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Under Contract!

December 29th, 2018 at 07:14 pm

I got an offer above list late in the day yesterday. I accepted and we are in escrow! Now I just have to hope it goes smoothly.

I finally got to see Bhohemian Rhapsody last night. It was better than I had hoped!

We leave for the cruise in a week. I bought a fancy beaded dress today at Dillard's. They are having a great sale right now. It was marked down to $83.65. It is a good cut for me, very flattering, and fits perfectly. Captain's dinner, here I come.

I cannot hardly wait to spend 10 whole luxurious days with my family. Smile

Pics of My House

December 9th, 2018 at 11:38 am

It is an overcast, gloomy day today. Some of these came out a bit dark.

The front door as you approach.



The front door from inside. (I don't know why it is showing up sideways).



The living room from different angles.




My little kitchen.





Bedroom #1 at the front of the house.




The hall bath.




Bedroom #2, right-hand side of the hallway closest to the front of the house.




The laundry room, next to bedroom #2. (Laundry sold at no extra charge!)



The master bedroom and bath, last door and room on the right-hand side of hallway. I love the big oval bathtub so much.





The master walk-in closet. Also showing up sideways.




And at the end of the hall, bedroom #4. This is the smallest bedroom and shares a wall with the kitchen. If I were staying put in this house, I would love to lose the wall and incorporate this space into the kitchen. Bonus: doing so would make the path through the house a complete circle.



So there you have it. Not fancy, but clean and neutral with all in good repair. It should be on MLS before the week is out.

PNC Online Savings 2.35%

November 20th, 2018 at 10:42 am

Just wanted to share for you rate chasers out there. PNC bank is currently paying 2.35% to online savings accounts. No fees, minimum is $1.

Please note that PNC has brick and mortar banks as well as an online presence. Their traditional savings accounts pay the same sort of rates most brick and mortar banks pay. You must choose the online savings to get the 2.35% rate.

The following is not a referral link. I am just sharing for your convenience.

https://www.pnc.com/en/personal-banking.html

Some Pictures; Happy Thanksgiving

November 19th, 2018 at 05:22 pm

Here is a picture we took after my ring was ready.



We took that picture in our little yard. The spring and summer just ended we had an outdoor living space next to the creek, which is just a stone's throw from our front (and only!) door. It evolved as the weeks rolled by; we ended up with a large awning in addition to the one attached to the travel trailer, a dinette set, a nice grill, two zero-gravity reclining camp style chairs, a mister, and a nice 3 ft tall inflatable pool with a filter. The days and evenings spent in our little yard were lovely. Here I am, enjoying the amenities:



I spent many a happy hour lying there with a good book listening to the water gurgling along in the creek bed. I am sorry to see summer go.

My house is mostly ready. Well, as ready as it's going to be. I should have some pictures to share next week. SB is still there; I will drive down Wednesday evening after work. Thanksgiving dinner this year is at my mother's house. A niece (brother's daughter) and her family will be staying at my mother's house for the long weekend. My brother, sister-in-law, SB and I will be sleeping at my house but spending our time at my mother's. Another niece (grandniece, my nephew's daughter) and her husband will be visiting, but live close enough they will sleep at home. My son and his wife will come for dinner Thanksgiving Day; not sure how much additional time they will have for us. It should be a wonderful weekend spent with a good many (but not all!) of the people I love best.

Enjoy your long weekends with your loved ones! Smile

More Updates on A Few Topics

November 10th, 2018 at 09:12 am

Hello SA types! It's been so long since I posted, a whole lot has gone on.

I did end up having to evict my tenant. Even though he was notified of the date and time that the sheriff's deputies would be arriving to lock him out, he was still there when they arrived. If it were me, I would have been already gone and spared myself the humiliation. The eviction service representative I had hired reported that the tenant informed the deputies that he would be staying until the end of the month (lock-out date was 9/19). Surprisingly, they sided with the court order and locked him out anyway.

Since then, I have been working towards getting the house ready to sell. SB has been mostly staying in the house while I go only on weekends. The last few odd jobs are being finished up right now. Then we will do one last cleaning, stage it as best we can, and list it.

So as you might guess, my expenses have been greater than my income these past 5 months. I have gone through most of my cash savings and taken on Heloc debt. Most of the expenses are now behind me, but I will continue to have a cash flow problem until the house is sold (and by that, I mean close of escrow).

Work is going well. I am off probation now and received my first and last step increase. (I started at step 4; there are only 5 steps). My salary is just over 53k and will only rise with cost of living increases, unless I am able to be hired into a different job classification.

