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Happy New Year and updates

January 1st, 2015 at 07:36 pm

Been a bad blogger these past few months but hope to keep it up much better.

We ended the year on a pretty good note. DH received a 3% raise effective next paycheck. I received $1000 Christmas bonus at work, and finally, my very generous parents gifted us at Christmas, $14,500.

We also met our goals, with the exception of paying off the credit line. This was from last year's bathroom/laundry room update. It was almost paid off and we decided to remodel our mater bath. In October, the balance was about $3000. We added $14,000 to that that by the beginning of December. However, with some diligence,(and using some of the money from my parents) as of January 1st, it is $10,000.

I will blog about the bathroom remodel in another post. I am excited to share how we cash flowed a big portion of that.

We also had our water heater replaced the day after Christmas. It was 17 1/2 years old. As the girls have been in and out for the holiday break for Christmas, we discovered when all 4 of us needed to shower one after the other, some people were getting cool water. DH found a good deal on a new water heater from Lowe's, and for opening a Lowe's card, we saved $80 (and it will be paid in full when the bill comes) and we will also receive a refund of $125 as it is an energy saving model.

2015 goals include: paying of the credit line ($10,000)....getting the mortgage down to $100K (currently at $112K) and cash flowing a new roof in the Spring/Summer(amount unknown....5 to 7K).

That's it for now...off to update the sidebar.

Wishing everyone a Happy and prosperous New Year and good thoughts for meeting our goals!

Update

October 28th, 2014 at 08:28 pm

Once again I have fallen off the blogging bandwagon! Here are a few updates:

Master bath remodel. We have taken the plunge into another remodel project. If you remember, last October we remodeled/updated the girl's bathroom and our laundry room. DH really wanted to do our master bath so here we are. They started yesterday and this should take a total of about 3 weeks. The neat freak in me is full of anxiety. DD1's old bedroom is filled with stuff for the new bathroom (2 sinks, toilet, faucets for the sinks, tubs and shower, plus the new vanity we had made). The new bathtub is finally out of the garage. DD2's room is filled with everything from our closet and bathroom, plus the girl's old bathroom is filled with the stuff we use daily. It is all so disorganized. The upside? We will have a beautiful new bathroom and it will be a great opportunity to purge!

I am happy to say we have cash flowed a portion of this project. We agreed since we had 40K in savings, we would purchase everything we could on our Wells Fargo card (plus earn 1% back) and pay it off every month, which we have. The only thing we can't put on the card is the payment to our contractor. That is going on the credit line (via check to him), and depending on how things play out, we may pull a bit out of savings to pay it down, but not completely off. We are ok making payment on the credit line and paying it off as fast as we can...because....

Property taxes are due Nov 15th in our state....isn't that nice? Right before the holidays. Plus they went up a this year over $200.

DH's tires are paid off!

We took a quick trip to Vegas a few weeks ago for our anniversary. Saw Blue Man Group and KA (a Cirque show) Both were fantastic and the weather was great.

That's it for now.

I hope to be better about posting Smile

Back to blogging/updates

May 18th, 2014 at 07:47 pm

Hi SA friends!

Well I am back to blogging. Finally feel in the mood Smile

I updated my side bar figuring it was time as I still had 2013 goals on there.

You will notice a little debt. The story behind the tires...first mine...back in February, I had 2 nails in one of my tires....DH also noticed my tires were pretty bald. My vehicle (2010 Ford Escape), it would seem was due for some new tires after 4 years. We went ahead and got them...0% interest for 6 months. DH's tires are another story. In 2012, he gave up his Ford Fusion for a more economical car (Ford Focus). He loves cars, and really wanted to add a bit of 'dash" to the Focus. He doesn't really have any hobbies, and rarely spends money on himself, so he wanted to use his bonus for new tire and wheels. I didn't feel like I could say no, so he shopped around and got new tires and wheels. Again, we are at 0% interest for 6 months. On both sets of tires, we also got visa rebate gift cards.

With $38K in savings, you might wonder why we don't just pay them off....I definately would, but DH thinks it's better just to keep the money in savings since we are not paying any interest. They WILL be paid off at the end of the promotion though. I have just divided the payment into 6 months, and they will be gone. I just hate having it hang over our heads, and it's one more bill to remember to pay. We have purchased many, many things over the years on promotions like this and have never paid a penny of interest.

