Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The news....and some rambles

My friend's mom passed away last night.  I haven't talked to her, as I got the news this morning via Caring Bridge.  But please continue to keep them in your thoughts.


Meanwhile, on the home front....I am itching to update my side bar.  All bills have been paid for the moment, so nothing will really change until August.  But my blogiversary is 8/6 (or is it 7??), which is when the side bar is scheduled to be updated.  Decisions.....

I am starting to get myself  bogged down in the "wants."  Not in the sense that I want to go spend money on stuff....more that there are larger projects that I want to do, and would like to save money towards.

Unfortunately, there really isn't money to save at this point.  Even being responsible and saving for the goal isn't going to happen.  We are on a fact finding mission right now to price out things, and then at least we will know how much we need.  None of the projects are happening any time soon, but at least we will know what we are getting into.

  • The deck.  It was supposed to be done this year, and we put it off.  One big change to the plan is that we are looking at having someone come in and do it.  We are also looking at using composite materials instead of wood.  The "plan" is to use tax return money next year towards this, as well as Swagbucks (in the form of Paypal...I currently have almost 18k points!) and Discover Cash Back toward the expense.  We are going to have a few people in to give us quotes, and then decide the plan.  We may still do it ourselves....but based on time, skill level, etc....we are leaning towards hiring out.
  • Bookcases.  We need the storage in our office!  This project is driving me batty because I just want to put stuff away.  We are looking at cabinets on the bottom, with shelves on the top.  Probably about 80" across.  I want the finishing touches of mouldings, thicker shelves, etc.  We have a friend who is a carpenter, so I printed off a picture of what I want so he can price it out for us.  Again, I want it a certain way...and our skill level may not allow for that.  So, let's see what this puppy is going to run us.
  • The front porch.  The wood is 100+ years old and needs to be replaced.  And we would like to open up the now covered railings.  Most likely if we hired out for the deck, we will include this project.  But of course, I would like to finish off the porch.  We moved some chairs out there, just to see what it would look like....and loved it.  But the entire set (2 chairs and a loveseat) didn't fit.  We don't want to break up the set, so we are probably looking at getting something just for the porch.  Along with a small table, and some other little decor.

I am totally fine saving for these things.  I just don't have the money to save right now!!!!  That is the frustrating thing about our debt.  The major stuff is locked in, and we aren't paying extra on it.  But that eats up over $1200 a month just on the minimum.  And that doesn't include the CC, dentist, or medical.

We are saving for Christmas, other upcoming expenses, etc.  We just don't have anymore to save.



  1. I am in a similar situation. Any extra money gets clawed away in many different directions and really, by the time all other goals are considered, there really is next to nothing left. Sucks. But at least things are going to SOME goal, and not just disappearing into a black hole. That's always a plus, no?

  2. We are thinking about doing a composite deck instead of a wood one, too. They are expensive though. That will be a project for next for us as well.

  3. We just put in a 400+sqft deck. it cost $5600 for baked lumber. we wanted to go with composite, but it would have cost $13,000+. The contractor (well, all 3 we got quotes from) said that you have to be very, very careful with the composite, because the "lifetime" warranty has very VERY stringent restrictions on it's installation and upkeep in order for it to not be void (such as installed by licensed through the certain company contractor (many contractors are licensed, maybe even licensed for composite, but each composite company has a different certificate required); if the contractor messes something up - cuts the beams using an incorrect saw blade, uses the wrong nails/screws - the warranty is void; you don't do the required maintenance on the exact date (not an hour later) the warranty is void, etc.)

    The contractor we went with said that he just pulled up some woman's 7-year old deck because the planks melted in the heat/humidity (we're in SC), and her warranty was void because the contractor that installed it was no longer licensed by the company (though he was when he installed it). They also said that it hasn't been around long enough to know what it will do after 10+ years of winters & summers.

    Weird stuff, and the price difference just wasn't worth the risk for us (I was hell-bent on composite when we started looking). This home will become a rental at some point and I wanted easy maintenance. Turns out composite won't be as "easy" as they make it seem. Just a word of caution from someone who really, really wanted composite. (We do love our deck now, even though it's wood :)

  4. We put in a 20' x 20' with 2 opening/stairs and railing about 5/6 years ago in NE PA. It cost $5K using wood.
    We looked at composite(not with any lifetime warranty, just b/c it would be less maintenance and might last longer)and it was priced out to be double the price of the wood back then.