Ethan and I had a nice weekend. I worked 12 hours Saturday, which sucked and need not be mentioned more, then we both had yesterday off. We had another beautiful and unseasonably warm day here (forecasters say that we won't have any rain until sometime in March--here comes the nasty drought this summer, but it sure is nice now), so we decided to head down to the beach at Lincoln Park, which is close by. Some of you may remember that as the place where we had our little rehearsal dinner/snack. We both wore sweatshirts, but it was a bright sunny day and not much wind, so we weren't cold. Lots of people were out, some even with picnic baskets, and some kids with little remote controlled cars racing around.
We hatched up a new financial scheme which I won't go into detail on here about until I am sure it is legal/possible/not completely stupid. If it does work, we will get our condo paid off lickety split-maybe in 1 1/2 - 2 years, not 2-3 like we were thinking.
We have pretty much officially decided to sell the condo, rather than keep it and rent out. This way, we can get our $325K house, take the $140-150K from our condo and use it to get the mortgage way lower, lose the mortgage insurance, etc. We figure that our expenses won't even go up that much--we pay $225 a month in condo dues, which covers water, sewage, garbage, and cable TV. The actual amounts we would pay for those utilities are probably pretty similar, if not a bit lower, so the biggest new expense would be in a $150-200 increase in our actual mortgage, as well as increased electricity bills for a bigger dwelling. But, we have crappy baseboard heating now, and one of our requirements for a house is non-baseboard heating. Many places have gas heat around here, or at least forced air heating, which is still a step up. Should be okay. We are also going to dump the home phone, and just use our cell phones. That is pretty much what we do now anyway, but since we already have the home phone number, we will keep it until we move. We always have our phones with us (most of the time, anyway), and this may help cut down on the telemarketers.
So, excitement. We are thinking of emailing the Suze Orman show to ask our financial questions. Ethan loves Suze. I catch him watching her show a lot. I like a lot of her ideas, but disagree on the prenuptial agreements. To each their own. Our next financial change we are making is to increase the amount of money we put into retirement, since it comes out before taxes, and we have a whopping quadruple digit tax bill this year. I mean whopping. Not $1001, this is WHOPPING. To the point where we are going to buy some do-it-yourself tax software so I can redo the taxes (haven't filed yet), then go to H&R block and see if they can do better. If my numbers pretty much match theirs, I will just continue to do our taxes myself. It's just with this huge payment I have come up with so far, I feel like I MUST (I hope) be doing something wrong.