Our home equity line of credit should be paid off in about 5 months...just in time to start a new remodel project...lol...that's another post.

My mom is still giving me the $500 a month...for now, I just put it into savings. We have had some big visa bills the past few months, mainly from our recent vacation and a few other purchases, (a new mattress for one)however, I have been able to pay in full each month, but have had to transfer some from savings. I hope with this months bill, it will be the last time we will have to do that and we will be able to start earmarking the $500 for something else.

That's about it for now Smile

Mortgage payment & workout

March 5th, 2014 at 08:53 pm

Paid the mortgage today...with an extra $82 going to principal. Just received another $25 reward from Wells Fargo that will be applied to the principal.

We have received 2 rewards so far this year as we have spent quite a bit on the card. We have charged our upcoming vacation and a new mattress which has really added up.

We get 1% back on all purchases and when we reach $25, we have it applied to the principal.

To be clear, we always pay the statement balance off each month and never pay any interest.

Work out today: 45 min treadmill (392 calories burned)
also work ab's.

Have exercised 3/5 days so far.

Happy New Year from Oregon

December 31st, 2013 at 10:27 pm

So it's about 10:20pm here on the West coast. I am just hanging out by myself....DH is in bed (he has to work New Year's Day) and the DD's are out with their friends celebrating. I'm not bummed we are not going out...we never do. I would rather just stay home and be cozy.

We ended up pretty much meeting the 2013 goals. We paid off both cars and a new wedding ring for me. We didn't up DH's 401K contribution to 15% but we did increase mine which probably made up for the 1%.

If it were not for my parents and their most generous gift, we would not have made the savings goal.

We would have been debt free except for the mortgage, except we took out the home equity loan to renovate a bathroom and laundry room. I don't regret this as those rooms were going to need renovating at some point. We will not be staying in this house long term....we have been here 16 1/2 wonderful years, but will be looking to downsize at some point in our closer to retirement years.

Looking forward to 2014!

My generous parents

December 29th, 2013 at 08:43 pm

DH and I enjoyed a very Merry Christmas courtesy of my very loving and generous parents. They gifted me with a check for $10K and DH received a check for $5K.

These funds for now, are sitting in the savings account. We would not have met that goal if it were not for them.

Plans for the money include making a large payment on the home equity line we took out in October for some home renovations. (I have already made one $500 payment).

We are also planning a cruise for April.

Next blog post will be about 2014

Bathroom/laundry remodel pics

December 19th, 2013 at 08:23 pm

So...here they are! We are really happy with how everything turned out.

The bathroom that was remodeled was the girls. I wish I had a before pic that showed it decorated, but oh well. It was a pretty grey/purple color with purple towels and rugs.

We also did the laundry room which is upstairs. I love, love, love having a laundry room upstairs.

Both rooms/projects cost approximately $12,000. Labor, materials,counter tops,mirror, paint, fixtures, tub, toilet, 2 sinks, new flooring, new towels & bathmats and few miscellaneous items. The last thing to do is redo the cabinets. We like the space they offer so we didn't want to replace them.














Bathroom/Laundry room renovation

November 7th, 2013 at 12:58 pm

is almost done!

It has been a LONG 2 weeks, but it should all be finished by tomorrow. At least the contractor side of things.

DH and I will be painting and re-staining the cupboards and vanities.

All in all, this project will be costing approximately $12,000.

I'll provide a breakdown later.

I'm excited it is almost done.

Well I sure feel dumb

October 27th, 2013 at 03:18 pm

A few months ago I upgraded to a smart phone. I wasn't really checking the bill (bad bad bad I know).

I discovered I was being charged for insurance and phone protection (which of course they never "told" me)

A few weeks ago, I was just browsing the bill and came upon these two charges. I immediately logged online and deleted those services.

This will save $9.99 a month. DH also downgraded his DISH movie package and that should save $20 to $30 a month. He had a special they offered him for 6 months and it has now expired. He decided it wasn't worth it anymore, except I am sure he will be missing Game of Thrones when that comes back on.

Our electric bill and water/sewer bill went down also. I imagine it is because both girls are now away at college and the usage has gone down. I am not spending as much on food either.

The natural gas bill however, did go up. Obviously that is because the weather has turned colder and we had to turn on the heat.. We have a programable thermostat which we feel really helps. We were also notified that our garbage bill will be going up also but I don't know how we could save anything there. If they offered every 2 week pick up we might be able to swing that, but I think it is either every week or once a month. I definately will check into that.

