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Subject:  Re: Budget Help Date:  3/31/2014  8:58 AM
Author:  Jennlee222 Number:  308082 of 312856

Couple thoughts - Yes, people get tired and don't want to cook. However, if you do some planning and don't do complex stuff, you could easily get used to cooking so it didn't feel like a huge chore. Part of it is really just laziness and habit.

I get up early in the morning and go to work early. I don't want to take the time to cook breakfast, but I do it, and once I had done it for the first week or two, it got to be old hat and it does not really feel like a big effort to do it. For breakfast on weekdays, I make steel cut oats. I wake up, get up, start them cooking, then I go and get ready. That gives them the 20 minutes they need to cook. I add a few mix-ins at the end (we like raisins, blueberries, cherries, etc) and then on my way out I scoop half out to take with me to work, and I leave the other half for my husband who gets to sleep in longer.

Make it a habit and being tired won't really matter that much. Make it simple most days. Cook a big meal and eat it at least two meals. Make sandwiches one night a week. Grill some burgers and have a bagged salad with it. Make breakfast for dinner - pancakes and sausages, omlettes, etc. Easy peasy. The crockpot is your friend - stew or roast ingredients prepared on Sunday, put it all in the pot Monday morning and set it cooking, voila - dinner on Monday evening (and possibly leftovers later or for lunches, etc).

I'll agree with some posters that your house payment is too big of a chunk to get you down to where you want to be, budget-wise. IMO you can't live on $3500 very easily if you're paying almost $1700 in mortgage.

I know you don't want to refi into a longer term. One thought is if you can scrape together a chunk of money, you can possibly recast your current mortgage, if your bank will let you (I think the fee is not too bad). Say you could come up with $50,000 (maybe you have some non-retirement investments?), you could possibly pay that on your mortgage and recast it, so that your payments for the remaining term were based on the remaining balance. Your payment might go from $1600 to $1100 (depends on how much equity you have built so far and what you can come up with for a big payment). Living on $3500/month is much easier with a payment of $1100 than it is with a payment of $1600. And you haven't had to refi.
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