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The end of the year is coming

December 11th, 2019 at 11:21 pm

Now that we have a little room to breathe after the sale of the old house, I'm looking at what things I want to do now in the new place. We can afford the new place but now have a quarterly HOA fee. My spouse is looking to go back to work so that will help. We have a emergency fund but I would like to have it hold a year's worth of expenses. We also still need to pay off the taxes on the house sale.

I'm looking into the "none to run" training to see if that will help with my health. I've never been an athlete but I've enjoyed more activity in the last few years and with a recent weight loss, I want to keep going. My sister did a running program and maybe I can do it too.

We have holiday plans set, 2 nights with my sister and then a drive up to visit my mother. I'm looking forward to it. NY will be for gathering with friends and a little time at the cabin. We plan on reviewing the last year and decade and make plans for the new year/decade.

Does anyone know the best way to include a picture? I tried adding an image but it doesn't seem to work.

We made it

December 9th, 2019 at 04:58 pm

The old house is finally sold. Now we wait to see what our final tax bill is next year. I'm looking forward to this being all wrapped up.

Yesterday we went through our expected bills and there's a little bit of wiggle room each month that we can use towards building our emergency fund back up with the goal of being $50k. I think we are approximately 50% of the way there. Also my spouse is looking to go back to work. We don't expect that she will make much money due to the nature and therefore the pay of the work.

Mostly except for the unexpected, we'll be mostly chugging along at a good pace towards our future.

My position is union work and recently the contract has been settled, I will have a small increase in January and then a one time payment in July. I don't know if I will have summer hours next summer and if I don't, we'll be fine. If I do, then we can build that emergency fund back up quicker.

We have our holiday plans scheduled. We also plan to look back at the last decade and do some thinking about what we want in the next decade. The decade after that will be looking at what retirement looks like.

The long slog

November 14th, 2019 at 12:39 am

April was when we realized we were going to sell our house and buy a new one. It took a lot out of us to sell a camper and a very old truck (1935) and then pack up everything to put the house on the market. The house was on the market just before July 4th and and after multiple offers, we accepted a bid. Inspection and then just a bit before close, it fell through. It was back on the market at the end of August and the close was September but it was canceled. Then it was back on the market and within a week multiple offers and that fell through just a couple of weeks before close but we were able to keep the earnest money. Back on the market and maybe two weeks we had multiple offers with the close date of being December 2nd. We've gone through with inspection and everything, there's just one more load to empty the house and we're crossing our fingers. I can't wait for it to finally sell so we can pay off our bridge loan. I really want to figure out what the monthly budget will be.

Going forward we'll be working on our health, maybe taking some classes and looking into travel.

3rd times the charm

October 23rd, 2019 at 10:35 pm

So the house went back on the market on 10/11 and we ended up with one really low ball offer which we countered up and then a second one a day later so we could call for highest and best which resulted in a purchase agreement. We expect the close date first week in December. It's not as good as the first one and frankly, I forget the amount of the second one. I just really hope this one goes through. I'm going to be holding my breath until it's finalized. I really do want to get back to a place where we don't worry too much.

We have just a couple of things left in the house and the garage to empty, perhaps 3-4 loads.

I'm really looking forward to a month of just one house so we have an idea of what our normal expenses will be. I tend to take the income subtract all the fixed expenses and then the rest gets put back to savings.

My spouse is heading to Indiana for a week to lay eyes on her brother. I'll be on my own which is rare but it will be good.

We're also still in the game, we have not turned on our heat yet. We're in the same state as CeeJay!

fake winter

October 12th, 2019 at 02:43 pm

That's what I'm calling it. It's 33 degrees outside and snowing. We're inside at 62 degrees and the heat is still off. Next Friday it is supposed to get back up to 62 degrees so I'm hoping we're still in the game. It helps to live in the middle of other connected townhomes.

Thanks for the links Ceejay, is there a way I can re-insert them into my blog? back date them?

