Thanks for the support regarding yesterdays post. I was really disappointed that a moment that should have been excitement was instead met with stress and unhappiness.
Husband still says things alluding to requesting me to quit. Mostly because he thinks he'll be lonely while I'm gone.
Anyways- I'm getting much more excited.
Before I accepted the position I got the employer to agree to raise my pay from $8.50/hr to $10/hr after 60 days rather than the standard 90. So in 2 months I'll get a nice raise.
So I'll be clearing about $900/month for the first 2 months.
The plan is to set $200/month aside for babies private school.
The remaining $700/month will be set aside to remodel our unfinished attic. We should have enough to remodel the attic by August.
Husband needs a project to keep him busy. He likes construction projects. So I'd like him to get started on the attic as soon as possible. That will keep him occupied and happier.
And today I go in to complete the paperwork for my new job!
Thanks for the support regarding yesterdays post. I was really disappointed that a moment that should have been excitement was instead met with stress and unhappiness.
I took the job at the multi-million dollar equestrian facility. I wish I could recapture the enthusiasm I had when I applied and interviewed- but too many people around me have said negative things about it and now I'm doubting everything.
I took the job because it was INITIALLY the job I wanted. I REALLY wanted this job. So even though I am filled with doubt and uncertainty now I took the job hoping that it will be everything I initially thought it would be.
Husband thinks the pay is a waste. He said to me last night "C'mon Tasha. Is $900/month REALLY going to make a difference to us?"
I personally think $900/month is the difference between paying credit cards in full vs the minimum. Gosh- I can think of so much I could do with $900/month! But he felt that the burden placed on the family for me being out of the house 35 hrs /week was not worth the income. That hurt. Made me feel like I am doing a disservice to the family. Made me feel selfish getting a job working with horses instead of a higher paying corporate-type job.
My 2 close friends think the pay is a waste. They said after taxes and gas it will be a wash. One told me I'll be basically volunteering to go do manual labor. And if I cant ride then there are no perks in the job for me.
I'm frustrated because I DON'T NEED the money in a desperate way. I don't need to chase the money. Sure- I can think of plenty of stuff I can not afford. But husband, baby and I live comfortably on our rental income except for a few hundred dollars short of my comfort level.
If I increased our income by about $700/month I would feel better. If I raised it by $3000/month I'd feel even better of course. But overtime/stress/deadlines/quotas and competitiveness comes with the $3000/month jobs.
Relaxation/pursuing your passion/quiet silence comes with the $900/month job.
Husband HATED my corporate job because I came home from work so stressed out, always getting work calls while I was home, going into the office at 6am just to "get ahead" of the workload.
And now he says me returning to work is not worth it unless I'm making more money.
I have held my tongue reminding him that HE has not volunteered to get a job. I didn't remind him that I paid off our mortgage, bought the rental properties, bought him the car he drives and paid for his failed business attempt. I don't want to make him feel like a loser because I know he physically cant work. Him staying at home with the baby is going to be very valuable.
But why does he make me feel like a dead weight because I'm not out there trying to get a higher paying corporate job? It's not like the job would be a really impressive high paying gig. I am not a headhunter's dream. I have degrees- in liberal arts. I've never had a big caliber job and I have no skills that are in demand. I've accepted that I wont be a big-badass corporate leader making more money than I can spend. My husband still thinks I can get that job. Which makes me mad considering he has never held that job or tried to even get a corporate job at all. So why is he telling me to go get one?
So I'm having doubts. I'm worried I'll resent my employer because I wont think I am earning enough money. I'm worried I wont get to ride any horses and I'll resent that I'm not accomplishing my equestrian goals. I'm worried I'll be expected to watch the baby every hour that I'm not at work and I wont get to do anything outside of work that I value.
Hold on- I'm about to yell at my husband.
Ok I'm back. Crying. Husband's pissed off.
He kept saying "If this is a job you enjoy then I support it." And didn't understand why it made me mad. Because it sounds like he is saying "If you come back from work everyday fulfilled and content then- that is the value of the job." But its a job. A JOB. Its not being a rock star or supermodel. It's not going to fill me with contentment and fulfillment. It's going to earn me money while furthering my knowledge in an industry that I enjoy. It will fill me with MORE happy moments than my old corporate job- but it's not like I am going to work everyday because it is MORE enjoyable than hanging out at home and socializing with my friends. So that sent me yelling.
And then husband says "I just meant that if you enjoy it enough to make up for the pay." Which sent me yelling that if the money doesn't make a difference to him then I prefer NOT to take it. If he doesn't want our daughter to go to private school then I don't need the job. If he doesn't want the attic to get refinished this summer then I don't need the job.
And at some point husband said something to the effect of "You need to enjoy the job enough to give up horseback riding. Because I'm not watching the baby while your at work all day and then again while you go horseback riding." To which I said "I cant go horseback riding anymore anyways. If I get a corporate job that pays for riding then I wont have time to go riding and you wont watch the baby. So I don't get to go riding no matter what job I take." Husband agreed and that made me sad. It sucks that I have to give up personal activities because this job takes up all time that is allotted for "Me time".
Then husband threw up his hands and walked away. Then he comes back a minute later and said "Mike knows of a cleaning lady that will deep clean the house for $100." (He knows I have a cleaning thing and dust makes me anxious.) "Maybe she can come by like twice a month and really get under all the furniture and stuff." I said- "That sounds great. I've always wanted a cleaning person. But I'll have to work like - a whole week to pay for one cleaning." And husband laughed and said something about maybe I should get a better paying job. To which I WENT OFF ON HIM telling him to stop increasing our standard of living. I was crying and yelling that "every time we get money he thinks of a way to spend it."
So we're not talking right now.
That's all. Just wanted to vent.
UGH. Two not ideal working options. I'm really conflicted. Let me just vent and try to work through my feelings on this one.
Job goal: I'd like to work 20 hrs a week for an equestrian facility so that I do not need to spend my paycheck or days off on my horse hobby.
Personal goal: I want to improve my riding skills so that I am capable of upper level riding. (Currently there are no upper level trainers in my area. So I have been stuck at lower level riding for the past several years.)
Ok, OPTION #1:
the first option is working as a stable hand for a small multi million dollar equestrian facility (I blogged about it in the past). The facility does not offer horse training in my personal riding discipline.
I will be exposed to premium horse care/technology.
Dynamic atmosphere filled with the ubber wealthy and lots of seasonal horses coming and going.
Pay is $8.50/hr (about $800/month take home).
