This last week was pretty normal around here

I paid extra on my pet cc, dh and ds worked a small amount of overtime, I did a very good mystery shop and dh and I used a $1 coupon to get into the fair (total of $2 for the 2 of us) We walked around enough to realize we need a lot more exercise in our life before we make another trip to Walt Disney World. That lead us to a weekend of family meetings and discussions that are all financially based.

1. where we stand, what is the plan on handling the last five steps considering ds is already out of college and we’ve been putting back for retirement all along due to our age. So do we do a big push on the mortgages as soon as we finish the cc? Do we build a 6 month ffef and if so how much? Because right now we’d still have the two mortgages + one 1000 $ loan but once they are gone Spring 17 at the absolute latest because that is when they will run out even if we don’t pay any extra. We want to start traveling again, but that can get expensive so do stall and maybe have a health issue and not get to travel by the time all the baby steps are complete? Or do we travel occasionally now and piddle along with the ffef and the mortgages? What about all the repairs we have been putting off? Also some equipment replacement we need to do? Wealth building?

a.Tentative decision—still up for readjustment and you’ll see why in a bit. We’re going to complete baby step #2 and then revamp the budget to include the following sinking funds: 1)travel—when it has sufficient in it, we travel—after our big celebration trip, we are already budgeting for it. 2) repairs/replace—save for these things a certain portion of our income each month and then do them as we have the cash 3) ffef—instead of going whole hog into it we will b putting a major chunk back until we reach the amount that we’d need for 6 months without the mortgages. All other snowball and extra gazelle money will go against the mortgages. We haven’t decided in which order we’ll do them yet because the first mortgage has a shorter term to run, lower interest rate and a lower balance at this point. However, when it’s paid off we will still need to allow for taxes and insurance each month. The second mortgage payment is roughly $80 lower a month, but has a 3% higher rate, a balance of $10,000 higher, will die a natural death about 5 months after the mortgage if we don’t pay extra on it in 2017 and once it was paid off all of it could go on the other mortgage. So that is still up for future discussion.

2.Gardening: working out details for year round gardening to cut the food bill, BUT depending on how we follow through on the other discussions we had this may be just a thought that will be abanadoned—see below. Cold frames/hot boxes for winter gardening were heavily discussed and materials tracked down that we already had may make them a reality very soon.

3.Retirement: All three of us want dh to retire asap. Technically he could by mid-summer but it would be snug if we still had the two mortgages—part of the tentative decision above. Also his 401K won’t be fully vested until August 2015, so math will be required to see how much It would cost us in the long run if he retired next summer. We also are trying to figure out just how we are going to handle retirement where the ranch and such are concerned. We still have roughly 100 animals of mixed types and decisions would need to be made about our “babies.” I don’t see us willingly letting any of them go. So that could work against what we’d ideally like to do.

a.Tentative decision—right now we plan on him working through Feb 2016 when he will be fully vested, but like I said we need to run some numbers. There might also be some “deals” he can work out with his employer who often has slow times then peak times, so it could be he could go on a “part time” deal to maintain his vesting and only work when they really need him. That could get VERY complicated, but it is an option. Ds and I think healthwise dh needs to retire immediately. Financially we’d be in a bind, but we’ve survived worse. Then there is another factor I’ll mention in a bit.

4.Celebration trip: When and of course the where is WDW. How we want to do it, where we want to stop along the way etc.

a.Decision—we booked the trip months ago for a date I am certain we will be in a good financial state to take it—to be announced at a later date—bad guys read these posts too. NSA save yourself some time, just hack my email and check my reservations. The big tentative part of the decision is whether or not ds is traveling both ways with us OR if he will fly home and dh will be retired and he and I will hit the road as a retired couple for several months once we leave WDW. More on this in a bit.

