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I asked....and guess what?

September 4th, 2014 at 05:48 pm

I decided to try to negotiate my new salary and was pleasantly surprised when they accepted my request! I asked for $5k more per year. NOW I can say I am super happy with the change. They agreed to keep me in the department I asked for too. Now I am eager to return to work again and focus on the new responsibilities without having to manage a department or people!

The hub and I spent the day looking at woodstoves and kitchen layouts and pricing. It will be tough to stay within budget with so many options- but we will take it slow and make our decisions carefully. It is way too easy to get caught up in the wants rather than staying focused on the needs. Maintaining balance between the two will be key.

We are meeting with the contractor tomorrow afternoon, I am REALLY hoping that his schedule and what we need done will equate to being in the home by Thanksgiving. Now that the ball is rolling, I am motivated to get er done!!

Boomeyers and Buh-bye scary room

September 3rd, 2014 at 09:48 am

Many of you may remember Boomeyers, a fellow blogger, from way back. She and I have been cyber-friends since we started blogging on here and have always talked about visiting one or the other. Well, next month, she is coming to Oregon to visit! I am so excited. I have been lucky to meet several bloggers through the years...from California to New York- and have always felt an immediate sister-hood and friendship. I hope to meet many more of you someday!!

The Scary Room:
I am ashamed to admit that we have a room in the big house that would make the cut for the Hoarders show. We have appropriately called it the 'scary room' for years. The room is actually a one car garage that was converted to a room. Stuff ends up there either as storage, indecisiveness, or just because. It has been the scary room during my son's renting days, my daughters renting days, and now DD3 and her friends renting days.

Two days ago, WE WENT IN....
A few minutes later we WE CAME BACK OUT after we found black widows.

We set off bug bombs and yesterday, we went back in and got about 50% done. 80% went into the 'dump' trailer. The other 20% is either going to goodwill, salvage yard, or back to the owners to deal with. All in all, there was about 2% that was the hubs or mine that will be kept. Mine is my moms depression glass that has been boxed up and a few keepsake toys for the grandkids.

We will finish the scary room today. Then we will move into the storage room that currently has my stuff from the city house...but has also accumulated stuff from DD3 and her friend who are currently renting the big house. It all needs to be organized so that the room can be easier accessed.

After we are done with these two rooms, we are ready to bring in the contractor to get a bid on the work we need/want done.

One thing I have definitely learned over the years is that STUFF is expensive. It costs to acquire, it costs to store, and it will cost to dispose of. How much easier life would be this week without all this STUFF.

Hopefully- Goodwill will benefit from what we can donate and the rest, well an expensive lesson in less is more.

More on my work changes and upcoming remodel!

September 2nd, 2014 at 05:41 pm

I am humbled by the well wishes from everyone regarding my post yesterday. I mentioned changes at work- which is something I have pondered for several months actually, but didn't think Id really do it.

Looking back, opportunities and more responsibility just kept coming at work-and it was flattering to be trusted to take on more and more, my department grew-which meant more people to supervise, but my core job duties still had to get done- only they were multiplied because of our company's growth. Sometime during the past several months, I realized that I wasn't happy. My job became the only thing I had energy to focus on- work crept into lunches then evenings and the past several months, many weekends...dread began to fill my Sunday evenings. At 53 years old, with a family I adore, my focus just seemed backwards. I loved having money to splurge on my family, but money does not replace time to spend with them or energy to enjoy it when I do.

So- I will move into something different in the next few weeks after I get back from vacation. I am very grateful that my job is creating a new position to fit my strengths and my new responsibilities will include things I enjoy doing. I am truly blessed that they are making this such and easy thing emotionally to do. Financially, ouch. My cut will be about $14 an hour...but I will still make what I consider a decent salary and will retain my seniority and vacation time (5 weeks a year)- which is SO important to me. And most important, the workload and management expectations will be reduced.

The weird thing for me is that I have always been climbing...working my way up. Taking a step back is foreign to me, and not something many at my job do- so it will be foreign to others too.

So- what do you do with the budget in order to do this? Thankfully, we don't live paycheck to paycheck. And thankfully, we have paid everything off except our house and the 5th wheel we bought to travel in when we retire.

