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Home > Archive: August, 2010

Archive for August, 2010

Payday can't come soon enough!

August 25th, 2010 at 06:12 am

Both DH and I get paid on the last working day of each month... that means that our next payday is Aug 31. Don't you guys hate having to wait til each payday? It's torture sometimes! Smile

We will be getting some "extra" funds this week though which will help. $227 from my employer as travel reimbursement and $480 from my flexible spending account. I so underestimated our needs for the spending account this year... I elected for just $480 for the entire year and we ate that all up in one month's time. What I didn't account for was that our youngest DD would need glasses which cost a fortune. Oh, well - better some than nothing, I guess. So, that's an additional $707 that I will get to play with this week and that will hold me until payday. I just like to "book" the monthly contributions to our various accounts in my spreadsheet and can't do that until we get paid each month. I'm such a dork! Smile

Decisions, decisions

August 23rd, 2010 at 11:03 am

DH and I can't decide on whether to use our "extra" money to put as a down payment on a piece of investment property or to use the money to pay for the installation of a heat pump/air condition unit for our house?? The property we are looking at is listed for $79k. It's an older brick home that we plan on spending about $10k to renovate and then either rent it or sell it (whichever comes first). I have always wanted to get into real estate investment and have been looking for something, almost daily, over the past few years. We'd offer $60k on it and go no more than $65k.

OR, we can pony up around $8k to install AC in our house. We currently live in the mountains where it only gets really hot about 2 months out of the year. We've lived in our house for 4 years now and haven't really thought about installing a whole house unit until this year. Since the tax credit will be expiring this Dec, we thought we'd look into it now. We currently have two window units for the bedrooms and that works out nicely for sleeping in comfort. But, the main living spaces do get pretty hot when it gets over 85 degrees outside.

So, we have to decide if:

(1) We take this chance to jump into the real estate investment arena (the recession hasn't really hit our area at all in terms of dropping real estate prices). If we get that house for $60k, we'd put 20% down or $12k. It would take about $10k to fix it up which puts our total investment in at about $22k. The mortgage would be approx. $350 per month and we could easily rent the place out for $700 per month bringing us a gross profit of $350 per month. Or, we could try to sell it for around the $110k price which is lower than the prices of the neighborhood bringing us a profit, before fees, of $28k.

OR (2) we can take $8k and invest it in our own home to install AC. We currently use gas forced air (propane) and the yearly cost of propane for us is about $1k. I'm told the cost for heating the house with a heat pump will save us tremendously in heating costs over the course of the year. And, there is that little thing of comfort during the hot months with the AC available. We had our house for sale for 2 years and just took it off the market with absolutely zero offers. So, we can enjoy the heat/AC now and it would be an additional selling point when we do put it back on the market next year.

I know the common sense approach is probably to go with option 2 and get the AC unit but my gut keeps telling me to not let this investment property go... I want to definitely start small and not get in over my head with real estate investing and this particular property will allow me to do just that.


a booth at an Antique Mall?

August 17th, 2010 at 12:55 pm

We are interested in renting out a small booth at a local antique mall to get rid of some of our junk (but good stuff). The rental fee per month is $65 and the store management gets a 10% commission from every sale. We can just go month to month without locking ourselves to anything long term. Unless I've done the math incorrectly, we would need to sell at least $73 to just break even each month which I do think is very doable ($73x0.9-$65). The store takes care of everything and we just need to keep up the inventory, pricing, and presentation. What do you guys think of these kinds of things?

First day of school -- Thank Goodness!!

August 11th, 2010 at 06:27 am

Today is the first day of school for the kids (and DH since he's a teacher). I am so thankful! Money goes out the window during the summers because they (DH and the kids) eat out nearly every day for lunch. It drives me batty... since I work all year long, DH takes the kids and runs errands and whatnot in town and stops at a fast food joint just about every day. During the school year though, I pack them lunches so we save a ton of money on food while school is in session. We've spent so much money this summer so I am very glad to see some "normalcy" come back into our financial lives.

Trying to get back mentally

August 3rd, 2010 at 07:06 am

Ever felt blah with life? That's me, right now... just blah. We just got back from a week at the beach and you would think that I would feel refreshed and whatnot. But, instead, I feel blah. Maybe, it is because of all the money we spent -- not on stupid souvenir junk -- but on food! We went with DH's entire side of the family so there were 13 of us total in a 4 bedroom condo. We split the groceries 4-ways but I think we got the short end of the stick... see, our little family of 4 don't eat much, especially when it comes to condiments. I know that sounds strange, but DH's family wanted and bought 2 big tubs of butter, jelly, cream cheese, ketchup, mustard, whip cream, hot fudge, nut toppings, fancy flavored coffee and fancy flavored cream for their coffee, etc... and then there is the junk food. They bought boxes of Little Debbie cakes, tons of donuts, several bags of chips, cakes, cookies, etc. No wonder they are all plus-sized! Geez. I always knew that they loved to eat, especially butter, but this was one of those in-your-face moments, you know? So, for a week at the beach, we had to spend almost $100 for just groceries --- that we didn't eat but just a little of! Yes, that is right--- it was nearly $400 for all the groceries that was bought for the entire family! Outrageous! And then, DH's mom always has to eat dinner at a restaurant each night (not fast food or Subway kinds of restaurants). So, even though our little family tried to eat reasonably, we still ended up spending an average of $40-$45 each night for 6 nights! So, for a week at the beach, our family of 4 spent about $350 for just food! No wonder I'm feeling blah right now.

Oh, and I just have to share... one night we made ice cream sundaes. Great summer treat, right? I proceeded to make our girls a small bowl of ice cream. DH's sister makes her kids these gigantic bowls of like 4 scoops of ice cream smothered in hot fudge, whip cream and nuts ON TOP of apple pies. Now, believe me, I'm all for having a treat... but I added up the calories for this outrageous concoction... it was over 1,000 calories! She made one for each of her 3 kids, herself, and DH's parents. They ate every bite of it!