The CONS are:
The job is a non-riding position. The employer told me there are riding opportunities but other barn employees would get the chances first due to seniority. However- I might be able to overcome that obstacle because the other riders do not ride the same discipline as me and horse owners might start requesting my expertise as it is unique among the staff. (MAYBE)
Job is for 29 hrs a week. Work 4 days a week. Add lunch breaks and commuting- it will be 35 hrs a week that I'll be gone from my 3 month old baby.
The trainer at the facility does not ride my particular discipline. This means that any riding I get is on my own as a "practice ride" and there is no instruction available to advance my skills. I will not reach my personal goal to learn the upper levels in my riding discipline, because there is no one to teach me.
Pay is $8.50/hr. I really thought $10/hr is the standard minimum and I don't think I'll be happy working more hrs than I wanted/ not riding/working in the hot/cold elements and providing premium service for below average wage.
The 2nd opportunity is pretty opposite of the first. There is a small 6 stall backyard barn looking for horse help in exchange for riding lessons.
The owner is a trainer in my field of riding discipline. She can teach me the upper levels.
The work required is minimal. 6 stalls to clean, turnout, grooming and feeding. No additional chores to fill a work shift. When I am done, I am done. Looks like it will be about 10 hrs of work a week (20 hrs when commuting and riding is added).
I can create my own schedule.
The owner/trainer does not have upper level horses to teach me on. She has a mid- level horse that will help firm up some of my weaknesses- but after 4-6 months I will probably have outgrown the horse.
The facility is small and lacking training tools. There is talk of a riding arena to be built- not currently there.
No paycheck. I work in exchange for lessons. The lessons cost $40/hr so it averages out to about $12/hr which is almost double the first place. But I don't have a paycheck to distribute the pay towards various goals. Payment is in the form of lessons meant to advance my riding skills.
So sigh. I put it all down and I'm still conflicted. I am leaning towards option #2. Mostly because my husband wants me to do it. I think he is really hating the amount of hours the first option requires. And he does not see $8.50/hr as a worthwhile tradeoff for me being away from the baby so much.
He feels that 10-20 hrs of making my own schedule is much more accommodating and the second option gives me a fighting chance to accomplish my personal goal of riding upper level. The first option has a slim to none chance of accomplishing my personal goal.
I just feel that the second option is the equivalent to "not working." Working in exchange for my hobby seems pretty selfish and unnecessary. My husband and baby will get zero benefit from my working option #2.
Not much to report.
Husband & I are going to look at a duplex for sale tomorrow. Its been on the market before at a time when we were not in a position to buy it. We always kind of kicked ourselves for not pursuing it. So when it came up again we jumped at it.
It's located 2 blocks from where we live. Very good location. Small lot size. Overall lots of neglect on the outside. Everything is nearing the end of its lifespan.
It is 700 sq ft 2 bd/ 1 bath in each unit. It brings in $1100 month when both units are rented. It's fully rented right now. Listed for $80k.
We were thinking that if we made repairs/upgrades, we could get it to bring in $1600/month.
So it'll depend on what the inside looks like. We are expecting it to be in need of updates.
Since it is rented right now- all upgrades can wait and we can recoup some money waiting for leases to finish up.
So we'll see how everything plays out. This would be our last rental purchase, using the last of the liquid money we have. So it needs to be a good one.
So my job interview went well. They did not offer me the job on the spot- but sent me for a drug test and said they'll be doing a background check.
The job is 90% great but the pay is a big troubling point though. It pays $8.50 an hour.
I assumed it would pay $10/hr since that is the going rate around here. I was hoping to negotiate up to $11-$12/hr. When the employer told me the pay I was speechless.
I tried to get $10/hr and the employer told me after 90 days they can probably increase to $10/hr. But that was a stretch so they didn't want me coming back at 90 days and trying to ask for higher thsn $10.
So for 3 months its $8.50/hr and then it goes up to what I thought I would minimally accept.
I have a bad feeling in my stomach about this because I've always accepted less than I wanted in pay and within a year I am really bitter. I really dont want to let money get in the way of my enjoyment of the job.
In all other aspects its an awesome job.
And LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THIS PLACE! You guys wont believe it. WONT BELIEVE IT!
The job is working at a riding stable in a HOA. The HOA is an all inclusive sportsmans place. It has an equestrian center, golf course and boating marina for members (homeowners) to use only.
To buy into this place you have to submit an application with references and bank statements. Then you pay a $125,000 buy in fee so you can be allowed to purchase a property.
Then you buy a property. Bare lots are priced from $15k-$1 million. I found an 1100 sq ft guest house on an acre advertised for $400k with architectural drawings so you can build a main house. That was the only house I found for sale under $500k. The most expensive house has an asking price of $7 million.
Then you move in and pay $18k in annual membership dues.
You pay $2750 for maintenance.
You must spend at least $1500/yr at the restaurants in food and drinks.
You are charged $100/month for landscaping.
So your paying about $25k EACH YEAR to maintain your membership- after you paid $125k to become a member! And you still need to buy your property!
Then all the amenities have individual charges. If you call and schedule a riding lesson- there is a charge. There is a charge to have your horse bathed or body clipped. Any extra- the staff will jump to it- and then charge your account.
That's why I'm shocked they have the lowest pay rate of any barn in the area.
If offered- I'll still take it and hope there are perks to offset the low pay. Maybe I'll get to ride a lot. Or maybe the members tip. Or maybe we get sweet christmas bonuses.
I have a job interview next week! It is the #1 job that I wanted when I was putting in applications. I can do the job perfectly and I would be excited to go to work everyday. I really hope they hire me.
Its a part time job (29 hrs) at a barn as a show groom. This barn is- awesome. Its a multi-million dollar equestrian community barn. Only people who live in the community have access to the barn services. The philosophy is customer service to the clients.
I really wanted to get a job at a barn to get my horse fix in. With a new baby I don't really have the finances or time to splurge on the luxury of lessons. This way I can still be with horses, get paid, and not spend any extra time away from the baby. This way I can take my entire paycheck and put it towards savings/expenses- without using it for riding.
I really really really really want this job. I really want this job. I wish the interview was tomorrow. I'm scared she will hire someone before she meets me!
OK, yesterday was my annual meeting with my financial adviser. All news was better than expected! It gave me a great boost of confidence and enthusiasm.
My family and I are ahead of the curve on every aspect. Whew!
I inherited an IRA 7 yrs ago and my adviser manages it. The IRA finished the year up 19.5%. Great news. My own 401k self managed was up 18% so my adviser earned his 1% commission there.
Since I am no longer working and we have increased our family size, my adviser believes we have dropped into the 15% tax bracket. The good news for us is that we now don't need to pay taxes on dividends, or capital gains.
Therefore, the annual IRA distribution that I am required to take is no longer taxed. Whoohoo!
