We’ve had quite a few new readers on the site lately, so thought it might be worth throwing some updates out there.
For those of you who have been reading Planting Our Pennies for a while, hopefully this post will give you some insight into what has happened AFTER we posted on a few different events. And for new readers, this is a pretty good primer to catch you up on some of what we’ve talked about so far on the site.
On The Financial Side
We wrote about Prioritizing Our Debt a few months ago in June 2012 and made the pretty audacious goal that we wanted to have our $38K HELOC + $50K Personal Loan + $9K car loan paid off completely by August 2014. Altogether that will be over $100K in debt + interest to pay off in 27 months. So far we are ahead of schedule on that and have paid down $19K of the HELOC balance (that’s HALF!!!) as of our September 2012 Balance Sheet. Fabulous, right?
- Progress Rating: =)
We also wrote about how we discovered that with a little 401K Teamwork, and changing the employee allocations in our respective 401K accounts, we could earn an additional $1.5K in employer matching funds every year without increasing our overall employee contributions. So far I’ve changed my allocation so I’ll max out next year, but Mr. PoP keeps forgetting to adjust his downward. In the meantime, more money going into his 401K isn’t the end of the world… but I can imagine places I’d rather see that money go *cough* HELOC *cough*. Hopefully this can serve as another friendly reminder to get on that.
- Progress Rating: =]
Around the House
Remember when we wrote about How We Decided to Self-Insure our pool and lanai (aka pool cage) when our insurance company changed their policy standards. Since then, Mr. PoP has removed a fair number of rusted screws around the aluminum pool cage and replaced them with ones that shouldn’t rust. And since we now have a truly vested interest in the well being of the lanai (and since we tend to Name Inanimate Objects), we christened him “Lenny the Lanai” and so far Lenny made it through his first cone of uncertainty with nary a scratch.
- Progress Rating: =D
In one of the first blog posts we ever posted, we talked about the Death of Our Pool Vac, and how we had to re-evaluate and see if it was time to bite the bullet and hire a pool guy. Almost 5 months after hiring the pool guy, it’s been a smashing success. The pool sparkled all summer with zero coupon clipping, special trips to the pool supply store, mixing chemicals, scrubbing tiles, or hopes and prayers on my part. And we actually found out we can lower our pool guys bill even more (something we’re considering), which we’ll talk about in another post sometime.
- Progress Rating: =)
We also wrote about The Tree, a huge live oak tree in our front yard, that we had to trim to stop it from touching the roof. Welllll… we ended up hiring an arborist to come out and do the job right. $900 for a job he claims won’t have to be done again for 4-5 years. Didn’t the arborist do a fantastic job? However, one aspect of the project that we hadn’t considered was how such a big change might disrupt the delicate ecosystem that our yard apparently is. (Since, ya know, we have had venomous snakes and all.) Anyhow… the ant colonies that were likely walking all over the oak moved to our house when the tree shrank so dramatically. It was insane. We know of at least three different colonies of ants that were cleared out of the house through the valiant efforts of our Truly Nolen guy and a LOT of Terro. I’m still sweeping up ant carcasses three weeks later.
- Progress Rating: =D then =( now mostly =\ with occasional feelings of guilt over killing millions of ants – but we do LOVE how the tree turned out.
Friends and Family
My best friend, BF, was having some serious Guilt About Quitting Her Job, and it turns out to have been mostly moot. Long story made short, the company that was trying to poach BF was making verbal promises about limiting the amount of time she’d have to spend overseas, but when push came to shove, refused to put any of those promises in writing. Other coworkers making the jump were expecting to spend between 25-50% of their time overseas, and since BF just got married this summer, that much travel wasn’t something she wanted to jump into as a newlywed. She’s pretty satisfied with her decision and the former boss that wanted to poach her has made it clear the door is open for a little while if she changes her mind.
- Progress Rating: Mostly =)
Overall Progress: =) =] =D =) =\ =)
More good than bad, and even the bad could have been much worse. So, I guess that’s a pretty good review!
Do you guys remember any of these original posts? What do you think of the progress reports? Did it turn out how you thought? Any other updates from other old posts that you want to know about that we missed?