I avoided it this time

the section (foot width wide) to the right of the kitchen door as you step out, closest to the wall avoided being icy so I used it and with Snoot’s help, I sat down to get off the porch. Climbing back up is a pita but I’m happy to not have fallen.

When the weather is better, I’m going to ask Vester to help me/teach me how to put up a railing.

I have no clue about a bumbles that bounce, but did grow up with Wombles!

I’ve been busy managing the Hudson Hotel

The hotel opened for business after a dear friend had his girlfriend commit suicide in his Condo – he’s been spooked ever since. (December 15th). He moved out of his Condo immediately basically and has been couch surfing from his family to my house to his family to my house for 2 months now. He says he feels more comfortable over here – probably because I don’t pressure him to have conversation about the tragedy in his life, and they seem to want to discuss it ad nauseum. But he’s a talker, and he stays up late late late and gets up early early early and whew….

Then when it iced last week, 11 guests were in Hotel Hudson – people couldn’t get home and because of my centralized location and close to an interstate, I became a way station for 2 days.

I’m ready for my house to be mine again.

When I have a lot going on emotionally

I tend to get really really quiet. Hence my being super quiet this last 16 months. Right now I am going through another miscarriage because I didn’t know I was expecting and wasn’t taking my heparin injections, which I need for each pregnancy to be viable due to my blood clotting disorder. Its been 3+ weeks and the blood work shows I’m still finished with this…just annoying. I’m moving on and decided to just start working out again.

My children….oh my children….we’re all still struggling a bit with emotions. They (3 of them) are afraid, still, of so many things…mostly loss and grief, trauma and shame, low self esteem, etc. Things that literally take an entire lifetime to heal. So in love with them but definitely difficult to see them struggle so much at times.

That being said, we’re gluttons for punishment and are currently waiting on China to hear if we can adopt one LAST kiddo. A 5 yr old little boy with Spina Bifida. I so want to bring this guy home! (The LAST part is my husband talking….I’d like to do 2 LAST ones but he wants only 1….)

Well Jhon

a bit of fretting here in central NC… ds #2 is getting married next weekend in Salisbury MD and DFDIL developed a blood clot in her lung and has to give herself shots in the tummy twice a day, PLUS she is a school teacher at a year round school and ran out of personal days… since they are doing the ( OMG it might snow” make up days she has to teach on Sat. after the wedding but has to teach instead…. quite the flutter going on around here…


just been busy trying to get the karate school ready to open. I spend most of my days painting, then coming home and trying to play catch-up with the house.

Today’s activities included allergy shots, grocery store run and I’ll make some dinner, after I finished some painting…did manage to get a quick nap, so I’m not as exhausted.

If the weather here in FL would make up its mind, I would be in a better place of mind. The drastic changes in temps and then the fog/overcast days are working against me. Sat in the sun for 20 minutes the other day just because it was sunny.

Frustrated – Independent Foreclosure Review

I am really frustrated doing my taxes right now. We lost our house a few years back, we tried to get help, but B of A screwed us over. Then last year we were part of the Independent Foreclosure Review process and we got a check for $6000, now we have to claim it on our taxes as income. Which we will be taking a hit of $2000.

I just feel its a Double Whammy! Anyone else in the same boat?

So after the minor Alfred visits the previous week Millie came to visit us and make us feel blessed

The sink repair turned out to be minor, under $20 and once he actually got around to doing it dh finished the repair in less than 30 minutes. I took advantage of him having everything drug out from under that sink during the repair to do a major purge and now we have a tidy area that is organized and nearly empty. I like that.

Ds’ truck repair came in about $50 less than he had been quoted and it is running like a top. So he was very pleased with that.

Jellybean was probably the most happy during the week because the vet sent him home with a clean bill of health (although a shorter tail). He has been milking his “boo-boo” for all it’s worth, moving from lap to lap for cuddle time. If you ignore him the silly animal holds his tail up and twitches it at you and then gives you a big forlorn look with his jellybean green eyes. Such a “boo boo paw” expert. Boo-boo paw is what we call it when one of the animals fakes being hurt to get attention. Misty Georgia our shepherd mix dog is the best at faking a limp to get attention. Thus the term boo-boo paw.

I was pleased that Bean’s vet bill came in under estimate as well. His tail seems to be healing up cleanly, but we go back later this week to get the stitches out. So we’ll know more then.

Dh got our Fed but not state taxes done this weekend, while we are paying in a chunk (nearly $3,000) it is far less than we had expected and we are prepared for it. Gotta love sinking funds.

Theoretically we should get back from state, but the oil royalty checks may nuke us, that is what hurt us on the Fed. Either way I’ll mail the payment check around the first part of April. In the meantime the money will stay in savings to earn a penny or so interest.

