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Carrie

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Everything posted by Carrie

  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.
  16. My tree looks fine today, and I think our drainage worked kind of ok. One of the basins came up some, but I am having the landscaper back out to fix that and to test the whole system again. We obviously had water going through the pipes, it was just nerve wracking to see. We had a layer of mud covering grates this morning, but that will be helped when we have grass. I just wish we could have tested the drainage with a moderate rain shower.
  17. Y'all, we just had all this work done, paid for. This afternoon and tonight we're having heavy rain, flash floods. Trying not to be upset that our new catch basins aren't handling it. Breathe, breathe, breathe. ..,,,. Need to ignore it and see how it looks tomorrow. We're having torrential downpours. I'm talking like 6" in a 30 minute time span. Also, the winds may have damaged my favorite tree. This is so upsetting.
  18. I think I'm going to take a trip to a nursery and buy some ground cover, and some pretty plants/bushes to plant in the corner area / shade area so that DH won't have to mow there. I'll take this opportunity to put in planting beds! Maybe we can keep sod to just the center area of the yard. (That has to be priced out separately, not included in this work we're doing now.) I'm going to try to make this fun! Pinterest, here I come! :)
  19. Yikes! Should look better tomorrow. Eta, here it is today:
  20. Thanks! I think it'll be fall then for new trees. Our corners are soggy, but the drainage we're doing should solve that, and it's not early spring here anymore. Yesterday I decided to quit stressing out over everything, and today has been much more peaceful!
  21. 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 buy power washer $100, summer 6. Wait a few months for house to settle after drainage work before reevaluation of foundation. Maybe 6 months. Hold off on fixing drywall & painting until after any needed foundation work is completed. 7. Plant cedar trees in yard corners (fall? Need to find out best time to plant) Ongoing - yard maintenance, decluttering, deep cleaning. Today I'm going to nap (I have a cold or bad allergies), afterwards I'm going to find a small easy cleaning project to do.
  22. Carrie

    Room to breathe

    Ended up billing about $1600 for February. Just threw $500 of that into 2015 Indiv. 401k. Now the rest will go to sinking funds, along with the snowball, and we wait and get estimates on car repairs/maintenance & drainage/foundation work for the house. bye bye pretty kitchen!
  23. Carrie

    Room to breathe

    Ok, 2/3 through the month and I've worked $955 worth! I won't send the invoice until March 1st, but this is the highest billing month I've had in over six months. The project I'm working on right now isn't very fun, but it's still generating billable hours. I'll take it.
  24. Carrie

    Room to breathe

    I design buildings for a local firm, from home.
  25. 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 over summer --- After these things are accomplished I can't see any reason why we can't hit the mortgage hard for the remainder of the year. I just did a rough budget for March and it looks like we should have a $2500 snowball. I'm hoping, fingers crossed, that we'll finish February with a $500 surplus that can be snowball. April snowball will most likely go towards taxes owed (and finishing up the individual 401k). I billed $570 for January, and already have $700 to bill for just the first half of February. I'm expecting I can bill another $400-$500 by the end of February. I'm so glad to have January bills behind us, and that I was able to get my work going again.
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