Better late than never, right?
Utilities are low because...I neglected to pay my electric bill. I just forgot. Never before in my 30+ years of adulthood have I "just forgot" to pay a utility bill. My goodness. I looked at it a dozen times or so, there on my list of bills to pay, not highlighted, and it never clicked that "Oh, I need to PAY this".
Savings did not happen, but I also paid for my root canal and plane ticket (see below) without pulling from savings.
Everything else this month:
Balance of new roof and gutters - 9,550.00
dentist (root canal) - 550.00
airline ticket - 291.20
dining out - 182.83
gift cards - 60.00
clothes - 57.13
Plum Paper Planner - 52.89
oil change - 44.27
OTC allergy - 16.74
purse insert - 6.99
Pokemon Go - 4.99
My new roof and rain gutters are installed and look great. I am very pleased with the quality. Now there is just the small matter of paying for them. I did pull $700 from GS Savings to throw at the Heloc debt. Only 9.4k to go.
The airline ticket is for the trip Mom and I are making next weekend to Spokane to visit my cousin and his wife.
The dining out and gift card expenses are related to birthdays. I have a lot of friend birthdays in March.
I must now confess that I bought myself a fancypants planner! And...I just love it. It is nothing but an indulgence. The paper is creamy smooth, the colors are lovely, it has tabbed sections for each month. I have a place to track my bills, my debt progress, my savings progress, etc., all on beautiful paper which I can touch.
And for the first time I spent real dollars to play a virtual game. I have been playing Pokemon Go enthusiastically since last July. The game has a built in limit of how many pokemon you can have at any one time. With the release of Gen 2 pokemon, I was bumping the limit. I had to pay real money to increase my "storage" limit. Otherwise, I was in grave danger of not being able to catch 'em all.
Better late than never, right?
My mortgage payment has posted. This month I paid an additional $8.70. My new balance is $162,025.00.
Chips to date: $2,166.43
Interest savings this month: $8.24
Interest savings to date: $247.49
Eventually, the interest savings on the chips I have already made will compound to $4,582.66, provided I own this house until July 1, 2042. Which I probably won't.
I had a fun overnight trip yesterday with some long-time girlfriends. One of whom was visiting from Tulsa, OK and flew back home today.
There were 5 of us, and we drove up to Grass Valley to stay at an old hotel. It's sort of infamous, having housed several US Presidents and other notable guests such as Mark Twain. And it is supposedly haunted, which adds to the ambiance. We had a great, giggly time. We made a run to the Sacramento airport late this morning and I returned home about 2 hours ago. Here are a few pics from our hotel room. I wish I had thought to snap a shot of the elevator, which was the old fashioned scrolly ironwork kind.
That last shot was from the balcony, which we enjoyed. We had two rooms, the other was similarly appointed.
Next weekend, SB and I are going to Bodega Bay with another couple. We have rented a house for the weekend.
The following weekend, J and his girlfriend are getting married in her grandparents' back yard.
The weekend after that, I am flying to Spokane, WA with my mother for a 4 day visit with my first cousin and his wife. My mother and father raised him for a good chunk of his childhood.
A road trip has been planned for the last week of June and first week of July. SB, my mother, my nephew, and myself will hit the road in a rented mini-van (which I was able to rent through AutoSlash.com for just under $350 per week including taxes). All of the plans are not finalized, but we will be in Colorado Springs for almost 1 week spending time with MrsM180 and hubby.
And there you have it.
My mortgage payment has posted. This month I paid an additional $9.82. My new balance is $162,350.00.
Chips to date: $2,157.73
Interest savings this month: $8.17
Interest savings to date: $239.25
Eventually, the interest savings on the chips I have already made will compound to $4,567.53, provided I own this house until July 1, 2042. Which I probably won't.
Wages - The second pay period of the month had only 9 work days, which made for a little pay check.
Other Income - My state and federal income tax refunds, as well as a bit of CC rewards.
Everything Else -
dining out 212.31
clothes and purse - 194.84
medical co-pay 60.00
annual road service club - 43.50
Rx co-pays 40.72
CVS - allergy pills, hygiene products 32.79
So a couple of weeks ago I went to the dentist to get my toothache checked out and received the wonderful news that I needed a root canal. It was scheduled for yesterday, Friday 2/10. (And yes, as it turns out, root canals really aren't much fun).
