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Archive for June, 2015

ABF U Pack and Moving Costs

June 30th, 2015 at 08:07 pm

So an interesting thing about ABF U Pack since we are using them, they sell you that things are by the linear foot but in truth it's by 2 linear feet. The measurements for putting up the bulkhead is only 2 linear ft per set up so it's actually $300 per 2 linear ft and it's really easier to take stuff rather than worry about it.

Our costs to move are at $6k. We spent $1962 on an interior painter. We paid $1600 for the exterior painting of our house just the front and 40%. Only $1730 for our foundation repair work!!!! WooHoo!!!! Came in below total cost of the low of $5k. Came in total with engineering at $4326! Amazing. And $714 on 2 hours of moving labor help, buying moving supplies, renting steam cleaner, and storage.

Not bad so far. I think we'll be at close to our estimate 16 linear ft which should put up with a month storage at $4300 for the move. This is not including the gas for driving 2 cars cross country or hotels.

Of course for us it's a vacation but for DH it'll be non-stop hard labor. But since his time at that point is worth nothing and we're saving on shipping the dog. Instead he plans on driving to his parents in Canada and then driving back to the States it doesn't seem like much of a hassle.

This is it!!!!! I've also sold $1890 of our stuff. So I would say that we are paying to move around 1/3 of our stuff and less of it.

T-5 or T-6

June 30th, 2015 at 07:59 pm

The insanity. I still haven't figured out if we are leaving on July 5th or 6th. Uggh. I still haven't booked our hotels. I am still hopelessly not packed yet. What have I been doing? Everything else.

Tomorrow I finalize the documents for the repair of our foundation. More about the cost in another post. This will mean that we are officially set on our side to close on the sale of the house by July 7th.

Our trailer has been delivered. I'd say around 85% of our house has been packed. Tonight I threw in the towel for food and are moving to eating take out, leftovers, and other people's food. No more cooking. We cooked Salmon Burgers for our last meal.

I was happy to turn over a bag of fish (2 salmon and 4 pieces of Mahi) to a friend, 6 smoked sausages, 1 bag Kahlua Pork, and that's about it from the freezer. I also gave away our spices, unopened condiments. All we really have left is our snacks and 4 boxes of pasta, and instant oatmeal.

It took me two hours from 7:30 this morning to get the dog's international travel certificate. We are good to go until July 9th. We have 10 days to travel within.

The dog food has been delivered to my in laws and we don't have a booked flight yet. I find myself stressing and tonight I have to backwards outline our trip since we've decided to stop in Toronto and ship him out.

I've organized all our passports, kids medical and school records, my medical records, and I have to pay bills tonight. This is insane. I've managed to pack the kids clothes for the road trip and August. But DH and I are not done. And DH hasn't packed his work clothes yet.

I feel like a hamster on a wheel that can't stop running. Any more tips or ideas? We've set aside all road trip stuff we can think of. Please let us get on our way already.

Friends and Money

June 25th, 2015 at 04:11 am

Quick aside my friend asked for this weekend a donation to her children's college fund instead of gifts. Not a problem. But this friend is Ms A. The one whose terrible with money. So I didn't want to give her cash or a check, but am in a conundrum because I do want to contribute to their college fund. Okay what should be done? If it were a friend that I thought was pretty responsible with money I don't think I'd be so leery. But with Ms A, I wonder if she'll get the money and use it with the BEST intentions.

Ms S, the very well off friend, is dropping her kiddo today to play with my two in the evening for dinner while she has a "dinner" to go to. Tomorrow her sitter is going to drop her off in the afternoon at 1ish so I can take them to the Ms A kid's birthday party together while she works out. I still don't get how she doesn't understand that she's "priviledged"? That stay at home moms don't normally get to work out and have nannys pick up their kids from camp while they don't "work" and she complains about having no time. No time to do what? She has all morning to herself while her kid is in camp from 9-1 then the nanny is getting her, then I'm taking both kids to a birthday party from 3:30-7 (4:30-6:30) but driving time is at least 30-60 minutes. So what does she do every day since her nanny does all the pickups? And she wonders why we don't hang out much anymore?

I am just tired of being in Dodge. I can't wait to leave this lifestyle and city behind. I am ready for the open road. I hope my friends have a great future all of them. At least with social media I'll be able to watch their kids grow.

Counting down the days

June 25th, 2015 at 04:01 am

We are now probably driving out of dodge on July 5th. We'll drive straight through to Niagara Falls, ON and drop the dog July 6th in Toronto. Well the plan is DH will then turn back and we'll do Niagara Falls. I've got him booked for his international health certificate this Tuesday. I had to go to an special vet whose FDA certified. I am paying $80 which is a huge deal since I got a coupon for a free 1st time patient exam and the paperwork is just $80. I have to call airlines and figure out what is the best price for the dog cargo. I also ordered dog food to the tune of $105 from Amazon.ca and it's shipping to my MIL.

