We can’t refi the smaller one

so I’m stuck with it until it’s paid off or sold.We somehow got stuck paying PMI now, so it would just be more. We were in better financial shape 2.5 years ago when we bought it than we are now. At that time, my husband had 10 years at his job and now he’s in a different industry and less than 1 year. Our credit is not the best in the world (675, when we bought the car). And we have a car payment now too (which crazily enough, might make our credit score better!!).
I’ve started the application process with Church Hill Mortgage, even though I’m not 100% sure we would qualify for anything good!
No reason not to try to refi. I would hesitate moving the small debt onto your current home. If you run into a big financial problem, you don’t want to risk losing your home. Would selling the other home allow you to get rid of the $27K loan and some of your residential mortgage?

One thing

you have to watch though on refi-ing both because doing both at once might cause you to end up with higher rates than if you did them a few months apart. Also, make certain that your mortgage will allow you to use the house as a rental. I know we had a mortgage at one time that specifically said we had to live in the house and that we would not be allowed to rent it out. So check your wording closely.

I think it’s a good idea in general

to roll a higher debt into a lower interest rate, but you’re going to be too close to the bone on the other house. Financing more than 80% puts you into PMI territory. Plus there’s a risk of going underwater. You might be able to refinance one or both of those houses though, those rates sound really high.

Wow, that really stinks

MN doesn’t do that, just the $2800 closing costs. I thought it was bad enough that we’ll have to pay $475 to close the HELOC we never used in order to refi (we were considering buying a house with my SIL and BIL last year and wanted to be able to use our current house’s equity for a down payment and sell afterwards. Our housing costs would have plummeted afterwards because of shared costs, but we had no intention of using the HELOC unless we did that. I don’t lose too much to the Stupidity Tax, but that’s where I’m putting this one.)

We just locked a 3.75% 20 year mortgage in last week

with closing in a month. We have 26.5 years left on our 30 year current mortgage at 5.5%. With the interest rate drop, our monthly payment will only go up $10 but instead of $175 going towards principal monthly, it’ll be $375. The closing costs will be paid for in just over a year.
If you’re asking whether you should take cash out, I’m pretty sure Dave would be opposed.

We’re probably going to finish steps 4 and 5 this year, so I was planning on putting more money into the house anyway. I considered a 15 year at 3.25%, but the extra $140 would put us at more than 25% of our takehome pay. I crunched the numbers and if we put that extra $140 in monthly even while keeping the 20 year mortgage, it’ll be paid off in 16 years, so I figured it would be better to maintain the flexibility of the 20 year.

I am looking for a free debt payoff App

I want something I can enter the payments and extra payments. None of the ones I try will just let me do it without calculating the wrong amount. Suggestions? It is for our house. I am talking something like how ticker factory works.

Well, year has started

and I’ve gotten back on the band wagon that I always preach about. Cash, cash, cash.
I figured out my grocery budget for the week, gasoline, pet sitter, allowances, and entertainment and took it all out in CASH. I know what my weekly “life” category is, I just haven’t done the cash thing for a few months. Sometimes it is just easier to swipe the debit card and worry about it later, but I need to stay within my budget and not have to steal from Peter to pay Paul.

I did the grocery shopping for the week and have $20 left. I took the kids ice skating (our entertainment while the kids are on Winter break) and still have $8 left. So it will be interesting to see if any “misc” items come up during the rest of the week that will make me dip into the left over $28 or if I can have a few “no spend” days and be able to put that back on the BEF that is now EMPTY.
I was feeling sorry for myself that our business took a dive and I had to use the whole BEF just to make rent. But now it is time to level with myself that the money is not coming back and I need to start saving again to put it back. It may take me all year to replenish it, but I’m thankful that we had it!


