Happy New Year!
Seriously, the past year flew by!
Let me first say Thank You to those of you who checked in with me this past year.. very thoughtful!
Second, it is so awesome to log in here and see so many familiar long-time members!! Yay!!
Things have been good here. Honestly, the biggest struggle is raising a teenage daughter! So moody and dramatic on top of dealing with the loss of DH. Often it feels like the goal is just for both of us to make it out alive!
DS is well. A very typical 6 year-old, first grade boy. I baby him a bit more than I should, but I'm working on that.
I have been quite busy trying to make time for everything I want to do.. work, side work, kid time, family time, friend time, alone time, dating.
My life is far from sedate or boring.
Financially I have never felt more solid.
I am beyond thankful for that!
Only payment is the mortgage. No CC debt. A modest EF, but haven't had to tap it to cover any expenses and it is growing slowly.
My 1999 Nissan Pathfinder rolled past 300k miles two days ago! Ending '16 on that milestone.
I'm pretty certain 2017 will see me getting a new vehicle.. which I am excited and nervous about.
Excited and nervous pretty much sums up my feelings today as 2017 starts.
Heck, better throw in OPTIMISTIC too.
(I like to to live on The Bright Side)
Viewing the 'This and That' Category
Happy New Year!
Merry Christmas to my SA friends!
We are doing probably better than expected. Especially considering the holiday season.
I will be back on more regularly in the New Year...
Okay, "Other Stuff" first.
Been super busy at work.
The new co-worker is doing fine and we get along well.
My boss gave me a $1/hour raise!
Our local fair was in town recently. I entered a table setting again.
It was set for the fair's theme and won a first place - $15 prize.
Our friend took us into the fair again for free this year.
I went three times.. once was girl's night.
DH and I did make it to the gym *almost* every day since my last post.
(Between work, gym, fair and home I had very little down time lately.)
The kids and I bought DH a Fit Bit for Father's Day.
He has really liked it and using it seems to help him motivate.
DH's stress test for his heart function was all completely normal and is regular physician cleared him to return to work.
His doctor did refill the anxiety medication.
DH has started talking to me more about what causes him anxiety. Some of it is from his crazy mom - her guilt trips and passive aggressive bulls**t.
And he is nervous about returning to work tomorrow.
Today our DS turns five years old! Wow, has the time flown!
We are going to have a party this weekend in one of the city parks. We haven't had a big party for any of his birthdays, so he is very excited.
DH is doing well. I'll update more later.
I missed my blogoversary which was a week ago - Five years certainly goes by fast.
I have been too busy at work and at home to make time for any well thought posts. (Right now I'm at work on hold waiting to place an order for medications.)
Thank you to all my SA friends here for reading and supporting me. It is a pleasure to visit here and share about our lives - financial & otherwise.
I can't believe we are a week into April already! What?!
Catching up here..
In the last half of March we took a four-day family getaway with another family to Lake Tahoe. We rented a house. Which sounds so fancy, but in reality is a reasonably frugal way to vacation. This was the first time we have ever stayed in a vacation rental, but I will definitely do it again.
We split the rental 50/50 with our friends. They have three young kids. We invited a friend for DD to hang out with. That made 10 people total. We paid $100/night ($200/night total) and $75 cleaning fee. The house was plenty spacious for everyone to spread out (four bedrooms & three full baths). The pool table kept the teen girls entertained and actually off their cell phones for a little bit!
We ate in the whole time and cooked in the large kitchen; which was nicer than mine at home.
That kept our food spending equal to staying home.
We visited the Discovery museum in Reno at $8/per person. Such a fun place!
The other mom and I had a champagne and goat cheese binge one night in front of the gas fireplace. Glorious.
We picnicked at one of the Lake's beaches. No park fees because it was "off-season".
Took the all the kids tubing on the last patch of snow we could find nearby. Splurged $30 for tube rental.
Woke up to a dusting of snow one morning to everyone's delight - especially the four youngsters.
Then when we got home DH started saying how much his chest was hurting. We thought that his asthma was flaring up. But, by the next day he was really hurting. A trip to the ER confirmed pneumonia.
(Is this year going to be the year of medical expenses?? I sure hope not!)
He was pretty sick for about a week. Breathless and tired. And coughing of course.
Doing much better now, but not 100% yet. Did go back to work last Thursday on limited duties.
No sick leave pay for the days he was out.
One good thing is that he is getting a sleep test for his sleep apnea. Something I've been saying for several years he should do...
Work, home projects and binge watching the past seasons of Downton Abbey and Mad Men have kept me from posting recently.
On the work front things are going well. It's been pretty busy most days. I've been going through the database deleting old product codes and changing prices.
I told my boss that I'm increasing prices so he can afford to give me a raise.
I finished painting the pine bookcase for DS's room a few weekends ago. I bought a "tester" quart of blue paint (matching the bunkbed color) for $5 for the outside and used leftover yellow to paint the inside of it. It's colorful. I am pleased with how it turned out. It is great having appropriate storage for the books!
However, it's not all sunshine and puppy kisses here.
