Saturday, December 10, 2016

Financial Goals 2017

1. Increase emergency fund from $15,000 to $17,500.

2. Add $9,500 to my retirement with an overall goal of having $20,000 in retirement savings by the end of the year.

3. Pay an extra $100 a month on the mortgage, with an end goal of having the balance under $210,000 by the end of the year.

4. Save $2,500 into car replacement fund with the end goal of having $5,000 in the car replacement fund by the end of the year.

5. Pay off furniture I bought before expiration of 0% financing period.  Will blog about this later in a separate post.

6. Read 12 books

7. Write a book

8. Lose 10 lbs

9. Donate $200 to charity

10.  Get more life insurance

11. Build a separate car maintenance fund.

12. Look into and focus on career options.

A few thoughts:

This list represents an internal battle that I am experiencing.  I thought that a $15,00 emergency fund would be make me feel comfortable.  It does not. However, $15,000 does represent about a 6 month bare bones budget for me. As much as I want to increase my emergency fund, I also need to work on other financial goals, retirement, car replacement, etc. So I have decided that every year I will increase my emergency fund by some amount.  In 2017, I will increase it by $2,500 which equates to one month of bare bones expenses for me.

I won't have much in the car replacement fund by the end of the year, but I'm hoping not to have to replace my car until at least 2019.  (Fingers crossed- by that time it will be 13 years old).  Once I get closer to replacement time I will increase my car replacement savings.  I hope to have at least $15,000 cash by the time I get a new car.

I really need life insurance in case I die.  Otherwise my sister will not be able to continue living in the house that I purchased in 2013.  I do plan to leave the house to her.  I guess I should also add, get a will to my goal list for 2017.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Net Worth End of November

Time is just rolling by-it's going too fast. It's already December and I don't know where the rest of the year went.

Here's where things stood as of the end of November. 

 $10,000 Emergency Fund
$7,039.28  Online Savings Account/$1,995 of that amount is for my Car Replacement Fund
$9,360 Retirement- Roth IRA
$2,930 House fund
$452 Travel Fund (Work)

$272,375-per zillow

                  Total (not including home): $29,781 
                  Total (including home): $302,156

Mortgage $217,617
                   Total (not including mortgage): 0
                    Total (including mortgage): -$217,192

                                     Total Net Worth(not including mortgage): $29,781 
                                     Total Net Worth(including mortgage): $84,964

Net worth, not including mortgage, increased by $1,860 from last month
Net worth, including mortgage, increased by $1,305 from last month

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Retirement Savings for 2016-Complete

My goal was to save $9,000 for retirement this year and I have officially completed that goal.  As of November 15, 2016 I managed to tuck away $9,000 into my retirement account.  The value of my retirement account currently sits at $9,449.  I had a goal to earn 5% on my retirement fund this year and I just might make that. 

Technically, I have made more than 5% on my retirement account because I still have $935 (part of $9,000) sitting in my settlement fund.  So only $8,065 has actually been invested.  

Let's just hope that the stock market continues to make smooth, steady progress upwards throughout the end of the year.

How are you guys doing on your retirement accounts this year?

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Shout Out to Double Debt Single Woman!!

In a recent blog post Double Debt Single Woman wrote about how she just found my blog.  Go check her out at She is documenting her journey out of a ton of debt and it is a really great read.  Check out her blog and wish her luck on her journey out of debt. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Net Worth- End of October

Here is where things stood as of the end of October 2016 

 $10,000 Emergency Fund
$6,479.62  Online Savings Account/$1,440 of that amount is for my Car Replacement Fund
$8,701 Retirement- Roth IRA
$2,228 House fund
$513 Travel Fund (Work)

$273,355-per zillow

                  Total (not including home): $27,921
                  Total (including home): $301,276

Mortgage $217,617
                   Total (not including mortgage): 0
                    Total (including mortgage): -$217,617

                                     Total Net Worth(not including mortgage): $27,921
                                     Total Net Worth(including mortgage): $83,659

Net worth, not including mortgage, increased by $1,303.
Net worth, including mortgage, decreased by $4,087.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Third Quarter Check In

Third Quarter Check I- this is totally late, I know. 

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

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- IN PROGRESS
I have saved $1,440 towards my new car.

4. Begin retirement contributions and save $5,500 towards retirement- DONE-ISH
I modified this goal to save $9,000 a year towards retirement. I have contributed $8,720 towards retirement.  Only $280 left to go.

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- IN PROGRESS
  This ebbs and flows though because I travel for work and it takes 2 to 3 months for reimbursements.  I have 1 travel voucher outstanding. 

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- FAIL KIND OF
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 $2,200 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.

11. Lose 30lbs!!!!- IN PROGRESS
I have lost 6 lbs.  Still working on this goal.  

12. Read 24 books- IN PROGRESS
Behind on this goal- I've only read 10 books this year.

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

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Retirement Saving Update

My goal for 2016 was to save 9,000 toward retirement.  As of 10/15/16 I have saved  $8,720 towards my $9,000 goal!  I have less than $300 to go to make my goal.  I should be able to get that $280 put away in November.  I can't believe that I went from having no money for retirement to having almost $9,000 in one year.  Every time I contribute to my retirement account I am amazed that retirement may actually become a reality for me one day.  I'm already dreaming of having $18,000 for retirement by the end of next year. 

