Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Busy weekends

I have been super busy the past few weekends working on home improvement projects.  My sister and I replaced a 2 X4 and all of the pickets on the fence on one side of the house.  We have not had a chance to get the other side done yet. I also stained and sealed the newly repaired portion of the fence.  It needed to be repaired badly, anytime you opened the door, the fence would pull apart.  It was very frustrating.

I also replaced the dryer vent cap as the previous one was plastic and had cracked and had become weather worn. 

We weeded the front flower beds, put down fresh pine straw and trimmed the trees and hedges.

Lastly, we fertilized the front lawn,put down pesticide and cut the grass.  First lawn mowing of the year!

Well of course all of these projects cost tons of money.  I never budget enough money for spring home improvements and I had to dip into my house/furniture fund.  I'm pretty sure I spent over $400 for everything, but I have not yet closed out February and totaled up all the expenses. I think the mental health boost was well worth the cost.  I was out in the sunshine getting exercise and enjoying the outdoors.

My back porch is now a total wreck as that's where everything has been stored for my outdoor projects and I will now have to concentrate on cleaning up that mess.  I also need to tend to my much ignored inside of my house and get all of those chores done. 

Gotta get ready for work.  Have a great day everyone!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Debt update....

The mortgage is down to $216,127 and with my next payment it should fall down into the $215,000s! I'm trying so hard to get this beast down to a level that I feel more comfortable with seeing.

My furniture debt is down to $3,219 (originally $6,909).  With my most recent paycheck (on 2/15) I made a payment of $2,537.  This is excellent, the first payment was not made until January and I am already down in the $3,000s.  If you will recall this is the furniture I financed (interest free for 1 year) to get a 20% discount on the price as the store would not offer such a large discount if I paid cash. One of my February goals is to get my taxes completed and I should get around $1,200 back.  That $1,200 will go towards the furniture and I also have $930 still saved specifically for the furniture (I split the money I saved into increments to make sure I could make the required payments in case of catastrophe.).  I will put the tax refund and the $930 on the furniture in March, probably.  I should be able to pay off the rest of the furniture from my mid- March paycheck.  

That should leave me plenty of time to get the last $1,000 into my Roth IRA (for 2016) before the April deadline. 

Okay off the races.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Motivation and February Goals

I'm finding it hard to stay motivated lately.  I feel completely overwhelmed at work and in my personal life.  I wonder how people with spouses, kids, jobs and a full social life make it work.  It's a struggle to budget, stick to the budget, keep the house clean and go to work.  I feel like I don't have time to work out, socialize or read.  I feel like I am wasting my 24 hours a day.  I have trouble staying focused and motivated on my life goals.

So I have decided to plan and get more organized in order to make the most of my 24 hours a day.  I find I do the best when I only get about 6 hours of sleep a night.  So I plan to try to be in bed around 10:00pm and up at 4:00a.m.  Then I can wake up and exercise for an hour before I have to shower and get ready to go to work.  I also plan to try to read for an hour every night before bed. I need to take my time back.  I have so much to do and I 'm not making the best use of my time. 

In line with my February goal to get my taxes done, I have printed off my 1099 for my savings account and my 1098 for my mortgage in an effort to collect the information needed for my taxes.

My February goals (expanded) include: getting taxes done, read 1 book, lose 2lbs, figure out what needs to be organized, try to stick to budget, plan 2 social events and feel less depressed about life.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

End of January Financials

It's a new month.  I feel like I did not accomplish anything in January and I am very stressed.  January was a hard month, I had trouble staying on budget and seemed to be constantly over spending or adjusting my budget.  This was partly due to an ill family member and work concerns. 

I did earn $5.40 on my savings account in January- that is the highest amount that I have earned since I have opened it.  I currently have $7,801 tucked away in my savings account.  Additionally, I have $11,000 in my emergency fund/bank account.

Also, I am still up in my retirement account as compared against December 31, 2016.  That was surprising despite the turbulent stock market lately. Many of the news articles that I have read indicate that there may be a stock market sell off in February- I hope I have enough cash to get some great sales if that does happen.  I need to get to work on my mid- February budget.

My mortgage is down to $216,172.  I really wanted to get it down into the $215,000s, but just couldn't squeeze the money from anywhere else in the budget.  I really need to come up with a plan to get this darn thing down.  When I sell in a few years I really want to have quite a bit of equity so I can avoid pmi on my next house.  Right now I am paying an extra $100 a month on the mortgage.  It just seems like there are so many competing concerns for my little paychecks!

My goal for February will be to get my taxes done.  I just received by W2 and I need to collect all of the other paper needed.  Any tax return will likely go towards paying off that furniture bill.  Oh speaking of that I did put an extra $152 payment on that in January- was hoping to make a bigger payment than that but $1,152 for one month's payment is still pretty good.  I imagine my tax return will be pretty similar.

Okay, I gotta get to work.  Have a wonderful day!