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Busy Busy

March 13th, 2022 at 06:31 pm

Work is very busy right now.  

We are hosting St Patty's day dinner so things are busy at home.  MH handles all things food but I am trying to get the house in order.  I got out of my funk last weekend and got our taxes done and also started on getting the house cleaned up.  Phew!  Will spend this weekend doing the rest of the house prep.  I've probably said before but my "clean when guests come over" cleaning style hasn't worked particularly well in recent years.  Not enough guests coming over.   

MH received a $100 bonus from work, for being vaccinated.  They announced this a long time ago but I just confirmed it was in his check this past week.  The red tape took some time. 

MH also just figured out he can borrow video games from the library.  Nice!   He picked one up yesterday and it's due in 3 weeks.  

I was nice and filled up MM(18)'s car with gas.  I figured might as well before gas prices got worse.  Just had a mostly empty gas tank sitting there.  MM(18) is covering his ride home for spring break and it will be expensive reimbursing his friends for gas.  I could see him not bothering to come home but he has a job interview and several appointments (dentist/ortho, etc.).  & he will need to get his taxes done.  It's going to be quite the chore week.  

DL(16) joined/formed a band.  He only picked up guitar a few months ago but it comes very easy to him.  He's been wanting to join a band for a while so this is exciting for him.  These are kids from his art school, so they are mostly interested in writing their own music.  It sounds like more of a punk band but DL is trying to move them to more his style, whatever that is.  Loud and electric, either way.  

This is another post for another day, but DL(16) is starting to express interest in an accounting degree.   🙄  I mean, that's easy because is something that I know.  Before I would have told you *no idea*.  Maybe economics or political science.  No idea where those good schools are because everyone in my family studied math, accounting or engineering.  Or teaching.  That's about it.  We have some strong genetic tendencies. 

I roll my eyes because MH and DL are the two most creative people I have ever met (but also probably admittedly two of the most practical/responsible people I have ever met).  DL is just his mini me.   I have always been horrified how MH's family treated MH (did not value at all the arts or his creativity).  *sigh*  I had so many hopes for DL(16) with our full support.  Spending *7* years in an art school that values creativity and has college and career counseling to that end.  All that, and DL is just going to get a business degree like his father!?

I was legit horrified the first time he said this to me.  (I can't imagine him actually being happy with that career route, and I am horrified how we have failed to find any middle ground for him!)  But fair enough, there's a lot of accountants in my family and maybe he has some of those genes.  I am warming up to it.

& obviously he has a lot of time to change his mind.  Will see...  But mostly it sounds like they both took entirely different routes to the same end.  

On the college front, it's probably going to be community college.  He's always liked the idea of free college.  But as he gets closer, the more I tell him all the red tape he can skip/delay just going to community college...  He's all in.  & even this, will see...

I had this light bulb moment this past week that we are ready to buy I Bonds.  It's always been a "later" thing when we have more money.  Most likely after college and mortgage pay off.  Though as I type this out, it probably would be pretty smart to put most of our "emergency funds" in I Bonds.  (This is money we are personally never going to touch unless of a more catastrophic type emergency like job loss).  I guess something else to keep in mind.  

I am feeling a little "duh" about it because the annual max is $10K per person and we have $20K earmarked for MM's college expenses.  It was invested and is now languishing in our investment account earning probably 0.01% interest.  We just happen to have the max amount?  & why didn't I figure this out before?

At this point anything's better than sitting in investment cash account earning nothing.  I think this is perfect money to use to dip our toes into I Bonds.  It was also something we were discussing re: windfall money last year.  I understand there are educational benefits (tax free interest) but this is for MM(18) who likely won't have any tuition payments to get the tax benefit for.  

It sounds like a lot of red tape to get set up, so it's going to be a while.  Maybe in May I will have the mental energy for that, and some of why I wanted to write it down.  I also have $20K loosely set aside for DL's college, so might do another $20K next year.  (It's invested but admittedly should be moved to something more conservative soon). After that, might circle back to our emergency funds.

One last thing while I am thinking about it.  I was surprised when my friend told me her sister bought some land and a mobile home.  About $400K?  I was surprised because most her family had moved to Texas and was enjoying the lower cost of living.  Her sister works remotely (did so long before the pandemic).  Sister is early 20s.  It was shocking that she decided to stay here.

So I ask her the other day, "Did your sister move in?"  She told me no, they wouldn't let her.  What does that mean!?  Turns out the mortgage payment was 100% of her net monthly income.  She was approved for up to $625K loan on $80K income?  ???  The mortgage was $3,500 per month (for the $400K loan).  Her siblings were able to talk some sense into her and she backed out of the purchase.  It helped that there were other issues with permits and foundation.  I said, "Wow, that sounds like bubble territory."  I haven't been paying too much attention because interest rates are low and the vibe is so different than the last housing bubble here.  It may just be earlier in the cycle, before everyone completely loses their heads.  But this is all sorts of red flags crazy.  Which I guess is exactly what happens when prices are absurd and everyone get desperate.  

3 Responses to “Busy Busy”

  1. Dido Says:

    I have the same problem--guests are the trigger to clean house, and there haven't been enough guests the past couple of years for me to keep my house up to a standard that I feel good about. Going to try to get into a regular routine after tax season.

    Even with the art school, the accounting degree might be a good choice in that he can still do the art and enjoy it. I spent my teens planning to become a professional flutist, and changed my mind because my first teacher, who was a college student when I first took lessons from her and went on to have a professional career, had such a hard time getting her career launched. She was ultimately successful and spent 25 years with a large-city Philharmonic, but it did take her a long time to get a decent job, and when the conductor changed and she didn't get along as well with the new conductor, she soon found herself out of a job and has had a rough time since then supporting herself by teaching. More that that, she no longer really loves music in the way that she once did--it has become "just a job."

    In contrast, I have several relatives who are CPAs with a great interest in art who sustained that interest through their lives.

  2. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    I'm curious to see what your DL picks. Lots of time yet. And I'm also curious if a bubble has happened with housing. It's certainly inflation

  3. rob62521 Says:

    Busy is right!

    Seriously, what financial institution would even give a loan of that size with that salary! Don't tell me history is going to repeat itself! A realtor friend is looking for it to with the way housing prices have gone up and many will find themselves under water.

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