Speaking of retirement, a few weeks ago I received a statement from the social security administration.  Based on the information in the statement, my full retirement age is 67 and I (based on current numbers) should receive $2,363 a month in retirement benefits. I tend to wonder if social security will be around in 30 years in the same format that it is in now.  Nevertheless, if I do receive over $2,000 a month in social security I would only have to pull income of $3,000 a month from my investments to still maintain my current salary.  While my current salary is not fabulous, I am able to meet my basic needs. By the time I'm in my 60s, I plan to no longer have a mortgage payment so a $5,000 a month income will likely still meet my needs. 

How are you doing with your retirement?  Are you going to be able to retire one day?  How much per year do you save towards retirement? 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

New Worth- End of September

Here is where things stood as of the end of September 2016 

 $10,000 Emergency Fund
$6,295.08  Online Savings Account/$1,260 of that amount is for my Car Replacement Fund
$7,516.10 Retirement- Roth IRA
$2,209.82 House fund
$640.48 Travel Fund (Work)

$279,170-per zillow

                  Total (not including home): $26,661.48
                  Total (including home): $305,831.48

$43 dentist bill- this will be paid from my 10/15 paycheck  
Mortgage $218,041.66
                   Total (not including mortgage): -$43
                    Total (including mortgage): -$218,084.55

                                     Total Net Worth(not including mortgage): $26,618.48
                                     Total Net Worth(including mortgage): $87,746.93

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Savings Account Interest

I think it was about 1 year ago that I opened my current online savings account.  At the time the interest rate was 1.25%.  Recently it has dropped to 0.85%.  It's killing me! 

Prior to opening the current online savings account- I had one with capital one that paid only 0.75%.  These low interest rates are insane.  The interest rate at the brick and mortar banks, as you know, is even worse at 0.01%. 

For several years now it has been reported that the economy is improving.  I don't know anything about economics, but I can state with certainty that it's not improving for savers.  I have a friend that is in his 60s and is now spending down his retirement savings.  He reported that initially anything he took out was easily replaced by the next year, now the growth is falling short. 

Any ideas on how to make your meager savings grow in a bad economy?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Retirement Savings

Life has been ridiculously crazy.  I cannot even begin to describe the madness that has been going on the last few months and at this point, I won't even try. But, I will talk with you about my retirement savings so far this year!

 My goal is to put $9,000 a year away for retirement savings.  That is approximately 15% of my take home pay.  (We do not have any type of retirement vehicle at work).  Before April 15 of this year, I put $5,500 into my Roth Ira for my 2015 contribution.

Finally in August I was able to start putting money into my Roth for 2016.  In August I contributed $550 and in September I contributed $1,281. That means that I only have to put $1,669 into my Roth before the end of the year to make my $9,000 goal!

Looking forward to next year, before April 15, 2017 I will finish off the remainder of my contributions for 2016 ($2,000).  Then I will put $5,500 into my Roth Ira for 2017.  For the remaining $1,500 of my $9,000 goal, I will put that into a taxable investment.  This is all assuming that there are no changes to my employment or pay for 2017.

I owe lots more updates and I will get to them as I can.  Hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

I need more time!!

I have been so ridiculously busy lately that I have not had time to do anything! Work has been crazy hectic and so has my personal life.  My mother has been ill and i have been working out for at least 60 minutes, 5 days a week.  I'm so tired by 9:30 at night that I can barely keep my eyes open.  There is simply not enough time in the day to do everything that I have to do. 

 I will be working this weekend, again, and I am not looking forward to it. Sigh.  Whine. Anyways, I am sorry for neglecting the blog.  I just have not had a spare moment.  I need to do a net worth update, probably not good, and several other financial updates.  I also have a ton of financial planning to do, for the next several months (more on that later).  Hope everything is well in the blogosphere!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Budget Breakdown August 16-31

I haven't had a chance to post a budget breakdown in awhile.  Life has been busy and hectic.  There have been a lot of changes work and personally.  I don't have time to post about everything right now, but I will, hopefully do so at some point in the future.  Anyways here is the budget breakdown.

$310 utility bill
$100 groceries
$189 Emergency fund- finally back up to $15,000!!
$473 dentist bill- mouth guard
$177 dentist bill- cavity and 6 month exam
$550 retirement- yay!!
$33 alarm monitoring
$200 spending
$100 gas
$250 furniture fund
$150 mom fund

There is all is!! I'm too tired to post anything else, but I hope to be back soon. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Net Worth Update

Here is where things stood as of the end of July 2016 

$9,811.33 Emergency Fund
$5,746.47  Online Savings Account/$720 of that amount is for my Car Replacement Fund
$5,729.92 Retirement- Roth IRA
$1,292.17 New Furniture Fund
$960.78 Travel Fund (Work)

$274,999-per zillow

                  Total (not including home): $23,540.67 
                  Total (including home): $298,539.67

$473 dentist bill- this will be paid from my 8/15 paycheck  
                   Total (not including mortgage): -$473
                    Total (including mortgage): -$219,450.10

                                     Total Net Worth(not including mortgage): $23,067.67
                                     Total Net Worth(including mortgage): $79,089.57

My net worth is up $6,191.15 from last month! 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

What??? And a proposition.

