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Archive for March, 2016

$4,751.26 and an article relevant to our interests...

March 30th, 2016 at 02:13 pm

That's the official mortgage pay off amount. It came from the bank today. (Balance, interest, and a county recording fee)

But boy, they sure don't make it easy to pay it off!

I thought I'd be able to send the balance through the online payment portal linked to my checking account. I use that for regular payments. But no!

I have to go to the bank, get a cashier's check, and then fed ex it to the mortgage department of the same bank. Oh well.

I'm going to the branch this afternoon to get it done. I'm trying to contain my excitement until the balance is officially zero!

In other news, I quite enjoyed this article about retiring early and totally agreed with their financial methods.

Text is and Link is

Post-mortgage savings plan

March 28th, 2016 at 02:10 pm

Thanks for all the advice, guys. Dh and I talked about it and we are going to transfer the money to pay off the mortgage from savings, then we'll pay ourselves back.

I started the transfer, and when the money arrives in the checking account, I'll call the bank and ask for the pay off amount. Squee! (I'm allowed to squee here, right?)

Now, of course, I have a plan to put all that money and more back into the savings account. We should be able to put $1,100 per paycheck into savings. I'm being conservative, so some checks it may be more. And, when the state tax refund comes, we'll put that right into savings, too.

Once the money is back in savings, I'm going to keep putting the same amount in every week, and we can maybe finally finally start inching forward on some of the goals we've put on hold while we were paying off the house. Like money in DH's Roth IRA, and a bigger EF.

In other news,

We're still doing 'low spend', which actually has worked out very well. If we keep taking $300 cash out every week for expenses, and using only that, we'll be in great shape.

It hasn't been hard to keep up this month, so I bet we can keep going like this for a while. $300 seems to be enough for groceries, kid expenses, eating out, etc.


March 26th, 2016 at 01:13 pm

That's how much we have left to pay on the mortgage before we're FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

The tax refund plus regular payment hit this morning.

Now, can I have your thoughts for the pay off strategies? If you were me, which one of these would you choose? (Or, do you have an option I haven't considered?)

A. If we did nothing and continued making our normal monthly payments, we'd have four more months of payments. (This timetable includes sending our state tax refund to principal when it comes, as well). So, our last payment would be in August.

B. If we took this amount out of our EF to pay it off now...It would take four paychecks, or two months to put that money back into the EF. Or, three checks, if we put the state tax refund right into savings when it arrives.

C. Wait for the state tax refund, send it to the mortgage, then take the remaining balance of about $3,700 out of savings to finish off the house. It would take three to four paychecks to put it back into the EF.

Any thoughts??

Mortgage-- so close!

March 25th, 2016 at 01:00 pm

We're so close to being mortgage free I can taste it!

The federal tax refund came today (lightning fast!), which is awesome because today is the day I pay the mortgage, so I sent all of that refund along with our regular payment.

It comes to about $4600 to principal, but I won't know how the numbers play out until it posts tomorrow morning. I'm so excited!!

We're still waiting on our state refund. For the past two years, we've received a letter after filing asking us to verify our identity via an online quiz. We sat down and did the quiz and it took us three times to pass it! I'm wondering if there is some sort of error on our credit report or something, because it kept asking us about the value of his parents stuff in Vermont. Uh....

DH's never lived there and his name isn't on any documents, and he doesn't have the same first names as his dad, so I don't know what is up with that!

I'm going to try not to worry about it right this second, but I might check on it later.

Mid-life glamour crisis

March 23rd, 2016 at 04:46 pm

I think I'm having a midlife glamour crisis. Is this normal? Until I had children at 33, I was tall, svelte, rock n roll and reasonably fashionable and on the go. Since kids, I've been a sports-bra wearing train wreck! (Although, I have gotten back to more of my normal self in the last year or so...)

Anyway, today I bought myself a watch and a dress. Both glamorous, both the style of my 'old self'. I'm wondering if this is part of a mid-life crisis or just a return to the old me? Any thoughts?

I was also wondering if glamour shopping online for myself is a reaction to our horrible spring break. Both of the kids are sick and have barfed all over the house. I've had no sleep and have had to clean up a lot of sick. Maybe that's made me pine for more glamorous days!

I'm also wondering how I can be glamorous and replace my old worn out duds while still on a budget!!

taxes filed finally!

March 18th, 2016 at 09:49 pm

I finally finished and filed the taxes today.