Ok- more good news. We have figured out the baby college account. My adviser created a model showing me that if baby attends a 4 yr college at $25k a year with a 4% annual inflation rate- then my annual IRA distribution will almost cover the cost completely if I start saving it now. So we would essentially move the money from the IRA into a college dedicated account. Whoohoo! College is covered!
We opted to use a regular investment account because my adviser told me the 529 plans and such are tax sheltered accounts. Basically the big draw is that recipients don't pay taxes when the money is withdrawn. But if I remain in the 15% tax bracket then I wont need to pay taxes anyways. So its not a benefit. And since I wanted the money to be accessible in case baby encounters medical problems, early education costs or does not go to college- having the money in a regular account is going to fit my needs. YAHOO! College is figured out!
And then we tackled retirement. My adviser had a model to show me the expected returns on the IRA. He said that since we are not using the IRA we can expect it to grow 10% annually and it potentially could be multi-millions by the time I die.
But before I broke out the bubbly- he brought me to reality showing me another model. He said that right now we are living off the rental property income. He assumed the rent will increase 1% a year but expenses (taxes, maintenance) will increase 4% a year. So given that- By the time I retire, I will need the IRA to supplement as my rental income stops reaching as far. So I will be fine for retirement, given a small social security supplement- but I need to be aware that I will need to use the money given our current earning trajectory. Its not for frivolous expenses because it will be needed eventually.
And just as I was ready to jump out of my chair in celebration- he showed me a third model. If we were to start taking annual deductions now to supplement our income- the money will be gone by retirement. Boo.
So lesson is that my inheritance has given me the foundation to live a nice middle class life and leave a similar nest egg to our daughter provided that we live within our means and have very few large frivolous expenses. I think we can do that. We must do that!
Ahhh....I'm going to relax today and just enjoy the feeling of financial security. Obviously I would be no where as secure without my parents and their planning. I'm attributing my reality mostly to their hard work and just a tiny fraction to my own hard work.
I hope 2014 is starting out in a good direction for all of you as well.
And as quickly ass it appeared, its almost gone. The property management job.
I called the woman yesterday at the appointed time and she didn't remember me, she didn't remember why I was calling...there are a lot of obstacles to overcome to get the job. She is not even sure there is a job to offer...she just said she thinks she might have to let go of her property manager because she has not heard from him. And seemed very surprised that I was aware of her situation!
The woman is 84 yrs old and has aids living with her. She is rightfully cautious and rightfully wary of strangers calling trying to get a job managing her properties.
Yesterday's conversation was me repeating my name a lot and her dodging my questions.
I think it is in her best interest to sell the properties. Giving that she lives 4 hrs away and has no one to trust to manage them.
I would have done a great job, but I understand that it would take a huge leap in faith to hire a stranger to do such an important job.
So I mailed her my resume and background info (she does not have email, requested I mail the info) yesterday. But I doubt anything will come of it.
Sigh. That's too bad that she is in such a bad situation that her property manager is living (probably) in one of her units and not responding to her at all.
So it's back to finding a job. Big disappointment as that would have been a beautiful opportunity.
Last night I was attending a free Rich Dad/Poor Dad Seminar on Real Estate. I did not sign up for the follow up 3 day class session but it motivated me to increase my wealth.
While I was at the seminar- husband was at home babysitting. But what he was really doing was working on getting us a Property Management job!
Apparently, FIL's former landlord called him worried because she had not heard from her property manager in 6 weeks. She lives 4 hrs away from the area. She called FIL because he was the most recent tenant who lived near the property manager (they shared a duplex). FIL has had no contact and proceeded to tell her that the guy did a bad job anyway.
He was living in one of her properties, not responsive to phone calls, lazy, unprofessional and a drinker. I met him a few times and I was irritated that he was so relaxed about his job. And I just learned she was paying him $1100/month!
So she asked FIL if he knew of anyone that could help her. She owns 2-4 (I don't have an exact number) properties in our area and is without a property manager. She is older (FIL guessing over 75 yrs old) and relies on the rent for retirement.
So FIL thought of husband and I! He called husband to see if we were interested which we are! And he set up an appointment for me to talk with the woman today at 2pm!
I've already come up with a list of discussion items. Our fee is 10% of collected rent with a $200 finders fee for filling empty units.
My biggest concern is the fact that the property manager was living in one of her units. If I drive over there and he is found inside...I'll have an ugly eviction on my hands or he'll hear about what is happening and try get his job back.
But if this works out then I think we'll be adding $400-$800 month to our income! Depending on how many units she has and the going rent.
I have been a subscriber to MONEY magazine for years. I enjoy the human interest pieces, the stocks section is pretty over my head.
But last night I think maybe my subscription gave me my first real good advice.
The article was a little over my head. So maybe I interpreted it wrong.
It was about 529 plans, and being a new mother, this was a good read.
ok, it helped me determine that my home state of GA has good rates on 529's (helpful).
But most helpful was reading that if I invest $6k a year from the babies first year till college- we should be able to cover almost all of 4 years in state tuition, fees and board!
6k seems very do-able considering it will eventually pay for one of my daughters largest life expenses. That seems a little cheap. I probably read it wrong. But it seems like an achievable goal. To invest $6k a year with an eye towards being able to pay almost all my child's college costs.
So husband and I have decided to ask our financial adviser to set up a 529 for baby- and every January he will move our mandatory IRA deduction to the 529 account. It averages about 5k a year and we can make up the remaining amount. YEA! Feeling accomplished.
New Year..Fresh Start..Clean Slate...Start Over..all those little attitude adjustments that come to mind in late December.
I wanted to start fresh. Financially implement a new budget. Clean up my financial life.
So I wrote a hypothetical budget. Based on husband being approved for disability. Based on me getting at least a part time job.
Now its January 1. And I'm waiting to implement it.
Husband has not been approved for disability yet. The letter comes in the mail and might take up to 2 more months to receive.
I've applied to 17 (Seventeen!) jobs and nothing so far. Well I have had 2 notifications that I am not being considered. And 1 interview that I ultimately did not want the position (outside sales). But overall...nothing on the job front. Which is frustrating because several of the jobs are perfect for my skill set. PERFECT. Really- the employer is missing out on not utilizing me. And they don't even call me for an interview! I don't really understand it.
So nothing is going on financially. I am waiting to start my financial new year.
Husband approached me yesterday and said our handyman (who was standing right there next to him) is selling enough wood flooring to finish our attic for $200 total. He said, "That's a really good deal, it's already stained. What do you think?"
I knew there was a catch somewhere. It has become my job to find the catch, cuz if I don't, I'll be sorry later.
"How much is it going to cost to install?" I asked.