It's the end of July.  Where has this month gone?  It has literally flown by! I have been working so much this month.  I have worked almost every weekend and I am starting to feel the exhaustion.  I think I have completed most of the time sensitive work and I should be able to finally stop working weekends. 

I don't recall if I mentioned it on the blog, but over the past 2 years or so, the firm has lost many staff members. Many of them have not been replaced or if they have been replaced it has taken 9 months or more to replace that person. During the down times, I have picked up a good bit of the slack.  Recently, again the firm is down several billable employees. My guess is that those employees will not be replaced before the end of the year.  With that, I am expecting to have to again help pick up the slack.  I don't mind helping to pick up the slack, but I also don't believe that I should have to give up my weekends in order to assist the firm for failing to hire new employees.

So I think I want to propose to my employer a financial arrangement.  I will do my regular 40+ hours a week for my regular work on the cases assigned to me.  Anything extra for cases not assigned to me should result in additional compensation.   I think it's only fair to receive compensation for working 40+ hours a week on work that generally would be assigned to another employee who would be paid to complete the work.  I don't want to sound or come off as greedy or not a team player, but I think this would be a fair arrangement.  What do you guys think?  Is this a bad idea?  How would you approach the situation?

Friday, July 8, 2016

Second Quarter Check In

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

1. Pay off student loan-DONE

I paid off my final student loan in January!!

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

I increased my emergency fund to $15,000 in Mid- February, however later I pulled money out to fund my Roth for 2015.  Right now I have about $14,000.  I'm building it back up. 

3. Save $2,000 towards a new vehicle- IN PROGRESS
I have saved $720 towards my new car.

4. Begin retirement contributions and save $5,500 towards retirement- DONE!!
I have saved $5,500 toward retirement this year.

6. Begin investing in mutual funds- FAIL
I haven't started investing yet.  I plan to wait until I get my ROTH for 2016 funded.

7. Maintain a $1,000 (work) travel fund- IN PROGRESS
I have around $470 in here. This ebbs and flows though because I travel for work and it takes 2 to 3 months for reimbursements.  I have 4 or 5 travel vouchers outstanding. 

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

9. Build a $500 home maintenance fund- FAIL KIND OF
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.

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

11. Build a $500 pet fund- FAIL
I have been focusing on the Roth and saving money for new furniture.

12. Lose 30lbs!!!!- IN PROGRESS
I have lost 3 lbs.  Still working on this goal.  

13. Read 24 books- IN PROGRESS
Behind on this goal- I've only read 7 books.

14. Travel somewhere cool!- FAIL

I gotta step my game up to get my butt in gear if I want to make my goals. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Net Worth

I've never done a net worth post, so I have decided to do one.  This one is not completely accurate because I charged some stuff on my credit card that I haven't paid off yet.  I have the money set aside for it, but I haven't had a chance to make payment yet or balance my checkbook from the last pay period so everything is not broken down into the respective categories. My net worth is calculated based on my assets minus my liabilities. 

$5,561.54 online savings account
$5,628.25 Roth IRA
$12,356.77 bank account- includes emergency fund
$269,570 house (per zillow)
           Total Assets: $293,116.56

$729.88 credit card
$219,488.26 mortgage  
         Total Liabilities: $220,218.14

NET WORTH: $72,898.42

I have a positive net worth!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


I received my first dividend on my retirement investments. The mutual fund paid $0.179 a share and I received a total of $23.12! I was so excited for free money! LOL- I wish someone had told me about this dividend thing sooner!  However, even with this dividend thing as of this morning-I'm only up about $15 in my retirement account.  I guess any amount of up is better than down, right? 

This investing this is stressful!  I was listening to the radio the other day and one of the hosts on a nationally syndicated radio program stated that he only averaged a 1% return on his retirement account over all of the (20 plus) years of investing.  That's crazy!  He was upset and planning on transferring his investments elsewhere.  It reminded me that I really need to keep a close watch on my investments and if they are not working then I need to make a change. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016


On my journey to building wealth and getting control of my finances I have learned that giving is an important factor.  Being single with no prospects, at 34, I am beginning to think that most if not all of the wealth that I will accumulate will end up going to a charitable organization upon my death.

So I have started making giving more of a priority, I'm starting off small.  I made a $50 donation to my alma mater.   I sent my pregnant friend (actually she had the baby-but I'm really late!) a $50 gift card to celebrate the new addition.

I'm also trying to think of other ways to give, small ways.  Not just to my family, but to my friends and community.  I think I will be on the look out for more community events so that I can volunteer and then not all of my giving will have to be monetary. I don't want to be ostentatious, I just feel compelled to give and help.  It seems these days the world is terrible and harsh.  I want to find a way to make it a little better when I can. 

Anyone have any suggestions on how they like to give?  

Saturday, June 11, 2016


Remaining debt free (Except for my mortgage) is HARD!  There are so many temptations out in the world that make me want to spend money and finance things!

