March budget is ready to go.
I applied and was approved for a new BofA MasterCard. The terms are 0% for 15 months, no balance transfer fee. I requested that $9300 of my existing $9400 AmEx balance be transferred. That leaves me with $100 to pay to AmEx in March, and then the minimum payment to the new MasterCard. I budgeted $100, but of course it might be more.
If the time comes I can no longer keep this debt at 0%, I will take a Heloc draw and finance it that way. Meanwhile, it is (oh so) slowly decreasing.
Nothing newsy here. SB and I continue to live our quiet little life in the woods; I continue to commute to the big town with 11k people and be gainfully employed.
Heres how it went in February.
Income - In addition to my one-time bonus, I received my federal and state income tax refunds. I filed with 1040.com this year.
Unbudgeted spending was mostly misc household items and medical supplies I picked up at Rite Aid (125.96). I bought two tickets for a community theater production (36.00), had to pay for a lost Netflix disc (15.02), paid to file my state tax return (4.95), and used up 2.76 of a 54.00 annual renewal for Allstate Motor Club. (I no longer need it).
So, all in all, not too bad. Im making progress towards my goal of building up my savings.
I will receive my one-time $2400 bonus in February. I'm guesstimating $1400 in take home pay.
$350 for concert tickets? SB and I are going to see James Taylor (squeee!) and Bonnie Raitt in June in Sacramento. And then in September, we will see the Eagles and the Zac Brown Band in San Francisco. (Vince Gil is singing in place of the late Glenn Frey). My brother and sister-in-law are also going. Possibly a nephew and his wife too, but they haven't decided. (This nephew is the son of my deceased brother). If they decide not to go, my brother will sell those two tickets to the highest bidder. Neither concert is cheap. The $350 is just for me. I'm going to pay for mine this month and be done with it.
Here is how my January budget plan shook out:
Wages - I worked some OT. I took some as pay and banked some in my Comp Time hours.
Repay NB - I was asked and chose to agree to a 2 week extension. Instead of two $200 repayments, I received one. The other should be arriving any day. I am not worried about this.
Groceries - We were eating down our pantry and so spent less than usual. It's really best to not stock up when you have very limited space, a lesson we are still learning.
Unbudgeted spending: An area which continues to be a struggle for me. $141.59. This included several meals out and a $24.99 purchase on Google Play - season 9 of Sister Wives, my guilty pleasure. It also includes $36 at a drug store for medical type supplies.
I did manage to sock $540.72 aeay in savings, in addition to sinking funds.
All in all, I'm pleased with the month.
It started snowing on my way home from work last night. This is what greeted me this morning:
And these 3 belong to a tenant. They would bark so furiosly at me each time I would come and go, I began feeding them treats. My comings ang goings still create an uproar, but now they are begging and so joyously hopeful. Just so you know, they can go inside. They choose to be in the snow, at the fence, where the treats are. Take a peak at (left to right) Cash, Kona, and Bailey:
Well, it is nice to have access to the interwebs again. My phone battery died and I had to wait for an Amazon package. No one sells phone batteries for my phone, not even a Verizon store.
We are so busy at work, I worked OT last Saturday and Monday (paid holiday), and am scheduled to work OT this coming Saturday too. I am liking my job so much more now that I have a full workload. The extra money will be nice, too.
On February 9th, all of the employees in my particular labor union are receiving a one-time $2,400 bonus. This is in lieu of any pay increase under our new contract.
I have paid for my HVAC unit, and now have the task of re-building savings before me.
In a couple of weeks, SB and I will be attending a murder mysyery dinner hosted by some friends of ours. We are required to dress like pirates. I was able to find a purplish-blue scarf, some black ankle boots, and a gawdy gold necklace at Goodwill, spending $8.20 for all of that booty. Now I am on a quest for a puffy shirt. It should be a fun evening.
My mortgage payment has posted. This month I paid an additional $23.56. My new balance is $159,050.00.
Chips to date: $2,244.36
Interest savings this month: $8.72
Interest savings to date: $323.92
Eventually, the interest savings on the chips I have already made will compound to $4,715.29, provided I own this house until July 1, 2042. Which I definitely won't.
