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Archive for July, 2007

Advice Needed on Rental Property Situation

July 29th, 2007 at 01:47 am

I'm interested in some feedback regarding a situation we're facing regarding our rental property. It is our original starter home purchased in 1992 for $130K. In January of this year it was valued at $330K. We own it outright and have a mortgage now on our primary residence.

Ok, the situation now: our last tenant moved out in Dec 06 and was paying $1,350. A family member lived there from Jan to June paying our cost ($300/month for taxes and $44 for insurance). Here rental properties are sitting and not moving at all. We had a prospective tenant drop into our laps -

this is a couple returning from South America missions - husband has a 3-year contract teaching in a private school making $45000. The most they can afford to pay is $1,000 plus utilities (which will be in their names). They will sign a one year lease and pay six months cash rent up front. They will have to buy a mower and do lawn maintenance on their own (we take care of exterior maintenance). We had decided we'd probably have to drop the rent because of how many things are on the market.

Do we take these tenants (no credit history as they've been out of country 20 years) but have strong local ties and come recommended from a friend of the guy across the street at $1,000 (probably $150 per month less than we might get)? (Of which I can put $6,000 in the bank and make 5%-ish.) We are spared advertising cost and the month(s) it might take to rent. Or do we place the ad in the paper and hope to make $1,350?

Just wondering what your thoughts are on this. Thanks in advance for advice.

How do you manage multiple savings goals at a time?

July 24th, 2007 at 05:06 pm

I'm having an issue here deciding on how to approach multiple goals.

I have $13,000 at 0% credit card debt for life of balance. I have this money in a money market fund paying 5.4%. The minimum payment on this is $200.00

I have contributed 10% of DH's salary into the 401(k) and I regularly contribute to my IRA (usually only about $2000. Total IRA value $99,000

I am prepaying tuition (two years at commuity college) for DD9 and DD8 ($226 a month for another 4 years 9 months). The other college money in their names is this: DD9 $7K, DD8 $7K, DS4 $7K, DS2 $1K.

Our mortgage is $290K on a $510K value and we own a rental property paid off for $330K. We do make an additional payment per year based on pay every two weeks (13 payments a year).

Where would you put additional money gien this situation: Retirement, College, Mortgage?

Anyone a Weekend Warrior who did their own hardwood floors?

July 23rd, 2007 at 10:44 pm

I have beige carpeting in my house and four children and two dogs. Not the color I would have chosen, but it came with the house. I'd love to replace it with hardwood flooring in the family room where most of the activity/living is done. I'm afraid it may be too costly to have it installed and was wondering if this is a home improvement anyone here has taken on - or is it worth it to pay the professionals?

Thanks for your stories ...

Doing consignment here --

July 23rd, 2007 at 10:41 pm

I'm motivated by people who have been cleaning up and clearing out and decluttering. I too have joined the group - my basement has been a place no one wants to go (and that is where the air hockey and the pool table are that we should be using).

Well, I walked around randomly putting things in a huge pile for garbage/donate and today with my mom's help I bagged six huge industrial garbage bags of clothes/toys/househodl items for donation. And loaded them and out they went, donated. Also have a pile of things for Once Upon a Child, Plato's Closet, and an upscale knick-knack consigment place -- I am no longer keeping: Enesco musical box carnival pieces (ferris wheel), a Lenox carousel, a Lenox spice rack with little houses. All were gifts from my MIL or from my grandmother's home when she passed away and we needed to empty her home. Also include three Lladros that I'm not attached to. Hoping to get some money back from these items and I'm not having the time or interest to do ebay.

Will report back on my earning as I go - goal is to get these items to consignment stores later this week!

All proceeds are hearding into our vacation fund for 08. Feeling lighter!

My name is Madhaus and I am a Reformed Spender

July 22nd, 2007 at 04:00 pm has been over a year since my last irresponsibe thoughtless purchase (a $60 silk Tommy Bahama shirt for DH on *great* sale down from MSRP of $130 - might I add this is white and we have 4 DKs under 8 at the time...)?

Well, since I've taken stock of how I spend the money my DH makes I have stopped making purchases as above. Yesterday I shopped at our local hospital's *stuff store* where they accept donations of items and all proceeds go to the cardiac unit. I ran in because DH has put on some weight (in the process of weight loss challenge at work) and needed shorts another pair of denim shorts in the *larger* size.

I found him a nice virtually brand new pair of denim cargo shorts for $4. And it didn't stop there: an additional pair of nice dress shorts for $4 and get this: TWO VIRTUALLY NEW (1) Tommy Hilfiger long-sleeve pin-striped shirt in pristine condition $5, and (2) Ralph Lauren striped polo shirt in excellent condition $4. All for $15! Wa Hoo! And DH liked all of the items - and told me I should go back every few weeks and peruse the racks for him as well!

And I got my girls seven paperback books (AG mysteries, some Littles books, and a few others) and scrapbook paper was 5 cents a sheet (1/2 off making them 2.5 cents).

Gosh, I've come a long way and wanted to share my finds with you all. I was inspired by those of you who shared your thrift store finds ... and as I was driving a way there was a really cute floral upholstered chair going in - I might have gone back to see that but my mom was in the car with the 4 DKs.

Attempt at Saving in the Grocery/Food Expense Category

July 3rd, 2007 at 07:30 pm

Well, I did a major shopping trip to Sam's Club last week and I had a slew of eggs (36) and ground beef to separate - freeze, etc.

I borrowed my parents' waffle maker (I probably should have one but when mine died I didn't replace it) and fed the DKs waffles for lunch, plus I made two additional batches and froze 25 for breakfast use (I don't know the equivalent cash value saved, but I do know the boxes of store brand which I buy on sale for $1.25 don't last two breakfasts). And for DH's lunches I cooked up several stroganff hamburger helpers and packed in Glad re-usable containers for the next ten work days (if I don't send him with lunch it costs either $2.13 or $3.24 (he only eats two items from the work cafeteria) so my savings there was at least $30.00.

So I'm slowly transitioning to better grocery/food management. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was pretty bad about tracking expenses last month - that went double for my meal planning and grocery shopping. My ultimate goal is to only grocery shop once or twice a month. I went last Wednesday and need to restock fresh produce and get a few items to make up a batch of chili and stew.

Any other grocery hints are welcome ... thanks!