For example, I really want to buy new furniture, pretty much for the whole house, but I don't have enough money saved.  However, all of these furniture stores have amazing Memorial Day and Labor sales!! My credit score is high and I would qualify for all sorts of amazing low or 0% deals on furniture. Somehow, I have managed to stick to my guns and I have not yet financed anything, but every time I see an ad...I start to salivate a little. 

Also, since my recent vehicle scare- I have been noticing all of the nice, shiny, new cars around me.  It would be so easy to buy a new car.  I just would instantly regret the monthly payment!!

Temptation is everywhere and all around me.  It's so hard to resist.  I am now realizing how people can fall into an entitlement mentality. I have been working exceptionally hard lately at work.  I worked all of last weekend and I will work most of this weekend.  I will probably have to work the weekend after that. I won't receive a raise or a bonus.  I won't even get a thank you.   It's extremely stressful and it would be nice to come home to a nice comfortable bed (instead of my 14 year old bed and mattresses).  Yet, I realize that I am not entitled to a new furniture and that I can save up and buy it when I have the money.  I will continue to resist the temptation, as I would rather have some financial security and, hopefully one day, financial independence!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Vehicle Scare

The other day, I was driving my 9, almost 10, year old vehicle to work.  On my way, I noticed the dashboard light for my emergency brake was on.  I thought it was odd because I could not recall using my emergency brake recently (especially since I had just left my garage).  Anyways, at the next red light I hit the emergency brake (it's a foot pedal) to see if it was engaged and it was not.  However, hitting the pedal and then releasing it caused the light to go off.  I thought that maybe a fuse was going bad in the dashboard. The light did not come back on again, at anytime during my drive back to work.

However, on my way home from work the light came back on again, but it flickered.  Sometimes when I took a turn the light would come on and then go off again.  A mile or two from home it came on again.  This time it did not go off. All I could think was what a huge expense it would be to repair whatever was wrong. Instant stress and panic!

 I decided to google the problem and found that toyota makes the emergency brake light and the brake fluid light one and the same. My brake fluid was low! Seriously, the dealership is supposed to check all of my fluids! Wow.

Anyways, the next morning I decided to get some brake fluid from the local autoparts store on my way to work.  On my way there several other lights lit up on my dashboard.  It looked like a Christmas tree! I considered, momentarily, just driving across town to have it fixed. Instead, I drove to the store and got the brake fluid.  I poured it in right in the parking lot.  I turned on the ignition and all of the lights went off.  Apparently, the lower the fluid gets causes the car to go into a safety mode. The safety mode will turn off all unnecessary functions.  The light has not come on again since. 

The cost of brake fluid $3.54....or priceless.  Lol.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

June 1-15 Budget Breakdown

Sorry for the late post, but here is the budget breakdown for the first of June.

$1,561 mortgage
$348 cellular phone bill
$60 pet plan
$100 groceries
$182 spending
$100 gas
$180 new vehicle fund.

The mortgage payment includes the minimum payment, plus an extra $91! Slow and steady wins the race.  I plan to just keep plugging away!

I plan on actually canceling the pet plan for one of the cats this year.  I think we signed up in August of 2013, but I can't quite remember.  I need to get on this as soon as possible, I forget to do this every year.  

After this month I will have $540 set aside for a new vehicle! Baby steps, baby steps.  I have only bought 1 car in my 34 years.  I want to have some money set aside for a down payment this time.  I hope my car can hold out for 4 or 5 more years.  (It'll be 10 years old later this year).

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Work Updates

Work has been stressful lately.  Very stressful, it makes me really want to figure out what I truly want to do with my life.  My boss continues not to do his job which causes problems for me.  The partner in the South/Central Florida office called today and was angry that a report did not go out as required.  She also claimed the report was not in the format required by the client.  I spoke to her calmly for a few minutes and by the end of the conversation she agreed that she would go back and double check on the report when she got back to the office.  In meanwhile, I forwarded her the email from my boss to me laying out the requirements for the report, a copy of the report and a copy of the email from me to my boss sending him a draft report 3 months again.  I waited all day to hear from her and I did not.  I debated whether to call her and point out her mistake, but decided against it.

The next morning I finally heard from her.  She admitted she made a mistake and asked me to change the report to fit the requirements of the next required report.  Later, both partners and I had a telephone call to discuss the issue.  I didn't say anything, but I was angry.  I do a lot for the firm (both offices) and I thought she should have given me the benefit of the doubt before getting upset with me.  I am in no way perfect, but I generally will follow the rules laid out for me.  I felt ambushed ( I won't go into details, but it seems she spent some time trying to gather evidence that I was in the wrong) and I was vindicated in the end.  However, this just reminded me that I have no future at this law firm and I need to take the first good opportunity to leave. It also taught me that she can't be trusted.  I definitely won't be confiding in her anymore with regard to the problems in the North Florida office. She will be on her own as to figuring out and resolving problems with my boss.  I also won't be volunteering to assist with projects down there anymore.  I'm not looking to invite more problems my way.

All that being said, I did receive a check for my March and April  travel voucher reimbursements today.  That was unexpected and fairly timely.  Let's see how the reimbursement for May travel goes.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Mortgage Update and Emergency Fund to the Rescue...Again!