I wont splurge as much, will reduce the budgets for Christmas, birthdays, vacations, etc. And we will have to be more conscientious about things we do to the big house. We wont cut our 401k contributions and will continue to save what we can for rainy days.

And we will hopefully start to see the benefits of the change in our grocery bill when we don't eat out so much! And then there are the bullets I will dodge in doctor bills by being less stressed.

I haven't updated on little Z (foster child) in a while- his world is so different these days. He is still with his mom and they are living in a homeless mission - although they have to leave there tomorrow-and she has no plan of where to go. She has a new boyfriend that she met in rehab and he has been out of jail for a few weeks now- just long enough that they are pregnant. This will be the 3rd child for each of them (not together-so 6 total) and they do not have custody or support any of them- besides Z- and the state supports Z. Thankfully, she needs lots of breaks and lets us have Z often. It is heartbreaking- I want so badly for her to figure out life but she continues to make really bad decisions.

On a happier note- I am enjoying a staycation this week. We are working on the big house and are getting things cleaned up to start some much needed remodel. THe work will start in October and hopefully will be done enough so that I can move in by Thanksgiving.

Tough few months- But light at the end of the tunnel finally

September 1st, 2014 at 09:09 pm

This has been a tough year with work. Lots of reasons why, but the end result is that I have decided to step down from my position and take a lower paying job where I work. It is a HUGE cut in pay, but I am ready to let go of the stress and accept a job that I can hopefully work until retirement in. I wont have to manage anyone, and I wont be responsible for multiple areas within a department. I am not sure what the new job will entail, but I do know that I will make at least $20k per year less. (ouch). But it is the right thing to do. I am ready to downsize stress. Beyond ready.

So, I am taking a week off- recalculating the budget and preparing things to transition into pre-retirement mode.

In all honesty, I am giddy with relief...while simultaneously worrying about the budget. It works on paper, but....OMG.

New treadmill and the truck vs the elk

July 27th, 2014 at 09:35 am

My son called to tell us that his in-laws are selling their treadmill for $60. They are moving into a smaller home and wont have room for it. I am not sure about the size of their new home, but I have a whopping 390 sq ft. However, I know this is a nice treadmill in good condition AND I am going to Hawaii in 10 months. What to do, what to do? My solution, out with the dining table and chairs, scrunch things up a little more, and in with the treadmill. Big Grin The hub is on his way to pick it up now.

We are getting to have little Z quite a bit- as in several times each week- mom gets overwhelmed and needs breaks - much to our joy!! Z has FINALLY been assigned a CASA worker- thankfully a seasoned one who understands the needs of the child and the pitfalls in the system. He is concerned about some of the decisions that have been made and is concerned about his moms ability to raise him and has requested evalutions. I sure hope Z isn't shipped back out of state to his grandma- he has been moved so many times. We are taking each opportunity to see him and enjoying every moment. He went with us yesterday to the local caves. Unfortunately, he wasn't tall enough to go on the tour, so I spent the afternoon with him while everyone else took the tour. I took Z for an ice cream, we went 'exploring', took lots of pictures and had a great time. He was none the wiser that he had missed out on any fun. And I loved every second!

My sons business is doing great this summer and he is slowly starting to pay us back- not much, but what they can- and it is nice to see the flow of funds reversing. I am so proud of him for working so hard to make his dream successful.

We were supposed to be camping this weekend. Unfortunately, on the way home from picking her dad up from the airport, DD3 and the hub hit an elk. Thankfully, they weren't hurt- the elk and the truck not so lucky. The truck is in the shop. Damage was about $2600- my surprise was that our deductible was only $60. Umm...I guess that's good this time, but I will certainly be raising that - as I am sure our premiums are reflective of such a small deductible. wow.

My oldest grandson, 10, spent the night with us last night- he is curious about ancestry- so we have spent the morning talking about our relatives. He was surprised to see a picture of my paternal grandfather and to realize his great grandfather was full-blooded Cherokee, which means GS is part Cherokee too! Fun times

One year in the little house!

May 31st, 2014 at 09:50 pm

Today was a productive, busy day.

