I was amazed to find my state taxes were already deposited into our account. That's less than a week.!
Viewing the 'Finances' Category
We debated on how to do taxes this year. Fro the last two years we have use a service because we had a special deduction that has now run out. So we considered how to file this year. Thought about snail mail for about 10 seconds. Didn't qualify for free file through the site.Looked at the HR Block online file and actually went through most of it until they tried to tell me I owed 500 more for the state than I had found when I did it on paper. I used their nifty live help and the girl asked me if I had called the state. Why would I the paper tax tables said one thing it was her program that was faulty. I left the site very disatisfied and bought Turbo tax. I was disgusted to find that after I paid 45 for the program I still had to pay another fee to file state and federal. Ah well I paid and hope to get my tax money in the next week or so. Just in time to clear some of the debt before we head south. I am hoping to get the tax rebate later as well. That will be another 1500 towards the debt. I have high hopes that we will be once again debt free by summer. This time I intend to stay that way.
Looked at doing taxes last night. I believe we will get a couple K back which will pay for our trip east coming up later this month. If my DH gets a bonus we have a chance of once again becoming debt free. Then we will build up the EF again. It was frustrating to be so far ahead and then lose it but we needed to help out. No regrets except that we didn't start soon enough to have an EF large enough to handle it. Then we would have saved the interest. Next years taxes will be better. DH is going to change the deduction so we don't owe anything and pay very little, then all we get back is the credits we will be entitled too and the IRS doesn't get a free loan.
Ok, the vote is in,
The furnace repair guy I used will be lauded whenever someone asks what i think from now on. his bill came and it is just over $100.00 for weekend work. What a relief. Considering everything that went wrong today that is great.
My DH and I are trying to decide if we want to sell our house (poor market right now and the main business in town just got sold so there will be a bunch of people laid off and maybe leaving.) or rent. Renting is riskier but at least we have a place to live while he job hunts. If it sold before he finds a job east then we'd have to rent and we have pets. Not sure what is best yet but we'll pray about it.
Well, My DH called me this morning (and woke up our DS2)to tell me the company he works for has been sold. Never a dull moment!
I have been figuring where we could economize ever since. He is at a big meeting to figure out what the next step is. He works for a large company and is at the most profitable branch so we are hopeful that there will be time that things just continue as they are but I am wondering if we should have bought the house or not. This is a pretty depressed area already and if they close that place it will become a ghost town!
We had a rainy second day and a slow third day but we made a couple hundred and met our goal of getting a climbing wall for the swing set in the back. With our little one in a leg brace it is vital to her development so we were please to be able to purchase it. DS2 sold twizzlers for 10 cents apiece. He grossed $9.00 and i donated the twizzlers. He went to a discount store and bought dog food for the local shelter. I was really proud of him. Needless to say a lot of people gave him extra money to go to the cause. He learned something and it took some of the sting out of playgroup not making it cause of illness.
Today we finally were able to get the brace fixed. Now we have to find shoes. The only ones we have managed to find are tennis type shoes that cost 107.00 dollars. She of course needs special socks too at $15.00 each. Thank God the brace was covered under insurance! The shoes are special order and won't be here till next week. I don't think there is a frugal way to do this!
As in selling not buying. I like it better that way. This is my first sale in this house but my 3rd year in a row to have a sale. I had the driveway lined on either side to two car lengths and each side of a 1 1/2 car (set lengthwise) garage lined with stuff. The sale was from 8 to 4 Thursday through Saturday. I had someone buy the treadmill yesterday and sold alot of stuff today. I also had stuff ofr the church to sell. We are trying to buy Bibles for an afterschool program we run. WE need 30 and they sell for $ 15.00. So far I sold enough of their stuff to buy 2 and 9 people have pledged to buy one as well. We start the program on the 19th so we have time. I hope to sell most of the rest over the next two days. Tomorrow DS2 is going to turn entrepeneur. He is going to sell liquid refreshment. i haven't decided what yet but something. His play group is thinking of coming back and selling cookies too.
That was my gas bill last month!! I was pleased of course but now have a problem. My bank won't cut a check for under $1.00. So I guess I overpay them or else try to figure out where they are and go pay in person. I will look back at this fondly when it is January or February I am sure.