I apologize for my absence, but I have been so busy lately! It's insane, I still have tons of stuff to do (work wise and personally). 

Anyways, I just wanted to announce that my mortgage balance has dropped to $219,998!! I have paid it off from $234,650 to the teens! This month $417 went to principal, $432 to escrow and the rest (over $600 if you did the math) to interest.  I also made an extra $91 principal only payment. Once I get my emergency back up to $15,000, I plan to start directing "found money" towards the mortgage balance.  I really want to get rid of the PMI payments, that will be an extra $115 that can go towards principal once I get the balance down to 80%! 

On to the emergency fund issue.  The A/C broke again this year.  The house is almost 14 years old and the unit is the same age. It looks like I may have to replace it soon.  I will likely wait another year or two before I replace it.  I need time to get my savings account back up to where it needs to be. Anyways, the cost was $275 to have the unit repaired.   Luckily, I had the cash available to pay for the repair.  No outstanding credit card bills for me!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Budget Breakdown May 16-31

It has been a crazy 2 months for me.  I have been traveling all over the State of Florida and I am tired.  I have decided that I am not traveling again until Memorial Day weekend.  I have literally traveled once or twice a week every week for the last 2 months.  It's crazy.  I need sleep and to rest in my own bed.  The travel expenses have been horrendous.  Sigh. 

Anyways, here is my proposed budget for the next 2 weeks.

$180 utilities
$100 groceries
$100 gas
$1000 Emergency Fund
$317 Mother's Day
$200 cat expenses
$200 spending
$33 alarm
$250 house
$150 Mother

I am hoping to start going out more and doing things.  Like go see a movie at the IMAX or go to a pottery class.  I want to start working this stuff into my budget and my life.  I want to break up the monotony and have something to look forward to during the week.  I am too tired to write anymore and I am going to bed. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Roth gains and losses

My foray into investing has been interesting to say the least.  I fully funded my 2015 Roth IRA in April of this month.  I was up approximately $36 at one point and now I'm in the red.  Wow! What a bumpy ride.  I can handle the ups and downs, but going into the red made me lose my breath a little.

I know that a week from now, things could be totally different.  This investing thing is not for the light hearted.  I have read quite a bit about investing and I understand that despite the ups and downs you are supposed to keep shoveling money in, but it's so hard to do when it keeps disappearing.  :(

I ended April in the red, but I am excited to see what the end of May will bring.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

It's Still A Struggle

I really thought that being debt free (except for my mortgage) would make life so great and easy.  It's not great and easy, it's still a struggle.  I keep trying to be careful with my money so that I can build wealth, pay off my mortgage and give.  It still seems like there's never enough money to go around.  The power of focus that went along with paying off debt is gone.  I am only able to put small amounts of money into my various saving vehicles.  It's very stressful. 

I've changed my mindset a little bit, which has helped.  I have decided to put 15% of my income into retirement.  For me, that will consist of a Roth IRA and mutual funds ($5,500 into a Roth and $3,500 into mutual funds).  This year, I will actually put all $9,000 into my roth ($5,500 for 2015 and $3,500 for 2016).  Anyways, it helps that I can focus on $9,000 a year.  That's my most important goal for this year.  After I get $9,000 into retirement, then I can focus on my other goals.  So right now, I am putting minimum extra payments on the mortgage.  However, after I get $9,000 into retirement I can then focus on putting extra on the house or any other goals that I may have. 

To be honest, I am still struggling with what to do after I get my retirement funded.  I don't have a solid goal yet for how much extra to pay on the mortgage each year.  I thought I had a solid goal for how much extra to put away for a new car, but I don't think that number is solid in my mind yet either.  I need to figure these things out so that I can get a better plan together. 

I had a comment on a previous post (I think the commenter was Liquid Finance) about financial independence.  I want to get there, but I don't have a firm conception of what that means for me in my mind.  I know it means being debt free, paying off the mortgage and having savings and retirement.  However, again, I don't have exact numbers in my mind. 

Does anyone else have concrete figures of what financial independence means to you? 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Budget Breakdown May 1-15

Friday was payday so it's time for another budget breakdown!

$1,561 mortgage
$330 cell phone
$60 pet plan
$100 mother's day
$200 spending
$100 gas
$180 new car fund

The minimum payment on my mortgage is $1,469, so this payment includes about an extra $91! I love paying extra on my mortgage, I just hate that it is so little.  I can't wait until I can really start paying this thing off. 

I got my sister to make some changes to the cell phone bill, so it dropped about $40.  I still have to work on her to make a few more.  I really want to get this thing down under $300 a month.  Any extra money saved will go towards the mortgage.

I finally was able to put another $180 into my new car fund! Whoohoo! I have about $360 total.  Slowly, but surely I am making progress on putting aside money for a new car. My hope is to have $2,000 by the end of the year. 

Oh and still no luck finding that debit card!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Traveling and Job

I have so many things I want to put up posts about, but I simply have not had the time.  I have been traveling all over the state for the last few weeks.  I was up at 4:30 yesterday morning to get ready and left the house about 6:15 and did not pull into the house until 8:53p.m.  I am so tired and I have so much to do. 