When dh and I were discussing the pros and cons of the royalty checks I mentioned I wished the guy who had the lease on another set of mineral rights I own would start pumping on it again. That was Friday. Saturday we got notice in the mail that he had started and they needed to verify my tax id and such in order to start sending me checks. Talk about timing. LOL! This set of mineral rights was the smaller of the two so it will probably be only around $200 per year, but that is more than we were getting.

This last week I challenged myself to clean one area or type of item up in my office every day. I am proud to say I did meet that challenge and hope to continue it on this week.

After ds receiving a $367 electric bill we went back to wood heat and it is warmer in the house than it was with running the furnace—heat pump. But of course it is a lot more work. Oh well we need the exercise badly.

Speaking of health and exercise and such. Ever since the summer ds has been experiencing nausea at some point every day. He went to the doctor, had his blood work ran to rule out diabetes and the doctor said he couldn’t find anything wrong with him, but if ds wanted to he could arrange for a series of tests that ds’ part after insurance would be over $2,000. Since ds was needing to put his truck in the shop he declined the offer until he could save more money to pay cash up front for the services, since the doctor didn’t think there was anything truly serious with his condition.

I listen to late night radio as I am going to sleep and one night about a week ago they had a doctor on that was talking about the fact we should keep our bodies alkaline rather than acid. In the course of the show he mentioned people with the exact symptoms ds was having. He said it was because their body was too acid. That this acid was caused by too much sugar in the foods they eat.

Ds has problems with his sweat being acid and eating holes in his tee shirts, so I told him that this doctor suggested cutting out sugars and/or drinking a little baking soda and warm water daily to make his system more alkaline. Since there would be no harm in doing either ds decided to cut his sugar intake. From day one the nausea disappeared. So yesterday he tried drinking a single glass of Pepsi. He was immediately nauseated from the sugar/caffeine. So ds is trying now to live on a low sugar diet. This should prove interesting. He said, at least he didn’t have to spend $2,000 and go through testing to find this out. LOL! Millie Moment.

Dh took a few hours of vacation time last week to take Beanie to the vet and do other chores around here. It was a blessing he had those hours he could take. He is planning on taking a few more this week to take the Bean back for stitches removal and to do some more chores around here.

On a fun note we spent odds and ends rest periods watching utube videos about the new updates to Walt Disney World and the planned opening of Diagon Alley to go with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios this summer. We are considering both parks for our celebration trip. So seeing all the new concept art and such was interesting. Can’t wait to see them for real.

No, I was just curious about what I’d fine at the price levels others were talking about

We just bought our house 2 years ago and are very happy here. We made what was a lowball offer based on the market analysis and they took it. We have gone up in value on the home even without the work we have done to it. Of course the work was done on a cash basis.

Now what Id like to find is a side business like a laundromat to hire someone to run. Been meaning to talk to our real estate agent about that and keep forgetting. Maybe I need to write it on my forehead. LOL

If you were serious about finding something else–I would check weekly or even daily….

For example—houses in our neighborhood are normally $85,000 and up….

A couple weeks ago–there was a 4 bedroom, 2 bath for $29,000…….which would normally run $120,000 or up.

Now, of course, it didn’t last long….maybe a week….

But, my point is—they do show up….

How do I know?

We are living in a heck of a deal we found after a few months of looking….

PS…. part of me REALLY wanted to go after the 4 bedroom deal last week……it had hardwood floors throughout and was really fantastic….but I don’t need all that space anymore….. I will stick to plan…I will stick to the plan….

Sent from my iPad

In my area, we would pay 100 thousand for those same bad neighborhoods. I am in a working class or lower middle class neighborhood and our house is now worth 151 thousand. We have about 800 square feet. It was 250 thousand when we bought it 9 years ago.

Most of MMM’s income is investment income, he pays very little in taxes

So that’s pretty much his net. Out of curiosity, I threw together some numbers:
mortgage – 1000
utilities – 400
food – 400
car insurance – 200
gas – 200

That’s only $2200 per month, or $26400 per year. Your area may be MUCH higher priced than mine, but my mortgage is less than $820 per month. And in my example I’d still have $400 per month for…?
Whatever else is needed, I guess. In your case it would probably be eaten up by gas money because of your long commute. But it still might be possible.

What I previously mentioned is what happened..

I looked up to the $50K range and it was either lots/land or single wide trailers or houses, all in bad neighborhoods and/or well out of the city limits. I have driven through some of these neighborhoods in the day time but was very uncomfortable for my safety. I certainly would not want to drive through them or live in them at night! I even tried 2 different zip codes, our previous zip code and the one we have lived in the last 2+years. I would be in desperate straits to live there.