"$500" replied the handyman selling the flooring.
Ahhh hah!! there was the catch. I wouldn't be committing to a $200 purchase, which would be a good deal. It was a $700 purchase.
I shook my head and said "No." Husband whined.
I told him I was still thinking I wanted carpet up there anyways. Husband argued that this wood is cheaper than carpet.
So I shrugged and said "I'm out of money. It's coming from your workman comp savings account. If you want to pay $700, then do it. But I don't. Just make sure the workers do it in a few consecutive days. I don't want this dragging out for months."
Then the handyman broke in and said "well, nothing should be done until the rest of the space is done. Flooring should go in last."
ANOTHER CATCH! We would need to replace the sheet rock, baseboards, quarter inch molding and stairway wall before the flooring could be installed!
I looked at husband and said "So we were going to buy this wood and we cant even use it until we remodel the rest of the space?!" Husband shrugged and said "We'll just store it in the attic until we are ready to use it. It's a really good deal."
"NO!" I said. We had just (true story) PAID the same handyman and his crew several hundred dollars to CLEAN OUT the attic. They hauled away wood scraps, insulation, boxes and crap. And now husband wants to fill the freshly clean space with more wood?! No Way!
My "No" was met with more whining. Husband said (another true story) "well I won $250 in my fantasy football league, and the handyman just paid me $100 for my xbox stuff- that's like half the money right there. We would just need to come up with the rest (he was referring to ME putting in the rest) and we'll have flooring in the attic."
I said, "If you want to use your Football winnings on a pile of wood- go ahead. But I dont want to half ass the attic and put down flooring that looks bad when we fix the walls and replace the stairway banister. So we'll wait to install it until we can afford the rest of the work. I really thought you would want to spend that money on video games and electronics."
Husband thought for a second and said "your right. I do want some new video games. I wont get the wood. I just thought it would be a good investment in the house. We would spend $200 and get like, $5000 back when we sell the house." Hmmm...That was a manipulative sentence. Because it would be financial
stupidity to ignore a return on investment like that. Except he is omitting the part about $500 to install the wood. I don't think anyone is going to pay $5000 for a pile of wood in the attic.
And did you catch that he still wants video games?! He would use his money to buy the woodpile...and a week later when the pile of wood is no longer entertaining- he would whine to me that he wants new video games but spent all him money on the attic flooring. He would say he nobly sacrificed his spending money on investing in the house...so he would want me to buy him video games. I know how he thinks.
So the conversation is over. That last piece was husband trying to get me to cough up the remaining amount so we can have the flooring installed. Which I will refuse until the rest of the work is done, so I'll find money to remodel the whole attic. And he knows this. He just needed to lure me by making me think $200 was going to get us an attic with pretty new hardwood floors. Then I'd be trapped. I already spent the money and bought the wood- so he'd be able to argue much easier to get the rest of the work done.
BUT I CAUGHT HIM! I played the game and WON!
No attic wood pile for husband.
And he is not all that mad about it. Actually- he's already forgot the whole episode.
This game is fun now that I know how to play.
This will be a bit of a brain dump.
I appreciate the comments from yesterday's post. It was so long I am surprised you read it until the end! But I had a bit of an epiphany there and kept going with it.
To address one comment- husband is pretty disabled and for a few years that kept me skeptical of having a child. I didn't want to get 100% responsibility due to his injuries.But as it always is when husband wants something he can argue me until he gets it. And he really wanted a child. He's not nearly as useful as a normal functioning human. But because he can't function so well- he can't work- so he's home all day. That gives him time and focus to put all energy to the baby with no other responsibility (except the rentals, but they require minimal hours). So he does about 40% of the baby care. Which is probably more than a man with a full time job does. But that was a good point that we might need to bring in help sometimes. I didn't think of that, but it is a possibility down the road.
In other news- There are a few minor financial things I'm working on.
One of the renters for FIL's property has not paid his portion of the rent for 3 months. FIL had a property manager while we were in California and the manager collected the rent and deposited it. FIL never checked the account, just assumed all was good.
When we moved back to GA we didn't want to manage that property while the baby was coming. Too much already trying to get our properties in order and us settled in.
We just took over property management in December and I followed the bank account to see the rent was not in the full amount every month. It was short $450/month in Oct & November. In talking to the former manager- he said he was told by the tenant they had worked out an agreement with the owner.
So we called the tenant. He's a waiter, claimed business was so slow and he was cut off from his parents. He would get back on track.
Well no December payment and January is due now. So we have to meet with him and his roommates.
Additionally, one of the roommates Dec check bounced.
On Monday I need to work on our health insurance. We have been paying $1500/month, but it was going up to $3000/month in January.
So I found new insurance for $985/month. But when I received the package of info- the deductible is $950 PER PERSON and I thought it was per family. So I'm not excited.
Meanwhile I got a letter from my old insurance saying my bill would be $950/month. Not $3000/month as I thought. So I need to compare coverages on Monday.
My FIL is coming to visit for Christmas, and then right after he leaves- my brother & his family are coming to visit. They have never seen the new house so I'm excited.
Goals have always been hard for me because I find it difficult to make plans when there are uncertain variables looming. But if everyone else can do it- I will as well.
In 2014 I will...
1) STICK TO the monthly budget I have already prepared.
2) Add $700/month to our income. Of that money; $200/month goes to baby future education & $500/month goes to horseback riding.
3)Start horseback riding when extra funding for it has been created.
4) Develop a plan to own a horse in 2015.
5) Add $100/month towards the monthly mortgage payment.
6) Finish 2014 with $3800 saved towards future car purchase.
7) Finish 2014 with $1300 saved in Emergency Fund.
8)Finish out the year at my goal weight of 120 lbs.
9) Tell my husband NO twice a month.
Of those goals, #4 (develop a plan to own a horse in 2015) is the biggest stretch. I have denied myself a horse up to this point saying it was unaffordable.
Right now we are the leanest we have ever been and I'm tired of denying myself this indulgence. If push came to shove- we really CAN afford afford a horse, but since they are such a huge financial drain I have never allowed myself to get a horse.
But 2013 was husbands year. Between his "repair sucking truck" purchase & his failed "spend everything we have in the bank to stay afloat in California" plan we ended up spending the money it would have taken to comfortably house a horse for 4 years. I'm tired of denying myself the luxury when husband does not do the same. I feel that the money will get spent by him if I don't jump in and claim it for myself.