Not vacation time but time when I couldn't access the internet. I was using a "tether" to connect my phone to my computer and get online that way. It meant where ever I was there was the internet. Now I am not internet happy enough to want that but my DH used it so he could dial in when on call anywhere in the state the pager would go off. Thus he could geocache even more! The other perk was that it was half the price of the local cable company. DH insisted on getting another phone so I wouldn't be without when he had it out and about, which cost us about $170 less a 100 dollar rebate. It also cost 10 bucks a month to add a phone to our account. So all was well for a whole week. WE cancelled our cable internet and were congratulating ourselves on getting a better deal (we'd have to keep it four months to make the money back on the phone but no big deal) Then week two dawned and we couldn't connect. We had purchased another computer in the meantime so figured it was our fault. I set up the old one upstairs and still couldn't get online. Then we discovered DH's laptop no longer could access work through the tether. WE returned to our local dealer to discover that no one in the midwest can tether right now and it may not be fixed for 3 weeks (or so) They reassured me that it was a priority for my cell phone carrier to fix the problem. In the meantime we couldn't get to our bank (money) or anything. So we returned the phone (credit still hasn't shown up, why does it take so long to see a credit when they take my money right away!) and we requested a return of th emoney we'd spent to tether. They gave everything back except the charge to add another phone line. Lesson learned and we went back to the cable company for a quick start kit, after all it had only been 2 weeks since we were with them. Two kits later (they thought it might be the modem having a problem) and several days I was again tearing my hair out. No wonder I'm grey (ok, not right now but that's beside the point) It took so long that they sent someone out twice, the first guy went to south instead of north and couldn't dial a phone right. and credited me with a month and gave me a cheaper rate for two months. While I appreciate it I am just glad to be able to check my account daily again. It was scary cause I had written a big check for the roof and wasn't sure what was left!
Tomorrow is a big day at our house. My "little" one turns 4!! He is excited. His birthday party will be on Sunday but we will have playgroup tomorrow and do lots of fun things then. The theme this year is space. We tested the rocket activity today and it works great. You make them out of film canisters, toilet paper tubes and an alka seltzer tablet. It really flies the right amount for a little one to do. We also are making can coolers (for water bottle, no soda at this age) and playing pin the comet to the solar system! For food we're having "moon" pizzas (make your own) and rocket pops with cake. I bought "rockets" at the dollar store that you squeeze in water and then throw so we are going to play "splashdown" They were two for a buck so the kids can take one home as favors. I splurged on the treat boxes although I probably could have figured out how to make them myself. They look like the space shuttle. We filled them cheap though so it wasn't too bad.
by th eway my 20 items did well. 18 of them sold and are already paid for. One of those was a dutch auction and I sold 8 of the items I had. I'll use the others for kids in Sunday School and such.
I put 20 items on ebay this afternoon. I am proud of myself, now if some of them just sell maybe I'll break even on fees!! One of our playgroup parents put their parents place on an ebay auction, 83 acres. I can't imagine! i did sell a house at auction once but I was desperate and it wasn't an ebay one.
I've had white Resurection Days before but this is silly! We have enough snow that my DH had to get up early and shovel snow this morning!! It is winter out there. I had to dig out the extra warm wraps for my DS. He wants to go play in the snow today. I want a roaring fire! Neither of us will get out way. I did have good news. Last months gas bill came and it went down by over 50%. I am very happy about that but not thrilled that this months won't do the same (never satisfied!)
April is when my DH company give bonus and raise notification. We got ours on Maundy Thursday. He got a 4% raise. I am proud of him. The bonus will almost be enough to roof the garage (unless more is rotton than we know). take down 11 trees and build most of the jungle gym ofr DS2. It is a relief to know I don't have to squeeze it out of our monthly budget. The raise will help too although most of it is going straight into our 401K. We will finally be at 15% on that and even be doing it 3 months early. That way we won't get used to the money in the check and miss it! Now all I have to do is find th emoney to fence the yard! Oh and build the ramp and plant the garden (roto tiller, topsoil, ... and pave the driveway or at least put down crushed granite and ..... Home ownership is so much better than renting???!!!
I started a group on Prosper.com!!
