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  1. ....if I ever did that 5k. LOL. We did it this morning and it was awesome! Let me be clear, I have never been a runner. When I started the couch to 5k 8 weeks ago I could literally barely run a minute. I almost gave up many times but I am stubborn and I didn't want to be a quitter. I kept at it and gradually got a lot better. Before today my best practice time was 36:30. My goal for today was anything under 40, with the secret hope I could break 35. We get there today and as soon as we lined up there was a huge clap of thunder and the skies opened up and it started pouring! Lucky for me I like the rain and I think the other runners motivated me as well. I did my first mile in under 10 minutes and finished in 32:34. I'm very happy!! I felt awesome for the first hour after the race and now I am really sore. The longest I ran without some walking intervals before today was 25 minutes,and I didn't walk at all today, ran the whole thing. So my body is a little upset at me but I'll manage. I placed 7th in my age bracket. Dh beat me by over a minute so he is happy too. I kind of want to do a 10k now but they are a lot harder to find. I'll mull it over. In the meantime we are going to do another 5k in June. Anyway it's totally off topic but thought I'd update.
    25 points
  2. We have a baby! Labor was quick and easy and she's just perfect. One week past her due date, but only 7 lb 1 oz. Edit -- now that we're home I was able to get a pic resized to share:
    23 points
  3. Alex ended up having two interviews today. He had the interview this afternoon and it is for a short term project that may or may not need a project manager. It's a small business, only about 20 people, that is moving to a larger facility. The owner is debating on whether he can handle coordinating the move as well as continuing to run the business. It is probably a 6 week job, maybe 8, but it would be money and he would having something in his field to put on his resume that is local and current. He also had a phone interview from someone who got his resume through a referral. It is someone who works for an alarm monitoring company based out of St. Louis that is looking to set up better processes and procedures. It's work he has done before in another industry. The man mentioned making him an account manager and giving him a few accounts to manage as well as doing this work to help it possibly be a full time permanent position. They have accounts in Nashville so he wasn't totally sure if this was a move to St. Louis kind of job or a work in Nashville and travel to St. Louis as needed. We would be happy to move to St. Louis... it is supposed to be a great place to live and some of our friends just moved there. On top of that, his networking that he has been putting way more effort into seems to be paying off. He received three emails today from people he has met recently who heard of jobs that would be a good fit for him. I think he applied to all three already tonight. So, a positive day for us around here! Naomi got to go to swim team again (I will start doing the pick up and watch over the kids from her school so we don't have to pay), the twins had great swim lessons at school and I got to pick up 2 extra hours of work.
    22 points
  4. We have a supplemental insurance through work, a hospital indemnity one, and due to dh's 3+ week hospital stay, we received a lump sum of $4400. After much discussion and prayer, we decided to pay off the truck, which was at $3400 - not our lowest, but second lowest. However, in doing this, we now have an extra $300 in our budget every month. I am SO glad we did this! We will have the Discover card paid off by the end of July with this move. We have not had much breathing room in our budget for about two years. Now, we have space, and it feels wonderful. We can now not wonder where the money is going to come from for our car tags, for example, due at the end of July. And we have a SNOWBALL!! Our snowball has been so itty bitty teeny tiny for so long, this seems like a miracle! And - it has gotten dh excited about getting the debt paid off again, because it seems possible. So very, very thankful.
    21 points
  5. Here he is. All 7 lbs.
    21 points
  6. I know I haven't said much lately but am always here reading. Pregnancy makes me very grouchy. lol Paisley Samantha arrived June 6th. 8 lbs, 6 oz. She is just perfect. I am just exhausted!
    21 points
  7. Thankfully, we are blessed and it isdone with $17 to spare none the less! the additional farm is paid out! we are very relieved. praise be to Heavenly Father for pulling us through this last stretch of it! it is rented, and our tenant has moved in. The fields are rented this year but we will take them back over next year for more csa shares, and we have a nice rolling section that will be a tree farm. Hoping to get our Christmas trees in the ground early spring. what is next for the red doors, we are building a library next. We had funds donated to the church from a donor to cover the cost of the materials to build it. So we would like it built and operational by the end of Sept.
    21 points
  8. Van paid off!!!! So excited to be done with BS2!!!! Going to go headfirst into saving some serious cash for when we need car replacements/home repairs (our foundation needs some attention), but feeling good!!!
    20 points
  9. It really pays to know what kind of car you want and do research. It is time to replace dh's car. We have gotten away with only having one car that seats all of us for almost 5 years now, but we are actually outgrowing the larger car (a Durango). It technically seats 8, but the 3rd row is not made for full sized adults, and neither is the middle seat of the 2nd row. My oldest son is taller than I am and he is now very uncomfortable anywhere but the outside seats of the 2nd row (or the front, which the adults get by default). The other kids aren't getting any smaller either so more leg room is needed. Also there is almost no room behind the 3rd row for groceries or anything. I try to grocery shop when I don't have the kids so I can fold down the 3rd row. It's worked out pretty well, but on long trips we have to tow a luggage rack or trailer because almost nothing fits behind that 3rd row. The Durango still has plenty of life in it though and doesn't need to be replaced right now whereas dh's car has almost 200k miles on it so, we decided to replace dh's 5 seater car with a larger SUV, then when it comes time to replace the Durango in 2-3 years, I can actually go smaller. We will have two 8-seater vehicles for a few years, which seems a bit much, but I won't be driving nearly as much as soon as I quit my job, and we will just use the larger SUV for our family car when we have all the kids. We narrowed it down to a Lincoln Navigator or Ford Expedition EL (the one with the extra length behind the 3rd row). They are actually the same base car, the Lincoln has more luxury features but the seats and such are the exact same. It actually will get the same gas mileage as the car Dh has now, because his car requires premium fuel and this one won't. Insurance I'm not sure about. Might be an increase. We are of course, buying used. These cars new are $50-$60k. We've been checking every ad anywhere within 4 hours of us. Ebay, Craigslist, small dealers, large dealers, flyers, everything. The longer length is hard to find! There are tons of Expeditions that with the shorter length but I don't see a point in buying one and still having to tow a luggage rack on trips. So we held out for the longer length. Most prices are in the $16k-$18k area, for a 2007 or 2008. Many well over $20k. We found a few around $14k that we thought we could save a bit longer and buy. Then this weekend one came up for $10,900 for a 2007. We saw the same car (literally the same car) in a different ad for $13,900. It was a bit confusing so dh called and it turns out they misprinted the lower priced ad. It was supposed to be $13,900 however they are honoring the lower advertised price if we can get there today with cash. These are the kinds of things you can take advantage of when you have cash saved AND know exactly what things cost so you can recognize a deal when you see it! Dh is on his way there now to buy it. It's 2.5 hours away but totally worth the drive to save $3k. We aren't sure if he will trade his car in or if we will sell it private party...depends on what they offer us for it. I know we could probably get more private party but we aren't sure it will be worth the time we'd spend and the wait for the cash. We will see. I'm excited to get this done and crossed off the list before I lose income. Dh has been needing to replace his car for a long time and we were finally able to save some money up to do it when we realized that this is the last opportunity we have for awhile to save money. We buckled down and got it done. I think I will keep updating the list below as motivation. Checklist before I lose income: Replace dh's car (hopefully 4/27) sell the rental house that has lots of equity (went on the market 4/21) purchase two income producing houses (one currently under contract but not closed yet) Fill all sinking funds Get sons orthodontist work done while I still have a dental plan that covers $1000 worth of orthodontics (scheduled 4/30) P.S. just got text, car is purchased.
