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Carrie's Blog

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Sinking funds

Sinking funds goals & amounts   Listed by priority 1. Tuition $2700/$3500 due Sept 7, 2016 2. Property tax $7/$2400 due Jan 1, 2017 3. Home/Auto Maintenance (EF for the EF), $2360/no cap --- need to set a monthly amount to contribute and forget about it -- ideally could keep in the $10k range, but would not object to getting it higher until we know what-all repairs may need to happen on the house when we decide to list 4. Vacation Fund $860/$2500 due Jun 1, 2017   Not a sinking fund,

Carrie

Carrie

 

Yard pictures, this is why I'm so tired tonight

Front planting bed, I expanded it, edged it with stone, and will plant hostas in the mulch area as soon as they arrive (mail ordered).   Pinestraw around new jasmine     New azaleas on dirt berm. Need to add mulch around the bushes, and hope to get some ground cover going here too.   Trying to get some curb appeal. I'm thinking rocking chair on the porch and a big planter of flowers.   Edit to add: new plants in front

Carrie

Carrie

 

Financial setback: fixing up the house

I just set our IRAs to delayed payment (hope to get back to them end of summer or fall). In the meantime, will be piling up money & tackling projects around the house.   My list: 1. Drainage, re-grading, landscape $5500 timeline- this week 2. Sealant/caulking, have supplies, no further cost- this weekend 3. Paint touch up on baseboards, some minor touch up on cabinets - buy paint, $25, within a month or two 4. Clean walls - free, ongoing 5. Power wash house, porches - need to b

Carrie

Carrie

 

Room to breathe

I'm breathing again, found my spot, and should have a decent sized snowball to send somewhere.   Priorities for right now: fill up property tax account ($2300) over the next six months add another $1500 to my individual 401k before 4-15-16 set aside $1000 towards kitchen reno after the Mar 1 payment to the mortgage (the payment that will finally get us below $50k, which was my target before starting the kitchen countertop/tile project) --- maybe try to schedule this project to happen o

Carrie

Carrie

 

Breaking point

I think we've hit our breaking point.   I fell behind on our charitable giving last year, so I tried to make up for it last month and this month. It has made our budget very tight.   We had the big hospital bill to pay. We had Christmas (and we went pretty light on that).   We paid property tax early, from an underfunded sinking fund.   We have the money for all of our living expenses, but I've got so much going to retirement that it squeezes the rest of our life. Plus throwing extr

Carrie

Carrie

 

2016 Goals

Goals for 2016 new kitchen counters & backsplash - cash refill the home maintenance account, fill property tax account max 401k, max ROTHs, add $2k to individual 401k pay mortgage down by $20k (bringing balance down to $30k) read 50 books   Of course, I'll also be cleaning & de-cluttering (being especially mindful of what we bring into the house). I'm going to continue to sew through my stash without adding new fabric. I'm going to finish at least one of my large p

Carrie

Carrie

 

Year in review 2015

2015 goals & how we did: 1. Keep current investment levels. 401k will automatically adjust up 1% in May. I think we've hit our sweet spot, budget can't take any more investing unless there's a raise. There was a raise -- it just happened last pay period, so it will really show itself in 2016 in our investing. I'm proud of us -- this year we've put more in retirement than ever before. 2. Build my inventory both to supply work to the gallery, but also to prepare for a big show next December.

Carrie

Carrie

 

December 2015

Wrapping up the year here.   I still need to make a few more donations to charity - we fell behind, but we're fixing that.   I just mailed the property tax check - ouch! We paid in January & December so that it will work to our advantage when we itemize. I think we're going to do an every other year itemizing. Mortgage interest is now hardly anything / YAY / so we have to make it up in other areas, like charitable contributions & property taxes.   DH's new raise will show up on h

Carrie

Carrie

 

More October (glad it's a long month)

I'm over here getting all kinds of stuff done. *Go me.   Sent the snowball to the mortgage yesterday --- we're at $53119 remaining.   In anticipation of hitting our YE goal by December 31 --- I've got an appointment tomorrow with the tile shop to start to look at my kitchen renovation options. Renovation should probably be in quotes --- all I'm looking at is new countertops, and probably new backsplash. I'm excited and nervous, but this is one of those things that once we get it done we'll

Carrie

Carrie

 

2015- October

I'm holding on to a large (for us) snowball....   Several things. 1. We haven't gotten hospital bills yet from son's September visit -- I do know how much it'll be, approximately. 2. DH may be taking a new job soon-ish, he's on his third interview and inside lines say he'll be getting an offer. No pressure to take it (as he likes his current job), but if it's a substantial pay raise.... we just don't know yet. Should probably get an offer in hand before thinking further. (Shhh!!!) 3. I

Carrie

Carrie

 

2015-12 September update

Well, this month has not turned out as I'd planned. At the beginning of the month the budget looked great - after an expensive summer, we had room in the budget & would have a nice snowball by month's end. I scheduled to have the eaves repaired - we got it done over labor day weekend, so that was nice. $850. This bit of repair work has had me stressed out for years now - it is such a relief to have it done, and to realize the damage was not as extensive as I'd feared. Plus, we added two d

Carrie

Carrie

 