DD1 asked if I could watch her kiddos (and 'grandpa')this morning while she did photography at a wedding. DD1 lives in my house in town- with the kitchen I love...so I happily agreed. I took advantage of the time there to make a big batch of ronza's. My parents used to make these years ago, and I LOVE them. I just don't have the kitchen to make them here in the little house. The kiddos were great..as was grandpa. I spent about $21 for the supplies to make a batch of 36. Ronzas are little bread pockets filled with seasoned meat, onion and I use sauerkraut, but many recipes call for cabbage. We eat these hot with mustard...yum.

Then, I had to go by work and get some work done on a project that is due tomorrow afternoon. I didn't finish, so I will have to work again tomorrow. I am really thankful that vacation starts next weekend. These deadlines are wearing me out.

Tomorrow, I will get up early and head off to work- hopefully finish by noon and then get groceries and head home to clean and do laundry. I am exempt, so I don't get overtime, but I also wont have to take time out of my PTO for last Tuesday when I was sick, since I have made the 8 hours back up this week with all this overtime.

I have now been in the little house for a full year. In some ways that's hard to believe, in others it feels much longer. I am still up in the air about what to do. When a decision impacts others, it is harder to make. I guess indecision is, in a way, in a decision in itself.


May 30th, 2014 at 07:24 pm

Todays balance is ZERO!!!!!

Years in the making- a lifetime of bad decisions, over indulgences, 1 step forward 2-3 steps back...

But today, 5-30-14...we are officially credit card debt FREE.

We have paid off 401k loans, car and truck loans, and now this.

We still owe two mortgages and have a loan for our 5th wheel...but that's it!!!


I actually worked 12 hours today and didn't really get a chance to happy dance until now- but what better place to do so than here with my frugal friends!

One more week!

May 23rd, 2014 at 08:18 pm

Anyone else excited about a three day weekend? I sure am!

If all goes as planned...in ONE WEEK, I will get to post that we are CC debt free! We have stayed uber focused since the first of the year on paying off the last of a massive debt that we'd accumulated over many years. About 2.5 years ago, we got really serious about facing the numbers and paying things off. We had several credit cards, 401k loans, and a car payment. We have paid off the 401k, car and all but the largest cc by the first of this year. We started the year with a $25,000 balance and we are down to $2499. To say I am excited is a real understatement. It is an incredible feeling when you think something is insurmountable...but then conquer it after lots of hard work!

This weekend my son turns 30. I will get to see all the kids and grandkids on Sunday- we haven't all been together since Christmas, so I am looking forward to it! The kids are all going camping. I am opting just to visit the campground for a day- which will be just perfect for gramma!

And in two weeks, I have a week off! Ive had a day or two here and there this year, but not a full week since last November, so I am really ready for the time off. Vacation plans are working on the country house and then heading over to the coast for 4 days with the 5th wheel.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Life is good!

Low key weekend and Hawaii in my future!!

May 18th, 2014 at 06:54 pm

This weekend was a NICE low key weekend, mostly spent at home catching up. Laundry, cleaning, reading, budget, and planning. I did go to town yesterday for a little while to go to the library and then stop for lunch $8.25. That is my only expense this weekend.

I got a couple of books on disc for the commute to and from work and checked out a few books. I sure love the library.

I got my laundry caught up- and hung most of it on the line to dry. My last load is still drying in a cool breeze tonight. I am not sure if it will dry before dark or not. But I am giving it my best shot.

We (the hub and I and a couple of friends) have decided to plan a trip to Oahu next May. we have all always wanted to go to Hawaii- and we decided planning a year in advance would give us time to save, look for deals and prepare. Since the hub flies so often, we can probably pay for our flight in miles. We are taking small camping vacations this year, so a nice 'big' vacation next year will be something to really look forward to. We chose Oahu because everyone wants to see Pearl Harbor. Im pretty excited!

I made a nice big pot of soup for this week using some leftover chicken that I bbq'd a few nights ago. I have enough soup to make 3-4 meals.

DD3s friend stopped by to pay her rent and mentioned that she is looking for a new place to live. I am sad to see her having to find something for her and her two little ones on her budget; the neighborhoods that she is considering are known for having a higher crime rate- I sure hope she keeps looking until she finds something safer. But I know rent is expensive, especially for a single mom. She is looking for subsidized options or low income housing, but there are many people on the wait lists.

The week ahead is busy one, so I am glad there was down time this weekend!