And also don't freak out thinking we will only have $1300 in an emergency fund while I am out gallavanting on horses. We do have money tucked away in nooks and crannies that have no immediate future use that can be used in an emergency. But currently we have no dedicated emergency fund. Ok, we HAD one that I had been trying to fund on/off for a few years but it never got off the ground. Husband does not appreciate the concept/think we will ever encounter an emergency/thinks his impulse purchases ARE an emergency and is always demanding we use the money to fund his next idea. He can see the money sitting in the bank and the next time an unorthodox purchase comes up that is not in the budget he argues with me to use that money. I end up giving in (because I ALWAYS give in), and the account goes empty. Its like he sees the money in the bank account and thinks to himself "hmmm...we have $5200 sitting there...what can I buy?" NOT THIS YEAR! I am in recovery from California mode, I now realize it is never a one-time-purchase with him, I see that he actually has NO sense of risk/boundaries when it comes to spending money and if allowed he would spend every dollar we have in the bank (well- he did do that this year), so I'm feeling DEAD SET DETERMINED to tell him No.
You know what? That is going to be a goal. To tell my husband "No" on purchase requests. Goal #9. Tell my husband "NO" on 10...no..24! Purchase requests in 2014. That is 2 denials a month. Twice a month when my husband runs some idea by me to purchase an unnecessary TV (well he already did that. We have a 55 inch TV sitting in its box in the attic.) Ok when he wants to...I don't know...make an unnecessary improvement at a rental property or buy some electronic gadget...I will tell him "NO!", I will tell him "2014 is for SAVING NOT SPENDING!"
And he will argue that it is just a small amount of money compared to how much it will save us/make us money in the long run.
And I will have a gut feeling that it is not true. But he will have a rebuttal to every argument I put up.He will argue me until I can see no reason not to buy a TV set for an unfinished attic because one day it is going to be a man cave.
And he will huff and whine and get angry if I tell him the answer is no.
And I will feel guilty because he is disabled and in pain. More pain than I could tolerate for even a day. And all he can do is sit around and think of things to buy that will make him temporarily happy. And I know that while he is purchasing the item or using the item his pain becomes a little more tolerable and life is better for him. So I sigh and give in. I tell him to do whatever he wants.
But NOT THIS YEAR! Because I know that the purchased item will soon be forgotten and he will be on to the next want. And I will forever be staring at a repair sucking truck/trying to collect on money spent in California/an Apple TV remote that is NEVER USED/an air conditioner for the attic that has broken twice in the 1 month since we had it installed (AC guy is coming in the morning)and created HIDEOUS gutter pipes on the outside of our house.
THIS IS THE YEAR I will tell him "No". This is the year I will stop looking at crap I never would have purchased and had a bad feeling about but didn't know why until after he bought the item and it required $17k in repairs/cost 10x more than he anticipated/created ugly gutter pipes that run down the exterior of the house.
I now have come to realize that ALL of his plans cost more than he says they will, and cause additional purchases. I don't know if he purposely leaves out information when he explains his plan to me, or if he really is unaware of the extra required purchases...but this is the year I will not find out the hidden costs to his plans. Because I told him "No".
Seriously. I think goal #9 that will save us $30-50k this year.
Like Monkey Mama- I am DONE with 2013! Aside from my daughter's birth- I am remembering a lot of bad times.
2013 was one of those years where so much happened- it feels like it was 5 years long.
In the past I tracked my net worth randomly. So I don't have exact numbers.
Surprisingly (shockingly), we are UP in net worth at the end of this year. This is surprising considering that we have so many people who owe us money. And we spent so much money in California. And I quit my job in April. And our rentals were all vacant at one time or another for multiple months this year. And husband bought a used $12k truck that turned out to be a lemon and has cost us $17k in repairs (seriously I want to heave that truck over a cliff). And I have paid out over $12k in COBRA since I quit my job.
The reason we are up is threefold: Our real estate properties have increased in value because the market has gone up. And my mortgage payments decreased our debt. Also our retirement accounts have gone up. And husband got a workman comp settlement.
So amazingly our net worth has increased although liquid cash is way down.
2014 is going to be a banner year though. I am back on my A game.
Going to create goals in the next few days.
I am posting pictures of my baby girl. Everyday I get such cute pictures and I have no one to admire them!
And Merry Christmas!
In other news I have a job interview tomorrow! It's for a Regional Territory Manager. I didn't apply for the job, a recruiter found my resume on Monster.com.
It sounds super sales-y, just from the job title. I'm not a hard sales type of person. But the term "Manager" perked my interest. So I'll go and see if it is something I want to spend 40 hrs a week doing.
I applied to 5 jobs yesterday. I'm not feeling so optimistic about getting a job quickly, so I'm still thinking of ways we can increase our monthly income using the resources at our disposal.
And here is an option to increase my monthly income:
If I spend $107k on a property- I can bring in $935 a month income.
Is that a good deal? Something you would do?
I'm considering it. But hesitant.
Its one of my current rental properties. It brings in $1950 a month, but I owe $107k on the mortgage. So I pay $935 a month on the property.
The $935 also covers the escrow account and insurance, so it would be more like $800 a month income.
It's an option that crossed my mind today. I don't know why I had not considered it before.
I'll bring it up to husband. But I think I would rather wait and spend the next 6 months waiting to see what the real estate market does. If it goes down- I think we can get a property that will yeild a better return.
hmmm things to think about.
OK so I have recovered from the idea of getting the rental property back. Mentally I had to present my proposal and hear "No" to get me over it.
Financially- we don't have enough money to buy another rental property. Even if FIL paid me today- we don't have enough money to buy a rental. The working properties are priced at $150k and above. Anything priced below that needs renovations and it would make us liable for repairs that we might not be able to pay for. That's why I was so fixed on getting that particular property back. So without the income stream that a rental would provide I am turning my energy elsewhere.
I plan to apply for jobs today. I know it is unlikely to hear anything over the holidays but at least my resume will be in the system when people return from their vacations.
There is a job as a Proofreader at an advertising company about an hour away. Grammar and spelling are not my greatest skills but if I am getting paid to pay attention then I will focus on my weaknesses and the work/practice will get me the expertize. -That was a run on sentence...wasn't it?
But I worry the HR dept will somehow 'KNOW' that I am not super qualified. I'm an "Underpromise/Overdeliver" type of girl. I've never applied for a job where I didn't think I could nail the workload quickly.
But I have often seen people less qualified and less capable then myself getting jobs above me. I figure the job requirements might be more like guidelines, and maybe HR is not expecting applicants who can meet every requirement. So I have decided to apply for a 'reach' job.
And of course I am applying for basic administration jobs too.
So that's what is going on here. Me (My? I think it is My working.) working and disabled husband staying home with the baby...sigh. Not the best arrangement. He loves her to pieces and is a better mother then I am. But since I am breastfeeding..well whenever I leave the house he is always calling me to cut my errands short to come home because the baby is screaming and he is out of milk. But we are new parents and we will get the hang of it. Millions do it everyday, we can as well.
