4.24.2012

The Bottom Line {April}

Bottom Line? Our financial goals have changed. Again. If you're a timeline kind of person, here's a general overview of how we've arrived at this point of change:

JANUARY
After discussing what our goals were for the year, we decided that we would stop the extra payments we had been making towards the mortgage and would focus on finishing the (now infamous) Project House. In addition to funding the work on the PH, we also decided to set money aside in a Rainy Day Fund (RDF), so if Peter lost his job, we would have a small nest egg to fall back on.

FEBRUARY
We stopped the extra mortgage payments and began funding the RDF, but other than deciding that the PH needed a new roof and leaving any extra money in the bank, we didn't take any financial steps towards finishing that project.

MARCH
We fully funded the RDF and started getting estimates on the cost of a roof for the PH. However, a need was presented to us that we felt compelled to give towards, so the roofing fund was delayed because we chose to use the money for the special need instead. No regrets there.

Which brings us to...

APRIL
During the first week of the month, Peter was home sick for several days. It was during his time at home that he had a chance to think more about the PH and our goals for the year, and we ended up in several long discussions about what we wanted for the future. As a result of those talks, we've decided to put a metal roof on the PH (that can be removed and re-used at a later date), install new doors (which we already have), and use the PH as a temporary storage building/work shop for Peter. We've gotten estimates for the roof and we hope to have it installed sometime during the month of May.

Further discussion and a bit of arithmetic resulted in the decision to pay off our house by the end of this year. Even though I'll be leaving my job in early May, the additional income from all the overtime that Peter has been working will almost make up what we'll loose from my salary, and if we really buckle down, we should be sending in our final mortgage payment by the end of the year (!!!).

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That means that in nine months, Lord willing, we'll be mortgage-free (excluding the PH-turned-storage-unit). It's cause for the {happy dance} as well as slightly sickening when I stop to think about where the money has been going up to this point. But, it is what it is, and the lessons that we have learned along the way have been invaluable as we move forward in our quest to be good financial stewards of what the Lord has entrusted to us.

Although we should be able to reach our goal without me working outside our home, it won't leave any wiggle room in the budget, so the push is on for me to find a job that will help us reach our goals a bit easier, while keeping my sanity. That means finding a position without the crazy hours and varying schedules that I've been dealing with for the last fifteen months, and if it actually utilized some of my God-given skills, that would be a true bonus.

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Bottom Line
{March}

1. By the end of April, we'll have paid 11.02% more towards our mortgage principle
2. PH Roof Fund in process
3. Cut down grocery shopping to twice a month
4. Stuck to eating in during the week, only eating out on week-ends (better for budget AND diet)
5. Paid more attention to gas usage/unnecessary errands due to the cost of fuel

What have YOU done this month to develop your stewardship skills?
I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

Next Bottom Line Update: 5/29/12



4 comments:

  1. Congrats on working a budget that takes pays off the 53 percent of your mortgage this year. That's way cool. Keri and I are currently working on being debt free be November, although I may get a chance to sell some spare cars/motorcycles and be out of slavery a month before that. Some things that help our bottom line and attitudes are 1. setting aside a budget line item so I can eat out at work. (for when I'm too busy to pack a lunch) and 2. working less OT, so that I'm home more, and keeping a tighter hold on our money. Or to say it another way, it's always better to handle the money you have really well, than to put all the effort into working more. Thanks for the blog post.

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  2. I always love your financial updates, Carrie! Sounds like you guys are doing well. I admire how you and Peter really communicate well and plan things out together. I'll look forward to reading your May report -- hope the month goes great! : )

    My husband's job will be ending May 31. I've been trying to get up my courage to apply for jobs. Every time I'm out of the job market for awhile, I feel so unconfident trying to get back in. ; ( I'm inching closer -- yesterday I finally contacted some people to ask if they will be references for me. Meanwhile my husband is trying to start up a consulting business. This is definitely a great opportunity to grow in my trust of the Lord!!! <: )

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  3. Jonathan - I agree. When we hold ourselves to so tight a budget that we don't leave any wiggle room for extra things (like lunch out or family time), we soon fall off of the financial bandwagon. We were just talking about that this week-end, because one of the things we have a hard time cutting back on is food. We like to eat, and we like to eat good food. We don't travel (anymore), we don't take vacations, we don't have cable or go see movies, but every time we try to cut the grocery/food budget, we fail. So that's our area to splurge. :-)

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  4. Sandy - Please keep me posted on how things go for you guys! I'm still praying for you to find a job, and now will add your husband's business dreams to the list! I TOTALLY understand feeling shy about applying for jobs - I'm right there with you!!

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