Monday, March 19, 2018

Retirement Savings Update

 My goal this year to contribute $10,500 to my retirement savings. I plan to contribute $5,500 to my Roth and $5,000 to my taxable brokerage account. 

For March I contributed $1,270 to my retirement account. That brings my total contributions for 2018 to $3,270! Only $2,230 more to go to fully fund my Roth for the year.  I hope to be max it out no later than May of this year (maybe April if I can scrounge up some extra money).  Once those contributions are complete I will contribute $5,000 to my taxable brokerage account.

In case you were wondering (and I would because I am a nerd ), I have been tracking my retirement contributions for the year.  They are as follows:

1/15/18    $1,390
2/15/18    $610
3/15/18    $1,270

 How are you doing with your retirement contributions for the year?  Frankly, I feel pretty blessed to be able to put any money towards retirement.  I feel even more blessed that I should be able to max out my Roth in May (less than halfway through the year).  If I receive some of my travel voucher reimbursements in April (I have over $1300 outstanding) I may pull some money out of those to finish out my Roth Contributions in April. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

I'm Back!

and I am tired.  I had a week long trip leaving last Sunday (3/4) and returning this past Saturday(3/10). (It was over a 6 hour drive each way)  I still have not caught up on all my sleep yet.  I was so busy that I couldn't really do my work while on the trip, so now I am behind at work. 

The good news is that I received my tax return yesterday morning!  It only took about 10 or 11 days from the date I filed until the date it was deposited in my account!  I now have $1,184 to put towards replacing my 15 year old mattress and bedroom furniture.  I think that brings the total I have saved up to about $1,700 dollars.  (I need to update my assets and liabilities page). 

I'll have to write more later, as I need to rush to get ready for work.  Happy Thursday Everyone!

Friday, March 2, 2018

Lowered cell phone bill!

Can you believe that it is already March?  It's going to be another one of those years where it is summer before we know it.

Last month, I worked a bit towards my yearly goals.  I put $610 towards retirement, I have been walking at least 4 times a week, I have been using mturk, I did something new by leaving a tip for the hotel cleaning staff (I had never done that before) and I put an extra $397 towards my mortgage payment.

More or most importantly, I got the cell phone bill down by $40- it is now $208 for 4 lines! One more change and the bill will be down to $170 a month (which hopefully will take place in the next couple of months).  You don't know how great that is because when I took over paying the cell phone bill from my sister (we live together and share expenses) it was $372 a month.  In the last 2 years I have gotten the bill down almost $200!!! (Just a note- I know the cell phone bill is higher than most, but we do have Verizon as it has the best coverage for our area and we pay extra for access to the navigation app as we both travel a great deal for work.  It is nice to have an app to guide us through unfamiliar places when sometimes the rental cars don't have navigation systems. I also don't have to worry about whether I remembered to bring my old, old GPS unit with me ). 

This month I would like to:
1. Contribute to my retirement account.
2. Go to a new restaurant and visit a new city.
3. Pay extra on my mortgage.

4. Finish a book.

What are your goals for the month? 

Friday, February 23, 2018

Tipping Cleaning Staff At Hotels

I read, awhile ago, that it was expected that hotel consumers leave tips for the hotel cleaning staff.  I had never heard of this before and, frankly, never thought about it.

I was out of town earlier this week and stayed 2 nights in a hotel for a business trip.  While at the hotel I remembered the article and decided to leave a $5 tip for the cleaning staff.  As I was only there for 2 nights I did not use or request any cleaning services (I kept the privacy sign on the door) I felt $5 was an appropriate amount    It felt nice to be able to do that (I will not be reimbursed for the tip) and not worry about whether I had enough money.  I also figured it would count towards my do something new every month goal!

What are your thoughts?  Do you leave tips for the cleaning staff at hotels?

Friday, February 16, 2018

Paycheck Increase...Finally!

I finally got to see what my paycheck looks like due to the tax cuts. My employer issues paychecks on the 15th and the last day of the month, so we just got paid yesterday, 2/15/18.   I ended up with an increase of $100 a paycheck!  I have already decided that the $100 at the end of the month will go towards an extra principal payment on the mortgage.  That will make the extra principal payments total $384 a month.  The other $100 will go towards funding my retirement accounts or savings goals. 

Friday, February 9, 2018

Tax Cuts

I have yet to get an increased paycheck based on the tax cuts for 2018.  I am hopeful that my first February paycheck (2/15) will result in some increased tax home pay.  I have played with some calculators online at it seems I should be bringing home an extra $45 a paycheck.  I think the extra $45 at the end of the month (2/28 paycheck) will go towards the mortgage.  I think the extra $45 from my mid month paycheck will go towards either retirement (until I hit my yearly number) or my new mattress/bedroom furniture fund (To replace my 15 year old mattress). 

Have you noticed any increases in your take home pay?  What do you plan to do with the increase?  

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Income Streams

This year I have been working on increasing my income streams.  I really want to increase my income in order to boost my savings and in order to have some income in the case of the loss of my main job. 

In January I started Mturk and I earned about $39 for the month.  I started slacking off towards the end of the month, but I need to get back to submitting about 10 HITS a day. 

I also added Google Adsense to my blog with the hope of gaining a little bit of income.  I don't really know how Adsense works, but it was easy to set up.  As far as I can tell I have not earned anything from Google Adsense. This does not surprise me as I generally don't click on ads when I visit blogs. 

My longstanding income stream (other than my W-2 job) is my savings account.  This only earns 1% interest, last year I earned $81.   While $81 a year surely will not replace my main job, it definitely will help in a pinch.  I likely will split the $81 between my car replacement fund and my EF.  However, for now, the $81 will just sit in my savings account and help me earn more interest.  My goal is to earn over $100 in interest on my savings account this year. I hate the thought of pulling money out of my savings account to replace my car as my interest earnings will decrease. 

I have a cashback credit card which earns 1.5% cashback on all items.  I need to work on using this credit card more often for gas, etc. so that I can increase the cashback earned.  Every dollar helps and if I have to spend the money I might as well earn a little cashback/discount. 

Oh and Welcome to February!