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Archive for March, 2015

Little news updates and planning

March 27th, 2015 at 11:32 am

Roommate moves in beginning of May. She will pay rent that I will use for house maintenance things and saving for future projects. Eventually once the big projects go away (flooring, painting inside and out) it will be used for savings and extra payments to mortgage.

I have interviewed several gardeners and house cleaners. I am never home and they are both a write off with a roommate so I am investigating hiring one of each. The cleaner is especially important because I will never have the argument about whose turn it is to clean ever again! (Last time I had a roommate was in college so this should be interesting!

Gas prices went up a dollar a gallon in a matter of weeks ($2.09 to $3.09) but it is slowly coming down. I paid $2.87 a couple days ago.

I have completed the worksheets I needed to build for my accountant to track household expenses (utilities, maintenance, toilet paper, laundry soap, dryer sheets, etc) for completing 2015 taxes next year. I already photo copied the receipts because receipt ink disappears in a matter of months and I want a more permanent record of expenses. I filled in the worksheet for the house items purchased but I need to add in the utility costs being careful not to add in the last payments for the apartment utilities.

Last summer my best friend bought us tickets to see Maroon 5. The concert is in Tuesday and we are so excited. We have not seen a concert together since we were 19 – 20 years ago! We are staying overnight in the town where the concert is and driving back the next day. We are excited to spend time together sans kids and hubby (hers). This will be the first time in a long time!

I updated my side bar with some plans I would like to see come to fruition over the next few years.

Lots of Little updates

March 6th, 2015 at 10:15 am

I saw Dave Ramsey at a local church last week. It was all common sense stuff and I was surprised at the number of people taking frantic notes.

It was a free ticket that dropped in my lap so I thought, ok, let's go. I have to say he is a good speaker and very funny. He spoke on his first couple of steps then someone else came out for a few steps then Ramsey closed it up. It started with a crowd warm up at 630, he came on at 7 and it ended at 10 very good time management with a 30 minute break in the middle. I chatted with my friend who gave me the ticket and her friend a financial planner. He was surprised that I said I was not taking social security until 70. I want to retire from my state job between 55 and 60 (depends upon paying off my new house) and then just to the house and pet sitting business and really build that up.


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On that note I need to find a couple of trustworthy people who I can use as independent contractors for the business. My work is really cracking down on the "if there is an emergency you could be sent anywhere to support emergency ops" track. That means if I had a pet sit or drop in care going on I need to have reliable back up. It really is identifying a continuity of ops plan for the business. I have one person who said yes. He is married to a good friend and is retired so the option of earning $20 a day to put into his golfing account (he gets an allowance that allows one game a week as part of his retirement planning) sounded good to him. So I need to draw up papers for him and get his insurance paid so I can use him. I can use him less than 30 days a year and he is covered but I'd like to see him covered all the time. It's a minor expense to me.

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Hot water heater is in and I love having the hot water! Waiting for the permit papers from the company so I can arrange a visit with the city for the inspection. The warranty covered everything except the pieces that brought it up to the newer code so I had an out of pocket expense of about $600. Not nearly as bad as it could have been.

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The filter on the shower is wonderful hair and body much less dry. I recommend one highly! I will keep using this one and not explore other options until it stops working. I also bought the replacement filter part. They estimate 6 months of use but I asked the plumber putting in the hot water heater and he said the water hardness means it may only last 4-5 depending on usage. As a singleton I think it may last 6 months especially with the house sitting starting to heat up. The filter is about $10. So I added that to my twice a year budget.

I will also buy one for the second bathroom later this year once I have selected a room mate. So that will be an outlay of $22 plus a twice a year replace filter as well. SO that will go into my yearly maintenance listing as well. I will watch for them to go on sale if possible.

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Roommate: I had one person who said she wanted to move in then got opportunities to apply for jobs 2 hours north and 3 hours south so I will be waiting a few weeks to see what happens. I want a room mate for sure especially after speaking to my accountant about it.

Of course I would declare the income - there is no question about that - but I did not know there were so many write offs to having a room mate to include the painting I did as I moved in, carpet cleaning, utilities, maintenance of the home, even yard work and a cleaning person a couple times a month, to writing off a percentage of the mortgage. It would help me with more retirement savings and being able to pay off the house faster. So....I will talk to my friend later next week and come up with a game plan.

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Got my taxes done and a week later had my refunds. They will go to pay off the items I bought for the house (refrigerator, washer, dryer and the hot water heater costs) so I don't have to take anything out of savings for those costs.

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I am going to restart swagbucks in the evenings when I am relaxing or house sitting. I have almost $50 in points to cash in. I am going to do cards to home depot as I have been looking up garden hoses and the one I want is there. As I need something for the house I hope to earn points to pay for it. I also have almost $100 in pay pal from swagbucks that I never used and with my health insurance rewards programs I have another $40 coming so more than enough for hoses and the two light fixtures I want to replace in the hall way. Little things that will make the house more mine. And purchases that will be made through the swagbucks shopping to earn more points if possible.

And I will also begin savings points for a table, chairs, and umbrella for the patio but I will also use CC rewards points for that purchase when I make it.

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I have an overnight for house sitting ($60 for Fri-Sat) and a drop in Fri-possibly Sat morning ($30-48). A new client asked me to housesit for her 2 week vacation at the end of April-May and I am already booking into October so I hope this year breaks 2014 income. I am slowly rebuilding from the recession that hit so many of my clients hard with no travel. I am averaging about $400 a month this year. I would like to see that increase to $1000-1200 a month. That would mean $200 to maintenance account for the house, $500 to savings for future IRA payments (I pay all at once in January to my IRA so I am saving for 2017-18 IRA payments this year). and $300-500 for savings or extra payments to house to pay off faster. I already know if I pay an extra $700 a month I am paid off in 15 years and $400 means 18-20 years instead of 30. No more than 20 is my goal so extra income and rent would be helpful. Rent would go to building up an emergency fund of about $30k (that is where I feel comfortable) and then to paying off the house faster.