In past years, I have used one large sinking fund nicknamed "CurveBall" for all irregular expenses. I have wondered if multiple dedicated sinking funds might work better for me. I decided to give them a try in 2018.
So, I played around with categories which would be useful for me and appropriate monthly deposit amounts. Since September, I have been making deposits each month. Starting now, I will use them as expenses arise and need to be paid.
Here is what I am depositing monthly:
Car Ins & Reg - $100
Car Repairs & Maint - $75
Clothing - $40
Electronic Gadgets - $30
Gifts & Xmas - $70
Planners & Goodies - $15
Travel/Vacation - $200
Additionally, I opened (with $1) sinking funds for car replacement and my Roth IRA. I expect to utilize them in the near future, so went ahead and opened them while I was merrily opening new accounts.
As I have mentioned, I have become enamored with fancypants planners. I've even taken to watching YouTube channels about "planning". Videos depicting laying out a week or a budget or what-have-you are called plan with me videos.
I have no interest in starting a YouTube channel, but I thought I might give plan with me blog posts a try. How is the picture quality? Can you read it?
And please don't get too excited about my "leftover" money; it's only that high because I am expecting a short-term $400 loan to be repaid.
Edit: I don't like it. I will try to get a better picture. Tomorrow.
Update: that's better.
I briefly mentioned in passing that my house had had a leak and there were repairs to be made. Here are more details:
My HVAC unit sits on the roof. The drainage (for condensation) system failed and water was leaking into the ceiling, directly above a bedroom. Before it was noticed, it caused extensive damage to the ceiling and ruined the flooring.
My homeowner's insurance handled the bulk of the costs for clean-up and repair. However, I still need to replace the HVAC unit. I do not want to spend money repairing it as it is 20+ years old, I do not want to go through this again, and I ultimately wish to sell my house. So, replace it is.
The lowest estimate was $7880. I have 8k in my emergency fund. So currently, I am deciding whether to pay cash and hope nothing else goes wrong, or take a Heloc draw and hold on to the cash. Paying cash makes more sense, but I am finding I DO NOT want to drain my emergency fund.
For several months now, I have been bleeding cash. My new take home pay is much lower than before, and I was juggling new expenses while still covering the old ones. At this point, the house is rented and the utilities are out of my name. Hopefully, the cash bleed is behind me. But, you never do know for sure, do you?
Edit: It turns out, I am even more reluctant to take a Heloc draw! I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I hate this debt I have accumulated and don't want still more. So, I'm going to cough up the cash. Thank you all for your input.
Hello and Happy Holidays.
Well, our 22 ft home is currently parked in my mother's driveway. We have been here since Saturday and will head home today.
Living on SB's property, we have precious little internet. Our phones can sometimes access a little internet. For example, we can read our FaceBook feeds, but clicking on a post to read comments is not a possibility. I usually cannot navigate to Saving Advice.
Even so, I want to get back to posting regularly. I do go into town on occasion and of course drive to work each weekday.
Life is quiet and pleasant in our little mountain town. Recently, I have seen a bear and a coyote. I love all of these animal sightings.
I am thinking about my goals and where I want life to go from here.
Hello Savings Advice, just wanted to share that my daughter has a new blog. You may recall that she had one here for a time.
So life has been fairly hectic. This coming weekend SB and I are heading north to Willits. We're going to stay at my brother's house and the 4 of us (brother, SIL, SB and I) have tickets for Foghat.
My homeowner's insurance is covering my recent loss, so that was very good news. Repairs wont be complete for awhile yet.
I was approached by the dad of one of J's friends to rent my Modesto house. We discussed it and I decided it will suit my short-term needs, so we are moving forward with that. We will meet again to sign the lease. J and his wife will stay in the house and sublet a room from him. My lease and agreement are solely with him. Whatever agreement they want to make between themselves is up to them. SB and I need to have all of our belongings out by the end of October.
I have just learned I have a large and potentially quite expensive home repair which must be done ASAP.
The 4th and smallest bedroom in my house, which is used as storage and seldom visited by anyone, has a large hole in the ceiling. And it's dripping water. And I'm going to guess this has been a problem for awhile but I did not know.
