Saturday, October 25, 2014

Money, Money, Money

Yep, Money, one of my favorite topics. Well it is now, it sure wasn't when we had over 50k in medical debt. Back then it was find money and work and pay, pay, pay down debt. Where looking at the stack of bills made ya sick. Working 60 plus hours a week made me sick!

But lately I can't believe what a 360 money has taken in our lives. We have one debt and that is the house. Two years ago we cut our lives down to nothing. Freeing up money, no longer paying 125 a week in gas to get the kids to and from school. No longer paying for school. No longer paying all that extra weekly school stuff that would come up, from photos to birthdays, to raising money for this or that. 

But it really wasn't until about a year ago, we got to see the savings from cutting our lives down to nothing. We had some left over things to clear up, we had some things to fix up. Life

And so when we saw that extra savings, we made a plan. To pay down the house so we can re-fi and get rid of pmi. Well in the 18 months since the last re-fi we have went from 126,982.42 to as of Wednesday to 115,000 a big difference of nearly 12,000. 

After some chatting last week, hubby and I realized we should try to re-fi now as rates are dropping again and math wise we should be able to drop pmi? 

So after some chatting with mortgage guy. Yes, we can re-fi and drop pmi, but our rate is about the same. CRAP. But math wise our payment will drop to about 800ish a month, giving us breathing room. And if we keep on our same road, we would be paying our mortgage down by about 1,000 a month, verses the about 800 we are doing now. So math wise this works out better for us. 

So about 220ish principle payment, add in the 135 weekly, add in the 189ish difference in pay, as we save 1000 a month for Mortgage and if we have a payment of about 800-811 we send the difference to mortgage. Comes to nearly 1000 a month. When the final numbers drop we will have to see if we can come up with the difference so it's an equal 1000 towards principle every month. Then watch our mortgage drop. 

We talked about other money goals. We have a house fund, this fund is so we can buy some land down the road. We want to pay cash for anything in the future. This was just started a few months ago, and really it's a few dollars here and there. So hubby is taking that over, and he is on the hunt for money. Any extra money at the end of the week, we just cashed in our change jar, and that went in there. There is money, we just need to find it. 

Then we have an Emergency fund. Our money lady holds onto to that. Right now we have about three months saved up. I would love to double that and have 6 months saved up. This might be a hard goal to hit.

How are we able to do all this and live on one very small income? Well lets see, bills are down to bare basics. If we don't need it we don't buy it. I make a grocery list every week, I stick to a menu. If it's not on the list I don't buy it. If we want something we save a little something a week until we can afford it. We don't just run out and buy something. We don't go to stores just to walk around. We do things ourselves. Why hire someone when you can do something yourself? I have taught hubby that there is someone on youtube showing someone like him how to do something. It's how we fixed (and then replaced) the front faucet. Last year when Hannah hit the back faucet and sent water flying. We did hire someone to come out and fix that, because A. I was busy under the house cleaning up water. And B. it's a very used faucet, it needed to be fixed right. But that costs us over 300 dollars and wiped out our savings at the time. The front faucet costs 7 dollars. Big difference. And best of all, we say NO a LOT.

Yes, I do garden and save all the food I can and that off sets the food budget. But we also keep track of every single penny. And with keeping track of every penny and only using cash, it's very hard to let that money go to buy something that is just silly. I often find myself in a store, going off a list and crossing off this or that because I just don't want to spend money on it right now. 

So if mortgage guy is right we will miss our November and December mortgage payment. With the November payment we plan on buying loads of meat. I'm nearly out of hamburger and one more package of chicken and I may be set for a year? We plan on going and buying a few bags of flour, with winter coming it's hard for us to get out to the flour store. I need to get my sewing machine in for a tuning. Yes, I know I can do this myself, but it's been 12 years and I'm afraid the second I start to remove screws on what I will find? And the rest will go into savings to boost that up. December will go into the house fund.

And then come January, make a mortgage plan and stick to it and watch our mortgage drop. 

So I believe for now the Mortgage updates are done. We will know more later this week when we sit and chat with Mortgage guy. But in the end it's exciting. It's breathing room, and I like to breath. Just can't wait for the day we are under 100k. And I can now see that day coming. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

GOAL!, English, & Weekly Update

Well since Tucker got his new glasses he has taken off. Yesterday he finally finished up English Two. Told him English Three needs to be done by the end of our school year. That would leave him one year behind on English. With our new school schedule, English now gets done daily so we can probably hit this goal no problem.

