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Archive for August, 2011

Mortgage update

August 30th, 2011 at 11:25 am

I closed my August budget today, even though there is one more day left in August. I jotted down every single penny we spent this month. I calculated what we saved using coupons and discounts and I was able to make another principal payment of $50 today. Total principal reduction to date is $19,153.05. This month's extra principal reduction was $602.67. We are $10,846.95 short of our $30K goal by December 31st. If we are able to pay $30K for the next seven years (not including 2011), we will pay this mortgage off in seven years. I have faith that we will.

The effects of Irene

August 28th, 2011 at 02:19 pm

Irene did a number on our rental property. We will have to call our flood insurance provider (FEMA) to put a claim. Hot water heater, furnace, tenant's washer and other things were damaged. I'm glad no one was hurt though. There are lots of trees down, flooded streets and power lines down on my neck of the woods.

In the kitchen...

August 26th, 2011 at 01:10 pm

I spent a little bit of time in the kitchen today making breakfast burritos and egg, cheese and bacon English muffins to freeze. I came across the idea of the latter at moneysavingmom.com website. I think that if I make these from time to time it'll help avoid temptation to swing by McDonalds to grab something quick to eat. I can just grab one and heat it up at work. I made 14 breakfast burritos and 11 muffin sandwiches.

This is actually one egg split in half to cover the whole muffin.









I used the same bag the English muffins came in to freeze them.

What do you think?

August 24th, 2011 at 09:27 am

Thank God I have you to share the things some people may consider a bit ridiculous. My hubby found $7.35 yesterday and gave to me to do whatever I wanted with it. I decided to put it towards the mortgage principal. I realize that the amount is minimal, but I'm thinking long term and in the long run whatever amount it is will get me a step closer to paying the mortgage off.

I'm the birthday girl

August 22nd, 2011 at 11:17 am

Today is my 42nd birthday! My husband and sons surprised me yesterday with a NOOK and needless to say, I am really excited about it.

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I finished reading the book "The Help" and my plans are to head to the movie theater tomorrow and watch the movie. I loved the book so I hope it is as moving. On another note, we finally hit the over $19K mark paying down our mortgage principal. I hope we can keep this up, but if for any reason we can't that will be just fine too.

I hope you all have a great work week; I'll be back to work soon myself.

Excited!

August 20th, 2011 at 07:00 am

I received an email last night with the new salary guides for the next school year. I was excited to see that I'll have an increase of a little over $6k this year. This is a new contract. We took a salary freeze last year to save jobs, which means that each one of us also lost one step in the salary guide. I'm not complaining, I feel blessed to have a job in this economy.

Shopping for a stove

August 18th, 2011 at 06:34 pm

We needed to buy a stove for the upstairs apartment for the rental. We decided to check out a nearby Habitat for Humanity warehouse. People donate things to Habitat for Humanity, they in turn sell it and the proceeds are used to build houses for low income families. We actually found a stove in really good condition for $140; it just needed a little bit of surface cleaning with soft scrub and it was good to go. We've been pricing new ones and the cheapest we found cost about $350. Here is a picture of the stove we purchased.





P.S. My husband dropped the stove off and it works great!

Should we???

August 18th, 2011 at 12:41 pm

We've been thinking of selling our rental property that is completely paid off. We paid $109K for it in 1998. I know the market is bad for sellers now but I think we can probably get a minimum of $200K (just maybe). I jotted down some numbers our yearly expenses on this property are $6200.00 but we collect ~$25K on rents for a total of $18,800 net yearly profit. We were thinking that with the proceeds of the sale we can pay of our primary residence off. Our mortgage is $1770.00 ($21,240.00 a year), which means that we would be ahead of the game by $2440 every year. Honestly, even though we really have not had as many problems with the rental property as others have, we're tired of it. What are your thoughts on this?

Mortgage payoff update

August 17th, 2011 at 01:36 pm

I(we) scheduled another electronic payment to the principal of the house for $200.00. The total principal paid so far is $18,922.38 in 8 months. This is a pretty ambitious goal but I(we) would like to pay $30K to the principal by Dec. 31st, but as Dave Ramsey says, "Goals are the steps that lead to our dreams. Success is planned out, not stumbled upon".

