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Yet Another Home Repair

February 28th, 2008 at 01:45 pm

2 days ago the motor for our coal stove's exhaust fan seized up. So last night after work DH stopped by to pick up another. Almost $300 later we now have a functioning coal stove again without fear of a houseful of smoke.

I can't complain because it's the first repair we've had for the coal stove, unlike the pellet stove which we've fixed several times and doesn't heat nearly as well.

I'm really glad that we have a house repair fund! Still don't like to spend the money, but that's what it's there for.

Tax Return is Finished

February 20th, 2008 at 11:14 am

Last weekend I worked on ours and the 4 kids' taxes so that we can get our refunds back. Each of the kids, except DD#1 made out well and are getting quite a bit back. DD#1 owes more than her federal return will be because she worked in one state, but lives in another. They didn't withhold enough to cover her home state tax and didn't take her 1% wage tax out at all. Of all the kids, she's the one that needs money the most!

We aren't getting nearly as much back this year because we could only claim 2 of the kids for the credit and we aren't getting the Hope credit this year. But that's okay. That's the reason we changed DH's withholding, so that we got more money through the year. What we are getting back will most likely be saved for a new roof.

Reapplied for Term Life Insurance

February 1st, 2008 at 12:53 am

I decided to reapply for term life insurance again. You may remember that I was rejected last year because of my blood pressure and the cyst they found in my brain. Since my health has totally turned around since then I figured I'd give it another try.

The neurologist says the cyst is no problem at all, that lots of people have them and don't even know it. The blood pressure is now running 110/70 with the new medicine and I've lost 32 pounds so far with
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Weight Watchers.

I am back to a size 10, which is still overweight for my height and frame, but I'm still working on it. I have another 24 pounds left to get to my goal weight. The Flex plan is really working well for me. I've been walking with
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Leslie Sansone and doing yoga 2-3 times a week. I decided this time that the only exercise I was going to do was what I could continue doing the rest of my life. No more half killing myself to burn calories. I'm too old for that now. LOL!

So hopefully in a couple of months I'll know if they approved me and if so, I can cancel the whole life insurance and cash it in. We plan to use it to buy another coal stove for the main part of the house or to replace the roof.

Not What I Wanted

January 31st, 2008 at 12:15 pm

I sat down this morning to figure out how much I could pay on the mortgage payment that is due tomorrow. I want to pay $604.16, but looks like I'll only be able to pay $307.48, maybe a bit more depending on how much overtime is in DH's paycheck. But that's more than the minimum I have to pay of $235.34 so I guess that's better than nothing. The oven repair set me back this month and then the unexpected ER visit and DD#2's new medicine that she's taking for migraines.

I should be getting my first paycheck for the new bookkeeping job in a couple of weeks, so I'm planning on putting that on the mortgage.

And I've been told that I may be getting another bookkeeping job. I guess the librarian at the library just across the border in NY state is pushing for me to do their books for them. I went over a couple of weeks ago and helped her treasurer get their QuickBooks set up. When she heard that I do a monthly report for the libraries so that they know what they're spending, she was interested. Right now they pay an accountant to do their books. All he does is figure payroll and then inputs the yearly information into the annual report. He doesn't give them a monthly report so she never knows exactly how much she's spent on collection items or anything else for that matter. So keep your fingers crossed that she can convince her board to hire me!

Debt Reduction Revision

January 25th, 2008 at 12:15 pm

Okay, so this morning I hear for sure that the max that a household is going to get from the stimulus pacakge is $1200. So I had to revise my Quicken Debt Reduction Planner.

With only $1200 put down on the mortgage it extends the payoff date to January 2009. At the end of the year there will only be a balance of $550 left on it though. I'm betting that I can find an extra $550 somewhere this year so that it can be paid off. That will be my challenge to myself.

DH also wants to buy a coal stove for the main part of the house to replace the wood pellet stove. We have found that the coal stove in the kitchen puts off much more heat and is more reliable than the pellet stove. So the money I save each week out of his paycheck will probably end up going for that.

We will probably also need to put a new roof on the main section of the house this year. The garage roof also needs replaced. Ack! So many expensive projects. It's going to make it a real challenge to pay off that mortgage, but I keep telling myself that it will be well worth it.

Heat in the Kitchen!

October 30th, 2007 at 12:51 am

I came home from my Weight Watchers meeting tonight (more about that later!), to find that we have heat in the kitchen, FINALLY!!!! As some of you may remember, we went without heat in our kithcen all last winter and on a couple of occasions the cats' water froze! Brrrr!!!

