Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Out Of Sorts

We moved this weekend and last night was our first in our new place.  I feel out of sorts in it.  I guess that its not really home and its only for a couple months so there's no point in getting too comfy. 

We spent a lot of money moving.  We spent a lot of money on eating out.  Storage bins were another expense.  Of course, there was gas money.  Also, we did have to put a $100 deposit down for this place.

To top it off, I realized today that I made my car payment twice this month.  I wasn't sure if I had made it so I made it again and they both posted today.  Oh well but it would have been nice to keep the cash for other expenses.

I also took a little bit of time to reflect on loved ones that are gone this weekend.  My best friend died in a car accident 8 years ago.  She would have been 31 last Friday.  I still miss her so much.  We are all so lucky to have another day.

On a brighter note, Happy Summer!  It's finally here!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

We Have a Place to Live Finally!

We need to be out of our house by Sunday so it can be moved.  We didn't find a place a minute too soon.  We are going to be renting an apartment from the college where Y works.  It will be $446 per month plus electricity.

The other guy finally called me back yesterday and we could have gotten that place for $350 per month but it didn't have any air conditioning.  Y will be putting in long hours on our house doing the mechanical (heating and air conditioning system) and plumbing.  I didn't think it was fair to him to be coming home to no AC and he really wanted AC so we went with the place that was almost $100 more per month.  I know that its $300 more over the course of 3 months but it was worth it to us.  Plus, its also in a better neighborhood with a park right behind it for Lil Punk.

How much is AC worth to you?  Would you pay the extra $100 per month to have AC in the summer? 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Realtor: Real Job or Phoney?

I work closely with many realtors.  I have great respect for a few but I think that most could really careless about anything but their paycheck at the end. 

I have not had good experience with realtors that we've used.  The first one kept trying to get us to buy a twinhome and we told him numerous times that we didn't want it.   He always talked to Y and competely ignored me except when there was a big bathtub.  Then he would make a comment about how I would fit in that tub.  Um, I'm 130 pounds.  Whatever!

The second realtor that we used did not go to bat for us when there was an acreage discrepency.  She was very nice but just thought we should accept that we were getting over 2 acres less for the same price because it was still a good deal.  It is about $5000 per acre for farmland here.  Why should we just accept a $10,000 reduction in the asset that we are buying?  We finally did get $6000 off and a riding lawn mower when Y met face-to-face with the seller.  Our realtor and his realtor couldn't work it out when it only took 10 minutes of Y talking to the seller to get it all figured out. 

What prompted this post was a realtor this week.  She steered a young couple toward a mobile home in a very bad area that she had listed.  Now she is supposed to be working for the buyers but she is looking out for her best interests.  In no way can you convince me that buying a double-wide in a crappy neighborhood is the best way for a young couple to spend their money.

I think that there should be only listing realtors and only selling realtors.  I don't think that a realtor should be able to list and sell properties.  That way they would be forced to look for the best interests of their clients.  Does anybody else agree with this?

Do you think that being a realtor is a respectable job or that its the job for the phoney?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sold Our Appliances!

We sold our fridge, built-in microwave, stove, washer and dryer to the guy who is taking our house for $1300.  We kind of wanted to keep the fridge and stove to have a beer fridge in the garage and a canning stove but we want the money to buy new appliances.  $1300 won't pay for all the new ones but it will put a nice dent in them. 

I'm a little bummed about parting with the stove because I will have a glass top one and you can't can on them because it's too heavy.  I will have to figure out a different option for canning. 

We're still in our house but only have our essentials including mattresses, boxsprings, clothes and a few dishes and pots and pans.  This is becoming much more real. 

Did I mention that I cannot stand moving?  Does anybody actually like moving?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Appraisal is Back!!!

We got our appraisal back today and it came it at $265,000.  That means that we're able to build.  We will need to come in with an additional $8000.  That's fine.  We have that in savings right now.  Our savings currently sit at about $19,000 which needs to include the $8000 and closing costs.

I'm so freakin' happy.  Our dream is going to become a reality!  Yay!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Payday! Payday!!!

Today is mine and Y's payday!  I have always loved my paydays.  It's such a good feeling all day long.  Today is my commission check too so its a big one.  I am also paid out today for my small quarterly bonus.  My bonus was $445 after taxes.  Not too much but better than nothing.  My commission check was a big one, about $5500.

I transferred $5500 into savings today.  We need the money in savings to pay for our house.  We're still waiting on the appraisal and hoping that it comes in where we need it to be.

I also talked to the county tax assessor today and he is going to send me the paperwork to apply for the property tax exemption on our house.  The first $150,000 is tax exempt for 2 years so it will be in affect for 2013 and 2014.  That will be very nice. 

In other unrelated news, my co-worker announced yesterday that she is expecting.  I'm very happy for her and I think I'm ready to go down that path again.  I'm leaning toward getting pregnant this fall.  We'll see how that goes...

Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Found a Temporary Place to Live

I called a guy I had talked to a few weeks ago about renting a newly renovated apartment for a couple months and he said that we could.  He said that he would have one ready in about a week or so.  I asked him about price and he said about $300-350 per month.  Yahooo! 

Also, the guy who wanted our house flaked out today.  We always told him that June 1st was the deadline and he couldn't make it happen because he farted around too long.  Luckily, we have a back up guy who said he would take our house.

Do you think that $300-350 is a good price to pay for a temporary apartment?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Preparing to Move & Friends Reactions to Building

We're in the process of moving all of our stuff into our barn and detached garage.  We don't have a place to live yet but we will need to get that lined up next week.  We completely cleaned our garage today and I'm so tired.  We have a lot of stuff! 

Last weekend, I went to the Parade of Homes with a friend of mine.  The Parade of Homes is several new homes that you can tour.  She kept giving me suggestions on what I had to do for our new home.  It wasn't very nice the way she kept doing it.  She wanted to see my house plans and I purposefully forgot them because I don't want her criticism.  She always has something to say about what we do.  I just wish she could be happy for us. 

It seems like many of our friends aren't very happy that we're building our house.  Maybe about half are happy for us and excited.  The others keep saying how hard it will be and blah, blah, blah. 

Does anybody else have friends or family like this?  Please just be happy for us and support our decision. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

My Best Hobby Ever: My Garden!

This is the second year that I've had a garden and I love it!  I learned many mistakes from my garden last year that I'm trying to learn from.  I had a really big garden last year, about 80 x 40.  It was way too big to weed and properly take care of.  I didn't spray my garden with Round Up before I started so I had a massive weed and grass problem.

This year, I have a much smaller garden, 20 x 40, and I sprayed it so hopefully the grass will be better managed.  I did have to do a new space this year too, because there was too many mosquitoes last year where it was.  I couldn't even be out there in the evening with Lil Punk because we got eaten alive.

I'm planting corn, green beans, peas, lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, hot peppers, bell peppers, pumpkins, cucumbers, yellow squash, radicchio, okra, beets, turnips and onions.  Oh my goodness, I'm going to be so busy and I love it.  I might have even missed a couple veggies.  I just love growing my own fresh food.

Do you have a garden?  What do you plant?  Did I miss anything?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Construction Process Update

Our appraisal has been ordered.  Of course I know all the appraisers in my town.  I'm very hopeful for a good number, thinking $280,000.  I need to e-mail him specs and set up an appointment to come see our place. 

Our hopeful date to close on the construction loan is June 1st if all goes well.  We will need to move prior to that and have our double wide moved as well.  We don't actually have a place lined up to move to.  Yikes!

The bank has pretty much everything that they need.  We still need to get them Y's paystubs and a couple other minor things.

Lil Punk was home sick today.  Poor little girl had pink eye.  I felt so bad this morning when I went to wake her up and her eyes were so crusted over that she couldn't even open them. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I Spend Less on Alcohol!!

I was thinking about my post yesterday and I realized that there is one area that I spend far less on.  I can't even imagine how much money I used to spend at the bar.  A typical night was $30-40 and I usually went out 4-5 nights per week.  Yes, that's a lot of money.  Sometimes, I would only have a couple drinks and it would be under $20 but sometimes I would want to have fun and do shots and I would spend $80-100. 

Is it any wonder that my best friend is now sober and an addiction counseler?  Yes, I abused alcohol.  I can't even fathom how much money I would have if I would have invested all that money.  However, to be realistic, I needed to be wild and have fun when I was younger.  I never wanted to have kids and regret the time that I would be spending at home with them.  I partied so much when I was younger that I truly got it out of my system. 

Do you spend less on alcohol now than you did previously? 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lifestyle Inflation: Guilty!!

I was at my friend's house today and she had a Mary Kay book.  I started browsing through it and thought of how much I would like quite a bit of the different make-up.  She asked me if I wanted to order anything (casually, she wasn't pushing).  I realized then that I can't buy anything because we've cut our spending and are saving all the money we can for our house. 

I realized that we're completely guilty of lifestyle inflation.  Slowly but surely our standard of living crept up to meet our income.  We still saved money and paid down debt but we spent more money than when Y was a private in the army and I was a student waitressing part-time.  We used to second guess every purchase and rarely went out to eat. 

Before the last couple months, we went to the store when we needed something and just randomly picked up everything we needed wanted.  I always bought soda as soon as we ran out.  If I forgot my lunch, I went out to eat.  When I wanted new clothes for myself of Lil Punk, I went shopping and hoped that there might be sales. 

It is so easy to experience lifestyle inflation.  When you're in school and not making much money, you always look forward to the time when you can buy what you want.  Our friends subsequently made more money and we would do things together that cost more money.  I don't doubt that we will go back to where we were before we had to madly save for this house.

Have you experienced lifesyle inflation?  Where do you notice it the most?