Re-Re-Re-modeling!

Out with the old and in with the new, that’s what remodeling and getting our new kitchen is all about, right? Well… there WILL be a lot of new in the space when we’re all done with it. But when it comes right down to it, I took the messages of Recycle Rex to heart as a kid. And one of the best parts about DIY-ing this huge project is that we get to…

Recycle – Reduce – Reuse… and Close The Loop!

Which along with our solar panels (installation due to start at the end of the month!!!) just hits all of my hippy happiness buttons.

Here are some of the cool ways we’re making Recycle Rex proud these days.

Continue reading Re-Re-Re-modeling!

Happy Friday – Happy Valentine’s Day Eve

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, an event that usually passes without a whole lot of notice in the PoP household. They go something like this:

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Love on the beach!

Mr PoP: Happy Valentine’s Day, baby!

Mrs PoP: Aww, thanks. Right back at ya! Want to stop and get yourself fancy chocolates from [the fancy chocolate shop near your office] on the way home from work?

Mr PoP: Nah. There’s always a line out the door on Valentine’s Day!

I’m pretty sure the only time one of us has ever gotten the other a gift or tried to “celebrate” this holiday was in the first couple of months we were dating. As a single RA (definitely the best job for college students) the previous semester, I had happily volunteered to work Valentine’s Day weekend, which kept me on duty until 2 in the morning. It wasn’t that big of a deal, and worked out well when Mr PoP went out for his friend’s birthday while I worked. When he came back to the dorm that night, he brought me a single rose he bought at the gas station on the way home.

The thought was very sweet and I told him so, but I also told him he never had to get me anything for Valentine’s day ever again. To which he responded that I was the best girlfriend ever. =)

But the truth is, sometimes it feels like Valentine’s Day is every week with Mr PoP and it’s amazing! Continue reading Happy Friday – Happy Valentine’s Day Eve

The Power Of A Well Made Tool

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We’ll call these “eh”, “better”, and “best”.

It sounds very domestic, but every week, I iron our clothes for the work week ahead. I’ve been doing this for years, ironing my father’s work clothes when I was in middle school and high school, then my own when I got a job that required something slightly nicer than jeans and a t-shirt. And after Mr PoP and I got married, I started ironing his clothes as well.

Some people might think the ironing is overkill, but when it comes down to it, there are times (work especially) when we want our clothes to have a nice crisp look to it that we never seem to get with “non-iron” clothing items. (Mr PoP looks adorable in the morning with some nice crisp creases in his khakis!)  Plus, there’s an element of indulgence to the ironing at this point in my life. We’re not people that plop down and zone out in front of the tv for hours (it feels like such a waste of time!), but if I watch a show or two while ironing, well no time at all is being wasted and I *still* get to know the latest on Jane the Virgin* guilt-free.

So I iron. And I don’t hate it (thanks to Jane’s entertaining saga). But up until recently it did take me a solid 60-90 minutes each week to do all the ironing. What changed?

We Bought A New Iron

Continue reading The Power Of A Well Made Tool

PoP Balance Sheet – January 2015

Welcome to our January 2015 Balance Sheet!

We use the structure of a monthly income statement and balance sheet in tandem to make sure we are keeping our expenses low and planting our pennies wisely. If you’re not already tracking your finances using these two methods, go to mint.com and get started today! If you have any questions about how we do this just post a comment and we’ll be sure to help!

The markets were down in January, but we managed to salvage asset growth due to Mr PoP’s big year-end commission check.  No big changes to the accounts, except we’re particularly cash heavy at the moment while we wait for our permits for our new solar panels to be approved (at which point we’ll have to fork over a large amount of cash).  We could lean on our HELOC if we wanted to, but the current rate on that is around 5%, and we’d rather just forgo putting money into our taxable account for a month or two instead of paying interest on the HELOC.  (Feels too much like borrowing to invest in the stock market, and that’s the type of leverage we’ve never been comfortable with.)

