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Archive for October, 2015

AirBnB Adventures

October 26th, 2015 at 04:54 pm

We did some shopping this weekend and bought all of the things we needed to take pictures to make our AirBnB profile. My partner did that yesterday and then created the profile last night. Sidenote: our basement is so awesome, I wish we could afford to just use it as a Master Suite, I might never come upstairs again.

In the past 24 hours, we have two confirmed bookings and several inquiries. For the two weekends booked, the first week of November and then graduation weekend in the spring, we have $930 coming in. $930!!! In 24 hours! We haven't actually had guests yet, so a hard part is yet to come, but I think that this confirms we made the right decision to spend the money to renovate.

For the renovations, furniture and furnishings we spent approximately $20,000. Our mortgage is $649, plus about another $150 a month for taxes and insurance. It will still take some time to pay off the renovations, but it looks like we will probably be able to cover our mortgage every month. Ideally, I'd like at least $1000 coming in every month-$800 for the mortgage/taxes/insurance and then $200 to start paying down the roof/reno credit cards.

I am amazed that this is working out so well so soon. I am amazed that people will spend this kind of money in our town.

Credit card updates

October 23rd, 2015 at 05:22 am

Card Balance 9/25 Balance 10/23
Roof1 $1,174.23 $374.23
Roof2 $4,617.67 $4,549.43
Best Buy $748.99 $723.99
Reno MC $11,000.00 $10,921.26
Visa $624.25 $3,240.42
MC $1,382.55 $2,073.82
Total $19,547.69 $21,883.15

Card Promo Rate Payment Pay off date
Roof1 0% until Jan '16 $750.00 Nov-15
Roof2 0% until May '16 $82.00 May-16
Best Buy 0% until Sep '16 $100.00 Apr-16
Reno MC 0% until May '17 $100.00 May-17
Visa pay in full each month
MC pay in full each month

Balance totals went up, but that is due to putting new furniture on my "regular" cards. We have the cash in the bank to pay for them, so that'll go down significantly when the payment is due.

We paid off some of the reno card to free up credit to charge more. We might do that 1-2 more times, but our reno costs are almost completely over. I will use that card for the points when I can (1.5% cash back) then use the points to pay down the balance. Still overwhelmed with how much I owe but I know that the balances will start dropping in the coming months.

My goal is to have my credit cards be under $16,000 by December 31. I think that is reasonable unless something terrible happens.

Wedding Gift shopping

October 10th, 2015 at 05:38 am

My Best Friend (of almost 20 years!) is getting married one week from today. I have had thoughts about what to get her since she told me she was engaged and I think I am finally done finalizing the gifts and will finish shopping tomorrow.

She and her partner are super into travelling and food. So I am putting together a "marriage adventure kit." It includes: a scratch off globe so they can track and display everywhere they've been, two passport holders (so they don't lose their passports like that time I did when Best Friend and I were en-route to Vietnam), an "anywhere travel guide" which is basically cards that tell you to do an activity to spice up wherever you are, example: ask a stranger his/her favorite street and go there.), I will buy a bunch of snacks the originate from different countries so they can "travel" through food. The big gift is a molecular gastronomy kit so they can cook cool, adventurous meals. She is an awesome cook and he is a science nerd so I think it will be fun for them to do together. Lastly, I will include a nice bottle of wine.

I am going overboard in terms of price but she and her entire family have been so so generous to me throughout the years (including inviting me on more overseas vacations after I lost my passport and diverted that vacation.)

Deciding on benefits and advice needed.

October 7th, 2015 at 07:26 am

I am reaching the point where I have to make a decision about my benefits at the university. I have the option of 3 retirement accounts-I can choose all 3 or none or a combination.

The first is the standard university one. The university will contribute 4% of my pay and will match up to another 4% of my own contributions. Downside is I am not vested until I've been here 3 years and I am almost positive I don't want to be here that long.

Second one is Tax Deferred Account (TDA) in a 403(b) with a recommended 5% contribution. I am 100% vested immediately. I chose to up it to 10% which will be approximately $56 a paycheck. It's not going to make me rich but it will help come tax time.

The last one is a 457(b) plan. Again, I am immediately 100% vested. I can't decide if I should save here as well. I am not planning on staying here forever and I do want to use this paycheck to pay down debt.

Advice? I think I am going to forgo contributing to the 457(b) but my mind can be changed...

Pre tax my paychecks will be 564. I'll have $56 taken out for the 403b, $65 in extra fed and state withholding and approximately $84 out in regular taxes. That leaves $358, which will go a long way towards the renovation costs.

Job and renovation updates.

October 1st, 2015 at 03:25 pm

I am getting towards the end of week three of working 60 hours a week. How does anyone do this long term? I thought I was young enough but I guess not Wink

My job situation is...still not ideal. I interviewed for another part time job at the university (which would then make me full time and eligible for all those great benefits) but still haven't heard back. I am getting nervous because at the end of the interview (which was the most awkward interview I've ever been in because it was the same people who interviewed me just a couple weeks ago for the same job) the 2nd interviewer asked me to apply for her job (same job, different collection again) in case things didn't work out with this job. So I think I will be either getting an offer or interview but until I know.

Things with full time job got better after my partner said to me "You know, Conan didn't get the Tonight Show and he is still doing okay." Which is absolutely true. Maybe this is not the place for me. It's not the end of the world. He also told me that if I find a "dream job" fairly close by (two hour radius, appx) that I should go for it and then I can get a studio apartment (the areas around here have a much lower cost of living than our town-and even our town is super low compared to most of the US)and we will work out seeing each other on our days off. I am really so incredibly lucky to a have a partner that will sacrifice so that I can have a meaningful career. I'm not sure this is an option I want to pursue, but I am willing to explore it. And it does take some of the pressure off knowing it is an option.

I am going to try to work these two jobs in whatever combo (Uni FT, other job PT or Uni PT and current job FT) until I make a sizable dent in the debt. There is more to come, as well.

We are turning our basement into a guest suite. We will have a steel door separating the suite from the main house, to give privacy to our guests and keep us safe. We put in a full bathroom (with laundry facilities), a kitchenette (microwave and small fridge, no stove) and a closet. Our plan is to rent it out on AirBnB for $100/night. We are 1 mile away from the university, .8 miles from downtown, on a busline and in a historic neighborhood. We think it that price is realistic and that it will make us a good amount of money, eventually.

The renovations were estimated to be $16,680. We have spent about $12,000 and have just enough cash left to pay the remainder. But, we still need to furnish it.

Partner and I have gone back and forth on what we want the space to look like and what we need. We want it to be nice and compete with the hotels. So we are probably going to buy a bed, mattress and sofa bed from a furniture store in town offering 0% interest for 18 months. I want to spend $1500 on that. We might buy a small table and chairs for the kitchenette, but we might repurpose something we already have for that. We'll still need to get a TV-but nothing ridiculous.

We want to have 4 sets of bedding, ideally (2 for the bed, 2 for the sofa) but we'll start out with 1 and purchase it using Amazon.com gift cards. We'll also need shower curtain, towels, trash cans and dishes. The dishes I plan on getting from goodwill. The rest...who knows. I am beyond broke right now and we just might have to get creative.

Luckily October will be a 5 paycheck month for me- 3 from my FT job and 2 from the PT.

When we were planning for the renovation, I made sure we would be able to pay for it without taking into consideration any of the money we hope to make from it. Hopefully, we'll be able to use AirBnB money to pay for most of the monthly obligations Smile If not, we always have the option of renting it out long term.