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Carrie last won the day on May 16

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  1. Wonderful work update! Good luck on the bigger interviews and clarity in the right move for you.
  2. Quick note: fsa you use or lose, hsa builds and builds over time, can only use with hdhp.
  3. Thanks to a big hail storm last March, we got a new roof. Most people in our neighborhood got a new roof, or are currently getting them. Definitely get a roofer out to determine if wind damage / storm damage was the culprit, and then file a claim.
  4. Carrie

    Sinking funds

    Unexpectedly, it appears we'll get a distribution (payout from a languishing trust, we're not talking big money, but enough to make my sinking fund anxiety go away) this year that we didn't think was going to happen, so.... in about two-three weeks, I think we'll be sinking fund - funded. Then we can move on to whatever is next with our snowball. I need to sit DH down and figure out if we then focus on mortgage or if we turn our focus to more retirement or just piling up cash.
  5. Carrie

    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, but a goal -- I want to aim to put at least $2000 into my Indv 401k before next April, but property taxes come first, obviously. To fund these ... Snowball to the mortgage, other than small rounding up to nearest hundred, is on hold. I'm working from home, bringing in between $500-$1000 per month - this money is going towards current sinking fund needs. We've been hit hard with dental expenses this summer/fall, but hoping to reimburse ourselves once our brand-new HSA is funded. Also, our new HSA will now be our medical sinking fund.
  6. No, have not trimmed back yet. We have an electric trimmer and it's on DH'S to do list for this weekend. I would do it, but I've always got the baby underfoot. (Electric trimmer plus baby running for the road.... does not mix!)
  7. I planted five more plants (new pic above), but I need more. This yard stuff is addictive.
  8. Y'all have convinced me. No pea gravel.
  9. I spent some time looking at pinterest, yet again, and I think we may go the 12"x12" paver with rocks between -- but get the slightly larger rocks, small pretty river rocks, and put the pavers about 2" apart or something. I really like that look, and it won't be terribly expensive or hard to do. DH also vetoed the railroad tie idea (the landscaper suggested it) because of creosote. So I guess we'll edge with brick or stone paver. The size we're looking at now is 7'or 8' x16' (16' is the length of our existing porch that the patio would butt up against. We got the sod installed on Sunday, and have had nice rain since then so I'm hoping it does really well and that I won't have to water much. It is so nice to have drainage working & no more mud!
  10. I got the "trees" and "hostas" in the mail --- NOT what I expected. the trees were small & dormant, so a 2'-3' long stick. They're in the ground now, so we'll see if they come alive and grow as fast as what the website says. The hostas were not the nice little plants at the nursery/home improvement stores, but were just roots. So I've planted all those too, but I was hoping for real plants. I bought a few little colorful sun-loving plants for the front bed from Home Depot for instant gratification, and hope to get those in tomorrow. The front bed is larger than I thought, so I'll need more plants to fill it in but those can wait for next weekend. Next up will be putting in a small patio. We've cut the size way down so it will be a manageable and cheaper project. I think we'll just use railroad ties for edging, build it up with dirt, then landscape fabric, then crushed rock/leveling sand, top it off with pea gravel. I'm working up the price list right now. It's going to have to come out of June's budget though, with paying for the sod yesterday we're all tapped out for May.
  11. Thank you Daisygirl. Yes, those hollies are ridiculous. We've already taken about 3 feet off the top, but they all need to be trimmed skinnier. We just got approved for replacement of the roof, and the adjuster also added painting the shutters to the claim, so now I'm thinking about that. I'll have to submit paint colors to the HOA, but I'm thinking about a dark warm gray shutter, and either staining the front doors, or maybe painting them (I'd love red....).
  12. I hope the hostas work out. I ordered a hosta grab bag -- so I don't know what kinds/colors I'll get, but they were cheap. 12 for $15. I figured if they were random & picked for me it would save me from having to make yet another decision. I've never done mail order plants before so I'm really curious to see what quality plants I get.
  13. 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
  14. I hate the idea of childcare too. With all of our kids I've been home with them full time until they start a high quality montessori preschool at age 3.5-4. I did try a MMO with my second child, but he only went one season/short year, before I decided I didn't like him away from me (and that was only two mornings per week). I'm still not crazy about preschool being 5 mornings per week, but it's our best option for the style education/play that we want. So until baby girl hits 3, (only 1 year and 1 summer away!), she'll be home with me. I'll work around her. More power to you, gmarie!
  15. Congratulations! I've never left my baby with anyone else or paid for childcare for her. I work while she naps, breastfeeds, or plays. I have my computer in the main part of the house, so I'm right there. If I have to go to a meeting, which isn't often, DH will work from home with the kids. It's definitely doable. I'm so happy for you! Sounds like everything is going great.
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