The companies dh has worked for on set days like that before if it fell on Saturday they paid on Fri, if it fell on Sun they paid on Mon. Like I said before I know we can adjust, just the first month is going to be HELL trying to come up with three mortgage payments plus all the other bills out of two paychecks instead of three. But we are better off than a lot of the folks he works with. Many are living from hand to mouth with no savings what so ever. Plus no one like ds to help them.
Come of the folks at work for some reason thought they’d get paid both the fourth and the 7th this month—boy are they in for a shock. That is NOT what the email said at all and when ds suggested they re-read the email they were like “oh well, guess I’ll be getting extra points on my credit cards for using them if I’m wrong.” I can remember when we would have done that too, but now it’s not even a considered option—first of all I have no cards.
My main upset was the lack of consideration of not giving a warning of any sort. That would have just been a common courtesy. It’s really out of character for this company. It has me a bit concerned that they did something so opposite of how they normally are.
I keep telling myself—just 12 more months, just 12 more months then we both start getting our ss checks and our snowball will really roll.

Most companies I believe pay on the Friday before the weekend

or holiday should pay days fall on such a day. We hope they will do the same for you.
There is always an adjustment period when pay dates are changed, but I am sure you will find some regularity soon.
What would you do if husband started a new job with a new company? You would adjust to their pay schedule…think of this as that adjustment period.

Yep they are going from every other Friday to twice monthly—with no warning

So I had already set my calendar for 2013 up on every other Friday and made notations of what bills had to be paid on what pay day. Basically our bills are due on the first and fifteenth like most of the world. The problem is we were given NO warning. So I had my bills all figured out to pay them on the 4th, 18th and 1st this next three pay periods. Which with the little bit of money I held back from the bonus and the last pay check would allow me to pay everything on time, and a little extra on the snowball bill our little BOA. nly we get the notice today that the 18th paycheck will not arrive until the 22nd every bill I own but one is due by the 21 at the very latest—I do not have the money to cover everything out of one pay check to cover what would have normally came out of two. IF I had been given a heads up even a couple of weeks ahead of time I would have adjusted, and while it would have been tight we could have done it. Now we are going to have to hit the IRA to pay everything on time and I am NOT amused. And from what dh and ds tell me neither are any of the other employees. They said it’s a hostile work environment at the office today.
The other problem is with every other Friday we always got paid the exact same day of the week. With the 7th and the 22nd that day will change from month to month and if the 7th or the 22nd fall on a weekend then we won’t get paid until as late the 9th or 24th accordingly. The two main bills I am worried about are the mortgages and they are due the 5th and 15th –before pay day every month. So I’ve basically got to pay three mortgage payments out of two paychecks, plus all our other bills this month in order to pay the 15th one out of the 7th’s pay check and the 5th’s paycheck out of the 22nd’s paycheck.
Once we get past this hump then I’ll be able to adjust what I pay out of each paycheck accordingly to avoid being late, it’s just getting past this hump with NO WARNING. They aren’t even apologetic about not letting the employees know and they’ve known for awhile they were going to do it.
We’re luckier than some of the employees we at least have the IRA option and a helpful ds. Most of the company doesn’t.

That is really poor planning on the company’s part

I had a friend who would get paid a week after she submitted her invoice to her employer. The company got bought and they announced that they were going to pay every 90 days!
So an invoice she submitted in March, she got paid for in June! It was awful. They had to tap into a line of credit they had still. I think they went 9, 000 in the hole while they got the kinks worked out in their budget and got caught up and paid themselves back. It was absolutely ridiculous the change in the pay schedule. I think the company did it because they didn’t have the money to pay payroll and this was the only way they could keep the business running.
I know with your smart head on your shoulders, you will figure it out. I have to balance money every month being self employed. You will make it!

Oh I have no doubt I’ll work it out.

It’s not like we lost the income entirely, it’s just VERY upsetting that a company that has been so considerate would out of the blue screw their employees so bad with no real notice. I’ll run several numbers scenarios today between doing more deep cleaning while waiting for the deliveries of all the stuff ds just bought—not knowing his pay dates were changing too.
During my first break I checked the calendar to see how many times the pay periods would be over 14 days—about 3 or four—not a good thing. Plus the pay days jump all over the week, so it will be hard to schedule weekend outings and major shopping trips too. But this too shall be worked out.
Looking for the silver lining here…those accounts that do charge interest on the average daily balance will often get their payment early and save me a few cents interest each month. Hey, as Granny always said “mind Your Pennies and your Dollars will mind themselves.”
I keep telling myself it will all work out in the long run and turn out to be a blessing. I just wish we’d had some warning.

