I locked in our refinance rate in the first week of January. We had the appraisal done the following week. I called the bank to find out when our settlement would be occurring so that I can gather the necessary funds. They told me that settlement would probably occur in April!!! So much for getting nearly a year's worth of lower interest expense in '09. I guess the good news is that I have longer to save up for our closing costs...
Viewing the 'Finance' Category
I've tracked all my monetary contributions for the month and here' what I came up with:
I figured $100/wk for daycare that I would pay if I were working. An additional $20/wk for takeout meal. Then I added in all my coupon/rebate/sales savings that I scour the ads for in order to keep our grocery bill reasonable. Lastly, and a big contributor for this month, I "paid" $25/hour for my painting skills as I began painting the interior of our new-to-us home.
So, if I had been working we would have paid someone to paint the house. We would've done takeout more and I wouldn't be monitoring the grocery store sales. And, the kids would need after school care.
I'm still working on calculating my "value" at home. I've included daycare, grocery savings, CVS/Walgreens savings, and added the cost of 1 takeout meal. I figured that if I were working we'd be doing takeout at least 1 more night per week ($20). I put the daycare cost at $125/wk for half day care (daughter is in half day Kindergarten). I've also been getting my house ready to paint (caulking cracks, filling holes, etc.) and I priced that at $25/hour. Do these prices seem reasonable? My son is in 4th grade, but I would also need after school care for him but I have no idea what that would cost, any thoughts?
I've been a SAHM for about 6 months (kids are 5 & 10). Some days I like it and other days I really miss working. New Years was a couple of days where I was in a funk because I felt like I had "lost myself". Since I'm home all the time, I never leave work...dishes always need done, laundry, picking up stuff, groceries, etc.. When I had a job outside of the home I got to not be the maid/cook/chauffeur for at least a few hours a day!
But, the situation at home would make it difficult for me to go back to work right now. That and the area is flooded with people with my skill set due to the financial turmoil of late on Wall Street.
So, I've decided that I'm going to start keeping track of my dollar value at home. Now, I'm not talking about how much I would pay someone to grocery shop, because even if I was employed outside the home, I would still have to do that. I'm talking about things that I wouldn't have time to do if I were employed.
Starting 1/1/09 I will keep track of coupons, rebates, home repairs, etc. that I wouldn't normally have the time or energy to do if I were employed. Let's see just how much I can make!
Where does New Years inspiration come from? Why do I feel more inspired to do something today than I did yesterday? Heck if I know! But I think the moral of the story is that you should utilize inspiration whenever it makes itself available. So, in keeping with that thought here is my list of thing to accomplish in 2009:
1. Fully fund our emergency fund by the end of the year.
2. Continue to fund our retirement accounts, increasing the amount by 3% or so.
3. Refinancing the mortgage at or below 5%.
4. Continue to find ways to cut our household expenses.
5. Expand our use of eco-friendly practices at home and while traveling.
6. Participate in more survey and rebate opportunities.
7. Make improvements to our new-to-us house using as much sweat equity as possible.
Now, I hope that New Years inspiration lasts at least a few more days so that I can actually plan ways to accomplish these goals!