Sounds like a smart plan

You will be saving money by not renting, even enough it sounds like where if something breaks or needs replacing it still would be equal to or less than renting. I feel like even though the real estate market is where it is because of the “crash” housing prices are more or less back where they should be. Back to where they were when people bought a home to pay it off, and own something – rather than this idea that they need a mcmansion and should keep trading up and up and away (and incurring more debt).
Glad the readjustment, if you will, coincides with your being able to buy!

That is really really cool

It’s so exciting to see everyones progress and plans for the year (and it’s only barely past February!)

If all goes well we will be making an offer on a house later this week, or first of next week at the latest. We are ready to move on with our lives. DH may end up staying behind and renting a room for the summer so we can save up the money to pay forward the mortgage. It will cost us $3300 to have UHaul move it for us, or for us to drive it there. If he doesn’t have a job, I’d rather save the $$ and use it for the mortgage and few bills we will have, plus whatever he makes for the summer.

It feels weird to go from RENTING at $2000 a month to BUYING at $600 a month. That UHaul cost would pay the mortgage for 6 months, hence the reason we’re thinking take the minimum we can pack in the cars and put the rest in $300 a month storage. Between my baseball earning and my DS19’s baseball earnings and my last 3 months of babysitting, we would “just” have the $3500 to move “stuff.” I’d rather move ‘us’ and have money in the bank for 4 months while we figure out employment.

Once we get moved (and jobbed) our plan is to pay the minimum on the mortgage, car and motorcycle loan and rebuild the FFEF quickly. If DH (or me) can land a job making at least what he makes now, that should only take us about 6 months to build up a FFEF of $12000. $12k is about a year’s supply of EF (lol) Our goal afterwards is to then save up $10k and pay something off (car or cycle or toward the mortgage) and then repeat. It has been too scary with DH long unemployment and DD18 being so ill for us to just risk having a BEF. Since our mortgage will be so low ($72k) in an ideal world we would focus on paying that off before we worried about the motorcycle or car, since paying the minimums on them would end us entirely debt free about the same time as paying off the house (3 years.)

I know it’s not the DR way…but we are DEAD TIRED of being forced to move by greedy landlords. They can come repo the cars if it comes to it, but I’m DONE being RE-PO’d on a house (so to speak.)

It is getting closer

We owe less than $90K on it. I told him that in the next year I’d just like to write a check to pay it off and be done with it. Of course we’d still have to put aside $$ for insurance and taxes. He actually responded differently than he has in the past. Normally he says something like, “Yeah that would be nice.” But this time he was more optimistic and said would have to sit down and look at it later this year. That is a step in the more “positive” direction. I can’ say as I blame him. We are self-employed and have always kept a reserve for the business, what we would call a FFEF. However, by the time the end of the year gets here the principle may be down low enough to pay it off. We are paying at least 1.5x of the principle. It may be closer to 2x the principle.

I asked dh what he would like to do with the $$ we are now putting toward the house payment. He said the first few months he’d like to save it. Good answer. After that we may put a small portion to certain things we feel are extras that we have not been able to build a sinking fund for. Not sure yet what that would be but we have time to decide. One thing I’d like to possibly do is provide something for a student at our church’s school that may be in need … like a backpack full of all the school supplies needed for the year … notebooks, pens, pencils, calculator, etc. Whatever is on the list. We could probably do more than one but I have no idea what is on those school supply lists. Maybe do one student’s supply list and like 3 complete uniforms maybe. It is exciting to think about what we could do! And it may just be a year from now! Even if it’s a little longer, that is okay. I am going to start thinking of small ways we can bless someone with part of what we will have available after the mortgage is paid off.


dh is back to work full time, as of today despite a rash one of the medications caused. We have taken him off the meds as a result. He goes back for a recheck and to plan his next testing a week from this Friday, but we are all very optimistic that the results will be good.

He and ds got another small profit sharing check, which we promptly rolled into our 401k where the company did a 5% matching on it—sweet. We are looking at this smaller 401K as our future ffef when dh retires sometime, hopefully in the next 12 months.