Next up is contacting all the utility people, getting medications and records. Also finishing up selling stuff, right now according to my craigslist spreadsheet we've sold $1835 worth of stuff. Almost enough to cover half our expenses in selling our place. I had no idea I had so much stuff to sell. Granted about $1k was big ticket items, but still $800 in "junk" I am impressed. Although we have a few more items to sell.

Booked our movers only 2 movers for 2 hours on July 3rd for $120. I wonder if it's enough. I booked them only to load the big items thinking they can do boxes if they have time but we can manage the boxes ourselves. Plus looking at everything we are pretty well packed. From the tips to be completely packed up and the truck loaded in 2-3 hours I honestly don't think that's an unreasonable time frame with everything in boxes. Right now we are solidly at 80% I'd say and in the next week before the movers I'd say 95%. Most of the stuff unpacked are our beds, TV, Dinner Table, Couch, and some clothes. The furniture we have mattress pads and holders to put the mattresses into. The clothes I need to segregate into road trip and staying in dresser and DH packs his work clothes.

I have a complaint about realtors. Our realtor hired a guy to install Carbon Monoxide detectors because we needed them for our city inspection. It's a crazy inspection for $50 by the city. But their real estate agency hires this guy so they pass in 3 minutes. Sounded fine. But they of course didn't tell me the cost, $450! Had I known I might have had my DH order and install these things himself. Uggh what a rip off.

And we are still trying to finish our frozen food. Sadly I don't think we're as much on track as CreditCardFree, whom I tried to emulate. But on Sunday we are having people over for an eat the freezer party.

Countdown continues

June 23rd, 2015 at 06:36 pm

Things are insane and crazy busy. We had our DK preschool "graduation"/moving up ceremony. Very cute and quite sad. It's been 3 years at the preschool and they are awesome, wonderful, truly great teachers. I can't say enough about how appreciative we both are to them. They were flexible, accommodating, talented, incredibly patient people. We've actually known most for 5 years.

I think we are 11 days out from leaving, potentially 12 or 13. We close on the sale of our home July 7th or 14 days. We currently are on track to finish our foundation crack issues. The work is done and we are waiting on affidavit from the structural engineer and the building inspector to come out and stamp us as solid. Then siding back on the house and the project should be completed, signed, sealed, and delivered. We are set to close. If we had stuck to our original close date of June 29th I think it would have been tight.

As it stands I believe that we are probably going to close on July 7th. We could do July 1st or 2nd, but this gives us a little bit of a buffer for paperwork.

We are going with ABF U pack and the trailer will be delivered on July 1st. It is scheduled to be picked up July 6th. We have two movers coming to help us move our boxes July 3rd 9-11 am. My DH thought we could do it ourselves but honestly for $120 it's well worth it. We will have enough to do without having to strain our backs doing the big furniture.

I'd say we are at 80% done packing. We still have a quite a bit left but part of the problem is that we have to sort stuff into two road trip piles and still have food left to eat and kids toys out.

Our biggest issue is the dog. Do we ship him before we leave or take him and ship him out of Toronto? There are so many headaches not to mention scheduling his health certificate without 10 days of travel.

We are struggling with the space issue. We are unsure about how much we can carry on our road trip. We just ordered a bigger camping tent. We've had ours for over 15 years and it was a 4 person backpacking tent by coleman. Very tight with kids and dog. We've upgraded to 8 person but it'll only be for car camping. We are planning on camping at potentially St Ignace, MI, picture rock national lakefront, badlands national park (booked site), mt rushmore, yellowstone, and glacier.

It's so stressful since as of right now we haven't booked hotels other than our end destination since we aren't sure how it'll go.

I'm debating resurrecting my site on blogspot so that I may put up pictures easier.

Medical Insurance and Work arounds

June 12th, 2015 at 08:28 pm

So DH is quitting his job and we will be without employer provided insurance from September to May 2016. I don't have to tell you how nerve wracking it is.

Right now the estimated online cost for our family of 4 is $550/month for a HDHP plan of $6500 pp /$13k family deductible. Mr Money Mustache pays for his family of three $250/month? Apparently he's in a plan pre-ACA and Colorado is a lot more insurance friendly.

This coverage is without prescription, dental, or vision coverage. So what are we thinking?