I don't know how all you early worms do it. I never seem to have all of my forms until the end of February!

Anyway, we should be getting about $4,700 back between state and federal. (Minus whatever we have to pay in City tax. We'll see). Whatever is left is going directly to the mortgage balance.

Here's to a speedy refund!

mortgage and primary

March 15th, 2016 at 03:07 pm

The extra mortgage payment hit today, so I'm down to $9,422.72. Yay.

The regular mortgage payment will be made next Friday, and should bring that down to about $8,400.

I hope to work on and finish the taxes this week. If we get a refund, we will be putting that toward the balance as well. (Estimating $3500, which would equal $4,900 left!)

chip chip chip!

I live in Ohio, so I'm off to vote now. It's my first time in a primary. It's kind of exciting in a weird way.

Year ahead? Birthday thoughts...

March 13th, 2016 at 04:32 pm

I'm 41 today. Woot. I always get too philosophical on my birthday. It's kind of like my New Year, the day when I sit and reevaluate and try to parse out what is good and bad from life.

I shouldn't complain. I have a nice house in a good school district, two healthy kids, and a DH of 14 years. Money in the bank and a plan.

But some things are still out of control! Any ideas or helpful hints would be greatly appreciated.

1. The mess. I spend soooo much time cleaning up, and yet the house is never clean. Two little boys and a hub sure do make messes and destroy stuff. Is there a way to manage this? Is it possible to keep the house tidier without spending all my time behind a broom?

(I am in my second round of major decluttering. I figure less stuff= less to manage/clean, But I'm not sure it'll work that way)

I got angry about this yesterday. It was my first day working outside in the garden, and I realized the yard was a huge mess. Raccoons had knocked over an extra trash can--which I thought was empty because I never put anything in it. Well, hubby apparently put something in it this winter, because there was an old garbage bag of food strewn everywhere. There's a stack of wood in the driveway that hubby promised he'd chop 6 months ago, and it's still there.

Gah. I got angry because I felt like I am the only one who cares, and the only one who does the work. We have a house in a nice area, and because of stuff like this, it's the shabbiest house on the block. I want it to look nice!

I can't do it all alone. There is too much. Too many jobs, too much work, but DH doesn't seem to care, and the boys destroy destroy destroy...

2. Career. I have kind of always suspected that career was a hollow ambition. I'm thinking about this because the in-laws just left.

My inlaws were defined by their jobs, and worried constantly about career and doing 'what they were supposed to do' as far as the life script: moving up, up, up! they don't understand our casual approach to work, and my MIL is hand-wringing about my decision to let go of a lot of my freelance work. She's worried about my 'career'. She followed me around for 3 days nagging about it. Gah!

So... of course I am thinking. I have figured out a few things in the last year.

A. I don't want to work at a newspaper again. Journalism is no longer a field I want to be in.

B. I kind of want the next stage of my life/ career-wise to be a mix of fiction-writing and hobby farming. Okay okay. I know it sounds crazy. I am very realistic. It's not big money and it could flop. But I feel like I should try. It's now or never. And I don't expect to write a blockbuster, I'd be happy with eventually building up a small, but solid income from those sources.

3. Finally, I want more creation in my life. More creativity, more writing, more paintings. Now, time is the issue. The youngest isn't in school all day until fall. But I feel like my life and ambitions have been on hold for 8 years waiting for that to happen for two kids. I'm tired of being on hold. Is there a way to add more creativity into my daily life? I can't write when the kids are here. I've tried. They interrupt constantly. But maybe I could move some art supplies upstairs, so I could paint in the dining room while we're home together int he afternoons? Maybe they'd even join me.

So this is what I'm thinking about on my rainy 41st birthday. I'm not mental, I swear. Wink

$300 to mortgage

March 11th, 2016 at 03:23 pm

I paid $300 to the mortgage balance today. I had hoped to make it more, but for some reason DH went on a post Low Spend Month shopping spree. I'm not super happy about it. Maybe now that he has it out of his system he'll return to his pre- LSM low spending ways.

I could send more to the mortgage balance, but I want to keep a pad in the checking account just in case he goes on another spending spree! If we still have extra next payday, when the mortgage payment is due, I'll send it then.

Oh well. I can't complain about much. The CC is paid in full, the other bills are paid, and we still have money left in the bank. Good living, right?

Oh, and I am planning to file the taxes this week. I think I finally have all the forms. Any refund will go to the mortgage.