Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Savings Rate

Boy, I have I been busy lately!  I have been neglecting this poor little blog.  I hope to have a chance to catch up with my blog reading this weekend.  Frankly, I am considering calling in sick tomorrow.  I have 2 meetings and 2 conference calls on Friday. So if I don't want to go into work, tomorrow is my only day. 

Anyways, on to the point of this post!

I calculated my anticipated savings rate today,  it is about 22% of my net pay.  I've read a lot of FIRE blogs and most indicate that savings rate is the most significant factor in reaching financial Independence.  Based on my anticipated savings rate, I want to try and increase it to 25% by the end of the year.  I need to develop a new method to track my savings.  This will be a hard goal to balance with my goal to pay down my mortgage. 

My job is crazy (it'll have to be a whole separate post) and stress ridden.   I really need to see the needle start to move towards financial independence in order to continue to work there.  I hope increasing my savings rate gives me the emotional and mental boost that I need. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Net Worth Update

Here's where the numbers stand.

$12,916 Emergency Fund
 $12,552 Online Savings Account/$7,552 of that amount is for my Car Replacement Fund/$5k is for my EF
$3,160 Online Savings Account #2- all car replacement
 $29,255 Retirement- Roth IRA
 $7,617Taxable Brokerage (Retirement)

$803 Travel Fund (Work)
$850 pet fund 
$5 medical fund
$1,274 furniture fund
$0 Slush fund

$304,669-per zillow

              Total (not including home): $68,432
              Total (including home): $373,101

Mortgage $195,623
Furniture (0% financing) $850

                   Total (not including mortgage): -$850
                    Total (including mortgage): -$196,473

        Total Net Worth(not including mortgage): $67,582                                      
        Total Net Worth(including mortgage): $176,628

Net worth, not including mortgage, increased by $7070 from January (last net worth update)
Net worth, including mortgage, increased by $9,367 from January(last net worth update)

The value of the my home has decreased a little bit.

My mortgage is getting so small.  I was putting an extra $450 toward principal.  That dropped to $439 when the escrow adjusted.  I am still hopefully to have the pmi drop off by with my end of June payment. 

Saturday, March 9, 2019

International Women's Day - Experience with Males in the Legal Field

Yesterday was International Women's Day.  On twitter I read several threads about women lawyers dealing with inappropriate male bosses, yet overcoming their situations and continuing on into their legal careers. I thought these stories were inspiring and many were shared by very strong women.  These women were no shrinking violets, but they were overwhelmed with the situations that they found themselves in.

I thought I would share my experiences here.

When I first started practicing law, I worked for an older man (somewhere around 50).  He previously had been an entertainment lawyer in Miami, Florida.  I don't even know how to describe this man.  He was scum. We worked in an area of the law dominated by women.  Most of our state contacts were women. He hit on women that he was attracted to, yet he was married with a kid.  He was probably more than twice the age of the women (just fresh out of college) that he was hitting on.  One girl reported that he bought a bottle of her favorite perfume (expensive) and gave it to her as a gift.  She was surprised and shocked.  (It wasn't her birthday or anything).  He asked to take out to dinner.  She declined.  My experience with him was first he showed me and our 21 year old assistant a video produced by a former client of his which included various women, scantily clad in bikinis, seductively posing by a pool while a rap song played in the back group.  It was weird. It was just us and him and he continually prompted us to look at the screen.  Another time he came in my office and closed the door and told me that he overheard a co-worker and I planning to go out dancing on the weekend.  He repeated several times that his wife was out of town and that he would like to go with us.  He then stated that I reminded him of an ex-girlfriend of his and that we could crash at this house if we wanted to.  You know if we were too drunk to drive home.  Yeah, no we didn't invite him to go out with us.  Yet another time we went to a conference in Miami.  I went out with some of my co-workers and we had drinks and went dancing.  It was fun and all of us, but our designated driver, were a little tipsy.  When we got back to the hotel we saw him sitting downstairs in the lobby.  He came over to talk to us and wanted to walk me back to my hotel room because I was drunk and he wanted to make sure I was safe.  Problem was I wasn't that drunk.  I had maybe 3or  4 drinks over the course of about 5 hours.  I was sitting quietly eating my chicken nuggets.  My friend Kristi loudly told him "No" and that we would walk as a group back to our rooms.  Thank God for good friends.  He later got in trouble to kissing another female co-worker at that same conference.