My daughter has been thinking she wants to go back to college. She applied for a scholarship to Colorado Technical University last spring. A few weeks ago, she learned she had been selected! It is a full ride excluding housing for a 4 year degree. She intends to study accounting and thinks she wants to go into banking. She is very excited and I could not be more pleased.

I am writing this from a timeshare condo in Reno. I am here for a girls' weekend with 5 other women. While waiting for a turn in the shower, I thought I would take advantage of the reliable internet and throw up a quick post. Smile

Updates on Many Topics

July 7th, 2018 at 11:48 am

A few weeks ago, I told my renter I need for him to move out so I can sell the house. He claims he has no money to move. I said I would forgive the unpaid utilities (I've been paying the water/sewer/garbage bill this whole time, although our written rental agreement stipulates it is his responsibility) in writing and give him 1k cash. He looked around and reported he had found a place he liked which would be available July 12. I said, great, let's do that. No rent due to me for July, so he can rent the new place. Then he had a heart attack and was hospitalized. Now he says he is "stressed" about the move.

I had hoped the 1k would make it possible to avoid litigation and get him out quickly. I still hope that, of course, but it may not go that way.

SB and I continue to live in our little travel trailer on his property. I have begun seriously contemplating what sort of rig would be best in the future for traveling. I am currently leaning away from a travel trailer and towards a small class b or c motorhome. This purchase is still years in the future, so I have plenty of time to contemplate.

SB and I have talked off and on for some time now about getting rings. A wedding ring for him, I prefer an engagement ring for myself. (There are no matrimonial plans, just rings). A few weeks ago, we pulled the trigger on that. He got to leave the store with his, mine is far too small and due to the style, can only be sized up or down one ring size. So, I had to order the same ring in a larger size and it is due to arrive in the store August 17. Here they are:





I just love mine and can hardly stand the wait.

And speaking of wait, I mean weight, I have been losing some of mine. I had gotten so out of shape down in the valley, with all of the coughing and breathing difficulties, for several years I had avoided taking a single unnecessary step. And, it really showed. Now that I am breathing well and more active, I have gradually been dropping a lb here and there. At the end of March, I decided it was time to get into good physical shape and got serious about regular exercise. So far, I am down 23.7 lbs and I feel great. Unfortunately, I have many more still to go.

A lot of people up here square dance. It looks fun, and we want to take it up and see if we like it. This is one of my motivations; when we first talked about it I knew I was too out of shape to keep up with others promenading and do-si-doing about the room. We haven't started yet but we are both looking forward to it.

My birth mother plans to arrive here next Saturday, and I am taking some vacation time. I am looking forward to our visit very much.

Work is going well and my one year mark is approaching (August 19). This is significant because it marks the end of my probation. It also means I will be getting my step raise, which is 5%.

About a month ago, SB and I went to that James Taylor concert and he was just fabulous. Bonnie Raitt cancelled part of the tour (she had surgery), so we did not get to see her. Still on the horizon is that Eagles concert.

I am already planning my budget for the happy time that my house has been sold. Premature as there are some hurdles between that point and my present point, but I do like to plan my finances.

I have recently exchanged out of Vanguard's Target Retirement fund in my Roth, in favor of the 3 fund portfolio. Now ALL of my retirement monies are invested the exact same way: 44% total stock market index, 22% total intl stock market index, and 34% total bond market index. I intend to keep this allocation for the next decade or so.

That's about it, I guess.

Budget Report May 2018

June 10th, 2018 at 09:40 am



I did (mostly) receive the past due rent. The money orders for March were dated March 1 and totalled $1215. So apparently, the tenant purchased the money orders, put them someplace, then thought he had mailed them. All of the info regarding what MoneyGram had told him was obviously fabricated. When I received them, I texted him to let him know I had received them then asked where he had found them. No response. No explanation as to why they were $35 short.

Yesterday I received June rent in full, but no additional $35.

Regarding paying for the cruise, I did lower my 457 plan contribution from 15% to 3%. I also changed my withholding from single 0 to single 1. The net result to my paycheck is an additional $214.02 per. All of this will go towards the cruise.

At the end of May, I had $630.80 saved. I have already purchased my daughter and son-in-law's airfare, and I have already paid $800 towards the cruise. So I still need to pay $4,370, which means I need to save $3,739.20 more.

My Mom and nephew came up here the Friday before Mother's Day and stayed (at the bed and breakfast in town) until Sunday afternoon. We had such a good time.

My birth mother is coming for a visit towards the end of July. She has a camper van so will stay right on the property with us. I will take some time off while she is here. I'm really looking forward to that.