Sunday dh and I spent time chatting about life in general, lessons learned since December about needing to have plans for “what if” in case of emergency (adding a home inventory after the neighbors horrible house fire) and just exactly what we want to do in preparing for retirement.
One thing we agreed on is we need to start doing our traveling before he retires, because you never know when your health can turn on a dime. However, he still owes the company 3.02 hours of vacation time and even though he gets approximately 6.5 hours each pay day that doesn’t make for any really long trips any time soon.
So we opted for spending a small amount for senior annual passes for Silver Dollar City again this year and to plan several weekend getaways to there and surrounding attractions.

Because it will be leaving on Friday at noon and coming home Sunday we have decided we will stay in a motel most of those trips because there is one we have stayed at before that works out to be real close to what it costs us to pull the fifth wheel, pay camping fees etc at the cost of diesel, when we are talking only 2 nights. Longer time periods the camper is cheaper. Each trip would cost us around $300 or less and it will help us decide how much travel we want to do when he retires and how we want to do the travel. More on this in a bit.

So we went through their calendar of events picked rough dates for when we want to go there and…MAYBE, since air fare is down, do one more flying trip to WDW before our annual passes expire. At that point we will decide on whether or not to renew the ap (they are cheaper if you do a renewal within a certain time frame).

Our trips will start very soon. We’ll see how it goes, SDC is about 4 hours from us, so even if one of us got sick the other could get us home safely.

What we are trying to decide on travel is if our camper (a 2001 Sierra fifth wheel) would be worth putting the needed repairs in to make certain it is road worthy (fenders, some wiring dh can’t do, a professional brake check, hitch repair and possibly a roof) and the accessories we would need to travel how we want (mobile internet hot spot, dish antenna for tv, and a portable sewage dump unit, maybe a quiet generator—our big generator for the farm is really loud). Plus the added maintenance and insurance for it.

Or would we be better off selling it and putting that money in our “travel” sinking fund and then simply drive, stay in motels or take advantage of spur of the moment deals like Travelocity and similar companies. Has anyone had any experience with any of those companies? Good or bad? It is a pretty big decision.
Dh is leaning toward keeping the camper, but I am not certain how much longer we can safely pull it, and what if he gets ill? I have never pulled or parked the fiver, neither has ds. Some campgrounds won’t let rvs over a certain age in them either, ours is over that age.

Me, I like flying, and being waited on hand and foot, but that can get real expensive real quick. We have also considered simply replacing the camper but have you priced those puppies recently? WOW! So dh’s homework at this point is to get repair estimates, to price the things he wants for the camper and report those numbers back to me.

Mine is to make certain we get the mortgage paid off quickly so we can hit the road more often and longer in the very near future.

All three of us are going to work on doing a home inventory—that will be a challenge for certain. 3300 square feet, plus a half basement, sunroom 6 car detached garage, barn, 7 out buildings, fifth wheel and a cargo trailer all packed full. I feel a major decluttering coming on…

Ever since dh went in the hospital in June

I have been harping “READ your medical bills”. Just yesterday I posted on fb where I had once again found a duplicate bill for a single service dh received.
Because I am a math nerd it is my habit to check the different websites involved in dh’s medical process. Medicare, BCBS, Warren Clinic and Patient Portal daily.
As of yesterday it looked to me that everything had been filed and applied except 1 maybe two bills. Yet, out of habit I opened the BCBS online claim center first thing this morning to find that over $12,000 more had been filed for! Holy Moly! What the heck?
Even worse I found that BCBS was charging us an additional $3,000 on our deductible, which was already $5,000 and we had already met it! Excuse me?
Long story short. I called them, was pleasant, had the gal run the numbers and she agreed that something wasn’t right, that of that $12,000 we should have been only charged $390 NOT $3,000. An inquiry as to what is going on has now been filed.
Especially since this $12,000 was for the second visit at the surgical hospital and the first one hasn’t been filed yet…it could be yet another $12,000. So I want this straightened out NOW!
READ your bills folks. So far on the two hospital, two outpatient, numerous labs, rx’s, numerous doctors I have found errors that are equal to over $50,000! Seriously I can spend a day here and there for $50,000 can’t you?


I write the check or make the payment, I consider that gone. I never go by the bank balance, I go by my register. I also don’t use a debit card otherwise I would have to remember to take it off the register and that I may forget.

Any advice for moving money so electronic payments happen instantly?

It really frustrates me that my electronic payments take so long to pull from my bank. Luckily, I am pretty organized now and know where my money is going, but it is still unnerving to me when I open my bank account info, and the amount isn’t right. I have to go through my register and see what hasn’t yet posted… Especially when I have no choice but to pay electronically for so many things.