That is absurd!

I’ve had two companies do this to me and both times, employees were offered some sort of payroll loan option to cover the gap, where we could get a little more in the previous check and then have automatic deductions to even it out.
In fact when I worked at Harvard, which is a huge company (15,000+ employees! ) they didn’t even give us a choice, they saved themselves a paperwork nightmare and just went ahead and did the juggling for everyone.
It might not even be *legal* to hold back pay with no notice. I’d think about asking them to float a little to keep everyone’s expenses covered.

I’m doing money this morning, as part of my time management/project management work

and I had just come to the conclusion that getting everything paid off by the end of this year is going to be a Herculean task. Quite possibly a Mission Impossible task. I would have to either quadruple my monthly earnings, go rob a bank, win Lotto or something equally unreasonable to hit the overly-optimistic goals I’d set. And I’ve come to the equally annoying conclusion that setting unrealistic goals (particularly debt payback) is as damaging as not having a budget to begin with. So I’m spending quality time with the snowball calculator and figuring out how fast I can pay things off given different levels of monthly debt repayment. And that last payment won’t be this year. Yes, we’ll retire at least one, hopefully several debts this year, but not The Biggie I’d hoped to get rid of.

I would humbly suggest you do whatever you have to, in the immediate term, to not go late on anything this month. They didn’t give you warning and that sucks, but if you can scrape something together to get everything this month paid on time, then you can do the planning to re-schedule stuff for future months. No, it’s not what you wanted to do, but sometimes it’s gotta be done. OR, go late on those items which don’t carry a late fee or other financial penalty, if you have that option. Annoying there too, since there’s usually some extra planning to get caught up with those later. But there IS a way to sort through this and minimize the damage.
I have completely confidence in you Jan, that you’re enough of a realist to get this figured out. And after you’ve rebuilt your bills schedule, maybe do something nice for yourself (and possibly for your ds since he’s working so hard to be such a good helper). A walk in a pretty place, a pleasant cuppa in a sunny window, whatever it takes to reward yourself for adjusting your sails, yet again.

Right now I am so unhappy

Dh just sent me an email from the company comptroller. Some almighty great bean counter decided that they would change the company payment schedule from every two weeks to twice a month. Starting THIS Friday. It’s not even a regular pay schedule type pay day like the 1st and the 15th or the 5th and the 20th like most companies. It’s a week after the 1st and the 15th—what a weird schedule. So instead of getting paid the 4th, 18th, and 1st the next three paydays as was scheduled we will get paid the 4th, the 22 and the 7th! Then it will be a week after the 1st and the 15th every pay day after that UNLESS that day falls on a weekend, then the gap between will be even bigger. Meaning we are now on a slightly variable income schedule to further complicate our budget.
You all know how close I have my budget set. Our bills are due and all would have been covered in full with a little extra going to BOA IF they hadn’t changed the schedule:
The house and small bills like insurance on the 5th auto draft on all of them
The Heloc is due the 15th auto draft–
All the unsecured debt is due the 18th-2lst, except for 1 cc and it’s due the 27th.
All our utilities that we pay a share of (ds pays most of the utilities and 1/3 of the others) are due the 15th

This means with the new payment schedule we will be LATE with every single bill except that one charge card—Best Buy!!! Not to mention there will be NO bonus payment to BOA. It also means if I don’t get the money in there from goodness knows where before the auto drafts hit we will go into to the over draft, thus costing us a bunch of money. I am simply coming undone at the seams right now. If they had told us this back with the Christmas bonus I would have held on to that and used it to keep current and then once the wrinkles were all ironed out paid off the two bills. But that money is gone, the debts are paid off. I’ve got my bef, and ds says he has some money he can loan us, this of course screws him on the bills he paus but I’m going to have to probably hit the broker for a withdrawal IF there is anything in the money market account right now (we just made a big mutual fund buy)–luckily we are old enough we can do that without penalty. Just to cover the bills on time. But that really screws with our retirement money too. Most of the employees don’t have that option so there will be ones in worse shape than us.
I am so upset that they gave us a TWO DAY notice on this and if I’m upset I can guarantee you 99.99% of the company is too. Only those who have known this change was in the works will be prepared for it. And everyone, whether they use a formal budget or not pays their bills to at least a semi set schedule. I simply cannot believe they didn’t warn us all ahead of time so we could adjust our budgets for the first of the year!
Well at least we aren’t going over the fiscal cliff too—or are we?

