Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Finances and Fitness

Another week!  Still working on the renovation, so not too much to report.  Still have not heard my son has been approved to move in yet.  He is working nights, so he is asleep right now and may not hear his phone.

Here is our new stove top!  I absolutely love it!  It actually works - number one.  But also, it has a flat surface so it is super easy to clean.  Water really can boil!  AMAZING!

Very cloudy, so not a great picture.

This is my dining room.   This is how my dining room will look for the next three weeks as I continue to stain and seal our cabinet doors.  It is a lot of hurry up and wait with these things.

Yes, I am currently working around the old stove top.  I cannot lift it!

I am going to start with FITNESS since there is not much to tell.  No change and I am not focusing on it.  I wish I were better with this.  Seriously need to get back on track.

OK, FINANCES.

401(k) is up about $1000 over last week - WOOHOO!  Love those gains.  I am really hoping that with how things are going, the goal of $75,000 this year will be surpassed.  We will see!

Nothing else has changed this week.

Now, to talk a bit about that refinance.  I told you I could not stand that low principle payment.  So, we are in the process of refinancing right now to a 10 year mortgage at 3.25%.  MUCH BETTER than the 30 year at 5%.

When we crunched numbers, we felt that the snowball had its day and although we LOVE the idea of it, we are not sure it is the best for us at this point in our lives.  We seriously want to retire when -D turns 60.  Seriously want to.  We still have a chance, but we have to get on top of our savings.

So, the focus is still on paying off the Jeep - it will just not be getting ALL the extra money.  Currently, we are putting the max we can legally in the 401(k) - not just to the match.  That stays.
Emergency savings will get $300 a month and we will pay $400 a month extra to the mortgage.  Our goal is to have the house paid off by the time our youngest graduates.

Lots happening here and I have no idea if it will work while funding colleges and everything else, but we are going to try.

I am planning on opening an Etsy shop selling quilts and other little items by the end of the year to hopefully get a little money coming in.  The patches are still bringing in quite a bit and that keeps me busy enough.

This next quilt is made up of 744 scrappy triangles.  I have a little over 200 made; I have a ways to go.  I wish I could work on several sewing projects at once, but I am a one at a time kind of chick. 


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Subscription Boxes - Nature Box, Hampton's Lane and Nerd Box, Jr.

We received 3 of the boxes within a week, so I decided to show them all at once.  I will give a small review with all of them.

First up - Nature Box.

We were most excited about this one combined because we struggle with snacks.  It is nice to get a serving and satisfy that salty or sweet craving (especially in the evening).

Box it came in
Full of treats!

With Nature Box, you get to choose what you want from about 100 different snacks or you can let them surprise you.  We chose to be surprised because we are just crazy like that!  LOL

We ended up getting:

Sea Salt Pop Pops - a half popped popcorn which is soooo good.  Satisfies that salty and crunchy cravings without resorting to chips.

Apple Pie Oat Clusters - Umm, they are the most fabulous "cookie" type treat.  But - good for you.  Luckily, I don't do too many sweets and these are just barely sweet enough to think you are getting a treat.  They are filling - I don't usually eat a full serving.

Cheddar and Onion Sunflower Kernels - This is our least favorite.  We probably take it OFF our shelves altogether.  Though we like sunflower kernels.  The onion is WAY overpowering.

Masa Crisps - My favorite because I love Fritos.  These taste like a thicker frito.  The perfect snack.

Lemon Tea Biscuits - They are good.  -D likes them a little more than I do, but he has a sweet tooth.

Overall, we LOVE this box.  We will probably continue to get surprised because honestly, I probably would not have tried the Masa Crisps and they are my favorite.

Hampton's Lane

We knew what we were getting because we chose it.  They let you either get the box of the month, pick a past box or none at all.  Lots of options!  I really wanted the mortar and pestle bowl, but it is sold out.  Our next choice was the Spanish Tapas.  We were not disappointed.

The Box was plain, so I went straight to the good stuff!

We received Spanish Olives (the good kind), Roasted Red Peppers, Chorizo and Smoked Paprika.  I should have put this on my quirky list - I am OBSESSED with smoked paprika.  I could just sit around drinking wine and sniffing smoked paprika.

This package also came with an amazing paella pan.

We have not cooked with it just yet (this renovation is killing me), but I cannot wait.  After having some of the best paella in London a few years ago, I am dying to make it and try to recreate it.

Both -D and I love this box.  We will probably continue to get them, just taking breaks every now and then.

Nerd Box, Jr. for boys

Cute blue box.
The Aww Yeah! cracked me up!



I thought this box was really cute and came with good amount of fun toys.  However, my son turned his nose up at them.  Not sure why.  Maybe he was too involved in something else - as this is usually right up his ally. 

What was included:

Crashlings - Aliens - little collectibles with a popping game

Thor figurine

Doyle Doll - associated with Monster Factory

Sonic Hedgehog Ball toy

Mad Libs book - Adventure Time

Overall, I liked it.  We probably will not renew beyond the six months because of our son's lack of interest.  I do like this box though.

Getting these boxes are very fun!  We are not shoppers, so this is exposing us to new things that we would never even think about.  I have no idea if we keep going or not.  We still have one more box this month - my daughter's, so we will see how she reacts!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

He's moving out

I sort of wanted to wait on this, but I think it is a good-to-go thing, so I will go ahead.

Our oldest came to us, telling us that a high school friend was looking for a roommate.  This was a person he was going to move in with originally, so it is a good thing.

I went ahead and made a budget for him. I know this is not a popular choice, but he welcomed it with open arms, so it worked out.  It was actually the best conversation we have ever had about money.  He said he was very worried about it - as he should be. 

We broke it up check by check and added an emergency fund/car repair fund as well as entertainment and food budgets.

I highly doubt he will follow it to the letter, but it is a resource for him.

So, today, he filled out the apartment application and is waiting to see if he is accepted.  What is in his favor is that he has been working for the same company for almost 3 years and has $5,000 in a bank account.  We will see.  I am not as anxious as he is, but I am anxious a little to hear about whether or not he accepted.

The room is small and he has to use smaller furniture.  I think that reality is starting to hit.  He said it was smaller than his current room.  We have twin beds to replace his full size one to make the room a little more comfortable.

I plan on taking him grocery shopping to get him started with all those things that are hard to get going, like seasonings, spices, olive oil, baking mix, etc.  The staples.  Then we are going into our stash and setting him up with laundry detergent, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, etc. 

This is just to get him started, since start up cost are very expensive!  We may still gift these at birthday and Christmas, but it will not be a normal monthly thing.

I worked out what I expected by way of communication and he seemed agreeable. Once a week.  He will not be far though, so it might be more.  I do not want our house to be a revolving door though.

With this move, all our kids get the own room again and this is very needed!  A 17 year old and 11 year old have very different time frames and needs. Having him come right back would not work!

Am I overjoyed about this - no.  Am I sad - not really.  This really seems like a normal thing that should happen.  It is time.  I know he is only 19, but it really is time for him to move out.