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Saying bye to 2017 and hello to 2018

January 3rd, 2018 at 06:05 am

Looking back to 2017:

Jan- Opened up a legit eBay store and started reselling as a side hustle to fund college expenses

Feb- Finally sold the rental house at a loss overall but pocketed $25,377 after all said and done

Mar- DD and I did some temp work for a retail store opening up which was a fun experience

Apr- hired plumbers to work on our master bathroom; they burst a pipe and we had a mess in our kitchen

May- held a $1 clothing only yard sale and made $260 Smile

June- DD graduates high school!

July- purchase a new laptop for DD heading off to college ($759); same DD dislocated her hip at the end of the month

Aug- paid first college bill of over $9,700

Sept- second year's "manual" payment made for home insurance since we refinanced in 2015 without an escrow account ($1,052)

Oct- youngest DD turns 16!; I was asked to teach a class next year at our University

Nov- DH was in a fender bender that he was "unsure" whether it was his fault or not...so first time we ever filed a collision claim on our insurance; paid off the $1,708 helicopter bill after winning the insurance appeal from hip dislocation incident; paid second college bill of over $9,700; my mom suffers a stroke the week before Thanksgiving

Dec- spent most of the month caring for mom; Xmas presents were purchased very last minute; DD had all 4 wisdom teeth pulled out ($2,390); paid property tax bill of $2,982

..... now onward and upwards to 2018 .....

-I'm continuing with the eBay/reselling side hustle
-I start teaching a class at the University
-We will need to purchase a (used) car for DD that is in college
-My word of the year is "Intention" (2017 was "Hustle" and 2016 was "Focus")
-I want to seriously declutter and minimize our household possessions this year

an expensive November!

November 28th, 2017 at 09:07 am

Just finished paying some bills...

1) $9,774.74 -Spring 2018 college tuition bill for DD
2) $2,982.46 -Property tax bill for our house
3) $1,708.17 -AirMed helicopter bill for DD's hip dislocation

Those 3 expenses total $14,465.37 just like that. Yuck.

Long vent about husband; skip if you want :)

November 13th, 2017 at 09:30 am

Deep Sigh.

I've come to a point of pure frustration with my husband. We have a good marriage. I love him. He loves me. He's just been annoying the heck out of me lately.

I consider myself a go-getter. If there is something that needs to be done, I do it... and not put it off, complain, or drag my feet.

Dear ol' hubby is another story. He complains about how he doesn't like to go to work each day. He's constantly late in the mornings because he drags himself around. He stays up SO LATE each night and finds himself struggling to stay awake during the day. He knows that he's addicted to sugar. But, yet, he snorts down Mt. Dew all freakin' day...and cookies and candies, etc. He knows he needs to exercise more but instead he complains about it and then just sits down to watch a movie (he loves watching movies). He gets so wrapped up in his "hobby of the month" that it encompasses his entire life until he finds another fixation to replace it with. Last month, it was with collecting everything Transformers. This month, it is with collecting everything LEGO mini-figs. I've come to accept his nuances and work around it all but lately, it's been really bothering me.

He suffers from general anxiety disorder so I have to be super delicate on what I say and how I say things to him. Again, I do love him and don't want to be a "nag" but gosh, darn it. Sometimes, it gets to be too much.

I'm over here getting up super early each day to workout, clean up the house, and get his lunch and everything ready for him. I work all day and don't complain. I come home, fix dinner, and work on my side hustle (online selling) that helps us with our household finances. Sure, I get tired sometimes but things have to get done so I do it.


Lately, I've been feeling like he's super lazy. He even took the day off work today after a long holiday weekend just to wait for the UPS truck to deliver his latest purchase that requires a signature.

Our master bedroom and bath have been in demolition mode for over 3 years now. He won't let me hire it out because of the cost. He's more than capable of finishing the job. BUT, he JUST can't seem to get the motivation to do anything about it.

He hit a car this past weekend. He says the other driver swerved into his lane causing him to hit it. No one called the cops. The damage is quite severe on our car so we have to get it fixed. I called this morning to file the claim on our insurance.

I called him at noon today and he was still asleep!