I told SB about this, and did not realize that I had just thrown a big monkey wrench in his plans. He had been planning a surprise birthday party for me on that day. Without much notice, he had to move it to a different day.
So last Friday 2/3, SB texted me in the late morning to say he had picked up a sound gig for the evening and would not be home until late. OK. I decided I would go get my nails done and made an appointment for 5:30. In the afternoon, a friend texted me to ask if I would like to go see a movie with her. Why not, I thought, so we made some vague plans. I left work about 5:20 and headed to my nail appointment (just a few blocks away).
As I am walking into the nail salon, SB texts me again to say he did not have a particular cable he needed, described it and where it was, then asked if I could please go home to get it and bring it to him at the sound gig. Now home is in the opposite direction of the freeway and the movie cinema where I planned to meet my friend. My nail appointment takes 45 min or so. So this is a bit inconvenient and annoying, but OK, I say I will after my appointment. So I get my nails done, I drive all the way home to fetch his cable, and I drive to the sound gig.
Now the sound gig was at a venue which caters a lot of weddings, company parties, quinceaneras, etc. Years ago, I worked at this venue, and it is my current second job. SB works there now. It is a unique, very fun place, and I have made quite a few long-lasting friendships with current and former employees there. When SB texted me about the gig, I assumed a planned event had their sound guy fall through at the last minute, and that was how he ended up getting the gig.
So I enter the building and have my eyes peeled for SB, as he hadn't really said which room(s) the gig was in, and there are generally 3 or 4 events booked for a Friday night. I pass larger rooms and areas without spotting him and end up in a hallway leading to several smaller rooms. I walk through an open door and there are 6 round tables set up with people seated.
I glance at a table and notice all the people seated there are current or former employees of this venue, including the friend who I am supposed to meet for a movie shortly. I think "they are having dinner here together and no one invited me!". I glance at a different table and see my mother, my nephew, J and A, and several of my cousins from the bay area. This is very odd, as they do not belong at this venue at all. Then it hits me. Everyone pulls out a little horn, blows it, and yells "surprise!".
Well, I certainly WAS surprised. SB spent weeks planning the party and I had no idea at all. I think it actually helped that he had to change the date, because my actual birthday is 2/13 and the party was 10 days early. I was not even suspicious!
I went from table to table greeting each guest, and just as I was finishing my rounds, I saw my biggest surprise. My friend M who lives in Seattle strolled into the room. I could not believe it. He came just for my party and stayed the whole weekend. What a treat!
It was a wonderful party and a wonderful weekend. I don't even mind turning 50 so much.
My mortgage payment has posted. This month I paid an additional $10.93. My new balance is $162,675.00.
Chips to date: $2,147.91
Interest savings this month: $8.11
Interest savings to date: $231.08
Eventually, the interest savings on the chips I have already made will compound to $4,550.18, provided I own this house until July 1, 2042. Which I probably won't.
Here is my January budget report. I paid my January mortgage payment in December. In January, I paid the balance on my Citi Double Cash Card from December's statement. It was not due until 1/8, so that worked out OK.
Everything Else this month was:
wall repair 1260
American Heart Assn 100
CVS medical supplies 47.62
movie tickets 16
Rx co-pay 10
The repair to my leaking wall was pricey.
SB and I bought a new mattress and split the cost. It's the first piece of furniture we have co-purchased. It is one of those which gets delivered in a box and you unfold it. It is surprisingly comfortable. SB chose it. I think we will be getting a topper of some kind too.
The American Heart Association donation is in memory of my cousin once removed who died last September. Several of his immediate family and good friends have formed a team and are doing a 5k walk.
The library fine is for a book J's dog ate! Bad dog.
The movie tickets were a splurge. SB's favorite movie of all time is The Princess Bride. It's one of my favorites, too. Our local indie movie house is showing it on Valentine's Day.
It has been raining a lot here. So the other day, J tells me that his bedroom wall is wet. Like, wet to the touch. Ugh!
It turned out that the flashing around his window had come lose from the siding underneath the window ledge. With the wind and rain, water was finding its way in. The sheet rock all around the window was soaked.
Today I have a repair person here taking care of the problem.
So, there goes the money I had squirreled away the past few months. Now I have to save it again.
