Monday, October 27, 2014

Going Over Budget :(

Dang! There are still 5 days left this month and we are over budget...

Well, we really won't be over budget in the sense that my extra paycheck comes on Friday and we only have $800 of it earmarked for the emergency fund, but I was hoping we would be able to keep things contained to just our usual income for the month and have the full check to play with... But nope....

and I have to be okay with it.

We still have 5 days for the month left and at present we are $163.31 over and I still need to fill my car up with Gas and go grocery shopping for the week... Plus SCB will need to buy lunch because we ran out of lunch food for him as well.

So what happened? Poor planning. A BUSY week and weekend didn't get off on the right foot since SCB was home sick on Monday...which meant we did convenience and our eating out budget for the month will end up being around $300 instead of the hopeful $200. Our groceries will probably end up being around $350 once I do shopping later today...

We also spent around $40 on Halloween candy and treats for the ward "trunk or treat" activity this past Saturday (forgot to bring my phone for pictures... but our car won a prize for cool decorations). Part of this was because we were doing a combined event with another ward (ie, crashing their event with all of our kids because we didn't have time to plan one--) and they asked everyone who could to bring extra candy to make sure we had enough for 2 full wards. We found out that glow sticks are a good hit too.

We also picked up some light equipment to fix my mom's security system at her house... Ya, she will pay us back, but I still count it as spent until we do... So another $30 there...

We have started doing some Christmas stocking stuffers and small presents, and while I should pull that money out of our Christmas fund (Which is why we have one to begin with)... this will be the last Christmas where I can spoil SCB before the baby and a tighter budget get here, so were eating some of it along the way in the budget so we have more to spend...  so about $60 ish...

That only leaves us around $30 bucks to "justify"... Which I can... because SCB needed some motivation to finish the baby's room by months end... and the video game he's been dying to have is available AND has an expansion pack... He was going to save his fun money from this and next month for it... but he wouldn't have enough for his expansion pack... so you can guess my telling him he could have it EARLY (october instead of Dec) if he finished the room on time was quite effective... Especially when I tossed in the expansion pack....

So, he technically doesn't get pocket money next month, but our little baby has a painted room with a rug and night light and ceiling fan and a baby gate (we are going to return it because in hindsight it doesn't meet our needs so we will still need to get a different one) but as of now, all he needs to do is tack the baseboards in place once I paint them up and we can put the crib in!!!!

My Monday is looking quite full... I'm so glad I also have Tuesday off this week since I had to work the whole weekend with some staff training activities. I'll need the extra day to help with baking, cleaning, shopping, and Painting...

Friday, October 24, 2014

Baby has a place to sleep...

Baby's room still needs paint and baseboards... and a rug and a baby gate... but it has a bed now... a FREE bed. I have to say I just really love my church community!

I was browsing through facebook, killing some time before the hubby left work and I was going to start to make dinner, and I saw a post from a mom from another ward in our local area. We have a few local facebook group pages and I saw that she was offering her pottery barn wood crib for free to anyone who wanted it...

Here's a stock picture of it from the Pottery Barn website:


I sent her a message and later that night we drove over to her home to get it. We managed to cram it into our Camry very carefully and now its in the living room laying against our couch until we can get the baby's room painted and finished.

Sure it has a couple marks on it, but we got it for free and South County Boy loves the wood color (its a bit lighter than this photo).

It is also a drop down crib... but I called the pottery barn hotline and they are sending me a free converter kit so we can properly keep the side up safely for our baby and not worry about any dangers... It might actually be nice since I'm so short to have the drop down option if we need it. I also like that we will be able to put some storage bins under the bed for extra diapers, etc.

I found this cute crib set on Amazon...
Even though we will know the gender in 10 days, I really like the bears and how its gender neutral so we could use it for baby number 2 in a couple years.

While we wouldn't need the "window valence" we are thinking or putting a shelf up on one side of the wall for some storage, and we could hang it in front on a dowel to hide whatever we put up there... Like outgrown clothes, or clothes the next size up, etc...

For about $70 we can buy a converter kit for the crib to make it into a toddler bed down the line as well from pottery barn.

I know Pottery barn cribs sometimes have difficultly with stock mattresses, a fact Google told me after we had it in the living room, but the gal we got it from used an Ethan Allen mattress that fit (not a pottery barn kids one), so I think the one I found on Amazon should fit as well.

Even though the glider doesn't fit in the baby's room, if I can sell South County Boy on the bears theme/idea, everything will match :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A busy few days...

We've had a few busy days at home, at work and at church for us, so today is going to be a short one.

