Simplifying My Life

Over the past month or so, I’ve been working on simplifying some things in my life.  Part of it is trying to prepare for this third child we are having, and trying to get things lined up for that, but others are just some housekeeping that needs done every so often.

First off, after this year is through, I won’t be making the monthly post regarding my New Year’s Goals that I’ve done the past two years.  Things this next year are going to be in flux the whole year, so my real goal will just be to simplify things.

I’ve already canceled my checking account for my business, Archway Home Theater Accessories, because I don’t believe it’s needed anymore.  Now that I just do custom installs, the only reason I kept it open was so I could accept checks as the business name.  I can simply work around that by asking my customer to make the check out to me instead (which every one has done automatically anyway).

Just this weekend I canceled my rental property checking account.  We’ve decided to sell our rental property, because we haven’t even really been breaking even on it.  We didn’t buy it with the intention of it being a rental property, and the rent has barely covered our mortgage payment this whole time.  We’ve paid for repairs out of our pockets, and it doesn’t appear that the house prices in that area are going to ever recover from the crash of a few years ago.  We are going to sell the house, and use the small amount of equity we have in it to go toward paying off the rest of our student loans.

So if anyone is looking for a house in Fairview Heights, IL in the $110,000 price range, take a look at our house.  It’s well worth that price, and it’s a good house in a terrific neighborhood.  If you’re interested, just email me (jd at pohlman dot us) or call if you know my phone number.  I’ll tell you everything you need to know about the house, so you won’t run into any surprises after you buy.  We’ve tried keeping it in good shape this whole time, so it’ll be ready for a buyer to move right in.  We don’t have it for sale just yet, but we should have it cleaned up from the previous renters within a week, at which time we’ll officially list it for sale.  If you want to take a look at it in the meantime, just let me know.

It’s important to regularly evaluate pretty much everything in your life.  We do on a regular basis, and I felt it was time to simplify things a little bit.  We will have more changes coming over the next year or two, but this is a good start.  I’ll post more about some additional changes when the time comes.  So review how you have things set up in your financial life, and see if there’s anything you can simplify.  You’ll be thankful that you did once it’s all over with.

New Year’s Goals – Progress Update – Eleven Months

I didn’t post this update last month, and that was for a reason.  We had to shift our finances around because we are having another baby, and it was too early to say anything to anyone yet.  Since this is our third kid in under three years, and we have two dogs, we decided we are going to get a minivan.  We could squeeze all three kids in the back seat of either of our vehicles, but it would be really tight when going on weekend trips (one of the two dogs already has to lay down on the floorboards with baby stuff as it is).  We go on weekend trips a lot to Megan’s family, because they live 2.5 hours away from us.  I won’t end up hitting any of my New Year goals this year, unfortunately.  So it’s kind of irrelevant at this point, but here’s an update on my 2013 New Year’s Goals:

1) Reduce debt by 68.33%.
Target: 57%, Actual: 36.13%. I’ll still follow through with this, but we are 100% not going to hit this goal.  Every last extra dime is going toward saving for a new vehicle.  This was a month where we could have made a major impact to this number, too, as it was an extra paycheck month for me.  Unfortunately, we might still have to finance part of the new car, so I might not be able to hit my goal of no more car payments.  But it should be a minor amount, and we should be able to pay it off quickly. Here’s a graph of the progress so far:

novgraph2) Run a 5k.
This isn’t going to happen.

3) Complete a bike race.
This won’t happen now that it’s cold out.