    19 points
  10. Yesterday after grocery shopping I went to visit a friend of mine. She is 35 (I'm 40 btw) she has never been married and is not in a LTR now. She said that if she were me she would do anything and everything she could to keep her fertility. She said that being 40 does not mean I can't have kids - she said that she would wait another 5 years before undergoing a hysterectomy. That's the problem with opinions, everyone has one. I think I'm still going to stay with my plan. I also think that I am going to start making changes to my life. I've been focusing on stuff I can't control and not making the choice to be happy often enough. I scheduled another appointment with my counselor for this Thursday - just before I go in for my pre-op tests. I have not heard back from my attorney yet (well I did hear back but he told me he has heard nothing from X's camp yet) - That's ok - I can be patient. I'm sure the "rehabilitative spousal support" thing shook the man to his core. I did tell my attorney about my surgery - just so he knows if he tries to contact me. So I'm embarking on this happiness project. This means that I need to start doing things that make me happy and healthy and make people around me happy and healthy. Every day I am going to run 3 miles until the day of my surgery. Every day I am going to make a list of 4 things I am thankful for, or fun things that I will do that day or have happened to me that day. I am going to research and find a charity to get involved with, or some way to volunteer. Something with kids - it could be as simple as volunteering to be a helper at a daycare during church services or doing a Sunday school thing. I'm going to do something. I have to get my mind off myself and onto others. I can't give money right now - but I can give time. Maybe I could find a girl scout troop to help or go volunteer at the library. So my 4 things list: 1) I made a strawberry pie this weekend. It was good. 2) I went into the office today instead of working from home. Got to talk to some of my coworkers. 3) I might stop and see one of my other girlfriends after work. 4) I found my old crochet project while going through a box. It will be perfect to pick back up again when I am laid up.
    19 points
  11. I just got home from a two-day work overnight/out of town thingee. As you may know from previous whines, I really struggle with that, both money-wise and overeating-wise. I am VERY proud and happy to say that I packed snacks (apples, blueberries, string cheese, water) and budgeted $15 for dinner and $6 for breakfast (lunches were covered) (both will be reimbursed). I spent $15 on dinner, a (relatively) healthy choice, didn't overeat, and had enough left over for breakfast today. NO other expenses - I had enough snacks to get me home in one piece. I didnt' stop to go shopping. Nothing extra. And I feel WONDERFUL about it!! I realize it's just a little two day one night overnight for work, but this is a HUGE step for me. And I woohoo myself!
    19 points
  12. My Mom's house was on the market for, what, maybe 2 weeks tops and it has sold!!!!! She got $72K, was asking $74.9K. Which is about what the realtor thought it would go for. It is a young family that bought it, which makes me happy. We kind of figured it would be a family as it is on the big side for just 2 people or a single. We only live about 5 blocks from my Mom's house, so it will be fun to watch what the new, young, owners do with it. I kind of know the person who bought it, small town thing. So only a couple more mows for us and we are done with that extra chore!!!
    19 points
  13. boy for Astrid and Nathanial! They had the ultra sound this afternoon! It is just so exciting! Just popping in quickly to share, I am supposed to be getting ready for women's group! But I am so thrilled for them! Couldn't wait!
    19 points
  14. I am sitting and watching the girls go to sleep. The twins will play unless we keep an eye on them for a few minutes so one will doze off. Just sitting here reflecting on the blessings and not the stresses. I figured since I feel like I am always venting that maybe it would feel good to share this. First, I am absolutely floored with Naomi's change in behavior this week at school. I have heard nothing from her teachers but updates on how much more focused she is and that she is participating in all aspects of class again. No more laying down during circle time because she is too tired to sit up! We are reinstating our no cartoons on a school night rule. I had been feeling pretty sick for awhile and Netflix was my best friend after school for awhile. Instead we are doing homework straight after school instead of before bed, the girls have colored every day after school this week and are playing with their toys more. Speaking of feeling sick, I finally broke down and asked for a steroid and my stomach is starting to heal again! I guess with all the stress it was too hard to control without the help. Thank goodness though, I feel much better! Also, Alex heard back from the recruiter he spoke to Monday. The woman hiring doesn't want to interview a lot of people so she ranked her applicants and is doing one a day and moving on if that one doesn't work out. Interesting interview process... Alex was the third one she liked and apparently she didn't want to move forward with the first. The second goes tomorrow and depending on how that goes he would be contacted next. He also got an email last minute from a recruiter who has a job in his own company he just heard about! So, he told Alex to send an updated résumé so he could get it directly to his colleague who is handling that position. I am not sure what it is about this week. Naomi doing better, my stomach... I am just feeling much more positive! I hope it channels it's way into other parts of our lives!
    19 points
  15. It won't last long, but I'm a millionaire I reached millionaire status including my house already, but now it is just cash & savings Let's see - numbers as of today are: 795,930.53 401k 96,748.96 IRAs and after-tax retirement savings ---------------- 892,679.49 74,434.70 Various savings accounts, CD's, I bonds and loan to church 3,140.03 Checking type accounts and cash 45,637.78 Severance check - I have paystub and it will show up in my account Friday ---------------- 123,212.51 111.15 Due from others (mostly hay fed to friend's horses) 1,882.60 HSA account (896.26) cc balance (paid in full every month) ---------------- 1,097.49 ========== 1,016,989.49 ========== Hmmm . . . I'm more over than I thought. I could conceivably be a millionaire for a while depending on how long it takes me to spend the money to build my barn. I will be paying out the following soon: $7.4K tithes and extra giving $4.6K property tax pd at end of Dec so there goes $12K of my almost $17K over $1M - and that doesn't include utilities, food, gasoline, etc. I will get two pension checks this year net just over $3K so if I don't spend more than $8K on everything else before mid-Jan, I can stay a millionaire for the rest of this year
    18 points
  16. We have been struggling to find available apartments (and Alex still doesn't want to move). Well, just this afternoon I called one of the most affordable places nearby and they have several units available in August! Then, a few hours later we got an email from the property manager saying the owner wants to increase our rent by $100 a month if we don't sign another lease. Well, no more arguing... Alex gave our required 60 day notice and we will vacate by the end of August! It will give us time to move ourselves besides the heaviest furniture. I'm so excited! We should be saving $400-500 a month on rent and utilities!
    18 points
  17. It's definitely part time, this week ends on Sunday but today and tomorrow he will have ten hours over the two days. It's the same $10 an hour he would have made at the far away job so it evens out with him working 25 hours I think, I have to do the math. He is so happy to be working at least some hours again!
    18 points
  18. I didn't mention that I had an interview scheduled to help increase my income in yesterday's post. But the interview went well enough that I got the job today. I will start October 1st. I currently work for same organization but will work for another division. I have 2 more checks at my lower salary but come October 15th, there will be a big increase. I'm excited about the money but the position will be a challenge too which I need. So excited. I expect to say goodbye to some debt by the end of this year!