It is Get Out of Debt and the nickname is GOOD. I put it's goals as helping others get out of debt. I have a loan finally. It took awhile but I got one. I have another one pending. I won't be able to bid on another till April but at least I have a start. I hope to have at least half a dozen by the end of the year. Won't be much income but it will be some. I am only playing with my "allowance" (part of it anyway) so it isn't a big risk. Once we have some big projects done (like the garage roof, fence, a playset, etc) we may try to do some more. Right now I can't wait until April to find out what bonus DH gets. I am hoping it will take care of 1/3 of the garage roof. The company didn't make alot of money last year but it did OK so we'll see. I understand the bonus is based half on his performance (was great) and half on the companies. So we know he'll get one just not how much. Half of it goes to one of the other projects.
I am trying the Prosper thing. I have been bidding on loans for a couple months now and finally figured out how to make sure I get one. I think I have won two loans (or rather a small part of them) and will let you know how it goes. Now if I could just figure out what to do about the 20 $ challenge since nothing is selling.
WOW, dental care is expensive!!! I went in for the rest of the Xrays yesterday and while I was there found out the cost of my root canal (still to come on Monday. The receptionist thought I should know since my insurance only covers so much. Nice to know someone at that office is listening. Anyway it is 850.00 plus what was already done 196.00 and after several months a cap for 850.00 and something else for 275.00. I told them that about covers what my insurance allows so they could stop there but it seems the cap and other piece can wait until January so they have some to work with now and then in January they can do more. I dont' think the Dr is going to like that but oh well he'd like not getting paid even less I'm sure!!!
At least I hope they sold. I put my old sewing machine on ebay and it sold yesterday. The person who bought it only has 2 other ratings to her name and while they are good ratings I am concerned and probably will be until the money shows up. The machine I bought to replace it will be almost paid for as soon as that money clears because I cashed in my money jar (136.00) to cover any difference. I also sold another machine but it went for very little. Every bit helps though. Now the real challenge will be packing them! That is my next project.
Well the cards didn't sell but the other stuff I have put up are all going to sell. It isn't part of the challenge but will help pay off the sewing machine I had to buy, Right now I have half the cost (yes my DH wants me to just pay for it but I want to NOT use a credit card, I want to use cash for it when the bill comes. My goal for this next two weeks is to not use the credit cards for more than 100 to 200 dollars. I'd say not use them at all but we both have birthdays coming up and that is how we surprise each other we use the cards but the money is there when the bills come int that way we don't necessarily know when the other is shopping. Now if I just had a couple ideas for him!!!!
That's the bad news, the good news is it was in our favor. Yeah we let them get the interest on our money but it could have been worse. We had cut our deductions way down for the first part of the year because we didn't expect to pay much in th eway of taxes. We didn't cut it down far enough. The good news is the IRS bill we owe from 3 years ago will be paid and we will be able to replenish the EF and pay some of the medical bills off.
I opened a sharebuilder account about a year ago and was buying a local stock every month. Then in January I changed it to another stock I am willing to support. Today after a great deal of consideration I decided to sell the first one and go with another. The people I knew who were with the company have left and I am concerned that it won't be doing as well so I sold the stock and bought one that seems to be doing well. We'll see. The fees for selling really take a bite but that's cause I am investing so little right now. I upped my monthly investment amount also so that will help. I don't plan on changing anything for a year at least unless I decide to invest more every month. I'm considering that. I also don't have a goal for this money although I may choose one soon.
At the old house I was grateful to have an electric bill around 80.00. We just got the one for this house and I am tickled pink!! It was under 40!!!!!
