Last time on our home improvement saga, we added more money for grading and drying out the basement. Well, we just added more for new carpeting.
Last week, H called me at work to tell me that the restoration company wanted over $500 to stretch and place our old carpeting back in place. I really didn’t want to have to spend that much just to lay our old carpet back down. Our old, urinated on, vomited on, formally water-logged, not in great shape carpet.
So, now we are spending $1300 for brand spanking new carpet. Honestly, even though it costs more I feel better about spending the money on new carpet rather than the crappy old stuff. However, we are not replacing the carpet on the side door landing and two steps to the kitchen. Eventually we are going to lay down vinyl for an additional $475.
We are going to put off the vinyl and the new front porch until spring to save up the money. I can’t wait for all this to be over.
In my last post I talked about using H’s money to get our driveway redone for $4200. Well…..
I was wrong about the price, it was $5400. The word “was” is key here.
The price has gone up. I thought I was clever in tearing out the front porch ourselves and saving us some money. Not so much. It turns out I forgot to factor in the rain and the depressed earth underneath the porch. Which has now cost us an additional $1500 so far and climbing.
On Tuesday of last week, I came home to find the carpet in the basement sopping wet. The water now has easier access to the basement. We spent several days and tons of money drying everything out, but can’t put the room back together until the driveway and grading against the house is complete (grading is a new expense).
The driveway can’t begin until it stops raining. We have tarps and plastic all over the front of the house to keep the water at bay. Granted, we live in Michigan so this is nothing compared to if we lived in NJ or NY.
In all, we are expecting to spend almost $10,000 not including the new porch. Twice what we expected. Oh, and if the driveway and grading
don’t doesn’t work? $7000 for a french drain……..is in our future.
When H switched companies he ended up cashing out one of his retirements and paying the taxes and 10% penalties. It wasn’t a ton of money, but he felt a better use for it would to fix our driveway. So for a brief period of time our checking account looked awesome! How I wish it was always that high! Someday….
Some genius who owned the home previously thought it would be a great idea to cover half of the concrete along the side of the house with asphalt. Thus, making a giant lake along the foundation of the house every time it rains. This is not good for the house or my allergies, as it encourages mold. So for the sake of our home and health we are decided to put in a new concrete driveway. Goodbye $4500, nice seeing you, please come back someday.
In addition, the weird front porch and boardwalk was in terrible shape, as was the back deck (also weird, as it had no access from the house). With the help from some friends we managed to tear both out for the cost of a dumpster, $350. It turns out that the front porch was even more in need of being ripped out than I thought. I discovered where the carpenter ants had set up a colony when I tore up one of the boards and they streamed out. I may have screamed a little!
Given all this, we are also adding a sidewalk and a new smaller front porch, price yet to be determined. I was hoping the concrete under the front porch would be in decent shape, alas it was not in any condition to keep as our entryway. The good news is that there was a patio underneath the back deck in decent shape. Now we have patio that doesn’t feel like it is going to give out on us when we walk on it. Hooray!
It may not have been a smart move to use some of H’s retirement in the long-term. At least we won’t cringe and worry about the basement every time it rains. Relief is worth every penny.
That is me, walking around my neighborhood wearing surgical gloves and trying to catch my dog’s pee in a cup. I must look like an idiot walking around half bent over trying to scoot a plastic container under my dogs back-end every time it looks like she might squat and pee.
Our female dog ended up with a Urinary Tract Infection and completed the antibiotics a week ago. I was supposed to collect a sample myself (lots cheaper), but have failed miserably. She is simply too close to the ground and I can’t get anything under here fast enough to collect.
It is not as easy as you might think to catch the urine of a 30 pound female dog. This week I have made several attempts to obtain a urine sample from my small dog, The results:
Owner 0 Dog 5
I may have to bite the bullet and let the vet get the sample. It will be costly, but finally done.
Now that I’ve whittled the number of debts down, I have all the payments made by the middle of the month. I feels a bit weird to only have a couple of debts to keep track of.
I am not sure what to do with myself. I think I might just start extra payments next month just to give me something to do…….
I mentioned that I am in school to become an accountant. My ultimate dream is to freelance in bookkeeping and managerial accounting. There is a problem, however. My Debt.
Anyone that knows me personally knows I would never dream of embezzlement. For many reasons:
- It is wrong!
- It is hard enough for me to accept things/help from others let alone take things that don’t belong to me. I was raised to “take care of myself and not accept help”. Luckily, I am learning to accept help from others and it has enhanced my life.
- I would never want to ruin my life, the lives of the people I love, or the livelihood of the people who trusted me to take care of their finances.
- I am someone who doesn’t want to let others down.
- Lastly, the thought of jail terrifies me and I am smart enough to know that everyone gets caught eventually.
That being said, if any potential employers or customers do a credit check, I am pretty sure I am not going to look very solid to them given my debt load.
It is now even more imperative that I get out of debt for my future employment opportunities. Who wants to hire a bookkeeper/accountant who is $90000+ in debt?
H and I had a talk about emergency funds and paying off the debt. He wanted to put any extra funds onto my credit card. I balked at the idea, I wanted them to go into our savings.
I made a suggestion that we agree on a specific number that needs to remain in the Emergency Fund at all times and any extra goes onto the debt. He agreed and we came up with the following plan:
1) We will bring the Emergency Fund up to $5000. This should cover the majority of any major home problems, or at least a significant portion. Given that we still have maintenance on two homes, I voted for the larger Emergency Fund. If we draw from the fund, then we need to bring it back up to the stated level before applying extra money to the debt.
2) After the Emergency Fund is at our goal, then all extra money goes to pay the credit card.
3) H has a minimum level he likes to keep his personal checking account, so he will maintain that level. Since he never reconciles his accounts, I can’t blame him. I don’t understand it, but it works for him. All our utilities and the mortgage come out of his account. We are not going to bother going through the hassle of switching everything over to our joint account right now. We are creating a master password list, so if something happens to one of us, we can access the other’s information.
4) After the credit card is paid, we are bring the Emergency Fund up to $10,000 and focus on paying the student loan. Technically, the car is a higher interest rate but the Student Loan interest payment is so much larger that we are going after that next. The cars will be paid within reasonable time periods.
This is the plan…..Engage…