Yesterday I purchased my Sons main Christmas Gift. It is the Big Harry Potter Hogworts Lego Set. I also purchased the Lego Advent Calender and two minifigures. The minifigures are going into his Stocking.
Today I purchased my Christmas Gift. It is a New Black Bug Out Bag by Sandpiper. These backpacks rock! I am going to add waterproofer to it to make sure it is waterproof and no water gets to it incase for some reason I have to stand outside in the rain for long periods of time. The reason I got Black is that no matter the situation is the plain black color does not draw attention to you so it is very multi-functional.
I want to also purchase a portable external hard drive. I have my eye on a 1TB by two different companies. I guess I want to see which one is suppose to be more sturdy. I think I will be waiting until Black Friday to purchase the Hard drive as this is usually one of those items that becomes a black friday Deal.
I need to buy myself a new pair of running shoes, I need to email the compnay though and ask what the name of the replacement of my current shoes is. See I wear the same pair then order it online until I cant get it anymore then write the company and get the name of the new shoe then buy it for years, the last pair I got at a store that was selling last seasons castoffs. Well it is now time to write the company again and find out what the name is of the newest upgrade to my shoe is called. I learned to do this after buying running shoes and never being able to get a good fit even though the store associates swore that the shoes were basically the same thing.
On a side note:
I talked to my X last night and it seems that he is willing to do what is best for our son and so he more than likely will be moving into the house while I am gone.
Archive for September, 2010
Yesterday I purchased my Sons main Christmas Gift. It is the Big Harry Potter Hogworts Lego Set. I also purchased the Lego Advent Calender and two minifigures. The minifigures are going into his Stocking.
Well I got word this morning that I have basically a little less than a year until I will be handed my first year long overseas assignment.
This means to make things run smooth back here for my Son and myself, I need to get my Emergency Fund Completed.
I will need to either rent out my house, get a company that takes care of vacant houses or ideally my XH will move back into it. This would require him to move back into state. If he could do this early it would work out best.
Right now his school should be complete in October/November 2011. I leave for Assigment in Sept. I am hoping that he can finish early so he could move into the house and then our son would not have to leave his home or his school. I guess worest case even if XH says he will not return until October that is only 2 months that my son would have to stay with my cousin as long as my XH is not set on staying out of state even though that would not be in the best interest of our son.
I have all my bills already on autopilot. If I rent out the house then I will need to get a managment company so that they can pay the bill for me while it is not being rented. If I just find a company to mow the grass, shovel the snow so it does not look vacent then the autopay would stay with only a few things getting cancelled (internet and telephone). If my XH moves in then nothing will need to be changed except changing the name of the cable bill so that he can add TV or make changes as needed.
If my son ends up staying with my cousin for a few months or for the year I am gone than I need to open a joint savings account so that I can get her a debit card to pay for clothes etc for my son and to pay her for taking care of him.
I will be out of country so I want to make sure I have my life insurance in order, I want to make sure I have enough and that is will be valid IF something would happen while I am working.
Now the $$$ breakdown:
#1. 3,000 in checking so that the few bills that would continue to be pulled from my checking account can without any action by me.
(I have been through this too many times that I KNOW that there is always a glitch with the pay-either it is slow getting started or you are paid less than you are suppose to in the beginning, so I need to be able to just ride it out).
#2. 2,695.70 into my escrow account ( I will need to figure out a way to get my house taxes and insurance paid without any action by me).
#3. 5,233.06 into my mortgage account so that my mortgage can continue to be pulled automatically without any action by me.
#4. Pay in Full Credit Card.
#5. ??? into E.F. For anything that Might happen that is not planned for (house repairs etc)
Monday Sept 27, 2010 was a no school day, so I took off work so I would not have to figure out daycare for my son. I did a few errands.
I needed an over due oil change on my car, also I knew a few other things were going to need to be done because they were mentioned at my last oil change. I dont know what happened this time, normally I get an oil change every 5,000 miles but I could not seem to make time and well I was actually closer to 10,000 miles this time, oops.
My car is now at a little over 120,000 miles.
