<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Category: SAVINGS AND INVESTMENTS
 

Viewing the 'SAVINGS AND INVESTMENTS' Category

Online sales and a teaching job!

October 10th, 2017 at 10:12 am

So, as a reminder for you, I started selling seriously online via eBay, Poshmark, etc. on Jan 1, 2017. All money earned from this side hustle is to go toward our daughter's college expenses. I just finished the bookkeeping on this effort thus far and.......... I ended the first 3 quarters of the year with a gross sales total of $28,913! After platform fees, shipping costs, and so forth, I've earned a net profit of $15,969 (before taxes)! I am looking forward to an exciting 4th quarter of sales. Maybe I can end the year with a net profit of $20k! That will be awesome.

In other great news, the local university that I applied to back in 2015 for a part-time teaching position contacted me and wants me to teach a class next semester! I'm excited and scared at the same time. This will be a new adventure and will be a great additional side hustle as well. One class on Tuesdays and Thursdays for one semester will earn me about $3,500! Wish me luck!

WE SOLD THE HOUSE!

February 21st, 2017 at 10:02 am

We closed on the sale of our rental house today... finally!

For those not familiar with the situation, we purchased this house in 2006 and then tried to sell it in 2010 for the next two years. We finally decided to rent it out and found renters. These same renters stayed for over 4 years and they ended up buying the house from us today. We couldn't have asked for better renters or for a better outcome so we feel very fortunate and blessed. I am so looking forward to not having this mortgage on our books any longer Smile

P.S. We left the closing table with a $25k check but we did take a loss on the house overall. DH and I are so okay with the loss. The feeling of not having to worry about it any longer is priceless.

Some random financial updates

October 6th, 2016 at 01:15 pm

-- Our renters want to meet sometime soon to discuss possibly purchasing the house! Let's cross our fingers...they've rented the house since Aug 2012 and have been great renters but we would love to sell it to them instead.

-- I am to get a one-time $400 bonus this month. Woo Hoo! I wish it were more but I'll take it and will put it into our savings.

-- Hubby is itching to purchase a "new" car. He currently drives a very beat-up 1998 truck. We've agreed to stay in the $5k-$8k range if possible and will pay cash for it.

-- Just a quick financial snapshot of where we are right now.

Debts
*House mortgage = $273,486 (15 yr fixed @ 3.375%)
*Rental mortgage = $228,018 (ARM @ 4.75%)

Cash
*Retirement accounts = $106,778 (not including pension accounts)
*Mutual Fund savings = $9,585
*Bank account savings = $16,703

Other Assets
*Main house is worth about $450k
*Rental house is worth about $275k
*Our 3 cars are worth about $30k total

Definitely not where I want to be in regards to cash, but we are in a much better place right now than ever before. Slow and steady wins the race, right? We've made so many mistakes and have learned a lot so I'm not downgrading where we are right now. Our cash balance may not be as high as some of yours, but it's moving in the right direction for us.

My big yard sale total....

June 21st, 2016 at 07:43 am

So, we had a yard sale on Saturday like many of you did, it looks like Smile

We spent all day Friday pulling things out of closets, organizing, and pricing. Our sale ran on Saturday from 8am - 1pm.

We made $760!

Most items were really marked as $0.25, $0.50, or $1. Our most expensive item that we sold was just $25! So, yeah, we had a ton of stuff.

We received a lot of feedback from our customers throughout the day so I thought I would share the info as to how we had a successful yard sale.

1) We advertised on local facebook selling pages and on craigslist.

2) We put up very simple directional signs the evening before.

3) Location is key. We live in a great area to hold yard sales (great neighborhood, easy road access, lots of parking, etc).

4) We priced everything! Nothing was less than a quarter. Prices were easily visible on each item.

5) We priced everything at yard sale prices! Very important here... I even mentioned this in the ads that I placed because NO ONE wants to pay mall prices at a yard sale.

6) Know the goal of having the yard sale in the first place. Ours was to get rid of stuff in the house... not to make a ton of money for a summer vacation or anything like that. Because our goal was to get rid of stuff, we priced things low and accepted even lower offers... and because of #5 above, we had very little negotiations that we had to do on pricing. 90% of our customers paid the price we asked without any hesitation.

