7 months later…. Ohhh 2020 what a year it’s been I’m Less than impressed

Well as we all know 2020 has been quite the year. I started off strong, full of will, full of dreams and goals. Then Corona came along. A shit ton has happened for all of us this year.

I decided to start on small projects around my house. In March we went to a shelter in place mode here in Kansas so I started working from home. This may have gave me to much to think about and or look at around my house.

This led to boredom not being able to go anywhere or do anything except sit and think in these four walls. I researched and found what I thought was a decent deal for a contractor and to work he went.

I replaced my entry way with ceramic tile. I did a redo on the bathroom with ceramic tile, lighting, new vanity, and ship lap. What an amazing difference that made. That turned into looking at my deck for a little sprucing up, so new stain, new patio furniture, and a little elbow grease and another project is checked off the list.

I was offered a sweet deal on fence post pickets so I with the help of my neighbor, tore down the old chicken wire fence and built a new cedar privacy fence. While these are all amazing things that have happened there has also been a shit storm of other things to come.

The fearless leader that runs this great nation has made a lot of changes for Americans, choice not made available to myself or my fellow americans. Good News: We had extra time to file taxes due to Corona, Bad News: Holy wowsa that is one of the many areas the president failed. Or maybe I failed?

I wish I had known back in March when I was making upgrades to my house and doing Corona projects that the government was going to bend me over and assault me in ways I didn’t know possible. Story short I owed a boat load of taxes. “taxes will be so simple you could file them on a napkin” That’s a bunch of bullshit and now it almost takes a Master degree to figure out how much you should have withheld from your check. I’m guessing next year will be another shock with all the “foregoing” of payroll taxes etc that are being discussed.

There have been some positives and some negatives this year. I’m sitting here right now trying to rationalize what is what. Positive: Made it through the pandemic with enough toilet paper without having to black market purchase any. I will call this a win considering people looked like they were black friday shopping to get goods. Positive: Took a good amount of time to self reflect and realize I don’t need the hustle and bustle lifestyle that I’ve been leading for the last four years. Negative: The government wiped out my complete savings and helped me remember that I did have a credit card that was used to pay taxes. Negative: I have a positive bank account balance but back down to almost zero in savings.

Other things to consider when I look at “where did all my money go?” Did I mention that my daughter graduated high school this year? Yeah…. so there is that. While Prom ended up being cancelled (Two weeks after we purchased her non refundable dress) We were also luckily enough to have paid for announcements to have her graduation date moved not once but twice. Then the good ol’ graduation party along with turning 18, and making a move 6.5 hours away from home. Yep that pretty much sums up my financials this summer, not to mention the fact that my exchange daughter’s plans to visit were cancelled due to Rona.

Sooo this is where I sit today. I’m still working from home. (for an undetermined amount of time) This week I will once again almost be debt free… again….

I need to find a way to to stay motivated to do this whole debt free walk of life. Looking back I could have not done the “corona projects” this spring and would be in a much different place financially however this little beach cottage in Kansas is kind of growing on me. That being said I will save enough money to replace the back door for efficiency and look for ways to improve cost saving measures around this little house.

I feel blessed to be helping my daughter as she starts her new journey in college. I’ve set a budget of $300 to cover living cost and groceries. She will never learn what it takes to be successful if there isn’t a little hard work along the way. I’ve left her $786 left for housing and told her she will be responsible for paying her renters insurance. $10 per month for insurance and $78.60 for rent. I think that is very fair. I’m paying her car insurance and her dad is paying for her phone. She is 18 now, it’s time to start adulting.

I’m not exactly sure what the rest of 2020 has in store for us but good lord I hope the second part of the year ends stronger than the first part of the year.

Years ago when I started “blogging” it was to hold and keep myself accountable and I find that when I write on this “online journal” it really helps me.

I hope one day somebody will fall upon or stumble into this and see the real struggles, the ups and down of true raw life. Sometimes we have wins and sometimes we have fails. Right now I’m somewhere in between.

I’m going to make it my mission that by the time I blog again that I actually have my $1,000.00 emergency fund back in place for murphy. I’m going to vow to also have enough money saved to replace my back door. Two small goals that should be easily obtained over this next month.

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5 years later… and a another check in!

