Posted by gbmonline on

I look at their lives and I look at your life

I know your life stinks at the moment, particularly compared to theirs. But honestly, I think you have the better long-term chance of creating and maintaining a healthy financial situation. You are making the most of your resources, you know the priorities and you’re working really hard to achieve them. They’re truly dancing away their day in the sun, and they have no idea rain is coming. I’m concerned for your short-term situation, but I’m really alarmed for their long-term prospects. It’s a weird thing to say but it’s true. But I’ll still pray for you, that you’re given the tools you need to achieve those priorities. I’m just not sure what to wish for them, other than that they wake up some day.

Posted by gbmonline on

My dad was in rental properties for decades

and wow the stories I’ve heard, both good and bad. We also had a rental property for several years, along with a property manager since we were out of state at the time. Turns out we needed to treat both of those as any other type of business account – stay on our toes and keep their feet to the fire. The tenants tried to trash the property and consistently went late, which we didn’t find out about from the property manager until months later. I think this is the best payday installment loans (i.e. EXTLoans Inc.) online! Meanwhile the property manager tried to steal the property out from under us by going to the county with forged documents that we’d sold the property to him. In the end we fired the manager and sent the sheriff to evict the tenants, then sold the house. Yes, we made a profit on it, only because we didn’t let the situation get too much out of hand before we decided to act. Dad’s strategy was always to treat the tenants like customers: if they bring value to your business, keep ‘em. If they don’t, ditch ‘em. Nothing more, nothing less. There are ways to stack the deck in your favor yet there’s always that possibility it’ll go sour. Do whatever you have to do, to either get rid of the tenants and/or get a better property manager. And set up a sinking fund to cover the rent in case they don’t. You can get mad at the tenant and at the manager and at all sorts of things, which will only serve to shorten your lifespan. Work it like any other business arrangement and it’ll be a lot less wear and tear on you. Promise.

Posted by gbmonline on

All you can do is to walk the walk

They know what you’re doing and if they have questions or decide upon a lifestyle change, they know where you are. This is like talking to someone about the poor food choices they make, the schools they send their children to or anything else that really is not any of your business. From my own experience, I’ve given many, many copies of TMMO to other people. Most people could care less. Someone who is closely related to me just decided to refinance their mortgage. They are now excited to be paying 3.6% on a new refi just so they could pull some cash out and make less than 1% in a savings account. When this was pointed out to them, they just shrugged their shoulders and said they would always have a mortgage. Always. Their plan was to have a mortgage as long as they breathed air so they could keep extra funds in their pockets. You can’t argue with stupidity (you certa inly can’t call this example ignorance). You can’t criticize your friends and tell them SS is not a retirement plan; they don’t see it that way and it’s doubtful that you’ll convince them otherwise. Until they fall into a hole, your opinion will be nothing to them, and the best example you can be for them, is to continue doing exactly what you and your dh are doing. One thing I’ve learned over this lifetime is that people do not appreciate, nor rarely follow, unsolicited advice.

Posted by gbmonline on

For instance, when I was trying to rent a car while my truck was down last year

I mentioned to the husband of that couple that Enterprise won’t rent to people who don’t have credit cards. It was a passing comment along the lines of “my day is not going well.” And this is after numerous comments we’ve made about how we’re so pleased to be getting our financial lives in order, so I was speaking in terms of it being a minor inconvenience in the face of large-scale improvements. As soon as I mentioned not being able to rent the car because I didn’t have a credit card, the husband reacted strongly. He said something to the effect of “oh my gosh, it’s stupid not to have a credit card, how do you live? Why are you so willing to inconvenience yourself when it’s so obvious what the solution is? No responsible adult is without a credit card and anyone who says otherwise is doing you a disservice.” And the conversation sorta went downhill from there. And when we choose to spend money on things like pantry items, farm equipment, or put it into savings, we’re “wasting” it, and we should go out and “live a little”.After all, credit cards exist purely to make life FUN.

Like I said, about as anti-DR as you can possibly get. I suspect anything I said would in fact be taken exactly as you suggested – that I would be calling their money management stupid just like they called our money management stupid. Probably best to just leave it alone, since they are not only not interested, but actively criticize our own efforts to build a solid financial future. I know we’ve talked about that before, but it’s still hard to watch. I was just sorta hoping that someone had the “baa ram ewe” password so that they’d listen.

Posted by gbmonline on

Keep your mouth shut if you value this relationship

All you can do is to walk the walk. They know what you’re doing and if they have questions or decide upon a lifestyle change, they know where you are. This is like talking to someone about the poor food choices they make, the schools they send their children to or anything else that really is not any of your business. From my own experience, I’ve given many, many copies of TMMO to other people. Most people could care less. Someone who is closely related to me just decided to refinance their mortgage. They are now excited to be paying 3.6% on a new refi just so they could pull some cash out and make less than 1% in a savings account. When this was pointed out to them, they just shrugged their shoulders and said they would always have a mortgage. Always. Their plan was to have a mortgage as long as they breathed air so they could keep extra funds in their pockets. You can’t argue with stupidity (you certainly can’t call this example ignorance). You can’t criticize your friends and tell them SS is not a retirement plan; they don’t see it that way and it’s doubtful that you’ll convince them otherwise. Until they fall into a hole, your opinion will be nothing to them, and the best example you can be for them, is to continue doing exactly what you and your dh are doing. One thing I’ve learned over this lifetime is that people do not appreciate, nor rarely follow, unsolicited advice.

