The last one for a while...
We are heading to Georgia and Tennessee on the 15th. When visiting San Francisco late last year, Frontier cancelled our return flights, twice. So they set us up with $600 in vouchers (which is $400 more than we spent on all three round trip tickets, all together). So, we are using those vouchers for our Spring Break. We are cash flowing the hotel and rental car. It will be our BIG vacation this year. And it's just the three of us (me, DH and our DS10).
I haven't filed our taxes yet, BUT, I now have everything ready to go!! So, I will mail them out in the morning. I really thought we paid enough in 2016... for the last half of the year, I even had them take out an extra $100 per pay check... So, we ended up with $15,212 paid to the Federal Government. I sure hope that's enough. I still make monthly payments for back taxes we owe, and I'd like to be done with these eventually.
I was snooping around my Merrill Lynch accounts (work 401K) and saw that we received an employee contribution - more than my matching. So, happy about that. I also found out that I have a Roth 401K account. Had no idea (I know... I got to get this all figured out). While I was there, I upped my contribution for my regular 401K by another 3%. Which means things are about to get even tighter around here. Finally, I figured out why I am getting $20-$50 checks each month - something (not sure what) was sending me my dividends. I reinvested those bad boys. I have several checks I never cashed, so I have to call them and place stop payments on them.
I received a large bonus this month for work - so that's been a nice cushion in my checking account. I also had a chance to pay off some medical bills and purchase a few things we "needed". I still have about 2K left, but I am going to move that to a Savings now to prepare for A/C fixes come summer. That means, we have to stick to our March budget like CRAZY.
Viewing the 'Background' Category
The last one for a while...
I was just checking out my side bar... my main goal was to file our taxes by Jan. 31. Yeah, hasn't happened yet. I am pretty sure I have everything, just need to get it done.
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My husband and I have been chatting a lot about "what next?" Do we stay in this house until our youngest son graduates? Do we look to move sooner? We go back and forth almost daily. We have about 135K in equity, but I am not sure I want to go through the hassle of selling, even if it's to downsize. We owe 193K on the house.
I think we ask this question a lot because there are things we want to do around here and we just want to make sure it makes sense. Like, this storage shed my husband has been building for us.
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We've incurred some debt as of late... It's been a while. We paid off and sold a car (to my son) and decided to purchase a truck. It was a difficult decision to make - to go further into debt - but I am fine with our decision, and I am focused on paying off my car ASAP. We owe 14K on it - I know I can pay it off in less than 18 months, so that's my goal.
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We got new PUPPIES! They are cheagles... Chihuahua and Beagle mixes. Their names are Beatrice and Ramona!
I forgot how much puppies need (shots, food, toys, beds). $$ but worth it! I lurve them so much.
So much going on... so much to plan for... so many goals to write down. I am declaring 2017 a SPEND VERY LITTLE year. We have done a ton of road tripping and weekend getaways over the past 3 years (and had so much fun and created SO MANY MEMORIES) but I am ready to settle down and decide what we want LONGTERM.
My oldest (21 on Monday) is still living with us. He causes zero issues, and is in school... but he's got some planning to do, too.
My middle (17) graduates in May and I have a feeling she will be hitting the road as soon as she is able.
We will soon be a family of three and I think that qualifies us for some budget adjusting and goal making!
This year (last 12 months) we did travel a lot. Probably spent upwards of 8,000. I REALLY want to refrain from that in 2017 and see what we can throw at debt (house, student loans, car).
We did pay off Car 2 a few months ago (need to update my sidebar). A whole year early. Happy at that!
I spent a few hours testing out a zero balance budget... I just need to get us through the holidays. We have birthdays, holidays, Christmas, etc...
So, here's to budget setting and goal making for 2017!
I need to update my side bars... I found out that I owe $4100 on Car 2... I went into detail about it before... my brother purchased the car for his then girlfriend - unloaded her and then needed to unload the car, so I stepped in. We've been paying on it for 4 years and we can finally see the light! =) I am thinking of putting an extra $400 towards it for the next few months to see if we can just get it paid. Then I have to deal with getting it transferred into my name.