7) Our stuff was clean! Not dusty, not broken, not haphazardly thrown in boxes for customers to dig through. We displayed things on tables not on the ground.

8) Many, many of our customers told us how we had the best yard sale they had been to in years.

Hope that helps, guys. We really didn't have a figure in mind so when we counted at the end and had exactly $760 in our hands, we were ecstatic! This is only the second yard sale we've had and honestly, we didn't have anything but knick knacks at this one (the first one was 4 years ago where we netted $1200 because we had lots of furniture). It's amazing how a lot of quarter items can add up Smile

Spring Break... so needed!

March 23rd, 2016 at 07:12 am

A big perk of DH and I working within our school system is that we get time off that coincides with our kids' school schedules. Our Spring Break is next week and I cannot wait! I have been in the thick of budget season and need some decompression time. We haven't made any plans to go anywhere though. We want to go somewhere but just can't decide on what to do. Sometimes being spontaneous is just what we end up being and it all works out Smile

In a previous post, I had mentioned we would be joining a gym. Well, we did but on a different program than what I thought. So, the cost is $50/month for both DH and I to go to any handful of gyms in the area. We've been doing great so far and really enjoy getting out there and working out. DH has lost about 10 lbs just by cutting out sodas and working out. I've lost nothing but am feeling pretty good... I think I haven't lost any weight because I'm gaining muscle mass (I would've described myself as fluffy). Toning up is high on my priority list so I think I'm heading in the right direction.

On the financial front, we've operated on a very exact budget since Jan. 3 months in, I can say that it has been a game changer. I know some folks don't care for keeping up with every little detail but I would recommend it for everyone at least just once... a very eye-opening and realistic look. I love being able to know exactly where we stand with our budget each and every day.

Our goals lately are to save as much money as possible toward 2 things: 1) We have a kid going to college next year. 2) We have another kid driving next year. Both are big expenses and I just hope that we will be prepared enough.



Payday! February 2016 Budget Prep

January 29th, 2016 at 06:37 am

I could not wait for today! It's so much fun to play around with our budget and to plug in actual numbers when we get paid. Since both DH and I get paid at the end of each month, today's paychecks have now funded our Feb budget.

Because our refinance in Jan caused us not to have a mortgage payment due in Feb, we are able to push that payment into our savings account this month Smile

I still have a buffer of $1200 that I need to find a "home" for. I like to keep a buffer for those unknown but expected expenses that will pop up during the month. For Feb, this will be for some medical bills that should be arriving anytime now (DH spent a week in the hospital in Jan). I have no idea how much of the $1200 will be needed for this or if I might need even more so we'll see. But, this works for now because I do mess with our budget everyday... always entering in adjustments and actual numbers. I guess it's just fun for me lol.

Hope everyone had a great fiscally fit January. I know we did in our household... I am looking forward to February 2016!

January 2016 - Awesome month!!

January 26th, 2016 at 06:47 am

Hey, guys. So, I've done a ton of work on the financial front this month.

Since Christmas, I have been on a minimalist kick. I've cleaned out drawers, cupboards, closets, and more. Bags and bags and more bags of clutter have been donated to Goodwill. No more frivolous shopping in this household.

And, I've also cleaned up our finances at the same time Smile In Dave Ramsey style......... WE ARE DEBT FREE except for the mortgage! The only debt we had was our car loan but I finally decided to pay that sucker off with our savings. We also refinanced our mortgage from an ARM to a 15 year fixed in January! The goal for us now is to save, save, save. We need to build back up our savings and to set aside funds for the upcoming college expenses (our oldest will be starting college in 2017).

So, January 2016 has been a busy month but a very fulfilling month. I have worked hard to rid our home of any clutter (physically and fiscally) and it feels awesome.

Wells Fargo stock

October 28th, 2015 at 08:52 am

So, years and years ago, I worked for Wachovia Bank (which is now Wells Fargo). I forgot that I had bought a couple of shares at the time...

I just checked my account and I have a whopping 2.356 shares of Wells Fargo common stock! Woo Hoo! At the current market value of $54.61 / share, that means I have $128.66 Smile

So, what should I do with this newly discovered information? Should I just leave my measly 2 shares alone or should I cash it in?

Any stock people out there to help a girl out?