So basically my car NEEDED everything flushed, it also had 6 burnt out light bulbs including one in the window break-light. I also needed new tires as the old ones were over 60,000 miles and one was showing the wear bar, the other three might have had another 5,000 miles on them BUT With Winter coming up it was easier just to do EVERYTHING at one time and be done and only have to leave my car at the service place for one day (four hours) instead of for hours each time I desided to do a service.
When all was done, including taking my car through the car wash. I had spent $830.00. But the good news is that everything should be good for another 60,000 miles. I figured out yesterday that my car is just over 11 years old and so I am averaging about 10,000 miles per year. So I should have another 6 years until I have another big service bill like this.
It is getting close to Christmas, My son asked if we were going to leave Santa Milk and Cookies this year in the car on the way to school. I told him we would leave Santa a glass and he could fill it with whatever beverage he wanted since leaving milk out until he gets there is not good since it should be left in the fridge. Santa knows he can help himself. I also said yep we should probubly pick up cookies as last year leaving him Brownies was kind of a flop.
I wonder what brought it on, but I did ask some leading questions. I did not want him thinking that just because his father was not here this year that we would not be celebrating Christmas or that Santa would not be coming. Last year his father was not home for Christmas and so we had a very small low key Christmas. This Christmas being it is just us we are going to have to figure out some new traditions. I want non-present traditions (My son is too young to shop alone and We have no one that can help him shop for me even if I gave him money to spend).
Well here it is a month into school. Of course ALL the back to school supplies are no longer on Super sale.
This year the town I am in, went from a school supply list for each school (broken down by grade and then each grade list having a few items that were teacher specific) to a list for the entire town (broken down by grade). I know that this list are really only per semester supplies as right around Winter break every year 90% of the supplies are used up and at the parent teacher conference they send home a supply list of the items your child needs for the rest of the year. I also looked at the list this year and thought to myself man this list is Small.
I normally just double or triple the list. Well this year I did not buy ANYTHING, I went through my school/office supplies boxes and I had more than double or triple the list. I had stocking up on the FREE stuff and 1 penny and 5 cent deals last year and the year before and CVSing and so when we packed up the house to sell I knew I was not going to need anything at least for this year maybe more. See I had a now Xhusband that was in college and a son in school plus needing paper stock for the house I always stock up at B2S time.
Well the new District wide school list had 1 bottle of glue and 2 glue sticks listed. This was the same for Kindergarten and the second grade. Well it is now a month into school and a newsletter sheet was sent home and what does it say, that of course the kids are running low on glue sticks and some kiddos are already out. My son still has one stick left and I think I sent him to school with like four sticks at the begaining of the year as he had the same teacher as last year and I still had a copy of the prior years list.
The first grade teachers are asking the parents to send 10 glue sticks to school per child. Well I had actually 12 glue sticks in my boxes of supplies and I might even have a few partially used ones in the art supply box that we use for his home art homework.
So now I am thinking ten glue stick is possibly what they will be going through until mid term because he went through at least 1 maybe 3 sticks in a month If I remember correctly. So I am wondering do I buy gluesticks now?
Staples has a 4 pack of their brand on sale for $1 until the 25th. which is the same price as the sales at B2S time which is a 2 pack of elmers for $.50, My concern is do I buy three packs so I have 12 more on hand incase the sticks only last until midterm or do I wait and see. Now we are talking about spending $3 BUT when glue sticks are not on sale they can cost like $2.50 a 2 pack. I dont want to have to pay that much for 2 when I can get 10 for that price but on the other hand I am trying to downsize the amount of school/office supplies I have because I think I have an excessive amount. (Heck until the teachers sent home the notice saying send 10 glue sticks we had 6 2 packs sitting in a box).
Glue sticks do come in handy for projects and
Office Depot has a teachers 30 pack of the elmers glue sticks that are purple than turn clear on sale for $13.99 which is actually 46 cents a stick which is more money than the staples ones BUT I like the color changing ones as it seems my son uses less glue with the purple kind. BUT then I have a box of 30 Which could be enough glue sticks for years since I am not sure if in the second grade if they will switch from using primarily glue sticks to primarily liquid glue. I think the big BOX of 30 glue sticks might take up less space as the hanging cards the 2 packs are on take up a bit of space. I am not sure what to do since I want to downsize the office/school supplies to a reasonable level but on the same hand the point of stocking up on supplies when they are cheap is to have the supplies when they are needed and to not to have to pay $2 for a notebook when it could have been purchase for $.17 in August.