I asked if he could take the car into the shop since he's "off" today but he said he couldn't because he didn't know when the UPS delivery would show up. He also said he couldn't plan on picking up our daughter from school if the delivery hadn't come yet. So, I have to make the time during my work day to go back home to get the car and take it in for an estimate and to also possibly pick up our daughter from school.

So, he's absolutely doing nothing today staying at home. He's not going to have dinner ready for me. He's not going to do any laundry or work on the bedroom project. He's just going to sit and watch movies until his package gets delivered.

If I say anything, then I'm the naggy wife. He says he should be able to take a day off work at times. I'm not saying he can't take a day off when he needs to but I'm just a little fed up with his constant state of laziness.

Sorry, I had to vent. I have no else in real life that I can share any of this with. He's a good guy. He loves his family. I just have to keep telling myself this....... sigh.

I got denied!

August 29th, 2017 at 11:04 am

Dangit! The insurance company has denied our claim for the helicopter airlift that took my daughter to the hospital with a dislocated hip. They said that it was "medically unnecessary". We went with the advice of the EMTs that were on the scene. How can they deny that this wasn't necessary? If insurance doesn't help, it means that we will have to cover the entire cost of the helicopter ride which is.............................................................................................................................. $52,000!!!! Ack!

Question for a CPA... minor and taxes

March 16th, 2017 at 09:15 am

So, my daughter won a sweepstakes in 2016 valued at $5000. She turned 17 in 2016. She had no other income (no job or interest).

Does she need to file a tax return for that $5000?


850 credit score

February 7th, 2017 at 07:03 am

Just checked my credit score and it's at 850 Smile If I'm not mistaken, I believe this means I am a good credit risk haha.

Help?! Last minute vacation ideas needed...

December 7th, 2016 at 07:51 am

Any suggestions on a warm destination for a family of 4 on a budget for the week after Christmas? We live on the east coast... not opposed to flying somewhere. Help!

I need help from a tax expert about a rental property

November 3rd, 2016 at 11:55 am

Anyone out there that can help?

We had purchased a home back in Aug 2006 for $288,000.

We lived in it until Aug 2012 when we started renting it out (we purchased a different home to live in and could not sell this one at all so renting was the only option).

The same family has been renting the house since Aug 2012 and now are ready to purchase it.

We haven't figured up the final number but I'm going to start with offering it at $250,000 and we'll probably end up selling it for a bit less than that but ultimately, we are definitely selling the house for a loss when compared to our purchase price of $288,000.

We have filed the property as a rental property each year on our taxes, claiming the rental income and all expenses including depreciation, etc.

The renters are flexible about WHEN to purchase the house whether it be in the next couple of months or later. Their rental agreement actually ends July 31, 2017 and so this next August 2017 will mark a complete 5 years that the house has been an official rental property. Since we will be selling at a loss, does it matter if we wait until after Aug 2017 to sell the house to them at all? I thought there was a 5 year minimum rule of some sort regarding the sale of rental property but I can't remember what that rule is.

Does anyone know if it matters to hold rental property for a minimum of 5 years if we are selling the property at a loss?

All I had to do was ask...

September 19th, 2016 at 10:40 am

So, my last post was about how I loaned $400 to a co-worker. She had said she would pay me the following week but didn't. Then, she said she would pay me on payday, which she didn't. All of these "promises to pay" were with the other co-worker she borrowed from... I never really spoke to her directly myself.

So, after 6 weeks of nonpayment, my DH got a little antsy and asked me to confront her. I figured to be less confrontational, I would send her a text saying that I needed the money back for xyz (which were all true) and that it would be appreciated if she could pay me soon. A couple of hours after I sent that text, she pays me back! So, apparently, I just had to ask to get my money back was all. Oh well. I'm just glad that's over with.

Lending money

September 1st, 2016 at 09:44 am

So, 3 weeks ago, a co-worker comes to me saying that another co-worker is in desperate need of $800 to pay a bill by 5:00 that day (it was like 4:00 at this point). This co-worker in need is well liked, super friendly to all, and has never asked for any hand out or anything before. I truly thought maybe something was really wrong. So, this co-worker and I agreed to give the one in need $400 each. The co-worker in need was super thankful and headed off to the bank to cash our checks to do whatever with the $800 before 5:00.

