Friday, February 28, 2014
I'm having trouble remembering how much I've written about S and my plan for him to be a stay at home dad and get back into his pottery studio. We've been kicking around the idea/ hope that we can live mostly off of my salary which would allow him to get back to doing what he loves- making/ selling/ teaching pottery. We've been trying to figure out how to make this happen since before the babies were born but never could come up with a feasible plan that met all our financial goals and obligations if we stayed in the Boston area.
But with this move to Kentucky, we might actually be able to make it work! We've gotten the math to work on paper but we will have to stick to a very skimpy budget until he starts pulling in some money from his art work/ teaching classes. So Goal Number 1 for the remainder of 2014 is to stick with the slimmest budget we've ever had to give S the opportunity to reestablish his pottery studio and be able to stay at home with our boys! (This is a major topic so I'll write more about it later)
Goal Number 2 is to get our emergency fund back up to $1000 by the end of the year. As for our debt, Goal Number 3 is to pay off the remainder of the medical bills ($550), pay off as much remaining credit card debt as possible and to chip away at the rest of the debt with the regular monthly payments for a total debt reduction of $7000.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
With marching orders in hand, I spent the first weekend in February putting together my resume and portfolio of work examples. Over the first week of February, I sent out some e-mails to my friends in the profession and started scouring the job postings. Mid-week a friend from college wrote me back to let me know her company was hiring for their office only an hour or so away from my parent's house! I sent off my stuff and got an immediate call back. A week later I was flying down to interview and now, only 19 days after starting my job search, I have officially accepted a position with them and start on March 17!
My head is still spinning with this sudden change but I have such an optimistic feeling about the move. It seems serendipitous that just when we have reached our breaking point, an opportunity presents itself. The move means we will be within arms reach of my entire family and most of my closest friends, a whole battalion of helping hands for when things get a little too much to handle on our own. The move also means a much cheaper cost of living, and with a comparable salary to what I have now, equates to roughly a 30% raise! Lastly, the move puts me in a job that I believe is much more in line with what I enjoy professionally so I'm hoping there will be a level of job satisfaction I don't currently have.
Fortunately, I did our taxes as early as possible and we have already received our mega return (since we didn't adjust our withholdings after the babies came last year). I had initially thought it would go towards debt, which would have been nice, but now it looks like it will help us make this unexpected transition! So many things to get done in a very short amount of time!
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
- We brought back a washer and dryer from my family when we went to visit them for the holidays (YAY), however the hookups at our rental place, being basically held together with bubble gum and zip ties, all but disintegrated when we tried to uninstall the cruddy old washer and dryer. We have spent the last two weeks replacing the outflow water line when it failed, mopping up the basement when the incoming water line failed, replacing the dryer outlet pipe when that failed, and last but not least, rewiring the dryer plug when the faulty outflow pipe dripped water onto the wiring and caused the wiring to CATCH ON FIRE! All said we spent around $300 hauling and hooking up our "Free" washer and dryer.
- There was a blizzard. Not surprising my work did not get closed. After our street finally got plowed (it's a private street and gets plowed whenever my A-hole landlord decides to call someone to do it), S and I dug out my car. It wouldn't start. So then we dug out his car. I almost got to work before it broke down on the side of the interstate. Accepted a ride from a stranger, which I would never, ever do under normal circumstances but given that it was 7 degrees out and I had no one else that could pick me up including a tow company since they were all busy dealing with the snow emergency. Stranger was nice and took me all the way to work. Finally found a tow truck that came and picked me up and took the car to a shop. S was able to get my car running but it cost us $300 to get his running (tow plus repair).
- And speaking of cars, it turns out the vehicles we purchased from our families for super cheap have not had basic maintenance performed on them, like, ever. One of them is 80k overdue for a timing belt replacement. That's like driving around in a time bomb. And it's going to cost us around $900 to get it fixed.
- Our dental check ups uncovered quite a bit of dental work that needs to be done... pretty much every one of S' old fillings is failing and must be replaced as well as a cavity for me (thanks a lot soda addiction). So far $400 spent and not even half way through the list of tooth repairs.
- Something died in our duct work and every time the heat kicks on the sweet, sweet smell of death gets blasted through the house. Kind of like a the Glade Plug In from Hell. In the course of trying to figure out where the smell was coming from, S went in the attic and discovered that a family of rodents has been using the insulated duct work for bedding. All the duct work going to the bedrooms and bathroom upstairs is full of holes with the babies room being almost completely disconnected. So for who knows how long, we've been pumping a/c and heat into the un-insulated attic. What a complete waste of energy and $$$! At least the landlord sent someone over to fix it this a.m.
- And lastly, the most horrible of all, we finally came to terms with our inability to provide for all of our pets (and babies and us) and decided to find a new home for one of our sweet pups. We had already found great homes for the two lizards and one cat with friends but could not find a home for the high-needs pup. We decided to use a rescue adoption service and this past weekend was the drop-off. I am completely heartbroken, even though I know she will find a great home with a family who can give her what she needs.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
End of 2012:
Student Loan 2 (S' state loan): $21,719
Student Loan 3 (S' fed loan): $5,454
Misc. small debts (S' small debts in collections): $5,443
2012 Total: $76,883
Student Loan 1: $35,230
Student Loan 3: $5,197
Misc. small debts: $4,284
Medical expenses: $700
Which means we exceed my goal by roughly $3,600!!
And to think we started in Oct 2011 with $101,123 in debt!
Which all boils down to $27,834 paid off! We've also been building our emergency savings back up and have $100 in savings plus another $200 put away in a savings account for the boys' education/ braces/ band camps/ tattoo removal or whatever other expenses the future holds for them :)
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Since we're nearing the end of 2013 and I would like to have a complete financial picture heading into the new year, I decided to try and tackle the babies $4,200 hospital bill one more time. After bouncing between the hospital billing department and the babies insurance company I finally had a breakthrough! Someone at the babies' insurance finally took enough time to really look into the claim denial. Apparently my insurance should have covered it due to some state law.
So I called my own insurance back and again lucked into a person who was willing to look a little deeper into why the original claim was denied. Turns out my insurance WILL cover 100% charges! All they need are the babies names from the hospital billing department because right now the claims look like duplicates!
This is fantastic news for our finances and I'm relieved to be close to the end of the hospital bills. Even though the hospital bills are not accruing interest, I think I'm going to pay off the balance with our tax return just to be done with the headache!
Friday, December 6, 2013
Anyways, I had really hoped I could end the year knowing how much I owed for their birth. Is it $500 or is it the full $5000 we've been billed? For now it doesn't really matter what the number is, the medical debt is not our first pay-off priority and we won't be itemizing so there's no tax advantage to paying it off this year. But still, I've developed a certain level of comfort in knowing exactly what my financial picture is over these years of debt reduction... ah well, guess I'll have ring in the New Year with more phone calls to the hospital and insurance company!