The houses I did find were very small as well. Usually 2 bedroom with 1 bath and less than 1000 sq. feet. From the photos I saw online, they looked like they needed lots of work. So they may cost a little but it looks like they would need plenty $$ to bring them to code, get them painted (some had badly peeling paint), fix/replace windows, etc. Our house we bought when we moved here in 2000 had more square footage than the ones I saw online. Now we get payday loans in llinois (Chicago) it take few minutes! Years ago in the early 90’s we lived in a 500 sq. ft. apartment. We knew it was temporary so we made it work … we were both students and it was on campus. They had recently been renovated and were pretty okay for student housing at that time. So we have lived in and with less. We know we could do it again if we had to but, of course, would prefer not to.

Our area in south Louisiana has not been hit as hard by the economic down turn since 2008. We have friends who are in the real estate business, he is a broker and his wife is an agent. He deals primarily in commercial and she in residential. They are BUSY, ALL THE TIME, with showings, sales and closings. We have lived in this community since 2000 and building has not slowed one bit in residential or commercial. Not being hit hard economically is the reason housing costs have continued to go up. The house we bought in 2000 … it’s value almost doubled in value between 2000 and 2011.

More than the latest whiz-bang gadget

and conspicuous consumption. And if he feels he wants to earn a little money, he’ll work on a construction job for someone.<< Our family is not into conspicuous consumption either. Very little of our pay goes to pure consumption of goods or services compared to what we lay out for the 4 walls and health insurance. In fact our combined “blow money” comes to about 3.4% of our take home pay. We put back money for furniture/decorating, home maintenance, flood insurance, etc. We do not put back money for movies except in the rare case (maybe annually), that a movie we want to see comes to the local theater. We put some money aside each month for eating out—if we plan it right we can go to a sit down restaurant 3 times/month. So, no, you won’t find any body named “conspicuous” here! LOL We don’t replace phones, electronic readers, electronics/TV’s, furniture, décor, clothing, etc. every time we change underwear like many seem to do. We wait till it gets to the point of not being fixable or wears out … GASP. Silly I know, but true. I believe it’s okay to have nice things around you. There is nothing wrong with working hard to have a comfortable home. However many people have let this become their focus. They keep getting more and more and it never satisfies, kind of like one upsmanship. People are no longer happy trying to keep up with the Jonses, they want to BE the Jonses. My point is that it is okay to consume but don’t let it become your priority–don’t let consumption consume you. Things never truly make a person happy, as MMM seems to have found out.


I could have bought VERY nice houses in this area for $25K-$37K a couple of years ago. I just didn’t have the money to do so. Those houses are probably worth close to $80K now. I’m guessing some people around here made a TIDY sum..

We are saving about 46% of our salary

Wife saves 17.5K in 401K and 28K in profit sharing, I have a pension that takes 6% of my salary, plus I do 12K in 457 and we save about 10K per month in after tax/take home pay. We spent 20K on charity last year and probably 20K on travel. If we stopped charity and travel and stayed at home more, we could save 60%. I will definitely be on a stricter budget once we retire.

S/S = savings/salary after tax bench mark

In year 5, they saved $100,000 after tax from about a $135,000 a year after tax salary (S/S = 74%)
In year 7, they saved $120,000 after tax from about a $145,000 a year after tax salary (S/S = 83%)

Our own S/S is about 30% to 50% (I need to look at the numbers). I’m finding MMM’s snowball inspirational and gives us a new goal for 2014 (to increase our S/S)

Year 0 (1997): Stash: $0
Year 1 (1998): Stash: $5000 ($57,600 a year salary)
Year 2 (1999): Stash: $23,000 (- a year salary)
Year 3 (2000): Stash: $67,000 (- a year salary)
Year 4 (2001): Stash: $150,000 ($127,000 a year salary)
Year 5 (2002): Stash: $250,000 ($160,000 a year salary)
Year 6 (2003): Stash: $365,000 (about $170,000 a year salary)
Year 7 (2004): Stash: $490,000 (about $170,000 a year salary)
Year 8 (2005): Stash: $600,000 ($150,000 a year salary)
Year 9 (2006): Stash: $720,000 ($110,000 a year salary)
Year 10 (2007): Stash $800,000 ($0 a year employee salary) – retired