It’s been FIVE years!  Where am I today??? Well after reading the handful of entry blogs I had I’d thought it would be fun to update my life…. Wow so much has changed. Yet I honestly feel like I’m repeating a lot of things..

Yesterday I started reflecting about the year 2020 and how big of year this will be.  My daughter is no longer little and will be graduating this year!  She is now driving my “more gently used” Honda that now has 195,000 miles on it.  I upgraded to a gently used 2009 Toyota Camry that I purchased with 12,000 miles on it but was fully loaded, I paid CASH it now has 65,000 miles on it.

I no longer own my house in Nebraska, but rather Kansas City.. as of four years I ago I transferred down to Kansas City.

So this is where my journey has taken me in a short overview…

Niece no longer lives with me. That didn’t work out.  Sad but some things are just better left as they are.

Sold my house in Nebraska, although I didn’t make a huge profit on it I did invest the money I made so that’s good.

I lived in an apartment for the last few years looking for a place to purchase…. In July I purchased a home similar to the one I owned in Nebraska (hence the reason I feel like some things are repeating) I’m paying the same amount in mortgage as I was rent so I feel like it’s a win/win.

I’ve had 3 jobs along the way and my income has increased, decreased, and now increased again.

I’m super proud to say that entering into 2020 I am consumer debt free!  I’ve never made a habit to get back into using credit cards.  I have had a fluctuating amount of medical here and there along the way.

And while I wrote years ago that I’d never finance a washer and dryer I laughed because I just paid off my other new washer and dryer… (I left the other one with house)

I did start a 529 plan for my daughter that doesn’t have a crazy high balance in it but it’s something to start her off in college.

I do have a start to retirement savings, and I actually have a positive balance in both my Savings and checking!

Things have been going well overall.  I’ve decided that while things are going well I’d like to get a bit more financially fit.

This year I’ve signed up for a reverse savings challenge and when I crush this goal I will save $6890.00 this year. This will come in handy as in June of 2021 I will be traveling to Germany to see my hosted exchange student graduate!  Oh yes in 2018-2019 I hosted an exchange student, she will be visiting me this summer and next summer I will travel to Germany to visit her.  I plan to take about 3 weeks off so I have to stack some cash.

I’m about $1,000.00 savings away from having a fully funded emergency fund (3 months living expenses)  And then it’s on to save for a few things.  Since before when I was checking in to blog it did help hold me accountable so I plan to restart my journey with writing monthly.

Things that I have on my radar… (Or the repeating of things…)

A new patio door will need to be purchased for this house as it’s inefficient and leaking air like crazy.. A new roof will need to be on tap although I’m not sure yet if I will stay in this house long enough to justify this It’s on my long term list .. I’m also a bit concerned about the Heating/AC unit so this may be on target with the new (1956) home I own now.  The only other “want” I have is to update my bathroom by putting ship lap, new lighting, and new flooring.  The total bathroom is probably 150 sq ft of my house so this should relatively inexpensive.

That’s where I’m at in a nutshell.  I will be checking back in during 2020 so I can keep track of my progress!


New beginnings

So here I am still debt free! I haven’t charged on any credit cards, purchased a new car, or bought a new home. I’m still numb to the fact I’m actually debt free!

I am having all new windows installed in my home today. I’m not putting that on a credit card I have saved the CASH for it. The last thing to urgently replace in my home is the hot water heater. This should be accomplished paying cash in the next 30 days.

The good deeds. Last month I was able to help one of my girls find and purchase a car. I helped in getting the loan so the twins say that will count as my good deed for last month. I need to figure out a way to complete a good deed every month… After reading my year in review horoscope for this year it’s supposed to be a very difficult challenging year and I’m hoping a conscious good deed effort every month might lighten up the blow of a crappy year.

They say all goals are more successfully achieved if written down. Goal #1 build savings account to 10k this year. Goal #2 start a 529 plan for kids, I found out this week this can be passed to blood relatives so I can invest for both Taila and Alexis and if neither use it all I can use it. Perfect! Sold!

But this is where my mind gets going crazy…. Let’s pretend if I didn’t invest in 529 plan and save 10k. Suppose I went back on a beans and rice scrimping from check to check. Let’s say I dumped every single extra penny I could get my hands on, on the house, I really think I could pay my house off in 12 months! 12 I could be 100% debt free and down to just owing yearly taxes on my house. What if I went super gazelle intense and did that?!… This sounds a little nuts crazy but I’m seriously pondering the thought of doing this. I could then save like crazy to fund the girls’ college funds over the next 4 years and they should be set! At which time I could then go crazy on funding my retirement for the next 20 years and still likely have enough to live on in my golden years.