Fridge and freezer are...

August 13th, 2011 at 07:08 pm

busting at the seems literally! A few weeks ago, a vendor stopped by the house to offer us a deal on prime beef and seafood. He first asked for $365 for both. I was not going to pay that kind of money so at the very end we paid $200 for a lot of meat and seafood. That took a lot of space in our chest freezer. Today, my friend left to Ireland after spending their usual 6 weeks in their home. She asked to take the food that was left in the cupboards and refridgerators (2 of them). There were a bunch of can goods, burgers, salmon, fish, pasta, ice cream, etc. I struggled to put everything in the freezers, but I did it. I probably won't have to do a major shopping trip for a long time.

I will begin work again in another 3 weeks. I have a list of things to do before school starts. I'm changing my dependents in my W-4 forms for sure. I already paid the first installment of DS#1 and I (we) have officially tapped into our emergency fund. Our property taxes also went up a little over $275.00 and our property taxes are now a little over $8,400.00 a year. Ouch! Crazy, right?!

That's it for today. Enjoy your Sunday.

W-4

August 9th, 2011 at 12:05 pm

I want to be able to keep more of my earned money by changing our withholdings at work. I completed the form provided by the IRS.gov website and it is telling me that we should claim 15 on our W-4 forms. Could this be right?

The cost of a college education

August 8th, 2011 at 04:20 pm

I was setting up the payment plan at Sallie Mae's website today for my son's fall tuition and in reviewing the bill I was terrified at the added cost. This does not even cover the parking fee which is $600 a year, since he commutes to school.

Current Term 2011 FALL

Student Services Fee - Fall

$380.05

Facilities Fee Fall

$890.25
STUDENT GOV'T ASSOC FEE

$48.90

COMPUTER TECH FEE

$159.00

TUITION UG I/S Fall
$3,844.87

The total amount due is: $5,323.07 for 18 credits. I know we're getting off easy, but some of these fees are just crazy.


Mortgage payoff update

August 7th, 2011 at 07:03 am

We paid our August mortgage payment in July utilizing our June paychecks, since technically the summer months are "no income" months for our family. I sent $150.21 extra when I made the August 1st payment. I also scheduled a $200 principal payment two days ago with extra cash from my hubby's summer job. Last night I scheduled an electronic payment of $22 principal payment. The money came from my coin jar. I figured why let the coins sit in the jar when it can be put to work for us.

August update in review:

$372.21 extra principal payments

To date:

$18,549.38 has been paid to the mortgage principal

It's been a couple of weeks

August 4th, 2011 at 11:17 am

since my last post, but I've been keeping up with your blogs. My trip to Florida was great and I'm happy to have spent some time with my mom and sibblings. I was definitely overbudget on this one, mainly because I took DS#2 school clothes shopping at the Orlando Premium Outlets. The good thing is that I do not have to worry about going school shopping for him anymore. Can you believe is already August. Summer vacation will soon be over and it'll be back to work in another four weeks for me.
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I'm also happy to tell you that we've not touched our savings to cover any summer expenses. Hubby was able to line up summer work so between the rental income and his job, we've been able to cover pretty much everything. I did pay the rental house flood insurance with the Amazon rewards cc, but it is not due until mid September and I'll be working by then. We also have to set up the payment plan for DS#1 college tuition with Sallie Mae and I suspect that we'll have to tap into our savings for the first payment.

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Well, we also bought a new car for me. After an extensive used car search, we decided to purchased a new car. It seemed as if people wanted an arm and a leg for cars with high mileage. We opted to buy a Toyota Corolla Sport at 0% interest rate for 60 months. The finance guy congratulated me on my credit score. He mentioned that in our county, the average credit score was 770 a year and half ago and that the average now is 620. He told me mine is at 832.

Here's a picture of my new wheels:



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I'm reading "The Help" and I'm looking forward to watching the movie when it comes out. Is anyone else reading this book?

I hope you all have a great weekend!