Well I spent part of yesterday and all this morning with spreadsheets

calculators and all sorts of number toys playing with numbers.
On top of the change in pay dates, the up in ss I discovered that according to SS the payoff I did on dh is now is suddenly $80 more and they want it now. Oh and it seems dh went over the allotted budget for my birthday without warning me, by more than would be considered comfortable. Love the man for caring but…. So with all the ‘extras’ coming out, and having to basically pay 1 ½ month’s bills with a one month income it looks like we are short about $3500. Dh is going to call the broker on that large amount. Ds could possibly cover most of it for us, but that’s not fair to him and it’s borrowing money from family—you know what DR says about that.
Then dh just called me and asked what I’d like to know about this date switch—I told him I only had one question “Why weren’t we warned so we could adjust our budgets ahead of time with no stress?” After all the owner has been following the DR plan himself for their personal and business budgets, he KNOWS about zero based budgets and he knows us and a few others in the company are on them. Then I asked him why he wanted to know. It seems they are having a company wide meeting on it today because so many people are in worse shape than we are about this big switch with no warning. Both he and ds said there were a lot of rumors flying today and a whole lot of grumbling going on. I warned both of them to stay above the fray, the one thing I know about this owner. If you are a trouble maker or a chronic complainer, you are GONE! And everyone else left at the company gets another round of lessons on violence in the workplace. The owner is terrified of stuff like that. I’ll be curious to see what comes out of it.
I told him I pretty well figured that it is because it will save the company money on doing payroll, and they are getting hit from all sides with the fiscal cliff mess because Capitol Hill can’t do its job properly and on time but can certainly give themselves pay raises. That is all understandable on the company’s part, but the no warning isn’t.
Like ds said last night, better for them to cut some costs than cut some jobs.
I doubt anything productive will come of the meeting, but I told dh to hold off on calling the broker until we see what they say, just in case.

Definitely interesting.

I don’t think my first response is helpful though. The article starts out talking about how the motivation of the project is that having reliable transportation helps people get out of government programs. The first step in their process is to use web searches, the second is to pay for a month’s membership on title searching, and they spend at least a week (mentioned, probably longer) going around (how? With what vehicle did they find their vehicle?) testing out cars. They also mention dealing with scammers, which I would imagine is easier to do when you’re not actually on welfare or feeling desperate because you can’t feed your children or don’t speak the language. It seems to me that these folks are often the target of such individuals for a reason.
I’ve been a teacher, and am very active in our children’s public school. The folks I know who are on welfare do not have a computer, do not think it realistic to go to the library to use one either because they are unfamiliar with them or are English language learners, and they have neither the time nor the access to help to spend weeks looking at vehicles. They certainly don’t have $45 to spend on a website subscription.
Obviously, it’s a fascinating and helpful project for people like us here. I just think they need to either start it off with a different premise, or adjust their experimenting criteria to meet realistic settings.

There’s more than a few days

when I read about folks getting their regular paychecks, and I’m mighty envious. Today is one of the rare days when I’m very pleased to be paid just by what I can raise myself. Perhaps this is pessimistic of me, but I never figured on ever seeing SS money when the time came. I’ve read too many articles on how it’ll either be broke or defunct or replaced by the time I’d ever start taking draws. And now I don’t have to resent them taking it out. I’ll have my taxes to pay at the end of the year, but at least when I sell the pig, I get the cash.