This is the wall hanging I sent off last week. It wasn't what was in my head. But this is how it ended up on the fabric. I really like it. 

So Hit a Mortgage Goal this week. Currently sitting at 115,000. Thought long and hard about paying an extra dollar and being at 114,999. But wanted to see 115k. We will find out tomorrow what the Mortgage Lender has planned for us. If anything. The numbers are close so we may have to wait until next year and we are more closer to 100k. I'll wait a few days before setting a new Mortgage goal. Need to see if we will indeed re-fi or not. Nothing like waiting.

Other then that rainy season has started. Nothing but wet outside.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sewing, Weekly Update, & Mortgage Challenge

Yeah, Yeah, I know I"m running late this week. Next week I plan on showing off a sewing project I got off into the mail a few days ago.

I made this little thing for Tucker. Daddy said that mommy would make him a eye glass holder for his bed. But I couldn't picture it. Well until I came across a scrap piece of fabric and some monkey flannel scraps and this was born. It will not only hold his glasses, but some small babies he has.

And then the scarecrow. Oh Lordy the scarecrow. So the boys saw this guy and they were like MOM you have to make this. Found the pattern here And so I got the pattern and started to work on it. Now I don't have much luck with patterns. Still don't know if it's me or the writer of the patterns? So got the head all sewed up and all was going well. Got the shirt at goodwill, and the pants. Oh Lordy the pants. Hit three goodwill's, no one has overalls? really? so these are a pair of hubby's old pants, with me sewing on the straps. Now the wings. Got them all cut out ok, but the patten to place these? I was banging my head against the wall, wanting to scream. It's like really you can't draw a line and put them in order? Even hubby was going, huh? But they are wings, so I placed them and sewed them to how I wanted them. So in the end it was no big deal. BUT.

So he now greets people as they enter our driveway. But since we get so little traffic here, he may be very bored?

So lots going on this week. We sat down and went over some money issues. It pains me to pay pmi on the house and we don't have to be. Rates are dropping. And do we really have to pay hazard? After the math, if pmi was dropped, we could be reducing our mortgage by at least 1,000 a month. If not more. I didn't count in a rate drop. Dropping the mortgage total by 1,000 a month would be dreamy. Since we only want to move one more time, and probably move to OR. We are pretty much here for awhile. So since we are here, lets work on paying down the house. We also made other small money goals. Like upping our emergency fund. Right now it will pay for the mortgage for 3 months. Aim to have about 6 months by the end of next year? Small steps. 

So we have an email into our Mortgage lender, he will get back to us tomorrow with numbers. If we can drop pmi and our rate, we may go forward, if not, then we won't. And dropping hazard would be a dream. So we shall see? 

Other then that, school, squash, and sewing.

Friday, October 10, 2014

ZOO, weekly update & Mortgage Challenge

So got up Monday morning, and the kids had no idea, they thought they were going to have a regular school day. I had all ready had everything packed and in the car, so they know nothing. I yelled field trip, stunned looks came over their face. Told them to be dressed and in the car in 5 minutes. And off we went. It wasn't until we pulled in (after getting turned around a few times) that they realized we were at the zoo. 

Tell ya I LOVE going when we did. Probably one of the last hottest days of the year. No school classes. No crowds. We got to spend time looking at the animals and walking around. We spent a good 3-4 hours there.

So we are now moving into fall. Rain is coming and I'm working on cleaning the outside. Still clearing beds, finding the porch, and still harvesting. Canning pumpkin daily, putting squash on the dryer daily and then turning it into flour. 

Not to mention my mountain of sewing projects. So at night I'm sewing away. Photos one day I'm sure? 

Mortgage front, down to 115,300. Can't wait to hit the 114's. We are now back on track of paying the extra money weekly. Hoping to keep that up between now and the end of the year? Took a week off so we would have money for the chicks sale. Although didn't spend it there, nope, it was spent at the zoo. But it was nice have the kids out. Need to do more outings.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Odds & Ends

What Marcie? are you blogging two days in a row? what is up with you?

First at the chicks sale found these guys. OH my boys fell in love and Mom you HAVE to make some.

After some thought, found the pattern and thought some more.

Went back this morning and took photos. And I will be buying the pattern real soon.

Brought this guy today. No idea what he is, after some googling I have a name, but I could be wrong? Anyone know? It's heirloom.