    18 points
  19. Matt and I had a few really great conversations lately. The late night snuggly able to focus kind where you don't have twenty things pulling your attention away. we decided that our bs7section of the plan hasn't been balanced in well for us against the drive to purchase the farm which has been our primary focus now for months. I decided I will share our top secret, swore to secrecy under punishment of nathanials mud wasp experience from last summer if you tell plan. So last week we had the deacon put a huge five gallon jug by the exit door of the church and each member of the church kids, adults and any where in between we're told to write a project, item, service request that they have on a piece of paper and put it in the jug on the way out of service. Then the church is going to read through and select a few to help meet needs in the community over the next while. But what is really happening is that we are pulling them all, sorting them all, finding materials, items or service volunteers as needed and granting every single wish that was placed in the jar. I am very excited and energized. We are picking the jar up tonight after youth group social. I am really looking forward to cracking it open. Makes me feel reenergized and excited about bs7 again !
    18 points
  20. I wrote this up for another forum I am apart of and realized I never really talked about what went on while we were in Jersey packing out so I thought I would share it here as well: It has been a while since I have been able to come online and really talk so I thought I would post an update on how we are doing. At the end of March my husband deployed for 6 mths. Two days later the kids and I closed out our house in Jersey and drove to Kentucky to stay on the family farm. We moved into my Great Grandparents vacant and fully furnished home in the middle of the family beef farm. After we had been here in Kentucky for 1 mth we got an email from our landlord in Jersey saying that he was going to allow the house to go into foreclosure...but for us to keep sending him rent. We felt that was extremely immoral and refused to pay him the rent if he was going to refuse to pay the bank. My parents watched our 6 children for three days while I flew up to Jersey to pack out and put the entire house into storage. Here is where some serious God "things" came up. There was no way I could have packed out that 3,000 square foot house much less moved all of our things into storage by myself. I was seriously trusting the Lord to help me. For weeks before hand I was praying a very specific prayer "Lord, if you are in this I ask you to make yourself known." Boy did He ever! It started with the plane ticket. I needed $380 for the round trip ticket. Wouldn't you know I got a check in the mail the week before for $389?! So there was my plane ticket. Then on the first day there (Friday) I had people I didn't even know (friends of friends) show up to help us pack out our house. By 6pm on Friday night our entire house had been emptied of furniture and the majority of the house had been packed (just kitchen and master bedroom needed to be packed). We were standing in the kitchen saying we needed packing supplies for the kitchen and trying to figure out where to find them when a neighbor poked his head in the door to announce he had dropped off boxes full of packing materials. Talk about chills! God at work! Then I went to get into my husband's car and found a massive roll or bubble wrap that he had brought home from work before he deployed! I felt very touched by the Lord right that second. On Saturday morning I still had to Uhaul for a few more hours and again the people from the night before came by to help. We managed another load to the storage unit that morning. When I got home from that trip I found there were so many people at my house I couldn't even find a parking place on the street! I walked into find the entire house filled with people. The entire house had been emptied and put in the garage, every room packed, and people in every room cleaning and scrubbing. By 6pm the entire house was emptied and scrubbed and I had nothing to do with myself. Since I was homeless a dear friend offered me her sofa bed and then fed me steak and veggies. Sunday morning we found that the landlord had refused to come by and do the walk through and take possession of the house. I called the local police station and they sent a nice officer over to do a walk through and document the condition I was leaving the house in. I still have not heard back from the land lord about the security deposit but I am giving him his legally required 30 days before I make contact again. I had absolutely nothing to do with myself for the rest of the Sunday and was able to relax before my flight back to Kentucky. The Lord was definitely with me for that weekend! Anyways back here in Kentucky. We are living rent and utility free here on the family farm. I am enjoying the no tv or internet in the home and think we will have to make some serious changes once we have our own home again. We are spending our days playing in the creek, exploring the farm, doing school work, and just being together. The kids are getting to spend time with their great grandfather, grandparents, uncle and aunt, and cousins. We are working on completing our emergency fund, filling our sinking funds, and saving for a down payment on our own farm sometime down the road. We plan to go back to Jersey in September and find a new house to rent before dh returns from his deployment. We want to stay in the same subdivision with our friends and fellow homeschoolers. Right now there are no listings available but we are trusting that the Lord has a plan and the right house will pop up when we need it. It is hard for me to "let it go" since I am a planner but I keep telling myself the Lord has a plan, if I knew what the plan was then it would be my plan instead of His. So far we have made it through 3mths of the 6mth deployment. I miss my husband something fierce. He is miserable and that isn't helping my emotions at all. I am very ready for him to come home! Anyway there is our update. We are currently homeless squatters and actually enjoying it immensely
    17 points
  21. We called it a wrap at my Mom's house. All the painting and work she wanted done is done. I was scrapping the bottom of the paint cans to get her closet painted only had enough for the walls, the trim is still yellow, but I'm done!!! If she wants more done it will not be by myself or DH. We hauled every last bit of stuff out to her garage, which was so much more then we thought. She can now have a cleaning crew get in there and do their thing. Technically we still have to, haul away all the stuff we brought into the garage but that's just a couple hours work. And we will also still need to keep up with the lawn mowing and trimming until it sells but I can deal with that. We are just both so burnt out with all this work on her house. It has been 5 long months. We didn't realize when we started that it was going to be mostly just DH and I doing all the work, but it is what it is and now it is DONE! Oh happy day!
    17 points
  22. So, it seems we are on a spending spree lately but all is budgeted, and some has been scheduled for a long time, with money saved, just waiting for the right deal. 1. We found a hot tub on Craigslist! I have been saving for this since before the holidays, using really only "extra" money. Things like when I got gift card for Christmas, I used them for groceries and put the money in the hot tub fund, things like that. There are hot tubs all over Craigslist, but we wanted a large one to fit our family and one that wasn't too old so that Dh could still find the parts to fix it when it breaks etc. We finally found one that is 92 inches square, it is HUGE. When I saw it on my deck I could not believe how big it is. The cabinet is worthless and most of it fell apart on transport, so we are going to build one with bar seating around it. The cost of the hot tub, plus professional movers, plus the cabinet/steps, plus buying a cover is almost exactly what we had saved. We are hoping to get it operational by this weekend! 2. Still waiting to close on our new rental bought at auction, should happen in less than a week now. Even needing a new roof (otherwise it's uninsurable) it's our best buy yet. Both the guy who quoted us for insurance and our real estate agent think it's worth roughly twice what we paid, even in its current condition. We haven't even fixed it up yet! But, none of us have seen the inside of it, and won't until we close on it and evict the squatter who used to own it. It was foreclosed on him many months ago. People just don't want to deal with houses they can't see first, we know the risks and even if we had to gut it, we come out ahead on this deal. We got a roof quote for $5400...which seems very low to me, my last roof was $12,000...but that was a larger house. But hey I'm not complaining. 3. Bathroom is mostly done. Waiting on finishing putting about 20 tiles more in the shower and doing the shower floor tile, grouting the shower, and painting the doors. Oh and putting up the towel and toilet paper holders. That's about it. Everything else is done! The corner bathtub looks great! We did our first curved wall around the bathtub and tiled it with the small backsplash tile. Turned out great. Will post before and after pics soon when it's totally done. I want to wait for the shower because that's probably the biggest transformation. 4. We finally bit the bullet and got a housecleaner and pool cleaner! This takes a lot of pressure of us and lets us enjoy life a bit more. Also our 2nd oldest is doing the lawn, he enjoys it. We are paying for the pool and housecleaner out of profits from the rentals, so it did not impact the budget. 5. And the bad: the boat isn't functional at the moment. We really miss going out, but Dh won't have time to fix it until the bathroom and hot tub project are done. He knows what it needs, but it will be a multiple day fix, which he just doesn't have to spare at the moment. We are missing some prime boating months here! But hopefully, soon. 6. We have relaxed a few purse strings around here in general. The household sinking fund and clothing fund are more generous, so I'm not stressing when I need to buy a picture frame or pair of jeans. I really needed some of the stress of life to be lessened. 7. We are entertaining a lot, which I like. We like having a house people enjoy hanging out at and I enjoy cooking for people. I envision my summer having people over for the pool and hot tub weekly. Anyone need a vacation? 8. Our grill is shot, which will put a damper in number 7 unless we find something soon. It's better to buy grills at the end of the season, not the beginning, but we won't make it that long. Maybe a Memorial Day sale.... 9. Work is killing me, I am stressed out just typing that because I had to think about all the things I don't have done. Things will be better in roughly 3 weeks when I get through a major project. 10. Kids are great. We have some milestones coming up with one starting high school and one starting middle school in the fall. We will still have 3 at the elementary school, so we will be back to 3 schools for the next 3 years at least. Luckily the 3 schools are all within a few miles of each other. Well that's probably more than you needed or wanted to know! I feel like it's been forever since I've updated, so there it is. Retirement accounts are on track. Took a beating a few weeks ago, but we are mostly recovered. Had our net worth celebration last weekend, and we are already halfway through our next goal (it takes awhile to get reservations!). I'm hoping we will hit the next goal sometime in the summer. We haven't added the newest rental to net worth at all, and probably won't until we see what we need to do to it.
