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Time off and Apts.

May 23rd, 2016 at 01:40 pm

My birthday is in June and I previously had always taken off the whole week. It's nice to have the time to relax and also to get stuff done around the house, etc. But this year MO has to work so I don't want to burn up the whole week of PTO when he won't be around to enjoy it with. My BD is on a Tuesday, so I decided to take off the Monday-Wednesday and go back to work for Thurs-Fri.

For that Monday I am going back to my home town an hr away and I made a rt eye apt, yearly exam, and a haircut. My rt eye exam and yearly exam will be free under my insurance so good to get those out of the way, and I also have an allowance for glasses to use at that time too.

I am hoping I will also have time to go to lunch with a friend and take my nephew to do something fun. He is going to be turning 6 and his BD is the day after mine. Smile

Then on my BD I will go get my free lunch at a yummy local Mexican restaurant and have softball that evening.

Wednesday I can sleep in and relax before going back to work.

Excited for some time off!

"Extra" Roomate moved out....shoooooot!

May 22nd, 2016 at 04:04 pm

We have had a young man living in our basement for about 2 yrs now. When he moved in shortly after MO and I started dating, he was an employee and friend of MO's, since then he has gotten a new, higher paying job, but continued to live in our basement and pays a flat $400 a month. About a year ago the first guys cousin got placed up here by his job and moved up here, he was supposed to only be here a few weeks and it ended up being around a year (I can't remember exactly when he moved up). He was also paying $400 a month for rent. This was great extra money for us, and we always treated his rent as extra income and put it directly into savings or towards debt. Yesterday the cousin was laid off of his job so moved back to his home city till he gets his next assignment. Shoooooot!

That was super easy extra money and was a huge help in meeting our goals.....oh well. We are planning on making that extra room into a workout room as it is very large in the basement so it is cooler, and also has hard flooring so easier for working out. We will move the elliptical, total gym and weight bench in there soon.

Going to try to get back into FB sales to try to compensate for that missing income.

We bought the Jeep Liberty!

May 20th, 2016 at 12:47 pm

Well we have a new vehicle! We discussed it thoroughly and I think we made the best decision for our family. I really love it!

So we got this 2004 Jeep Liberty. Per Kelly Blue Book the value is $6460, the dealer had it priced at $5900, and we were able to get them to go down to $5200. We tried for $5000, but they couldn't go down that far, however they did through in a free car starter which is definitely a great bonus here in ND!

I really think we got a great deal. The biggest factor that pushed me towards the purchase was thinking about when one of our other vehicles does die, will I be willing to spend $15K-$20K for an SVU type vehicle? No I wouldn't. I just think that is way too much to spend, even if I can afford it and I already have the money saved up, I just can't spend that much on a vehicle for myself. So the fact that the type of vehicle I want is available for only $5200 is something I didn't want to pass up after I weighed the pros and cons.

We have a two stall garage, but each of the stalls is double depth, so we can fit 4 vehicles in there. So MO cleaned out the back corner and parked his Cavalier there, and cancelled the insurance on it. We won't be driving that car at all at this time. We then parked the new Liberty behind the Cavalier, and we will be driving that sparingly (trips, car pools, when we need 4WD etc.) We plan on mainly driving my Malibu to work for MO, softball, errands etc. Once that car dies then we will put the insurance back on the Cavalier and start using it again. (Yes we will make sure it still gets oil changes, tune-ups when needed). Cancelling the insurance on the Cavalier will save us $200 per year, which will cover about 1/2 of the insurance cost for the Liberty. We did discuss selling one of the cars, but the small amount we would get for them really wouldn't make sense. They are worth way more to us as drivable vehicles, then they would be to sell them for $1000 or less.

We will be taking the money out of savings to pay for the Liberty, so no new debt. We also discussed that we will not be going to the casino until we have our savings back to the $5K it was at before we purchased the new vehicle. We should be back to where we need to be by the mid/end of summer, and then full steam ahead on bulking up savings!

My husband has the new car bug!

May 17th, 2016 at 01:35 pm

My husband has gotten a wild hair about getting a new (to us) vehicle. I don't even know where this came from..... I really want to continue to focus on getting things paid off.

We currently have 2 cars and 1 truck. All 3 are 2002s, 14 year old. All 3 have well over 150K miles (my car has 191K, not sure exactly what the other 2 have, but I know it's over 150K). And honestly that doesn't bother me at all. They get me where they need to go. As long as I have heat/AC and hopefully cruise control I am fine. They all have minor (and a some major) cosmetic issues, but otherwise fine. I don't mind spending a few $100 a year for tune up issues, you spend those on newer cars as well. Also we have no kids, so we don't have to worry about space issues for day to day or trips etc.