I know what this guy is.

This is the bird house I bought. Three holes on the front, one each on the sides.

And two in the back. I will be painting it soon.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge

Been a quiet, but busy week. Last Sunday we went out to the back field and totally cleaned out half of the garden beds. It looks so empty out back now.

The green stuff? Oregano, I never planted it here, but yet I keep digging it up and moving it to the front and it keeps coming back. I gave up this year. Need to do a harvest of it soon and cut it back for winter. 

Empty beds. 

This is that new bed we put in. We moved the Feverfew over. So now I have lilac's and feverfew. More to come. 

This upcoming year I will be adding more herbs to the garden, I took a break this year so I could focus on what I had. Made sure they were all ok. Moved the ones that needed a bigger home. But now it's time to add a few more to the collection. 

But mostly a quiet week. Been going out nightly and cleaning one front yard bed a day. Working slowly on cleaning up the front yard. 

Today was the chicks sale and nothing to exciting. We picked up two wagon wheels I will show off later when we re-do the fence this spring. It's on the verge of falling down. Got a new bird house. It's new, so I need to paint it and de-stress it. Of course the sales are hit or miss. Some years we hit well and some we don't, and this was a don't. 

So with the money saved, we may take the kids to the zoo? We haven't been there in over two years. Might be nice to have a surprise. Of course we won't tell them. Just wake up and tell field trip, get in the car! 

Mortgage didn't drop too much this week. I didn't pay the extra 135, saving that for the chicks sale. But I did pay the monthly mortgage payment. Get back on track next week and should be able to end the year well. Mortgage is currently at 115,432.31

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Play Room Pixs, Weekly Update, & Mortgage Challenge

Boy that was a mouth full. FINALLY getting around to taking photos of the new play room. Believe it or not I hand made all those Lego's on the wall. Really not that hard, took time more then anything. I used a straight edge and we went off of 4 x 4 inch measurements. Hard to see on some of the photos but I did draw in all the circles as well. I used canned food and drew around them.

I brought a table at surplus for a whopping 5 dollars.

No idea what Cole was doing back there?

We put in new carpet. I am NOT a fan of carpet and all the chemicals it comes with. BUT this room is in the garage, and the floors get very cold in the winter. So far so good with no puppy pee on it. The door is closed when no one is in there. And the puppy is about 99.5 % potty trained.

Some close ups.

I LOVE the gray above. I have my eye on some Lego art work, I think once I get that, it will look awesome up above.

Our Lego sorter. Got from surplus long ago. Each bin holds a color. 

Mr. Tucker and his new glasses. Took Tucker in to get his eyes checked because we have really fallen behind in school with him. Every day has been a struggle. Come to find out he is blind as a bat. Things have changed so much in two years he is off to see a specialist in December. Although he can see now. I don't think it will be long before he will catch up. We shall see? The fit throwing during English and reading have stopped, probably a good sign?

Fall has set in and hit us hard. One day it was summer and in the 80's, next day fall and pouring rain and just yuck. I'm sneaking out when I can, and cleaning beds. The neighbors horse was helping last night, he cleared the grapes for me. ARG.We have a few dryer days coming up so I should be able to clear most of the back beds and get them covered for winter. I'm putting up food daily. So we will get there. I picked a 24 pound squash yesterday. Yikes.

We have started constructing the raspberry bed. I'll take photos soon. It will be interesting on where I"m putting it. Feverfew was moved and looks good. Chicks sale is coming up, and I'm hoping for planters. Lots and lots of planters. 

On the Mortgage front, we are moving along. Down to 115,652.00. Just LOVE seeing the total go down, but dang there have been some hard weeks. Middle of one now, add in trying to save for the chicks sale, and my shopping list this week is insane.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Weekly Update & Mortgage Challenge (plus new garden bed)

So I did it again. Hubby and I were out working in this herb bed. Remember this guy? Well my Fever View has spread like crazy. Tuckers plant is having babies everywhere, and my Lilac's are buried and not being treated with the love they should have.

So this bed is for the lilac's. I will move the Fever View into the bed. I will this spring find all of Tucker's babies and put them into the bed. I plan on getting some Wintergreen and that will be placed in this bed, because it's also a spreader. Just kinda a catch all bed. 

So I bought a bunch of brick, this is four yards of dirt. Holes in the brick will hold Lavender. 