2015-11

July flew on by, baby is now a year old, summer break is over, on to new schedules! I'm so glad that we're doing preschool. I'm glad to admit that I'm not a home schooler, not my strength, and that is ok. I tried to be more social for my kids' sakes, but it was wearing me out, stressing me out and I was not in my element. I'm truly happiest when I'm working a little, dabbling in my art, sewing, cooking, being with my family.   I've come to realize that the way I pamper myself and decompre

Carrie

Carrie

 

2015-10

Since my last blog I've worked about $600 worth at my contract position. So that has picked up, yay! (Still waiting on the check though.) The sewing student didn't work out, so boo. But that's ok. I've got a new thing that will make a tiny bit (very tiny bit), the hourly is good, but only happens 4x year, and is really kind of a favor.   We have so many big bills & things we have to spend on. We spent a lot on two weekend trips in May. Now we're doing it again this month. None of it is par

Carrie

Carrie

 

2015-9

I've made $60 so far by teaching sewing lessons, and I'm using fabric that I don't love (any more) to do it. Lessons should continue through the summer, but I'm not counting on it. But hey, an extra $120-$150 per month isn't a shabby addition to the snowball.   These lessons came at a great time, because DH'S 401k contribution just auto adjusted up 1%. I'm interested to see if we notice in our budgeting.   I've put in a few calls for contracting work, but nothing's happening again. This is

Carrie

Carrie

 

2015-8 bring on the snow

The little habits idea is changing my life. Or at least my morning routine. I've incorporated all kinds of quick but good things into my day.   I've started up with work! So far I've only got 3 hours to bill (over 2 days), but at least I've started and finally have the software. I think billing 1-3 hours per day is doable.   I also just got my first sewing student! I'm excited! I'll be teaching a little girl how to sew and quilt. The child is home schooled and lives in the next neighb

Carrie

Carrie

 

2015-7 (sewing pics)

The contract position still hasn't started, so in the meantime I've been basking in homemaking. I love it, and am not bothered by the delay. Timing would actually be better if the job thing started mid summer, but by fall for sure.   We have a few short (but expensive) trips to take over the next six weeks. First one is in two weeks (family related). Realizing I have nothing to wear this summer, I started to sew for myself after a few weeks of baby sewing. I have major anxiety about dress

Carrie

Carrie

 

2015-6

Baby slept her long stretch last night! Finally! She went through a sleep regression during teething, and then I think was still waking up out of habit for the next 4-5 days. But last night, she slept from 9pm-12am (nursed back to sleep), then slept solid until 6am (sleep nursed) then woke for the day at 8:20am. This I can handle!   I'm enrolling my 3 year old in preschool today, to start in the fall. I think we're just doing mornings, much cheaper - and all they do in the afternoon is lu

Carrie

Carrie

 

2015-5

On track to meet our mortgage goal, decided to keep funding college indefinitely (well, until all the kids are through), may still put off the countertops until the 50k mark. I'm in a slump about it again.   I'm also in a sewing slump. Coincides with teething baby. Turns out I need sleep, and when I don't get it, extra stuff doesn't get done. House is reasonably clean and we all eat well. That's what matters right now when baby nurses 3 times per night.   I haven't followed up yet with co

Carrie

Carrie

 

feeling stalled

I'm not sure if it's my personality, hormones, or something else that has happened to me since having children, but I have such a hard time now getting anything (mainly project related) done. Thank goodness money stuff is automated. I'm good at the day to day, I cook all of our meals (from scratch, usually ), the laundry stays done & put away, but other things I just drag my feet on. Do you know, I STILL have not gone to pick out new countertops and get estimates done? And that I've be

Carrie

Carrie

 

hello, ego boost

I've been down and out with sinus crud (maybe a cold) since Sunday, so I've been particularly unproductive this week. This evening I got a call from the firm I used to contract with, or rather, who I contract with when I'm not off having babies. It seems my productivity, experience, and talent are not easy to replace. (Warning: ego now inflated.) He wants to know if I want work. He needs help and has been through several employees since I stopped billing hours in July. Here's the thing, my

Carrie

Carrie

 

three bags full

I'm cleaning out my closet. It's nuts the things I've kept. A size 3/4 dress. Yes, it's cute, but I wore it a long time ago and I will never be that shape again. Even though I'll lose baby weight and be smaller, I'll never go back to that adolescent shape. Getting out those shirts that don't fit through the shoulders or bust. Business suits that I bought 15 years ago for my first professional job.... gotta go. The maternity clothes are easy to dump, obviously not planning on needing those, but

Carrie

Carrie

 

I love Mondays

I love Mondays, with the promise of a fresh new week, I'm ready to tackle the list of things I wish to do. I'm sure my husband and school aged child don't appreciate Monday quite as much as I do.   Baby girl is pretty much sleeping through the night reliably. I think it's time for me to get out of bed an hour earlier. I've really appreciated how my DH has been the morning parent in charge, with packing school lunch, doing morning drop off, while I sleep in with the little two. But, I'm feeli

Carrie

Carrie

 

2015-5

DH got a raise this pay period (the first one of the new year). Hooray! He deserves it, he's really good at his job. So with that raise, 401k contribution went up. With the remainder I think we'll try to build sinking funds quickly over the first few months with our snowball, and then the remainder of the year snowball will go to the mortgage. We just emptied the property tax fund, so that is really the only one to fund right now.   One of my new year goals was to try a new recipe each week.

Carrie

Carrie

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