Year 0 (1997): Stash: $0 – computer engineering degree Starting Salary: $41,000 in 1977
Year 1 (1998): Stash: $5000 ($57,600 a year salary) – New salary $57,600
Year 2 (1999): Stash: $23,000 (- a year salary)- ($13k cash/shares, $10k retirement). $5000 into the retirement account, $3000 into an employee stock purchase plan, and $10000 in cash.
Year 3 (2000): Stash: $67,000 (- a year salary)- ($47k home equity, $10k retirement, $10k cash). Bought $235,000 home near Boulder, Colorado, using $47,000 down payment. Sold stock purchase plan shares from year 2 when the stock markets were on fire.
Year 4 (2001): Stash: $150,000 ($127,000 a year salary) – MMM salary increase to $83,000 plus future wife’s new $44,000 salary. I saved 20% of my salary into the 401K and got a $5k match from the company, as did the girlfriend.
Year 5 (2002): Stash: $250,000 ($160,000 a year salary). – MMM salary increase to $100k including company bonuses, Wife’s salary $60,000. Savings by close to $100k after tax
Year 6 (2003): Stash: $365,000 (about $170,000 a year salary). –
Year 7 (2004): Stash: $490,000 (about $170,000 a year salary). –
Year 8 (2005): Stash: $600,000 (about $150,000 a year salary). – MMM and Ms. MMM got married. MMM salary decreased to $80k (worked only 4 days to test of the waters of early retirement), Wife’s salary $70,000. Investment gains $40k.
Year 9 (2006): Stash: $720,000 (about $110,000 a year salary). – MMM and Ms. MMM have baby. MMM semi-retired, MMM salary $50,000 and wife’s salary $60,000. Bought new house and rented previous house. The stash includes $100,000 appreciation in rental house. Investment gains continued at about $35,000. The rent from the previous house was more than covering the mortgages on both houses.
Year 10 (2007): Stash $800,000 ($0 a year employee salary) Retired MMM does custom home renovations and finish work; Mrs. MMM does Real-estate sales. Retirement means doing more stuff you want that may happen to earn money: “Because when you quit your corporate job, you end up with even more energy, which means you want to do more stuff!”
2008 to 2011 – the investment gains and income have just been building on themselves. Most of it was bought via just plain old dollar-cost-averaging and dividends from capital gains savings.

Mr. Money Moustache says:

“I just saved about 66% of my pay without really noticing it, and in under ten years I woke up and realized I didn’t have to work for a living any more”

Was that 66% gross pay or 66% of the net pay (the amount printed on his pay check)? Do you know what amount he saved and how much net income he now receives from his investments?

I think

we can all live under those conditions/restrictions if we had to. When you have more, you often forget/put out of your mind the steps taken to reach your current level. I think that is where the “characteristics” come from.

Just this morning I finally finished all the formatting for the print version of the book

Turned that loose upon the world (it hits Amazon.com in about 7 days), then gave the website sales page some attention and taught myself a few new html code tricks, and now about to go out into the cold world and run some errands.

Feel like a new person, though, now that we’ve gotten the issue with the land rental squared away. I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t make any plans, couldn’t figure out what I was going to do until that was resolved. It made me realize that if that parcel is so central to our operations, I probably need to start doing some long-term planning towards eventually buying it outright. So that’s in my noggin now. In the meantime, I’m just doing other Errands Day stuff and trying to stay warm here. Our high for the day is 30F and we’ll be getting down to the low teens tonight. Warmer than some folks have right now I know, but cold for us. Brrrr.

He is 100% debt free

He lives in a neighborhood specifically because it is bike friendly. They do own a car, but don’t carry any extra insurance. They spend $40 a month on gas.
He has a cheap no name cell. He’s married with one child.
I believe he retired on $800,000 which allows them to draw 4% off each year which works out to $32,000 a year.
He’s very frugal, but lives a very nice life.

Part of MMM is also to cut expenses

So that you don’t have to save as much for retirement. He’s very into solar, hanging clothes, riding bikes. He cuts his expenses to the bone and only needs $32,000 a year. << I don’t see how a person can afford housing and live on 32K/yr. Is this guy paying rent or a mortgage on that annual pay? Where we live I don’t know of any safe neighborhood that has housing someone could afford on 32K. I don’t mind doing things like hanging clothes, etc. I already have some I hang on hangers on the shower rod, clothes drying rack (wood), etc. I don’t have a clothes line though I have had one in the past at former homes. I have thought about getting one for here. About the only place I could ride my bike to around here is the grocery store, about a 2 mile round trip. However, I could not do our weekly shopping and carry it all back on a bike. In the summer it is just too hot for much bike riding and then go do something else without looking and smelling like a sweaty mess. We are about to turn in one of our cable boxes. It has been on a tv in the sun room and none of us watches that tv much. That will save us some but as complicated as the bill is, it’s hard to tell how much. Dh thinks it’ll save us about $40 by the time you roll in all the taxes and fees associated with it. We’ll see. I am going to start asking around for the Sunday coupons. There are people who get the Sunday paper and never use the coupons and I want to see if I can get them. I don’t want to pay for our paper … lousing writing and almost no real news to speak of.

Five years ago

I was a single mom with $0 in child support and was making $20k a year. I owned a small, 2-bedroom house that I bought for $38k. I was totally debt-free, except the house. When I read somebody “retires” and makes more than I do while “in retirement”, I just roll my eyes and think, “Big deal”. I’m not impressed. Right now, we could live on my $24k salary if we had to, and now I’m feeding a teen and a husband.