My AC unit is roof mounted and not too far from the hole in the ceiling. As it has not rained in quite some time, I suspect the AC unit is the source of the water.
I have a call in to an emergency AC repair place. I need the AC inspected and possibly repaired. If it's not the AC, I guess my next call will be to a plumber.
The water leak will have to be addressed before the ceiling repairs can even start.
I have to leave in about 6 hours. I am going to have to rely on J to deal with the repair people here, though of course I am available by phone and e-mail.
Remember: don't worry, be happy.
SB and I have been living in a travel trailer for the past week. It's a 22 footer. Yep, space is at a premium for sure.
I am enjoying the beautiful surroundings, the friendliness of the people in the town center, and spying critters during my commute. Mostly I see deer and wild turkeys. This city girl is charmed by each one.
There is so much new in my life these days!
I am settling in at work and starting to get the hang of the workflow here.
I can breathe so much better and am already more active. I joined a Curves gym right up the street from work and have already dropped a couple of pounds. I hope a few of their friends are soon to follow.
Tonight SB and I are joining another couple and taking a picnic dinner to a local winery. They have live music and wine for sale. The winery offers this event on Friday nights all summer long. We've been twice already. Tonight is the last one until next year.
Tomorrow I will head to my house, spending one night. I will box up and donate some more stuff. Oh, the never-ending stuff! How did I get so much of it?
I am home from my first week of work. It looks as though I never mentioned that SB will be working at his job until August 31st. Therefore, we are moving up to the timber property on Labor Day weekend. In the meanwhile, I stayed Sun - Thurs in the spare room of friends who live in my new area. I plan to do the same thing this coming week.
At the timber property, there are 5 houses. Two houses are currently occupied: one tenant who SB wants to keep, and one caretaker who is in the process of being evicted. The three remaining houses are not currently livable, except as camping sites. Two could be made livable with some repairs and not-too-outrageously-much money; the third needs major work. We plan to move into the house currently occupied by the caretaker. Until the house is available, we will be temporarily living in a travel trailer. Which, by the way, we still need to buy.
So how was work? So much new. Working for the government is an entirely different ballgame. Everyone I have met is very nice and the atmosphere is very pleasant. Most of what I learned this past week had to do with the overall organization and structure of the County, it's policies, etc. I did learn about my actual job duties too. I do not feel up-to-speed yet at all, and still have a lot to learn.
As far as my own personal finances, I have learned:
- I will be paid every other Friday, 26 times per year.
- The County does not participate in Social Security, so no Fica-SS will be deducted from my pay.
- The County pays most of my contribution to the pension plan, but I am required to contribute 3% of my gross.
- My pension tier is 2% at 62. This means that once I vest (5 years of service), I will be eligible to receive 2% of my annual salary for each year I have worked once I have both retired and reached age 62. For example, if I work from now until age 65 then retire, I will have 14.5 years of service. 14.5 years x 2% x my salary = my annual benefit. This example would mean an annual pension of approximately 15k, assuming no cost of living raises or promotions.
- The County will pay 80% of my health insurance, while I will pay 20%. Also, there is a section 125 cafeteria plan, so I can pay my 20% pre-tax.
- There are 5 different health plans to choose from; 3 are Blue Shield plans and 2 are Kaiser plans. There is one Kaiser plan which is by far the best value of the 5, in my opinion. However, with Kaiser, you must go to Kaiser facilities for all medical services. (In the event either life or limb are in jeopardy, they will cover your out-of-network medical care, but they get to decide if it was justified or not). The nearest Kaiser facility to my new workplace is 40 minutes away. My new home is an additional 40 minutes further away. It is simply too far to go for medical care. There are doctors and a small hospital in the same town as my new workplace. Therefore, I am opting for a Blue Shield plan.
- The Blue Shield plan I have chosen has the highest premium of all 5 plans, but looking at the prescription coverage, the deductible, and the maximum out-of-pocket, I estimate it will be the lowest total cost Blue Shield plan for me.
- The Blue Shield plan I have chosen is compatible with an HCRA plan (health care reimbursement account). This means I will be able to elect an amount to be deducted pre-tax from my pay to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses. The HCRA plan will issue me a debit card, which I can swipe when making co-pays.