Well, MrsM180 and hubby moved back to Colorado a few weeks ago. They are already settled into an apartment and MrsM180 has started a new job. It all happened really fast. They hope to be hunting for a house to purchase within a few months.
I miss them of course, but I am also excited on their behalf for them to be taking these big steps and moving forward with their adult lives.
J and his fiancee are now talking about getting married this April in Reno. There is still a lot up in the air with these two. Even so, I expect J will be launching sooner rather than later.
I'm going to be an empty nester soon. Wow.
In less momentous news, I have recently discovered the hobby called "planning". Do you know that there are people out there buying expensive "planners" from companies such as Erin Condren, Reflections, Happy Planner, etc.? And buying "monthly sticker kits", vast quantities of washi tape, and many types of pens in order to decorate the "weekly spread" in their planner? I found all of this rather surprising. And while I do not intend to start shelling out cash for this hobby, I have gotten a few ideas to modify my Bill Book to better plan for upcoming expenses and such.
My mortgage payment has posted. This month I paid an additional $12.05. My new balance is $163,000.00.
Chips to date: $2,136.98
Interest savings this month: $8.04
Interest savings to date: $222.97
Eventually, the interest savings on the chips I have already made will compound to $4,530.79, provided I own this house until July 1, 2042. Which I probably won't.
My mortgage payment has posted. This month I paid an additional $13.17. My new balance is $163,325.00.
Chips to date: $2,124.93
Interest savings this month: $7.97
Interest savings to date: $214.93
Eventually, the interest savings on the chips I have already made will compound to $4,509.16, provided I own this house until July 1, 2042. Which I probably won't.
Cash is up.
Debt is up.
Investments are up.
Home value estimate is down.
I lent J $320 in cash while we are straightening out his banking situation. J started a new job a few weeks ago. It is a temporary full-time plus overtime job with UPS. He is making a good wage and is working long days in the bay area, so commuting as well. (UPS provides a shuttle bus at no charge to the temporary employees). He had to quit his 20 hour per week part-time job, but has kept his 20 hour per month part-time job. He will make more in 3 months at UPS than he would have made in a year at the part-time job he quit. So even if it takes him a little time to find his next job, he will be ahead.
Last summer, I went with him to my credit union to open a checking account for him. He did not order paper checks but was supposed to receive a debit card. He never has. (I never followed up with him to make sure he had it). All this time, he has been going to the credit union in person to deposit his paychecks and withdraw cash. Well, now that he is leaving the house by 4:30am and returning home about 10:30pm Monday through Friday, he cannot make it to the credit union during banking hours. They do not have any weekend hours.
Last week, he had 3 paychecks, one each from his 3 jobs. He asked me to deposit them for him (the credit union is very close to my office) and to see if they would allow me to cash one for him. I was sure they would not and told him so, but said I would ask. Then I asked why he doesn't just use an ATM to get some cash, and that is when I learned he has never received a card. Well, when I took his paychecks in, I asked how he can get a debit card. As usual, they were very unhelpful and insisted he will have to come in person and order another one. No, he cannot call. No, they cannot give the form to me to give to him. No, they cannot use the form he already signed when he opened his account. This is the thing about this credit union. The customer service is lacking. They do offer free checking accounts but so do a lot of other institutions, they pay no interest, and they never seem to have any convenient solutions when you need something.
So anyhow, I texted this info to J and then I suggested he needs an online bank checking account. There are so many of them out there now. I am helping him get that set up. Once he receives his debit card from his new online bank, he will repay the $320 he borrowed. It will probably be another week or two.
I signed the contracts for my new roof and rain gutters. They will charge my MasterCard for my deposit of $950. It will be several months before the work actually begins.
I took a 10.5k draw on my Heloc, and was able to fix the rate at 4.24% for 3 years. The required minimum payments barely cover the interest. However, I believe I can pay the balance in full before the 3 years is up.
I'm home from Tahoe. We had perfect, beautiful weather. And I have 10 new pokemon! I have 122 now; I am really getting there. Not that you care, but now you know.
I have received a second estimate now. It was $9450 for the roof with no insulation, an additional $1300 including insulation. Also, $900 for new rain gutters.
The first estimate was $9500 including insulation; $1000 for new rain gutters.