My husband and I both got new church "callings" (for those of you who don't know, our church is completely unpaid for all positions, and people are asked to volunteer in a "calling" to help the place function and provide programs to family and community members).

I used to help plan the monthly women's activity and accompany missionaries to meet people interested in our church if they needed a woman to attend (ie, meeting with a female who lived solo) or if they thought my comments would be welcome from time to time... My husband was an assistant weblows leader for Boy Scouts...

Now i've been called and set apart to serve as Primary Secretary. Its a big calling and since I'm not familiar with primary all yet since I didn't grow up in the church and I have yet met my cute little baby yet (yes, I think its already cute even though it hasn't moved yet), I have a lot of learning to do so my computer time has been spent on emails and doing some research to figure out what i'm supposed to be doing.

My husband has been asked to be our building PFR... We aren't 100% sure what that means outside of organizing the bi-monthly weekly Saturday cleaning days (there are two groups that meet in our building, so we organize our group to clean the building every other Saturday with volunteers from the church), and making sure the building is secure at night... So he gets training on this later this week.

I also didn't get to do much baking this week. Hubs was out sick on Monday with a piercing migraine and since Monday is my shopping, baking, cooking, prep day... not a whole lot got done and I have a bunch of late work meetings this week so we shall see how things pan out for our eating out budget... So far its under $200 but we still have about 10 days to go.... So its probably going over....

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Annual Goal Revision & Update

I thought it was time as i'm getting back on track to review our annual goals and make some amendments now that we are pregnant. This way we can get a good look at what we want to do with our income instead of somehow letting it slip through our fingers.

The original 14 for 2014:

  1. Max out a Roth IRA for SCB for 2013 
  2. Respect the Dirty Dozen and buy Organic 
  3. Keep our EF in tack and round it up to $12,500.00
  4. Participate in the Dumbo Double Dash w/ SCB 
  5. Max out my Roth IRA for 2014
  6. Max out SCB Roth IRA for 2014
  7. Try to live off my income and save/invest SCB's. 
  8. Visit family in Nauvoo Illinois
  9. Save $1,000 towards a new car
  10. Remodel our bedroom and closet.
  11. Try 3 new vegetables
  12. Toss a little more money to the mortgage
  13. Be an awesome bridesmaid
  14. Be better about doing more "Mormon" things.

I crossed off the items we have finished or are still doing...

We did meet the deadline for the 2013 Roth IRA for SCB and transferred $5,500 into a brand new shiny retirement account for him.

In an effort to get healthy, we have been buying mostly organic items, but definitely those from the dirty dozen list. There may have been a month or so in my pregnancy were it wasn't 100% followed, but I say its been a good change for us.

Our emergency Fund is sitting at $12,500.00, which is 6 months of a bare bone budget scenario where we pay just our mortgage, groceries, gasoline, 1 cell phone, utility bills, and save for our annual insurance, dog savings, medical savings, and our car registration savings. If you factor in the additional $2k we have as "padding in our checking accounts" we have a realistic 6 month Emergency fund if we were to both lose our jobs at the same time. The only thing this doesn't factor in is health insurance... which now it needs to with the new legal requirements. If only one of us loses a job, our emergency fund will stretch much further since we would still have income coming in and access to some type of health insurance for our family, so I won't worry about that for the moment. The problem would be if we both lose our jobs because we would only have one option for health insurance... Covered California.

  • The cheapest plan would be $507 a month based on our area prices, which means we would need to save an additional $3,000 to have a true 6 month emergency fund since I don't like to include the checking account padding in the figures... (looks like I have our first 2015 goal in mind.)
We had to cross off the dumbo double dare when it sold out... and we ended up eating over $300 in our 1/2 marathon tickets because of our little goober and the august heat that made doing the 1/2 marathon a bad decision for me and SCB.

We also removed both goals for 2014 Roth IRA's. Its more important to get things done now and to save up cash if we can for the EF and for the baby for 2014 before attempting these items again. We are still doing SCB's 401k 6% with a 3% match... and my Pension which is about 8% of my income.

I think we have done well with only committing to expenses that fit within my income (AKA living on my income and saving SCB's)... I'll admit that we had a few spendy months recently, but we are getting back on track and its a good thing too with the holidays coming around the corner.

Some of our goals this year did focus on spending. We went on a vacation to visit family, finished most of the bedroom and closet remodel, spent the money on being an awesome bridesmaid, and spent more than 1600 on automobile repairs this year. I'm proud to say we have $400 in car emergency fund now. It might not be the full $1,000.00 we want, but considering how much we had to spend, i'm calling that goal achieved.