Documenting random thoughts today

September 22nd, 2015 at 09:31 am

Thinking ahead to some big expenses forthcoming:

DD #1 will be going off to college in 2 years
DD #2 will be getting her drivers license in 2 years

Ugh.

Renters are still in our house and have asked to stay there through 2016. They really need to just buy the darn place Smile

Financially, we are staying steady but I would love to push ahead somehow. I need to inherit some money from an unknown relative somewhere haha.

I have been selling a lot of clothing/accessories on instagram, poshmark, and mercari... haven't put too many things on ebay because the other platforms seem much easier.

Wish we would finish up renovating our house. But on the other hand, don't really have the extra funds to do so. Oh well.

Been walking on the treadmill daily for at least an hour at usually 3mph. Hoping to get rid of 15 lbs but doubt that will happen anytime soon.

So, lots of randomness around here lately.

Small sales add up

May 25th, 2015 at 11:28 am

On Saturday, I stopped by a local church yard sale. They had a "fill a bag for $5" sale. I was able to fit 15 pieces in the bag so that made each item just $0.33. I also purchased a $2 pair of shoes... so spent a grand total of $7.

In the bag of clothing, I got:

1) NWT J. Crew cardigan sweater
2) NWT Talbots top
3) NWT sweater (can't remember the brand right now)
4) J. Crew pencil skirt
5) J. Crew cardigan
6) Ann Taylor pencil skirt
7) Loft top
8) Gap top
9) 7 other miscellaneous skirts and tops that I can't remember the details about...

The shoes were too big for my daughter so I posted them online for sale and they sold for $15 (profit of $13)! I'm keeping the majority of the clothing but do have the NWT items up for sale right now...

So, $15 made less $7 spent equals a pretty sweet deal.

Also, we are participating in our local consignment sale again and we have already sold $332 worth of items (my cut of the sales is already $199.20 so far!)




That $500 check is good!

May 1st, 2015 at 11:34 am

So, my last post was about a $500 insurance check that I received (which I thought was in error). I did ask my insurance agent about it because it just didn't feel right to cash the check if I knew it was a mistake.

She just called me back after talking with the actual claims people and said for me to keep it! I am still not sure why they sent it to me but my agent was told that they had a supervisor in the claims department review it and she had approved it... so, yippee! I will put it into my ST savings for now.

Final consignment sales total

March 17th, 2015 at 01:29 pm

The final total from our local consignment sale is a whopping $370.20! These funds will go into our ST savings account for now... not too shabby for stuff that was laying around the house.

$11,743.17 is such a pretty number

March 16th, 2015 at 11:45 am

This is the balance in our short term savings account right now. I know many of you have lots more than that but this is an accomplishment for us. I realize that this number may fluctuate as we need to use it for short term expenses (like annual car insurance bills, etc) but I am enjoying just looking at it today and my goal is to keep adding to it as much as possible.

It's been over a year!

March 9th, 2015 at 06:37 am

So, I'm finally back. I didn't realize that my last entry was over a year ago but it's time to get focused again on our finances. I won't go into detail as to what our goings on have been this past year but instead put down our thoughts and goals for the present:

1) Savings:
We currently save $1200 from our paychecks each month. $250 has been going into ROTH accounts. $150 has been going into a long-term (LT)savings account. $800 has been set aside for short-term (ST) savings each month.

We currently have just $2,500 in our LT savings (a mutual fund account)

We currently have $7,600 in our ST account and I have $3,000 in cash at home that I have been socking away anytime we get extra cash. I will be depositing that $3,000 into our ST account today so our balance will now be $10,600. There have been times where we need to tap into this account for annual bills like life insurance and such so this balance will fluctuate but that's what it is for.


2) Debt:
Our debt load currently looks like this-
Mortgage loan 1 balance $238,515 (renting this one out)
Mortgage loan 2 balance $287,955 (our home)
Car loan 1 balance $13,168 1.95% (purchased Jan 2014)
Car loan 2 balance $21,645 3.59% (purchased Jan 2015)
Yes, I know these are scary numbers.
No unsecured debt.

My conundrum is whether or not to stop putting away any or all of the $150 LT and $800 ST and instead divert those funds into paying off one our car loans. We have been paying more than the minimum each month but adding more to one of them would snowball it quickly. What do you all think?