- At the end of each calendar year, any amount above $500 in the HCRA is forfeit to the County. Therefore, I will be conservative with the amount I am choosing to contribute.
- I will also have a dental plan and a vision plan.
- Cafeteria plan deductions are taken 24 times each calendar year, even though there are 26 pay periods. The two "extra" paychecks (the third paycheck in a calendar month) have no deduction for cafeteria plans, and thus are a bit larger.
- I will be covered on my new health insurance beginning 9/1/17. Because health insurance premiums are paid in advance, I should have paid for September in August. Since it takes awhile to get me into the system, my first cafeteria plan deduction won't happen until my second paycheck in September. Therefore, that second September paycheck rightfully should have premiums for both September and October deducted. Instead, I will pay double deductions for three paychecks. The second September paycheck will pay for September; the first October paycheck will pay for October; and the second October paycheck will pay for November. (I just used two semi-colons in one sentence!). After that, I will be on track and each paycheck will have half of one month's premium deducted.
- It is unlikely I will be contributing to the 457 plan from my very first paycheck. It takes awhile for me to be in the system and there are forms to submit, an outside party to be contacted, etc.
- The County has 2 vendors for its 457 plan. The vendors are Nationwide and CalPers. Nationwide offers some institutional shares of Vanguard index funds. I was fairly excited about this, until I saw the administrative fees Nationwide charges. Nope. I am opting for CalPers. They offer target retirement funds built from State Street index funds. The total cost is much less with CalPers than with Nationwide. I notice that their target retirement funds are too conservative for my tastes, so I plan to go with the 2050 fund.
- My union dues are 1.25% of gross + $1.
Taking all of the above into account, I calculate that once all is running smoothly (double cafeteria plan deductions are done and 457 plan contributions are happening) my take home pay will be $1,168.30 per paycheck. So that is what I am using to build my post-house-sale budget.
It has been very spendy around here lately. In addition to the new-to-me car, I have recently bought some new clothes, a new laptop, and a new phone.
I am changing cell phone companies, as the area to which I am moving has spotty cell reception. Locals use Verizon and swear it is the only reliable company to use. I do know with Ting, I cannot get any cell phone reception on SB's property, but can get one bar if I drive into town. Ting's coverage map says otherwise.
I went with a prepaid Verizon plan. For $50.00 plus taxes per month, I will get 7mb of high-speed data, plus unlimited talk and text. So more than I have been paying, but not too bad. My phone is only a year old, but I can't use it with Verizon. They had an acceptable substitute for $179.99 plus tax.
The laptop set me back $835. I wanted a decent one with plenty of memory, a touch screen, and Microsoft Office.
Last Saturday night, I attended a jazz concert with a group of friends. The music was so good, and the company was lovely.
This coming weekend, SB and I are heading to Reno to meet some friends and enjoy a little get away.
I haven't learned many new details about my new job. I do know that the pay schedule is bi-weekly, so that will be a change too. So many changes!
I will be making less than I make now. I plan to claim single-0 on my W-4 since after 2017 I will no longer be itemizing deductions. I plan to contribute 15% to the 457 plan right from my very first paycheck.
My first day of work is also the first day of a new pay period, so my first paycheck should be in the regular amount I can expect every payday.
Until my house is sold, I expect I will need to dip into savings every month. Hopefully, there won't be more than a handful of those kind of months.
My budget will be in a state of flux for awhile, but I am already thinking about what it will be once everything settles. I am going to try more sinking funds for various expenses, rather than just one "CurveBall" fund. It is easy for me to spend money which isn't already ear-marked for something specific.
I had lunch today with a client who has become a good friend. I have two more such lunches scheduled for next week. Some parts of this move are much easier than others.
I am starting my new job on Monday, August 21. I will work at my old job until Friday, August 18. I have an awful lot to do and not much time in which to do it.
Last night, I browsed CarMax's website. The lot right here in my town had an 08 Honda CRV with 82k on the odometer and they were asking 13k for it. I went down to see it, and it is clean as a whistle and nicely equipped. They offered me 6.5k for my car. So, I signed the papers and drove home in the CRV.