My former father-in-law died about a month ago. I went down to the viewing (not the service) and did get to speak a bit with my former mother-in-law, sister-in-law, niece, and nephew. The financial situation former m-i-l finds herself now in is not good. Various family members and friends helped contribute towards the modest yet tasteful final expenses. (F-i-l and m-i-l did have some money set aside for this, but it was not enough) I helped a little, as he was my children's grandfather. Despite the circumstances, it was nice to see all of them.

Last Match; Cruise is Booked

April 23rd, 2018 at 01:23 pm

Last week, my final employee match was made to my Simple IRA, in the amount of $1070.00. I plan to roll it into my Roth IRA and pay the tax. It will be nice to have a bit of new money in there.

I booked our cruise on Saturday and paid an $800 deposit. Princess was having a special promotion, which is still going on I think, no gratuities. I hope that doesn't mean the crew forego their share of the gratuity, but rather that Princess pays it. That saves me $675, my mom $270 and SB $135.

The balance is due Oct 24, my late brother's birthday.

Paying For The Cruise

April 15th, 2018 at 12:33 pm

So I've been thinking about how exactly I am going to pay for that planned family cruise. I loathe the debt I am already carrying and am uninterested in carrying more.

After a great deal of consideration, I have decided to cut my 457 plan contributions from 15% to 3%. I will bank the extra take home pay and should have enough by January to pay in full. I need 7k to cover 5 fares, port taxes, gratuities, and air fare for 2. I have $1,356.25 in my travel/vacation fund right now, with 9 more $150 deposits budgeted for this year. That's $2700, I need another $4,300. I calculate I will take home an additional $2,808 this year from reducing 457 contributions. That still leaves $1500. I do have those 2 extra paycheck months. I think I can do it.

I think my retirement plans can withstand the hit. I am on track to surpass my minimum nest egg goal. This trip is very important to me. I will fill out the paperwork tomorrow and expect to see the extra take home pay beginning in May.

Plan With Me; April 2018 Budget

April 15th, 2018 at 12:20 pm



I have received one month's rent; we will see if the second month comes through or not.

I don't know why I didn't line up the dollar amounts. That would have been a lot better; oh well.

March 2018 Budget Report

April 15th, 2018 at 11:45 am



Finally tallied up March. Of course, I knew it was bad, having received no rent. The shortfall came from WF savings and checking buffer.

I took some of my overtime in pay and some in my comp time bank.

I did not need to pay AmEx anything after all; I had transferred the entire balance (I had remembered transferring balance - $100).

Unbudgeted includes a tank of gas for a trip to see my mom, one night hotel stay when a plumbing problem made sleeping in the travel trailer not such a good option, stocking up on a hair product I use called "silk drops", tax prep fee for my son and d-i-l (I just paid it, didnt even tell them), and some medical supplies from the pharmacy.

My car registration was due ($275) but I dont count that as it was paid from a sinking fund.

Waiting To See

March 31st, 2018 at 11:43 am

I am using the computer in the library of my little town. It's a bit noisy today, as there is an Easter egg hunt underway. The level of cuteness is high. Smile

I am really uncertain how to plan my April budget. I suppose I should plan to receive no rent and pull from savings, and then if I do receive rent it will be a happy surprise. I have mailed some deposit slips for my Wells Fargo savings account to the tenant, so will be checking my phone app instead of the mail to see if I have been graced with rent money.

I have decided that April 10 is my cut-off date, no matter what excuse is offered. I am not going to attempt an eviction from 3 hours away. I have a particular attorney in mind who has handled many evictions and other landlord-tenant disputes for clients (at my old job) who have rental properties. I may have to take a half day off work to meet with and retain him, but he should be able to handle everything from there.

An eviction and then listing the house for sale will almost certainly mean more debt. However, I am fairly certain the house will sell quickly as the market is hot and it is an entry-level home. I have enough equity to take care of all my debt and then some. (What a pleasant change from when I started this blog in Dec 2010 and was upside-down about 80k!) I intend to gift a small but helpful chunk of the "then some" to each child for their Roth IRAs, and invest the rest for myself.

Other than that, life is moving along contentedly. I have reached the point at my new job that I feel very competent, have a large work load, and enjoy my hours at work. I am looking forward to the family cruise that we will be booking soon. It's a lot of money, but I'm doing it anyway, even though I am not entirely sure at this moment how I will be paying.

This coming Thursday is SB's birthday. We have plans Friday evening with friends. The plans include dinner and a night at a local bed-and-breakfast. It should be a lot of fun.