    17 points
  23. Hello all! I pray everyone is doing well and turning a ready face to spring! I haven't been on in so very long. It has been a very challenging season of life here. Nathanial's father had a stroke at the end of January, we were caring for him through most of February. He was recalled to our heavenly fathers waiting arms on March 17. Nathanial is struggling, as the shock begins to fade the grief is creeping in. It is a terrible loss. Not only to his family but our community as a whole he was a gifted and wonderful church leader as well. We are praying for Nathanial, he is bearing up very well, but it is hard and he is deeply hurting. He is so busy with school, that at least it keeps his mind off it all. But I worry for him. On to our blessings, Baby Leah is so sweet natured, calm quiet and serene. A dream baby, and so much like Amy was! Amy is doing well, Matt caught her trick riding on her horse again last week. She had both feet in one stirrup standing on the side of her horse at top speed. He was torn between terror and pride, she is a talent at it but, goodness me, just sit in the saddle already! Other then the thrill of the horse she is maturing into a lovely girl. Growing up so quickly already. Nate......well lord guide us with Nate. If there is trouble, he looks till he finds it! He is still to eat or sleep. We are into the start of planting in the greenhouses, I like seedling time. Quiet and feels like a fresh beginning all over again. And our most exciting news, ....drum roll please.... astrid and nathanial are expecting! She is due sept 15. They are just over the moon excited! And it is such a blessing for nathanial to have his first baby to look forward too. She feels wonderfully. Is glowing and sewing as the ladies here say! We are over the moon excited for them, married a year, house paid off, emergency fund in the bank, nathanial on the deans list doing well, Astrid enjoying her work at the library and now starting her family! They are so very blessed together!
    17 points
  24. The above is what I posted two years ago about our progress since we paid off our debt. I just ran the numbers for the past two years (from 2-12 until now, 3-14) and this is what I've found: EF - the same Sinking funds - increased by $4k House - paid down by $29,400 Retirement - increased by $113,100 car - increased in value by $23k (bought newer, in cash) college - increased by $10,500 Y'all, I'm honestly blown away. We've had an increase in the past two years that is MORE THAN OUR GROSS INCOME. This plan works when you work the plan. What I've found, especially in the past year is that I don't even want to buy STUFF any more. I want to meet / exceed financial goals and I want to have our priorities straight. I want to be able to have DH retire (I'm already kinda there) with dignity, early if possible, and I want to be able to help our kids with college. I want to open up our pocketbook to give & help those in need - and give freely and with a willing & generous heart. We have more than enough, and we are called to help others who have less than enough. I don't feel called to have the latest gadget, fancy car, stylish clothes / matching or new furniture, premium pre-school / private school, loads of extracurricular activities; I feel called to make sure that we keep our priorities straight --- save, give, live simply. Source: 7 year debt-free anniversary
    17 points
  25. My DH does not have a clue how to spend money. I just had a very deja vu conversation with him. Perhaps 20 years ago DH received a nice bonus around $2k. The conversation went something like this: Me: So what would you like to spend your bonus on? DH: I don't know, let me think about it. 2 days later: DH: I know what I want to buy with the bonus. Me: What? DH: A bag of vermiculite. Me: You want a bag of vermiculite? DH: Yes, for the garden. Me: That's it, you've got $2k and you want something to go in the dirt? DH: Yeah. Fast forward to now. DH recently drew the short straw on an unpleasant job assignment at work. The silver lining is a nice bonus which he found out yesterday will be around $10k. So today's conversation: Me: So honey what would you like to buy with your bonus. DH: Maybe a bag of sugar for the hummingbirds. (serious answer) Me: Well, isn't there something a little bigger that you'd like? DH: How about a riding mower. (he smiles, this is a joke, he thinks riding mowers for small yards are silly) Me: How about if we put it toward a deck or something? DH: OK, if that's what you want. He seriously does not have a shopping or spending gene in his DNA. No, I'm not trading him ;-).
    17 points
  26. Got up in the morning and rented a 14 foot Uhaul, also rented a 5X15 storage unit at the same place. It costs 70.00 a month BUT they give you the first month free, so I have it now for 2 months. I met up with 4 of my friends, 3 guys and a girlfriend. Two of the guys have kids and not much money this time of year so I paid them 60.00 each cash. I was glad to do it and they were so very helpful. We met in a parking lot and all caravanned over to my old house. My garage door opener did not work so I walked up to the front door. It was open, my inlaws (who I love very much) were there. They had a list Alan had printed of what we agreed on. Everything in the basement (large u shaped leather couch, 55" TV electronic dartboard, my treadmill, a small fridge. Most of my things were already packed and put in the garage including bookshelves etc. The guys got right to work and loaded everything. I went into the kitchen and took the agreed upon things. FIL watched me. They were pleasant and very quiet. They just sat in the living room. I am not surprised at all. The only thing I am "upset" about is that I asked for the kitchen table - Alan said I could have it but I could not take the chairs. The table is an oval oak pub height table with tall highbacked bar stools that are also oak. What good would having the kitchen table do me if I can't take the chairs? So I left it. Why bother. In laws asked why I didn't negotiate for the cat. That made me cry. I said that this was her home. They said you can move cats and they adapt just fine. I think I'm going to email Alan and ask if he wants to keep her or feels that do to his travel she spends a lot of time alone. I'll take her gladly if he feels she would be better off. I know he loves her dearly, so she is being taken very well care of. We loaded the truck and dropped off one load at the storage unit - it is packed. The garage here is also half packed. We made a second trip back to the house - I went through the storage area in the basement where I keep my glass holiday decorations, seldom used kitchen things candleholders, and platters etc. I left a good portion of it and only took the things I love and wanted. How many platters does a single woman really need? Not to mention I have a lot more limited space and I don't want to pay to store something that will end up costing three times what the fancy bowl is worth. I truly don't know what is in half of those boxes, I didn't want to waste time going through them. I did go through the house to see how things were. He has erased every trace of my existence. He gave me ALL of the pictures of us. Not sure what to do with them, it is sad. My violins were in perfect condition. I now have my dresser in my bedroom and I've put a couple of small tables in our living room where I am displaying my candles. It makes me feel good, comfortable, as if I really live here and am not just crashing at someone's house. It was all done by 4:30. Right before we left I went through the basement - everything was returned to the condition we found it in. We had to remove the hand rails on the steps in order to get the couch through, but they were put back up. I knew that we'd need to do that so one of my friends brought his battery screwdriver. I asked my inlaws if they wanted to look at the basement before they left. I made sure I checked everything off the list. He refused to give me the Honda generator, and also said I could not have the outdoor grill, but I'm ok with that. I have all I need, I'll be able to make a good, fresh start. So I'm essentially right now having a HUGE Christmas for myself. I have a bunch of boxes in the garage and I'm going through them. I just found a fun Christmas hat - it's a santa hat that is a red fluffy spring. I'd forgotten all about that. I feel good. Really good - much better - I put my dresser in my room, and holy cow I have tons of mismatched socks! I went through bags of clothes that no longer fit - I have lots of nice slightly worn jeans - size 10-12. Lots of shirts size large, I'm going to take them to a resale shop. When I get a chance I'll post what I have available here and if anyone wants anything I'm happy to give stuff to a good home. Thank you for the good thoughts - It was a huge step. I did not see little kitty. She was closed in a front bedroom to keep her safe from all of the commotion. I didn't want to cry and fall apart, so I didn't go in.