Well I got husband's reluctant permission to approach FIL about a buyout deal.
I called and presented it like we were doing him a favor allowing him to get out of a deal he made before he needed so much cash.
Instantly he said No. He said he has it all planned out and everyone will be paid off by the time he retires. And he is counting on the $20k income as a second pension after he retires.
So then I repeated my line of thinking that he could pay everyone off faster by getting cash right now.
He then told me he wants to just continue the plan..."as long as you are still ok with the plan?"
I did a long hesitation trying to collect my thoughts. I said "well, we just thought we would get the money from you and reinvest in another property...but we havnt been able to do that...I didn't expect the money to be tied up for almost 4 years. "
Then he tells me he will stop paying the other payments to the other reletive to accelerate payments to me...he might be able to pay me off by 2015.
Well that really wont do anything for me. I've waited over a year, I'll be waiting another 12 months, whats another 12 months after that? We still cannot invest in a property, and right now is what I'm concerned about.
So I told him to keep it all as we have currently and got off the phone. I told husband the plan was a no go and husband got mad at me. He said he "told me so" and now he has to deal with the consequences. His dad would call him and ask a bunch of questions and get all freaked out.
Sure enough within an hour- FIL calls husband and husband has to backtrack my words to smooth out FIL's feelings. Saying its really no big deal and no one is mad about how things turned out.
I promtly burst into tears because I kind of thought he would go for it. I thought we could get the property back. Then husband is mad at me for crying saying I KNEW we wouldn't have enough money when we moved back from California but I wanted to come home anyways (remember husband didn't actually want to come back home- he still wishes things worked out better in Cali and we stayed).He reminded me that I KNEW I had to find a job when we returned home because our income was not enough to cover our expenses. And I was prepared to find a job.
And then I had a baby. And I wanted to find a way to not get a job right away. And thought this could work out. But it didn't. So I've already applied to 5 jobs.
So the proposal was rejected. My money is tied up and I wont get it for 2 years. UGH, time to figure out how to get over this.
My brain started going last night. I couldn't turn it off. I was thinking about something. Something that might be... BAD? Mean? Or it could be AWESOME.
So the California chapter is slowly closing and I'm optimistic we will recover the remaining debt owed.
Last night my mind turned to the other colossal financial mistake I made recently.
That would be the rental property that I bought, renovated, turned it into a FANTASTIC rental and then gave it to my FIL for exactly what was paid so he could get into rentals.
Where it got completely F---ed up was the fact that FIL couldnt afford to buy it from me for exactly what I paid.
Ugh. The problem was that FIL was going through a huge divorce and he was panicked about money. He was the primary breadwinner and it was looking like they were going to liquidate all assets for losses or break evens (during the real estate downturn), the wife was going to get half the pension and a large chunk of cash for several years beyond his retirement. He was really panicked and we were feeling really bad about it all.
FIL makes almost a quarter of a million a year.
We were into the property for $155k.
So FIL asked if he could have this brand new fantastic property because it would be his salvation. It had already appreciated like crazy, and it is bringing in $1800 a month.
We thought we would take the $155k and find a new property.
But FIL paid me in small and large chunks of cash as he got it. $30k here...$4k there...$1k today...$1600 next week...
The chunks made it hard to track, and REALLY hard to save, and IMPOSSIBLE to re-invest in another property.
Its been over a year now and:
*We have spent all money FIL gave us towards the purchase. Not sure where it all went...some was spent in California, we had our roof replaced, bought a truck, ...not sure where the rest went.
*FIL divorce finalized. He's not coming out as bad as he thought.
*FIL still owes me $44k for the purchase.
*For the next 2 yrs FIL has to pay MIL yearly payments of $40k and then alimony is paid. So he owes MIL $80k and then he is out of the divorce.
*FIL has found a girlfriend, and PURCHASED a house in another state for girlfriend and him to live in (she does not work). FIL had to borrow $32k from a relative to use as down payment for this house and is on a 2 year repayment plan to pay it back.
*FIL has bought a $10k boat.
*FIL was just visiting us and is discussing buying a new truck. His truck is unreliable and he is debating buying and financing vs lease.
*FIL has decided the remaining $44k will be paid back through the monthly rent the property collects. So after expenses, the property collects about $1400/month and when it reaches $44k- that money is mine and property will be transferred into his name. So new payoff date is January 2016. -2016- So this property will have been tied up for 4 YEARS by the time it is finalized.
*Shortly after "buying" the property from us, he asked my husband's opinion about if he should sell it (it has appreciated about $75k). Husband was outraged and told FIL he can NEVER sell the property because it is a cash cow and the reason we agreed to the transaction was that we are planning to inherit it. (we had not thought that far into the future...but yeah- we were expecting it to stay in the family, otherwise we would have sold it at a profit) FIL agreed to not sell it. We have since told FIL he can never take out a HELOC on it either.
*FIL is taking the $1800/month rental income into consideration when discussing his retirement plan (he plans to retire in 2 years).
So those are the variables that have gone down since this whole thing started last year.
Needless- we assumed FIL would pay us within a year considering he makes so much money. But that didn't happen and its my fault I made assumptions instead of plans with FIL. It didn't occur to me this could get so messy. It didn't occur to me he would be so cash poor. It didn't occur to me he would also borrow from other family members to rebuild and now owes money to 3 different people.
So this whole thing weighs on me. Daily. Makes me angry. Frustrated. Bitter. Hearing about his plans to finance a truck this week made me upset.
Ok, here is where my mind went last night:
If I pool all my liquid cash from different accounts, including our tax refund, collecting the remaining Cali money owed to me, and some money coming in February...I can pull together $107k.
We "sold" the property for $155k. FIL still owes $44k. So FIL has paid us $111k.
We actually could offer to BUY THE PROPERTY BACK from FIL.
This could be awesome.
FIL owes $32k to a relative.
FIL owes ex wife $80k.
FIL wants to buy a new truck.
$111k could pay off a good chunk of that debt.
Husband and I NEED to increase our monthly income. We don't have enough liquid cash to re-invest in another property. Even when FIL pays us his debt in 2 years we still wont have enough to re-invest in a property.
Neither of us is working- so we do not qualify for a mortgage or HELOC to get us anything extra to buy a property.
Husband and I cannot save liquid money. Our track record is terrible. If we dont re-invest this $107k it will get spent on frivolous things. I need to tie it up in an income producing investment before it gets spent on stuff.
This property brings in $1800/month and neither FIL or us is getting the money. It's getting placed in an account to be paid to me when it reaches payoff amount. So for 4 years neither of us is really utilizing the rental income.
