Monday, December 3, 2012

Update to The Giant Step Back

In case you missed the post where we had to repay $16K, you can find the background here.

As mentioned in that post, my goal was to find a way to cut $1,000/month out of our regular expenses to offset the cost. Here's my update on how that's going:

  • In excellent, breathe-a-sigh-of-relief news, I re-entered our 2011 income in Turbo Tax to get an estimate of how much we'll be getting back from the IRS as part of the adjustment, & the number was double what I thought - $5,200. It's possible that I danced around the house in sheer joy. :-)
  • We made cuts to lots of our standard monthly expenses (clothing, cleaning, house, groceries, eating out, etc) to add another $200/month in savings.
  • And, I think we're going to be able to refinance our primary mortgage, which will likely save $700/month. That would be HUGE. Additionally, we have a 15 year fixed on our vacation residence, & can likely save close to $600/refinance that loan. Of course, there are fees, no guarantees on rates, etc, but even if we could shave $700-800 (between the two) off our monthly payments, obviously that would make things so much easier. So, more on that refinance update soon.

I think we're going to be able to do this. And, honestly? It prompted us to take a fine tooth comb to all of our monthly expenses, which will serve us well for the foreseeable future. Blessing in disguise. ;-) Or, so I keep telling myself.

And, in fun & fabulous news, my sister & I are taking the four boys (her two + my two) to Great Wolf Lodge this weekend to celebrate my nephew's birthday. It was paid for back in October, so no additional money will be spent out of this month's budget. (well, this is not entirely accurate, as there will of course be money spent on food, the arcade, etc, but my sister hasn't paid me for her half, so that should more than offset the cost of what we spend in addition to the room charge.) I'm looking very forward to it - we always have a great time with the cousins!

Great Wolf Waterpark Rides Image - Fort Mackenzie Tree House
Is anyone else looking at refinancing? Have you ever been to a Great Wolf Lodge, or somewhere similar (indoor water park/hotel)?


  1. We love going to indoor water parks. If you are going to the WI Dells Great Wolf-there is an awesome casino near by!
    And I think that it is great that you "found" extra money. Den and I have been talking about refinancing. The fees are a killer though. I'm trying to find one that will lower the rate and roll everything in. I feel as if they should bend over a bit since they are getting so much money from us in interest!

    1. We're in the pacific northwest, so heading to the GWL in Washington. But, there happens to be a casino near that Great Wolf as well! We won't be able to hit it, as it will just be the two moms + 4 kids. :-)

      Yes, the refinance would be huge - locking in such a great rate for the life of the loans would speed up our principal paydown & allow us to accelerate our "retire early" plans.

  2. That's a huge saving refinancing would make. Hopefully you can make it happen :)

  3. So glad it's working out for you!! We refinanced back in Aug/Sept. and are saving more than $400 a month. It's a huge help, since most of our savings now are going towards college, retirement and emergency account. I still need to do a bit of cutting (expenses) and figuring out how to bring in a bit more cash, but I'm hoping to have that all figured out by the beginning of the new year.