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Archive for December, 2013

Final post for 2013

December 31st, 2013 at 08:15 pm

Im so ready to dust my hands of 2013 and get on with the new year!

2013 was a year of financial success, in that I was promoted at work, we paid off massive debt and boosted retirement savings.

But emotionally, it was a train wreck kindof year. A painful test of the marriage - ugh, and our loss of little Z (foster child who was placed with bio-gma after 2.5 years with DD2).

I moved out of my city home and into a 390 sq ft country home- (and am now on month #8!) Small space living has its benefits, but country living on a well has proven to be more stressful than I imagined, especially this past month with the frozen pipes. I am still undecided if I will continue here after the year is up or not.

Ready to put the year behind me, and focus on the excitement of, with the exception of the houses and 5th wheel, being completely debt free. Smile And REALLY heading towards retirement goals.

Personally, I have set goals to misplace 5 lbs per month- somewhere other than my waist and hips Smile and to carve out time one weekend a month for me.

Well, here's to a Happy New Year to all!

Our 2013 numbers

December 28th, 2013 at 10:49 pm

The hub is home from Alaska. Yesterday, the poor guy slept almost all afternoon, evening and night. He has been working crazy long hours- then got stuck in Seattle on the way home because of fog, and ended up sleeping in the airport. Needless to say, by the time he got home he was exhausted.

Unfortunately, this morning he was heading outside and slipped on the top step off the porch and landed on his back against one of the steps. OUCH. He took a muscle relaxer and pain pill..and has been out most of the day again today.

Since I've had quite a bit of free time, I decided to crunch numbers to see how we did this past year.

We started 2013 with a staggering $63,226 of debt ( not including the houses). We ended the year with $24,000- which means we paid off $39,226 or 62%. WOW. We anticipate paying the remaining $24,000 by May.

My retirement fund has done well this past year. At the beginning of the year the value- $71,519 and it has grown to $112,886- a $41367 increase!

The value of our homes has increased a combined $32,600. We owe appx $410k on the two homes, their value is appx $445k. A nice increase from where we bottomed out the past couple years (we were seriously in the red for a while). At least we are back in the black on paper on these homes.

I feel like we are finally making strides towards paying everything off and eventually retiring. That is, if I can keep the hub on his feet. Smile

Im looking forward to setting our goals for 2014. I expect a fairly nice annual pay increase in February- which will be split between increasing the mortgage payments and the 401k contributions.

Merry Christmas from Oregon

December 25th, 2013 at 09:31 pm

The past couple of weeks have been busy ones, so I haven't had much time to blog.

We had a nice Christmas- we actually had our gift exchange last weekend while DS and his family were here. To add some fun and bonding time to their visit, I put together a road rally- everyone was assigned a team and off they went. They had challenges, bonus points, and a time-limit. And they had a blast. Young and old loved finding Santas, handing out candy canes to strangers, drinking hot cocoa, etc. This may become an annual tradition.

Today, DD1 and SIL hosted dinner. SIL made a prime-rib (his first attempt) and it turned out wonderful.

I work tomorrow and then have six days off. The hub will get home early Friday morning after being gone almost 5 weeks- so I am taking a few days off to ring in the New Year with him.

I love setting goals for the new year. I spent some time today thinking of things I would like to accomplish next year- family, personal, work and financial. I am eager to firm up the goals and get them in writing. More on this in a few days.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday!

Water woes and a road rally!

December 14th, 2013 at 09:57 pm

Still, no water. Frown My SILs are here working in freezing weather. So far we have breaks in the well house, the big house, under the little house, and just now a pipe went in a wall inside the big house. Will this ever end? The local hardware stores are going through inventory like crazy. Thankfully, they still have supplies on hand. Total cost is approaching $600 and that only covers supplies. The boys wont ask for pay, but I will make sure this has been worth their time away from their families.

Since my kids cant all be together on Christmas day, we are planning our family celebration on the Sunday before. And since everything will be open for business that day, I am considering an "amazing race" type car rally for everyone. Of course my reason for this is to get them out of the house so that I can set up the real gifts. But I also think it will be great fun.

We paid off one more credit card and are finally, down to our last debt aside from the houses and 5th wheel! Yay! Of course, all the new house repairs this week will impact our ability to repay the last debt...but I am still committed to having it paid by May!

Update: Water is again working at the little house! Yay!

Frozen pipes and couch surfing

December 13th, 2013 at 08:11 pm

Last weekend we had a nasty storm pass and it left in its wake lots of snow and the pipes to both houses frozen. Solid. They are starting to thaw, but as they thaw, many are broken. We lost the main pump, the main pipes, and today, two more pipes. And the little house pipes are still frozen. We kept the water turned on before the storm, but it dropped to 4 degrees and our houses just weren't winterized for the extreme weather.

I have spent this last week sleeping on DD2s couch. I have really enjoyed the time with her, but I am really ready to be back to 'normal'.

So far, the cost of the pump and broken pipes is about $500. Hopefully tomorrow, we will know the final cost after the water is working again. Smile (please let the water be working again..)

I hope to finish Christmas prep this weekend. I am woefully behind- but have a plan, so I should finish up this weekend.

Its been a very busy couple of weeks.