Since my house was built, there is a new minimum standard for insulation in the attic. If you replace the roof, you must meet the new standard. The second roofer says there is an exception you can meet by choosing a light color shingle. That is why he quotes both with and without insulation.
A friend told me that since I am going from a wood shake roof to an asphalt shingle roof, I can expect my new roof to absorb more heat. In his opinion, it is a mistake to pass on the additional insulation.
So, I guess the first estimate was fair and this is just what it costs. It has been a lot of work getting these two estimates; I wouldn't mind getting a third but that requires getting a third roofer to return my calls.
SB said I should check with Costco. They do offer a lot of home improvement services. But I checked, they do not offer roofing.
I think I am going to hire the first company. The cost will be 10.5k. I will borrow that from my Heloc. Then I will attempt to cash flow the other work I want to have done this summer. Mainly concrete and tree removal, the rest I am fairly certain I can do myself, with a little help from SB. Once that is done and paid for, I can turn my efforts to paying down the Heloc.
At this point, I have put calls in to several more roofers. One just called back! I spoke with him at length, and he has promised to come by Monday, then email me a bid.
I am leaving Sunday for a week in Tahoe. I plan to read, color in my new adult coloring book with my new colored pencils and fine-tipped markers, cross-stitch, and just generally chilaxe. My kids are staying home; couldn't talk any of them into it.
My mortgage payment has posted. This month I paid an additional $14.28. My new balance is $163,650.00.
Chips to date: $2,111.76
Interest savings this month: $7.90
Interest savings to date: $206.96
Eventually, the interest savings on the chips I have already made will compound to $4,485.24, provided I own this house until July 1, 2042. Which I probably won't.
Yesterday I was blessed with an actual visit from an actual roofer, which ended with him handing me an actual estimate. I don't even know how to act now.
Unfortunately, the estimate is 9.5k, which is quite a bit more than the online estimator tool I used had calcuated. I don't know if it is a fair price or not. For an extra 1k, they will also install all new rain gutters.
I have contacted a third roofing company via e-mail. So we will see if they get back to me or not.
Yesterday while at my mother's, my little mutt Buster Brown chewed through a board in her fence and escaped. We looked for him, then called the police (my mother lives in a small town). The police officer had in fact received a call about my little Buster wandering freely in the neighborhood, had picked him up, and had taken him to the animal shelter. The animal shelter is closed until tomorrow. So Buster has been enjoying a vacation at the animal shelter. The PO assured me he had personally shown Buster into his cage, that he had a cushion to lie on, food, and water. I will have to pay for his board. Yay.
My niece's foster baby is in the hospital. I do not know the details. She has texted me a few times but her focus is not on keeping me informed. I do know he was taken by helicopter to UCSF children's hospital. I know he is receiving the best care possible and hope he will be enjoying good health soon.
I signed the documents for my HELOC from Wells Fargo today. The line is 30k. There were no closing costs. The annual fee is waived since I have a PMA checking account. The interest rate is variable. Currently, it is 6.75%. It can never be higher than 13.75%. There are several ways I can draw funds. The simplest is to log on and transfer from the HELOC to my checking (or savings, or Visa, or IRA I suppose).
The roofing company I contacted on Sept 7th promised to come out the next week to give me an estimate. Never heard from them. I e-mailed again on October 12th to see if they still plan to come out. To date, no response at all to my follow-up e-mail. So I have contacted a different roofing company. A man is supposed to be coming out Saturday to give me an estimate on a new roof and new rain gutters too. I guess if he shows up it will be a productive day.
This past weekend, I spent Saturday with my mom and attended the memorial service for my friend's uncle. Sunday I spent with my niece and her foster baby. We went for pedicures and did some shopping. That baby could not have been any better. I just love holding him and smelling his sweet baby smell.
SB needs to make some decisions regarding his acreage up in the mountains. We have been brainstorming ideas to get some income from the property. This will be good whether he decides to hang onto it or sell. If he does decide to sell, he will need to reinvest into some other commerical property. These aren't my decisions to make, still I am trying to help him make the best decisions possible.
Last Saturday, I went to a party thrown by my DFS3G (dear friend since 3rd grade) in honor of her parents' 50 year wedding anniversary, plus her father's 80th birthday. The party was held on their property (country people). They hired a band, had it catered, the whole 9 yards. Friends and family coming from all over were expected.