The above paragraph is going to be something I think I sit down and really look at. If after 1 year I could have a “rent or mortgage” payment of $250 month to cover taxes and insurance, I think that would be pretty awesome! Making a thought into a reality is taking a huge step… But in the end if I could save 50k in interest it might be worth it? I wonder how that would compound in retirement?… Hmmmm

I’m debt free!


I am truly blessed to announce IM Debt FREE! Honestly debt free.  My honda is mine!  I wonder if it will drive different?!  Here’s to completing goal #1 this year!  I still have to complete one good deed this month so one more blog to come this month. I’m excited to see what this year will bring! 

2015 Goals

Well as the first few days have blown by I wanted to take a second to blog..

Of course I’m still listening to Dave Ramsey and I hadn’t really thought about Goals. So here I go… These are this years Goals.

1. I will become debt free except my house. Super goal is to become debt free in the month of January. (I really think this is obtainable)
2. I will try my best to live by this motto I’ve decided “New Beginnings” is my motto this year. I’m going to push myself to stick with not smoking taking better care of me in general and focus on my mind body and soul.
3. I will do one good deed a month and blog it so I stick to it.
4. I will have 10k saved this year.

I’m not going to look at these as resolutions but rather my 2015 Goals! (God willing I can accomplish every single one of these)

2014 coming to a close…

As this year comes to a close I’m reflecting on how this last year has played out. If I recall when I vowed to start writing to keep myself in check I had credit card debt, a Jeep payment and monthly bills with a vacation upcoming. I was looking forward to filing taxes to continue the debt snowball.

Where do I sit today?. I sold the Jeep made it through vacation, made it through the Hess girls graduation and attended an out of state wedding making it another vacation. I paid off all of my little miscellaneous credit card and vowed to not purchase anything on 18 months interest free again.

In selling the Jeep I learned a lot about myself and my character. Having a used car is NOT so bad. I get awesome gas mileage on my little Honda and I’m vowing to not buy another new car unless it’s done so in cash!

Now the downfall… Or the up fall I’m not sure which. I have money in my savings… Finally I have money in my savings… I did however put money on my credit card in November. I caught wind of a phenomenal cruise deal so I offered to book it on my credit card and let members of my family pay me back. I have enough money in my savings to pay in full my car but now that I have a credit card balance I’m holding off. So what is my plan?!

In January I will have enough in savings to pay off both. So I’m setting my goal today that January 17th 2015 in 30 days I will be down to owing money on my house and that’s it! I will need to save like crazy to have spending money on this vacation but I will have all debts paid in full minus my house.

I’m setting my 2015 goal to start a college savings account for my daughter. I don’t want to get overwhelmed goals but I feel they are important. I said I wouldn’t take another vacation until I was debt free or close to it and I stuck to it. Of course the vacation will be paid in full before I go. The other goal I’m pondering is to either A) build a full emergency fund or B) start making additional house payments. I’ll update that in January.

I MISSED OCTOBER?! WHAAAAT? Black Friday IS Next WEEK??????!!!!!!!!!

Ok so last evening having a conversation that started why haven’t you blogged lately? My response…. I did last month. Not the case and to my two followers I’m Sorry! I guess life got in the way. Or maybe I have draft pending somewhere? I’m not sure. So this is where we sit!…. I am officially down to 7k owed on the car. I have saved enough money to pay off the car in full but scared to do so before the holiday hustle and bustle. I’m getting closer to being done around my house. Always seems to be my statement though. HA!