I have not written since the 10th. I had to work that weekend. It was also the weekend of my mothers "Family Reunion". My Mother did not want a funeral or a service and so the family had a family get together where the people on the left part of the state got to together and the people living near the right got together on the right side. There was the high shool photo of my mother and a yellow rose in the room. My Uncle is going to make my brothers and I copies of the photo and they gave me the rose. It was nice because they respected her wishes but at the same time they got to comfort each other.
My brother (never knew his father-not on the Birth Certificate), and so he was rather upset because when he heard our mother was died he felt like his only family was gone. Of course there was still my brothers and I, But we had just gotten in touch a month or so ago. So after the "family reunion" he was able to find comfort that he is not family-less even though mom is dead.
The family get together was really great, it was just a meal at Perkins (for those on the left side). My brothers went through my mothers apartment while I was at work and some of the relatives came and got some of her stuff. They also had a brunch but I was at work and unable to attend. The rest of her things got unloaded into my garage as they finished Sunday evening and every donation place was closed by them. My brothers and I went to eat dinner at a relatives house Sunday night and then the next morning my two brothers started the drive home at like 4am. My other brother flew out of town two days after they left.
I am for the most part done going through her things, Since most women seem to have three sizes of clothes in their closet. (the current size, the blotted size and the oh I used to be skinny size-or this will look so cute on me when I lose 10 pounds size). I was able to actually wear alot of her things, I have always wanted a trench coat and well she had 5 of them. 3 were long and 2 were short and in different colors black, navy, white. It was kind of wierd because she had the exact same jeans as I wear. She wore a size larger BUT she took in the waist band as the no gap was still gapping and so they fit me just a little loose.
I ended up with alot of things and so there are really only about one or two larger boxes of things that I need to take down to donate. My brother had a really hard time with boxing up her stuff because he did not want someone who did not know her having all her stuff, but it worked out well....He and my other brother packed what they could into their car, my brother packed a few things into his luggage, my mothers family took the majority of the things that my brothers had not set aside except for a few of the LARGER pieces of furnature that they had earmarked for my house. Then the remainder came to my house.
The funny thing is one of the items I like the most is that my mother used to clean houses so she had a bucket of towels for cleaning. I love that bucket of towels because I have always wanted to go papertowel less but never did. Now no more papertowels except for when I make bacon and everytime I grab a towel I will think of my mom. I wish I would have gotten more time with her but I am happy that she no longer has to "be unhappy".
I was nice to meet my mothers side of the family. It is sad that she felt the need to distance herself from everyone including my brother and I but she is in a better place now. I know this, she was extremely unhappy while she was on this earth and I do not think when we leave this earth the you are punished if you are a good person.
That is the principle involved with the stock market, so why do I have such a hard time doing this. Right now we are low, so I should be buying buying buying. But no I look at my statement and see the price went down again and instead of being happy about the reduced price so I can buy more shares I feel like I am throwing good money after bad.
I am looking at the returns on the investments and wonder how long it will be until the stock market starts showing good returns again. Dave Ramsey uses a 12% average return for a lot of his compound interest calculations and instead I see the market with 5% currently.
I have not been following Dave Ramsey s advice to the letter and so yesterday I made a commitment. I am going to start following his advice. You see I was saving saving saving for retirement but a call weeks ago from a financial evaluator got me thinking. I should really get to a point where I am investing my money and not all of it into retirement based accounts (401K and Roth IRA s). Her point was I should be fully funding the Roth IRA before my 401K since I donít get a match and other reasons (which yes that is true). But it is a head game. Just like Dave Ramsey says pay the smallest balance because you need to see progress, instead of going in order of interest rate. I like being backwards and funding my 401K first before my Roth because I fear if I was not getting it pulled first I would not be dedicated and put it towards my Roth I would pay bills (Mortgage or something) instead .
Right now my and I am sure others also retirement accounts are making around 4-5% per 12 month period. My Mortgage is 4.35% so I have reduced my retirement account savings and am going to start paying down my mortgage. If I reduce my retirement saving to 15% of my income that leaves me money to apply to My NEW PLAN.
