What have you been up to?

Today, I’d like to a chance to provide some updates on past projects or themes that we’ve discussed on this blog.

Related: Student loans, why I could have paid them off but didn’t.

Debt Demolition:  We currently have two loans, a student loan, and a mortgage.  Currently, we are focused on paying down our mortgage in order to obtain a home equity line of credit.  This will allow me greater flexibility in pursuing my real estate investing.  During January and February of 2017, we have only made the minimum payments on both of our loans.  I have placed our excess earnings into our savings account, increasing the balance by $4,215 over that time period.  I plan to soon apply another large principle payment to our mortgage balance, but readers should not worry, we haven’t been blowing our extra cash, just replenishing our savings account.

Related: How hard would you work to save $1,800?

The beaver, as I called myself in this past article is still at work on the tree.  This past Saturday, March 3rd, I spent 4 hours trimming.  From the street, I’m beginning to make a noticeable difference.  I spent about two hours nibbling on a tricky branch that proved quite hard to reach with both my pole saw and extension ladder.  I had to get this branch trimmed, as my first act of the day was to produce a widow maker (cut or broken branch stuck in the tree – gets its name b/c if it falls bad things happen).  For obvious reasons, I couldn’t leave the tree in this condition.  After much effort, I got the widow maker down, and then quickly filled my trailer with the debris of two easier to reach branches.   The  upper part of the tree still remains, which I think won’t be to bad with my extension ladder, so most of the tricky work is done.  At this point, I’ve worked for 9 hours; if I were done, my effective pay rate would be $200 per hour (1800 / 9 = 200).  Am I halfway done, probably not.  It will be interesting to tabulate my effective pay rate as this project progresses.

Related: Americans spend $3,600 for the right to work!

Work Commuting:  This past week, March was a hungry lion.  We had storms, rain, and 40 mph wind gusts.  I am too domesticated to ride in those conditions, and am disappointed in my weakness, especially since I’m currently reading a book on the Revolutionary War.  I ride back and forth to work in my car, and then read tales of men marching 30 miles per day, camping through a New England winter, and manning their post through all manner of rain with little more then the clothing on their back.  I’m like a fragile butterfly.  George Washington would surely send me to the front just to avoid wasting any more food on my pathetically weak carcass.

Also, I’m working on a little article evaluating my credit card statement, and we spent $192 on gas during February. Pathetic!  Look forward to an article, sure to cause you to rethink your gas purchases soon!

Related: A squirrel in the kitchen

Its a good things spring is approaching, as we are soon in need of some fresh fruits and vegetables.  Over the past week, we have enjoyed some frozen green beans from the garden, along with a jar of salsa that I’m currently eating with my egg sandwich each morning.  We had to buy some sweet potatoes to make our butternut squash soup this past week, as we finally ran out of potatoes from the garden.  Also, we only have enough squash left for one more small batch, then the butternut squash soup will go on hiatus until next fall.

My mother in law, just reported that she has purchased some seed packets, and the garden fence is rolled up in the shed waiting to be deployed.  We should be able to get things started in the garden sometime during April, with the plantings of some lettuce, radishes, and spinach.

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