My third lawyer job put me in contact with a guy who felt that most women lawyers were lesbians.  He couldn't understand why a straight woman would work in such a demanding career field.  He was a terrible attorney and never should have been practicing law.  He was my supervisor.  He would buy all of us women presents and try to get close to us.  If we were not receptive to his advances he would then try to convince us to "come out to him" because surely we were lesbians (just like all of the other female attorneys).  It, of course, could not have been that we were in our 20s and he was 48 years old (and married with 5 children and an ex-wife).  Feel my sarcasm there, it's heavy. 

My fourth and current lawyer job opened me up to all new kinds of misogyny.  This was the first time (After practicing law for 6 years) that I was mistaken as a court reporter by male opposing counsel and male witnesses.  Another male opposing counsel invited me into his office after a deposition to talk about our schedules (something that is typically done through email by assistants) for mediation. Stupid me willingly went into his office and he gestured for me to sit while he went to his desk.  His office had a small chair, a large couch and a then another small chair for guests with a table next to that chair.  These were facing his desk on the other side of the room.  Since I had a large bag (containing my materials for the deposition) and a purse I sat on the couch and placed my items beside me so I could fish out my phone and written calendar.  Again, this is an older man in his mid to late 50s.  He starts reading off dates from his computer calendar and asking for my availability.  Then he walks over to the couch and sits on it with me, moving my bag to the floor so that he is directly next to me.  It instantly creeped me out.  Frankky, I was creeped out as soon as he came from behind his desk.  I realized I had made a mistake by even coming into his office.  I told him I needed to get on the road (I had driven about 3 hours to get to the deposition).  He put his hand on my lege to stop me from getting up and asked me to stay for a late lunch.  I think the look on my face said it all.  I left unharmed and unmolested (at least any further) and he was meaner than a hornet to me for the rest of that case. 

My current boss is almost 70 years old and behaves that way.  He tells inappropriate stories and makes inappropriate jokes.  He called his wife one day from work and told her to meet him at home for his lunch break and to get the viagra ready.  He thought it was hilarious.  Yes, 3 of his female staff were sitting in his office at the time.  He loves looking at women's breasts and he will sneak looks whenever possible.  I wore a v-neck shirt to work once.  A normal t-shirt nothing extraordinary, but I do have large breasts and when I was sitting my breasts were more prominently displayed due to my position.  My boss came in my office at the end of the day and told me to find a document among a stack of papers.  I was annoyed because the stack was huge and it was the end of the day.  I started going through the stack leaning over my desk and flipping pages while he stood there above me. Not realizing why he wasn't helping- I chalked it up to his usual laziness and thought that associates should do the tedious work.  As I narrowed down the stack, I picked it up and rested it on my lap. with about 500 pages left, I started flipping the pages towards me that were not relevant.  He stopped me at one point and picked up a page that was laying against my chest. Of course, accidentally grazing my chest as he did so.   It wasn't the page he was looking for.  With that I stood up and told him the project would have to wait until the next day because I needed to leave.  I could go on and on, but I'm out of time and I wanted to put this post up yesterday. 

The bottom line is that I am still practicing law and I haven't let anyone run me out of the profession.  Women are described as weak and not being able to tough it out in litigation.  That's the excuse as to why so many women lawyers in appellate law and as in-house counsel.  Women are strong and put up with so much.  The problem is most people ignore and minimize the barriers that we have to go through.  Sometimes these barriers are invisible to others, but they are real. 

Monday, March 4, 2019

New Month!!

It's March, which means that it is almost Spring!! I cannot wait for longer days and more sunshine.  I hope to get back to more (and longer) walks after work.

I have a few goals for March

1. Fertilize the lawn
2. Put at least $750 towards retirement
3. Get passport paperwork completed
4. Put $1,000 towards furniture bill.
5. Treat the lawn for ants/insects
6. Get some filing done in the office
7. Go on a trip to a city I have never been to before.
8 Book a cruise.
9. Donate money to charity.

I am going to count #9 as completed as I donated $50 to the local legal aide organization on Thursday, but it did not process until Friday (March 1st).

Happy Monday, Everyone!

Friday, February 22, 2019

February Going Ons

Hey Everyone, it has been awhile!  I have been having some internet problems and computer problems and by the end of the day, I just don't have the energy to fool around with computers.   Everything is back up and working now!

