Thursday, October 31, 2019
Happy Halloween to all those that celebrate. I have been out of town, but hopefully will make it back home in time to hand out Halloween candy. Otherwise, I do not have any spooky plans for Halloween. I have been eating a lot of candy leading up to the holiday so I'll be happy to get the candy out of my house!! However, I did manage to get a work out in while traveling this week (way to go hotel fitness center) so that should ;) balance out the Halloween candy consumption. Truly, I can't want to get back home and sleep in my own bed.
I submitted my November mortgage payment and it was the first one in quite some time that did not include an extra principal payment. :( I am currently cutting back on my extra payments to rebuild my emergency fund (thanks new hvac unit). The mortgage is down to $189,107. It didn't even drop down to the next $1000 (face palm). Hopefully, it won't be long until my EF is back where it should be. I loved making payments where over $1,000 would go to principal.
I gotta run to get ready for my first appointment of the day!
Saturday, October 26, 2019
In addition to paying off my sister's $3,000+ furniture bill, the new HVAC (which works great by the way)I have paid about $800 for a crown because I cracked a tooth. Oh, I also had a super expensive car repair as well! Yes, I have paid out over $15,000 in cash over just a couple of months. Thank GOD I paid off all of my debt (other than my mortgage) because otherwise I just would not have been able to cash flow any of this stuff. When it rains, it pours.
So of course, now I have to replace all of the money that I have spent. Which means I will not meet my retirement savings goal for this year. Or really any other money related goal for the year. My plan is to stop my retirement contributions (I still had about $3,964 left to contribute for the year) and stop paying extra (approximately $500) on the mortgage. All of the extra money I can muster will go towards recouping the cash that I have spent.
I think, generally, I would not stop my retirement contributions, but due to some uncertainty at work, I would much rather replace the cash in my bank account rather than worry about the retirement contributions. I have maxed out my Roth for the year and the rest just would have gone into an investment account.
Work is always crazy, like always. However, there have been some significant health problems affecting both partners. Both partners have undergone surgery this year and both will likely undergo surgery again within the next few months. Both partners are getting up in age (one approaching 70 and the other approaching 60). One partner is probably in a better position to retire if necessary, the other is not. There is always a possibility that one of the offices could close and/or there may be a reduction in staff. If there are layoffs I want to be prepared with a nice cash cushion. Right now the firm is being very careful with money and it is evident that they are cutting back.
Once I get the cash reserves built back up, I will try to get that $3,964, in addition to my 2020 retirement money, into my retirement account.
Thursday, October 17, 2019
I have been trying for weeks to get a post up. If it's not one thing it is another! I swear this has been a crazy fall and I am already over it.
It seems like the firm is back to 3 (plus) months to reimburse for travel expenses. Really? It drives me crazy that I have to wait for so long to get reimbursed. I am more irritated right now because I have been shelling out money like crazy!
My oldest sister (Sister A), who is 50 years old, has always been irresponsible with money. Well last year, she purchased a new mattress and frame on credit. It was one of those furniture deals where if you pay if off in a year you don't pay any interest. I did the same as did my other sister (sister B). Sister B and I paid off our furniture months in advance and did not pay a single penny of interest! Thanks, furniture store! Of course, Sister A did not. The deal ends on December 8, 2019. Which means everything has to be paid off by that day or they add all of the interest that you would have paid onto the account. When we purchased this furniture we spoke to Sister A about this and how she should not purchase the furniture unless she could pay it off before the special terms ends. Well, you know how this story ends. As of July she had barely made a dent into payment. Eventually, I agreed to pay off the $3,100 balance if she paid me back over time. It took about another month of her screwing around to get me the login information for her account. I am basically paying $1,000 a month to get this paid off before the special deal ends. She is paying me back $160 a month. I still have $1,100 to go.
Also, my 18 year old HVAC was on its last legs and I decided to replace it. Every 2 months or so it would spring a new leak and we would have to pay for new coolant and a repair. It was never the same leak. This is in addition to the host of other problems we have had with the unit. (However, the constant leaks and associated increased utility bills were the most annoying). I figured I would cut my losses and replace the unit. Hopefully, this will result in less time off of work and a functioning HVAC for more than 2 months at a time. The cost of the new unit and labor? $9,300. I did get an upgraded model, they required a new thermostat, I added the air purifier and opted for new tubing/hoses. I put the charge on my credit card and received almost $140 in cash back rewards. That $140 went straight back to the credit card. Also, my city offers a $100 rebate for the type of unit I purchased and so after the final inspection (Monday) I will submit that information. So about $240 of the new unit will be paid for with free money. $1,705 of the cost will come from the money I previously started saving to replace the unit and the rest will come from my emergency fund. I am so sad to see the money leave my account!!
More later about the impact this has had on my finances for the year! Glad to be back the blog!
Sunday, September 8, 2019
Last year I opened an Ally Savings account because the rates were higher and rising fast. I had not problems with the account and it was easy to open. Recently Ally has dropped its rates down to 1.90%. My old trusty My Savings Direct ("MSD") account has, thus far, remained at 2.4% so I moved all of my savings back over there. I earn over $25 a month in interest at MSD.
Marcus was another savings account that I looked at last year and it is offering 2.0% on savings accounts.
I'm sure that MSD will eventually drop its rates along with all of the other banks. I am keeping my Ally account open as an alternative and I will move money between the 2 accounts depending on which is offering a higher rate. FYI- I don't plan to go back and forth over a 0.1 of an interest rate. Only if there are bigger and sustained differences. I waited until there was a half a percentage difference until I switched back to MSD.
What online savings accounts to you use?
Monday, September 2, 2019
Unfortunately, it was not an instant rebate taken at the register. It was one that you had to submit documentation and wait for your rebate. I figured it would be a painful process, but it was not! I had to submit my receipt, my upc code from my contact lenses and documentation of the date of my appointment. I was able to do this all online and received a claim number. Within a matter of weeks, I received confirmation that my rebate was approved. I was only given an online visa card I requested a physical card to be sent through the mail and it arrived less than 2 weeks later.
I have not decided how to spend my $75 rebate, I may wait to use it for Christmas shopping. I love getting discounts/free money!
Have you qualified for any rebates lately?
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Just a quick update on my charitable contributions. A few years ago, I made a promise to myself to increase my charitable giving. I knew many people who made less money than me. Those people never gave a second thought about donating to causes, however, I always did. I decided I needed to do better.
This year, my charitable contribution goal is $400. I increase this number by $100 every year. So far this year, I have already given $383!!! It's only August! I should easily make my goal of $400 for the year. Ten years ago, I would have thought it impossible to give even $50 a year. I was mired in credit card debt, student loan debt, etc.
I am very happy that I am fortunate enough to give money to charitable causes. I hope that my giving continues to increase over the years. It's my small way of making the world a slightly better place.