When I pictured my first night as a homeowner, I had an image of sitting in front of our new fireplace, surrounded by moving boxes and sipping champagne. Our actual first night as homeowners was nothing like that.
I spent the evening in the basement, learning how to perform maintenance on the waterproofing system.
Just as the record snowfall here in the Northeast tested even the best ice dam prevention measures, the resulting thaw is testing even the most sophisticated waterproofing systems. Thankfully, the new house never got any ice dams. But it did get a puddle in the basement on the morning of our closing.
We found a big clog in the system, which I hoped was the culprit. But we still hedged our bets by asking for a holdback of some funds for a short period of time, while we waited to see if the water re-appeared.
Then we moved in!
In March, we continued our spending freeze. Even though I tried to keep those costs down, moving cost a big chunk of money.
How much did it cost to move?
- $1035 — Movers we hired. They were … OK. They got the job done.
- $110.30 — Moving truck through Budget, after the 20% off coupon found in the USPS’s Change of Address packet. We also got 2.5% cashback because I booked it through ebates.
- $125 — Packing tape, stretch wrap, and packing paper (Between Target, Ace, and Lowe’s, Lowe’s had the cheapest prices)
- $25 — Boxes I got from someone on craigslist, someone from church, and the liquor store. Then I bought a few from Lowe’s. It was painful, but at $1.35 a box, it was a decent deal.
Unfortunately, we can’t write off our moving expenses because we didn’t move 50 miles closer to a job. But I did mitigate some moving expenses by selling some books. I used the Bookscouter app to zap all of the books that we weren’t taking with us, and found the best price available for reselling them! Out of three boxes of unwanted books, I used Bookscouter to cull out about 10 and sent them to 3 different book buyback outfits. I got $51 back, which … as my dad would say … is better than a sharp stick in the eye.
April Net Worth Update:
Want to know something amazing about Mint.com?
We haven’t received a mortgage bill in the mail yet and I didn’t even know who our servicer is … until I logged in to Mint.com today.
Mint.com automatically populated our new mortgage into our money profile. How? I have no clue. A little Big Brother? Yes. But I appreciate it!
Cash: – $17,266. This number is pretty meaningless because our finances are in flux with the home purchase. We put just under $50,000 down on our home purchase, all of which came from our IRA’s. One of those IRA’s went through our checking account just as I wrote last month’s Financial Update, which is why we see this enormous dip in cash reserves.
Credit Cards: + $2,366. Despite the spending freeze, the $1,200 move put a huuuuge dent in our credit cards. The other issue is that we are carrying a $2,000 balance over from last month — the first time I’ve done that in years!! — because we have to pay for lead remediation on the house. We should have enough funds to pay off the balance next month, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that it makes me a little nervous. Not nervous enough to pull the money out of our IRA’s, though.
Loans: + $517,202. Yup. you guessed it: That’s how much money we borrowed to buy our new (to us) home. Well, it’s more like $517,500. But, it’s offset by the amount of student loan debt paid off last month from our regular payments.
Investments: – $79. This is market fluctuation, because we had already withdrawn from our IRA’s as of last month’s Financial Update.
Net Worth: + $52,244. Despite all of the red in our Financial Update, we received a gift from my parents and the appraised value of our new (to us!) home has increased our bottom line by half.
- Survive: SUCCESS! March was a long slog of endless tasks, but we have come out on the other side in one piece.
- Coordinate Finances for a Smooth Closing and Moving: SUCCESS! Finally, closing went smoothly — financially. Although, I could have saved myself a $30 wire transfer fee if I’d transferred our entire down payment to one account a week or so before closing. Then I would only have needed to do one wire transfer. Moving itself cost us a pretty penny.
- Spending Freeze: SUCCESS! Aside from closing and moving costs, we only fell off the wagon for one $16 lunch with Little Stapler and a $30 celebratory lunch for Mr. Stapler and me.
- 2015 Resolutions: The home purchase and move distracted me a bit from my resolutions, but I’m happy to say that I did achieve partial success on these resolutions and am generally still on track.
- Dedicated Business Development: SUCCESS! I was able to set aside about 3 hours a week for business development. Although I wasn’t deliberate about setting aside the time, it naturally happened that I would spend hours developing my new site or speaking with potential clients.
- Prioritize Business Development Tasks: FAIL! I did not go about my business development in a deliberate manner, by listing out the possible tasks and choosing to work on certain items based on their priority. Instead, it was a little haphazard. I got four new clients, but it wasn’t through any of my business development efforts — they were referrals from already-established networks. I am re-setting this a priority for April so I don’t spin my wheels on tasks that aren’t likely to lead to new business.
- Solve my Dilly-Dallying Problem: PARTIAL SUCCESS! I haven’t looked at my dilly-dallying in the context of how I spend my business development day, but rather I have been reading a few great books that have helped me Eat That Frog first thing in the morning and think about ways to set up a business that doesn’t need constant babysitting (review coming soon!). Both books helped me tremendously, before I even finished them. Regardless, I’m going to put this dilly-dallying resolution back on my list for the future, because it can always use some tweaking.
- Survive: Until Baby Stapler reaches 6 – 12 months, this remains my first priority.
- April Resolution: Evaluate efficacy of attempts to drum up business: I essentially did this while writing this post! Now that I’ve looked at my business development efforts, I’m going to go back to the drawing board and develop a task list, prioritize it, and work deliberately those items.
- Request Flex and HSA Reimbursements: I still haven’t figured out how to get flex and HSA reimbursements from Mr. Stapler’s new job, and about $400 worth of expenses have piled up. It’s time to start the reimbursement process.
How was your March? Did the thaw un-freeze your spending as well? Do you have any big plans for the Spring or Summer?