Archive for April, 2012
We got a letter from the IRS yesterday (or Friday). I can't remember for sure.
As a reminder, someone used the SSN of our newly adopted son on their tax return to claim him as a dependent, despite the fact that we provided his care for 8 months in 2011, and can legally claim him.
The letter stated that they had received our amended tax return. That the case was being moved on up the chain. And that we should expect to hear back from them within a month or so.
Things are just about to get crazy busy for me at work. I'll be tied up for about six weeks. So my posting frequency will drop off substantially through May. Unless it rains a lot over the next couple of weeks. In fact, I started posting to this blog late last April because it was raining. A lot. I had very little to do at work because I was stuck inside, so I began posting here. Then I got busy, and quit for a long time. Clearly I came back. So, hopefully I'll be back in full personal financial blogging mode in June.
And now on to the current personal financial stuff.
So remember how we're supposed to get a federal adoption tax credit? And remember how that person claimed our adopted son as an exemption?
Most people who claim the adoption credit (at least according to the online forums DW follows) seem to receive it in Junish or Julyish. Apparently a topic came up in this forum tonight. "Have you gotten you adoption credit yet?". One person responded that they didn't get their 2010 credit until September 2011. Another person responded that they didn't get their 2010 credit until just last month. And none of these people had their kid's social security number hi-jacked!
We got a letter in the mail on Friday. The letter was from the state Department of Human Services office about an adoptive child/family enrichment program. This program will reimburse families who have adopted through foster care up to $500 for certain expenses. "Fun" type expenses. The letter listed things like family vacations, senior pictures, camps for the children, etc. The funds are limited, and it's on a first-come-first-served basis.
We thought our new fence would fit nicely. Our reimbursement form and receipts went out in the mail today, so we think we stand a good chance. DW called it an Easter miracle.
We got our rent check yesterday. It must have crossed in the mail with the eviction notice. Part of me feels we jumped the gun and should have had a couple more days patience. Part of me says "Rent is due on the first of the month, dammit!"
My daughters have a couple of laying hens. We got them (I'm thinking) last August. Late summer anyway. When the weather is nice, we pasture them under an mobile coop that is open to the ground. I move the coop every second or third day to give them fresh pasture. The grass looks nearly destroyed by time the coop is moved. But, a few weeks later it comes back greener and thicker than the surrounding grass. Natural fertilizer! So yesterday I had the bright idea to place the coop over our not yet planted garden. In addition to fertilizing the garden, they're doing a nice tillage job with their scratching and pecking.
We're heading to my in-laws today to celebrate Easter. Whether you celebrate Easter, or Passover or nothing at all, I hope you have a pleasant weekend!
Our front yard fence is up. Sorry, no pictures. I'm not really the picture taking sort. It's working out moderately well.
A coupe of nights ago when it was warm we let the boys out to play. I busied my self picking up fallen sticks in the yard. DW was happy doing something, and the girls were happy playing too. I can't think of a time when all six of us were outside and happy at the same time. DD1 even let her two chickens peck around in the fenced area to the great delight of DS1.
Then a slight problem happened. DS2 figured out how to climb out the side of the porch. Argh! So, we bought some lattice that we'll have to figure out how to attach to the ends of the porch and the brick house. It won't look pretty, but we'll have to do it.
The fence ended up actually looking fairly attractive. It's as solid as can be for what we spent.
Thanks to everyone who offered congratulations yesterday. I really do appreciate it!
For the second month in a row, our rent check is late. Disheartening. We sent the notice to begin eviction today. That gives them seven business days to either send the rent check or move out. I hope they send the rent check.
We did the same thing with our previous renters. Two days after we sent the notice, they sent the rent check. About three weeks after that they sent notice that they would be moving out. And about three weeks after that our current renters moved in.
So, there's no way of knowing how this will turn out. But right now it's not good.
You may remember that we adopted DS1 in December. We have not yet adopted DS2, despite that fact that we've had him for two years now.
Juvenile court is held on Wednesdays. We opted for the last time slot of the day - 3:30. We hope to fill the court room with family and well-wishers. It's a small court room.
The judge and his staff came into court from their Christmas vacation to complete the paperwork for the adoption of DS1. So, we have asked the court if we could have a ceremonial adoption for DS1 on the 18th as well.
We'll have a cake, ice cream and hors d'oeuvre celebration at our church following the ceremony. Our church is about a block and a half from the court house. We're shooting for a $200 budget for the celebration.
It's been a very long road full of red tape and other assorted BS. As foster parents DW and I have constantly reminded ourselves and each other that it's FOR THE KIDS. No one in their right mind would do it otherwise.
Yesterday when I updated my monthly debt progress, I upped my monthly debt retirement goal from $1,000 to $1,050.
I was thinking about how that $1,050 number was pretty much pulled out of thin air. I didn't base it on anything other than my gut feeling that it was an amount I thought I could handle without stretching myself too much. I thought I should base that figure on something real. Like, my average monthly debt retirement over the past year. I've already confessed to over-analyzing things.
So, I went through my monthly debt retirement figures over the past year. I omitted the month where I got my tax refund, and I averaged the remaining months. And it turns out I came up with $1,052. Darn close to what my gut feeling was yesterday.
Is it really a good goal to match last years debt retirement? Probably not. So, I will set a new goal. My new goal is to pay off debt at a rate of 5% more than last year's average - or $1,105 per month principal payment.
What a month was March! It seemed as if money was flowing in and out at an abnormal pace. Here are my new updated debt figures. Slowly chipping away.
April 2012 Debt
Mort 1 $103,172
Mort 2 $69,370
Van Loan $5,604
Total principal paid as compared to last month: $1,123. CC 3 is scheduled to be history in October. It's nice to see it melting down. We're also sending $190 worth of principal toward the van now.
I've decided to up my monthly payoff goal. For a year, my goal has been $1,000 per month. I've hit that most (not all) months. I'll up that 5% to $1,050 per month. I think that doable without stretching too much.