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Archive for January, 2011

Resolution update

January 29th, 2011 at 12:52 pm

I figured today would be as good as any to touch on any progress I've made on my resolutions, even though there are a few more days left in the month.

1. Hold a yard sale. Not with multiple feet of snow in our yard!

2. Continue to eat clean. That's one of my easiest goals. I so love food in it's natural state as opposed to the processed stuff that some people consider food!

3. Do something new each month. This has been a fun goal. Although some people won't think what I've done is spectacular, they're new to me: I've gone out for a drink with friends after work; I've taken some time for me; DH and I went to the movies (matinee).

4. Pay off parent loan 2. Its under a grand now! we're plugging away. Next celebration will be when it's under $500.

5. Save up for and get a new roof. So far so good with the snow and no leaks. Once the EF is built I'll get an estimate of the cost of the roof and set my goal.

6. Complete a marathon each month. Between the snow and being sick for 2 weeks, I've made progress but it's not completed. But I still have 3 more days. Smile

7. Fully fund the emergency fund. Working on it! We have to tap into it for some necessary car repairs, so that will slow us down some. I've been funding it with DH's gas reimbursement checks - they've averaged $300 a month (mostly more) so I anticipate having this done. I told someone how we were saving all that money - like we never had it in the first place. They were amazed and impressed. It would be easier to go blow it, but when you want to live without credit cards, you need to have money in the bank.

8. Finish up the taxes from the business and get the rest of the paperwork and boxes into the storage area and out of the office. I've brought it up, but no headway on this goal.

9. Spend more time with my friends and family. We're going to friends' tonight for a get together, and I did go out to lunch with my sister and brother earlier this month. The snow has been making connections more difficult.

10. Be happy. I've noticed that I've been standing a bit taller lately, and my posture is improving. I think I'm making gains on this goal!

I'm tired of winter.

January 26th, 2011 at 12:32 am

There is no more room for snow in my yard. And we're expecting another foot tomorrow night. Waaaaahhh!!!

On the bright side of things, I got a "job" teaching a 9 year old how to sew. One hour a week after work - I'm going to suggest $15-$20 an hour. This family is rather well off, and I don't think that price is too much for them, nor is it too much for the service. I would think it will go for about 6 weeks minimum. We'll get together next week where I'll show her how to use a machine (she got a "cheap" one for Christmas) and bring some fabric scraps and thread to get her started. Should be fun. I've often thought about being a sewing teacher, but wasn't sure the best way to get that rolling (and the lack of time is a big factor too!). This should be good for her and for me.

The money I make from that venture will go to the emergency fund/savings. I was thinking about using it for my mulch/flower/gardening fund, but I think I need to really focus on what I need to do financially rather than what I want to do. There's always next year to get the best yard on the block.

Tax time

January 22nd, 2011 at 01:26 pm

I've been pulling all my paperwork together for the taxes...and I can't seem to get the TurboTax site to work properly! Maddening. I know my refund will go to pay back what we owe Uncle Sam, but I still want to know how much! I'll give them a try again later.

Snow, snow, snow! If you live in the Northeast, you know what I mean. 2 feet last week, another 7 inches in the next storm, 5 inches yesterday - and more to come next week. I'm pretty much done with winter. It's bitter cold today, but I'm home in my snuggly clothes keeping warm. I probably won't need to turn the heat up. Maybe once the sun goes down I'll crank it up to 65. It's at 63 now, where we usually set it.

DH and I are finally feeling healthy again. We've both been sick with colds, and it's been difficult to getthe things done that we need to do because we felt so lousy! I was the one that felt best when all the snow came, so guess who got to do the shoveling? Yup - me! Luckily we have a neighbor who plows (he charges us much less than his other customers), and our other neighbor has a snowblower and does the sidewalk while he's doing his own (I always give him excess produce from our garden in the summer). That just leaves the walkway from the driveway to the doors - it's still a long walk to shovel!

We owe less than a grand on parent loan 2! Wow - that feels good. It actually feels like it can be done. The other loans and debts, well, those are a work in progress. I don't forsee them being paid off this year, but they will happen when they do. Our next saving venture (after the EF is funded) is for a roof.

I'm now hoping that next winter we can get a "winter car." My car won't go in the snow. I need something with AWD or 4WD to get me to work on those days. Not to mention it's a 2000, with nearly 160K in miles on it. It's a Volvo, so I expect it to last a while, but the repair costs are also higher on it. And the check engine light is on because the rear O2 sensor needs to be replaced, and DH estimates that to be $1,000 or more to fix - AND I need to have my car inspected before the end of the month, but it won't pass if the light is on. One day at a time, one day at a time....

My happy dance...

January 10th, 2011 at 10:22 pm

I was reading Laura's post about her friend doing a happy dance because their car was paid off (she thought they had a 6 year loan and apparently it was 5 years). I commented that I couldn't live being unaware of where my money goes.

I'll be honest though, my DH is ignorant of the finances. He's not a spender, and all he really cares is that the bills get paid...I just need to let him know how much he needs to make. I update him every so often when I want to see him have a coniption fit. LOL He saw our HEL balance and thought it was our mortgage last month. I told him we had about another $100K+ above that to pay. "Oh my God! We'll never pay it off!" He was in a panic and nearly a sweat. I told him that's why we leave it up to me to handle, and he shouldn't worry. The principal isn't due to be paid on for a few years and I've already made a dent in that. Sheesh!

On the bright side, he did tell me he got a $.50 an hour raise. I was proud of him. He said "hey, it's something." In the end it will help us meet our goals. I am not going to say that the raise will be put in the savings or anything like that at this point - it'll be sadly eaten up by the rising cost of gas, our potential monthly deficit and general lving. I'd like to be able to say down the road we'll be able to bank our refunds, bonuses and raises, but that may be a while down the road. It's okay, we'll get there.

Net worth

January 2nd, 2011 at 08:27 pm

Well, I'll jump on the bandwagon. Our Net Worth, as of December 31, 2010 is...drum roll please....

NEGATIVE $1,180.09

No where to go but up, right?