Well, tonight was the culmination in that project that DH has been working on. It will be SO good tomorrow morning to come down to a warm kitchen and not have to heat it with the burners on the stove so that we can eat our breakfast.

Ahhh...the luxury of heat!

Little Addition to Emergency Fund

May 26th, 2007 at 07:38 pm

I wrapped up $12.50 in coins today and decided to deposit that in my EF. I normally deposit $25.00 per week out of DH's overtime. I decided this would be a nice little boost to get us closer to my minimum of $1,000.

We picked up our siding for the house this morning, so that was another chunk out of the house repair fund. Between that and putting a new porch roof on, the house repair money is getting hit heavy this spring.

Tax Refund is Here!

March 17th, 2007 at 11:41 am

I mentioned in an earlier entry that we were getting back quite a large refund from the government this year despite raising the number of dependents we claimed. I checked our checking account on-line last night and the money was there!

So...early this morning (5:30, to be exact!) I jumped out of bed and set about dispersing this money to the areas we had agreed upon. I put money aside for repairs that DH's truck needs, padded a few of my budget accounts that always seem to be in the red, paid state tax we owe because DH works in another state, paid off the balance on DH's truck, and still had $3,000 to send to my Emigrant account!

This money is going to be used to do house repairs. I really would like to have heat in the kitchen next winter, the garage roof needs replaced, we need siding on the house and still need to replace a few windows, etc. The list goes on and on.

Profit Sharing

March 7th, 2007 at 11:17 am

DH came home last night with his profit sharing check for $1124.42. Of course, $337 came right off the top to pay for those taxes that our escrow didn't pay. The rest went right into savings for house repairs.

I contacted the collection agency and they assured me that this will not show up on our credit. Anyone know if that is true??? I find it hard to believe. I paid the bill so it's taken care of and now I need to contact the escrow department at the main bank to find out why, if they weren't going to pay the bill, they didn't send it to us so that we knew it was due. I just don't understand that. How can we pay it if we don't know:

#1 how much it is
#2 when it is due
#3 that they didn't pay it
and #4 that the obligation even exists???


For 2 cents I would take the profit sharing check and our tax returns and pay off this little mortgage just to be done with them. Then I would receive my own tax bills and know that they are paid. Too bad we actually need to have heat though and the money has to go for that!

What the Heck???

March 6th, 2007 at 02:29 pm

This morning has not been a good one by any stretch of the imagination.

As soon as DH left for work this morning I walked back into the living room to find that the pellet stove was shutting down yet again. It's been doing that every couple of days lately. When it does this DH has to pull it out away from the wall, take all the pellets out of it and take it apart to clean the top auger. For some reason it is getting a build-up of something on it that prevents it from turning and feeding the pellets down so that they burn. So we started the day with no heat and the record lows for March of 1 degree with wind chills of -20.

Then I picked up the mail on the way to work and there are 2 notices from a debt collection agency that our school taxes from last fall were never paid by our escrow account! So I called our tax collector and she said that for some reason the bank did not pay anyone's taxes last fall (which they've always done before) and that she sent out notices so that we would know they hadn't been paid. I never got the notice. So now we've been turned over to the collection agency which is going to mess up our credit.

My question is...why didn't the bank let us know they were not paying them and why aren't they paying them??? This is how it's worked for 7 years now. It would have been nice to know that they changed things. The money to pay these taxes is included in our monthly payment. Would be nice if it was used for what it's intended for.

I'm very close to changing banks right now.

Profit Sharing

March 5th, 2007 at 10:58 am

DH gets a profit sharing check tomorrow. We're not sure how much it is going to be, but probably around $1,000. We've decided to stick it in the savings account and use it for home repairs so we can get things done that have really needed done for a long time.

Tax Refund

February 26th, 2007 at 11:12 am

I did our taxes last week and despite our changing our number of exemptions last year, we are getting a huge amount back from the government. It is mainly because of the 2 college kids.

So now we are trying to decide what to do with the money. I know that most here would automatically say to pay off the Discover card. I would love to do that, but we also have a house that needs some major renovations. We've been doing a bit here and there a little at a time but it's not making much of a difference. We still have no heat in the kitchen and several days this winter have gone out to find the cat's water frozen! Garage and porch need a new roof, one bedroom is still bare bones (sheetrock, plywood floor, no ceiling, etc.)

One thing we are going to do is finish paying off DH's truck loan. Some of the money we want to put aside for the college kids so that we can help them out when they have a need and no resources to meet the need.

Endless possibilities, but what is wisest?