Our Neighbors Are Freaking Cool

Back in October Mr PoP and I (okay, mostly me) turned borderline-creeper when the house next door to ours was listed for sale and dozens of cars started showing up immediately to check the place out*. I found myself peeking out the front window every time we heard a car door slam in the driveway next door and as much as I tried to convince myself I wasn’t nosy, I knew I was dying to have a preview of who might move in!

Current State of Our Trusses:  The plywood part will stay and form the new ceiling line, the 2x4s below it will be cut away soon.

Current State of Our Trusses: The plywood part will stay and form the new ceiling line, the 2x4s below it will be cut away soon.  The neighbors were impressed!

The thing is, the properties right around us are totally open. Without fences, we can see into each other’s pool areas and if we really cared, eavesdrop on any loud conversations on each others’ back patios. It’s not like the houses are on top of one another or anything since we live on quarter-acre lots, but if the person next door wanted to make our lives unpleasant, or make our lanai feel less like one of our sanctuaries, they probably could.

The other part of the issue is that our original neighbor in that house was just beyond fabulous. She was 88 when we moved in, and so friendly, but not in a pushy way. She brought us fresh baked banana bread the day of our move-in, filled us in on most of the gossip we know about the folks that owned our house before we bought it out of foreclosure, was too hard of hearing to care when we made noise by DIY replacing all the siding on our house or when Mr PoP and his brother re-did a whole section of the roof, and always had a smile and some aged wisdom.  “My mom told me your body starts to go downhill when you turn 70. She just didn’t tell me how much speed you pick up at 90!”

What more could we want in a neighbor?

Needless to say, the bar for new neighbors was pretty high.

But We May Have Hit The Jackpot

Continue reading Our Neighbors Are Freaking Cool

Happy Friday: Almost Finished Home Sweet Home

Thanks so much to Mr 1500 for sharing their home renovation success in today’s Happy Friday post!

Our home was beautiful, but our neighbors were not.

Two years ago, we were in a bad place. Literally. Mrs. 1500 and I had moved from Wisconsin to what we thought would be greener pastures and bigger mountains in the state of Colorado. It didn’t take more than two weeks to realize we had relocated to the wrong city. We were surrounded by Consumer Crazies on steroids. Everyone was in a battle to see who could spend the most money. The high school students of driving age had nicer cars than us. We didn’t fit in. We didn’t want to raise our children around these people. It was time to move again.

After careful consideration, we found a town that we knew would be a better fit. We did our homework and everything clicked. The town had a vibrant center, a great library and good people. We had found our place in the world. The problem was that everyone else wanted to live there too. Houses would be on the market for mere hours before receiving multiple offers. However, one house didn’t sell right away. This house was Uglyhouse. Continue reading Happy Friday: Almost Finished Home Sweet Home

Thursday Rant

I’m not normally a ranter. I’m at a pretty good place in my life where Mr PoP and I have a lot to be happy for. I much prefer spending my energy being grateful for those aspects of my life rather than letting myself get worked up about something that I have little (or no) control over.

But this week, I’m ranting. I’m taking over the Thursday Rant at 1500 Days. But check back in tomorrow for our Happy Friday post, taken over this week by Mr 1500.

So follow me over to 1500 Days for a good rant.

PoP Balance Sheet – February 2015

Welcome to our February 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!

After tallying up all of our cash hemorrhaging expenses (for which we haven’t yet adjusted any of our asset values up), imagine my surprise when I added up our balance sheet and we somehow came up with a non-trivial gain on our net worth for the month of February.  Thank you, Mr Market and the 401K deposits that went into Mr PoP’s account from his last big commission check that didn’t clear until the beginning of February.  =)

So for the month of February:

  • Our total assets went up by $17.1
  • Our total liabilities went up by $1.1 (just a function of when the cc balance is paid)
  • Net worth rose by $16.0K 
  • Total net worth as of the end of February is $854.3K, which represents a 1.90% increase this month.

And for the details…

Continue reading PoP Balance Sheet – February 2015

PoP Income Statement – February 2015

Welcome to our February 2015 Income Statement!

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.

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Mr PoP nailing plywood in place for the truss modification. So many nails…

Phew. February is over. I would say TGIM (Thank God It’s March), but the reality is that our cash hemorrhaging situation isn’t likely to fix itself in March, either. It’s kindof crazy, but on Valentine’s Day, I checked our Mint account and we had over $48K in cash, nearly a full year of normal expenses. But two weeks later, I was tallying up numbers not sure if we were going to need to draw on our HELOC to get our Roth IRA money deposited before the deadline on April 15th.  How on earth could we go through a year’s worth of cash in less than two months!?!

It’s mostly good stuff, but there are just a lot of big “one time” items that are pulling at our cash pile at the moment and it’s been a while since we had our cash flows impacted this significantly and I got a little too used to the normalcy of having excess each month so this feels like a little more of shock than I thought it would.

So what’s going on?

  • Our solar panels are going up. Like right now as I write this the contractors are at work installing solar panels on our roof. We’ve paid ~$17.5K so far and have another $12.5K to pay when they complete the project and it passes inspection (hopefully by next week). Then we get to start producing our own energy and saving money on our electric bills!
  • We’re making some headway on the kitchen. It’s been a bit slow going (we still don’t have a ceiling), and one of the delays required calling in an A/C contractor for work that we didn’t feel qualified to DIY, specifically moving the copper pipes that carry freon between the condenser unit and the air handler in the attic. Since the freon needed to be drained to do that, we felt A-OK about deferring that one to the experts, though they weren’t cheap. Supplies for the truss modification, despite reusing as much as we can are also starting to add up. We spent about $600 on that in February ($200 of which was gift cards – we’ll call those two trusses Christmas 2014!) and another $600 on March 1, with much more to come as March bounces on and we (fingers crossed!) get to the point where we’re needing drywall ($) and new insulation ($$$) for the new ceiling.
  • We’re going to need a new roof on the duplex about a year earlier than we thought we were going to need one. I’m annoyed because if we hadn’t accepted the pullout from Citizen’s insurance last year we wouldn’t be in this position, but here we are.  At least we have a little more time than I initially thought – the initial notification we got in mid-February sounded like we had 3 weeks to get a new roof. Thank goodness we have a bit more time than that, we just really need to get it done by this summer. We’re in the quote getting stage on this now, but it’s looking like it’ll be nearly $10K as we don’t have the bandwidth to attack this one with any sort of DIY gusto at this point.

So yeah, big stuff. And that’s not including the $11K that we need to get into our Roth IRAs before April 15th… and I still need to talk to our tax guy about whether we need to backdoor.

Other than the roof (which really isn’t a huge deal, just annoying that it’s a year earlier than we thought), all the cash hemorrhaging is for good things that are going to be great ROIs (solar for our wallet, kitchen for our happiness). It just feels like we’re juggling a few more balls than we’d really like to be if we had a choice. =P

As brutal as they are, here are February’s numbers.

The Bottom Line

  • Earnings before principal paydowns and savings allocations of $1,946.

And here are the details…

Continue reading PoP Income Statement – February 2015