Well I was thinking of looking for a part-time job that allows me buy for health insurance. I'm not sure if I'll be able to find anything quickly but it's worth trying I think. Another possibility is that without income we may qualify for subsidies. Yes I know terribly unfair but at the same time we are going to be without income, yes by choice but we will be looking both for work and living off savings. Any suggestions for companies to look at would be appreciated.

Another thing is we're doing all our major dr appointments now so we have time to get insurance and drs in place. We are also filling prescriptions 3 months in advance so we are able to have extras for when we don't have insurance.

This is going to be a huge change not having employer provided insurance. Have many people done it? What do you normally pay?

Road trip part 4

June 12th, 2015 at 08:20 pm

Okay Ideas people. Ideas of places to eat, visit, or stay, or anything I can't miss. Here's a list of cities I've ironed out we're doing. AAA is driving me nuts trying to get me to iron out my itinerary. I'm not that sort of person honestly. I am more a "well see when we get there kind of person." And a book a hotel couple of hours before we need it depending on when we make it.

Syracuse
Niagara OT
Saginaw, MI
St Ignace
Picture Rock National Lakefront
Green Bay WI
Minneapolis
Sioux Falls
Wall SD
MT Rushmore
Sheridan
Yellowstone
Missoula
Glacier National Park
Spokane
Yakima

This trip is planned on us being on the road for 3 weeks. OMG in way it's insane. And at the same time I am so psyched. I love hearing people's places to eat and see. PLEASE chime in anything. I'm debating going back to blogspot to make it easier for me to post pictures of stuff.

Be ready for a cool photo montage if you help me plan awesome stuff to see or do.

road trip part 3

June 8th, 2015 at 09:53 am

Okay another reiteration of the road trip. I am running into trouble with AAA trip tik. I went into get a plan and they want me to book hotels. Ugh. Considering that we aren't even sure of the date we are leaving (tentatively July 7th) my DH is hesitant to even book refundable hotels because what happens if we leave a day late? Or two days? Then we have to cancel everything and start from scratch.

I don't know what to do. I feel like we have to tighten everything up closer to the deadline. I'm thinking I'll just tell AAA the prospective hotels since we are just unsure.

So we've decided to not take the dog. Although we may take him to Toronto to ship him back to my in-laws. Or we may drive to NYC and ship him from there. Again we're unsure about this timing.

We've ruled out unfortunately sesame place and hershey park since this weekend. We went away this weekend to an amusement park and DK1 had a good time but DK2 was a little too small and scared. So we've decided we'll skip parks for this year and instead do other stuff.

So where are we headed?

Niagara Falls
Mackinc Island - yes we are doing Michigan Upper Peninsula
Painted Rock National Lakefront (UP)
Green Bay
Minneapolis
Sioux Falls
Rapid City (mount rushmore)
Yellowstone
Butte
Missoula
Spokane

So suggestions or thoughts? I feel like Barney from how I met your mother, saying "this is going to be legendary. High five!"

I know my kids won't recall much but I have blurbs of my first real vacation with my mom at age 5 going to disneyland. We got on a plane with our family and went to disneyland, SF, and LV for a 3 city trip on the cheap. Budget all the way, but having a great time. It was incredible. I still remember meeting my cousin and seeing disney. So I'm thinking my kiddo #1 will have so memories of this trip. This is our opportunity of a lifetime.

I have an antedote about my mom. She always says "i took out a loan from the credit union for like $500 or maybe $1k to go on the disney trip. It was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime." This is the woman who got divorced and cut up her CC so she wouldn't abuse them and take the easy way out. But she saved and planned this trip for us right before I started kindergarten. Just for us. She took amazing risks both personally and financially and I believe as we make this trip and leap I'm about to do the same thing. I wouldn't be where I am today without her. And without her teachings and guidance I certainly wouldn't be trying something so crazy. Make plans but sometimes you have to take the risk and grab the opportunity when it comes because it may never come again.

I know SA readers probably would have chastised her but sometimes you don't know the strength of the person. I tell this story because right now I am looking for the strength to go through with this huge change we are making.

Sale and the Move

June 8th, 2015 at 09:34 am

So last week our buyers asked us to close early. They were interested in closing early and were now willing to take over the construction and repairs and allow us to close without finishing. We said no. We are set to close July 7th and honestly my DH and I were too nervous to allow our fate into someone else's hands. They wanted us to do the repair so we are. Plus it would honestly be bad karma I feel to leave my neighbors hanging. Although a friend told me that it's always better to close sooner rather than later. But in this case aren't we more at risk being on hook for the cost of the repair after we sell and don't have control?