    16 points
  27. As many of you may recall, I was diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer four years ago. Each summer, I go into my yard with a light heart and a smile, and do what I can. Each year, it's a little easier. You just have no idea what chemo does to your body in the long term until you experience it. They don't tell you. Even if they did, it's not like it matters - I'd still pick chemo over the alternative. I also have a LOT of weight to lose. I've lost about 40 pounds since chemo, and have about another 100 to go. However, both the doctor and I agree that losing another 40 would be outstanding, and we'll look at things again when I get there. It's slow going, but I can handle that. So this year, I'm feeling better than I have in a long, long time. I've been moving around a LOT more, and boy, am I feeling it! We got the brush pile burned, though, the garden tilled, and my tomatoes, cucumbers, and shallots in. Also got the majority of my flowers in. I'm so sore! haha! Anyway - frugal stuff? Well, garden is in. Rummage sale is next weekend, and I have a ton to do before then. Dinners are planned for the week, lunches and snacks are packed. We haven't made a ton of movement on the current debt - we've been making sure we have things like the car tags, etc, saved up. But I"m still here!
    16 points
  28. She just called my cell! I start Tuesday morning 9:15! I am so pumped! It pays $15.70 an hour. I work tues, ewed, Thursday, and Friday next week for training, then start the normal three morning a week schedule the week following! I need a shovel for all my snow! My first grown up job and I actually got it! I am so happy! Plus the program closes six weeks in the summer, amazing!!! And two weeks at Christmas. My mom can take Kenna for march break, and I am all set to go for it.
    16 points
  29. Harmony test results back! There is less than a 1/10,000 chance of trisomy 13, 18 or 21. Baby is a girl!
    16 points
  30. I'll post the whole kit and kaboodle later, but suffice it to say, things changed this weekend. First, we moved in - it was in the high 90s without A/C. My amazing friends literally unpacked our entire house because.... We had the baby!!! 36 weeks along exactly and he is healthy as can be. 6lbs 6oz, 19 inches. I'll post a photo as soon as I can figure out how to do it from my phone. He decided Monday that he wanted to come out and was born 13 min after getting to the hospital.
    16 points
  31. So we finally had someone out to look at our air-conditioning that had been broken since last fall. Estimated cost to repair: $800 Final cost: $40 The repairman was my uncle (has his own HVAC company). He had the part we needed and gave it to us. Also added freon/coolant for free. We just paid for his gas to get to our house and we are taking him out to lunch this week. Feeling pretty thankful. Dodged a bullet with that one and now we have air. I hope that whatever he did didn't cost him too much out of his own pocket, he knows things have been tight for us. He said if we had called someone besides him in they would probably have charged about $800 for what he did.
    15 points
  32. I realized this the other evening. Most people think that when you reach BS 7, you suddenly have a LOT of money. No more mortgage payment However, it isn't really quite like that. No more mortgage payment, but insurance and property taxes and R&M continues. Also, you need to catch up on the things that you put off while focusing on getting rid of the mortgage. This can include different things like remodeling or deferred maintenance or car replacement or vacation or beefing up savings for EF / retirement or . . . So when you reach BS 7, there is a LOT of peace and more flexibility, but not as much more money as you might think. Retirement is the same way. When I'm not working 40 hours a week, you would think that I would have a lot more time. However, if I go to water aerobics 3 or 4 times per week and catch up on home maintenance stuff and . . . . Well, I realized that even not working, there aren't enough hours in a week. Those things you do only periodically in keeping your home clean - the once a month or twice a year or once a year things - well, I haven't been doing them for a while so lots of catch up there. Then to get my floors refinished, I basically have to move out of my house - but not sure when I will have time for that In the meantime, only about 6 more working days until retirement - but the person I'm training is off 2 of them, so the last 4 will be intense.
    15 points
  33. We have had quite the last few months at our house.... *We moved to a new house! Our current house meets our needs much better than base housing. We went from 1,500 sq ft to 3,000 sq ft. We have a secure backyard, all the interior safety requirements, and a garage for transporting our son safely to and from the car. The rent on this house ends up being $600 less a month then our last house. Electric and gas has been running $200 a month combined. That leaves us $400 towards the extra gas from a longer commute. *I was seriously injured in July. To the point I had to be taken to the ER in an ambulance I spent 2 weeks heavily medicated and on bed rest. I am now on light duty and recieving physical therapy 3 times a week. I am learning how to function while in what will more than likely be chronic pain. I have just been cleared to walk short distances for exercise. I went from training for a triathalon to thinking walking around the block is a big deal. I am very blessed however to be off all pain meds and able to function through the pain. *Our oldest daughter has weaned off her anti-seizure medicine and is doing well. She has to be seizure free for 6mths (5mths to go) before she is officially classified as no longer being epileptic. When she started the medication she was 7yrs old and having 100+ seizures a day. She is 10 now and one month medication free. No signs of any seizure activity. She is doing amazing in school and is right on grade level after being a year behind when we pulled her out of public school. Her behavioral therapist is doing amazing work with her on learning to make friends and deal with social situations. You would think after 4 yrs in public school she would have picked up some of the techniques from her peers but that didn't happen. She went from no friends in public school to several while homeschooling. She is in art class, swim class, special olympics swim team, girl scouts, book club, and co-op. She works one on one with her therapist on how to greet people, how to sustain a converstation, how to deal with groups, etc. Such a blessing! *Our second daughter (8yr old) was just diagnosed with ADHD and is undergoing trials for medications. The side effects of the first were deal breakers for us so she is trying a second type. So far the side effects are managable. The decision is hers on if she wants to take it or not. We will not push her to take a medicine that makes her feel something she doesn't want to feel (foggy, stomach ache, nightmares, etc). When we pulled her out of public school she was 2 years behind grade level in reading and 1 yr behind in math. The schools solution to keep pushing her through grade levels and then put her in a special needs reading program was not working at all. We just purchased a special needs curriculum for reading that is so specialized we had to have a printer print the books for us. She is starting at ground zero with learning phonics. She is doing well at sounding out 3 letter words now and is LOVING reading the Magic Tree House books. Seriously she is obsessed. She however was doing some squinting and making so many mistakes that we had her eyes evalutated and she is far sighted. We have ordered her reading glasses and they should be here on Wednesday. She is also showing signs of being dyslexic (reading words backwards, letters and numbers backwards, words "wiggling", etc) so we are in the process of testing for that as well. *Our third daughter (4yr old) was diagnosed as epileptic just 2 days ago. She is on day 2 of her anti-seizure meds and doing well with them. *Our fourth daughter (4yr old) was diagnosed as epileptic 2 mths ago and is doing well on her medication. *Our son (3yr old) is doing amazing in his private autistic only school. His teacher and he have battles of wills to see who is really in charge. At the moment he is "allowing" her to make the rules He did however just get a new one on one aid, a male this time. Apparently our son is giving the gentleman quite the learning curve. They are sizing eachother up and our son is deciding if he can call the shots or not He will be getting another therapy added this month to address his global fine motor delay. I really can't say enough good things about this school! *our fifth daughter (1yr old) is growing like a little weed and eats everything in sight. She loves people and is doing wonderful overall. Such a happy easy baby! She is teaching her big brother so much as she grows (she is developmentally farther along then her brother). Life here is busy with school, group classes, co-op, and clubs. Then add on doctors appointments and therapy appointments.....we are a bit of whirlwind of activity here! I appreciate all thoughts a prayers.