I still hate my job, but I have not seen or heard about any interesting or new positions.  I can't even really think about it right now.  The dynamic in the office is the same.  Most of much of the staff is generally not in the office and while there is some irritation from the higher ups, nothing is done about it.  A few weeks ago, I worked a 14 hour day traveling (hearing and 2 depositions) and then came into the work the next morning and there was no support staff present.  Which meant on top of doing all of the administrative tasks I normally have to do (logging billiable time, travel reimbursement documents, etc,) I also had to answer the phone, get the mail and, of course, do my billiable work.  It's pretty ridiculous.

I can't wait to come home and sleep. Zzzz

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Lost Debit Card

I lost my debit card.  I have no idea how or where and that is very unlike me.  I'm really not sure if it was stolen or I simply lost it.  I feel like such a mess and so irresponsible.   Just when I was starting to feel like a responsible adult (I mean I opened and fully funded a Roth IRA and everything!).

However, it was easy to deactivate and order a replacement card.  In 5-7 business days I will have a new card and life will be normal again. Has anyone else ever misplaced a debit card?  Did you find it anywhere? I need some ideas of where to look for the old card. It's driving me crazy that I can't find it.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Budget Breakdown April 16-30

$170 utilities
$100 groceries
$100 gas
$1,327 emergency fund
$200 pet expenses
$200 spending
$33 alarm
$250 house/furniture
$150 mom.

The utilities were low this month!  It's probably the last month for the low bill though.  It's already starting to get hot in Florida.  It might be in the 90s this week.

I pulled $3,900 from my emergency savings to put into my Roth IRA for my 2015 contributions. (Had to beat that April 18, 2016 deadline.) So now I am in the process of paying that money back to my emergency fund before I start making contributions for 2016.

Slowly, but surely I am making progress. I'm impatient and would like everything done right now, but slow and steady wins the race. Right?

Friday, April 15, 2016

I maxed out my (2015) Roth!

I contributed $5,500 to my Roth for 2015 and I'm so excited!! I just beat the April 18, 2016 deadline and I can't wait to see my retirement funds grow and grow.  Hello retirement, here I come!

I also purchased my first vanguard mutual fund, it was a $3,000 minimum investment. (Geez, kinda steep!) I can't wait to see how much I will have saved in just a few years from now.  Ya'll wish me luck with this investing thing.  I am learning so much everyday.  I am already planning what fund I want to purchase with the next $3,000 that I get in my retirement account. 
Now I just need to find $5,500 in my budget for my 2016 contribution...

UPDATE: So I logged into my vanguard account this morning and I already lost a penny! I know, it's long term investing-but it still hurt.  I am going to have to resist the urge to check the balance everyday.  

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Making a Difference

Hey Guys!  I am being featured on Canadian Budget Binder's Making a Difference Series today.  You should check it out along with Mr. CBB's other helpful and interesting posts about being frugal.   I hope to see you guys over there ( 

Seriously, just check out today's post (4/9/16) and scroll down until you see the Making Difference Series. (Then go back to the top and read the entire post- it has amazing tips about spring cleaning with a toddler!)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Budget Breakdown April 1-15

$1,519 mortgage
$372 cell phone
$60 pet plan
$100 groceries
$200 spending
$100 gas
$100 retirement
$80 car

I was able to put an extra $50 on the mortgage this month. Yay! I know it's not much, but I figure every extra little bit will help me pay off the mortgage faster and I'll be a little closer to being financially independent.

After much cajoling (arguing) my sister has made some unknown changes to the cellular phone bill.  All I know is that the bill should be reduced for the next billing period.  I don't know by how much and I don't know what changes she made.  Only time will tell.  Any extra money will go to the mortgage next month.

Gosh darn it, I will cancel the pet plans this year and just save the cash!! I think the first one I can cancel is in July.

I was able to put another $100 towards retirement.  That makes the total for my 2015 Roth contributions $1,600.  I should be able to add a little more from my April 15 paycheck.  I will pull the rest out of savings so I can max out my Roth for 2015.  Sigh, I hate pulling money out of savings-even if it is to put into other savings.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Roth IRA

Last night I actually sat down and opened up a Roth IRA through Vanguard.  It was super easy.  I haven't bought any shares yet as the funds that I would like to participate in all have $3,000 minimums.  I transferred over $1,600. I only have about 2 weeks to get the remaining $3,900 into the Roth for 2015.  I really just want to get the $5,500 into it for 2015.  Then I can work on getting the $5,500 for 2016 over the course of the next year.  I would love to end 2017 with $16,500 for retirement.  It would really make me feel like I am getting caught up on all of the years I missed out on saving for retirement.

Anyways, maybe I will take the money out of my emergency fund and then replace it over the next few months.  I hate to take money of out my emergency fund, but I don't know any other way to make the numbers work. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

First Quarter Check In

Since, it's pretty much the end of the first quarter of the year, I thought I would give an update on how I am doing with my 2016 goals.

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!!

