I have a crazy idea...
This spring, work on the house - strip the vinyl siding and paint the old stuff that's underneath, fill in the rock areas with more rock, paint the kitchen, stuff like that.
Sell the house this summer and move into my dad's house, put most of my furniture in storage.
With the proceeds from the sale I'll get very close to the amount I need for a down payment for another home, and living at my dad's would allow me to save the rest quickly while I started looking. It's also possible I'd get more than enough out of my house.
The problem is, I'm not sure how much my house could sell for. Zillow puts the value at $115,000, Trulia says $152,000. My mortgage balance is $81,800. If the house sells for $130,000 I should get enough to cover the down payment without even touching my current savings, and similar houses have sold for more in the past few months so that amount could be doable. And yes, I'm subtracting commission/closing costs.
In the meantime, I'm still (slowly) looking for another job. My contract has been extended at least to the end of April, probably to the end of June, and I'm the only person from my team staffed on a project that runs until August - but the project could be cancelled without notice so it isn't exactly job security. One of the leads who's been working with the incoming company says I have nothing to worry about, that it'll take the new people months to get up to speed, and there's still a possibility they'll pick up my contract, but I'm not going to count on it. I've already started interviewing for one company that I'm really excited about. Same pay, better benefits, good corporate culture, and opportunities to shift over to different types of development.
And now - an update on some numbers! As I mentioned in a previous my income this winter was low so I haven't made as much progress as I'd like, but the figures have at least been moving in the right direction. Changes are since I started tracking in June.
$81.8k mortgage (-$1.1k)
$24k student loans (-$2k)
$14k car (-$2.3k)
$???? dental debt - I don't have online access to this account and the statement's at home so I'll have to update this later. I think it's down to about $1000 and is interest free.
I've thrown some extra here and there at the student loans and have continued to round up my car payment.
$115-135k est home value (+15-35k)
$10k emergency fund
$3.7k down payment (9.27% of goal, was 0 in June)
$700 misc savings (was 0 in June)
$4k retirement (+$3k)
I've been doing much better at working a full 40hr week, even got a little over time the past couple of weeks. Except for holiday weeks, I just don't have enough motivation/determination/discipline to make up all 8 hours when I could have a day off.
I'm committed to go to Europe with a friend in August. Part of me is totally psyched-we're going to two music festivals, one in Germany and another in Slovakia, and there are some bands playing that I've really wanted to see and we'll be sightseeing in between. Part of me wishes I could have waited another year, but my friend is going this year and I doubt I'd have the guts to do it on my own. The good news is he's interested in saving money as well so we've been talking about spending some nights on the train instead of a hotel, figuring out the most economical use of the rail passes, etc. Right now I have a rough estimate of $3000, based on current flight prices of $1600. I'll refine that number as we refine our plans, hopefully flights get cheaper in the next couple of months!
Let's see, the other goals I set:
Take lunch to work 3-4 days/week - Most weeks I've been good about bringing my lunch instead of eating out. I still slip occasionally, but overall this has been a success.
Build an Android app - obviously, this one is way behind schedule. It's also been a big learning experience, when I do my second app it will be much smoother. And faster.
Roll over the TSP - haven't done this yet. I was all set to, then realized I didn't know what I'd do with it once it was rolled over. I've been reading about investing and have a better idea now, so I should put this back on the to do list.
Set a schedule - I'm back to using my text file for scheduling chores, projects, milestones for long term projects, etc. Not that I always do laundry when I'm supposed to, but now I reschedule it instead of just plain forgetting