We did try 3 new veggies this year.. Jicama, Kale and fresh green beans. Technically I've had fresh green beans at restaurants or at friends houses, but I'd never cooked and prepared them and I did this year so for me, that counts.

As for more "church/Mormon things" we have been to 4 different temples this year besides our home temple in Newport (Nauvoo, San Diego, Mount Timpanogous, Draper, etc). Did some work and family history for my ancestors, and have made a point to make daily prayer with each other a bigger priority. Always room for improvement, but I like what we have been up to.

I didn't mark off "send some extra to the mortgage" because while i add a few cents each month, i've only tossed around $14 to the mortgage in extra and I feel in order to do that goal justice, it needs to be a bit more significant.

So where does that leave us?
Kind of done, (other than sending a bit of cash to the mortgage which doesn't seem as important at the moment so i'll probably just ignore it for the year...)... which is why its good to check on your goals throughout the year. Sometimes they change... and sometimes you blow through them early by being diligent. Sure, we deleted 11,000 in saving that we wanted to do... but we realistically knew that would probably need to carry over into 2015 again.

Since we still have 2 and a half months left of 2014... and we want to make the most of them, here's kind of our game plan.

  • In October, Goober's nest/nook will be ready for furniture and baby stuff. 
  • In November, SCB will get the murphy bed frame for our bedroom... and we plan to do a large food storage order to stock up on some better and more diverse basics now that we will have a bigger family and we like the idea of having more basics around the house to help keep costs down throughout the year. 
  • In December I plan to have our carpets professionally cleaned because we have had the carpet for over 5 years and its never been cleaned before and some spots and walk ways are really showing their age and some stains. 
But here's the kicker. We would also like to add $2k to the emergency fund by the end of the year. 
  • We are going to take the Roth IRA money we normally save and put it towards the Emergency Fund: October, November, December = $825.00
  • We have $300 sitting in the Roth savings account right now after pulling most of the money out for our IKEA run... $825 + $300 = $1,125.00
  • I have an extra paycheck coming in this month. We are hoping to take $800 from it and apply it to this goal. 
  • That means we only need $75 to make it there and we are hoping by being good with our budget that we will be able to come up with that cash by years end.
If we save more, awesome... but we aren't planning to since we don't know how much we will end up spending as we finish projects up and we hunt for some more second hand things for the nursery nook.

Monday, October 13, 2014

16 Weeks

I am HUGE...

Let me say that again.... HUGE.... and i'm only 16 weeks along...

I still have 6 more MONTHS to go... Holy batman, batman... (ya, you get to be pregnant for 10 months because of how they calculate it)

(Thank goodness for my $2 maternity dress...)

I really need to go through my closet and move all the stuff that doesn't fit out so it doesn't depress me and make me think I have more options then I really do... I think it will also help South County Boy realize how he needs to be more on top of our clothes cleaning if he doesn't want me to do anymore shopping.

Back to Baking

We had a pretty good weekend. We ate out a bit still, but we did end up cooking a few things too. I made my first batch of bread in months the other day (Well I actually made 2 loaves)... and what happened to it? It came out of the oven in the middle on the day on Monday and my husband didn't get home till that evening... By Wednesday afternoon it was entirely gone and I had to take the second loaf out of the freezer to get us though the week! I'll call that successful any day! Since I only have 2 loaf pans and its not enough to get us through 2 weeks (So I don't have to bake every Monday), we picked up 2 more loaf pans so I can make 4 loaves at the same time to ensure that next Monday I won't be grinding more wheat flour. My friend is also coming over to help me today, so i'm excited for that.

And speaking of baking, I also tried a really great recipe for whole wheat banana nut muffins... My first batch of a dozen was gone in 2 days... so I made another one as well mid week. It was a really easy recipe that used all natural ingredients, so i'll be keeping that one in our recipe file for good. Here's the Recipe from 100daysofREALfood if your interested. A few other people had them too and it was well received by DUDES too so that's saying something. I decided to do muffins instead of a loaf because my bread pans were busy, but also because the last time I did a loaf, no one really ate it and I tossed most of it out. The great thing with muffins, is you can eat a few and freeze the rest so if I wasn't thinking about eating a lot of them in a week, I wouldn't have to.

Movie Night
We also got to go to the movies on Friday night! We went to see the Meet the Mormons Movie. It's in theater's for this week and it was really good.  Its a documentary of 6 Mormon people from all over the world. I really wish my family would stumble upon it and see it, because I think it would help with understanding a lot of the reasons why I joined the church, but the sad thing is if I were to mention it to them, they would never go...