I brought up the option to approach FIL with a request to buy the property back and husband doesn't think FIL will be interested. Its such a cash cow that it would be stupid to unload it. The property pays for itself in 5 years and is in good enough condition that things wont start needing repairs or replaced for 5-7 years.
But maybe FIL has been kicking himself for taking on such a debt during a time when he needs liquid cash? Maybe he thinks about it daily and he gets upset thinking of how he really needs that cash that he has been paying to us? The same way I think about it daily and get mad that we gave away such a large monthly income and we cannot afford to replace it?
So...how can I approach him about this?
Is it a SHITTY SHITTY thing for me to approach him about?
Long term this is a great investment. And I feel I would be manipulating him/taking advantage of his current debts owed to people to take the long term earning opportunity away from him.
But I REALLY want the property back. Husband and I are really disappointed and angry about how this transaction became so dirty.
So opinions? Be honest. Convince me not to pursue this if it is going to cause bad blood.
Here it is. Does not help that I am REALLY emotionally attached to it.
Regarding my California gang that owes me money-
I got a call today from the partner that institutionalized himself. He said he is starting to clean up his accounts and wants to know where we are with our repayments.
He promised to pay me his remaining amount owed in full by Jan 1st! So he'll be off my bill collections list and I'll just be dealing with the new business owner who owes me $14k.
I have a lot of bitterness and resentment regarding the whole episode but talking to the institutionalized partner made me feel better.
Since husband and I departed that business:
The air conditioning broke and a unit had to be replaced.
The water well broke.
The electricity has been on/off and had to be repaired.
Some equipment broke.
Its been nothing but things breaking since we left. If we had stayed even 1 month longer we would have had to cough up $4k for a new A/C unit. And it sounds like its one thing after another breaking- we would have been so broke if we had stayed.
So we stayed at the business a little too long- but we still got out before things got worse!
I'm just in a better mood because things are looking like we might collect all the money owed to us, and the new year is coming- which means our income might be increasing and our bills will be decreasing.
I am waiting to see how husband's disability hearing before I write 2014 goals.
Regarding the money owed to me from California. Well the debt has been split in half- with a new business owner agreeing to pay half, and the old partner who was bought out agreeing to pay half.
Yesterday the old bought out partners brother sent me $5k. Bringing his balance down to $7k left to pay. relief.
Also yesterday the new business owner sent me $1k. He said finances are so tight right now because he just bought out the old partner. Husband thinks he is going to bleed the money out to me because he is friends with our ex business partner. Whatever- as long as I get the money.
The only complicated thing is now keeping track of which party owes me what amount of money.
Just so that I can keep track and have a place to refer to when I am uncertain of amounts owed:
New owner owes me $14k
Old business partner owes me $7k
If I really recover all the money owed to me I'll be so relieved. I definitely learned my lesson. Never lend money and never take an informal payment plan. And never go into business with someone! So much of my daily energy is spent reliving the mistakes and trying to rectify the consequences.
In other news- every day is still devoted to the baby. She's doing well- she is just so time consuming. I am not used to dealing with things that do not have an on/off switch.
We have officially rented out the vacant apartment! The 4 waiters have signed a lease and given us 1 months security. They move in on Jan 1st.
So the apartment went 3 months vacant. Not great, but not unexpected given its large size and the time of the year.
But now we are back to 100% capacity!
I am trying to get motivated to start my taxes. I need to add up all our rental expenses, rental income, and health expenses. Then I'll be ready when my W2 comes in and my accountant sends me a little booklet to complete. Normally I do it Thanksgiving day...not this year. Now I wish I had just done it because I'm still not motivated. Even though I'm expecting around $4-5k refund...that should be motivation enough!
In other news- I talked to the business partner of the guy who owes me money. He has told me he will pay half since that was the agreement he made when entering the deal. He said he will make a payment at the end of next week. He wants to just pay it off ASAP so he'll get together what he can and make the payment. He alluded to between $1500-5000. Big spread but sounds good.
He also said he has completely bought his partner (the one who is institutionalized) out of the business. So now is the time to try and get the other half of the debt owed from the institutionalized brother because he is sitting on a big wad of cash.
I will be chasing down the brother for his half of the debt starting tomorrow.
And in baby news- she wants attention all the time. If I put her down she is quiet for like 10 mins and then starts inconsolably crying until she is picked back up. Husband hates the crying and also is tired of entertaining her all day so he just rocks her and tries to get her to fall asleep. I want her up during the day so she will sleep at night. So I end up carrying her and playing with her a lot in the day. She is very time consuming. I get exhausted thinking of the long road ahead...just teaching her to hold up her head is taking so much effort!
Baby raising is not for weak people.
Ahh well this is a little drama update so that everyone out there can shake their heads and say they are glad they didn't lend these people money...
Regarding the guy in CA who purchased our business and owes me money. He was supposed to pay me $25k in one large upfront payment and $3k a month for 10 months.
It took him 3 months to pay $24,800. As it turns out he could not make 1 large payment as he promised me- It was coming in chunks as he was able to pay it.
Then about a month ago I reached out several times to get a gameplan for the remainder due. No response. After a few weeks of reaching out- I contacted his business partner and then his brother.
His brother responded right away and told me the person had been institutionalized! Supposedly it was regarding some DUI stuff and needing to go through this to get his license back...sounds shady but I really don't care about the story if the bottom line is he is out of the picture.
Brother is trying to handle his brother's businesses now. Brother is aware of debt owed to me and asked for a few days to get a plan in place.
Meanwhile the business partner called me back and went on a rant about how the partner owed so many people money (including him) and institutionalized himself to get away from creditors and regroup for a few months. And left everyone in a big lurch for leaving so suddenly. But this partner acknowledged that he was aware of the debt owed to me. He said he will personally pay me half of the remainder as that was his original plan until his partner said he would cover the full debt to me as a re-payment for money owed to the partner. He asked for a few days to get a plan in place.
The brother contacted me a week later and promptly sent me $3k. The brother then alluded to the new business partner buying out the original partner and so the original institutionalized partner and brother would no longer be a part of things. Since everything was so up in the air I am giving it some time to settle before trying to figure out who will pay me the remaining amount.
So as of a week ago I started calling the new business partner to get a game plan in place. No response.
I also talked to an old employee who is working there but plans to move on soon and he said things are going ok but not great. The people in charge are leaving less competent people to run things and laziness is starting to take over.
Not great for me as I would love for everyone to be really happy and making great money so they can pay me my remaining money. I don't like that people are giving up (even though that's what I did).
So now on a semi regular basis I am calling and leaving escalating-ly concerned messages for the new business partner.
