Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Things Are Looking Up

I know, I know. With the awesome 2009 I had and some of the great things that have happened lately, you are probably wondering what the hell I am talking about. Well, it's been rough since we moved into the house, financially. It's not just the shock of having a mortgage and paying utilities again, it's the series of events that led up to them. Maybe I already lost you. Let's see if I can bring you back.

Back when we were living at grandma's house, and after I finished paying of my credit card, I started stashing cash. I wanted to make sure that we had what we needed for closing costs, moving costs (you know, buying food and cleaning supplies and everything else you realize you don't have), and still have some sort of cushion for the first month's bills. I was doing pretty well. We knew that the closing costs would be around $1000, we had started buying things here and there that we figured we (I) would need or want (decor for the guest bath, air fresheners, Brita water pitcher, baking pans), and we had a month in the house before our first mortgage payment. We had about $3500 in our joint savings account and I had about $1500 in my personal savings account. It looked like we were in good shape from where I stood.

A week before the house was supposed to close we had some issues with the financing. Because obviously you cannot be a homeowner unless something goes terribly wrong during the process and you come very close to losing your house. Otherwise you just won't appreciate it, right? Yeah, about that. So, we had our fun little incident a mere week before. Rushing around, trying all these different alternatives and scenarios and finding out they won't work and with every hour that passes you feel your dreams slipping farther and farther away. We were finally able to work something out with the loan, but it meant we had to put a little bit more money down. A little bit more, as in, cleaning out our savings. Great. Awesome. At least December was one of those awesome months that has 3 payday Fridays in it, so we had that as a cushion. Yeah, about that....

Now don't get me wrong, I work for a great company. I got my masters degree for "free" through their tuition reimbursement program. The fine print didn't catch up to me until the most opportune of times. December. That awesome 3rd paycheck with no bills coming out of it. That nice little cushion. Here's where the quotation marks around the word free come in. Apparently, the government will only allow you to recieve $5,250 tax free in one year for tuition expenses. The rest is added to your taxable income at the end of the year. Well, last year I recieved $10,000 in tuition reimbursement, so the other $4,750 (yes, I had to get the calculator for that one) was to be added to my taxable income. I did not experience this the year before, otherwise I would have planned accordingly. Instead of payroll planning ahead and spreading it out over several paychecks, they added the lump sum to my last check of the year. After it was taxed, I was left with $87.65 to get by for two weeks. So, there went our cushion.

During this time we were also dealing with JB's 3 new jobs not having ramped up yet, so it has been interesting trying to make everything work. A little stressful, and VERY boring. Since we have no money to go out and do anything and the weather has been crappy, we have been stuck at home with nothing to do but stare at each other or the TV. Lucky (or not) for me, all JB needs is a TV and food to get by. Happy as a clam. Me, not so much.

But, as the title of this blog suggests, things are getting better. One of JB's jobs supplies a consistent income, which makes me very happy. The other two will be a bonus. With all three jobs (training at Granite Bay Golf Club and Johnson Ranch Racquet Club, and teaching at Bryan College) he still works less than 40 hours a week, but as long as we have everything paid, I don't care how many hours he works. Thanks to the house, we also have a significant refund coming our way, which should help with the catch up. Hopefully things will be back to normal in no time. Whatever normal is.

1 comment:

MK said...

Here I was thinking I was the only person dealing with this stupid LAST MINUTE loan bullshit. Same story. Like I honestly thought that Jabin and I are the kind of people the banks and lenders should be having wet dreams about. Practically perfect credit, no debt (other than student loans), never missed a payment on anything in the last 5 years...but no... a week before we should close, the underwriter to our loan all of a sudden decides she wants to pull some riduculous bullshit out of her ass, so now we are spending everyday battling and having to run difference scenarios to try and make the numbers work. Good thing I'm 26, because I really should have had a friggin heart attack by now with this amount of stress. Think of this as a period of contrast time. Now when you start to do fun stuff again, it will seem SO much cooler than it ever did before...

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