It’s going to be a very merry Christmas in the Kgrove household. (Or so I hope) The girls will not be getting a lot of gifts but instead two gifts. One including an airplane and one a ship.
That’s all I can reveal for now as my darling daughter may start reading my blog! (unlikely but you can’t be to careful)

The basement is officially as finished as it’s going to get for now… Big accomplishment! And I have the trim purchased to finish up the kitchen and living area upstairs. Now I just have to get it installed and Boom! Done remodeling for a while… (Almost) I went to get my niece up today and her bedroom was FREEZING COLD! I walked over to check out the window and I have windows full of frost! So I just called the company who put on my siding a couple of years back to get an estimate to replace some windows. I need to do that and replace the hot water heater still and then I’m done. Really done! (Or so I hope)

So next week is the ever famous Black Friday week… I feel like it’s not as much fun anymore. To much hype and to many people doing it and It angers me that retailers are opening on Thanksgiving. So I think I might sit this one out. At least getting up at the but crack of dawn and shopping. Instead I might just wait after all I don’t really need to fight grandma for that $20 crockpot deal.

So while on the Christmas shopping subject, I’m pretty much done for the people I really want to buy for with the exception of a few. I don’t want to purchase that thingy ma jig that will never get used. Yet, Some people I want to buy for I don’t know what to get them… Maybe It will be the year of gift cards from Kendra. Hmmm

So now to rant about my Dave Ramsey. I’ve felt really good staying on budget (well kinda) lol But now that I’m down to just the car I feel like I’m dragging my feet. My initial goal was to be able to Yell I”M DEBT FREE!!!!!!!! In November One year after starting the program and I can’t do this yet. I mean I have enough funds to do it but then I feel like I won’t have enough to do my holiday stuff so I’m really torn. My car has to be paid in full by March 28th that being said If I keep on a strict budget for Christmas This should be doable for paying my car off in January.

Black Friday Dos And Don’ts

good tips!

The Debt Blog

With Black friday nine nights away, customers are critically evaluating budgets and their holiday shopping lists while perusing programs and the advertisements because of their favorite shops.

1. Cash doesn’t Equal Love. In case you are striving to decrease expenses, or can not locate the loss leader, the finest presents are seldom the ones you purchase at the shopping center, but presents of love, expertise, ability and time. This might incorporate a playlist or a special scrap-book, or a thing you prepare paint or craft. Presents of love plus time that are significant and private will be far more memorable, thus do not shun guarantee coupons for a home cooked meal nights baby sitting oil-change,, garage-cleanup, or doing taxes.

2. Buddy Your chosen Retailers. Many retailers are providing special deals on FB and Twitter. It is advisable to incorporate your preferred shops for your friend listing (at least for for…

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September is much better!

Well I’m doing much better keeping things in line this month. A few factors to consider, I’m getting more used to a food budget increasing. I’m re focused on getting out of debt, and I’m doing better at allocating more payments to debt than just letting money sit in the bank. All in all going very well this month. I now am back down to 10k total debt minus the house. This included house rental, flights, new egress window, and a car rental.

I’m hopeful that in the next couple of months I can still be successful in paying off everything including my car. I really am getting more focused on the Ramsey plan and have even obtained FPU videos again to get myself refocused. I just get scared putting so much of a payment down and having my bank account look so low. I guess I better just dump it on debt so every dollar has a purpose instead of in 10 months wondering why I still have a car payment?!

I’m feeling very energized about my budget this month and have even started adding up my budget for next month. Cancelled a service this month another $6 added to the budget. Bye bye dollar shave club! Momma found the same blades for less online and when $30 in purchase is made it’s free shipping! It’s only a minor difference but it’s a difference!

Basement is still coming along. Alexis’ room has all the drywall in now just finish mudding, put a ceiling fan up and paint! Same goes for the family room downstairs then finish hallway and taila’s room then paint and new carpet! Bam! Done! well closer anyhow.. Then I think I’m taking the basement and putting my little darlings upstairs.

Well I guess that’s my rant for now!

Making way…

Well the month is coming to a close and I’d like to admit I’ve had an epic fail for this month… NOTHING was within budget. I’m not going to cry over spilled milk but rather pull up my sleeves and strive for a better September. For our October trip everything is purchased (minus spending money and food) I need to sit down and make a list of things that we might need while on vacation. I need to research cheap/free things to do. And figure out our food budget.

On the upside I have come a long way on getting stuff done around the house. 🙂 Alexis’ room is hopefully going to be complete here in the next few weeks. I have also started Christmas shopping. If I start now I should stay within budget. I need to look up to see if I can do Dave Ramsey’s Christmas budget app this early in the year… Thoughts to ponder….. And I just purchased a new bed cash of course not on a credit card… 🙂 So all in all things are coming along!