3. Save $2,000 towards a new vehicle- IN PROGRESS
I think I have saved $100 towards my new car.

4. Begin retirement contributions and save $5,500 towards retirement- IN PROGRESS
I have saved $1,500 toward retirement this year.

6. Begin investing in mutual funds- FAIL
I haven't started investing yet.  I plan to wait until I get my ROTH funded.

7. Maintain a $1,000 (work) travel fund- IN PROGRESS
I have around $700 in here. This ebbs and flows though because I travel for work and it takes 2 to 3 months for reimbursements.  I just received a reimbursement for December travel this week.

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

9. Build a $500 home maintenance fund- FAIL KIND OF
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.

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

11. Build a $500 pet fund- FAIL
I have been focusing on the Roth and saving money for new furniture. 

12. Lose 30lbs!!!!- IN PROGRESS
I have lost 3 lbs.  I've been sick and have not been able to exercise lately.  Should be able to get back on my routine soon.

13. Read 24 books- IN PROGRESS
Behind on this goal- I've only read 4 books.

14. Travel somewhere cool!- FAIL

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Financial Spring Cleaning

Today is the first day of Spring!  I love this time of year.   It's warm, the sun is shining, flowers are blooming and plants are growing!  Since I don't do a Spring cleaning in my household, I figured a financial Spring cleaning is in order.  Below are the things I considered as part of my financial spring cleaning.

1. Check for unnecessary expenses.  Do you have any recurring, automatic charges that you no longer need? Magazine subscriptions? Credit card protection plans?  If so, cancel them.  The only thing I have is a pet plan that I need to cancel.  I can't cancel it until July for 1 cat and December for the other 2 cats.  I need to get on the ball about this and start saving for their medial expenses.

2.  Check for ways to save money on your monthly bills.  Is the contract up on your cable, telephone or internet service?  Maybe you can call and see if the company is willing to offer you a new lower rate.  If the company is unwilling then maybe you can check out other companies to see if they offer lower rates.  I need to get on finding a way to lower my cellular phone bill.  I have the added problem of my sister being unwilling to make any changes to the account.  I need to speak to her, again, about finding a way to lower this bill. It's almost $400 a month!

3.  Check on your retirement.  Did you know you can fund your 2015 IRA until tax day in 2016?   I am seriously going to consider this.  I don't know how to do it yet, but I really plan on looking into whether I should add my paltry retirement savings into my IRA for 2015 and then adding another $5,500 into it for 2016.  There is less than 1 month to get on this. I really need to catch up on my retirement savings.

4.  Check on your savings.  How much money are you saving?  Do you have enough for emergencies? It's important to make sure that you have enough money put away for a rainy day.  IF you don't have enough, you should be adding to it to make sure that one day you will have enough.  Also, check the interest rate on your savings account.  I have one "high yield" online savings account that pays 1%.  I previously had one paying 0.75%.  Make sure you are getting all the interest you can from having your money sit in a bank.

5. Check on your debt.  Do you have any small debts that you can get rid of quickly? Do it! It will be a mental boost to get rid small little debts that have been hanging around for awhile.  Otherwise it's time to make a plan for your money.  Make a plan to pay off a debt this year.  Make a plan to become debt free. You have a lot more power when you are debt free.

Those are the only things I considered for my Financial Spring Cleaning.  Does anyone else have any tips?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Budget Breakdown March 16-31

$240 utilities
$100 groceries
$100 gas
$1000 retirement
$367 pet expenses
$200 spending
$33 alarm monitoring
$250 household items/furniture
$250 Mom

 So the best news of this budget is that I was able to put $1,000 towards retirement! Yay!  Retirement is becoming a reality.  I can't believe I'm actually at a point where I can save money for it.  My intention is to fully max out my Roth IRA this year.  Wish me luck. I also would like to put another $3,500 in mutual funds to save for retirement as well. 

I had some unexpected pet expenses this month, but luckily I had room in the budget.  Hopefully, next month that money will go towards retirement. The faster I reach $5,500 the better.

I am excited about the $250 to put towards my new furniture fund. Once I finally save enough for new furniture I plan to use this money to replace things around the house, a new fence, remodeling, etc.

The last category is for my mother.  My mother is in her late 60s and I am in my early 30s.  My father died at 68, when I was 25 years old.  I wish that I had been able to do more with him and really enjoy interacting with him.  I want the opportunity to enjoy my mom, now that we can be friends and less of the mother/daughter dynamic.  So this category represents that goal.  It also is a backup fund in case she gets sick and I can't work because I need to care for her. I also want to spoil my Mom because she has sacrificed so much for me and my sisters and my dad over the years,

Okay, that's it- 2 weeks of pay all gone. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Am I a Fool?

As you all know, because I have exclaimed loudly, proudly and repeatedly, I finally paid off my student loan debt earlier this year.  It was a huge weight off of my shoulders.  However, I have always wondered if I was a fool for paying it all off.

I have a friend who graduated with approximately $200,000 in student loan debt from law school! She is determined to utilize the Public Student Loan Forgiveness program to erase all of that debt.  She has to make payments on the loans for 10 years and work for, in her case, the State (or some other qualifying employer) for that entire 10 year time period.  She is on a income based repayment plan, which means her payments are about $700 a month.  All and all she had a pretty cushy job.  She makes about $70,000 a year, she has a retirement plan (to which the state contributes a portion) and she receives about 6 weeks of vacation time a year.  Her job is pretty secure.  The only uncertainty is, will the Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program still be around, in the small form as it is now, when her 10 years are up. 