It's the blue one. (The newer grey one to the left belongs to my co-worker). It is nice enough, will do the job, and the price was right.
I put nothing down but the 6.5k. I chose to purchase an extended warranty to 150k miles. I've never purchased an extended warranty before, but I opted for it this time. I financed the remaining balance due at 3.95%, and plan to pay in full when my house is sold.
I received a conditional job offer today! (I must pass my background check). As you can probably guess, I am tickled pink!!
I am having laptop issues so am posting this from my phone. My monthly net worth statement will have to wait.
This past week, I had two in-person interviews and one phone interview for the same job classification in three different county departmets. I think that all 3 went rather well. So that much is good, but of course other applicant interviews might have went well too.
When I got home Wednesday from my two in-person interviews, I had an email inviting me to schedule a second round interview. So, I scheduled that for this coming Tuesday. I already have an in-person interiew scheduled for this coming Thursday.
Here is a snip from my account on governmentjobs.com:
Which departments are these interviews for? It doesn't say. The e-mails didn't say, either. Notice they all say "second round interviews". That's nice, but also incorrect. One intervew was scheduled before I went to the first round interviews. (This one is the biggest mystery. Is it for a 4th department? Surely a department didn't schedule me for a second round interview before they interviewed me the first time?) That third one on the list is the telephone interview I had Thursday, which was definitely first round. So...the site is glitchy maybe?
So, it's a bit confusing, but I think it's going pretty well. I really hope to get a job offer. It doesn't matter which department, I will take it.
I have Googled to see if I can find info on the county's 457 plan and pension plan. I did find that the county pays the employee's pension plan contribution. That's VERY nice. I also found some minutes from a meeting 10 years ago when the county voted to change some of the 457 plan offerings. Included was a list of investment choices available, and I was very pleased to see a couple of Vanguard index choices on the list. Hopefully they havn't since removed them.
Of course, if I am offered a job I will be given all of this information, but I am antsy to know NOW.
At work, they have decided what they are going to do and so that plan is moving forward nicely. They haven't given me a final date and I haven't given them one. I think I should choose one whether I am offered a county job or not, as I have LOTS to do at home to prepare for this move. At the same time, there is some work I would like to finish before I leave. This is the hardest part. Much harder than saying good-bye to my house.
As I mentioned, I took a written exam on 7/12 for the position of "fiscal technician" in a particular department of my new county.
I received an email on 7/19 with my results. I scored 88%, which was the high score. Yay! That puts me at the top of the list and ensures I will get interviewed.
Since then, I have been contacted via email and telephone by at least 3 different departments. (I didn't actually apply for these other departments, but any department in the county which needs a new "fiscal technician" will hire from the same eligibility list for awhile, until the list expires. At that point, if you want to be on the eligibility list, you have to re-apply and re-test.) I have two in-person interviews and one phone interview scheduled for this coming week. I have one in-person interview scheduled for the following week, and I admit I am not sure which department it is for as the email did not specify.
I am very nervous and just hoping to not blow the interviews. Which is silly, because if I don't get one of these jobs, I will just find some other job. All will not be lost. But, I really want one of these which come with a beautiful pension.
In planner obsession news, I purchased one of these to be an exclusively work planner:
Do I need it? Not at all. But, I love writing in it. It is small so it is easy to pop in my purse.
I can hardly believe that I had been so unaware that such lovely planners existed and I wasn't using one. I have already purchased a budget one for 2018 and I have gifted 3 people now with a planner. MrsM180 is the most excited; I hope she enjoys hers as much as I am enjoying mine.
There are so many things I need to do at home and at work, it is overwhelming. So today I am dealing with it by heading over to my Mom's for the afternoon. Tomorrow will be more productive.
I had the most awesome week in Colorado Springs. I got to see my daughter every day. We (all of us) made meals at the VRBO house, and went to play Bingo, and went to the movies, and enjoyed the hot tub and pool at Mr & Mrs M180's apartments, and just in general enjoyed being together.
Also, we went to see the Tuff Shed that Mrs M180 is planning to buy and finish as a house on their own property. (Currently, they are saving for that property). It is surprisingly nice! Well made with a nice layout, not overly large but not too small either.