Fast forward to today. Payday was yesterday and I thought for sure that I would see my $400 paid back to me. But, nope. So, I asked the other co-worker that also lent $400 the status of her payback and she hadn't been paid either. I finally asked if she knew the reason that the $800 was needed in such a rushed time... I thought maybe it was to pay the power bill or to pay rent or something like that. Come to find out that the reason this co-worker needed $800 was to buy her teenage son a car! She found a killer deal and didn't have enough money to pay for the car that day and the seller had given her until 5:00 or else they were going to the next person interested. I was livid! That is no emergency whatsoever!

Anyway, co-worker in need has promised to pay us back next week. From what magical funds, I don't know? We only get paid once a month which was yesterday so if she doesn't have the money now, where is she going to get it next week? But, I have no issues with lending her this money and I don't doubt that she'll pay us back, as she really is the type of person that keeps to their word.... however, now that I know the reason behind the "emergency" makes me a bit upset at myself for not asking what it was for to begin with (I just didn't want to pry at the time).

People, if you don't have enough cash to buy a car for your son, then don't go crying to co-workers... am I right?

My financial journey...Part 2.

July 5th, 2016 at 06:21 am

Read this to catch up on part 1 ---->

Ok, friends. Last we left you, I was just graduating college at 21 years of age and ready to tackle the world. I got promoted immediately to manager at the restaurant I had been waitressing at throughout college. I was quite excited to now be making $18,000 a year. But that didn't last long because of another opportunity that popped up 2 weeks later. I received my first "real" job offer at Wachovia Bank. I started working as a Banker for them in January saying good-bye to my restaurant days.

On the personal front, I had been dating my boyfriend for 6 years by this point. Once I graduated that December, he proposed and we planned for a June wedding. So, again, life was good. We actually went ahead and purchased our first house together that January even. Looking back now, we were so naive in our purchase... basically bought the very first house we looked at but we were so happy and proud.

Financially speaking, here is our current picture 6 months after I graduated from college:

Just married
New home owners
No college loan debts
We both had good stable jobs at the time.
--My salary as a loan officer was $28k and my DH's salary as a teacher was $22k. So, we were making $50k as a couple which was not too shabby for a couple of 20-something year olds fresh out of school starting our lives together.

Then 9 months after we married, we found out we were pregnant. A surprise? For sure. But, we were happy and looking forward to our baby coming along.

We were living the dream in middle class America.

All was perfect... for a little while.

To be continued

Vegan Meal Pic

May 25th, 2016 at 05:32 am

So, I started being a vegan on April 8, 2016. Figured I would share some of my meals every once in a while for those interested.

This meal was prepared after a long 12 hours at work yesterday. I was tempted to just eat a bowl of cereal but then thought about all the random veggies in the fridge. Started chopping things up and voila. Stir fry mushrooms, broccoli, and onions over a bed of white rice. It was so delicious.

More prom pictures as requested :)

May 21st, 2016 at 06:00 pm

P.S. We purchased this $600 dress for just $99!

Diminished value claim?

May 20th, 2016 at 07:10 am

In a previous post, I had mentioned that we had been rear-ended while we were on Spring Break vacation. We finally got our car back from the shop after all this time. When we picked up the car, our body shop guy suggested that we file a diminished value claim with the other party's insurance company. We had never heard of this before but apparently, since the damage of the car was so severe, we should be able to recoup some of the value lost due to the accident. The car is just a year old and pre-accident value would be guestimating at around $26k. The cost of the repairs was almost $13k which is nearly half the value. Since the accident was such a high dollar amount, we'll have to disclose it if we want to sell it in the future... which means that we couldn't get $26k for it right now like we should've been able to prior to the accident. A diminished value claim would provide us money for the difference in values.

I've emailed the other insurance adjuster about this 2 days ago and have gotten zilch response... Has anyone else gone through this kind of claim before?

Sharing our win!

May 19th, 2016 at 11:52 am

So, a month ago, I posted a "teaser" in announcing that our oldest DD entered into a national contest and was the winner! Here is what she won:

Prom package--

1) $1,000 gift card to Macy's
2) Professional hair and makeup for her and her girlfriends
3) Professional photography session with free pictures, etc
4) Catering for a pre-prom party for all her friends
5) Limo ride all night for all her friends

Her prom was a blast and everything went so well that day.