Basically the same stuff you had to prove

when first applying. Still unemployed, no job prospects etc. You have to complete the first tier before you can apply for the second, but he always applied on the day he normally filed and until the last tier there was no delay in getting it. The last tier he had a week delay I think it was. Jan whose dh went through four tiers before it was over in OK

It’s amazing how quickly we get used to what we didn’t have before

I knew I’d suck when they added it back. Although I was never behind the reduction (reducing contributions to SS which is in financial trouble never made sense to me), I’m not excited to be paying it now.
Glad you have a business gathering momentum to help cover the difference.
Great now I am worried. We didn’t get our check last week they claimed it was the year wait period. Now this week we can’t get the site to let us file. Of course I have been call the main office for two days to get a busy signal. Our local office claims everything is fine.

i meant to type

that payroll taxes will be increased by a minimum of 2%; this is why i’m not even going to worry about our january budget until i see all the numbers this upcoming friday on the four pay checks that should be coming in (my job which is paid weekly, my husband’s independent contractor’s job in the home healthcare field which is paid bi-monthly, his personal business as a bootfitter out of the local ski resort where he takes a monthly payment, and his actual part time job at the ski resort to fill in all the bare hours of his work week which pays him bi-monthly as well). we have a lot of unknowns at the moment, and i’ve no clue how much in payroll taxes will be taken from each of these four sources, but we’ll find out on friday.

My son is 6

and is the same way. He is a very emotional and sensitive kid and he gets very attached to his things.
Right now, I am selling the old clothes, but not the toys. The clothes I keep in hiding while I am selling them. Since I am using E bay, I really only have time to manage about 2 to 3 items a day so it has been a slow process. But, I have now made 335 dollars in the last two months. This time around, most of that money went for Christmas gifts, but at least it did not go on credit cards. That was a change for me this year and I am proud of it. I plan on putting the money that I make in the next few months on the credit card balances.
When we get to the toys, I am going to start by just putting things up for about a month and see if he misses them. What is missed will come back down, but what isn’t missed (and is not age appropriate anymore) will be sold.
I also heard of someone who is using this concept as a learning point. This person allows his kids to help pick out what is not wanted anymore to sell and then gives the child half of the profit. For a 4 year old, the concept would start teaching the value of money. My kids are 5 and 6 and when they ask for a new toy, I present this idea to them. They can sell off some old toys to have enough money to buy what they want. So far, neither child has had enough interest to do so, but they are getting the idea about how toys cost money.
But, right now, Aidan is begging for a Mario game for the Wii and I presented this idea. He elected instead to wait for his birthday in April. He has about 100 stuffed animals, but cries at the suggestion of giving any away. He really sees them as having feelings and gets upset at the idea that they will miss him and have no one to take care of them. This thing is real for him so I don’t want to diminish his feelings.
Either way was fine for me, but he stopped begging for the Mario and is ready to wait a few months and he now understands that things cost money and we can’t always just get what we want because we want it. If I can teach him that before he becomes an adult, I think I will have done a good job.

I wasn’t stressed out

about selling a bunch of stuff until I saw his reaction to it.. I didn’t let him see any of his old stuff go away (I would sneak his old toys out and he didn’t notice) but then I had boxes of other stuff (like household stuff and things that haven’t used and he saw me taking pictures of things.. my husband is away a lot and I am limited on the time I can do it without him seeing it… I told him that we are saving money for our piggy banks so we will be able to do things.. I try to show him what we are doing so he knows about money (he saves, gives and spends his xmas money) but once he started questioning my selling I guess it kinda freaked me out b/c then I second guessed myself..
I will post our budget here shortly, but I just want to be able to get out of debt sooner then later to make less stress for our family.

Hey everyone, I know there aren’t many livestock producers on this list

or agricultural producers in general. But if there are, I just got a nifty new spreadsheet from a workshop I attended about break-even cost analysis for various farm operations. With this spreadsheet, we can enter data about any of our livestock categories, such as market hogs, egg production, broiler bird production, and quickly figure out what our breakeven point is either on a per-pound or per-animal basis. The original spreadsheet was for poultry, but I’ve already re-worked it for hog production. I’ll be setting it up for other things like wool production, breeding stock, beef calves, etc. Once I get our livestock channels set up, I’ll be doing the same thing for things like market tomatoes, commodity grains, etc.