It is so nice to see my daughter settled and happy in her adult life, actively making choices which will lead her to her goals.
We left Colorado Springs Wednesday morning and drove to Moab, UT. Moab is a beautiful place. We visited Arches Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. We were on the road Thursday morning fairly early and drove 800 miles to Reno, NV. That was a looong drive; the most driving in a single day during the entire trip. We spent Thursday night at Harrah's, then headed home Friday morning.
Friday when I got home, I saw that on Thursday I had received an email regarding the job I have applied for with my new county. I am invited to take a written test this coming Wednesday. The timing is inconvenient to say the least, but I am going to the test. It is inconvenient because I will be covering for my co-worker this coming week while she is on vacation. I'm not even entirely sure exactly what I will need to do to cover her on Wednesday, but I will have to move those things to Monday and Tuesday. If I do not take the written test, I will not have a shot at the job.
Today I am just doing laundry, doing some chores around the house, trying to catch up on e-mail and blogs and such, and generally taking it easy. The trip was so great, but I am wore out.
My mortgage payment has posted. This month I paid an additional $5.35. My new balance is $161,050.00.
Chips to date: $2,185.82
Interest savings this month: $8.40
Interest savings to date: $272.55
Eventually, the interest savings on the chips I have already made will compound to $4,616.56, provided I own this house until July 1, 2042. Which I definitely won't.
We are in Colorado Springs!
Mom, nephew, SB and I hit the road Saturday morning. We hit Las Vegas in the early evening and checked into our clean-but-no-frills motel a few miles from The Strip. At $120 per room, it was the most reasonable deal we could find in Vegas on a Saturday night. We had dinner at a Claim Jumper restaurant and took in some sights on The Strip.
Sunday we visited Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Zion National Park, and then stopped for the night in a little place called Carmel Junction just outside of Zion. The motel was much nicer and thus was a bit pricey at $189 per room. (I know it is all relative, but that is more than I usually like to pay). They had a little restaurant which was a bit overpriced but the food was quite good, including their own fresh baked bread. Also, they had a beautiful pool and hot tub area, with beautiful views.
Monday morning we visited the north rim of the Grand Canyon, which is less visited than the south rim, and we did see why. It is beautiful, but definitely less grand. Here's a pic:
Afterwards, we set off for Mesa Verde National Park. Monday evening, we stopped for the night in Towaoc, Colorado at an Ute Indian casino. It is very new and cushy, and we stayed for $89 per room! We had a nice relaxing evening enjoying the amenities. I gambled for maybe 15 minutes. I started with a $20 (all I am willing to spend on gambling), chose a machine, and fed in my $20. I played it for 10 minutes or so, cashing out $19.75. I chose another machine, played it 3 times, and cashed out $76.55. I was done at that point. SB stayed in the casino, but I went back to the room and changed for the pool and hot tub. Later, SB came back to our room $48 richer. So the casino paid for our room for the night. Thanks, casino!
Tuesday morning we got up and drove to Mesa Verde. We visited the park, saw the cliff dwellings, and then hit the road. We made it to Alamosa and decided that was far enough. We got rooms in a Fairfield Inn paying about $150 each. There was not much to see and we were all tired so we grabbed dinner at a Wendy's and called it a night.
Wednesday morning we had breakfast at the hotel then hit the road for another 3 hours and finally arrived in Colorado Springs. And here we are! We will be here for a week, hanging out with Mr and Mrs M180 and taking in the local sights.
We ended up renting a house on VRBO for $1500 for the week. Since we need 2 rooms per night, this works out so much better. We have a whole house to enjoy, complete with laundry room. We visited a supermarket and have fixings for meals here. It is a lovely house very tastefully appointed, and we can see Garden of the Gods from our living room window!
Interestingly, the owners of the house have said they are "just a few minutes away" in their cabin, and we can call if we need anything. I think what they are doing is offering both places for rent on VRBO and moving back and forth to accomodate their renters. Maybe they are using the income for living expenses, or to pay off their mortgage, or to pad their nest egg. How creative! Colorado Springs is home to a University of Colorado campus, an Air Force Academy, an Air Force base, an Army base, and a National Guard base. Plus, it has a great deal of natural beauty. I'll bet there are a lot of people wanting to come and visit for a week or so.