I am beyond frustrated with painting the interior doors! I think I am learning more about paint and technique then I ever cared to know.
They are smooth doors with a decorative molded panel. They look like this:
I am too much of a perfectionist to stand any brush marks.
A firm foam roller gave a nice finish to the doors. But I got some areas of "flashing" (That's where the sheen of the paint looks shiner on one roller pass vs. the one next to it).
A professional painting contractor lives around the corner. He recommended Sherwin-Williams paint and a high quality brush.
Tried that yesterday - terrible!
Talked to the Sherwin-Williams guy - we might need a "latex extender" because the paint is drying too fast it's not spreading out to cover the brush strokes.
I think the ideal way would be to use a paint sprayer. But, we don't have one and the cost to buy one is too high. The cheap ones don't have good reviews. We could rent one. It's an option.
Today I am going to try the SW paint with a 4" mohair roller based on some tips I read online.
*SO* frustrating because it is a relatively simple task I'd like to do myself, but we keep spending more money and time and not getting it right.
OK - End Rant.
I signed up for the Free 30 day trial of Prime in order to get the quilts for DS's room in two days.
Now I'm using the Prime to watch Downton Abbey seasons 1 thru 3. I started watching last year (season 4) so it has been a treat to binge on all the episodes I haven't seen.
Mad Men I've been DVRing on cable. They have been airing four episodes on Sunday mornings. During the week after everyone has gone to bed I'll watch two episodes one night and two on another. There have been a few nights I watched all four and didn't go to bed until 1:30am!
I have been so busy with work, side work and family activities. So, before January ends I'd like to quickly recap 2014 and lay down loose plans for this year.
$6k EF [X]
- $6500 on 12/31/14
$2k Car Savings
- No Change. Still $1k.
CC Balance to $8k or less
- Balances total $10,170 on 12/31/14
Replace Roof [X]
- Took on nearly $15k HELOC to do it. BUT, so glad it's done.
Increase ROTH contributions
- Have not made an increase in the monthly auto withdrawal.
- Lost 8lbs. (And gained it back.. Ugh!)
2015 Goals in side bar.
Wishing everyone a joyful and prosperous 2015.
Had a lot going on here the last few weeks.
Most good, but some a little sad...
My grandpa passed away suddenly and his funeral was a week before Christmas. I was so thankful we had a good visit with him at Thanksgiving. Got some nice pictures with him and the kids too.
He would have been 91 on his birthday this month.
Christmas preparations went smoothly and I finished shopping well before Christmas.
Mailed, or handed out, nearly all of the 50 photo cards I had made from Costco this year. We received about 30 cards. I love getting Christmas cards, especially ones with photos.
Many of the gifts we gave included DD's honey which only cost us the price of the jar it was in. Oh, and the cost of the custom sticker we put on the jars - $0.17/each.
Today I spent some time updating Quicken and scheduling upcoming payments.
I will be firming up goals soon.
Happy Thanksgiving to my SA friends!
I am watching the Macy's parade with DS right now.
He was excited to see the Thomas the Tank balloon - so cute.
Have a wonderful day everyone!
Yesterday was DH's 39th birthday. I was going to take him out to a nice dinner, but he decided he'd like to have something simple at home. (Maybe dinner out this weekend.)
The kids got him a cute card. I bought a Groupon for golf ($21) that he and DD can do together.
We signed the HELOC documents at the title company this afternoon. It is supposed to close by the 14th. Meanwhile, we have several roofing estimates coming in.
The weather here has been hot the last week. It has felt more like July than October. Our tomato plants are still growing and the green ones are turning red very quickly with all the sun. I have been meaning to post garden pics... maybe next time..
I'm off to watch the baseball playoff game.
Been busy here. We were out every weekend in August.
DD theater performances.
Close friends had their twin's first birthday.
Kids visiting grandparents.
Our nephew's first birthday.
A baby shower for my BFF.
Lots of traveling so we spent way more than usual in gas.
(Beautiful Quicken graph for an ugly total!)
Did a little better in other spending areas - food for one since we didn't have to feed ourselves several weekends.
We didn't buy anything for the twins. They have so much family that there was a huge pile of gifts. Our friends have a small house too, so I don't know where all that is going to go!
Our nephew got a box of fruit & veggie pouches from Costco. $12.
For my BFF baby shower I bought two clearance items. A cute outfit for $3.99 and a plush blanket for $5.99. I also bought her firstborn a wooden puzzle (her birthday is next week) for $4.
While shopping I found a very cute long sleeve Roxy shirt for DD. $19. I stashed it for Christmas.
DH is still having short hours at work, which leads to low paychecks. It's tough because we can't pay extra to anything and we still need to get the roof taken care of and I do not want to drain the EF to $0.
Honestly, I cannot remember the last time he had a "normal" 40 hour paycheck. It has been about 18 months since he had a full paycheck AND commission (sometimes netted him as much as $500/week extra).
And it seems it is causing him some depression. Even though it isn't his fault, he is taking it personally (like he can't provide for the family).
I have suggested that now might be the right time to try finding something new or maybe a part time job. I have gotten a lukewarm response to that, so we'll see....