If you are wondering about the post and well. This is an RV parking site. We unhooked the electric long ago and the well is not working at the moment.  But we want to keep everything in place, until we decide if we are ever selling or staying?

And then yesterday our neighbor surprised us. She ordered ten yards of gravel, and now we have to rearranged our weekend in nearly 90 degree heat and work on the road. A bit surprised because we chatted about picking a day a wee bit later into fall to dodge the heat. But nope. And hubby can't take the day off. So he is working on road and then going to work, to finish off Sunday. All neighbors are working. 

Fall is coming, tomatoes have tanked, so now it's time to tear apart the garden. It's not just me on the tomato front, after talking to a few it's everyone in town. So it's more weather then anything. Just sad. 

Our Mortgage has dropped to 115,792.31 With each drop it's much easier to breath. I can't believe how close we are to 115k. That will be an exciting day.

About it here, just crazy busy with school, and garden. Tough money week ahead, but we will breath through it and be ok.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Weekly Update and under 16k Mortgage Challenge

The garden is slowly coming to an end. But there are still a few things to take photos of! The light was just right for Teddy the other day. Oh how pretty he is. This is a Teddy Bear Sunflower

An awesome sunflower.

How pretty is this mini rose? I'm not a fan of pink but crap this is pretty!

And finally, a photo of what I picked up in OR. A Prickly Pear. Hubby talked me into it. I really need to stick to NO. Because this was a pain in the ASS to bring home. A prickly pear is nothing to mess with. You don't touch this unless you are fully gloved and clothing. We actually lost a few paddles coming home, but it's still a pretty thing. 

A bumpy week. We are on day 8 of homeschooling. We've had bumps, the other day we got so far off, I couldn't figure it out. But today went so smooth it wasn't funny. But taking it one day at a time here. We are taking off Friday, as Tucker has an eye appointment and then stay in town to do errands and save on gas. Daddy had an eye appointment on Monday and needed new glasses. So as daddy was looking, Tucker picked out a pair. Oh he is all set if he needs glasses. He is really struggling so I think it's time for him. But he looks so good, so we shall see. Glasses are not paid by insurance. so we've been saving for this. 

Our Mortgage is under 116k. YEAH. Currently at 115,924.31, working hard at keeping on track. Just hope there are no more mortgage bumps.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Weekly Update & Mortgage Update

Oh how I LOVE these tomatoes. I think I will have to do these every year. These tomatoes are very tiny. BUT I bought some seeds this year that are suppose to be smaller? we will see. These are Matt's Wild. And they just melt my tomato picking heart.

Not a great tomato year, this year. I think it's more of a weather thing then a me thing? Too wet, not enough sun, they are turning brown and dying off on me. I've lost one whole bed so far. Although Siberia is doing well. These are new to me this year. Seem to be a study stream of tomatoes for me. A bit larger then a cherry. We have a week of sun ahead so I'm hoping for a bunch of red tomatoes. I'm watching the weather. Hoping to give everything a few more weeks before we are talking frost? 

We started school on Monday. There are a lot of wrinkles this year. We are slowly ironing them out. We are trying some online things this year. After Monday we realized it's more of a guide. It's good for science, history and art. Not sure on the spelling. But trying it for now. The math SUCKS. So I'm still doing Saxon, We realized the English sucks so we will keep with Bob Jones for English. We have expanded reading. This week it's 20-30 minutes in a week or two it will be a strong 30 minutes each.

Money wise, things are going from tight to tighter. Oh boy. You add in Christmas is coming. It's scary. We lost a LOT of food money this month. No idea why as nothing money wise has changed, but we were hit hard. I went over every number when we got the paperwork and they didn't input any wrong numbers so IDK. But it will really hurt. We are barely getting by as it is. But then you think that is the government for ya, never wanting to help, keep ya poor. Because you we would be ok if we were not paying down the house. 

And that is something I'm torn about daily. How can one pay down a house with a budget like this? But yet paying down the house will help the budget in about a year or so, and set us up, to look good. And the feeling you get every time you log in and see the total going down and down. If all goes well we will be below 113k at the end of the year. I would LOVE to be at 100k at the end of next year. I will run the numbers closer to the end of the year to see if that is possible? 

IDK I am taking things day at a time. I'm hoping to use swags for most of the Christmas. We may have to get creative on food here. I just hope the hit doesn't hurt us too bad. 

Mortgage is currently at 116,056.31