Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Today's Discoveries

This one is a little more personal and not really about finances, but this my absolutely sweet chaotic life, so I am going with it.

Today's little discovery nuggets:

1) No matter how much pain I am in and how little of sleep I get, when my kiddos are sick, I am super mom.  Though I think they are getting me sick.

2) The private school we will be going to does a Washington DC Trip for 8th grade.  This is one of my most favorite things from childhood, so I am over the moon excited for them.  It should be better than the shop fest my older two went on since this school teaches Classical Education (focus on history, writing and language).

3) I pretty much only like to cook with the crockpot.  I hate cooking in general, though I am decent at it, but when I am working with a crock pot, I can spend 45 minutes prepping and I don't mind one bit.  Crazy, I know.

4) My yoga pants are wearing out - literally, and the store I bought them in is no longer open.  I bought them about 7 years ago and I wear them everyday.  I actually cried because of it.  Get a life Jennifer!

5) I am better overall when I do yoga.  I quit because of getting out of debt, but made a decision today that it is worth every single penny.  I don't have my nails done, don't wear or carry designer anything, so this is my splurge.  For my health and wellbeing - Yoga.

6) I sleep better when my husband gets up earlier than me.  Not sure why.  I don't go to sleep without him, but I like him getting up before me.

7) Slow, rainy days are my most favorite.  You would think I would have realized this long before the age of 41, but I did not.  I actually have more energy today than the past several.  Not that I could live in Seattle.  It is the slow part that is the best.

8) The bible lessons we are doing this year are my favorite part of teaching surprisingly.  I am not very religious, but have a strong faith.  We do not go to church or pray together as a family.  I have never prayed out loud nor will I ever, but seeing them read the bible is amazing.  Watching their eyes light up with understand is something I will never forget.

That's it.  I was going for 10, but nothing else is coming to mind.

Oh, I need to stop obsessing about money - I literally think about it constantly.  I read somewhere that listing 10 things (in your head) you are grateful for right before going to sleep helps. I am going to try it and see if it helps me - I could use a full night of sleep.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

401(k) update

OK, OK, so we were jumping the gun on our thinking and you all brought us back down from our excitement.  Stars were in our eyes and now I am a little down thinking about it, but here is what we did.

We looked at 3 scenarios.

1) Fully take out all the 401(k), pay off the 401(k) loan, use the sign-on bonus and vacation pay to the pay-off the credit cards and most of the Jeep (to within a couple thousand).  Assess the tax hit.

2) Use the 401(k) to pay the 401(k) loan, then roll the rest over to the new company's 401(k).  Use the sign-on bonus and vacation pay toward the credit cards. 8 months until remaining debt is paid.  Assess the tax hit.

3) Use the bonus and vacation pay to pay-off the 401(k) loan, roll over existing 401(k) to new company's 401(k).  Keep going with pay-off of credit cards and Jeep - taking 14 months.  No tax assessment needed.

So, this was not as easy as you think.  We are not only looking at the financial, but our peace of mind and how much that is worth to us.  We have NEVER been out of debt - NEVER!  It has always been in our lives.  This is a HUGE deal to us.  We have completely turned our lives inside out to get this debt paid off.  Moving, selling off 1/2 of what we own, cutting the kids off of extra-curriculars, cutting out Christmas, making gifts, no cable, etc, etc.  All the while, I have been diagnosed with a heart problem, osteo-arthritis and possibly an auto-immune disease.

This took some thinking.

Scenario 1 didn't work for me.  I could not pay in taxes more than what my Jeep is worth.  I just couldn't.  It means we are almost immediately out of debt, but we would spend the next 5 months saving for the tax hit.  No thanks.

Scenario 3 has it's appeal.  No major tax hit.  But it would take 1 1/2 years to get the debt gone and we need to do this faster.

Scenario 2 is the one we chose.  We took a much smaller tax hit to get the loan paid back from 401(k) funds.  Then we are rolling over the rest of the existing 401(k) directly to the new one to avoid any kind of tax burden.  Our income will be MUCH less when we retire than now, thus our tax bracket will be MUCH lower.  We will use the bonus and vacation money to pay towards the credit cards.  It will not pay them both off, but just 2 months later, they both will be gone.  Then the Jeep will follow by May 2015.  That is less than 1 year from when we bought it.  I doubt we will finance another car.

There you go.  I feel better now that it is settled.  Thanks for your kind guidance!

Monday, September 15, 2014

For Sonya

Sonya, this is what my tired mind thought of today and even though it is not wicked Wednesday - here you go.  A flashback.

No Sleep Day

I am operating on no sleep today.  Carla, not sure how you went so long, because I feel like a zombie.  I need my requisite 6 hours minimum.

The kids are so good - putting up with my impatience as we school this morning.  I am so thankful that we can be done by lunch today.  I need the down time this afternoon for sure.