The vehicle he wants us to get is a 2004 Jeep Liberty. It is $5900 and 99K miles. He thinks they will go down on the price. As far as the miles, yes it is a lot, but it is also almost 100K miles LESS then what I am driving now. It looks super nice, we are going to test drive it tomorrow. I almost hope I hate it. MO wants me to have a nicer vehicle with 4 wheel drive (we live in ND and an hr away from the closest city) and also thinks it would be nice to have something bigger as whenever we carpool with anyone we always have to ride with others instead of driving since we have small cars (Malibu and Cavalier). Since we live an hr away from anything we do carpool frequently. We would not be trading in any of our current vehicles as we need a truck, and both of the cars are worth far more to us then they would be as a trade in.

Like anyone else, of course I would love to have a nice, new to me vehicle. But I want to get rid of all this dang debt! I told him IF we do like it and are considering it....#1 He needs to show me where we are fitting 4 vehicles in our garage. #2 Explain to me why 2 people (one of whom works from home!) need 4 vehicles #3 We will not take out more debt, so we would be draining savings. #4 How much will insurance be on the new vehicle #5 NO CASINO

Seeing it typed out makes it pretty darn clear to me that this doesn't make any sense. I will have to work on him. I feel bad saying no as he works so hard and doesn't ask for much, and our vehicles are soooooo old, but I really just think this is an unnecessary want right now.

I ran this by my WIR friends and they had a good suggestion to get him past this want of rather then getting this "moderate" upgrade now, save up and when one of the cars does die, get something we REALLY want and we can have for a long time. I like that idea. I guess we will see how the test drive goes, but definitely leaning towards waiting as long as possible.

Home from vacation!

April 15th, 2016 at 05:18 pm

We are back from Laughlin/Vegas! We had a great trip, the weather was wonderful the entire time (high 70's/low 80's), we had some delicious food, lots of time together and lots of fun gambling, relaxing and exploring!

We were able to use comps, coupons, and gift cards for most of our expenses so we spent less then $50 for food the whole 5 days we were gone.

We didn't win gambling, but our goal was to bring home 50% of what we brought and we were able to bring home $1000 more then our goal, so that was great!

I am glad to be home on a Friday so that we have this weekend home to recoup before having to go back to work, and I got the whole house clean before we left, so we just need to unpack the suitcases and do laundry and catch up on sleep! I am also hoping to get our garage cleaned out so it is functional and ready for a rummage sale.

Working on a debt update and $20K Savings update this evening!

Extra Income - Property Managers

February 29th, 2016 at 01:35 pm

My parents own several rental properties and one of them is a 4 unit that is in the neighboring town to me (About a 15 min drive for me, about 90 mins for my parents). They have had some really terrible luck with their renters lately and have finally gotten the scummy (drug charges, child neglect, etc.) property managers evicted, as well as another unit evicted. Since MO and I are now a lot closer then my parents, we are going to take over as the property managers and take care of renting the units, collecting rent, lawn maintenance and general repairs. They are going to pay us $250 a month for collection the rent and getting it rented, and then an hourly rate for any additional services (painting, repairs, etc.). This should work out good for us to get some extra cash and for my parents to have someone they can trust making sure everything is running smoothly up here.

Right now the 2 units that are open are trashed. Carpets are all garbage, many holes in the walls that need to be repaired, all walls need to be painted. Also the shed and garages are full of junk and the yard is a mess. My parents, myself, MO, and both of my brothers have been working to get the units ready for renters. MO and I will not be taking over as property managers until everything is settled and in place for renters. So once all this work is completed, most months we should only have to collect rent (and mow in the summer). So far we have painted all of one of the units and taken out the old carpets. MO and I spent 3 hrs on Saturday cleaning out the large shed of garbage, tons of broken glass, a mountain of mouse droppings and 1 mouse skeleton (GROSSSSS!). I know once we have everything in shape, MO and I can keep it looking good and things should roll smoothly.

We did make $160 in Feb for helping so once we get paid for that we can add that to savings, and I am sure we will get some good hrs in for March too.

Update on Food Wasting Challenge

February 8th, 2016 at 08:13 am

I cleaned out the fridge to make room for Super Bowl goodies and I had to finally let some things go that I no longer considered edible.

Here is what I have tossed so far in 2016:

26oz of expired skim milk
1/2 qt heavy cream
Small box of breakfast sausages (I believe 6ct)
2 teeny tiny peppers
1/4 Family Size Container Chobani Yogurt

Still pretty happy with how this is going as I am paying a lot more attention to what we are using or having to toss. I am going to suggest to MO to get smaller size milk from now on. The heavy cream was kind of a fluke as we do not normally keep that on hand and it was bought for a recipe. I tried to find something else to put it in, but didn't find anything I especially wanted to make before it turned non-liquidy...ewwww.

Making sure to stay on top of the dairy and produce.

We won $2K at the casino!

February 1st, 2016 at 08:08 am

MO and I went to the casino this weekend to celebrate finally having full renters in my old house. We weren't doing too well so decided to just call it a night early. On the way to the room MO saw one more game he wanted to play so we stopped and it let us play for a long time which was nice. It was 10 hand deuces wild, and we got dealt a Natural Royal Flush, betting .25 a hand, which pays $200 a hand! So 10 hands x $200 per hand = $2000! We were so excited!! After that we played a bit more and ended up coming home up $1770! We will put the money in savings for a very short time then use it to pay my property tax bill at my old house (rental #2). Cheers!