5.Ds’ living quarters: He needs a life of his own, outside of what Mom and Dad are doing. He’s tried working on a little house numerous times, but life has got in the way more times than we cared to discuss. He’s once again looking at building, or maybe setting a portable building—wood or metal on top of a foundation he’s paid someone to put in and then the three of us work on converting it into living quarters for him about ¼ mile from the main house. To do that instead of building it as he has the cash would require financing and since he doesn’t legally own the land it would be setting on he couldn’t get a construction loan or mortgage. We can’t deed it over to him until the mortgages are paid off according to our loan papers. So he’s researching his lending options since of course he doesn’t have a credit score and he still owes a chunk to Sallie Mae. He’s wanting to get on with his life and start dating again—suggestions on where he could meet nice girls in their 30’s? He’s nearly38 and feels he needs to get moving with his life before it’s “too late”.

a.Tentative decisions—Like I said he’s going to check financing, but we are also looking at another couple of possibilities—this is the other factors I mentioned above we’re considering. Dh retire after we finish babystep #2 and get the ffef complete, possibly working out a deal with his employer for peak time work to still get fully vested. –a long shot, but there is still math to play with at that point. Instead of building ds starts paying on our mortgages the amount he was going to put back for a house. He takes over all the utilities –which he pays most of them already—and we hit the road for 9 months or so a year as soon as baby step #2 is finished. Before we leave we put a concrete pad and electrical hook-up down at his property with a carport that the fifth wheel will fit under and when we are in the area we would stay down there with the main house being his. We would pay the utilities on that area. We would continue to put money back into a “building fund” as we traveled and then when it became obvious we needed to quit traveling we’d stay in the fifth wheel on the property until a small place was built for the two of us. Ds would have the big house, and the responsibilities of the animals. OR we do basically the same scenario, but we pay off the mortgages and do our already planned deeding property over to him, he builds and then when we leave in 2015-16 he moves in the big house and we stay in the little house when we get in this area. BTW any way we go we will eventually probably have to move out of the big house because it is multi-level and there are already days I have trouble with all the stairs.

Government shutdown

My partner works for the government so I thought we were looking at a furlough. It turns out that her specific branch of the DOD was smart with last year’s budget and they have extra funds. She is not being furloughed until those funds run out. She says that will be about 2 weeks.

Just goes to show how being smart with money can help. I am really hoping that this lasts less than 2 weeks so that we are not looking at losing her income. That would really slow down our progress. So, for now, I am wondering whether I should stop paying extra towards the snowball until we know for sure what is going on.

I wanted to clarify the whole situation

last night where Jerry picked up the computer to read Merchants of Deception. While he was waiting for me to pull it up for him, he was busy reading a busines book “Ten Powerful Phrases for Positive People” by Rich DeVos- which he then put down to continue reading the ebook.Do you think it would be more beneficial or more destructive if I were to… hide his CDs and books? He has the entire stock of CDs in his car center console and always listens to them on his way to/from work. His books are on a shelf at home and some in his car trunk.We don’t have any money left right now for him to replace his stock (just as we’ve stopped having money to do DITTO, in the process of the crash and burn phase now) So if his books and CDs were to disappear…In your opinion is it more BENEFICIAL because I can finally get him away from the indoctrinating CDs (which he listens to on a daily basis) and his own finances won’t allow him to afford any more…Or would it be more destructive- he may react badly in his anger that I took away his stuff? I’m trying to compare the effects and see if his anger may be worth it to finally see him separated from the influence of the CDs…his mind might regain a little more self-awareness at home and in his spare time he may be spending MORE time investigating the ebook and others than reading his own business literature? The possible bad effects, if I were to do that, would be temporary anger/resentment from Jerry- him reporting the news to his mentors and his mentors talking badly of me.Maybe there’s also a way I could sabotage his books and CDs without being so obvious- what do you think?Is there a way to ruin a CD (maybe with a certain chemical) that renders it unreadable by the CD-player- without showing any physical signs of damage? What happens if a CD has like a single long scratch across the radius- would that prevent the CD from playing properly, will that make it skip? I’m just trying to figure out how to gently remove Jerry from his indoctrination materials without him necessarily blaming me. He tosses his CDs around his car without their covers so a couple of them inadvertantly get damaged and replaced. I’d like a way to take out his new CDs that just came in the mail. Usually if Jerry can’t figure out why a CD isn’t working he doesn’t make a fuss, he turns on the FM radio. So I figured I could gradually get him to limit his CD time.What do you think?