Our air conditioner started making a LOUD banging noise whenever it started - all yesterday, so we called our repair guy and he came this morning.  I was dreading it because we have been having constant air conditioner issues since we moved in.  Luckily, it was a warranted item, so no charge!  YEAH!

The days are getting slightly cooler, so it is easier to be outside.  Today is sunny, so I really need to sit outside and get some rays.  My vitamin D are beyond low, so a nice relaxing outside snooze sounds delicious.

I have not been in the mood to sew lately.  That makes me feel so fortunately that I have a small following so I can take a break and let the hunger for it come back when it does naturally.  This way I do not get burned out.  Patches are "in-season", so that is a steady influx of cash.  I keep about $250 on hand with my little side gig all the time now.  It comes in handy for emergencies.

Hope you all are having a good day!

Sunday, September 14, 2014



The past week has been a crazy one and the next couple are proving to be up there as well.

The immediately diagnosis the rheumatologist gave me was osteo-arthritis and fibromyalgia.  I do not believe I have fibro though, I just don't fit the bill enough.  I do have exhaustion, but out of all the other symptoms, that is it.  I do not have wide spread pain in my muscles.  The only pain I have is in my wrist and ankles joints where there is swelling.  So, I am waiting for more blood work and an X-ray of my hands.  We will see.


This is where the insight comes in.

My husband accepted a position at another company, so there are many changes coming.  #1 being, we may be out of debt, except our mortgage, in the next couple of months. 

He is getting a sign-on bonus, plus guaranteed bonuses for the first year (which we will not get for another year).  However, upon leaving this company, we have decided to cash out 401(k), so that will automatically cancel the loan and give us a bit of cash infusion.  -D also has vacation days that will bring us quite a chunk of change.  So, between the 401(k), the vacation pay, and the sign-on bonus, we can pay off all our debt.

Now, since we will be getting rid of what little retirement we have, we made a plan for that as well.  This new company matches 100% up to 6%.  So, at just 6%, we are actually chunking away 12% of income.  We are going higher and putting the max we are allowed into 401(k) to help with taxes and save.  We should be back to where we are now (minus the loan) in a little less than year on just principle alone.  Year two should have us above where we would have been.

What is next?

This is where controversy will set in, but again, our children, our money, our decision.

1)We are putting the two I homeschool into a private school that teaches along the line of what I was.  Not until next year though, I am still homeschooling this year.

2)We are also working to pay off the mortgage before they go to college, so 5-6 years.

3)Yes, of course, we will also work on the emergency fund - 6 months of expenses.

 That's it - I will have more details as we go forward with this plan.  I am crossing my fingers that this will work!  We think it will, but I won't count on it until the bills are paid.  This will be the first time EVER in both of our adult lives!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Nine Eleven

I am hearing so many stories today about where people were.  In all honesty, this event shook me to the bone. 

I was driving to work.  I worked for a small Christian publisher as office manager and was listening to the radio.  The day was slightly overcast in Houston and there was an actual song on morning radio - though I cannot remember which one.  There was a break in the music and an emergency announcement that a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers.  At this point, there was still speculation that it could have been an accident.

When I arrived at work, the one other person in the office was crying.  Now, we knew it was a terrorist attack.

As the day progressed - I did not have access to radio or internet or television, so I did not know what was happening.  Our boss let us go home, just as the Montessori school called for me to pick my 2 children.

When I got there, parents were screaming and running around like crazy.  It was pure chaos.  I managed to find my kids who were crying and seemed dazed.  I drove home anxious, because I could not listen to the radio in front of the kids - they were already too confused and upset.

I fixed them lunch and put them down for a nap.  My husband called.  The petagon had been hit.  My brother-in-law was working there.  My heart stopped.  We could not get through and no one heard from him for 2 days.  The whole family was in shock.

He was on the other side of the building during the attack, but many, many of his friends died that day.

Not sure I can even think about this day without crying still.  I have not lived in a city where there terrorist activities (that I know of), but that day will forever be etched in my mind and in my heart.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Decided to keep going

I'll still be taking a break from posting.  I need to work through these health issues - been told I am sharing too much.  Cannot help it - I am definitely an open book kind of person.  I don't think anything is too personal - maybe not appropriate, but nothing is that shameful.

Things going on.

Health - still in the process of getting diagnosed.  In the meantime, I am on a very strict no gluten, no dairy, no egg diet with LOTS of vitamins.  Sigh

Money - DH is leaving his current job and has a position with another company - this will bring some changes, so I will let you know as they occur.

School - I am hating it this year.  Maybe because of the health issues, but it seems to be such a chore.  Plus my youngest has some issues we need to get help with.  Sigh

So, there you have it.

Still reading about everyone...