A review of Dave Ramsey s Baby steps I am sitting as follows:
#1 Baby step 1K Emergency Fund: DONE
#2 Baby Step Pay off all Debt with the debt snowball: I have a revolving CC bill but I am going to Pay it in Full with my next paycheck and just call it done. I will still use my CC for things such as my online purchases but I think I am going to pay my CC bill in Full once a week. That way I stay ahead of the CC bill but at the same time I am using it for the CC rewards.
#3 Baby step 3 to 6 months Emergency Fund: I have 3 months DONE and will have an extra 1 month bills in my checkbook thanks to the NEW plan step 1. I have a secure job and if things change I will address the issue but for now the 3 month EF is fine.
#4 Baby Step invest 15% of income into Roth IRAs and Pre-retirement accounts: DONE I was currently doing above and beyond this. I have reduced this to apply to new plan.
#5 Baby Step College Fund: I saved a little for my son BUT I am calling this DONE. I have an option that I just have to wait out. I will be able to provide my son with a pretty nice option BUT it either requires some contract rewriting or an out of country work location. I have 11 years for one of these to happen so I am not stressing.
#6 Baby Step Pay off Home Early: Main New Plan issue
#7 Baby Step Build Wealth and give (I was already doing this by the extra retirement savings but the bad side was that it was restricted to retirement so adjusting this in new plan.
My thinking, the only blip on the horizon for my pay is in Dec. So this is my new plan:
#1. Save one month expenses in checkbook (so that the auto-funded payments and savings can continue even if for some reason my paycheck(s) are late in December).
#2. Take the extra money that I have each month and thanks to the reduction in retirement savings and apply it to my Mortgage (BS#6) this will mean paying off my house mortgage No Later than Sept 2019. I would really like to make this happen in 6 years BUT nine years is not bad, I think I will do better once some of my bills are able to be reduced. I currently am waiting out a cell phone contract which will free up some money for the next two years. 2 years from now I will need to add another line. But in two years my daycare expenses will drop and I will only need the weekend work sitter not the afterschool care. Then in 5 years my weekend daycare will end and I will only have out of town daycare needs. Also I for some reason always have a tax refund; I have not been able to modify my withholding to minimize this but each year I get better, so extra Tax Return will be applied. Finally my income usually increases by about 2% or more each Jan 1st. So I am aiming for 9 years but think I can do it in much less.
#3. Once the house is paid in full I will apply the extra money to: (for 6 Years)
Maxing the 401K (16,500x6=99,000)
Maxing the Roth IRA (5,000x6=30,000)
Purchasing non-retirement investments (stock portfolio) ????
Building a Deck for my PIF house. ???
I love the idea of a paid in full house because then 14 years from now when I start to pull my pension I very well could live just off my pension until I can start pulling out of my Roth Ira and then my 401K. The money I pull out of my retirement accounts I want to use for elaborate vacation plans. Yep that is how I want to spend my retirement years. I might get a part-time job after age 48 just to have something to do and so that I could continue to save for the future and fund elaborate vacation plans from the age of 48 until I can draw my retirement fund but ideally no job after 48 would ROCK.
So Yesterday I worked out, so proud of myself because I cut nearly 5 minutes off my five 5K time. I ran it in 31:27 since it is 3.1 miles that turns to a little over 10 minutes a mile which I think is super. I picked up my son from after school daycare.
We get home and there is 3 messages on the phone. I think the first one was old, the second was a hang up and then the third was a minute later and a message from a cop in the next town over with his name and number and a request for me to call him.
So I call him back, and he tells me that my mother has died. He tells me that my brother (half brother really) might be calling me. I think my brother found out today also. I forgot to ask when she died.
It was not really a shock because of the paperwork I signed like 40 days before, my mother was the non-custodial parent and she chose not to have a relationship with my older brother and I. She tends to get in touch with me every 5 or so years the last time I talked with her prior to her contacting me about two months ago was 7 years ago when I happened to come across her telephone number at work and I called her.
Well she only gets in touch with me when she wants something, two months ago she contacted me because she wanted me to sign some medical/legal documents (I guess it was up to me because I was the only child of hers in the state). Anyway she wanted me to sign paperwork so she could donate her body to science upon her death, to which I asked if she was terminal or something and she said no (just making sure everything was taking care of). I had gotten divorced two months prior and knew I needed to update my will and I figured maybe a close friend or family member had died and she was just motivated to ensure everything was done, usually stuff like that causes you to take action to ensure your affairs are in order.
