Thursday, August 25, 2016

To College Save or Not

Thus far, I haven't saved any money for my kids' college education.  I have not because I don't want to save in a 529 plan and then my kids not go to college.  This is a real fear of mine.  Oh yeah, Y doesn't want to pay for college but I do.  He thinks that kids who are handed college don't try or focus as hard.  I paid my own way through college and graduated in 4 years.  I have no idea what I would have done if I would have had help or any parental pressure.

I have thought about starting a 529 plan for my kids.  If neither one goes to college, we would have to pay income tax on the gain which would not be a big deal because we would pay that on a regular investment.  We would also have to pay a 10% penalty.  This is the biggest risk.

Would you start saving for college if you were me?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Pulled the Trigger

I pulled the trigger today and hired a house cleaner.  It's actually a friend of mine.  I knew that she cleaned a commercial building but I asked her this week if she cleans houses also.  She said she does and offered to give me a reference.  I talked it over with Y and we decided to go for it.  I'm paying her $20 per hour cash.  I don't know how long it will take her so we will see.  She will come over every other week.  I'm so excited.  It does feel odd that somebody will be in my space and cleaning but I look forward to coming home to a spotless house tomorrow.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Menu Plan

My kids are starting to request specific menu items which I love.  Punk requested my mashed potatoes with gravy.  She specified that I must make the gravy.  Today Lil G requested I makes "doodles" when I was talking about what to make so I will make noodles this week.

Monday--beef stroganoff
Tuesday--pork ribs in the crock pot with corn on the cob and rice
Wednesday--mini meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy with salad
Thursday--leftovers
Friday--BLT's with tomatoes from our garden with side

We had a very busy week last week with Bible School every evening for Punk.  I had a work event on Wednesday and Y had a work picnic on Thursday.  We went camping this weeknd with friends.  It was so fun but another tiring weekend.

We are doing awesome with our savings goals. I will do another post about that.

Have a great week!!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Happy July Is Over

This month has been a very hard month for me.  I have had so much stress at work and it was so bad that I did not want to cope with it which makes it worse.  I could not be happier that one of my favorite months is put to rest.  It was a good month financially but at a cost I didn't want to give.

We have a fun day planned today.  I'm just hanging out with the kids now.  We're going to a rodeo later so that will be fun.

I'm starting a pantry/freezer challenge.  I'm not going to be focused on eating down the big freezer with all the beef and pork but everything else needs to be eaten.  I hate having old food and I've found that doing a challenge and eating everything is the only way to make sure nothing is old.  My garden is in full swing also so its easy to supplement the pantry and freezer with fresh produce.  I even just got a text from a friend that they have sweet corn ready so we'll be eating plenty of that this month also.

Here is my tentative meal plan .
Today--jumbo shells with ricotta, spinach, ground beef and marinara
Sunday--homemade beef and veggie pot pie
Monday-- veggie and rice stir fry
Tuesday--salmon with pasta and veggie salad
Wednesday--eat out with a work event
Thursday--chili
Friday--?? Leftovers maybe

OK, I type all of this up and then I remember that Punk want to go to vacation Bible school this week which goes from 6-8 Monday thru Thursday.  Hmm...  How am I going to swing that?  Pack a cold dinner and eat at the park between the time I get her and the time I drop her off?  We live too far out of town to pick her up, go home and drive back in time for VBS.  This is life :)

Anybody with me for a pantry challenge in August?


Friday, July 15, 2016

Savings Goals

I have a huge savings goal this year of saving $50,000 but I feel like I'm floundering.  I'm struggling to find motivation and direction.  I talked to Y about it last night and we came up with a new plan to break down our savings goals.  These are the new categories we will be focusing on.

  1. Bring EF up to $10,000, currently at $7000
  2. Save $5500 for Y's Roth 
  3. Save $5500 for my Roth
  4. Save $10,000 for finishing the basement
  5. Save $10,000 to buy dividend stocks

Y is excited that we're putting money away to finish the basement and I'm excited to have some smaller goals that I can focus on.  

Today is our payday so when I get all the bills figured out, I will do some saving!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

2016 Midpoint Checkup

I'm anxiously awaiting 2 more retirement account totals so I can't actually tally that up yet but I know where we're at with the rest.

1.  Non retirement account dividends sit at $564.74 for the year so far.  My goal was $2000 in dividends for the year so I'm way off.  I don't know if I will meet this goal and  okay with that.
2.  I've contributed just over $9100 to my 401k so I'm on track to max it out.  I will have a couple larger paychecks coming up so I should be squared away on this one.
3.  This far, we've saved $14,260.  This brings me way short of saving $50,000 this year and I'm okay with that.  I'm having better work life balance this year and am making less as a result.  I will work on ramping this up in the next couple months.

Overall, I'm happy with where we're at.  I would like to beef up savings bit I always want to do that.  How is your year going?

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Menu recap

This week did not go as planned but we are eating down the freezer.   This is what we actually had:

Monday -- chicken pasta dish from freezer
Tuesday -- vegetation lasagna, Y left work early and had dinner ready when we got home
Wednesday -- eating out, Punk and I went to Valley fair so we ate out on the way back, super fun and her first rollercoaster at age 6!!
Thursday -- Subway and then we went shopping for fireworks
Friday -- frozen pizza.  We had a fireworks party and a friend came over for dinner.  The party was a huge success.  We had 4 families over. We did a ton of kiddie fireworks.  I had ice cream sandwiches and Popsicles as treats.

We're heading to the lake today for a couple days.  It should be fun.  Work has been super busy lately so I need to relax and unwind.  Have a great weekend!!