You may find out! Yesterday I was concerned about the fact that my oven doesn't work any more. Today we had a 9 AM appointment to do a walk through at the house we are buying. On the way I noticed that the car is running a bit rough. I took it to th edealers because no one else had time to look at it today and I had a 3 hour drive to make tomorrow. It seems that my engine needs to be replaced. A new one is almost 4000.00!!! I dont' know anyone who rebuilds engines. I called my husband at work and told him I needed him to come over so we could figure out what to do. We decided on three choices. Thake the thing home and park it and drive the car which would need 4 new tires and a brake job in order to have us use it full time. (we pay it off in 2 months and were planning on selling or donating it since the new house is within a mile of work.) That choice would mean we rented a car anytime we took a long trip East to see kids since the car has 107,000 miles on it. Choice 2 is trade it in and buy another van since we need the space. Choice 3 is use a credit card to have th ecar repaired. Neither of us liked choice 3, choice 1 concerned us since we would still have to pay payments and insurance on the van as it sat in th edriveway and we weren't sure when we would be able to have it fixed. So we decided to explore choice 2. We talked to the dealer where we bought it and he offered us 4000 dollars as a trade in. We owe 9500. That didnt' work for either of us especially since we couldn't finance the difference along with the price of the van we were looking at. At another dealer they offered us 7500 for the van after finding out the extent of its problems. They also told us what happened, seems there is a gasket that rots and lets fluid into places it shoudn't be which then destroys some sort of rod an dbearing or something like that. We agreed on a van and then saw the price. My DH said if they'd drop the price 4000 we'd buy it. They cringed and offered (40 minutes later) 1500 off and DH said yes. Hours later I was wondering what was taking so long and getting very nervous since I had 11 people coming over for dinner in a couple hours. They finally told us that the financing problems were because the company didn't want to finance the car for that amount with the extra from the last loan. I was releived since I was afraid our credit had gotton messed up somehow. Anyway they had to give us a 11500 trade in allowance, 2000 more than we owed!!!Our payments will be higher but not as high as we thought. God is so good. Not only that I got home in time to have company although I admit we had pizza instead of the dinner I had planned. They had fun and the kids made "gingerbread houses" out of graham crackers after dinner. my 3 year old was in the car dealers from 1130 am to 444 Pm. He was more patient abou tth ewhole thing than I was! Of course he wasn't too concerned about the company coming!!! All in all an interesting day but I guess we are ahead slightly. At least we didn't have to rent a car for out trip tomorrow.
This is done by the seller I am told. I am also told that it is the only thing hanging between us and a closing. We have achieved mortgage. Is that an achievement? I keep telling myself that it is an investment. After the first house I bought cost 25,000 and I sold it for 29,000. The second was 35,000 and I sold it for 39,000 (OK not an improvement but different place and time) So if I buy this at 48,000 I should be able to sell it for more someday, or at least my kids will. I hope! At least I won't be paying a landlord anymore. I can do what we want to do in and out of the house, as long as we can afford it! Our payments will be lower even with the insurance and taxes going to escrow. So we save over $100.00 a month to put into repairs. If all works out according to plan we should have the closing costs covered by the seller, and get some money back to do windows. Our EF (small though it may be will be used if we need to to do that becuase we can't move in until it is done. We'll build it back up ASAP however. Right now the car is slated to be paid off in January at which point we can sell it or give it away. Either way that frees up several hundred between the insurance being cut in half and the car payment being gone. We will be down to one car payment and one mortgage. Our trip East for the holidays may take some credit but we can pay it back as soon as the bill comes in.
Not for us of course (nothing is easy for us) but our "real estate agent" will make the easiest money of her life. We made the decision to buy a house. We picked 5 things that we wanted it to have. In no particular order they are 1. A yard , big dog and children need big yard. 2. Proximity to his job and our church so we can sell one car and he can walk to work. 3. minimum of three bedrooms so we can have more kids. 4. minimum of 2 bathrooms. 5. a fireplace. Of course it had to be affordable as well. I decided that even though we would be eliminating one car payment we still wouldn't want to pay more for the mortgage payment than we do the rent payment. We are very willing to fix it up but can't do alot of plumbing or any electrical. I don't think I want to try roofing either. We looked through the homes book that came in the next weekends newspaper and picked several that met some of those parameters. You can't tell where they are and they didn't all list things like fireplaces. We have to buy through the people we rent from in order to break our lease so I called and asked her to look up umpteen numbers and see which ones were within a mile or 2 of where DH works. She came up with about a dozen papers describing the houses and giving addresses. I went through and picked 4 to start and asked her to set up appointments to see them the following Monday morning. That Friday we decided to take his lunch time and look at the outside of the houses. We eliminated two right away. One had no yard at all although it had a really nice river view. The other had a warped roof. I want a fix it place but not that much of a fix it place. We liked the two others form the outside. As we pulle dup to one of them we realized we knew the people who owned it. In fact we had been in it a couple years ago when we first moved to the area. So I knocked on the door. She was home as as we talked her husband pulled up and gave us the grand tour. I called the realtor and told her to cancel the showings we had found our house. It has 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, is within a mile fo work and church, has a double lot (flat even) and roof is 2 years old, new electric, needs a couple things replaced in the upstairs bathroom, has a claw foot tub (I love it!) and the bedrooms are really big. The kitchen isn't very big but the dining room is right there and I think I can manage. There is no fireplace but it has a fire pit in the back yard. The best part is the price. 50000. Needless to say it is an older home, but I am an older home buyer! The payment should be under the rent when we are done. Unfortunately we will have to finance all of the price so our interest will be higher until I can save enough to refinance in a year or so. All in all the realtor had very little work to do. Our mortgage was pre approved for 3 times the price so I think we'll be ok there. We are signing th e papers today so I will keep posting what we learn. The couple are grateful to sell the house since they need to pay off alot of debt and our 48000 bid will give them the ability to pay it off and have a few thousand to buy the next house. They have 4 boys and need to move soon. The downside is that places the move for us very near the holidays. We have to give our landlord 60 days notice before we move so we gave that today as well. We are planning a trip East in early January so we will move an dthen get a break by traveling. We won't be able to stay long because of the expense but we'll get to see the kids, grandkids and show a movie of our new house.