Sigh. I am getting a lot of experience as a bill collector. Re-affirms that I don't want to ever get a job in the collections industry.
On good news- the baby is doing great.
"It's always darkest before the dawn." I came here yesterday complaining about my baby putting up such a fight at her evening bedtime and what do you know? Last night was a DREAM evening.
8.5 hours of sleep! (Not in a row)
But she ate at 8pm and fell right asleep. She woke up at 11:30- ate and was right back to sleep. She woke at 3:30am and then she was AWAKE after so much sleep- but after an hour of looking around and playing with her hands she fell asleep. Then about 6:30am she woke and it was time to start the day.
I dont know if that was a fluke or the start of something. I have a party to go to tonight and I'm debating skipping it to not derail her progress. I was going to go for about 2 hrs between feeding sessions- but I worry my anxiety to "hurry up and fall asleep" will transfer to her and cause another round of crying and wailing. I'll spend the day thinking about that one.
Financially related we have 2 parties interested in the vacant apartment.
One group of guys who are waiters at some well established resteraunts downtown want it for Jan 1. Not ideal because then the place was empty for 3 months.
One group of college kids wants it for Dec 1. But they have been flaky about communicating with us and have already asked about 6 month leases / subletting because they will be going home for the summer. They want it but have not really been actively calling and trying to get the process complete. They seem to think we will wait on their timeline to get leases signed and stuff. Not a great impression of their maturity or stability.
Husband and I decided to go with the waiters for Jan 1. If it was rented in December that would financially be more profitable- but not if we are going to have drama come the summer. And also not if these kids are habitually late on their rent or disorganized about payments.
Anyways, that's whats going on in this household. Well rested and hopeful that we can repeat the sleep schedule tonight!
Ok baby Charlotte is over 3 weeks old and my days have just gotten more consumed by her as she gets older. As she is growing, she is sleeping less, eating more and crying A LOT more. Constantly wants to be held. Makes it so hard to get anything else done.
We are experimenting with various sleep methods to get through the night. Given that she sleeps periodically and pretty contentedly in the day (she just falls asleep every few hrs wherever she is)- I have NO IDEA why her 8 pm feeding (last feeding before I go to bed) turns into a cry fest where she feeds herself to sleep but wakes within minutes of being put in her bed and cries until she is picked back up. This cycle continues for up to 2 HOURS with me drifting off for 10 mins and then she wakes- realizes she is in her bed and screams bloody murder.
After that first nightmare shift when we FINALLY get her to sleep- the next 2 feedings are usually quiet with her feeding and falling back asleep within an hour.
Around 6 am she is UP. Wide awake, in a good mood. I wish she would do one more sleep shift and be wide awake, in a good mood around 8 am, but oh well.
Does anyone know WHY my baby refuses to be put to bed after her 8pm feeding? I just keep picking her back up, feeding her more, wait for her to fall asleep and put her down- just to have her stir and start wailing.
Ugh - I would be fine with the current sleep arrangement if she would give me those two hrs between 8 -10pm to sleep and not scream.
I had an interesting moment occure today. A woman knocked on my front door and said she was looking for someone affiliated with XX LLC (our LLC for the rental properties). I told her that she had found me and she said she was interested in buying one of the properties. She named the house number and I filled in the street name for her. She said she noticed it was boarded up and abandoned. I interupted her to say my property is not boarded up, its currently rented. This confused her and she said the property she is interested in is a duplex. Mine is a duplex. She said it was a pale yellow color. My property has green paint. So we were stumped. Then she said it was by the train tracks. My place is no where near train tracks. So I finally figured out she meant #xx EAST street name, and my place is #xx WEST street name. So my place is not what she wanted to buy after all.
She didnt understand why the city had my LLC listed as the owners of the property but I told her the city makes mistakes, but I am definately not the owner. So she was back to the drawing board.
I ended up going online to the city tax assessor website out of curiosity. I am NOT listed as the owner. This woman must have mistakenly typed West when she meant to type East and gotten my info.
The place has an owner listed, and he bought it in 1996 for $20k. The property is nice and big, but the picture online shows it to be abandoned, boarded up and neglected.
I suppose this woman is a flipper going around looking for potential properties. I thought it was interesting having a first hand conversation with someone in an industry I am thinking of one day breaking into. I guess maybe one day it will be me knocking on a door wondering if an owner is interested in selling their property.
Trying to get back into the blogging habit. Charlotte is doing well. All house guests have finally left and we have peace at the house. (The chairs all held up well- all new chairs were used.)
I'm finding myself googling about newborns a lot more than saving money.
Now that we have bought everything for Charlotte, I don't see her incurring many additional expenses for the next few weeks. So our budget will stabilize now.
We are still short monthly from our rental income to our monthly expenses. But it's not much longer until that reverses due to husbands disability court hearing in December, and new cheaper health insurance kicking in January. So January should bring in a whole new budget!
Still pondering what to do with money that has come in specifically for Charlotte. Thinking Cloverdell might be an ok option. Or I still might just open up a 1 yr CD to give myself some more time to research it. I appreciate all your responses to my request for advice. I need to re-read them as I read them before but cant really remember the details (sleep deprived).
Ok, so this was not a great post. But its a start to get back in the habit. Going to check on the baby now.
Charlotte has received $950.00 so far from friends and family. I have not yet deposited any money because I'm uncertain the best place to put it.
If it goes in a savings account then it will get spent. And not by her.
I am open to an education fund but am leery of them as well. I feel like the 529's and such are new-ish products and worry about how great of an idea they will be 16 -18 years from now when we use the money. I have heard some limit the colleges she can attend, some have large fees if she does not attend college, and some have fees just to invest the money.
And we are uncertain about putting her into a private high school which is currently costing about $8- $10k a year on average here in my town. So we might want to use the money when she is about 14 yrs old towards her private schooling.
I looked into TIAA Cref and they seem pretty standard. As I understand it, the money is currently accumulating 1% interest, and that is variable. The money has a 10% penalty when not used for school. And we get a $2k tax credit per year for investing the money. If money is used for school we pay no taxes towards interest accrued on account.
But I worry things will change once the money is locked up. Like the govt has discussed making ROTH's less attractive, and cutting Social Security, and all the other programs the govt changes it's mind about.
Do you guys have any opinions or advice?
At this point I am thinking of opening a 1 year CD and spending the year thinking about what to do with the money.
8 days ago I had a baby. Her name is Charlotte. She is healthy other than jaundice and we love her very much. Husband has stepped up to the plate and he is as hands on as possible. He is physically pushing himself beyond his limits but not complaining at all. We are exhausted. I'll post more another time. Thanks for thinking of us!
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