YES! My whole house is rented!

January 29th, 2016 at 11:28 am

Up until now, just the basement of my old house was rented. Since I still had a lot of belongings there I still paid the heat/electricity, water and internet. One of MO's friends was renting the basement for a flat fee of $600 and that was working very well as I trust him so was ok with my belongings still being there. Plus we were able to get some much needed repairs done while still having some rent coming in. Now that I am finally out of there I let him know that if he stays rent will increase to $1200 as of March 1, or if he moves out, I will raise rent to $1500. I am ok with losing the $300 a month to have someone I trust in my property so was really hoping he would stay. Got great news yesterday, MO's brother is going to be moving in to the other half of the house, he is friends with the current renter and will be paying the other $600 a month!

This is awesome! So that will be an extra $600 a month in rent, plus they will now be resp for heat/electricity (est $100 per month) plus internet ($55 per month). So that is an extra $755 per month in my pocket!

AND I still get the benefit of having people I trust in there! Smile

End of Year/Beginning of Year Stuff

January 20th, 2016 at 07:02 am

Well now that I don't have OT, at least I have about 10 hrs more a week to continue working on unpacking, cleaning, organizing and working out!

Since I work from home I get reimbursed for my internet service, but I have to submit the bill monthly for reimbursement. I went through all of my statements today and matched them up with my paystubs to make sure I didn't miss submitting any, and I have been reimbursed for all of them, so that is great and now those can get filed away.

MO and I started entering our taxes on Turbo Tax a few days ago, just wanting to get a general sense of where we are at since we had so many big changes this year. We don't have everything entered yet, but looks like we should be getting a refund of $1000-$2000 which would be great. I was very worried with having the rentals that we would have to pay in this year, but since it is the first year and we have a lot of expenses for getting them up and running it isn't going to hurt us on the refund side.

I also need to overhaul all of my files and move 2014 and 2015 papers from my yearly file to my permanent file. I usually do this every January, but last year at this time I was still dealing with a lot of stuff from XH and just didn't get around (or care to) do it.

Updated Giftcard Inventory

December 27th, 2015 at 04:28 pm

I always like to update my giftcard inventory after Christmas, always have a few more to add at that time!

I have used a few CVS cards since last time I updated, I had 3 E-certs that were just printed on paper so was glad to get those ones used because I was worried about losing those.

Next weekend I am going to a movie with my SIL's and shopping with my Mom, so should be using at least 1 movie ticket and hopefully find some after Christmas Deals as well to use some of my gift cards on!

We also have $188 in cash back rewards with Discover Card right now. Normally I would cash in for CVS giftcards by now, but since I can't shop there as often living an hr away, I figured I would wait till I am almost out before I get more. Also we are planning on going to Laughlin in April and there are a few restaurants (Outback Steakhouse and Bubba Gump Shrimp) there that we don't have here and we would definitely use the rewards for that.

The new ones I added are in bold.

Applebees $20.00
Applebees $25.27
Barnes & Noble $5.00
Barnes & Noble $10.00
Bed Bath & Beyond $10.00 - Christmas Gift from work
Bed Bath & Beyond $10.00 - Christmas Gift from work
Coldstone $15.00 - MO BD Gift
CVS $10.00
CVS $10.00
CVS $10.00
CVS $25.00
Drug Store $25.00 - Restaurants.com Deal
Drug Store $25.00 - Restaurants.com Deal
Drug Store $25.00 - Restaurants.com Deal
Drug Store $25.00 - Restaurants.com Deal
JCPenney $25.00
JCPenney $45.00 - Christmas Gift
Lowe's $25.00
Lowe's $50.00
Massage $50.00 - Christmas Gift
MasterCard $100.00
Menards Rebates $45.94
Menards Rebates $69.32
Menards Rebates $114.91
Menards Rebates $146.87
Menards Rebates $146.87
Menards Rebates $214.12
Movie Coupons $10.00
Movie Coupons $10.00
Movie Giftcard $10.00 - Christmas Gift
Movie Giftcard $10.00 - Christmas Gift
Movie Giftcard $10.00 - Christmas Gift
Old Navy $25.00- Christmas Gift
Scheels $5.93
Scheels $25.00
Scheels $50.00 - Christmas Gift
Target $5.00
Target $5.00
Target $5.00
Target $10.00
Target $20.00
Target $50.00
Target $50.00
Texas Road House $50.00
TGIFridays $25.00
Walmart $10.00
Walmart $11.36
Walmart $20.00
Walmart $35.00
TOTAL = $1581.72
Up $421.55 from last inventory.

Pictures are working!?!?!?

December 17th, 2015 at 05:01 pm

Can it be true!!!!!!?????

Testing with a picture of my dog when I told her she couldn't sit on my lap right now.