Does anyone have any interesting weekend plans?  I plan to work in the yard.  I need to clear out the flower beds, etc. There are lots of weeds and bugs to deal with here in Florida.  I may even cut the grass this weekend.  The temperatures are supposed to reach the 80s this weekend.  I also need to clean the garage and the shed and the back porch and and and.....

On to the finances. I contributed $500 to my Roth IRA this month.  This was only half of what I contributed last month.  However, I only have $4,500 left to contribute for the year.  Don't forget the contribution limit increased to $6,000 this year!  Once I max out my Roth I will move on to my taxable account. 

I paid $1,000 towards my furniture bill. Only $1,900 left to pay off! I can't wait to be debt free (except for my mortgage again).  This is the 0% financing deal that I used to replace my 13 year old mattress, etc. 

 I donated $50 to charity this month. This went to my law school.  I usually contribute $100 a year to my alma mater.  I already gave $50 in January, so I am done with that for the year.  Next month I will probably give to my local legal aide organization. 

I did add $200 to my savings account and $50 to my pet care fund.  I also paid my almost $200 escrow shortage. 

 All of my credit cards remain paid in full, but I do owe my dentist office $10 for my most recent cleaning (from Monday).  I hate when they bill later, I'd rather pay when I leave, but oh well. 

Have a wonderful Friday!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019



I filed my income taxes early last week and I will be getting a $112 refund.   I am so incredibly excited that I don't owe any money!!

I looked back through my bank statements last year to see the amount of my tax refund.  Last year I received a $1,184 refund.  That's over a $1,000 drop from my tax refund last year.  The only reason I have received a refund over the last few years is because of my mortgage/home ownership. Previously, I was pretty much breaking even. 

However, due to the changes in the tax code, I took home an extra $2,400 last year.  That plus the $112 refund results in approximately $2,500 more take home pay for me!! That's approximately an extra $1,300 in take home pay (after subtracting out my $1,184 over payment) as compared to previous years. 

Happy Tuesday!!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Mid-month Check In

It's January 18, we are half way through the month!! I figured I would do a mid- month check in on some of my goals. 

I am plugging away at the retirement funds, I added $1,000 to retirement from my 1/15 paycheck and it felt good. Only, $10,000 more to go for the year.   I love putting money away for the future and I know that I am extremely fortunate to be able to do so.  I feel so much for the federal workers who are not getting paid right now, due to the government shutdown. 

I have contributed $100 to charity this year.  I gave $50 to my law school and $50 to St. Jude's.  My goal is to give $400 this year, I am already a quarter of the way there!!  I hope to be able to make a charitable contribution every month. Even if it is only $1.  I should probably try to take some clothes to goodwill every month too.   

My escrow review statement arrived via email this morning and, of course, there is a almost $200 shortage.  The payment is also going up by $11 a month.  Face palm.  Mortgages are the worst. I have read horror stories on the internet about people having thousands of dollar shortages.  I take that as a reminder to be thankful that mine is only $200.  Also, my PMI should drop off this year so that will make my escrow and total mortgage payment drop.  I'm certain it won't be long before my payment creeps back up though. 

Alright, that's all I have time for this morning!  Have a great Friday everyone!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Net Worth Update - Jan 2019

Here's where the numbers stand.

$12,916 Emergency Fund
 $12,487 Online Savings Account/$8,947 of that amount is for my Car Replacement Fund/$5k is for my EF
$1,946 Online Savings Account #2
 $23,585 Retirement- Roth IRA
 $6,666Taxable Brokerage (Retirement)

$788 Travel Fund (Work)
$800 pet fund 
$5 medical fund
$2,096 furniture fund
$73 Slush fund

$308,598-per zillow

              Total (not including home): $61,362
              Total (including home): $369,960

Mortgage $198,399
Furniture (0% financing) $4,300

                   Total (not including mortgage): -$4,300
                    Total (including mortgage): -$202,699

        Total Net Worth(not including mortgage): $57,062                                      
        Total Net Worth(including mortgage): $167,261

Net worth, not including mortgage, decreased by $6,406 from October (last net worth update)
Net worth, including mortgage, increased by $6,065 from October(last net worth update)

I bought my new bedroom furniture, including a new mattress, I owe $4,300.  I have over $2000 in savings to put on the bill.

The value of the my home has increased so that is awesome.

