February Stats

Our back door and downstairs walls are leaking.  I don’t think this house likes us very much.

This will be a short post; let’s get down to numbers:

Interest Rate Remaining Base Payment Extra Payments
Student Loans 3.76% $23,721.20 $180.74 $0.00
Mortgage 3.50% $314,662.64 $0.00 $0.00
Total $338,383.84 $180.74 $0.00

In January, I paid the mortgage early, because I hadn’t yet set up automated payments; this month, I set up the automated payments, so the monthly mortgage payment will come out on the first of every month.  Our second payment is due March 1, so basically no payment this month because we paid this month’s last month.  Not much progress.

In renovation news, our new walls are framed, and we have almost all of our appliances*.  We even managed to do a load of laundry before the walls started leaking.  This weekend, we head down to Richmond (VA) to pick up everything we’ve stored at our parents’ houses.  Since the family room / basement / downstairs keeps flooding, we’ll put everything in our (future) bedroom for now; can’t risk DW’s books to the water.


* The microwave came a bit damaged, so we sent it back.  That’s the only appliance that we have ordered but is still missing.


Time Zone

Just a quick question for all you reader(s):  Does anyone know how to change the time zone on a wordpress.com site?  I can find how to do it on your own install of Word Press, but I can’t find if it’s possible on the free hosted blogs.



03/12/16:  Don’t use My Site off of wordpress.com; you can get much more control of your blog by going to the wordpress admin at https://yoursite.wordpress.com/wp-admin.  Timezone is under Settings > General.

The problem of wheels

We turned in our rental car on Saturday and have been car-less since.  We’ve also been bike-less, because our local bike shop is doing their once-a-year sale at the very end of March, and we’re waiting for that sale to purchase our new bikes.  I bought a rolling grocery cart off Amazon, and we’d used it once before to walk to get groceries, so it’s definitely doable.  However, it’s hard to do things like get paint (8+ miles away) or do laundry (4.5 miles away) when walking.  Not impossible, but certainly not super easy.

We went to Wegmans (our local grocery store) again today, but it is below freezing outside, with quite a chilly wind.  The only thing I really need in order to handle this better is gloves*, but, for the sake of matrimonial harmony**, we called a cab to take us back home.  $17 to keep my wife happy and avoid a car payment or an extra ~$350 for the bikes seems worth it.

Enterprise is also running a deal where you can rent an economy or compact car for the weekend for $10/day, so $34.59 per weekend (Friday to Monday) is getting us a car for both this coming weekend and the next.  (The deal is great, and Enterprise will pick you up and drop you off, so they’re super convenient.)

Now, I’m still against driving much, but the prospect of having wheels has really brightened my mood, and it’s still cheaper than getting the bikes now would be.  Plus, we really need to do laundry, and I’d like to get a bit of paint so that I can be productive.  The buses here don’t run on weekends, which really kills our transportation options.  DW*** has a concert oxt weekend, and a cab to the metro would cost over $50; having the car for the entire weekend and for cheaper seems like the better option.

Basically, plenty of excuses available; take your pick.


In other news, our roof got replaced today, so progress is being made again.


* But, in my stubbornness, I refuse to buy them, since we have all sorts of winter clothing in storage.  We just can’t get it until after the renovation is complete.

** And because I promised she could call a cab whenever she needed in exchange for letting me sell the car this past September.

*** DW stands for Dear Wife, which is how my wife will be known forever more.  It is decided.

Renovation kitchen

With the renovations under way, we don’t have access to the basics you might need to do things like cook or stay sane.  While we are eating out or ordering in much more than we normally would, we also purchased a toaster oven (on sale for $20) and a 1.7 cu ft mini fridge to try to manage some home cooking.  Here are a couple of the more ambitious things we’ve cooked up:

Shepherd’s pie, constructed from frozen vegetables and store-bought mashed potatoes in a pre-made pie crust.
Twice-baked potatoes.  These took two days to make.

I’m not sure how we’re going to survive the next two months, but I’m confident we are.  If you’ve got any easy-to-make toaster-oven recipes, leave them in the comments below!


As a side note, I’m having a tough time finding motivation to post while everything is up the air, but I’ll try to share some information on our budgeting in general and our house budget in particular over the next couple of weeks.  We’ve been spending most of our evenings watching My Drunk Kitchen on YouTube – if you haven’t seen it yet, you should check it out.