But its a great movie, family friendly, and all the proceeds are going to the American Red Cross so since I can't tell them about it, at least I can mention it all of you in my blog-o-sphere family.

Organizing & Cleaning 
We are still purging and organizing our place. I ordered a bathroom door caddy so I can finally get my blow dryer and some of my hair stuff organized so I can free up one of the bathroom drawers for other stuff for the goober or just to get less stuff on the counter. We also stocked up on some bathroom supplies like shampoo and conditioner this month.

South County Boy is back to playing with electrical outlets... Were moving the light switch inside the baby nook and adding an outlet to the closet since there isn't any power in there... but we need to move the switch because we want to add some small organizers right around the corner for a few of my shoes that don't fit on our shoe rack because I want the drawer my shoes are in for the clothes that I don't fit into at the moment.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Mortgage Update October '14


Principle paid down: $332.80
Interest: $3337.16
Additional Principle: $0.19
New Balance: $107,560.80

The pay off date is June 2033. 

If I continue to pay the minimum on my loan, we will end up paying a total of $69,410.24 in interest over the course of our entire loan. 

Before our refinance, we would have paid $116,404.23 in interest.

Getting the Keys...

It took me $7,057.08 to get the keys to my condo and then I spent another $17,672.29 to remodel and repair it... In short, I was -$24,729.37 in the hole on day one...
  • In 2009 I got the First Time Home buyer's Credit giving us $8,000.00. I also got to write off some of the property tax I paid in addition to taking the standard deduction. This gave us an extra $90.10... but then I had to pay an Electrician $95.00 to fix an outlet... We also got a refund from my botched tile job that gave us another $1,265.00.
  • In 2010 I saved $1,087.00 on my federal taxes and $461.00 on my State taxes from itemizing my homeowners expenses. (This is what I received ABOVE what I would have gotten back with just the standard deduction).
  • In 2011 I spent $12.97 at home depot and $72.29 on a kitchen door. When we subtract those costs from what we saved by living in our condo instead of renting, we came out ahead $494.04 (See Mortgage Update + Condo Costs December '11 for that break down.) We also received a small $70 refund check from over paid closing costs. We didn't Itemize our taxes in 2011.
  • In 2012 we finished our Kitchen/Laundry door which cost us $103.24.. We also replaced both our glass slider doors which cost us $2,957.00... and repaired our dryer for $81.42....It ended up being $3,383.47 cheaper to OWN our condo than to rent an apartment on a monthly basis, (See Housing Costs 2012 for the break down) so even after we subtract the windows and other minor repairs, we still came out ahead $241.81 by owning our condo instead of renting...
  • In 2013 we got $52.53 back from challenging my property taxes in 2012. I also refinanced our condo, costing us $447.00 up front for our home appraisal... but we got a check back at closing for $747.20 and a check from my old escrow account for $489.74... We also got to skip a mortgage payment too! In addition, they automatically lowered my property tax value, giving us a check for $86.77.. and we saved $5,191.81 by NOT renting a place (see Housing Comps 2013)!! Additionally we ITEMIZED our taxes in 2013, saving $702.45 on a federal taxes and $503.74 on our State Taxes. (This is what we would have owed had we not had our property to write off).
All of that "math" leaves us $5,788.18 in the hole. If we assume our home is worth at least what we paid for it ($120k), we have $12,439.20 in equity...

Leaving us a profit of $6,651.02 after 5 yrs & 1 months!

Even though we broke even at the end of 2013, I still want to keep track of how much money our condo is saving us each year, especially since we are hoping to stay a few more years. For 2014, we will again assume our monthly mortgage payments are going to be a wash since it's cheaper to OWN our home then to RENT an apartment. (Check out Housing Comps 2014 for how we figured that one out). For 2014 we have spent $11,743.71 to live in our condo, instead of $14,410.00 to live in the apartment.
  • Mortgage: $7,106.39 (P&I)
  • Extra Mortgage Principle: $14.52
  • HOA: $2,505.00
  • Property Taxes: $611.80
  • Homeowners + Earthquake Insurance: $530.00
  • Small Home Repairs/Improvements: $976.00
    • $6.44 fix something under the sink
    • $53.91 New front door deadbolt
    • $87.10 Bathroom Faucet + Tp Holder
    • $47.35 (Bathroom Fan)
    • $155.20 (Attic Foil)
    • $626.00 (Paint, Can Lights, Electrical, Ceiling Fan)

So far we have saved $2,666.26 by owning our condo and not renting an apartment in 2014.


