Remember when we found out our house was de-valued by like 30% the other month by our county? And because of it we owe LESS taxes on our house now? Well, somehow I hadn’t put two and two together, and when I grabbed the mail the other day I noticed a fat new check there waiting for us. To the tune of over $1,400 too! WOW!
I guess we were over-paying now (our mortgage payment each month includes a % of our yearly tax bill), and so our mortgage company, Chase, sent the extra back to us :) I mean, it was already *our* money to begin with, but still! That’s as close to getting FREE money as you can get without doing anything in return, haha… another point for the awesome new year!
Then of course, the question became WHAT to do with it. And instinctively the first thing that popped into my head was “put it right back into the mortgage.” But only milliseconds later did the rest of the ideas start flooding in:
- What if we saved it for our new baby instead?
- Or start our “house upgrade” fund I never seem to get up and running?
- Or how about paying off that $1,500+ vet bill we now have cuz our poor cat keeps almost-dying? (We’ll get into that on another day, but needless to say his end is nearing very soon :( All thoughts and prayers are welcome!)
- Or just save it all for now and figure it out later?
And that was just what came to MY mind :) Once we cross-referenced that with the Mrs’ thoughts, we ended up settling on a combination of things – even though she originally wanted to just apply the entire thing towards the vet bill (it was too boring for me). This is what we ended up doing :
- Applied $1,000 of this directly to paying off a chunk of Mr. Bob’s bill. While these new charges weren’t entirely unexpected (we’d agreed to keep going a few more months unless it got really bad for both the cat AND our wallets (we’re almost at that point)) we hadn’t set aside a real budget for this part as yet, and just agreed to go with the flow. Something that would have SCREWED us over in the past, but not since we’ve got everything under control and we don’t have to track every single penny anymore (a pro to doing it for years and years in the past!).
- Used the remaining $400 and change to pay off more of our 2nd mortgage. The one we’re working on first during Operation Kill Mortgages – even though we’re well aware that our 1st has a higher % at 5.5 over the 2.something. (We want that “win” of nixing the smaller one first, and then snowballing it all into the big scary $280,000+ one, *shiver*).
And just like that we spent $1,400 within a matter of minutes :) The power of technology, baby! Haha… and USAA’s deposit via iPhone app – Woo! It may not have taken us long to get rid of it, but the long-term effects will be great. And better to get it out of our sweet little hands before temptation took over in other not-so-smart departments! I wouldn’t have minded spending a little on our selves either, as we usually do when getting unexpected amounts like that (something that’s kept me sane throughout years of cleaning up our finances), but seeing how we just had Christmas, and then my birthday, it’s not like we haven’t been spoiled lately :) So a 100% less debt plan was a-okay with us!
What would you all have done if you got a sudden $1,400 in your accounts? Has anyone else received a tax refund due to this crazy real estate meltdown? I have to imagine a lot of you have — not many houses have been going up! I’d still much rather prefer that, of course, than a random one-time check in the mail like that, but I’m also super appreciative we can still AFFORD our house and we’re not facing foreclosure or any other horrible affects of this market either :( We gotta do our best to control whatever we can!
(Photo by lloydcrew)
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!