Going back into debt again.....

October 23rd, 2013 at 08:02 pm

It is good and bad.

The bad....DEBT! (and just when we were $400 away from being debt free except for the mortgage) Frown

The good.....we are doing some renovations on our house....since we are now empty nesters, we are redoing the hall bath/girls bathroom and the laundry room which is upstairs right next to said bathroom.

We are planning on staying in this house for 3 to 5 years, possibly longer depending on many circumstances.

Over the years, we have done many updates to our house....some small...some bigger. A little background...when we moved into this house a little over 16 years ago, it was brand new. Because we had sold our previous house and had exactly 21 days to find a new house, this house was about 2 weeks away from being completed worked out well for us....that being said, we were not able to pick anything such as flooring ect, so over the years, we have slowly been updating it.

Every year, we would choose 1 or 2 things to do and slowly but surely it has come around.

I took before pictures and will take after pictures to share if anyone is interested.

It will take about 2 weeks for completion. They came today and did the entire demolition.

In spite of the mess/chaos, it is exciting!

First time ever

October 6th, 2013 at 08:46 pm

to get hit with a late fee. Crud!

I was thinking last week there was something due...got sidetracked and then suddenly remembered Thursday night after I got home from yoga that the small credit card was due....I was one day late.

$25 fee....going to call on Monday and see if they will waive it.

If not, we may just cancel. Right now, the only thing on it is our Verizon (internet) and Netflix. Those would both be easy to change over to the Wells Fargo card. I had asked DH to do it a while back, but he just keeps forgetting.

We will see.

So irritated with myself!

The check cleared!

September 16th, 2013 at 08:06 am

It's official! We now own both of our vehicles. Can't remember a time in almost 26 years of marriage that this has happened.

The really nice thing? We really buckled down and paid this loan off fast....1 1/2 years. Smile

Focus loan paid off!

September 13th, 2013 at 08:03 am

Woo hoo! We are only about $600 away from being debt free except for our mortgage!

Will tackle that Zales account either later this month or October! It is 0% interest so it is not imperative it is paid off....we just want to be debt free Smile

Paying the Focus loan off!

September 9th, 2013 at 01:24 pm

Yep! We are going to do it! I am calling the credit union today and am going to mail the check off after work. We are at $1499 and some change, so I will need to get the exact payoff.

Part of the reason we are doing this, is that my generous mom gifted me with another $500 this weekend.

I wish I could say we were debt free except for the mortgage, but I forgot to add our Zales account to my side bar. You see, a few months ago DH really wanted to get me a new wedding ring. We went to Zales and purchased one on 12 months deferred. I originally divided the balance by 12 months, but then last week realized, if we want to be debt free by December, I would have to up the payment. I figured out how much that would be with a final payment in December.

We will most likely be paying it off next month as the balance is $608.79. We will find the cash to do it, and then I can really say:

We are debt free except for the mortgage!

Extra to the mortgage

September 4th, 2013 at 08:16 am

Our regular payment is $918.62...I sent an extra $31.38 to round it up to $950. I have been doing this for some time now. When DH's car is paid off by the end of the year, we may consider upping that extra amount.

Focus loan

August 16th, 2013 at 07:58 am

Sent $1000 to the Focus Loan yesterday...that brings us to under $1500!

Focus Loan

August 2nd, 2013 at 03:36 pm

is now under $2500!

Things are looking good to have this paid off in December as planned!

Focus loan

June 20th, 2013 at 06:38 am

The payment of $500 hit and we are officially under 3K!

Focus Loan

May 23rd, 2013 at 07:32 pm

Another $500 to the Focus loan...that takes us down to $3475.00.

It's exciting to think next month we will be under 3K!

It's looking good to have this paid off in December Smile

Under 4K!

May 8th, 2013 at 08:15 am

On the Focus loan...barely...but still under at $3975.00. It's so great to see that balance go down! We continue to pay $500 a month and that means it will be paid off in December as planned. It also means that this loan will have been paid off in under 2 years.

We are also just under $125K on the mortgage too!

Love seeing the numbers go DOWN Smile

A little extra to the mortgage

May 2nd, 2013 at 06:46 pm

I added an extra $39 principal to the mortgage payment today....total paid...$950.00

I had our travel agent charge 1/2 of the remaining balance due on our upcoming vacation...the rest will be due on June 7th.