And we're back

October 11th, 2019 at 04:18 pm

UGH, bummer with the loss of posts. I lost all of our trials and tribulations on getting ready to move. We moved in our new place and our old place is back on the market. To recap: first buyer signed agreement, "inspected it" and we discovered a little bit of mold and repair that needed to be done. Apparently, the first buyer didn't actually have a real inspector go through it. She canceled after the mold but we cleaned it up and put it back on the market. Second offer, inspection and a couple of repairs. We were about 18 days from the sale and the second buyer canceled. ARGH!! We do get to keep the earnest money and it's back on the market but in the midwest, we're past the busy season. We need this to go in the next couple of months. We have a bridge loan that is interest only but we have bills on both houses now. I'd really like to get this off our plates. We need to put the money back in our emergency funds and figure out what our monthly expenses will now be. Part of why I always had a healthy emergency fund was so that I could help in any trouble with my son and my spouse is concerned about her brother who just ran into some life altering health issues. Feel like we're just holding our breath. Good thoughts are welcomed.

Glad to see this back up, I would miss you all.



Sights on the future

April 1st, 2019 at 05:08 pm

We're looking forward to our move. We discovered that to avoid capital gains tax, we can't sell the house we're currently in until end of April 2020. We're so ready to move. The market is crazy where we want to move towards but we have an idea of what we want. I think 9/2019 we're going to get pre-qualified which won't be a problem. We have no debt and can probably come up with 20% down payment. I'm guessing an ARM should be fine because our plan would be to buy in October or November and close in December or January. Do a slow move in Feb or March with the house put on the market by March and then sold and close by end of April. That's my hope. I hope that buying something in the slow period and selling at the start of the high market will allow us to benefit.

Anyone have any thoughts about that? Know any special tricks or finance vehicles? Our current home is paid off and we're trying to stay in the same budget but with realtor fees and closing costs, that might be a bit tough. We'll see depending on what we buy and where we can sell at...

We've put up our small travel trailer for sell. Lots of interest in the less than 24 hours but we'll see how many actually come an look at it. After that, it's a partially restored mid 30s Ford Farm truck. I need that OUT of my garage. It was my Dad's project and he's been gone 10+ years but it's still painful to deal with. I wish a really nice person would come along. Cross your fingers as we deal with that.

Big Sigh

December 19th, 2018 at 04:30 pm

This has been a very busy semester. I'm glad it's almost over.

We just completed buying out my sisters of our Dad's cabin. It got a bit sticky towards the end but it's done. I've got a few days left of work before a couple of weeks time off. We've figured out the schedule which includes a week at the cabin but a couple of days in a hotel for swimming and etc. We're going to spend some time with my sister. It will be good to relax.

I also got some unpleasant news, recent diagnosis of just over the end of type 2 diabetes. I know that it's likely my destiny because my Father and younger sister had/have type 1 and my mother and maternal grandmother had/have type 2. I'm too young. I've done some research and I'm planning to reverse it. I've gone completely off added sugar even though it's hard to avoid as it's in everything. I'm looking into taking potato starch and something called berberine. I haven't lost as much weight as I had hoped to do but it's only been about 6 weeks. As soon as we're back into the cities, we hope to have an elliptical and get moving more. I'm trying to move as much as I can before that. We had two hikes last weekend and plans for more during winter break.

We bought tickets for a May trip to AZ, bringing my mother and perhaps my son and his GF will come and visit when we're there too.

Not much spending for Christmas but some. I hope this time of year is bright for all of you.

Summer is nearly done

August 13th, 2018 at 07:03 pm

I'm mostly back to work full time except for a couple of days. So much has happened this summer, landscaping, road trip, sister got married, visit to my son in WA and he was here for the wedding too. We're starting our foster care training. Work is heating up, and I will have more responsibilities. I feel like I've got to mindfully pay attention to self care. There's not a whole lot of wiggle room for getting sick and etc.

As far as net worth, I've been hanging around $800k for the last few weeks. I did meet with a Tiaa Cref representative to see when I could retire. With the marriage and my spouse not having great retirement, if we can figure out healthcare, I could probably retire at 62. I love what I do but I'm not sure where things are going. This is the longest I've been at any job (10 years) but I feel like I'm working with golden handcuffs.

With the current state of the country, I also dream about leaving. Listening to podcasts and reading blogs about expats. I loved New Zealand and heard that Thailand is a great place to be as well.

Townhouse sold

June 4th, 2018 at 09:12 pm

We sold the townhouse, after closing costs we received a check for over 108k which is pretty good since I bought it for 35k in 2012. I used a chunk to pay off the mortgage on the house we're now living in and will use some to buy my sisters out of the family cabin(they both want to sell). I've got it currently in Ally bank because that online savings account has the best interest annual interest rate at 1.6%. Anyone know any better rate to keep it liquid in? The rest will be used to do some things around the house. I feel pretty good about it. I'm now completely debt free at age 48.