This struck a nerve today because instead of using my cash (my fault!) I used my debit card for gas last week and didn’t balance it in. So my account is $50 shorter than I thought it would be, and I have a payment out there for a bill that hasn’t yet posted but needs that $50. Tomorrow morning I need to rush to the bank, put in $50 cash and hope I have beat the payment posting. If only the money wouldve come out right away last week when I sent it, I wouldn’t have this worry. I wouldn’t have been able to get the gas on my debit, I would have been forced to wait until I got home where cash was. Wish I would have…

I wish there was a machine I could load my dollars into (for free) and instantly send them where they need to go. I like to pay things and see that money gone.

Anybody else irked by this? Any solutions?

Yes you can pay to have the box drilled

Whoever hs settling your estate can get a court order to get into the box, it takes time and money to do so. When df died that is what I had to do to get his life insurance policy that was to pay for his funeral and it took longer than the funeral home would wait so we had to pay cash out of our pockets, not the estate for the funeral. Had we had a copy of the policy on hand insurance would have paid without us actually having the policy in hand. So keep a copy of all policies at home and the original elsewhere.

I know, I know…

1) banks are closed on weekends, if you have a fire Fri–Sun by the time you realize you need it the bank is closed.

2) When you are fleeing for your life picking up your safety deposit key on your way out is low priority.

3)If the person(s) who sign on the box are incapacitated you will need a court order to get in the box

4)If, God forbid, they die you may not be able to remove it from the box until the estate is settled, which could be years.

5) i need payday loan online service

Our insurance agent said

the best thing is to walk through your entire house with a video camera and highlight everything. You don’t even have to talk. Just walk through and open every door, drawer, and cupboard/cabinet. Go through the garage and barn/shed and walk around the outside of the house. Then keep the video somewhere OTHER than in the house! Best option is NOT in your safety deposit box but upload it to a cloud or online storage and keep another copy somewhere else.

We have yet to do this but I can guarantee that it will be done soon….I’m done playing around. We’re doing this!

Well, being Pollyanna here

look at all the stuff you are NOT going to have to move here. Just that alone makes it worth the fact you used it up. I understand the “panic” you feel when you realize it is gone though. I freak when mine gets the least bit low, but then we have had to live off our food storage more than once and it is like a major FFEF to me.

Another big plus of it. You will be able to organize it, and everything will have fresh dates as you restock. You will also know from this last year what your family will and won’t joyfully eat in times of emergency. So in a way, this last year has been a blessing for you.

Well congrats

that you were even ABLE to live/eat for a year being unemployed. That’s a feat in and of itself.

I live in Texas and yes, you will find abundant produce here are great prices. But if you really want a bargain, go to small ethnic markets (Hispanic, asian, etc). There’s one by my house and I was astounded one morning as I stopped to pick up produce for work… I grabbed 3 zucchini, an onion and something else, maybe pasta and I hadn’t purchased enough to meet their $1 credit card minimum and instant payday loans online. Yeah it was crazy. The pack of gum I added to my order cost more than the food…

Also there are a lot of small farms and farm cooperatives where you can buy your meat direct. It’s fresher, you know the animals were treated right, and its usually cheaper.

A pre-welcome to Texas!

Real Food storage (but grateful we had it)

So because we’re being forced to move earlier than we planned, it’s had the “benefit” of me getting packed and finish clearing out the garage so I can move the household stuff into the garage.

This means I could no longer put off going through the real food storage, condensing and rearranging/repacking it (vs our long term storage: wheat rice beans oatmeal, commercial dehydrated which is already boxed square).

Sigh. I’ve put it off and put it off because I did NOT want to see just how badly depleted it had become. I know after a year of being unemployed and living off our food storage, that I should NOT be surprised at how badly depleted it was, but it is still…well a heartbreak to see how little is left (as opposed to say, living in the fantasy that I had real FS left, lol.)

Basically, I’m down to about 10 small bottles of vinegar, about 20 pints of home canned sweet potatoes (which we will probably go through in the next 60 days so I don’t have to move wet home canned), and about a 6 month supply of plastic wrap.

So basically zero real food storage left.

Not complaining. At least I know what our first priority will be once we move to Texas! Good thing it will be summer. It will be too late to get a garden in, but at least I will be able to buy produce by the bushel (hopefully cheap??) and get it put up. Hopefully I will be able to buy a half cow/beef and get that put up too.