As it is, the time line is going to be tight. We started last Wednesday. Hoping today the engineer comes out to inspect and give approval to move on. Tomorrow the city building inspector comes and gives approval to move on. Then work commences on Wednesday. That should be another week. Then the engineer and inspector come back out. Then final work and the engineer comes out again for stamp on plans and we file with the city and are good to go. This puts us I think at 2-3 weeks from now putting us close to our July 7th close.

Some stuff about our move, we are nervous about not knowing where we are going to rent. Or what it will cost. But this is to big a decision to do online. So tentatively we are arriving July 28th and then searching. We are then heading to Hawaii August 2nd and DH back to work for 2 weeks. Then he'll do a second cross country trip August 14th with our second car and pick up our dog on the way.

New wrinkle we are sending the dog to Canada and DH parents for the duration of our road trip and move. It'll be too tough to take him so we decided that we would fly him direct to them and pick him up en route. We did that when we moved cross country last time we sent our last dog to them and went to china for a month traveling then moved and picked up him after we settled.

Good thing this happens only once every 10 years. And we are still waffling on the minivan idea.

Used newer minivan and dump the sonata. Space versus cost. Long term I think we want a minivan, but right now it's pricey and we can't buy the loaded minivan we want. So what to do?

Traveling with a pet

June 3rd, 2015 at 05:43 pm

So we are between a rock and a hard place. We are deciding whether to take our dog with us on our road trip. Our choices as we see it.

First he comes with us but the is left in new city upon LAL and DH parting ways for august. He'll go into a kennel. Then my DH will get him when he gets back. This we hesitate since we are unsure how he'll react to a new kennel.

Two he stays where we lived for 4 weeks in the kennel we normally board him in. 4 weeks is longer than we usually do, we usually do 3 weeks. But it could be longer if my DH doesn't get a place that's pet friendly to live. It's a long time.

Three is put him on a plane and send him to my MIL. Ideally I'd like to do this. We did this with our last dog when we moved cross country 10 years ago. And my DH would pick him up when he drives cross country again in August. Now the only issue is convincing my MIL to do it.

Of course traveling with a pet cross country means that we'll be checking into hotels and then sightseeing. I have no idea what it'll be like. Possibly influencing our decision will be whether he can go to the national parks easily.

Any ideas appreciated.

minivan or not?

June 1st, 2015 at 05:23 pm

Can you believe we are still struggling with buying a used minivan? We can't decide. I want one more and my DH is hesitant. Which by the way we've flipped flopped back and forth the past month. He's been yes then no. Then yes then no.

Right now there is a 2013 off lease Honda Odyssey for $18k with 32k miles. It's a certified preowned from a dealer. We haven't seen it but I'm curious since it's 1 owner and certified.

I think it might be a good buy. I think that we could drive it cross country and then sell it since my DH isn't sure we need a minivan. I think we do. I also think we are moving somewhere that we are likely to be going on more road trips.

But it's a lot of money outlay right now. Granted we could borrow it and we'll have a down payment from the trade in or sale of the sonata.

Thoughts?

Depressing thoughts on marriage

June 1st, 2015 at 11:22 am

I had lunch today with a friend whose unhappily married. She hates her husband and honestly he's not a nice person.

She's got a lifestyle most people would envy. I certainly do. I think it's a great life, fun, exciting, and pretty good. BUT since I know some (probably not all) the gory details of her marriage it's hard to envy it.

I mean she has three lovely kids. She has help with them in the morning and evenings and they go to daycare/school full and part-time while she stays at home. She lives in a gorgeous house but it looks like a pristine museum. She vacations everywhere but usually with her husband's family.

So her life to anyone looking in seems perfect. Stay at home mom with tons of hired help. No financial worries and everything you could want.

But she's sad. Her husband is mean and belittles her. She hates him and wants to leave, but feels trapped both financially and the kids. I want to tell her to leave him but I don't think she should or can.

The kids are young and she needs the help and the financial support mostly. I mean if she left him her quality of life would likely go down. Am I terrible friend for suggesting to stick it out for awhile?

I don't know what to say. I think he is very mean and abusive to her. But at the same time, if she leaves he'll have the kids without her around. So there are both pros and cons to everything.

This is not just a financial decision honestly. He works a lot so she doesn't see him that much except nights and weekends. She has help with the kids going to school and bed time. She has a nice house, car, and stuff for kids. But he can be such a jackass.

I want to be a supportive friend and I do listen. But when she wonders about leaving him I haven't said she should. Or when she says she does I say great. BUT aren't we obligated to say she should leave such an asshole? I mean I've read the demeaning texts and emails he sends her. But what will happen?

I find it depressing that so many people stay married for purely financial reasons. And at the same time it seems like society likes it that way.