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Archive for January, 2008

Women are smarter than men at planning!

January 24th, 2008 at 08:27 am

Subject: Estate Planning

Dan was a single guy living at home with his father and working in the
family business.

When he found out he was going to inherit a fortune when his sickly father
died, he decided he needed a wife with which to share his fortune.

One evening at an investment meeting he spotted the most beautiful woman he
had ever seen.

Her natural beauty took his breath away. "I may look like just an ordinary
man," he said to her, "but in just a few years, my father will die, and I'll
inherit 20 million dollars."

Impressed, the woman obtained his business card and three days later…

She became his stepmother.

Women are so much better at estate planning than men.

Adjusted Mortgage Escrow for 2008

January 17th, 2008 at 01:52 pm

Well, we just got our annual escrow statement. Looks like our monthly payment is going up by $73 per month starting in March. We are still okay because we budget an even $2,000 for our mortgage/escrow/extra principal payment so this still leaves us under that amount. Our credit union has our mortgage and they require that we have an escrow account... HOWEVER, the great thing is that the money sitting in escrow earns us, not the bank, interest. For 2007, we got a whopping $9.12 in interest for the escrow amount. Woo hoo... it's actually not too bad considering the small amount that gets deposited in there each month, I suppose. Anyway, the extra $73 per month is due to the tax on our house being "official" now... it was a new construction when we bought it so we had to guesstimate what the taxes were going to be last time.

Orlando again???

January 7th, 2008 at 01:57 pm

I can go to a conference in Orlando in April if I wish... Since my expenses will be paid for, the question is... would it be worth taking the kids out of school for 3 days to go as well? As I posted before, we finally took the kids to Disney World for the first time last June. We visited Sea World, Magic Kingdom, MGM, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom. And, in all honesty, we thought that would be it for at least 10 years or so... well, who would've thought that an opportunity would come our way so soon? Last time we drove the 10+ hours. If we go this time, it will have to be by plane. My airfare and meals will be paid for... as will the hotel will be paid for. All we would need to budget for are expenses for hubby and the kids: 3 airline tickets and food. We thought that since we experienced Disney and Sea World last time, we'd go visit Universal this time. After looking at park tickets and airline costs, we could probably get by with about a $1200 budget.

Airfare for 3 = $520
Taxi/shuttle to hotel for 3 = $60
2-day Universal tickets for 4 = $332
Food for 3 = $300
(Hotel provides free shuttle to Universal)
Total = $1212

Am I missing anything here? Is it worth the $1200 in essence for the family to visit Universal? While I'm at my meetings, DH and the kids can play at the hotel or go across the street to several shops, etc... so they should have plenty to do. We just aren't sure if it would be worth it or not? Thoughts?

Tracking CC Rewards

January 7th, 2008 at 01:17 pm

Received $100 today... let's see how much adds up for 2008!


January 3rd, 2008 at 08:34 am

Each year, my New Year's resolution has always been financially based. This year for 2008, I look forward to increasing our net worth by decreasing our debts and increasing our investments (ooh, what a novel idea, I know!).

More specifically:

1. We owe $19,000 on our last vehicle loan - just got it a few months ago after we paid off our other loan. Our monthly payment is $385. Don't start flaming us --- we made a great decision in getting this vehicle, was able to put some down and got the loan at a great interest rate - lots of research and patience in finding just what we needed.
Anyway, let's go ahead and increase the payment by $115 to make it an even $500 each month. That should shave several months off the loan. This obligates $1,380 extra for the year.

2. We have an $18,000 balance on a 0% credit card... of which most of the balance is earning interest for us. Our 2008 goal will be to maintain our $500 per month payment that we have established ourselves (min. payment required is only $10, can you believe that!?) Once the promotional period ends in Sept, we'll transfer it to another 0% offer unless the stock market really goes on an upswing... we have the money to pay this off in non-retirement funds but will wait until the market gets better in a more consistent fashion. This obligates $6,000 for the year in monthly payments.

3. We have for a long while invested systematically into our Roths and mutual fund accounts. The Roths got $50 each per month, the mutual fund got $100, and the brokerage money market fund got $50. We will increase the Roth contributions by $50 each and the money market fund by $25. That will mean an obligation of $1,500 more this year from last.

Now looking at it, these goals are very doable and should be no problem to reach...I look forward to a very successful 2008!!