If this sounds really rather basic or “dumb” to non-farming folks, yea it sort of is. Without getting on one of my little soapboxes (again) this morning, suffice to say that a lot of ag producers have been weaned on the concept that “there’s no money to be made in farming.” And they go through life and try to run their businesses that way. We’re never taught how to figure out if our pricing is making us money, or (worse) we assume we won’t make money so why bother trying? I get infuriated with that attitude and this is just one more way to combat it. So, if there’s folks on the list who want to know if their livestock, garden, greenhouse or field production is making them money, or costing them money, or even just how to figure out where the breakeven point is, this spreadsheet will help you figure that out. I’ll go ahead and post it to the Files section when I put a few more categories on there. But if anyone wants it now, let me know off-list and I’ll send you a copy.

I solved my quarterly filing issue for

my side job by asking my payroll person on my real job (and that would be me) to withhold an additional $200/paycheck for federal taxes.

We typically are under-withheld because we get $$ from a family business in March for the prior year. We don’t know how much we’re getting until we get the check and the K-1 from the business.

Add to a Roth doesn’t help your tax situation

It’s all after tax. Even sending $1,000 to TIRA isn’t going to reduce your taxes. That is the breaks of life in America…..Congrats to getting debt free. You also need to itemize your taxes for many deductions to take effect.

You can put in more money with a SEP, but it might be too late to get one set up….

Over the last month or so

I have been slowly working on deciding what to pack to leave for our big retirement adventure the first of June (with holiday loans no credit check), not really pushing it. Our attention was focused on the girls, our dogs who were both in failing health. Then losing both of them in a three week period was devastating. The only bright spot where our canines are concerned has been Griffin, our new boy. Even getting Grif was a struggle because of a new tech at our vet giving the humane society some misinformation. We had to fight for a week to get that straightened out, so he only got to spend one night with Misty Georgia before her cancer took her. Having him here helped with the grief, but both dogs are in a far better place (Jolie passed in her sleep 3 weeks before Georgia).

Anyway, I haven’t really hit it hard on packing, so many things to distract, the roof, the driveway, the ceiling repair, the furnace all have been kind of on hold. Because now I’ve been walking the pup several times a day until he gets use to the place. We have started letting him off leash when we are with him to see how he reacts around the cats and guinea fowl. So far so good. He’s curious, but doesn’t charge them. Which is a good thing because he is a large dog.

I’ve started making my master mixes, ordered more dried food yesterday for the camper and just kind of piddling along doing things to prep for retirement.

That just changed. Dh called earlier today to ask if our budget was in good enough shape for him to quit today! It is, thanks to following DR. Even if he retired today there is no way we could leave very quickly too much to pack and needs done around here, including getting the repairs done. But with him home it would all get done much faster. What we decided was he would wait a few days before turning in his request for his retirement package while we make certain all the repairs will be covered and start REALLY getting prepared to leave and possibly leave by April 1.

We will be headed southwest at that time of year, heading out I 40 toward the west to begin with most likely. We start preparing tonight. Well I’m starting heavily right now! Stay tuned for updates.

You also want to look into Estimated Tax Payments for 2016

The IRS has rules that you may be REQUIRED to make these payments (one per quarter – 1st due April 15th, then July 15th, Oct 15th, and January 15th. With you owing $3,000 this year (for 2015), that may kick you into having to make estimated payments (one of the rules is how much you owe the previous year). If per the rules, you are supposed to make estimated tax payments, but don’t you can be assessed penalties even if you pay your tax due by April 15th! If you have an accountant / tax person, you may want to ask them – if you don’t you may want to find one. Our accountant has been very helpful with tax planning etc. We really only use them for taxes and to meet once or twice a year to verify that our estimated payment are on track with business income – they don’t do our day to day accounting or anything.

Congrats on paying off your CC and saving money!