I am so happy to be here for a week with my daughter and other loved ones. Life is so good.
Last night as I was getting ready to leave work, I saw that SB had texted me. He offered to take me to dinner and warned that he may or may not have ulterior motives. I said I would love to go to dinner, so he met me at my office. He was driving a new to him car.
He bought a 2007 Acura MDX with 122k on the odometer. Not high mileage for a 10 year old car. He got a really good deal on it, and of course paid cash. The MDX is an SUV with 3 rows of seats. The third row can lay down flat, giving you a large cargo area.
So, we will be taking this car on our road trip later this month. I will cancel the mini-van rental we had reserved.
The MDX is also an all wheel drive, which is highly desirable living in a mountain town with twisty, turny roads in every direction. I have considered trading cars myself but I'm not going to do it right now. My to do list is currently long enough without adding "look for a car". I'm going to get settled first and then see.
So we had a nice dinner at a Mexican restaurant in town we discovered a few months ago. Very reasonable prices and the food is delicious. After dinner, he says "Well, my ulterior motive is I left my truck parked near where I bought this car, so I need help getting the cars home." What a disappointing ulterior motive!
The MDX rides very nice, so I give this purchase a thumbs up.
So I have shared before about the allergy problems I have in my current location. With J now married and on the verge of becoming independent, I have decided the time is right.
I have a lot of stuff to get rid of and some things to get done to prepare my house for sale. SB and I will be moving to his timber property.
I'm not positive of my exact timeline, but it is soon. Definitely this calendar year.
I have given them a heads up at work so they can replace me. That might not have been in my best interest since they may replace me before I am ready. But, it felt right. They have been so good to me, I would not have felt right about leaving them on short notice with no plan in place.
I'm not certain exactly what I will be doing for work. We are moving to a rural area and job opportunities are limited. There is an opening in my line of work for the county (my future county) which would be awesome. I sure wouldn't mind having a pension, even a small one. (Way too late for me to earn enough service credits for a large pension). I have submitted an application, but who knows when or if anything will come of that.
I am fortunate in that my cost of living will be very low, so I can be flexible in the type of job I accept.
My plans will become more solid over the coming weeks and months, but at the moment, I just don't know much.
I wish that I had more cash in the bank. It may be that I am unemployed before I am out from under my mortgage. If I have to, I can take a Heloc draw. I hope it won't come that. I opened a new Wells Fargo American Express card last month in order to take advantage of a sign-up bonus. The card has a promotional rate of 0% for the first 12 months. I intend to begin using it for expenses, making only minimum payments, and saving the cash. When the house sells, I will pay it in full. It may be that I will need that extra cash to make mortgage payments. If I don't, then no harm done.
So, it's exciting and frightening all at the same time. Wish me luck!
Today was a sad, sad day.
Buster's tumors have grown and spread and he had stopped enjoying life so much. During the past week, he would refuse to move and instead bark when he wanted to go inside or outside or to another room. Yesterday, he would not eat.
I called the vet this morning, and SB, J, Mrs. J and I took him to his final vet visit.
Buster was so homely and not very bright. But he had more personality than any dog I have ever had the pleasure to know. How I loved that ridiculous little dog. I will miss him so very much.
Edit: In 2005, the year before my ex-husband and I split, ex-husband took 9 year old J to our local animal shelter to choose a dog. Of all the dogs J might have chosen, J came home with Buster. I took one look at Buster and asked ex-husband what he had been thinking. He just shrugged and said J picked him. The shelter estimated that Buster was 4 - 5 years old. Buster was J's shadow for years and was a great comfort to him during the divorce. I will forever be grateful for that.
My mortgage payment has posted. This month I paid an additional $6.46. My new balance is $161,375.00.
Chips to date: $2,180.47
Interest savings this month: $8.36
Interest savings to date: $264.15
Eventually, the interest savings on the chips I have already made will compound to $4,607.34, provided I own this house until July 1, 2042. Which I probably won't.
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