    15 points
  34. Just thought I would say hi! We are settled into the new house, I even repurposed things around the house to make drawers dividers and a silverware drawer since our holder didn't fit where I wanted it. We are settled in to our new school too. I am still technically a floater but I have been in a classroom for a couple of weeks now. They haven't made it permanent but I think that is because they need me somewhere else in November. Hard for the kids to have teachers switch so much though... Alex is still at Staples and trying hard to find a new job. For now we are just working hard at frugality. My grandmother is touch and go right now, we have almost lost her a few times over the summer. I am blessed to have southwest points to get me to her funeral when the time comes. Plus, my boss is really understanding about our customs and my need to leave quickly when needed. She is very nice! Still waiting on a settlement for our car accident. The adjuster never answers her phone, I called almost daily and left messages a few times a week and didn't hear back for six weeks. I only heard back after finding her supervisor and according to her notes she called me back every time! I never received a reply so I'm really frustrated now. When the money comes for the girls I plan on using it towards daycare costs because then we will be in great shape on our budget! Naomi is doing well in school, she has done great with behavior so far this year! The twins are learning their letters and sounds like champs. We are all WAY less stressed in this house! Naomi is doing swim team and homework club as after care, it's better for her and cheaper than regular after care. Fridays she either has a play date or we pay $7 for one of her classmates older sisters to watch her for an hour. Everything is working out very well! And, that is our update!
    15 points
  35. Ok, first for the prayers! Alex had an interview yesterday that went very well. He was told they would be calling people next week to set up second interviews. Instead, they called today to set one up for Friday!!! He had said the interview went very well and he was right. So, Friday at 11 Central please send some good thoughts, prayers, good mojo... whatever you are so inclined to send! As for the update... I was not offered enough hours at the JCC to make it logical to keep working there. I very quickly found a job at a new daycare and started yesterday. It is not a guaranteed 40 hours but will be close. As a floater I don't get benefits but that means I qualify for TennCare until Alex is working so I'm in the process of that. We are also getting ready to move! We are downsizing almost half and between rent and utilities will save $500-600 a month! Naomi is starting first grade next week. Her teacher is on maternity leave for the first 5-6 weeks and the long term sub has a background in special ed. I met with her and the school principal to discuss Naomi's focus issues from the past year. I expressed my concerns that it might be more than just normal focus issues and she said she would keep a good eye on her for signs of a larger issue. She is still young enough to help her if we do need to. So, that's about it. I am in the process of reducing the girls' clothing significantly and needed a break from sorting so I came on here to say hello! I've been trying to reduce my internet usage and focus on my home more. It's been awhile!
    15 points
  36. This is my life at the moment, and I wouldn't change a thing. I just opened 529 account for the baby a few days ago, and I am pretty sure that we only owe another $60 or so on the hospital. I'm glad to have the unknowns of medical bills over (or nearly over). I haven't paid super close attention to the budget over the past few weeks, but there's not been much extra spending going on. Except diapers; I had forgotten how many diapers newborns go through. And the laundry... so much laundry. Life is good, we're all adjusting well. The baby has her days and nights figured out now, so I'm thrilled about that. Now that I'm not working part time, for someone else, as soon as I'm able I've got some ideas for some very flexible and fun self employment. I can hardly wait to get started. I'll leave you with this cute image:
    15 points
  37. Hey! I haven't been around much because nothing really exciting is going on. Alex has been working hard at Staples and has been still spending all his time at home job searching. I'm just working like normal and babysitting on weekends. The girls are great. Ariel finally decided to potty train completely. It would have been easier to wait until she was closer to 3 but she wanted to do what Hope was doing and I didn't want to say no. Naomi is excited about camp. She can do the specialty camps for no extra charge because of my staff discount and the local Chabad (much more religious group than us but fun people) gave us a discount for one week of their camp. Her best friend goes there so she is so excited. Ariel is close to actual swimming and Hope is no longer afraid to go under water. Naomi is back on swim team for the summer, a joint early birthday gift from her grandparents. Our neighborhood pool is shallow enough for us to let the twins stand alone in it and next week I am going alone with the girls to Atlanta. I have a vacation day set up with work and my brother is giving me gas money because he said he misses his nieces and wants us to visit. He's sweet. Other than that, life is pretty much the same. We had a yard sale and made about $160 yesterday. I took pictures of everything left that wasn't going to be donated and posted it online. I should be about to sell a crib mattress and a Magic Bullet. That's about it. How are you all doing!
    15 points
  38. Alex answered an ad on oDesk looking for writers for a parents Website. The man was interested to hear from him because he is also a father of three children and thought his perspective would e good. Alex sent a writing sample and they really liked it, it was a story about Naomi's broken wrist and how parents can't assume a child's injury would be like an adult's. So, Alex will be writing blog posts to be linked to the site. It won't generate a ton of money but after a lot of rejection he is really excited about it. It also won't take a ton of time each month so he can continue to do it no matter what else is going on. Even the extra $150-300 a month depending on how many stories or articles they want him to write will help!
    15 points
  39. This is really not related to money but just something I feel like saying. As frustrated as I get with my ILs sometimes and as frustrating as life is right now... every once in awhile it hits me that there is someone in my life again who loves me like a father does. He treats me no differently and during all of this has been very vocal in making sure I understand that he loves me and he will be there for us. We all went out to dinner tonight, he figured I could use a break from cooking after all the work for the consignment sale. I thought we were going for MILs birthday but apparently not, we gave her home made cards anyway. He asked me to call when Alex wasn't around so we could talk privately, so I called tonight while Alex was upstairs back looking for jobs online. They just wanted to tell me that they understood that things are hard right now and they are trying hard to make sure our needs are met without making it too easy for Alex to continue to not work. They want pressure on him so he always tries hard to find work and doesn't get complacent. However, somewhere in the conversation it suddenly hit me that I really do have a father figure. With the tenth anniversary of losing my dad just a week and a half away that was a poignant thought to have. I miss my father terribly but I also sometimes miss just having that person that I knew would always be there for me (my mom is but as a Daddy's Girl it is just a different feeling). I love that he is there for me if I need him to be and just like my own father will always tell me how it is if I'm doing something crazy or am about to. I vent my frustrations with my ILs a lot and I know some of you are angry on my behalf over how this whole situation happened. I just wanted to get this out because there is always another side to things and I wanted to share that with you all.