My author info disappeared!

May 14th, 2014 at 09:15 pm

I am not sure what I did, but I tried to update my sidebar, and the Author info disappeared, and now I cant get it to save my update.


If I could update it...I would add that we are now at $4999 on that last cc. We have paid $19,000 so far this year!! WOW. We will have the last of this drasted debt paid in full by July!!

We took our 5th wheel out on our first camping trip this past weekend. We stayed at a beautiful campground about an hour from home- it is my happy place, right on the river surrounded by tall pines. There were only a couple of other campers in the campsite, none anywhere near us. It was so fun to have the place basically to ourselves. And at $20 a night it was really inexpensive.

The hub headed back to Alaska today. He will be home in three weeks.

After much debate, we decided that we will fix the country house and live out here. DD3 will move into the little house and her friend will be looking for a different place to live. Looking Forward made a suggestion that we hadn't thought of, which was to have the friend live in the little house, but with baby #2 coming, she didn't want to...so that sealed the decision, and she is going to move back home with her parents. DD3 is actually excited about simple living in the little house. She thinks it will be perfect. And I am REALLY ready to have a normal size bath room, a spacious kitchen and my washer and dryer in the same house where I live.

Now that the decision is made, I am eager to get started on the repairs!

10 months in the little house!

April 25th, 2014 at 08:13 pm

I LOVE bbq'd food. Steak, chicken, corn, potatoes, asparagus..if it cooks on a grill, I generally enjoy it- but I usually only get bbq when the hub is home from Alaska- because I never learned to bbq myself.

I am learning how to bbq in the hubs absence- and Im pleasantly surprised to realize I CAN DO THIS.

I grilled chicken last week, and steak and potatoes tonight. So far, REALLY GOOD. I miss having my big kitchen- so this is a nice treat. And its not all that hard- just knowing when the coals are ready and how long to wait before turning the meat and when to take it off the grill.

Speaking of missing my kitchen, it is hard to believe that I have been in the little house (390 sq ft) for almost a year. WOW. Funny thing is, I have almost forgotten what is in all the storage boxes- all the 'stuff' that wouldn't fit in this space- stuff that I once thought I really needed, but have learned, I don't- that I can do well with just 6-7 options for work clothes and 3-4 options for non-work clothes. I am able to do laundry once a week, generally in 2 loads, unless I am doing all the bedding. A few pots, pans, cups, plates.

I don't shop much these days. There is literally NO WHERE to put any new purchases. I am constantly weeding more out- so bringing anything new in is just counter-productive.

But after a year, I am struggling with whether to stay in the little house or find a bigger option. Warmer weather is coming, which means outdoor space to augment the small living space is soon an option. But as I mentioned earlier in this post, I miss having a spacious kitchen. And I am tired of fighting the handicapped bar for space in the shower every morning. (the handicapped bar was installed by the factory that made this little house, so removing it isn't an easy option.)

So, what options do I have.

Well, the house in town is still occupied by DD1 and her family, who are very happy there. They pay rent that covers most of the house payment and hope to eventually buy it.

The house in the country is occupied by DD3 and her friend. The friend just found out that she is expecting. They love living out in the country, and enjoy the reduced rent. (Rent is reduced because the house needs a few repairs, and they take care of the hubs dogs)

Which leaves me either displacing one of the content kids, staying in the small house or renting a bigger place. I look at options daily and have yet to find anything that is bigger, in a good location, for a reasonable price.

What to do, what to do.

GUESS WHAT? Lil Z is coming back!!!!

April 4th, 2014 at 04:53 pm

We learned today that lil Z is coming back to Oregon! The state is going to try placing him with bio parents- splitting the time with each about 50% of the time.

Mom is in a secured rehab program and dad has passed all recent drug tests, so the state wants to try the placement. It is shaky at best, but it does mean that lil Z will be here locally and that (hopefully) we can have visits with him! He left in November, so its been almost 5 months. I am cautiously optimistic that this will end up being at least semi-permanent for him. (He will be in the area for 18 months while mom is in the secure rehab.)

He arrives in 5 days and dad has stated he is open to letting us see/spend time with Z during his 50%. Not sure if mom will be or not yet. In any case, Gramma is offering free babysitting anytime I can!!!

Another Tax day surprise- and not a good one.

