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Yikes! It's been awhile

March 24th, 2015 at 04:31 am

Net worth went up last month, mostly because of the markets. This month's goal is to increase the net worth by $6,112.98. With everything that is going on I don't think I'll make it, but I should get close.


We're spending more than originally thought on the roof, but that's because we're also replacing the soffits and gutters. After this we shouldn't have to do a thing with the roof. We've paid half of the roof's materials costs already, and will pay the rest of the the balance once the job is done. We have $7430 remaining. That will all be put on the Southwest credit card and then I will transfer $2000 to one credit card I already have for 0% interest for 12 months, and the remainder to another 0% interest/12 months card that I already have. The plan will be to pay $675/month total to pay it off in 11 months. I will pay the minimum on the higher balance and attack the $2000 card until it's done, then pay the entire $675 to the remaining card.

Summer Travel

We're going to the West Coast to visit my family. This year we're bringing my partner's son and all of us couldn't be more excited. My partner and I each signed up for the Southwest cards spend $2000 get 50,000 points. We split the first roof charge on each of our cards and will use the points to book the plane tickets for all 3 of us. We'll stay at my family's house and they have already told us they'd pay for our rental car so all we'll be responsible for is the many baseball games we want to go for and fun stuff.

The Basement Apartment

This, unfortunately, is also going to be more than we were originally hoping and planning for. This is mostly because we have changed the scope a bit. We talked to a contractor on Saturday and told him everything we want to do (both for the basement apartment and also the entire house.) We gave him a range of $8-$12,000. He said he might be able to do it for $12,000, but then we'd be replacing everything next year. He thinks $15-$18,000 is more reasonable. Since we don't want to cheap out completely (we want things functional but that will last) we've revised our plan. The partner and I already have agreed on two things to scale back on that will save us $2,000. We won't completely replace all the flooring downstairs but use what is already there and we won't try to move the electrical box. If it becomes a problem we'll move it next summer, if not we'll save that money. The contractor is going to get us a budget and timeline this week, so we'll know better about what else we can cut out or save on.

I have written out a budget assuming this project will cost the entire $18,000. We can do it, but things will be way tighter than I would like for way longer than I would like. I worry if we have too many tight months in a row that we just won't be able to keep up the steam. But I would rather plan for spending more and be surprised when it's less.

Right now the plan to pay for the renovations is to get the discover 0% for 14 months card. I believe I can get a credit limit high enough for the project but since we don't all the information yet it is a little difficult to see how it will pan out. I did my best projections but they are only guesses at this point.

The goal right now is to keep spending low and really make every dollar work for us. We are trying to cash flow this whole expenditure and not take any money out of savings, but at least we have savings should we need it.

I have a spreadsheet where I have inputted all my know monthly expenses and income until December 2016. I estimate $1500 on credit card/unexpected/living expenses due on the 7th (because that's when my main credit card is due.) As I make payments from my checking account or make other credit card payments, I add them to the spreadsheet, as well as any unexpected income. Right now I am good until May 10th, when one of the roof credit cards is due. I am short about $400. I am not too worried, because my credit card that is due on the May 7th is only $100 right now, and I think I can easily keep it to until $1000 with 9 days left to go. (On the 2nd I'll switch my credit card use to a card that won't be due until May 28th-it's a juggling act but I never pay any interest and it works for me.) Worst case scenario is I rearrange some of the more flexible payments until after the credit card is due.

So, there we have it. I have a ton more to say/think out loud about but will leave it here for now.

4 Responses to “Yikes! It's been awhile”

  1. snafu Says:

    I hope you get bids for the work you wish done from at least 3 contractors. Usually the cost of the permit reflects the cost of materials. What discount does this contractor get from his suppliers? Who does the actual work? I find that to be a critical question on major [expensive] work.

  2. snafu Says:

    How did the budget work out for roofing less cost for sofits & gutters from initial estimates? How many feet of sofit & gutter and what was the cost per foot/meter for those supplies as compared with Home Depot or similar large supplier?

  3. Kiki Says:

    I've been learning about all the different things I can write off once my roommate moves in in a couple of weeks. My accountant included any work I did before she moves in (cleaning, painting, etc) as a write off next year with my taxes. So can you check with your accountant to make sure you are doing the best you can for taxes? Even with the rent she is paying she said I will never make income more than a couple hundred a year with maintenance, cleaning, gardeners, etc. the house becomes a business and I need it looking good, clean and pretty.

  4. jokeabee Says:

    Snafu-We will definitely be looking at more contractors, but I am using this first one as a basis for what we can and can't afford, and as a starting point for those conversations with my partner about how we envision our basement apartment and such. As for the gutters/soffits-this is something we will happily pay someone else to do as we have zero experience and don't want to mess anything up or hurt ourselves. We just don't feel comfortable installing things as high as they would need to be.

    Kiki-Thanks for the tip about looking into write offs. I have a rental property in a different state but it is so low maintenance that I hadn't really considered that part with the basement apartment!

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