    15 points
  40. It's been a LONG time since I last posted, but for some reason I was feeling the urge to post tonight. If you recall I was really questioning my schooling decision. But since I'll be done in 4 weeks I suppose it looks like I will really graduate! I'm really excited about the prospect of actually having a college degree, and at finally finishing this program! But I don't really let myself think about being finished very much yet because I'm not done yet. BUT, as of 3:15 pm on April 22nd I will officially be done with my school work, and then I will really let myself believe it and get all excited and stuff. And one of the best parts is that I will graduate with exactly $0 in school debt! I just have to survive 4 more weeks (yes, I'm counting down)! I think I can, I think I can.
    14 points
  41. It was fantastic! No students yet, so I won't have a feel for what I'll be doing every day for awhile yet. But everyone is so friendly, helpful, and most importantly professional. It is such a breath of fresh air. Working is downright enjoyable when you are dealing with mature, intelligent and emotionally healthy people. I am very thankful for the 2 months unemployed and unpaid. We did not suffer; I don't want to give the impression otherwise. But we had to totally rely on each other. I had to 100% rely on dh for financial support and he had to trust me not to take advantage of that. Yes it was only a few months but we didn't know that at the time. It was a good experience for me emotionally and strengthened my faith and my marriage. Plus there's another benefit! I haven't gotten paid yet, but it's funny how having just a short few months of no pay changes how I view my upcoming paycheck. It feels like so much money! We feel rich! I think I became way too disconnected from it and now I feel like I won't take it for granted as much. I have been totally winging it for food. Not meal planning, and running to the store every few days. I'm afraid to update groceries in YNAB. I need to get back on track. There is no reason I can't other than my mind has just been so all over the place that I find it hard to sit down and concentrate. But now that I'm in a new routine, it's time. I'm going to work on that this weekend. Dh will be out of town most of next week, so I need to be prepared to feed the kids. Also doing terrible at running. So it's the weekend, so my goal is to run, update the budget, and make a meal plan. No more slacking!
    14 points
  42. So when we got married 5 years ago (two weeks after my 30th bday), we agreed that we would go to Europe for our 5 year anniversary (and my 35th bday), and even put it in our google calendar. I later added a caveat, "as long as we're debt free and have our emergency fund"... So, guess what?? We're going to Rome at the end of the month!! I can not wait! The trip will put us back a few months on buying a house, but it feels good to honor that commitment we made to ourselves back then and feels even better to be paying cash, with our emergency fund in place and no debt. It was in the calendar, after all. ;-) Of course, now DH wants to know what else I can put in the calendar.... I think I will pencil in my due date lol.
    14 points
  43. So today I decided to grab some the compost from the back piles,not quite ready but I was mounding trees so didn't matter too much. There back behind the pile was about 12 strong beautiful tomato plants and a mess of zucchini, with about 10 ready on the vines. Thanks lord, that was kind of you
    14 points
  44. We're still on vacation, we leave tomorrow --- I'm on an internet break (we have no cell service, but we do have wireless at the house), waiting for baby boy to wake up from his nap so we can do one last mountain hike. I've not been on the board since before we left, but now I find myself with a few peaceful minutes, so I thought I'd check in with my peeps on LLNOE. It's been a lovely vacation, good friends, great food, fun hikes... but we're ready to get back home. I had a budget for this trip of $1000, and so far we've spent $460 for everything. All we've got left to spend is one more trip to the fancy ice cream shop (after our last hike), and then gasoline (and probably fastfood) for the trip home (so maybe another $100-$125). We've already got food in the house for tonight's dinner. So hooray for a nice vacation UNDER BUDGET! I hope all y'all have had a great week, and I'll try to catch back up with everybody by Sunday.
    14 points
  45. Well it took awhile and some serious debates and a lot of logistic games but I have a nice little letter in my hand that was delivered to Matt at the men's group from the Bishop with written permission to have an internal and site specific blog on the llnoe website until proper regulation is passed. Praise be! I have a ticket to write, and more importantly to read all of these blogs, comment and reengage. I am feeling very pleased and at peace about the decision. I pushed , perhaps harder then i should have but it came to pass and all is well. I was really missing the personal connection of the forums. Although I understood the reasoning for the blogs and personal threads decision. It has been hard just not keeping up with the personal parts of everyones journeys- the life bits that help make the steps worth it. I was really trying to not clog up the works in the forums so I am excited about having a little corner to share in again. Not that i have any excitement to report. But I sure am going to enjoy getting caught up on everyone elses.
    14 points
  46. I've decided to move out of my roommate's condo. Perhaps it's not the greatest financial decision - but it won't be too much more expensive. I just NEED NEED NEED NEED my own place. I can't continue to live out of one bedroom. My mental health depends on moving on. I signed a lease for eight months which will end in August - hopefully I can transition directly from my apartment to a house because with any luck at all the divorce will be over by then. I signed a lease on a two bedroom one bathroom bottom floor apartment that allows large dogs. Levi is over 50 pounds already. My payment is 759 a month which includes sewer. I get a free gym membership and it has a pool and running paths around the complex. I will have to pay extra for electricity and internet - I don't care about cable - I just need fast internet to work from home. I move on December 5th - I'm really excited - I've not had my very own place to live since 2002 when I got married. I don't have any kitchen stuff - but I have a couch which I can sleep on until I get a bed and I have a desk for my work machines. I do have a crockpot and a stock pot. I have some dishes and mugs - I have one set of sheets and some washcloths and a couple of towles. I know this may not be the best financial decision - but I can easily afford it - I have no car payment and I NEED MY OWN PLACE...