April 4th, 2014 at 04:43 pm

Last year we got hit fairly hard with state taxes and paid a hefty amount, plus paid quarterly taxes all year. Unfortuately, it wasnt quite enough and we are sending an extra $3k for last year and an extra $700 on top of the $1600 we were paying for quarterly taxes (now- $2300 quarterly).

Sadly, this hits before I rebuilt the emergency fund so our only option is the CC- which brings the balance to just over $14k and sets our payoff date back several months.


The aheader we go...the behinder we get.

Time to head back to the budget and see what I can shave and determine a new payoff date.

Balance under $10k

March 17th, 2014 at 04:18 pm

I paid $1501 today to get the balance on that final CC debt to $9999. We have paid $14,001 since the beginning of the year! I am so excited to have this bill PIF!

This past month has been a busy one, so not much time to blog- but we are making progress. The hub comes back on Friday- He received a 5% raise this year, so that definately helps- especially since they have limited the amount of overtime the employees are getting this year.

More later..just wanted to document the milestone! Yippee!

Meal and house plans

February 23rd, 2014 at 10:05 am

The hub is back in Alaska for the next month.

Since I am feeding just me, I have planned simple meals for the next week. I put the makings for split pea soup in the slow cooker this morning, will make a big batch of oatmeal today and am going to cook up some chicken for chicken and quinoa. These will make up breakfast, lunches and dinners for the week. Big Grin

My three oldest kids recently lost their paternal grandma (my ex-mother in law). She was a nice lady who was extremely frugal her whole life. She saved a nice nest egg, only to have her two primary heirs (her son and her brother) fight over everything while she was spending her last days here. Thank goodness the kids were there with her to keep it out of her hospital room as much as possible...and shame on both of them. I am so proud of my kids for making their grandmas final days as peaceful as possible, and to show her that there were at least three people who loved HER and not her money and possessions.

It just drives home the point to have that will and/or trust and make sure you write down what you want (funeral, cremation, services or no) after you go. SOOOO important for those left behind.

The hub and I are making good progress on our financial goals. Unfortunately, there have been some emergencies with a couple of the kids that have really drained the savings. Frown Bank of mom and dad must close, but we have a tough time saying know when it will impact the grandkids. But the hole must be plugged. I am at a point where we have helped, but any more will be enabling. (If I were objective, Id probably say we passed that point a while back- but at least we are drawing a line in the sand now)

I'm about to start my NINTH month in the little house. Thankfully, the weather is starting to warm a little and spring is coming. Spring and fall are my favorite times of the year, and living in the country just makes those seasons more enjoyable. There is an old wooden planter on the side of this house that promises to burst with tulips in a few weeks. The wonderful thing is that my dad planted these tulips years ago, so for me, those flowers are a continuing gift from him. In his younger years, my dad was a burly truck driver but in his older years he softened and loved planting flowers and feeding the squirrels and birds out here.

We will be making repairs and remodeling the big house this spring and summer. I will move into it when it is done and make a final decision as to whether to stay out here or not after next winter. Whether we stay or not, the work must be done.

So, it is a wonderful sunny day today, one that will be filled with cooking, laundry and cleaning. The type of Sunday 'putzing' that I love. I hope everyone has an equally beautiful day!

Concert cancelled and no luck with cell phone plan

February 14th, 2014 at 08:01 pm

The LeAnn Rimes concert was cancelled- reason, east coast weather and cancelled flights. So, we opted to just stay home- the change in plans and refund on tickets saved us about $500 for the weekend, which was fine with me!!

We stopped by the store for our cell phone provider and had no luck with any change in plans to shave $$ off the expense. My job refunds me $90 a month for having a smart phone, so our plan isn't too bad. Our contract is up in December, so I will make a note to recheck then.

I made caprese on sourdough toast for my dinner tonight and the hub had leftover Chinese that he had a few days ago, making for an inexpensive Valentine's dinner...but even more important, we avoided all the crowds.

I am starting my 9th month in the little house. I bought a little toaster oven a couple of months ago ($40) which has come in really handy. I can toast, bake, broil, etc. Between that, my crockpot, microwave, electric skillet, and rice cooker, I can cook everything using electricity and save my propane for heat. Doing this, I can make it almost a month on two 13 gallon propane tanks.

