May 23, 2011

When It Rains, It Pours...

SO...a few weeks ago, BB and I were attempting to refinance and reduce our outflow of money. Had it gone through, we'd have seen an almost 20% savings of BB's monthly salary each month. That's pretty huge when you stop to think about it. That 20% of BB's monthly salary was tied up in paying for debt each month. That means, in retrospect, we're supporting a family of 5 on 70% of his take-home salary.

Now, I know what our tax forms showed his income was before our fabulous government took "their fair share" (I won't go there today). And I know what our bank account shows every payday coming in...and I'll tell you frankly that 50% of his salary is all that comes home each pay check. Between health insurance, his life insurance plan, taxes, and the small contributions we make to his 401(k) and stock purchase each paycheck, 50% of his salary is GONE without it ever making it to our bank!

That's frightening.

That said, I'm truly grateful that the 50% that does make it to us each payday is enough for me to continue to stay home and raise our children. I can be the one responsible to teach them our moral values, our beliefs, instill in them the work ethic and character qualities we deem important. I can be the one to make healthy food, keep our house, and even have time and ability to grow some of our own produce!

Now...we're still refinancing. Our mortgage guy found a solution that will still end up saving us 10% of BB's monthly take-home salary.

Originally, we'd had grand visions of taking that almost-20% savings each month, and beginning to put it aside to save up 3 months of our family expenses. After we reached that lofty goal, we'd be able to take that extra money and split it between retirement savings and college funds for the kids. Once we had a cushion for retirement, we'd be able to pump it back into paying off the house completely...

After we found out we weren't getting that much money, we were really crushed...it was tough, it was hard...we were mad, frustrated, insulted...

And then, I got the reminder that we'd still be getting about 7% of BB's salary each month "extra" from selling the condo we have! That meant that each month, we'd have money that wasn't owed to someone!

It might not have been the amount we dreamed of and planned on, BUT, it was still more than what we currently have. SO, we began planning things around that number. Then our mortgage guy called with the new plan. And we were back up to that 10%!

It's funny, because that 10% each month is what we currently give to our Church. We, once upon a time, toyed with the idea of stopping our tithe so we could "get back on track" with our plan to pay off debt. I'm glad we didn't. I am glad that instead, we stepped out in faith, and patiently made the sacrifice to scale back our retirement investing. We're blessed that we were even able to make retirement investments, I know, let alone scale it back!

I'm totally off my original track here, so bear with me while I get back to my point...

Over the last 6 weeks, we've been up and down, planning, dreaming, running numbers...

All the while, crazy things have been going on with the weather. I don't need to tell you - if you watch the news, you know that these storms are INSANE, and seem so much worse than the last time we had an El Nino cause craziness... Locally, we've had a very cool and wet spring. We actually got 4 inches of rain in one day. I know, nothing like the areas that are getting that in one hour...but for us, that's A LOT! I thought nothing of it, feeling secure in our house, no leaks, no flooding basement, no leaky roof...and then, after 2 weeks of a lot of rain for long periods of time (it really doesn't usually rain hard for a full hour around here, let alone 3 days in a row!), I decided it was time to enjoy the sunshine and clear skies...so I went to open the kids' windows around 6 last night - after it cooled off a bit to let out the accumulated heat (I REFUSE to turn on the A/C before we get back from CA in 2 weeks), and as I opened Princess' blinds, I noticed a large raised section of her window sill.

Guess what? The caulk around the window on the outside has dried up and cracked. To the point where we essentially had none. All the driving rain and whipping wind and craziness in the weather drove enough water into the gap between siding and window that it caused the fabulous pressboard (MDF, Paperboard, the stuff everything at IKEA is made of) sill to swell up and lift off the nails...the sheet rock was wet, the jack stud was damp...

We are SO blessed that it was recent - there is no mold, there is no actual hole in the siding, and it is easily fixed with a tiny patch on the exterior window trim and new caulking.

However, we got to talking about what that might mean for the other 38 window openings on our house. Yes, you read that right - we have 39 windows in our house over 3 levels, including the shop space in our garage. What will we find? Are there other areas that are leaking that just haven't had as much rain pelted against it as to cause this issue?

Do we rip out all the sheet rock and window sills in the whole house to make sure there aren't any issues? Do we just clean out caulk and redo it around all the windows and repair only the things that we see???

I mean, all of a sudden, I feel as though I'm living in an episode of Holmes on Homes!

Please pray for us as we journey through this issue...BB is afraid of heights but he won't let me, the fearless one, climb out the window or climb the ladder and do the work...

OH...plus, while this qualifies as an emergency, we're strapped for money right now what with birthday parties, school tuition, and a car trip to California!

1 comment:

Layla said...

I'll keep praying that everything works out for you guys! I'm glad that you'll be getting the 10% back each month - that's still huge!