Current Housing Market:
One-Bedrooms 
  • Asking $220,000
    • Listed August 27, 2014
  • Sold: $220,000 (January 2014)
Two-Bedrooms
  • Asking $239,900
    • Listed 4/9/14 - $274,000
    • Price Change 5/5/14 - $264,900
    • Price Change 6/3/14 - $269,900
    • Price Change 7/31/14 - $259,900
    • Price Change 8/27/14 - $249,900
    • Price Change 9/22/14 - $239,900
  • Asking $248,000
    • Listed 4/22/14 - $280,000
    • De-listed 5/1/14
    • Price Change - $272,000
    • Listed 8/23/14 - $264,000
    • Price Changed 248,000
  • Asking $250,000
    • Listed 8/19/14 - $250,000
  • Asking $278,000
    • Listed 5/8/14 - $265,000
    • De-listed 6/18/14
    • Re-listed 8/27/14 $278,000
  • Sold - $228,000 (April 2014) | $241,000 (July 2014) | $245,000 (May 2014) | $255,000  (September 2014)| $265,000 (September 2014) | 278,000 (July 2014)

Based on the current market, I think my unit would sell for a little north of $200k as a 1 bedroom in awesome condition. I think $220,000 might be a stretch, but my unit is nicer than the current one bedroom on the market... even with all our "baby modifications." Two bedrooms have been sold from $228,000 -  $278,000 depending on condition over the last 6 months.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

October Budget

Now that I've sorted through the last month of crazy, insane spending, its time to focus on October and set some good goals that will help us get back in track and inline. I have 4 goals for the month

Reduce Eating out to $200
Roxy "helping" with laundry...
We have been getting really out of hand with the dinning out... and part of that comes from being tired and pregnant... Since we have been spending $300 - $400 a month the past couple of months on eating out, I'm setting a realistic goal of spending around $200 this month on eating out. I'm still only budgeting $100 for it below because that is out ultimate goal, but we will use some of South County Boy's paychecks to cover the overage like we have been doing. I keep telling myself its better for me and the baby to make meals and SCB is trying to help me too.

Keep Groceries Under $400
We normally budget $300 a month for groceries, but in an effort to reduce the eating out and the knowledge that we aren't really stocked up with basics at the moment... I'm setting a realistic goal of under $400. This means if I buy a little more pre-prepared food to get us through the month, so be it. It will also give us a little flex to stock up on some items we have simply run out of. Again, we are still going to line item $300 for groceries and anything over that will come out of SCB paychecks since we don't spend those.

I love car rides & dad's Hat!
Finish the basics for Goobers "nook"
Our goal this month is to patch all the holes in the closet, sand, and re-paint the nook. We will need to replace most of the baseboards in there as well as get a rug to cover the parts of the carpet that were cut for the old closet. Then I want to get a baby gate installed instead of a door to keep Roxy out in case she ends up needing more time to adjust to baby goober once its here in March/April.

The glider worked out and we were able to pick it up second hand for $80 off Facebook, and we also scored a $40 pack-in play. Unfortunately its a lot wider than we thought it would be and we can't roll it from room to room like we planned... so it looks like we may end up trying to find a crib from the get-go instead of just getting a good mattress for the pack-in -play for a few months.

Stock Up on Essentials/Space
Finally, I want to stock up on Essentials. I know its a very "Mormon" thing to talk about things like "food storage" and being prepared... but when you have another person to think about, stuff just seems to become more important. We are hoping to create a small cash reserve to keep in the house outside of our emergency funds so we have some cash in case we need it for a quick baby sitter or just to have at home. We also want to add more bulk storage like wheat and some long term supplies that we can use for cooking from scratch. Now that I have a wheat grinder we want to take some of our flour containers and convert them to wheat storage.
We may have made a fort in the living room... 

We also need to continue to purge some of our house hold items and make better use of the space we have in our home. We are thinking we might install a Murphy bed in out bedroom so we can have more living and playing space through the day and for when the baby gets older. The Murphy bed system will cost us around $600 since we plan to cover it with nice curtains instead of paying another grand to hide it in a built in closet.

So here's the budget:

Spending:
Church giving: $636.00
Mortgage: $771.99
Groceries: $300
I have learned to love naps
Eating out: $100
Pocket Money: $80
Cell Phone: $60
HOA:$295
Gasoline: $250.00
Utility Bills: 150.00
Discretionary: $103.97

Savings:
Insurance:$143.00
Christmas: $50
Roxy: $50.00
Dr. Visits/Medical: $50
Roth?: $275.00
Birthdays: $50
Vacations: $100
Car Emergency Fund: $100
Car Registration: $25.00

SCB Allocated Paychecks:
1,040.00 - Goober, Projects, Savings, Overspending.