Our family is a single income family right now and our plan is to begin the process for foster care licensing.

While I don't care to live where I do because it's so conservative and rural, the house is paid for and if we lived closer to the metro area, we'd have a higher housing expense. We will plan to live in our current location for at least two years to avoid capital gains. It's been hard to return to where I lived because of the isolation I feel. We just returned from a nice two week road trip to see some of the National Parks. Roosevelt, Estes Park, Arches, Canyonlands and hiked Bear Butte. It has me dreaming about purchasing some kind of campervan or simply a van for future road trips. We spent more on hotels than I'd like because camping wasn't has comfortable as it has been when we were younger.

I've also been dreaming of living abroad for a few years....but I'm not sure what country I would want to live in that is affordable. I guess I feel like I'm trying to position myself for future.

Stock Market correction?

February 5th, 2018 at 08:38 pm

I don't pay too much attention to the stock market because I'm young enough that I can still be a bit aggressive in my investments. I figure that anything too terrible will correct itself eventually. I also figure since my most active retirement account is my 401k through work, it's just buying more shares when the market is crappy. The current ride of great returns has been nice but it seems that is changing.

I wonder if this is a big long term change or if it is only a temporary blip.

My wife recently retired and rolling over her retirement account. We're also going to get her going with a ROTH.

I must confess, I'm hoping eventually we'll have better saving interest rates.

How are you taking today's stock market news?

slow but sure

January 29th, 2018 at 03:01 pm

Rooms all painted, flooring installed. We now are dealing with serious cleaning and repair of the bathrooms and kitchen. I was able to get the upstairs bathroom sink to plug up and then replace a gasket in the tub so it would also plug up so we could clean the jets. It's clean but there is mineral build up so we're going to have to soak some vinegar rags in the jets. The downstairs bathroom needs work. The shower stall has a hole and is cracked. I went to the company we bought it from and it's no longer made so we're going to have to replace the whole thing. We got a few quotes and we're going with the guy my wife thought was the most easy going, happens to be the cheapest price. Although, this weekend she saw the Frankie and Grace episode where the contractor take the money and all the copper pipes so she's nervous. I think it will be ok.

What we have to start doing is getting packed up. We're probably going to have to hire someone because most of the folks who have helped us have already been very generous and our friends are getting up there in age or have medical issues. Soon we can start bringing over car loads but the big stuff like a sleeper couch we have will need stronger hands. I expect we'll be in within 6 weeks. It should take a day or two to fix up the townhouse for sale.

Family budgeting software?

January 11th, 2018 at 10:13 pm

I am really accustom to doing things on my own and now that I'm married, I'm hoping that I can find some kind of software or program that I can share with my wife that allows us to do some budgeting.

I do use mint but mostly to see my net worth, I don't really use the budgeting aspect of it. I don't really want to pay too much...I peeked at YNAB and it's $$$.

Care to share what you use? Can two people equally use a budgeting plan or does it really boil down to one person managing it and the other following along?

Thanks

slowly but surely

January 8th, 2018 at 11:26 pm

We have access to the house. There has been some damage. The carpet in the master bedroom, hallway and lower level bedroom have all been ruined by the dogs. The master bedroom door is scratched up, basement door is completely missing, the lower level bathroom has a cracked and hole in the shower stall, I looked into this and it seems that it can't be replaced separately so I might have to install a new shower. I just looked it up and it has been discontinued but they direct me to replacement...I wonder if that will work? There's also a small utilitarian light fixture that is broken. I'm trying to work with my management company to help me claim all of the deposit (1 month rent plus $500 for dogs) and I'll put it into the repairs. I know that it will cost more than that but I just want to move forward.

It needs a deep cleaning...

We have pulled up and recycled almost all of the carpet ($20 for 2 truckloads), 2 bedrooms are painted. We have a carpet installer coming to measure for the carpet which is from a wholesaler.

We're starting to purchase used furniture and etc. I expect we'll start to move in within a few weeks to a month. I'll do some repairs to the townhouse and then put that on the market. It's a sellers market so I'm looking forward to being in the big house with the mortgage paid off.