September 28, 2014

Home Repair Costs: New Sliding Glass Door

We finally did it!  We ordered our new sliding glass door.  After having trouble getting different people to call us back for the installation, we decided to just pay for the installation through Lowe's.

I was disappointed to learn that Giant Eagle doesn't sell the Lowe's gift cards anymore at the store.  I wanted to get all the fuel perks.  But Lowe's had an offer if we signed up for a credit card we get a 10% discount.

Something happened when the cashier was ringing up my order and setting up my credit card account.  They thought I didn't get the 10% off.  But then customer service wasn't sure if I did get it or not.  Apparently the 10% doesn't come off of the labor.  The woman at Customer Service gave us an extra 5% off since it took them quite a bit of time to try to figure this all out.

After reviewing the receipt, I don't think we got any extra discount.  It looks like the credit card automatically gave us a 5% discount and then she applied another 5%.  If anything, we ended up paying a little more than we should have because the 10% should have been deducted on the original total instead of another 5% discount off of the already 5% discounted price.

Total for door, materials and installation after discounts: $1159
We had $1250 in our repair fund.  Now it will be down to: $91

It will be so nice to have a new door that opens and closes easily.  Plus it should cut back on wasted electricity this winter.  The door we have now has a small gap where it doesn't shut all the way and cold air gets in.

September 26, 2014

Interviews and Financial Updates

I took the day off work yesterday.  I had 2 interviews.  One in the morning and one in the afternoon. I was hoping to catch a nap in between interviews but the first one was 1 1/2 hours long and the second was 2 1/2 hours.  Plus both of the places were 20 - 30 minutes away.  I had just enough time to run home and eat lunch in between.

Both the interviews went really well.   I'm really really excited about the job at the first place.  The position would be a step up from what I'm doing now and it sounds like a great company.  It's a pretty small company and I'm used to working for a large corporation so that would be a bit different.

The second place is with another large company, but I feel like I'm over qualified for the position. But since its a large company there would be lots of opportunities for growth.  Both jobs would be an increase in income but also my 3 minute commute would increase to 20 to 30 minutes.

Financial Updates:

  • Added $230 to savings
  • Dealt with missing condo fee check.  The bank is saying they issued it.  Condo Association never received it.  I feel like I shouldn't have to pay the late fee since it was sent but haven't gotten out of it.  It was originally $100 in late fees but I got it down to $50.  From now on, I will be calling the condo lady every month on the 10th of the month if my check hasn't been cashed to verify that she has it.  She's usually about a month late depositing checks so I really had no reason to doubt that she had received it in August.
  • Day Care bill for October is $600 which is the amount I budgeted.  Usually it comes in under budget and I have some extra money for savings but not this month.
2014 $12,000 Savings Challenge Update
  • Emergency Fund - $2182
  • Car Fund - $2185
  • Vacation - $2170
Total Savings so far for 2014 - $6537

September 20, 2014

Investing in CDs

Before we bought our rental property, I had planned on building a CD ladder with our emergency fund.  But then we ended up using all that money for the down payment for the property.  Now that we are building our savings up some again, I am contemplating the CD Ladder.

So far, I am leaning towards using Ally for this.  I like there website.  It seems really informative and easy to use. Their CD rates seem better than most and the reviews I've read are pretty good.  I haven't decided how I am going to do this yet.  I would like to put $500  in a 12 month cd each month for a year to start.

But the 5 year CD's have such a better return.  Hmmmm... I'll have to do some more thinking on this.

I have decided to take the $1229 in cash that is sitting in my sharebuilder account and depositing it into a cd.  The money has been sitting to be re-invested for a while now.  I don't touch that money anyways.    The APY for a 5 year cd with ally is 2%.  Estimated Earnings for the 5 years is $129.  It's better than having the money just sit in a savings account or my sharebuilder account.