Monday, August 5, 2019

New month, new plans

July was an emotionally draining month. There was the whole flying with a wheelchair thing, which is still not resolved. Then there was DS's wedding (it was beautiful), my BIL's death (a blessing, given the circumstances), and a new job for me. Throw in a UTI that took a week to properly diagnose and medicate and that about sums it up.

Oh, and my in-laws came and stayed for 11 days. Let's just say they are the most high-maintenance houseguests known to anyone. They left yesterday and I am still making my way through the mess. And restocking my household supplies which were diminished at an alarming rate.

It was just a crazy month.

I mentioned my new, somewhat unexpected, part-time job. Because it came up so fast, we hadn't really had time to break down what the extra income would mean. Thus far, I have put every penny into a savings account because I didn't want it to get "lost" in the regular budget. Now that we've been able to put some thought into it, we've decided to keep my paychecks separate and use them solely for needed work on the house.

We live in a home built in 1972. While we have tried to keep up with it, some repairs/work/updates have fallen to the wayside as medical bills (and debt) ate up our savings. With retirement looming in the next 6 years or so, we would like to have as many of those big projects taken care of sooner rather than later. This is the house we will have forever, because it has been tailored to our son's needs.

First up is removing a tree from the front yard. It was struck by lightning years ago, and while it is not 100% dead, it is most definitely not healthy and clearly is not going to recover. I have a call into a company recommended by several neighbors to get a free estimate. I'm expecting it to run close to $1,000 with stump removal.

Other items on the wish list are:

  • Kitchen renovation. Seriously, some parts of the cabinets are held together by tape. 
  • New HVAC - we bought the current system in 1996 so we know it could go at any time. We won't be replacing until it is kaput, but we want to be ready. 
  • Retile DS's bathroom. It's a huge bathroom, built in 1998 to accommodate his wheelchair, ceiling lift and other equipment. Tiles are cracked and because it's an open concept, water tends to wear down the grout way more than is typical. We need to make sure the extra moisture doesn't seep down and damage the joists. 
  • New windows. Ours are originals and awful.
All of those are extremely pricey and we've never been able to bring ourselves to throw so much money at mundane projects. So now's the time. I am only working part time, so it will still take awhile to save up for each project. If it looks like we will fall short of wiping out the debt in time for retirement, we will stop the projects and focus on that. 

So there's the plan. So far, so good. 

Sarah
 

10 comments:

  1. What is your son's disability? You have certainly had a lot of pressure lately!

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    1. He has spinal muscular atrophy. It has been one of those months!

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    2. Having cared for a child with SMARD1, I wondered if your son had something along those lines. Not an easy road. My heart goes out to you.

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  2. In a perfect world one would remove the tree and the stump...but the stump could easily left and potentially save you some money. Just a thought-I wonder how much just removing the tree alone would be. Perhaps leave part of a stump for a bird feeder? My friend had her tree shaved off at the ground and just put a nice ceramic pot over it. Saved her a bunch of $$

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    1. Good point. I'll have to see how the estimates come out and consider that.

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  3. I think of you often and wonder how you are doing. So happy you have found a part time job. Our house needs so much work and it is going to happen now one room at a time. Just trying to get the house paid off and then hit the repairs. I am always curious about your snow ball. I see that one of your debts is down to 700 and something. It must be going faster now. This has been such a long road for us.

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    1. We are so far behind keeping up with this house it's pitiful. If we want it to last another 50 years, we need to get busy. Should have that smallest debt paid off within a month or two. Unfortunately, there are more right behind that. I am the definition of the tortoise in the race. It has been forever.

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    2. I hear you! Hang in there. You'll get there!

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  4. Your homeowner's insurance will pay you for the tree, depending on what kind it is. You could be paid in addition to the removal of it. Insurance will cover lightning struck trees. Hickory and oak are worth big bucks. BB places pay for that wood. Take a picture of the lightning damage if it is cut before an adjustor gets there.

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