Monday, January 19, 2009

Things to come...

Well,I've got to say that we've come a long way baby in terms of our house. It's finally starting to come together, even if our garage IS still filled with junk (and there's actually a reason for that, believe it or not). However, we also can't help but think about the exciting things that are to come, due to the First Time Homebuyer Tax credit. In terms of the house, there are several major things that need to be done:

1. New flooring in the living room and bedrooms.
2. All new landscaping outside.
3. Overhang built off of the back patio.

While the last two are certainly important, I feel like it's most important to me to have our living space taken care of before we start working on the outside. So, I think that in terms of the refund, the portion that we've allocated towards the house shall go to that.

First, a quick breakdown of what we're planning to do with our refund, which looks like it will total about $8500.
  • $3000- Directly to savings. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Our savings took a serious hit when we purchased the house and then the camera, and I really feel like we need to beef it up a bit in this economy. Dave Ramsay advocates to have a $1000 emergency fund and then start snowballing debt. However, $3000 is more than two months' mortgage payment, which I feel more comfortable with. Ideally, I'd like to have six months worth of mortgage payments (or more), but I think this is a good start. I should also mention that a portion of this will include paying off our fridge, which is on a no payment no interest for a year plan, so I'd rather be gaining interest on that money, rather than pay it off early, thank you very much.
  • $1500- Debt reduction. This will essentially wipe out our credit card debt, which would be FANTASTIC. We have never carried high balances, but I'd like to wipe it out nonetheless.
  • $3500- We had budgeted this money for house renovations, mostly in terms of floors. Happily, after consulting with contractor dad, it's looking like it will cost $800-$1000 to put in new flooring. Justin and I have allocated another $1000 or so towards buying the loveseat portion of our living room furniture, and probably a flat screen TV. We will also need a light colored area rug, as we'll likely be getting darker hardwood and we already have fairly dark furniture, and we'd like to get a double curtain rod for the living room as well. I will also be scouring Craigslist to see if we can find a futon for the spare bedroom.
  • If there's any money left over, I'd like for us each to get $100 or so as fun money. Obviously, this would be icing on the cake, but I also know that when we get any sort of "windfall", it's hard not to want to buy things for yourself. I find that if we give ourselves a budgeted amount, it's easier to stick to it--AND we're not looking back and saying "what in the WORLD happened to all that money?!" (last year's tax return anyone?).
And that's that. Be on the lookout for a post outlining exactly what we plan to do to the living room over the next few days!

1 comment:

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