Sunday, January 29, 2017

Escrow Shortage

Once again Wells Fargo has decided that I have an escrow shortage.  Not only do I have an escrow shortage, but my mortgage payment is also going up by $5 a month even if I pay the shortage.  (I already paid the $79.40 shortage).  Having a mortgage sucks. 

I would really like to have enough money to pay off the entire mortgage, however, for now all I can go is pay an extra $110 a month on the principal. I have a 87.7% loan to value ratio.  My PMI is scheduled to drop off on 9/1/20.  I hoping to get under 80% by sometime next year. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

In debt again...

Well that didn't last long did it... :(  Fortunately, this isn't thousands of dollars like my student loan debt.  This is $6,909 for furniture.  Did anyone ever tell you that furniture is expensive?  It's pretty crazy expensive.  I have been saving up for new furniture and I have about $3,000 saved.

Now let me tell you why I am in debt.  I went to look at furniture around Thanksgiving to take advantage of the early Black Friday sales..  I saw a few pieces that I liked so I asked the sales associate to give me an estimate of the cost for all of the pieces that I liked. It was over $8,000.  I told her I could pay in cash and asked what kind of discount I could get.  I believe she quoted me 5%.  I said that wasn't much and she immediately responded that if I agreed to do 1 year interest free financing I could get a 20% discount.  I asked if I could have the 20% discount if I paid in cash and she stated "no" her manager would not approve that. I opted not to continue to haggle and decided instead to do the 1 year interest free financing.  My furniture was delivered right before Christmas, and, as a result I am now $6,909. Well technically, I am $5,909 in debt because I made a $1000 payment a few days ago when the amount finally showed up in my new debt account.

I have until January 2018 to pay off the full amount to avoid the interest charges. Interestingly, my minimum payment was only $222.  I plan to have the entire balance paid off no later than April of this year.  This is simply to allow me to finish off my 2016 contributions to my Roth before April without having to pull money out of savings

So I will temporarily have some debt for the next few months for the convenience of getting a 20% discount on furniture and holding on to some cash for the time being. 

I realize this is a result of the research that financing companies, etc have conducted which show that most people will not pay off the debt within 1 year and the company will make way more than the 20% discount that was initially given.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Unexpected Bonus

Last year at work was rough, to say the least.  However, at the very end of the year my firm issued bonuses! I received a $1000 bonus- after taxes.  After a little wavering, I finally decided to put the money into my emergency fund. (I first considered putting the money into my Roth IRA- but decided the extra cash on hand would be the better option).

While this bonus was much less than what we have received in the past, it was very much appreciated! Now I only have to put $1,500 in my Emergency Fund to reach my goal of raising it up to $17,500 by the end of the year.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Retirement Savings 2016

I started 2016 with $0 in retirement savings.  I contributed $9,000 to my Roth IRA in 2016: $5,500 prior to April 15, 2016 for my 2015 contribution and $3,500 for my 2016 contribution.  At the end of the year my account was worth $9,491.  I had growth of $491 for the year which equates to about 5%. 

My goal is to get my retirement savings up to $20,000 by the end of 2017.  I plan to contribute $7,500 to my Roth IRA ($2,000 for 2016 and $5,500 for 2017) and $2,000 to a taxable brokerage account.  That means I will only need growth of about $1,000 for the year to make my goal.  I hope the markets are good to all of us investors this year!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

First post of 2017! Fourth Quarter Checkin.

At the beginning of the year I made several goals.  Let's see how I did.

1. Pay off student loan-DONE

I paid off my final student loan in January!!

2. Increase emergency fund to $15,000- DONE

I increased my emergency fund to $15,000 in Mid- February, however later I pulled money out to fund my Roth for 2015.  Last check in I had about, $14,000.  I am back up to $15,000 right now.

3. Save $2,000 towards a new vehicle-DONE
I saved $2,360 towards my new car.

4. Begin retirement contributions and save $5,500 towards retirement- DONE
I modified this goal to save $9,000 a year towards retirement. - DONE

5. Begin investing in mutual funds- FAIL
I haven't started investing yet.  I modified this goal.  I decided to put $9,000 towards retirement this year.  $5,500 went towards my ROTH for 2015 and $3,500 will go towards my 2016 ROTH.  Next year will I put the amount over and above that which I can put into a ROTH into a mutual fund.

6. Maintain a $1,000 (work) travel fund- DONE-ISH
  This ebbs and flows though because I travel for work and it takes 2 to 3 months for reimbursements. 

7. Build a $1,000 car maintenance fund- FAIL
I have been focusing on the Roth and saving money for new furniture. 

8. Build a $500 home maintenance fund- DONE
I have been focusing on the Roth and saving money for new furniture.  I tend to think of my new furniture fund as a home maintenance fund.  I have approximately $3,000 saved for household expenses.

9. Build a $750 medical fund- FAIL
I have been focusing on the Roth and saving money for new furniture.

10. Build a $500 pet fund- FAIL
I have been focusing on the Roth and saving money for new furniture. I have $120 saved in this fund.

11. Lose 30lbs!!!!- FAIL
I have lost 6 lbs. 

12. Read 24 books- FAIL
I only read 12 books this year.

13. Travel somewhere cool!- FAIL
Total fail. No money and no time. Too many family emergencies.