So now I am a little numb, A coworker is calling me a "mumblefish" today as I normally am a loud and clear person, but today I just feel out of it and am having a hard time concentrating. I am maybe a little sad but not ball your eyes out sad. I talked with my half brother for only like 45 seconds last night, he was ball your eyes out sad.
I have realized I am the sad that you feel when you hear a friend lost a family member, you are sad for them but it is not the same as a if it was someone you knew personnally. I think I am more saddened by the fact that I am not more upset about it and just NUMB. But that is it in a nut shell, I never really got to know her, I saw her maybe 1 weekend a month every other month for a 4 year period (age 7-11), so she is more like a obscure relative than a mother.
Well I found out that my 2 week training session for 2011 looks like it will be moved from June to September.
This is good news because if it is in June (as it is scheduled now) then My XH cant watch our DS as I think he has school and even if he did not have school his work training is the same days in June. He is trying to get out of the training session due to having school.
Having the training in June would result in needing 24 hour daycare for the 15 days or $900 for the time frame.
IF the training is moved to September I will not need daycare during the day, during the week (son at school). Also I am not sure of what hours the training exercise is so if it mirrors my normal work hours then I can have minimal to no extra daycare costs. If it is an hour early I just need to figure out a plan for someone who can watch him from the time I have to leave the house until he goes to school (2 hours-10 days $50) plus weekends if needed ($240).
If for some reason I am on the night session than at most the extra daycare will cost $665 BUT I think it would be more like $425 extra because XH could take DS for the weekends so he would not have to be at the sitters all day and night on the weekends.
I am currently saving the $900 summer daycare expenses into my slush fund but it would be awesome to not have to use it all. I NEED to create a seperate daycare saving account (instead of the slush which is also gifts, car ins & car tabs) because If I get sent for out of town work again this spring then It is going to cost an extra 212.50 per week for the weeks XH can watch DS on the weekends and 332.50 extra per week for the weekends DS cant watch DS because he has to work or something.
Well I should know more within the next 30 days.
375.11 Starting Balance Spending Money for September
Over all the spending has been very minimual. I have not stepped foot into a store except if I had to, so doing well.
On Sept 3rd on the way home from work my gas tank was on e so I really could not put it off any longer. Fill up was $31.90. I am kind of excited now that I am tracking my spending here to figure out what my monthly gas costs are.
Then before I picked my son up from after school care I stopped at the grocery store.
4 loaves Bread 5.12
1 bag pretzel sticks 1.48
Batteries for my scale $3.50
Grape Jelly 1.47
The bread will last for 12 weekdays, the pretzel sticks was for my son at school and afterschool care, the batteries; now that was painful. I wanted generic but the smallest pack was 15 batteries for $6.00. The $3.50 was for Duracell and was a 4 pack. I use rechargable batteries but I have noticed that they are a bit bigger than the regular kind and sometimes they do not work in some items (My scale being one of them). Another thing is remember my $5 per week wiggle room well that almost got me into trouble. I was looking at the jelly and the difference between the grape and strawberry is $1.20 not that big of deal except I am trying to be extremely frugle. I almost told myself use the cushion and buy the strawberry jelly but then I got real.
$14.84 A video game for DS (long story - he had his heart set on a dog from the pound and I have yet again said we have to wait so the video game was a consalation prize because I was oooooh so close to caving and getting him the dog). It meet all the rules I had set forth, it was a pound animal which means it would be put to sleep if someone did not adopt it (ie not a pet store or breeder animal). It was one of the 4 breeds of dogs that I love. And I cant remember the third rule right now but it met it. I just could not bring myself to adopt. It was not the extra normal costs involved because IF I had to eat PB&J for lunch for the next 10 years to afford the food and vet care for the dog I would it was what to do with the dog when I cant care for it. It would have to go to a doggy daycare and that is $24 per day two years ago I was out of town for 5 weeks. That would get expensive quick.
$5.10 donuts (part two of the make it up the DS about the dog).