My financial journey... Part 1.

May 4th, 2016 at 11:37 am

I am in the mood to just "talk" a bit so go ahead and ignore this blog post if you just would rather... it won't hurt my feelings, lol Smile

My family came to the US when I was four years old with nothing but the clothing on our backs and a bag of immigration paperwork and that was it. My parents worked hard, really hard to get us established in this country. My mom worked nonstop in manufacturing plants. As each plant would close and move their operations overseas, she would find another factory job and start over. My dad worked in a restaurant as a cook. However, my childhood was not a bad one at all. No drugs or alcohol involved. No domestic violence. Just a simple childhood with my 3 siblings.

We definitely fit the bill of the typical low-income needy family. We were on food stamps and got free school lunches, etc. We are talking hand me downs, accepting gifts from others, and making do with the bare minimum. Whether it was clothing, household needs, or whatever, our family either made stuff or got things from church members or donations.

We were a 6 member family living strictly on a very small blue collar income and my parents did not make any excuses. They did not keep up with the Jones's. They did not succumb to the kids' desires to keep up with the coolest clothes or gadgets. We just had no money. They accepted "charity" up to the point when we didn't need to any longer.

Reality IS hard and to cloud it up with falseness is never a good thing. My parents understood this. We couldn't afford luxury cars or brand name clothing. My mom hand sewn and made all my t-shirts until I was in middle school for goodness sakes. But you know what? I had clothes on my back. I was fed. We had a home (rented). We had our own car (purchased a really old one). We had all the basics covered and MY PARENTS DID NOT USE DEBT AT ALL.

So, fast forward to college... My parents took out a very small $1500 federal loan that I had to pay off upon graduation to teach me how to deal with my first taste of financial responsibility. They paid for my entire tuition while I had to pay for my living expenses. So, yes, I waitressed my tail off while in school... and I did pay off that student loan right after graduation, had no debt, and had about $5,000 in savings. Not too bad for a kid right out of college. I got my degree in Business and Financial Management and thought I had all the best money sense in the world.... but I was wrong.

To be continued

The total cost from rabies vaccine...

May 2nd, 2016 at 09:22 am

So, the total from the feral cat bite that DH was the unfortunate recipient of back in March has been tallied up....

Before insurance, the total cost is $10,892!!

After insurance, our cost is $1,133 but we were able to file on our supplemental disability insurance as well and got back $220 on that policy so NET effect is $913 OOP.

$913 is nothing to sneeze at but dang, how is it that getting simple vaccination shots should cost over $10,000 to begin with?!

Murphy hit us :(

April 5th, 2016 at 12:03 pm

1. DH tried to rescue our cat from a fight with a stray and the feral cat took a big bite on his hand. Had to go to ER for tetanus shot, antibiotics, and rabies vaccination. We do have insurance but will expect some medical bills from this.

2. We got rear-ended while on our Spring Break vacation. The hit pushed our car into the car in front of us so our once new 2015 Honda has severe damage on both ends. Yes, we won't be out of money since the other driver is at fault, but my poor car...

3. Super strong wind storm the other night caused a power outage... after the power came back on, we noticed that our furnace now doesn't work. Our trampoline was basically folded in half and our backyard grill was thrown around like a twig.

All in the span of about 2 weeks. I think we are done with Murphy since he's hit us 3 times. Can someone come take him away now?

About to refinance to a 15 year mortgage

November 25th, 2015 at 11:05 am

We are currently in a 2yr ARM at 4.75% (26 years left) at our local credit union.

We are thinking about refinancing with Wells Fargo:
15 year fixed rate at 3.375% before the Feds announce a possible increase in December.
I talked them down to $700 in fees (appraisal fee, credit report, origination fee, etc). They originally quoted me $1,266 in fees so this saves me a bit of money. The remaining legal stuff will have to be paid as well when I choose my closing attorney.

Anything else I should worry about or consider before we actually go through with this? I've never done a refinance before (just purchase mortgages).

San Francisco in July... MonkeyMama?

May 12th, 2015 at 11:38 am

To MonkeyMama and to anyone else in northern CA... I have to go to San Francisco in July for work. Husband and I thought it would be a good time to piggy back a family trip with my work trip (would save us my cost of an airline ticket). What should we plan for? Any places we must go visit? The only touristy things I know about are The Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. Anything else in the area we should look at? Thanks!