We will most likely move into the bigger house here in the country this summer and save the little house for visitors. I have a few more months to make up my mind. Living in the small space works for me, but I would like more room for the grandkids when they visit. Plus having the washer and dryer in the house where I live and not having to lug it up and down to the other house, is a convenience I enjoy, especially when it is raining/snowing. That alone could be the deciding factor!

Happy Valentines Day!

February 14th, 2014 at 10:06 am

Happy Valentines Day!

I am on vacation today and Monday is a holiday, so a nice 4 day weekend ahead. This is the hubs last weekend home for a month, so it will be nice to be off. We are going to a LeAnn Rimes concert tonight. The hub is the fan, this is his Valentines gift from me.

This is my last vacation time for a while. Work is so busy I really cant afford anymore time away for a while.

Speaking of work, I am all moved into my new workspace. It is so different working in a cubicle instead of an office. I can hear everything everyone says and vis-versa. Our team will be in this space for the next year or so, so plenty of time to get used to it.

I am so excited about the progress we are making on paying off the last CC debt. If all goes as planned we will have it paid off in about two months!!

Financially, my focus right now is doing my due diligence on things like insurance and cell phone bills to determine if we can shave anything off those expenses and paying off the debt. Otherwise, things are all budgeted and fairly predictable each month. In a couple of months it will get more fun because 'extra' income will go towards savings! Cant wait!

Feb- challenging some bills

February 10th, 2014 at 06:22 pm

Today was a vacation day. The end of a fun 4 day weekend. We arrived home from our mini-trip, unloaded and I got organized for the week ahead.

I carved out time to call our tv provider to cancel a service which was no longer in the free trial. That will save us $48 per month! In addition, we were overdue for a free upgrade on our system boxes, and so I took advantage of those.

Next challenge is our vehicle and homeowners insurance policies. I have a feeling we are overpaying at least the vehicle insurance policies.

And the last challenge this month is reviewing our cell phone plan.

Hopefully, this time investment will add up to some nice savings!

Would you leave a tip?

February 9th, 2014 at 08:19 pm

The hub and I are enjoying a get away this weekend. We are staying in a rental house in a resort area that we like to visit. We have rented with this company several times over the years. I always visit in the low season, so that we can rent two nights and get the third night free. We also have to pay a cleaning fee each time we stay. There is no daily maid service like at a hotel. The cleaning fee is to take care of cleaning the house after we leave. However, before we go, we are supposed to load and start the dishwasher, start a load of laundry, empty all the trash cans into the outside containers, etc.

When we arrived this time, there was a nice little postcard with the housecleaners picture and profile and an envelope. I assume for a tip? But Im perplexed, because, in addition to paying for the rental, we also pay a separate cleaning fee.

I can understand a tip at a hotel when someone tidies everyday and you don't pay a fee specifically for cleaning, but this seems ridiculous.

What would you do?

We have had a wonderful weekend. It snowed like crazy, and we got to sit in the hot tub and watch it snow. Of course, we FROZE when we had to get out. My shoes were totally covered with snow and so I walked (ran screaming) through the snow barefoot to get to the door. Brr...

I was able to pay $3000 more on the credit card because of budget and a bonus at work. We are totally on track to pay this last bill off by the end of April (yay).

Money Vultures....aka heirs

January 27th, 2014 at 04:59 pm

I paid $3874 towards the last CC today, leaving a balance of $20126. I am so excited to have that puppy PAID IN FULL. But we are still many paydays away from that goal.

My son is visiting and getting some repairs done at the country house. He and his family rented that house a few years ago and when they left, they left some things in dis-repair. He is here to fix them, which I really, really appreciate.

My ex's mother (grandmother to my 3 older kids) is very sick. She recently had surgery and the doctor slipped during the cauterization and burned a couple of deep holes internally. She is 81 and it's not looking look good for her. It is sad to see how quickly the family vultures started circling both her and her bank accounts. She has always been a VERY frugal woman and I am sure has amassed a sizeable nest egg. Unfortunately, her son (my ex) and her brother are both trying to gain control of her finances- neither with her best intentions in mind. It breaks my heart to see her being hurt by those who supposedly 'love' her, focusing on her money instead of her health and wellbeing. I know this is all too common when it comes to money and heirs. I hope all works out for her. My kids are planning to go visit their gramma once things settle down a little. It sounds like its a pretty hostile situation right now. Frown

Eval and Yellow Belt

January 25th, 2014 at 09:23 am

Happy MLK Day! (Started this post earlier this week)

I am enjoying the day off. I got up early and made a to-do list. I needed to catch up on work, but my work laptop does not play well with my internet here, so I have crossed that item off my list and will just go in to the office early tomorrow. Movin on.

