites. We've had some holes pop up in the hardwood. Our pest control guy was stumped because there's no evidence of them other than the empty holes. He thinks it's likely they came in through the front step, are relatively new, and have only been working on that one beam. We went ahead and treated since it's recommended to be done every 5 years. We've been in the house for just over 2, and this is the first we've seen of them.

Mom Issues: This one is complicated, but the end of the story is that I took a 401k loan to give her $4000 to try and get herself straightened out once and for all. I've said that I've been done in the past, but never truly felt the conviction that I felt this time. Both my husband and I put several restrictions in place before she got the money. We also don't expect to see it back even though she says she will pay it. But we both made it very clear that this was it. Part of the restrictions included my older brother getting a job and me having full visibility in to her finances to see if this would actually help her. It's pathetic that I have to treat her like a child, but I sat with her and laid out a budget moving forward. I had planned to babysit her and make sure she stuck to it, but I decided it's not worth my time and energy. I gave her all the resources she needs to fix it, and if she fails again, tough nuggets. I have more important things to worry about.

It's incredible that I'm still going

December 20th, 2018 at 11:22 am

After several weeks of sheer madness and an average of 4-6 hours of sleep a night, I'm still going. To say the least, things have been a whirlwind. I feel like I'm finally starting to catch my breath. My plan is to start the new year by laying everything out again with what has happened these last few weeks and my goals for next year.

I also want to do the UFM challenge, but haven't decided whether my sanity will allow me to commit to it.

Just a smidgeon of what we have been dealing with: high-risk pregnancy, DH's year-long deployment (which came with a whole slew of admin issues that I'm told don't normally occur), pest problems (totaling a lovely $1600 on top of everything else), and of course, mom issues.

With everything we're dealing with, I plan to make 2019 our reset year. Wish me luck.

An Exhausting Week

December 13th, 2018 at 05:32 am

DH is confirmed to leave this weekend. It's been a whirlwind of trying to get things done because the admin side was so disorganized. It's really unfortunate because I hear that this isn't the norm, but it's left a terrible taste. They basically messed up his orders and then autoenrolled only me into insurance based on those orders which screwed everything up. I spent multiple days on the phone with several organizations trying to get it straight, and we still aren't there. Hopefully, we are getting close though.

Even with all the chaos, I've been trying to steal quiet moments and not wish it to all be over because then that would mean he is gone. Our eating out has been terrible, and I don't even care right now.

One financial win that I did have was in regards to our estate planning. We had been planning to do wills, POAs, and living wills before the baby, but this pushed up the timeline. A friend had suggested Legal Zoom and pricing it out was about $250 for all 3 documents for each of us. I looked up military benefits to see if there was some sort of assistance or help with this stuff, and there was! The Legal Assistance office was able to squeeze us in for a last minute appointment. At first, we were told that since it was only an hour, we could only do my husband's documents which was fine. However, since our needs were fairly straightforward, we were able to do both sets. We now have some peace of mind as to what would happen if anything happens to either of us, and it was completely free.

Today brings more appointments. We're also doing early Xmas with both families tonight. Tomorrow is pretty light besides packing. Lots of downtime to spend with each other and our furbabies.

In other financial news, a lot is being floated until DH's new regular paychecks start coming in in January. Until then, we are lucky enough to have enough savings to cover his lack of salary.

A Small Win

December 4th, 2018 at 04:54 am

Things have sort of gone to the birds over here. It's been really hard to stay financially focused when we're dealing with expecting anxieties, an upcoming deployment, holidays, etc. But we're trying. I did meet one of our goals - the Ashley Furniture card is paid off!

Considering how few of the other 2018 goals we're going to meet, I am proud that we did this one. While we still have funds set aside for the fireplace and car replacement, the deployment's changed those plans. I'm going to take those amounts down to $200 for the fireplace and $2000-3000 for the car and repurpose the rest to cover our lapse in income (see below). We have all next year to save for both goals since I wouldn't really use the fireplace without my husband around until I got used to it (and I'd want him around for that). For the car, I'm going to use DH's while he's away. My car will still go to my older brother as planned, so that it can be driven regularly.

For the everyday use credit card, I still haven't paid it off, but I am officially riding the float meaning I'm no longer paying interest, but paying the balance and then reusing the card for that month's spending. The remaining balance is sitting right at $1500.

One other difficulty during this time is that DH won't be getting a paycheck for awhile. We expect today to be his last day at his civilian job, and he probably won't begin collecting a military paycheck until the end of December or beginning of January. Fortunately, we have the savings funds to repurpose and can hopefully make up ground quickly once he starts collecting paychecks.

Everything is still so floopy, but I'm hopeful that at some point, they'll become un-floopy. (Friends reference...)