What would you do?

April 28th, 2015 at 08:42 am

Daughter got braces put on in Oct 2013.

Dental insurance agent submitted the claim for us and we got $500 check for the initial treatment payment.

Fast forward to yesterday... and for some reason, I received another $500 check in the mail.

The notes say for initial treatment of braces put on in Oct 2014??

I know this is a mistake as we are only supposed to get one initial treatment check but dang, it's $500.

What would you do? Cash the check and just wait for them to ask for it back (if they do at all)?
Ask my insurance agent WTF is going on? Smile

Consignment sales update

March 9th, 2015 at 07:33 am

We have a local consignment sales event a couple of times a year. There is a week left and this what my sales look like right now.
They get 40% and I get 60% so the $307 is what I've made so far!

(sorry for the sideways pic)

Renters... your opinion?

February 19th, 2014 at 09:55 am

So, we have a house that is being rented by a great family. Payments are on time, house is kept up, etc. Only problem is that we settled on a rental amount that is short of meeting our mortgage on the property. We tried to sell the house 1.5 years ago with no luck and we were fortunate to find this family that would rent it from us ... better to have the majority of the mortgage paid by someone else than for us to have keep paying the entire amount. Anyway, their lease is up for renewal in a few months. The difference between the rent amount and the mortgage amount is $347. Hubby says that we need them to pay the full mortgage amount or we should try to sell the house again kicking them out... I am not so sure. I think we should increase the rent by like $100 and let them lease for another year (doubt they could afford an additional $347). They love our house and have treated it like it was their own... They would buy it but they foreclosed on their last home due to other issues and so now can't get a mortgage to buy ours. What are your thoughts? Ask them to pay the entire $347 additional each month or else kick them out and try to sell it? This wouldn't be so hard except that they really are good people...


November 5th, 2013 at 10:49 am

First, thanks to all of you that commented on my last post. The whole situation is still in flux at the moment so we'll see how it all shakes out (MY boss just came into my office this morning with an absolutely new setup that involves people moving OUT of the redone space -- he asked for my opinion and I just silently wished I had a spit ball I could throw at him Smile ).

Anyway, on to better topics. Any of you extreme coupon out there? I started couponing back on Mother's Day and after some mistakes and learning the ropes, I think I finally got the hang of it. I have also slowed down quite a bit too. For example, now I only buy toothpaste when I can get it for FREE, not $0.50 or $0.25... but FREE. This is because I have too many in my stockpile to worry about trying to get even another one just because it's a deal. So, I've gotten to the point now where it has to be FREE or a money maker in order for me to run for it. It's actually quite a freeing feeling (no pun intended).

Just thought it might be cool to know of you guys that are also couponers. I've been doing it for 6 months and have primarily focused in on the health and beauty deals. I have enough paper towels to last quite a while and plenty of feminine care products to keep our family of 3 ladies taken care of so that poor DH doesn't have to make any quick stops to the store (if you know what I mean). I do need to step up my game when it comes to food shopping but I am getting there Smile

People just need to grow up!

November 4th, 2013 at 08:17 am

I am tired of pettiness, stubbornness, and down right meanness...

I supervise 5 ladies, 3 of which are just making me mad. They have worked together in the same office (literally) for over 17 years with the same office/furniture set up and layout all this time. My boss decides it's time to hire another person and wants me to redo the office space to accommodate this new person. I ask lots of questions and provide these 3 ladies ample opportunity for input and collaboration on where we will put this new person. So, all is agreed upon and moving-furniture-day arrives. Last Wed, we had a gaggle of men here moving things around and re-organizing the layout of the office based on the specifications of what we all agreed on. On this moving day, one of the ladies is on the verge of tears, looks so upset, and is so distraught... MY boss notices her reaction and comes back to our area at the end of the day after the entire move is completed just to ridicule ME about how I jumped the gun and he didn't authorize such a move (just to save face in front of this lady). I have now lost all credibility as a manager/supervisor over these 3 ladies and it gets worse... these ladies aren't even speaking to me now except for the work stuff that we have to talk about. We used to have a very friendly and open work environment but now it's like I have entered into the most depressed work environment ever! I don't even get a good morning any longer.

