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The long slog

November 13th, 2019 at 04:39 pm

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 03:35 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 07:43 am

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 09:18 am

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.



Townhouse sold

June 4th, 2018 at 02:12 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.

Family budgeting software?

January 11th, 2018 at 02:13 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

future plans coming together

November 7th, 2017 at 02:47 pm

Sitting with the future of possibilities my wife and I have figured out some next steps. The renter of my house is moving out at the end of the lease which is the end of the year. We have decided to move back and do foster care. We have both always dreamed about this and there's going to be challenges, we're excited about it. We have continuous conversations, we're going to go slow and check in to see if we want to continue to do this. I will be the sole provider for the family. We're going to have to make some big purchases (pull out carpet from the house, install laminate floors due to allergies and asthma) purchase commuter car(likely used Honda Fit). We both feel like we have a lot to give. I know that these expenses will impact my current net worth but I've been so lucky in my life, it's good to try to make a positive impact in the world, one starfish at a time. We both know it's not always going to be easy but we're willing to try it. We can always stop if it's too much.

Our plans are to work for a crisis nursery (parents need emergency care while they deal with other crisis) or respite but nothing long term so we can also enjoy each other and have breaks. We don't intend to fall in love with any child and adopt.

My question for you all, have you ever done foster care? Any tips or suggestions?

Thanks in advance

Learning to manage money

July 25th, 2015 at 12:42 pm

I grew up in a family where we didn't value stuff. It was more about valuing experiences and people more than keeping up with the Jones. Both of my parents were social workers and thinking of others was important but so was living the life we have chosen versus trying to be boastful or prideful. It would seem that our family was religious based on our judeo christian values but religion didn't come into our family until later(another story and only includes some of my family).

My parents gave us allowance and I often spent it as soon as I got it as a child, usually on sweets. My parents (or maybe my father specifically) really believed in children developing their own autonomy so as children we were able to make a lot of our own decisions. My mother didn't work until we were all in middle school so she kept expenses down by doing more (home cooked meals, gardening and etc) instead of buying more. When she went back to work, all the family pitched in for housework because her extra paycheck would allow us more luxuries. I don't know how they did it because I saw my late father's Social Security Statement for his income and it was never above 40k. This was very surprising.

I started my first job(waitressing) when I was about 16 and used tips for spending money and banked all my paychecks. I usually always had some money in a savings account. I lived at home until I finished my 2 year degree. Within 6 months of completing my 4 year degree, I was pregnant and married. We lived in low income housing for a couple of years and then with the help of my family, purchased a home. When my son was born, I expected to go back to work but when he showed up, I fell so absolutely in love with him, I couldn't. Daycare would effectively zero out my wages so it was more worthwhile to me, to learn to live on one income. Thankfully, Amy Dacyczyn of the Tightwad Gazette helped me through those lean years. It also helped that I could delay gratification very well. I learned how to stretch money based on watching my family but also being motivated(public library is your friend for research!) to stay home with my son when he was a baby.

Speaking of Amy Dacyczyn, I just came across this blog post about one of her now adult daughters about growing up her family. It's very interesting to see her perspective then and now. http://thefrugalshrink.blogspot.com/2013/05/dacyczyn-interviews-jamie-part-1.html

I do think I was very lucky to have already been ok with a lower cost lifestyle based on what I grew up with. We went camping, to the library and to free events at museums or in the parks with our picnic lunches instead of hotel vacations, cable tv, restaurant dining and the like.

How did you learn to manage your money?