I feel as though I've been adulting in the real financial world. I have received 100% of the cash bequest from my grandparents estate. I put 90% in a Vanguard money market for now. I used the other 10% to:
1) get one month ahead on the budget including mortgage
2) added $1K to our vacation fund
3) purchased a new sectional for our family room (last one was purchased in 2009 and it was since upgraded twice by my brother's hand-me-downs)
4) purchased tub and shower and surrounds for our bathroom upgrades
5) paid off semester of community college for younger daughter and 25% of upcoming tuition
6) am making weekly tuition payments for high schooler
We met with our potential realtor and feel that we can reasonably expect $470K for our home (after the bathroom upgrades, painting kitchen cabinets, new flooring in family room, and all over paint job). There wasn't any real shock there, I follow the value on Zillow and adjust down 10%. We're still looking at listing in the Spring.
I set up Vanguards accounts for the kids' yesterday. They haven't received their funds yet, but now there is a place for them to be deposited. I opened UTMAs for the boys and just money markets for the girls with limited agent authorization for myself. This is exlcusive of an education fund with $70K in it, but I'll deal with those funds next.
I am in the process of a major declutter (as in evaluating the place of every object in our home). Christmas was a bit difficult, but I did narrow things down a bit and have packed up the Dept 56 village we aren't using this year (from our hey day as collectors, we were growing Christmas villages along with my parents and brother/then SIL).
I am also feeling very differently about things and consumerism. I won't say that I'm heading towards minimalism, but I only want things that have purposefulness or I enjoy. Turning point for me, I purchased a Lego Harry Potter for son who is 16. It was the only missing set that he didn't have from the last production go-around. I found it for $65. Son's passion is gaming and he's in the process of building a gaming computer, buying one component at a time. I realized that the gift that I wanted him to have isn't necessarily the one he would like the most. So it went back, and I'm going to MicroCenter to deal with his guy there. (We are only doing one gift per child this year in the $80 - $100 range). They do get a second gift from their Advent Buddy on Christmas Eve.
My brother wasn't happy when we stopped the gift exchange with him and his family. Oh well. My parents and inlaws are getting Yankee candles and kid-made fleece blankets. Also some muffins and fudge. Again, they don't need anything at all.
My job for January isn't certain anymore as person I'd be replacing will most likely be staying on. But I've concluded that it wasn't meant to be and I'll keep looking for something that will work and take one class online a quarter.
I hope that everyone is enjoying the holiday season! Happy December! I've decided just to continue tracking expenses, use the debit card, and implement whatever hybrid system in January 2019.
December 1st, 2018 at 08:02 am