So it is now the 6th of September and we are basically a week into the month. So far I am doing good on spending if I say so myself. Tonight we are going to my cousins husbands birthday party, I need to locate the birthday cards I have stashed somewhere in the house. They are cooking chili so free food and I can remind her that this weekend I have to work.
309.66 Remaining Spending for Sept
Daycare $100 so really $209.66 So basically $69.00 a week. Which if I stay at the rate I am going I will have extra this month to start goals not even having to wait until next month.
Thank you all for you advice on the mental issue I was having regarding the lack of deck or fire excape as I was looking at it.
""I honestly don't think Dave Ramsey would say it is okay to borrow money for a deck. However, he might think it a safety issue and a priority. He would tell you to take a second job, sell everything you can and use the cash on hand you have. In other words, everything you can think of doing before you would go into debt further."" (Need to go back later and give credit to the poster)
I wanted to post about what I am thinking of doing to get my EF funded.
First: I have responded to an ad online looking for a roommate. I am thinking that for a while I will rent out a room in my house. This is not nearly as much money as a parttime job but after you deduct all the costs with parttime work it would be about half of what my take home would be, equal to it IF I could rent out two rooms.
I am going to look into seeing if there are any jobs in town that I could work from home. I would like to pick up a second job but because I would have to line up daycare and it would have to be when I am not working my primary job it would make it not super easy to do. I also have to get approval from my employer to work outside my home so I am thinking internet in the evenings. If I can find something internet than even if my job took me out of town as long as I have internet acess I could still pull in work. Or the job would have to be one where I could bring my son along (part-time evening nanny).
I have a few items I could sell, I just had a rummage sale and plan to have another next summer for the small things. I need to put ads out for the few large items I do have to sell to make a little money.
Okay now thirdly the "Use the money you have" The point of an emergency fund is to plan for unexpected events. Truthfully My job is secure I have a contract (just not the orders yet) for a 6 year position. So the Emergency Fund is fine at 3 mths. The Escrow and Mortgage do need to be at 12 Months because the posibility of needing to have then autopaid for extended periods without me being able to oversee it are more likely.
So I am going to buy the 3 rolling ladders
then I am going to continue to work on increasing income
then I am going to save for the Mortgage and Escrow.
then once those are at the 12 months I will save for the Emergency Fund and deck.
The only blip that is going to be on the horizon is in Dec. I NEED to have a months cushion in my checking account at that time as that is when my contract moves from old to new and pay is ALWAYS messed up for atleast one pay period where you end up waiting on the first check to cut.
So I am punching numbers.
I have the following question, Building your Emergency Fund is a step 3 item, Debt reduction being step 2.
Where would a house repair that is not really a repair fit in?
I have desided that all my extra $ over the next few months is going to the house savings account that is basically the money I would need to shell out if I had to claim something on my house insurance until it is finished.
Then I need to figure out a plan of attack. See I do not have a deck on my house, I have owned the house for 3 years, we were able to purchase the house without a deck BUT we could not resell the house without putting a deck on the house or putting an ALLOWANCE into the selling contract so that the city knew it would be completed shortly after sell.
It is a safety thing, If there was a main floor fire at the front of the house and we could not exit out the front door, then it is a 2 story drop to get out of the house without the deck built. I want to get this done ASAP but not sure how to prioritze it.
Is building a deck a DEBT because technically it should have already been done for safety reasons and me be paying it off. Or does it fit into step 6 paying off your home early because it is something that needs to be done to the house.
I was thinking maybe it fit into the middle gray area somewhere. I was planning on trying to pay a percentage to the Emergency Fund, The Mortgage Fund, the Escrow Fund and the Deck build. But I figure I have about $450-$500 per month that can be spent/saved IF I am gazzelle intense. If I do the % then it will take me 5 years to finished all them and the deck then move on to the next dave ramsey step.
The problem with that is I hate thinking that I am putting my sons safety at risk for 5 years when if it is a DEBT catergory item then it would be saved for in 21 months or Approx August 2012.
Is there anyone out there that who just wants to slap me and say get over it, it is a safety issue who care what dave ramsey would think and you should take that CC that has a limit high enough to pay for the deck and build the thing financing it at 9% and be done worrying that a fire is going to come along and then it will be a debt to be attacked.
Please help me deside.