What. A. Weekend. I'm exhausted! It's 11:40 on Sunday night and I should be in bed, but this is the first time that I've sat down since lunch. Well, almost. I need to unwind a little before I go to bed.
So, the big question everyone asks this time of year: what should we do with our tax return? We knew that our tax return would come sometime near Brett's bonus. In the end, they ended up coming within five days of each other. At least, they will. Brett's bonus was deposited into our account yesterday and we should get our tax return on Wednesday. So what to do? We didn't know what to expect from his bonus because he was in a different position this year than last. But we had TONS of options. We paid off one credit card this year, but it was the small one. Now we are focusing our efforts on the big one. It'll take some time. We are also only six months or so away from paying off my car. And Brett's car... well, it could go any day. haha. That car has had a good life and has been a good car for Brett for over a decade. But it's time for something new. We want to pay off my car before we get him a new car though, because having two car payments would kill our credit card payment goals. We've also talked about getting a king size bed. It would fill our bedroom. I mean, fill it full! But it would probably just fit and would possibly help us both sleep a little better. There's about a hundred things I would like to buy for the apartment. Curtains, wall hangings, paintings, bigger pans, patio furniture. I could go on and on. And at some point this year, Brett's computer needed replacing. We are both on our home computers daily, despite having jobs that have us in front of a computer screen all day. I use it to blog, email, do my online classes, surf the web and occasionally do some freelance design. He uses his to email, surf the web, and of course, game. He's a "build my own computer" kind of guy, and the last time he built a computer was 8 years ago. It was a great machine, but is getting to the point where it won't run new games. Because he is also a console gamer, not being able to play the latest games on his computer wasn't really an issue. But at the end of this year, it will be. Starcraft 2 is coming out. If you know what that is, you know why that's a big deal. If you don't know what that is, I'm not going to try to explain it you because I really don't know much more than the title and the fact that it's a "strat game". I've seen it though, and it's pretty cool!
Anyway. So we had lots of options. For months we have been saying that we would use the tax return to make a big credit card payment. The stupid interest rate is so high that, despite the fact that we pay three times the minimum payment every month, it is SLOW GOING paying it down! If we could pay a big chunk at one time, it would make a big difference, we think. But when we realized that we would be getting his bonus around the same time, we had a lot of thinking to do! Well, Saturday morning we woke up and there was his bonus! We were still unsure of what to do, but we decided to spend the day (minus 4 hours that I had to work) checking out some cars in person that we had researched online. Then we went to dinner at one of our favorite places to process what we encountered during our search. Brett is TALL! Finding a car where he fits comfortably will take some looking. Unfortunately, the car that we were most excited to look at yesterday, a Ford Escape, felt kind of like a kiddy car when he was behind the wheel.
We decided that we don't want to rush the car decision. We have been SO blessed by Brett's car hangin' on! He drives it about two miles a day, five days a week. That's how close we live to his work. Love it! So we are going to pay off my car this week and then spend the next few months putting what would be my car payment into the savings account while we shop around for the best car for him. The tax return, which is about half the size that we thought it would be (what's that all about? We get married and now we get the shaft?) is going to go straight to the credit card. Combined with our regular monthly payment, it will reduce the overall debt by just over a fifth! Hootie Hoo!
After all of that, we had JUST ENOUGH for Brett to build a new computer! That's right! We spent three hours at Fry's today picking out all of the parts, and the new computer, which I think looks like a Transformer, is now up and running! It's beautiful! It won't have anything special to do for a few months, until Civilization 5 comes out, followed shortly by Starcraft 2, but for now, it's sittin' pretty and ready to be used! I'm so thankful that we were able to use extra money, that we weren't expecting, to build the computer, instead of using spare money here and there for months and months to build it one piece at a time. Frankly, if every bit of our spare money had gone to building that machine, I might have grown to resent it by the time it came to life.
AND, we totally hit the jackpot at the store. Best sales guy ever. Honestly, if we had had this sales guy at the car lot last night, we probably would have bought a car. haha. He was that great. He came up to Brett and said "hey man, long time no see!" We're not sure if Brett has interacted with him in the past, and he just doesn't remember, or if this guy, Roger, mistook Brett for someone else. But he was SO helpful! He showed us a couple of things that we didn't realize were on sale and were WAY better than what we had picked out, and he had really helpful input on all of the cases... umm, I don't really speak computer. I ESPECIALLY don't speak PC. I'm a Mac user, and I use them... I don't build them. So I did a lot of nodding and listening but mostly I was there to watch the cart. It was GREAT! And my baby is so impressive! When we got home, he just started plugging and pulling and placing all of the little pieces together and all of a sudden, POOF! It was a computer! I got to hold the flashlight for about a minute. That was my contribution. That and looking cute.
It was a great weekend full of blessings. Brett will return to his former position at work on Tuesday. We are thrilled about this. It took a few days to adjust to the thought of it because we were so excited about his promotion when it happened almost a year ago. But the position changed so much over the year, and over the next year, a year where I already expect to be overwhelmed from a career change, he was going to be working 11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and that is assuming he didn't need to work overtime, which was never possible in the past classes. It just wasn't healthy anymore. When the opportunity to return to his former position came, we knew that it was the right thing. It was a little bitter sweet, because it will mean saying goodbye to a boss that we had grown to SERIOUSLY value, but in the end, the negative aspects that he would be able to let go of outweighed the good that he would miss. So there you go. That's the story. It will be an adjustment for us, but God's hand has been so obvious in all of this. We know that He is going to take care of us. And we will do our best to support each other, like always.
Okay, I think I am ready to lay down. My back could use a good stretch! While Brett put together his computer, I put together a bookcase. It looks GREAT in the bedroom, but it wore me out!
Hope everyone had a blessed weekend. I am DAYS behind in reading blogs, but I will catch up this week. Other plans for the week include one online class per night, grocery shopping tomorrow, cooking every night and continuing to formulate a food/fitness plan. I gazed upon the workout equipment at Target for a good ten minutes today. Didn't buy anything, but I did a little research...
Peace out Playas!