Just a few hours before guests were to arrive, the brother of my friend's mother, went to the barn to get a bale of hay. He did not return for what seemed like a long time, so friend's father went looking for him. He found him lying in the barn, dead. They assume it was a heart attack, but that is not certain at this point. The birthday/anniversary party turned into a wake of sorts. It was a sad day.
On Sunday, SB and I went to see the movie "The Accountant". I thought it was a very good movie. I haven't enjoyed a movie that much in quite a long time.
On Tuesday evening, SB, J, J's girlfriend A, and I met my niece and her husband for dinner. The restaurant is a favorite of niece's as they offer a buffet on Tuesday evenings with crab and shrimp. This is the couple who are doing foster care and wanting to adopt. They had a 2 month old baby with them they had just "received" on Saturday. (Is that what you call it when you bring home a new foster baby?) He is not eligible for adoption and they know that. He is so precious. I certainly enjoyed holding and smelling him.
After dinner, J and A told SB and I that they plan to get married in about a year. Wow. I had suspected this might be coming. J is still working 2 part-time jobs. A recently resigned her job at Home Depot to have a few weeks off before leaving for boot camp. She has enlisted in the Navy.
Last night SB and I met a girlfriend for dinner and a movie. We saw "Girl on the Train". It was almost as good as the book, which I read last year.
Also last night SB surprised me with concert tickets he bought only yesterday. The concert is tonight in Sacramento. Jimmy Buffett, who I have wanted to see forever.
So I have been busy and spending some money.
Well, I got home Sunday from the cruise. SB and I had a great time, and we caught some new Pokemon. It was nice to have time to re-connect as a couple with no other distractions.
The service for my cousin was very nice. He taught math at both a high school and community college in San Diego. The service was on his college campus and was attended by hundreds of colleagues and students. His mother especially was comforted that he had been so well liked, loved, and respected by those who knew him. Still, it is sad to say goodbye to someone so young. My cousin was not married but left behind a partner of 10 years. I had never met the partner before; he is a very nice man and is just devastated.
Seeing family I had not seen in many years was nice. Of course, this sort of thing makes you contemplate your own mortality. It is sobering to realize how many years it has been since you have seen cousin so-and-so; how quickly your life goes by.
This trip was a bit pricey. A group of my family were staying in a Marriott Suites hotel, so I stayed there too. I usually opt for more economical lodging, but I wanted to be where my family was. SB paid for the cruise, but the additional 3 nights of lodging is all on me. That is only right since it was my family and my desire to attend the service.
So my little CurveBall Fund at WF will be taking a hit. Otherwise, I would have to carry credit card debt and that does not appeal. I am not certain I will have 5k earmarked for a new roof this spring. I could maybe put it off another year, but I don't really want to do that. I am still not even certain 5k will do it. I used an online estimator tool which said my roof should cost 4k - 6k. More than a month ago, a local roofing company said they would be coming by to measure and then email me an estimate. I am still waiting for that. I emailed them again today.
I have applied for a HELOC at Wells Fargo. We will see what they say. I'm not certain I will need to borrow, but it doesn't cost anything to have the HELOC open and ready to go.
Well, I am off to my second job. This is my third night, and I may or may not need one more to finish up. The week I work at my second job in the evenings is always a long week.
My mortgage payment has posted. This month I paid an additional $15.40. My new balance is $163,975.00.
Chips to date: $2,097.48
Interest savings this month: $7.82
Interest savings to date: $199.06
Eventually, the interest savings on the chips I have already made will compound to $4,464.64, provided I own this house until July 1, 2042. Which I probably won't.
SB and I are leaving for our cruise today. We will drive to Bakersfield, spend the night, then drive to Long Beach in the morning. Our ship sails tomorrow afternoon.
When we return on Thursday, we are heading to San Diego and will stay until Sunday morning, then drive home.
The son of my first cousin passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday morning. He lived in San Diego and that is where his funeral will be a week from today.
He was getting ready for work and collapsed, never regaining consciousness. The coroner determined he died of a heart attack. He had just turned 40 in August. He exercised regularly and ate healthy; he was not the least bit overweight. He did not smoke or take any recreational drugs. He did not have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or any symptoms whatsoever.
I am looking forward to the cruise and to seeing extended family. But my heart just breaks for my cousin and her husband.
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