Grateful we had it. I know it was a year’s supply because…we were out of work for a year, LOL.

Saving money on vacation

As I mentioned last week, after being so sick for so long dh is wanting to travel asap. We have a couple of short trips planned for this next month, but he wants a multi-day trip to WDW before our annual passes expire. So I started “bargain hunting this last week, and I guess it is meant to be, because here are all the discounts I found and was available to apply so, far to our trip.

We generally stay at the cheapest resort, but due to a special WDW is running right now, we got a special rate on a room and one that was a couple of tiers up from where we usually stay for less money than the cheapest. Our original plan was to arrive on a Thursday and leave on a Monday, because traditionally airfare is cheaper doing it that way. So I told our travel agent (Carol Garcia at the Magic for Less travel agency—tell her I sent you please) we would take that room IF I could get good airfare prices.

Checked Southwest Airlines, our preferred airline and found they actually had a special going that the airfare was about ½ of what their standard price is. Even better we could each fly for $40 cheaper if we flew in the night before, but that would require an extra night at the Pop Century. So I contacted Carol to see how much extra that extra night would be…

Well, it turns out it was actually going to be $150 cheaper, all totaled IF we did take an extra night, because the special going on rooms was tiered based on the number of nights and arrival days. So I told her to add the night and went back to book the airfare, which by that time had already gone up $20 each on us. You gotta be fast on cheap airfares.

So we shot off to Sam’s Club where I picked up enough gift cards to pay for all but $7 on the airfare. The reason I got gift cards was because for every $150 of gift cards you save $8 when you purchase them at Sam’s. That would mean a $40 savings on that.

I also purchased a $150 worth of Disney gift cards at the same $142 price to make my room deposit with, all in all on this trip the gift cards would save us roughly $100 on just the flight and reservations, but we will also pay our meals and shopping with more Disney gift cards, so the savings will be more.

Well, we learned a valuable lesson on the SWA gift cards, READ the back of the card and save yourself some hassle. You can only use them for airfare, you cannot use them on any package deals, in flight purchases etc. Th9is was not a problem, we only wanted to pay airfare with them anyway. The lesson came when after I had entered $200 worth of the cards online that we discovered you can only have 4 forms of payment per BOOKING, not ticket. Which meant we could only use 4 of the gift cards if I purchased the tickets like I normally did 2 round trip airfares on one confirmation number.

I freaked out a bit, and called the help number. The lady on the other end helped me get the $200 put back on my gift cards and suggested 4 one way tickets, that way I could use most of my gift cards. She was helping me do that when we got disconnected.

I called back and got a very nice gentleman who agreed we could do it that way and took over getting the tickets asap (before they went up again, because they were getting ready too) AND dh and I on the same flight. We got it all worked out where we used all 15 gift cards, plus my debit card to make up the $34 difference. Because of their limit 4 policy I could not roll the excess left on one $50 card to the next ticket so I now have 3 cards with $11.40 left on them, but as you well know we will use those eventually.

So I got the airfare booked for later this spring at a much discounted price and the room at a discounted price and am paying for them with discounted gift cards. This trip must be in the cards.

Oh and I saw that WDW has a new room special starting today and if it should work out cheaper than the one we have, Carol will automatically put us on the lower cost one (with my permission of course).

To celebrate we went to IHOP where I got to eat for free on their B!G! senior’s deal, so we were on a roll this weekend. LOL!

Now on the hospital/doctor bill front! As I reported about midweek last week I discovered we were being way overbilled on our deductible, Like $3000, plus on the deductible and so I contacted BCBS. I just checked my online claims center and they have backed over $5,000 off our bill total. It seems not only were they overcharging us on our deductible, but our BCBS has some sort of senior co-insurance thing on it and they are applying that too!. Of course some of this might change, but to find that bill down so much (especially since we have already paid over $2,000 on our medical bills is cause to celebrate. READ YOUR BILLS people I am saving us THOUSANDS by catching this series of unfiled insurance, over billings, miscalculations and such.

It’s honestly amazing

to see the fruits of staying faithful to God and the DR programs. This time a year ago, DH had only been back to work 2 months and we were still in debt. A year later we are virtually debt free and buying a house. ok, getting in to debt another 80k doesn’t excite me but never being homeless again DOES.