The tags are due this month, but I just realized that I have to get an emissions test done, so $157 set aside for tags and the test.
I was able to put $700 towards debt today! And another $600 to savings.
We've also had some expenses come up... Two dogs bites and, subsequently, two ER trips. Same dog, one victim was the husband and the other was my 9 year old. Exactly a week a part. My husband required plastic surgery, but my son did not. The hospital bills so far are $1200 (that's just the ER visit portion)... waiting to get bills from doctors and then for my husband's three day stay. The husband and kiddo are doing well, considering.
Sadly, we had to turn our pup in (another fee)... We just can't take any more chances. I don't feel like he is aggressive...But I do think he was trying to show his dominance. Animal Control was certain a rescue would come take him since he's only 2 and not yet neutered (may be part of the reason for his actions)... He may still have a chance. We've had the guy since he was just 8 weeks old and loved him MUCHO. So sad. We all have heavy hearts. And our other dog is missing him.
I have big plans for the weekend! We are going tennis shoe shopping and I may try to find some side chairs for my living room.
And here I thought I only took the months of December and January off... Sheesh! It's been since October.
We spent money, went on vacation, paid the bills, celebrated the holidays, dealt with some drama... and we've landed safely on the other side.
I got my 2016 spreadsheet all cleaned up and the budget built out. Yesterday was our first payday of February so I took care of business and paid the bills. I still need to go grocery and Costco shopping this weekend, but we are set up to have a great week.
I get my yearly bonus on next Friday... $12k. Not too shabby. I have so many items on my wish list (mostly house stuff: replace slider with double doors, fix A/C, think about new counter tops)... but after taxes, the money only goes so far.
We are trying to figure out our vacations this year... far less than the previous years, but still want to get away this summer. I am thinking roadtrip to Colorado.
I love the feeling of a new year, warmer weather (we are in Arizona - expecting 80s all week) - I feel like I can accomplish anything... even my health goals!
A little over seven years ago, I found this site and at the beginning, I used it to my full advantage. We were married over 13 years and still weren't homeowners. I learned so much from the forums and the blogs. So much so, in two years, we were able to clean up enough of our act to finally purchase our first home.
We did all the things you aren't supposed to do, even after we learned so much and worked so hard. The brand new (HUGE) house needed blinds, didn't it? Home Depot credit card. We needed a table to eat at and a couch to lounge on and a bed to sleep in, didn't we? Furniture store financing.
See? All the wrongs. Ever.
We are five years in, five years older, and ready to get back on the wagon.
We do not have any credit cards. We do have some debts left, mostly medical. We have two car loans and my student loans.
Our income has increased over the years and we have plenty of money to pay our debts and save at the same time.
I've updated my sidebar accordingly. Well, sans savings balances... I will get to that. We are just starting to build back up again, but I think across our accounts we have a little over $1000... which, obviously isn't enough. In the past few years, if an emergency came up, we paid cash from the closest pay day, which was essentially robbing Peter to pay Paul... late.
We do have some back taxes we are paying on... evidently we weren't taking enough out based on our income... the IRS now demands we take the most out possible for the next three years (we got a very official letter). I think this means we may actually start to see some returns?! If my math is accurate.
We are getting up there in age... So we really, really, really need to focus on savings.
That's why I am here. Again.
We've had so much fun over the past few years, but if we want to have ANY fun at all during our retirement years, we need to get a move on.
On our 20th wedding anniversary last year, my husband took me on a trip to Disneyland - I had never been. It was magical. And romantic. And fun. And, unbeknownst to us, we came home with a little souvenir. At 38! With a 19 year old! And a 16 year old! And an 8 year old! What the heck!?! We were thrown for a loop, but were super, very excited! We had to change gears in life... And then change gears again when we found out our son passed away in utero at 17 weeks. He was born sleeping on March 31 and we buried him next to family. Want to know the worst thing, ever, to spend money on? $2000 for a tiny little casket and a tiny little plot.
My partner and crime, whom I affectionately refer to as my boyfriend, take the good and the bad, and really try hard to balance it all. Which is why I call this our lemonmade life.