My mortgage has fallen under $200,000, yay!

This was a crappy net worth update mostly because of the stock market.  My net worth has fallen (without including the mortgage) , but it will go up again soon!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Fourth Quarter Update

At the beginning of 2018, I set some goals for myself.  Let's see how I did.

1. Add $10,500 to retirement savings with the goal of having $35,000 saved for retirement by the end of the year.  $5,500 will go into my roth ira and $5,000 will go into a taxable account. Come on stock market growth and no recession! Last year I contributed $9,500 so this will be an  increase of $1,000.  PASS.  I contributed $10,760 total.  My balance did not reach $35,000, due to the uncooperative stock market. 

2.Increase EF to $18,500. PASSISH.  My E-Fund ended the year with a total of $17,916

3. Pay an extra $290/month toward principal on the mortgage.  My easily reachable goal is to have the mortgage paid down to $200,000 by the end of the year.  The ultimate goal is to have the balance paid down to $197,500 by the end of the year so that the PMI will drop off the mortgage. PASS!  I actually added about $400 extra to the mortgage for several months.  The mortgage ended the year at $198,399.  My PMI will drop off when the balance reaches $192,600. 

4. Save an additional $5,000 for my car replacement fund with the goal of having $10,000 in my car replacement fund by the end of the year.  I will be aiming to purchase a new car in 2019.  I hope with a trade in and any money saved in 2019 to have $20,000 to put down for a new car. FAIL. My car replacement fund is at $8,947.  I only added $3,750 to the fund. 

5.  Read 15 books. FAIL- I only read 7 books in 2018. 

6. Lose 20lbs. I plan to try to lose about 3lbs a month which should place me at 36lbs for the year.  However, I know I struggle with weight loss so I think 20lbs is a good goal.  I also want to commit to exercising 30 minutes a day for 4 days a week and eating more vegetables.  FAIL- I exercised more than I thought I would, but I did not lose 20lbs.  Gotta do better this year. 

7. Donate $300 to charity.  This is up $100 from last year, I hope to be able to donate more than $300, but let's see how the year rolls.  I plan to increase this amount each year. PASS.  I donated $338 to charity this year.  I also donated 2 bags full of clothes. 

8. Build medical fund up to $1,000. FAIL- this worked as a sinking fund.  I put the funds in and pulled them out as I needed them. 

9. Continue to build car repair fund up to $1,000. FAIL-this also worked as a sinking fund.  I put the funds in and pulled them out as needed.

10. Get more life insurance. FAIL- I need to lose weight first.

11.  Try to figure out a happy medium for the travel reimbursement fight.  I want them reimbursed in 30 days and the firm will wait 60 -90 days to reimburse me.  I think I will argue for 45 day reimbursement and all outstanding travel vouchers to be paid at year end.   FAIL. 
12. Find a new primary care doctor and receive treatment for anxiety and depression. FAIL.

13. Make a decision about my career and job. FAIL- but I did get a raise. 
14. Try something new (or outside of my comfort zone) each month (restaurant, activity or social event). PASSISH- I tried a lot of new things last year.  New cities, new restaurants and met new people. 

15. Increase net worth by $25,000. Not sure yet.  I haven't run the numbers for my net worth yet. 

Thursday, January 3, 2019

New Year, New Goals!

Happy New Year Everyone!! I hope you all had a wonderful new year's day.  It's already the third day of the year and I am just getting around to posting my goals.  Here goes:

1. Put a minimum of $11,000 to retirement.  ($6,000 to Roth and $5,000 to taxable). I am loving the increase in contributions to the Roth.  It's $6,000 this year, in case you have not heard!  The $11,000 goal is an increase of $500 from last year.
2. Increase replacement car fund to $12,000.
3. Give a minimum of $400 to charity. This is an increase of $100 from last year.
4. Increase Emergency Fund to $20,000.
5. Pay down mortgage principal so that the PMI can be removed.  I'm so close, only 5 or 6 months to go!
6. Read 12 books
7. Lose 20lbs
8. Increase social activities.
9. Learn coding.
10. Learn more about my family history.
11. Meditate.
12. Be kinder and more patient.
13. Increase FI/FU fund to $1,200.
14. Figure out my purpose in life. 

What are your goals for the new year?  Any special ones that you would like to share?

I hope that my next post is an update on my 2018 goals.  Have a great day everyone!