Posted by gbmonline on

We’re starting to get deposits for our upcoming hog sale

which occurs the first week of April. We’re expecting a total of $4200 from this particular sale. We also are just starting to sell hay, and we have a target # of bales we want to sell which would bring in a total of $2800. And now I have the pleasant dilemma of how to allocate all of that.

DH and I had considered using that income to pay down debt. But we already have our debt snowball going on a slow but acceptable schedule. And we agreed that we want 100% of the farm earnings to go back into the farm, so that we can show that the farm is standing on its own financially. While that might be a subtle point in the grand scheme of things, it’s important for us philosophically to know that the farm is starting to pay its own way and make a profit. We will be paid our hourly wages from those earnings, so we can budget those wages in our household’s zero-based monthly budget like any other form of personal income. But the rest of the earnings, we’ve decided will stay on the farm side of the ledger.

Towards that end, we still have some decisions to make. We already have a break-even analysis worked out, such that we know what our costs were for the hogs and the hay, and we know that we’re making a profit at our asking price for each. Given that, we can:
1) put all earnings back towards the general Farm savings account, to be drawn from for any future farm cost. This would give us a lot of flexibility, but it would be harder to track what we spent vs earned in any given farm category.

2) set up specific sinking funds for Swine and Hay, and use the earnings from each to fund all future costs for each. That would keep “swine money” in the Swine category, and “hay money” in the Hay category; in other words we would be barred from spending that income outside of their respective categories. There is a certain comfort in that idea, because it’s “cleaner” in terms of accounting. But it also restricts our options for other farm expenses.

3) put just enough of the earnings into each account to cover what we spent for that product batch, then put our profits in the general farm account to be used in whatever way is needed. Frankly, I like this option the best, because it’s the closest to what we want – each product type generates enough profit to not only cover the costs, but also give us extra which we can then put back into the farm however we want or need.

I’d be curious for those folks on the list who have their own businesses, whether one of the three options above is clearly a better answer than the others, and why. In a way this might be nothing more than an academic argument. But we’re trying to apply zero-based budgeting strategies to the farm just like we’re doing for the household. So how we allocate those earnings now, will really shape the ongoing ease of working with the farm budget over time. Any suggestions?

Posted by gbmonline on

You already know the saga of the paycheck

As of Friday the comptroller was saying she wasn’t going to change anything and that no one should be upset about it, that after all it’s “extra” money and therefore they shouldn’t bank on it until they get it. Which is correct, what she’s overlooking is it is THEIR money and they shouldn’t have to wait for it. Dh said over half the company is pretty dadburn upset about it. So we’ll see how long she sticks to it.

He also said there are two men he knows of (NOT him and ds) that have already been looking for jobs elsewhere and both have said that if it doesn’t straighten up by the time they leave they are considering calling fair wage and hour because of the withholding of the overtime. So the drama around all that at work was a little taxing to say the least to dh and ds.

I had the gall to come down with the punies for the better part of the weekend, but other than being a little weak I’m much better now. Of course the guys weren’t sure what to do when Mom is down and out, but we all survived thanks to the fact they are both good cooks and ds saved the kitchen. I rewarded them last night with spaghetti, meatballs, garlic bread, iced tea (no sugar), a salad and cherry turnovers made from scratch for dinner. Of course the weakness nearly got me at the last bit so they ended up finishing the garlic toast and draining the pasta. The meal was wonderful, but it did tax my strength to put it together. Tomorrow I’ll be back at top notch though.

Ds came down with whatever it was I had over the weekend late last night and just called to say he’s on his way home from work. So I’ll have to go back to get dh this evening.

Dh finished our taxes and I’m celebrating, we ONLY owe $1,800 total for state and fed. I know some of you are gasping air over that, while others are saying “lucky” but we had to pay in over $3,700 last year so we cut it in half! That is exciting to me. I’ve already got about $500 budgeted out this last overtime for it and dh says the overtime is getting ready to start again, plus it looks like both he and ds are going to be traveling for work soon. So we should (if Murphy stays away) have it all before April 12 when we will mail the payments.
Dh said that Turbo Tax said to not change the deductions any so the paycheck will stay the same (whatever that is). Since we’ve all agreed about not doing the mystery shops next year’s taxes should be even better with the technically lower income. They will definitely be a whole lot faster to do with not having to figure the deductions for fuel, depreciation, ink, paper, clothing etc.

The mystery shopping companies are not amused that I’m quitting on them, because the three of us were practically the only ones who do this area. They want to pay a LOT more, then we MIGHT talk, but not likely. We are all liking me not having to jump and run in the middle of a project to go do a job or 20. I won’t burn any bridges with the companies because you never know what life hands you, but I won’t do enough this year to require filing taxes in 2014.

With the taxes finished our minds are rolling on to the next project. Dh has the designs for the can rotators and step shelf for my pantry nearly completed and it looks like those may get build this coming weekend. I certainly hope so because with the pantry all torn apart things are pretty messy in the dining room and finding the ingredients to cook a meal is a major Easter egg hunt right now.

On the agenda for me to do this week is to calculate the cost of putting in the garden this year. We need several layers of “soil” added to the Lasagna Garden and so I need to do a cost analysis of the various ways to do that and the budget impact of putting in versus what we will get out of it. Since I’ll be home and not doing the shops any more I can better tend it. but if we have another drought year…. So I’ll be doing research heavily this week.

I also need to start seed germination testing, garden layout planning and of course removing the geese from the garden planning. So that will take a good deal of my time.
I plan on doing a lot of blogging this week too, so everyone stay tuned and watch for changes in my signature line.