I don’t have any suggestions on cutting your tax, but I wanted to make a correction to your statement. You aren’t paying more tax because you saved money.
You owe more tax because you *earned* more money. Even if you had spent every penny you made, you’d still owe the same amount of tax…only now you wouldn’t have any money left to PAY it…

2016 Tax Return and 2017 Financial Planning

As I’m wrapping up my 2015 tax return, I have a good problem. For the first time I made enough money (just as important, didn’t squander it) to actually owe the government. This seems to fall under the ‘every good deed goes unpunished’ maxim, but I refuse to believe it is not a good idea to get out of debt.
Very briefly, I have a permanent p/t position with one company doing grantwriting, my own business (which is an S-Corporation, grant writing and voice overs), and on the side I teach yoga. If you’re not familiar, in an S-Corporation, any business loss or earnings ‘flows’ over to your personal tax return. In 2015 I made significant money from both my permanent p/t position and my S-corp. Though I spent significant money on yoga training to match a scholarship I received), I didn’t have a lot of business expenses on my S-Corp. So an add’l $16,000 has to be reported on my personal income tax.
Last year, my priority was to pay off my credit card, which I did. My next priority was to save money to have a bigger EF, which I did. To the tune of $4,000 in my personal EF and $7,000 in my Business EF. My priority in 2016 is to pay off my student loan which is about $15,000 right now.
Good stuff, right? Well, unfortunately, and not surprisingly, cc debt elimination is not a deductible expense. Nor does the government reward you for saving money. (Is it me or does that seem really wrong? At least from an FPU perspective.) So now I have a situation where because I didn’t use up all my money buying things, I’m going to end up paying more tax.
BEFORE you say it, I just made a big contribution ($2,500) to my IRA applied to 2015. So that helps a little bit. I could make contributions up to $6,500 (I’m over 50), but I don’t want to decimate my EF and end up with fewer funds available for an emergency. So, it seems that I will have an additional tax bill of $3,000 for 2015. Blech! Before I cough up those funds, I wanted to ask if someone could make a suggestion for how to keep more of the money I earned for 2015 that doesn’t put it out of reach (like an IRA).
One thing that I think I’m seeing is that. It won’t help me to open a Roth IRA or SEP, because the IRS combines the total of all those accounts and the combined total cannot be over $6,500 for any one year. Is that right?
To be clear, I am not anti-government, but I worked really hard to save this money. I just don’t want to give the govt more than I have to. Having significant money is a new experience for me! lol.
Looking forward to my 2016 tax return. Step 1. I will use DR’s services and find a reputable financial advisor, because in 2016 I will be seeing even bigger financial income. Based on 2015 figures, it could be as much, or more than, $30,000. I am determined to pay off my student loan this year, but I see that I also need to be smart about this money and am looking to
Business side

a. set up a 401-K for my business (had this before FPU, but based on DR advice closed it until I got out of debt.)
b. I think this is the year to buy that new computer, ipad and anything else that benefits my business operations, toward end of year.
c. Identify one or two charities for my business to contribute a modest ($1,000 range) donation.

Personal side

a. make sure I make the full $6,500 contribution to my IRA
b. Hmm. buy a new yoga mat! There’s just not that much expense attached to my teaching yoga. lol.

Beyond getting the DR approved financial advisor and the things I’ve mentioned here. Any other advice?

As we were getting into full throttle mode on packing for the big getaway this weekend

