Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Revised Annual Goals

I have revised my 2011 annual goals to 3 main areas that I want to work on.

1.  Have Mortgage under $50,000.  It's currently at almost 56K.  This will really be pushing it.
2.  Keep savings at $30,000.  Our savings is at this point but I need to include it so I just don't rob our savings to accomplish number 1.
3.  Have student loan under $6000.  This will mean paying an extra $200 to it.  This is doable but I really want to do it.

I had made these revised goals last week but I was reading a post over at Rafiki's blog and it reminded me that I should post them.

Down with the Mortgage!!!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Went Shopping for Lil Punk Today

Lil Punk shot up like a weed in the past month.  I had bought a couple of short sleeve shirts on clearance a couple weeks ago but they were the only shirts we had left that fit her.  We went shopping with my mother-in-law today.  We were armed with our coupons.  I ended up spending about $85 but she should be set for the next six to nine months. 

I had bought her a winter jacket/snowpants combo but Y wants me to return it.  It is Columbia and that is a very warm brand.  It is very cold here, sometimes up to 50 to 60 below with the wind chill.  We are outside a lot and I wanted her to have a warm set.  It was $90 for the set.  Y had bought her a pair of snowpants this past summer at a garage sale that fit her.  I guess that I will return the Columbia set that I bought for her and just buy a jacket to go with the snowpants we have. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

My 401K

Yippee!!!  I received my 401K paperwork in the mail today.  I haven't had a chance to go over it but I'm excited.  This is the first 401K that I've ever had.  This is the first employer sponsored retirement plan that I've ever had.  I've mentioned before but I get a 5% match.  I will definitely contribute my 5% to get that match but I'm not sure if I'm going to go over that amount for now. 

Maybe I will start with 5% and plan to bump it up 1% every year.  Does anybody have ideas on increasing your contributions in a painless way?  LOL!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Made a 30K Mortgage Payment

I put $30,000 toward the principle today on our mortgage.  Y and I had talked about putting 43K on it but we decided that might be cutting it too close on our end.  We compromised and I made the payment today online.  That puts our mortgage at about 56K before our payment for October 1.  Now I just need to keep chipping away at it.  56K isn't such a large amount.  I want it gone sooner than later while keeping our savings at a constant.  I personally think that I'm much better in debt paydown mode than saving mode.

I really hope that I don't regret this decision to put so much toward our mortgage instead of keeping it liquid. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Weekend in the Country

Lil' Punk and I went to visit my best friend and her family this weekend.  We had a lovely weekend doing lots of country activities.  Yesterday, we went to her mom's house and rode on a wagon pulled by their horses.  It is an event that is open to the public for $5.  We of course didn't pay because we're almost like family.  Everybody gets to take a wagon ride and pick a pumpkin from their pumpkin patch. 

Last evening, we made salsa.  I'm hoping its good.  We made it last year but it was rather bland.  We wanted more spice and flavor this year without it being too hot.  I think that we succeeded.  We were trying it last night but its always a little different after it sits.

Weekends like this are on the very inexpensive side but are priceless.  Very good times :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Completed 5K Goal

I ran a 5k today which was one of my 2011 goals.  I didn't do great but I did run the entire way through.  I actually placed second for my age group for women.  I was pretty surprised at that.  It was hard, harder than it probably should have been for me.  I'm not sure if it was because I was running faster than I usually do or because it was super windy.  It's often windy here but when I train, I usually try to run into the wind first.  We ran with the wind first and then against it which is way harder in my opinion.  I'm proud of myself that I ran the entire thing. 

I also met Brock Lesnar today.  Awesome!!!!!!!!  He's not as big as he looks on TV but still a big guy.  Anybody else a UFC fan who can appreciate that?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Can We Afford a Second Baby?!?

We are thinking about having another baby.  Lil Punk is 2 now and we think we might be ready.  But can we afford another one?  I know that we can afford the cost of diapers, food, clothing, etc.  The thing that I don't know if we can afford is daycare.  For Lil' Punk, we pay around $500 per month.  Can we really afford $1000 a month in daycare costs?

Should I even be asking this question or should we just go for it and make the finances work later?  I certainly can't put a price of the joy that Lil Punk brings us and we do want another baby.  We do need to be able to afford another child though. 

We could make it work but it would put a lot of things on the back burner, like building a house. 

Are we overthinking this? 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago today I remember turning on the TV in the morning as I was getting ready.  It was between the two planes hitting the World Trade Center.  I watched as the second plane hit the World Trade Center.  I was in shock.  I didn't realize at the time the enormity of what had happened.  I knew that it was bad but not how it would affect thousands of people directly and our country going forward. 

The last ten years have seen our country at war, one after another.  We are fighting an unknown enemy.  We, as Americans, realize that we can easily be attacked and would rather be proactive about it.  We realized who are our friends and who are not.  We have entered into a new realm of military spending. 

The heroes of that day will always be remembered. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Propane Bill

We filled up on propane this summer.  We have a 1000 gallon tank and they are only able to fill 80% of the tank because they need to leave room for expansion.  I called and requested it and that's when the woman at Cenex told me they can only fill that much.  Ok, that's fine.  They actually filled us to only 70%.  That might not sound like that big of a deal but it means that we might have to buy propane in the middle of winter when propane prices are much higher.

For our summer fill, we paid $1.74 per gallon.  During the winter, propane can go as high as $3 per gallon but around the $2.50 mark is pretty common.  I just got the bill for $1070 that is due in about a week.  I will definitely need to transfer money out of savings to get that paid.  It's expensive to live in the country where natural gas isn't available. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Paying off Our Mortgage

Y and I had a heart to heart last night about our finances and wanting to build our house.  We have about 61K that is liquid cash as of right now.  We agreed that we would put 43K down on our mortgage.  The current balance is just over 86K so that will pay it in half.

We decided that we've gotten too used to having a big safety net and our spending has increased accordingly.  That's not what we want because we really want to build our house in the spring of 2013.  We need to pay off our mortgage because we will have to refinance anyway and get a construction loan to build.  Our original plan was to keep our mortgage and increase our cash so Y could build most of the house himself.  We decided to just hire it done and get a construction loan.  That way it is done in a timely manner and we don't need to stress about building it.  I think that this way will be much better for our marriage :)

It's a little nerve-wracking to decrease our savings by so much but we need to cut our spending and I think that having a goal of paying off our mortgage ASAP will do it. 

I haven't made the huge payment yet.  I decided to wait a few days to think on our decision.  Also, I need to move the money out of ING and that will take a few days.

Any thoughts?