We have been having unusually gorgeous weather around here! Last week was sunny and in the 70's....had a couple of days of gray/light rain...and yesterday started back with the gorgeous weather again....it may hit the mid 80's this weekend! So nice after a very wet Spring last year.

Focus loan

April 18th, 2013 at 08:25 pm

Sent $500 to the Focus loan yesterday...that will take us below $4K!

Also sent some receipts to FSA...$45 (misc: co-pay, prescriptions, and a small lab bill) and $160 for contacts. Now I wish I would have done more. I will be done soon with my FSA as I only did $300 this year....now I wish I would have done more. It always seems to work like that....one year I almost didn't use it all up as expenses were low. This year isn't particularly expensive, but I just realized I have been wanting a new pair of glasses and I should have planned better as I could have put what wasn't covered by the insurance towards that. Bummer

Money going out.....

April 14th, 2013 at 08:11 pm

Paid the dreaded (and unexpected) taxes yesterday to the tune of almost $2000.

Tomorrow I will be sending $500 to the Focus loan...that will take us under $5000!

The Visa bill will be due on Friday (which I pay online) of about $800. That is the payment I had our travel agent charge at the beginning of the month. One more $800 charge and payment and our Kauai trip will be paid for in full (air, resort-including breakfast everyday, car, and trip insurance).

Even though it is money going OUT, it is a good feeling knowing that car loan will be paid off in December, and that our trip is also paid for. Paying the bulk of the trip expenses AHEAD of time, definately makes for a more enjoyable vacation in my opinion.

The good, the bad, and the ugly

April 2nd, 2013 at 05:45 pm

I will start with the ugly....we owe taxes...to the tune of approx $2000 between federal and state. The main reason is we lost DD1 as a dependent, due to accounts she has to pay her college expenses....a UGTMA and a trust....we also lost the education credit and the american opportunity act credit. Add to the fact our with-holdings were out of whack. This is the first time in years we have owed. Bummer.

The bad....the savings account will take a hit Frown

The good.....we have the money to pay for it!

To avoid this in the future....we have adjusted our with-holdings and increased our 401K/SEP IRA's.

We may get a couple of those credits back next year (for 2013) as DD2 will be entering college this fall.

We will see.

Another very important reason to have an emergency fund.....I am thankful we do!

Focus Payment

March 18th, 2013 at 08:11 am

Made our regular payment to the Focus loan....9 more payments and it will be ours free and clear!

Mortage payment and mortgage rebate

March 1st, 2013 at 06:32 pm

Made the regular payment of $918 to the mortgage today and did an extra $82 towards the principal for a total of $1000.

We also received notice from our Wells Fargo credit card that our first $25 rebate will be applied to the principal payment in about 4 weeks.

We applied for this card when we refinanced back in Sept. They give us 1% of every purchase and when you reach $25, they will make a principal payment to your loan.

We have reached this first rebate rather quickly as we have a few re-occuring bills on the card, bought DD2 her graduation present at Christmas time (holding it until graduation)and we have charged our airline tickets, rental car, travel insurance, and a partial deposit for our Kauai trip in July. We will continue to charge a bit of the remaining vacation balance on it each month until June (when any remaining balance will be due in full).

We figure why not use the card when we want to charge something and get something back? As long as we pay it off in full each month, I think it is great!

Focus loan under 5K

February 20th, 2013 at 08:16 am

The check I sent last week cleared last night....we are now at $4957.91.

The plan is to send $500 a month and have it paid off in December.

Fingers crossed we can do it!

SUV loan paid off!

February 19th, 2013 at 02:33 pm

Yipee! The check finally shows online as pending...should clear tonight!

Annoyed with Ford

February 16th, 2013 at 04:05 pm

As you most of you know, I sent the final $500 payment to the SUV loan on Tuesday...the check still hasn't cleared. It never takes this long, and now, since Monday is a holiday, I won't know until at least Tuesday if the check even got there.

I just want to be completely done...I wonder if they are holding it because it is a long weekend....or because it was the final payment?

Anyway, I am sure it will be done next week.....I was just hoping to have it done THIS week.

I did it!

February 13th, 2013 at 08:08 am

Sent the remaining $500 on Tuesday to the SUV loan...hopefully by the end of the week it will post....and then I can post the loan is actually paid off! Yahoo!


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