So for the month of January:

  • Our total assets went up by $11.2
  • Our total liabilities went down by $0.8
  • Net worth rose by $12.0K 
  • Total net worth as of the end of January is $838.6K, which represents a 1.45% increase this month.

And for the details…

Continue reading PoP Balance Sheet – January 2015

PoP Income Statement – January 2015

Welcome to our January 2015 Income Statement!

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Entering week 4 without a ceiling in the kitchen. It gets pretty cold in there some nights without a ceiling! =)

Mr. PoP and I put these income statements together for two reasons. First, we want to be transparent about our finances because we’re trying to be role models for other people who are trying to plant their own pennies (and end up with dollars someday!). Second, we do this to make sure we’re on track to meet our own long-term goals. If you’re not tracking your income statement and balance sheet, we highly recommend you start using a program like Mint to keep track of it all.

A quick update on our 2014 Spending Summary.   As of that writing, we were $495 over our spending goal for the year.  Well, as it turns out an escrow review on our mortgage found that we overfunded our escrow account by $483 in 2014, so the bank sent us a refund check for that amount and our mortgage payments will drop in February.  Yay!  So unofficially we were actually only over our spending goal by $12 in 2014.  Sweet!

And on to 2015.  If the year 2015 were compressed down to a single day*, it’d be about 2am right now.  Mr PoP and I aren’t at our sharpest in the wee hours of the morning, and the same can be said about our food spending (normally an easy win) this month, which hasn’t been this high in over a year.  Call them “reasons” or “excuses”, but there were a few factors at play here.

1 – Not having a ceiling in your kitchen (see the pic for the current status of our renovations!) makes for a not-so-ideal cooking environment.  And while my awesome Instant Pot has been allowing me some limited “cooking in the living room” adventures (today was Brazilian corn chowder, yum!), we’re turning to convenience food more and that’s expensive even at the grocery store.  Mr PoP got two Rotisserie chickens in what I have deemed the Publix PMS Sale**, and there were multiple trips to the sub counter for some lovely Publix subs to refuel energy that is being used demolishing and rebuilding our ceiling.

2 – We took a fair number of people out to eat this month.  Which included thank you’s to family members like Mama PoP for giving Mr PoP a ride, and Mr PoP’s younger brother for helping us out in the kitchen renovations, and just trying to be good ambassadors for FL and the PF blogging community as the nice folks from Ridinkulous came down south to defrost for a weekend.  No regrets for taking anyone out and we will totally plan around a budget to continue to do just this in our FI plans.  =)

3 – Mr PoP joined a new team at work and is focusing on networking within his new group, which meant more lunches out for him.  He doesn’t think this is going to be a permanent fixture of his new gig, but if it is, we’ll re-evaluate our planned food spending and adjust appropriately.

So yeah. Food spending was high.  Hopefully an anomaly, but we’ve got a year to make up for this excess and hopefully we will.

Also high this month was spending on the car.  It was totally expected as we spent a little over $1K getting a new soft-top for our convertible.  The old one had developed a hole right over the driver’s left shoulder and the duct tape solution Mr PoP had fashioned was no longer effective and it just plain sucks to be rained on INSIDE your car.  (Not to mention the moisture being bad for the upholstery and carpeting…  Normally this might be something Mr PoP would think about DIY-ing to save a couple hundred bucks, but between the kitchen reno taking up time (YouTube made the install seem like a tricky possibly all-day affair) and the 5-year warranty that we would lose if we didn’t install the top using a certified installer, we went with the installer and are pretty pleased with that decision.  We know the car will have higher than normal expenses this year as we get some more maintenance issues done after hitting 100K miles in December and have tried to plan for that.

Other than food and the car, though, our spending was actually pretty good for all the fun we’ve been having!

The Bottom Line

  • Earnings before principal paydowns and savings allocations of $14,221.

And here are the details…

Continue reading PoP Income Statement – January 2015