We got a phone call saying my dbil was going in for knee replacement outpatient surgery. The next call said due to blood pressure concerns the doctor had decided to keep him for a couple of days in the hospital. So we went to see him a week ago today, the day of the surgery. Expecting him to be loopy, but awake. He wasn’t, and in fact he still isn’t. As many of you already know we’ve been spending most of our time at the hospital this last week. His organs are all functioning properly, but he’s not waking up.
EEG shows he had several small blood clots hit his brain and he has had multiple strokes. He may never wake up. He is slowly declining. Where at first he would respond to us by squeezing our hands, he no longer can. He has also stopped responding to pain stimuli. The doctors say he could stay in this condition for a very long time, or he could slowly come back to us or… they simply don’t know. They are running another EEG today to see if the swelling has gone down yet.
They are talking about moving him to a nursing home soon. The only good, so far, that has come out of dbil’s condition is we’ve seen dmil twice this week. She has aged tremendously, lost some weight, can’t hear worth beans, but knew who both her sons were the first day, not certain about the second. She does seem happy in her own little world, and that is all that counts. THE sil brought her to the hospital under protest. Swore she would not do so if we were anywhere near there.
When we came in for a visit both days she took off like a scared rabbit. The first time she left my youngest niece with dmil, the second time she drug her out with her. It is a shame she is that way.
I will say Karma is a b—ch, because sil looked as old or older than dmil, toothless. In fact someone described her as looking like a druggy from a tv drama. Her husband has left her, she got evicted, because of her dogs (which a dog was the excuse she gave for forcing dmil to move in with her) and dmil is giving her holy heck.
Meanwhile at the house we’ve had workmen come and leave without finishing the job for various reasons (mainly parts not in). They finally got the new skylights in yesterday. Still waiting on the new siding to arrive. If it comes in as promised that job should be finished by this weekend.
The two pups wrestled way too hard and Mr. Griffin, the older one, ended up sleeping in his bed for a few days due to a pulled leg muscle. He boo boo paws as good or better than Georgia did. It took him about two seconds to figure out he gets extra petting and treats if he has a boo boo.
In the meantime it is getting time to spay Jazzy and we are trying to figure out the logistics on getting that done since ds started a new job just last week and she would need monitoring right after the surgery. “Jaws”, as dh calls her, is a hyper active pup that thinks if she is awake she needs to be going at mach one. We are considering putting her in the small coop area for her recovery, alone. She and Griff could see each other, but not wrestle. Since we built the pen predator proof she couldn’t dig out. Both she and Griff had turned out to be quite the diggers, and ratters. They’ve killed more field rats than all four cats combined. I like that.
Dh filled out all the paperwork and mailed it in for the VA benefits a week ago and to our amazement they set him up an appointment immediately. He starts the VA journey tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes.
I had a bit of a cancer scare, turned out to be nothing, but it was something I was told if it occurred to get checked immediately. I did and was told I was so healthy I stink. LOL! In fact that particular doctor said she doesn’t think I am in any particular danger of if ever coming back. I like her way of thinking.
So with all this going on we are nowhere near packed. We had originally planned on not leaving until after my June doctors’ appointments, but that has now been moved to July, but dh still has a class reunion in June he is considering going to. Then we decided we would go out this Sunday and stay out all of May in AR, MO and IL come home for the stuff in June and leave for the nw in mid-June. But this morning we are so at 6’s and 7’s whether to hurry up and pack, to keep our reservations. Just go some place very nearby or wait until June, but then we would have to be back in July for the doctors’ appointments and possibly a puppy to travel with us.
A dear friend has offered to give us an English Shepherd puppy that should be born in the next few weeks. This pup has special meaning to us because of connections to our dearly departed Jolie Marie. We are still trying to decide if we want to travel with an animal or not. There is a lot of things to consider if we do so.
Right now we are waiting for today’s test results on dbil, to see if the VA will need other appointments in the near future for dh, when the vet wants us to bring Jazzy to them, how ds wants to handle that situation, the workmen and everything else to see if we are going to be able to leave Sunday like we planned.

Erin, how you get a will done

on your own or through a lawyer depends a lot on your assets and if have a business.

We had one done when dd was a baby through a lawyer. We were told the lawyer’s fees would come out at the end. We might have paid a small fee of lime $50 at the time. We did not know at the time we could write our own in Louisiana. Check with state to see if this is legal and all the requirements.

We had our will redone a few years ago there was no way on today green earth we could do it on our own. By this time we had become self-employed under an S-corp.

So it’s not just a matter of whether to write a will or not. The every needs one even if you think you own “nothing”. Who do want to get your Beatles collection? What about your first edition books by (fill in the blank with your favorite author)? And so on. With a will YOU decide, not the govt. We know how successful they are at conducting business.

How much does it cost to get a will done?

Ours is outdated but I was told $1,000 in our financial class. We have that on our homework to do immediately, too. I have also heard about online wills but with children’s guardianship as a concern, wondering if that is wise. Any help appreciated.

GEICO is dragging their ass getting my car assessed

I cut them a little slack last week with the flooding, but they could have done it on Friday, and now it might be today or Tuesday. I am hpoing for $12K with a kicker due to the Jetta being “evil”. Since the $5,000 compensation isn’t written in stone, I am hoping for $3K extra on the car.