    13 points
  47. It's been kind of quiet on here lately, so I thought I would regale you with my week in review.... Monday, my son tells me he was mugged.... NO conversation that starts out "First of all, I'm FINE!", ever gets better from there. Tuesday evening, my darling daughter, attending college in a town 45 minutes away and driving to and fro, calls in a panic because her car is "making funny noises"..... then again to tell me that it has died and won't start. Wednesday morning, my next daughter, on her way to college (only 10 minutes away this time), calls and tells me that..... yes... you guessed it.... First of all, SHE'S FINE (see note above)..... WHAT?!?!? Says that her brakes failed and she went off the road into the ditch.... SO I call up the mechanic who worked on the brakes THE DAY BEFORE (After her dad, since I am carless currently), and said... Well, I was a bit steamed, so the call probably shouldn't be repeated.... while Dad went and got daughter and scoped out the situation. We also have a car in the driveway that has been hit and miss on fixing the starter, and with rain in the forecast, and two other cars down, that one went into the shop too.... Wednesday morning was OUR day for the tow truck.... THREE cars towed. Sooooooo..... Thursday comes. We get the quote for the "easy fix".... $325 or thereabouts.... turns out to have been the starter AND a fuse (not fuse box fuse, one of the others). They couldn't get to the two others yet... Friday now.... Finally get the "easy" car back.... apparently it took them a few hours to run down the fuse. They tell me that DD1's car has blown the engine ($1960 fix on a $1600 car), the car that went into the ditch broke both axels ($1200 fix on a $600 car)... Then it's time to make a few decisions..... DD2 car, she bought, she doesn't trust, she doesn't want anything to do with it, had the junkyard pick it up. DD1 car is sound as far as the body, just blew the engine, so it's going to the high school for the automotive classes to tear apart. Now we're still down one car..... *sigh* Time to bring out my baby..... My 1991 Jeep Wrangler, which is sorely in need of a new top, and hasn't been played with since the summer due to this.... Has reached the top of the automotive list of "needs". Sooooo another $800 for a top and half doors. And WHY would I tell you all about this? Other than to make you feel like your week really wasn't that bad? *L* To tell you that this works. None of the cars above have payments, so it was simply a matter of what WE wanted to do. I was thinking the other day that BS7 probably looks a bit boring..... I don't have spectacular weeks like this often (thank heavens!), mostly it's retirement accounts growing, funding college, and doing a few things that we just plain want to do. It's not worrying over bills, not stressing much of anything, just very peaceful. =0) It's quiet.... not normally flashy. And then something like this week happens! And you have to just set back and marvel at how it all worked together. The repair envelope handled all the tows (which will come back from insurance), and the starter repair, AND a little bit of the new roof. The snowball and a bit of re-shuffling of the budget areas gave us the rest. So we didn't have to touch the FFEF. (YAY!) So everyone is "Just FINE".... although I'm pretty sure they were trying to see if they could kill me this week. =0) The budget works.... mildly tight this month, but totally doable. I am simply sitting in awe of how well this plan worked, and felt the need to share with those who are still in the fighting the budget and squeezing every penny until it screams..... It is SO worth it. I can't even think about what this week would have been if it had happened a few years ago!! But I do know I wouldn't be sitting here with a slightly bemused smile on my face, marveling at how this all shook out. So I repeat once again for those still traveling the road to BS7....... IT IS SOOOOOOOO WORTH IT!
    13 points
  48. And for the first time in 6 years, I'm not back to school! I was very worried about getting bored. So far I have so much to do, I can't believe how I ever did it all. Last week was very busy with PTO stuff. This week I did my Sam's club trip in the middle of the day when there was no line, same with Publix. The bills are paid, budget is updated, there is no pile of paperwork just sitting here waiting for me to find time to deal with it. The kids are caught up on dr. appointments. I ran 3 miles today. I have done my Bible Study faithfully 4 days in a row now. I am getting enough sleep. I'm not snapping at everyone because I'm so behind at work. My husband needs to take three business trips this month and I was like "no problem" instead of stressing out about it. I have chicken broth and soups homemade and in the freezer. I am making bread more often. Meal plans are done ahead of time instead of last minute. Really, that's the largest change. Less stress due to less last minute scrambling. My husband will ask me about something and I'm like "already done". I can see the stress melting off of him too. I was able to drive the kids to school when it was pouring, instead of them having to ride their bikes in the rain. In other news, the online job that I applied for 6 months ago called me last week and I interviewed out of town in person last Wednesday. Seeing as how there were 6 months between the phone interview and the in person one, I'm not holding my breath. They CLAIM I will know something in 7-10 days, but last time they told me "a few weeks", so...... Here's the thing, it would be the perfect job for me at this point in time. You make your own hours and work from home, as long as you get everything done and have certain response times. If I had not quit my job in June, I would not be available right now to take this job. I would never have missed the 3rd day of school to interview for another job (or if I did I would have had to lie to pull it off, and I hate doing that). We knew we were doing the right thing, even without having this new job lined up, and I feel like I'm getting confirmation of that. I may not get it, and that will be ok too. It's the only job I would take, however. We need me physically here and able to drive the kids everywhere. We have our newest rental already rented out, it was super easy. Our easiest house yet. So far I have not had to pull from the rental for anything but I'm expecting to need to do so for October's budget....we will see. We put an offer on a house that has three separate rental units, all already leased. Tenants want to stay. The units need some updating, but we would do that between tenants which means no work at all for us right now. Seller countered and we will accept it as soon as we clear up the zoning. (It is zoned multi-family, but another line of the city statute says duplex, so we have a call in to confirm that three units is ok). All other terms of the contract are fine. If this goes through it will be our highest cash flow property ever. The rent it's bringing in versus the sales price is great. It's also nice to have multiple renters in case one defaults, you are still getting something in the meantime while you go through the process of evicting someone. Harder to sell for sure, since it really only appeals to investors, but we aren't buying it to flip it, we need cash flow and this is a cash cow. September is looking good. Small snowball to the house, but no Roths until we increase income either through rentals or this job opportunity. I am learning to be patient. Something will happen. We are doing all the things we need to do, and working hard on growing our business. I gave it my all in the interview, arrived early, dressed to impress, was calm and confident. All I can do is wait and trust. What's meant to be will be. The kids sports have started up again for fall. I was prepared with my sinking funds. Everything is paid for other than scouts which will be paid for next week. I am enjoying cross country meets, it's my favorite sport to watch which I never would have guessed. Laundry room renovation has started but stalled because of dh's business trips. There is only so much I can do without him. But the machines are still hooked up, luckily! Anyway, that's about all for now.
    13 points
  49. I had posted elsewhere that we paid out over $1000 to medical this month. These were expenses for the children, for which the exes are supposed to pay their share. For some reason, we are always the ones who lay out the initial expenses and then have to play "bill collector" with the exes. Dh's ex-wife already owes us money from months ago, and mine is currently playing a game of not reimbursing me for anything he's legally supposed to just to irritate me. He waits 6 months or more, until I'm ready to sue him, and then finally pays in a fit of rage. Well, I'm under a lot of stress and the thought of bill collecting for his share of that $1000 wasn't pleasant. Today I got an email from the insurance company with the EOBs. Turns out everything for my boys is covered 100%. The boys recently went on my insurance instead of the ex's, and apparently my plan is much better. I already paid the provider, so I'm getting a check for over $500. You have no idea how much that made my day. I don't even have to deal with ex at all now. Still have to deal with dh's ex, but we've done her several favors recently so hopefully she will pay. We may actually have a snowball for November now....fingers crossed.
    13 points
  50. My FIL knew that the medical debt from this year was causing me a very large amount of stress. As stressed as he is in this whole situation and coming out of retirement, he really is trying to make it easier for me. He seems to understand almost more than Alex how much pressure I have on me being the only one working. Alex thinks it shouldn't be that much pressure because I don't cover our bills anyway and the ILs are helping... my FIL realizes how scary it is that one move could make Alex and I lose our health insurance if I lost my job. The kids would be covered by the state insurance. So, he wanted to take away some of my stress. They gave us a check just now to make sure we could finish out June all right, get through July AND pay off a lot of the medical bills. We just did the math and we are able to pay off all of the bills that don't have payment plans. He advised keeping the HSA going since if Alex gets a job and we can't itemize our medical bills due to it then we are ahead of the game by keeping the tax advantage of the HSA. That money is going to minimum payments anyway. So, the HSA covers the payments on those other bills and nothing else should hit for this month. Now, to find a job for Alex and get the rest of this mess cleaned up! I will admit that we have added debt, but we are working darn hard to keep that from growing and hopefully we can get rid of the extra debt AND all the other debt soon. I haven't updated my siggy yet, I will do that once this is all over and we can start climbing the mountain again.
    13 points
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