I really love dogs. Honest, ask anyone I love them. We took the 14 month old male Sheperd to the vet for a pre-op physical. We are having him neutered and the pre-op is part of that price. I knew that expense was coming. When I called I explained he needed a rabies shot and agreed to leave a stool sample for analysis (DH job to retrieve since he's the one who wanted this darling) They told me to expect a bill of around 26.50. When we went in for the surgery we would be expected to pay around 80 more since we put a deposit on for the neutering to get the dog in the first place. When we wnet in they offered blood work for only 71.00 more whihc considering we knew nothing about his past we agreed too. We also needed a heartworm test from the same blood for another 26 dollars. I had noticed that he seemed to have a respiratory problem that I was very much afraid was bordatella (kennel cough). After the vet examined him and pronounced him healthy and awesome I explained my concern. After listening to the symptoms she agreed with my diagnosis and said since his lungs were clear we might have caught it quickly enough. The medicine was another 66 dollars of course. Then there is the heartworm medicine we need to give through January. All in all it totals 172 dollars for the first visit, an dhe couldn't have the rabies shot becuase of the infection. If the medicine doesn't clear up the problem in a week or so they need to do a transtracheal test that means putting him under anasthetic and that translates to big bucks plus the new medicine to take care of whatever yucky bug this has morphed into. Then we can look at the neutering and rabies shot and....
The garage sale went well. made a bit over 400. still have to take the toys and kids clothes to the resale shop for syore credit or cash and that will be that.
OK, I wish someone would show up so I could justify how cold my house is! I am sitting where i can see the road and no one is coming. I have the connecting door open and let me tell you, it is cold in here. DS2 is in his warmest outfit and I am considering mittens for me!! Day 1 wasn't bad, in spite of only having it in the morning paper we made a couple hundred. Of course the computer is sold so I don't expect to sell that much over the rest of the sale. Saturday should hop, I made it half price day. I decided not to put the clothes out, I am going to take them to a shop that resells stuff and get store credit for it.
WE finally got XP working on the computer but it won't let me send from one of my email accounts. When I hit reply it blocks the "pop up" that tries to let me type. Ah well, we were going to give up that account anyway since DH work is paying for higher speed. We can't give it up until DH lets everyone know not to use that account for job offers, Hey maybe he'll get a email he needs to reply to and have to fix the problem!!!
My DH went to Promise Keepers this weekend along with a group from church. It was a wonderful experience for him but not so great for me. In addition to the somethings missing feeling I always get when we are apart, I discovered tha tour dryer (in which I was doing all the vacation laundry) no longer blew hot air and it takes alot of starts to dry clothes with cold air. So we spent a couple hours at the laundrymat today to catch up. I plan on washing everyday and line drying everything until we move somewhere. Washers cost 1.75 at the laundry mat and don't hold alot. Dryers are 25 cents for 8 1/2 minutes. It was a great lesson on electricity costs money for our DS but a horror for me. I spent 6.75 on three loads. At least pour electric bill will go down, we needed coats today so no more AC and no more dryer. In fact I am going to offer it at the garage sale were having at the end of the month as a fixer upper.
I am learning that God is soverign even when things go better for others than they do for us. As long as he's in charge I'm content to take wha the allows into our lives.
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