I made a beef roast in the crockpot. It is a good sized roast that should last a few days- I will enjoy roast and potatoes, tacos and beef dip sandwiches the next couple of days. Smile

Today- 1-25-14
I am struggling to finish my posts lately. So much going on- and not enough time to get it all done!

Today DD1, DD3 and I are going to High Tea at my friends tea room. The food is always excellent, we get to try some new teas and there will be a guitarist there playing live music. A couple of hours of relaxing girl time.

Yesterday was payday- my increase in my 401k was included. It is pre-tax, the addition to my 401k was about $70, the hit to my paycheck, $40. My raise will be 4.75%...so I will increase the contributions from 10% to 12%.

I spent most of this past week moving into my new work space. Our department will work at this location for the next year. The location is great, the workspaces are less than desirable. But I am being paid to work where they need me to work, so I am fine with it.

I received my evaluation yesterday and got a very good one. I wasn't sure how the eval would be since I was promoted mid year. Even in the new position, I received good marks. Very nice surprise!

We managed to use our entire annual FSA funds already with the hubs and DD3s dentist expenses- I contribute 1200 a year, and it usually lasts most of the year. Oh well, at least it was there to use!

My oldest grandson (9) started Karate last month and got his yellow belt last night. He did so good during his testing. He asked to spend the night last night, so he is here this morning. I sure enjoy the time with him. I know someday he will have other 'more important' things to do..but for now, it is wonderful that coming to grammas is still a big treat.

2014 off to an expensive start!

January 18th, 2014 at 09:22 pm

While the hub was home, he went to the dentist with a lost filling and ended up needing a root canal and crown. Then, this past week, DD3 started having tooth pain and ended up getting all 4 wisdom teeth pulled. Dentist expenses YTD so far $3800.

Then, long story, but DS and DIL had a major bump in the road and we helped them out with a loan to catch up.

Aside from the dental expenses, I am staying within our budget. At the beginning of next month, we get our annual bonus. This will go straight to the emergency fund.

Z turned 3 this week. It is comforting to see that he is adjusting well in his new home. His bio-dad is still doing all he can to bring him home, but that is totally up to the courts now. I miss him terribly, but am so grateful he is adjusting and happy.

Next week I will be relocating for work. We are moving about two miles from our current offices to an older building and I will move into a cubicle- which is fine- Ive never worked in a cubicle, so I am looking at this as a new experience. We will be there for about a year. I get paid well and will work where-ever they want me to. I am going to look for organizing options for the smaller space. And will focus on downsizing my paper files all week next week as I pack to move.

All in all, life is good. I am enjoying this three day weekend.

2014 is off to a good start!

January 8th, 2014 at 09:34 pm

2014 is off to a great start!

We received the log-in info for the hubs new 401k and the contributions have started! Right now, he is contributing 5% and his employer is matching the 5% (the max match). Whatever we save in this account will augment his pension nicely when he retires.

The hub headed back to Alaska today. We got quite a bit done before he left- primarily moving furniture so that we could deep clean the little house. It is incredible how quickly animal hair accumulates, so I really appreciated the help getting it all cleaned up. We also spent time planning projects here on the country property.

DD1 and her hub have decided they would like to try to buy the city house. They have lived in it the past 8.5 months and have decided it is a good place to raise their kids. The question is, will they be able to buy it. They are looking into their options, and I will wait to see what they come up with.

I learned today that I am getting a $2 an hour raise! This is an annual increase..which amounts to about $350 month or just a little over $4000 this year! I plan to increase my 401k to 10% to absorb it. (One step closer to retirement!!) I made that change to my scheduled contributions tonight!

So all in all, I am pleased so far with the first week of the new year and am hopeful for a wonderful year ahead!