I am tired of the second grade behavior --- get over it already! This has been going on for since last Wed and it's just stupid. It's just a freakin' office that instead of being shared with 3 people, it's now going to be 4 (new girl starts tomorrow). The space is large and there is still plenty of space... Geez, people.

Ok, sorry, I had to vent. My DH thinks these ladies are so juvenile to get worked up over a moving layout that they all came up with in the first place. I didn't tell them it had to be any certain way but as a group, they came up with the layout and now they are punishing me for disturbing their way of life for the last 2 decades! Arrgh. Makes me want to look for another job where there are mature people around! --Oh, and I now hate my boss for backstabbing me. He and I spoke extensively about this office move and I only acted upon his direction but he made it sound like I caused all this 'unnecessary' drama. Crazy, I tell ya.

Taxes with a rental now - should I hire out?

February 28th, 2013 at 11:35 am

I have always done our taxes, first manually filling in all the forms by hand, then moved on to TaxAct and have been using TaxAct for several years now.

Last year, we became landlords and now I find myself in uncharted territory. I think it should be simple enough to put our rental info into TaxAct but I have a little voice inside me that just won't shut up... I guess I'm afraid I'll miss something and really put us in target for an audit or something.

Any of you do your own taxes while having rental properties?

Have you heard of LexisNexis?

February 2nd, 2012 at 09:18 am

I just got notice from my bank about LexisNexis... any of you heard of it before? I hadn't. Basically, everyone knows how we can request a free credit report annually, right? Well, apparently, with that same FACT Act legislation, we can also request a free report with regards to insurance claims and employment/resident histories about ourselves once a year as well. Who knew? Anyway, the company to go through is LexisNexis. You have to submit documentation as to your identity and they will send you a report providing a 7-year history of losses associated with personal property, auto losses, inquiry history, etc. that is on file associated with your identity. Apparently, insurance underwriters use this info in determining your risk and premium rates and stuff. Some employers or landlord companies use this info too. Anyway, just thought I would share the info in case anyone was interested in obtaining this free info.


Why do shoes have to cost so much?

January 24th, 2012 at 07:15 am

I have really tiny feet (size 5) and have never found any pumps that would fit... until recently! OMG, I can actually walk around work without my feet killing me and I love it. So, what do I do but go on a shopping binge. Eeek. I've bought 3 pairs and spent $255. They are not cheap shoes and I love them so I figure they are worth the investment but geez, my pocketbook is feeling the pinch!!! I got a black pair, a neutral beige pair, and then a leopard print pair. Quality shoes mean money, I suppose and these 3 pairs should last me a long while.

2nd showing went well!

December 1st, 2011 at 09:08 am

Our realtor just called to update us on the second showing we had last night. The couple really likes the house and are working out the numbers to see what kind of offer they want to put in!!!! So, we don't actually have an offer yet but this is the farthest we've gotten in the 3 years we have tried to sell the house!!! They said that they will try to get something together and submitted tomorrow --- wahoo!!!!!!!!

A month?

November 15th, 2011 at 07:35 am

Gosh, has it really been nearly a month since I last posted? I need to be a better blogger. Smile

Things are going well with the short sale house. We've gutted the main bathroom down to the studs, hired a plumber to move some pipes around, and have dry walled everything back up. We still have a lot to do though:

-lay down tile
-buy vanities & toilet
-decorate (the fun stuff)

We did have to divert our attention from the bathroom for the past week though... to the laundry room. Our state was having its tax-free weekend on energy efficient appliances so we went ahead and scored a pretty nice deal on a stackable washer/dryer set. After all the discounts, we saved about $500 on the deal. So, in preparation for the delivery this week, we had to tackle the laundry room. Man, that was a chore as well with all the hole patching, replacement of the plumbing stuff, and painting... but all we have left now is to put up crown molding (there were issues where the walls met the ceiling).

Do you guys want pictures of any of the remodel as we go along? Or would it be more fun to get a full on before/after shots of the different projects?

Oh, and an update on the asbestos issue---- we sent off a sample and it came back NEGATIVE! This relieved my DH so much. Yay, for good news.

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