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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.

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

*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.

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.

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.

Easy money in my closet

March 12th, 2015 at 11:59 am

I returned some clothing to Old Navy today. I had purchased them using their "Super Cash" promo just to purchase them... nothing I needed at all. So, I finally just took them all back and now I have my $82.99 back in my wallet instead of a bunch of clothes I didn't need to begin with. Feels good.

We are at $540 in sales with the consignment sale which means $324 for moi. Loving it, but we are nearing the end of the sale which means that I won't get too much more, I doubt, but we'll see.

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?

My sister got a new job!

February 7th, 2013 at 06:49 am

Ok, so my younger sister just received a great job offer.... so why do I feel so jealous of her? She and her hubby are in so much better shape financially that we are and that just makes me ache. She's making right around the $100k mark with this new job from what I can piece together (she doesn't share her income numbers with me anymore). Together with her DH, they are making about $180k I think. Now, DH and myself, we aren't making shabby incomes at around $140k but we work in a completely different sector so I have to keep reminding myself of this. I think the thing that bothers me the most is that sis will have her house paid off in the next 8-10 years (brand new house they bought in 2006)... while I'm still carrying 2 mortgages and will be for a long while. I'm just so envious. Ugh. I know I should be happy for her but it's hard to be... I'm such a bad sister Frown

A nice talk with DH

April 14th, 2010 at 06:34 am

It was a such a nice evening last night. After we cleaned up from dinner, we all went outside to play in the nice weather. The girls were playing with the dog and DH and I ended up sitting on the small bank that overlooks our house watching the activity. We ended up talking about all the things we'd like to do with the outside of the house (flower beds, retaining walls, building steps alongside the banks) - that is if we were to remain living here (the house is on the market). Of course, all these things will cost money so we probably won't end up doing much of what we talked about. We also talked about how we will be debt free, except for the mortgage, for the first time in about 4 years, as soon as I make our final payment to the 0% credit card in May. The 0% rate ends July 1 and I'd like to pay it off within plenty of time to ensure no timing problems. The current balance is $20,000. It will be hard to part with that much cash, but it will be fantastic to be debt free. We had been setting aside $1,000 each month to pay toward this credit card and will continue paying the $1,000 to ourselves once the card is paid off. It's a great feeling to see the light at the end of this tunnel. Smile

Filed our taxes

February 24th, 2010 at 07:24 am

Sent in the e-file last night to get our refund of:

Federal $963
State $923
TOTAL $1,886

We try not to get a hefty refund (or owe) too much each year, but I wasn't sure how to calculate the effect of the Making Work Pay credit so we adjusted DH's exemptions up to 0 for half the year (just playing it safe)... guess we withheld a bit too much after all. Oh, well... still not too bad. DH's sister's family is one of those that WANTS to get a huge refund each year - we're talking in excess of $8k or so. That's just plain ridiculous!

Just for fun, I pulled out prior years' returns to see how this one compares:

2008 refund $2,348
2007 refund $1,415
2006 refund $1,564
2005 owed $299
2004 refund $492

2010 Financial Goals

January 6th, 2010 at 01:01 pm

First here is how we looked at the end of 2009:

2009 YEAR END balances:
Mortgage = $269,000 @ 5.25%
CC = $23,000 @ 0% thru June 2010
Total Debt = $292,000

And as reference, here's how we looked at the end of 2008:

2008 YEAR END balances:
Mortgage = $274,000 @ 5.25%
Car loan = $15,300 @ 5.75%
CC = $18,000 @ 0% thru Nov 09
Total Debt = $307,300

We improved our debt standing from 2008 to 2009 by $15,300 because we paid off a signifcant part of our car loan and transferred the remainder to the 0% account.

For 2010, our goal is to cut down the 0% debt down to zero -- quite feasible if we look at it as being less than a $2,000 payment each month.

Here's to a great 2010!

Ending 2008 with bills to pay... ugh!

December 15th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

Auto insurance premium due Dec 22 = $389.96

Spring 09 grad school tuition = $1,314.00

Term Life Insurance annual premium due Jan 09 = $772 (for both DH and me)

That's $2,500 that I just hate to see go out the window so soon after the Holidays... of course we have to throw in our Holiday shopping charges due to pay in January too (we charge everything to get the cash back rewards). Ugh, ugh, ugh.

I finally got my raise - and other money ramblings.

February 22nd, 2008 at 12:35 pm

The board approved my raise last week. That puts another $5K into our kiddy each year. This will put our household income into the 6 digits for the first time so that's exciting. Also, in July, DH is expected to get a 10% raise and I should get another 5% or so. Things are going quite well for us salary-wise. Smile

We have one auto loan through our credit union. Since interest rates keep going down, we "refinanced" the loan at a lower 0.5% with them... it is so easy and convenient with our credit union. All it takes is one little email to them requesting the refinance and voila. They don't pull another credit report and you don't have to fill out any other paperwork. I love it. It's the easiest thing to do and they have such low rates to begin with that it's a win-win for us anyway you look at it.

I just requested another $100 check from our credit card rewards program. That makes for $200 already this year alone that we will get from that.

In the mail today, I received my ebates check for $10+ which is from my online shopping at Christmas time. Love getting back money, don't you?

Tomorrow is my sister's birthday and I went to the credit union to put $100 in her checking account. She's a SAHM with two kids under 2 years old! Her DH works a lot of overtime to try to keep them afloat but they barely make the household utility bills. Collectors are constantly calling them but if they don't have the cash, they just don't ... so when I can, I give my sis a little here and there to help them out. $100 will buy a lot of diapers for them. I called her to tell her so that she could expect to see it in her account and she was so grateful. She started to cry and it humbled me. I hate that she lives over 2 hours away sometimes.

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.