It took me 10 years to pay off all of my debt and I paid over $75,000 back in total (the loans totaled about $61,000 before interest).  I now make $80,000, have 3 weeks of vacation time and no retirement plan (ROTH IRA it is). Oh and I paid back every penny that I owed- less about $3,000 that I received as an employment perk several years ago.

Okay, tell me was I silly to make all of those monster debt payments?  I could have stayed with the State for 10 years and paid, probably, a small payment and gotten the majority of the loans forgiven.  (I promise if I was still working for the State my salary would probably only be in the 60,000s and when I first worked for the State I had so much debt that my discretionary income would have been minimal.) I would not have had to make $2000 payments in order to pay it all off and I could have kept more money for myself in the long run.    

Monday, March 7, 2016

Looking back

Can you believe that February is over and March has begun?  It seems like it was just Christmas.  Time is flying by and I don't know where it has gone.  Two months ago I was frothing at the mouth to pay off the last bit of my student loan.  Now, it's all gone and I'm on to the next hill to climb.  Retirement and it's a big hill.  It's stressful to think about.  I need to save $9,000 this year for retirement.  Less, than half of what I put on my student loans for last year.  It should be easy to do, right? I just need to also save for a new car, pay extra on the mortgage, save for upgrades to the house, donate to charity, etc, etc.   It all seems a bit overwhelming.  I think I'm a bit tired of fighting.

When I start feeling overwhelmed, I start looking back to see how far I've come.  Last year in March 2015, I had no money saved for retirement.  This year, I already have $500.  Last year in March, I had over $20,000 left  to pay on my student loan, this year it's completely gone. Last year in March I had $2,700 in my online saving account, this year I have over $5,100.  My finances are improving, slowly, but surely.  It's hard to see the progress, it's scary to think that I won't ever have enough money or that I won't reach my goals.  And that could happen, but I'm moving in the right direction.  I haven't mastered this whole contentment thing or my desire for instant gratification, but I know that good things take time. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Budget Breakdown March 1-15

$1611 mortgage ($1469 regular payment, $141 extra principal)
$359 cellular phone bill
$60 pet plan
$100 groceries
$200 spending
$100 gas
$100 car fund

I already blogged that I was able to make a extra $141 payment towards principal on my mortgage this month.  I am so glad I can finally start chipping away at it! 

The other change to my budget is now that I am debt free I am taking over the cellular phone bill that my sister used to pay.  We have about 5 lines (me, 2 sisters, my mother and a extra line- I don't know why we have that line) it seems pretty expensive to me and now that I am in charge of the bill I will try to find ways to chip away at the cost. 

That's all there is, 2 weeks of pay all gone.  The next 2 week budget should have much more money towards savings. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Extra Principal Payment on the Mortgage

Today, for the first time in almost 2.5 years, I made a payment on my mortgage that had an extra $141 towards principal!  I have been wishing and hoping that I could put extra payments on my mortgage for some time now.  It meant more to me than paying off my last student loan.   I have not felt such elation in a long time.  I know it's not much and that I still have a long way to go, but it felt good. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Income Streams and wealth building

So I have read a little bit about how people have become rich and multiple income streams has come up a few times.   I started thinking about my finances and of course I don't have multiple income streams or at least very good ones.

Right now I have my job as an attorney ($5000 a month-after taxes) and an online savings account (approximately $4 a month-before taxes).  I also have a cash back credit card that pays 1.5% across the board on all purchases.  Right now I have about $65 in cash back rewards, which I will probably cash out and add to my furniture fund.  That's pretty awful for multiple income streams.

I hope to one day figure out another income stream (more than an extra $4 a month) so that I don't have to depend on my job to keep my bills paid. 

I also have been thinking about my post the other day about where to focus my money now that I am debt free.  I think I have been thinking too ambitiously,I need to focus on building wealth.  For me that means making sure that I can retire one day.  I plan to make sure that I fully fund my roth ira each year up to $5,500.  I then plan to put another $3,500 a year into mutual funds.  Those 2 issues will be my main priority.  I can't make up lost time in retirement later on, I need time and compound interest on my side.  I will focus on getting the roth ira fully funded as soon as possible each year. The idea of having a hardset goal to work towards as soon as possible gets me excited again.  I will put a small amount away each month towards my other goals and then add more to them in the later months after the retirement money is taken care of.  Paying off the house can wait, I will add a little extra to the mortgage when I have the money and let time do it's thing.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


So now that I am debt free (except for my mortgage), I have been struggling with where to focus my money.  I have a lot of goals and dreams: I want to pay down my mortgage to get rid of the PMI, I want to pay down the mortgage as much as possible, I want to save about $30,000 in my emergency fund, I want to put money in retirement, I want to start investing, I want to save up for new furniture and I want to save up for a new car, etc. 

When I was paying off debt, I focused all of my money towards getting rid of the debt.  So every extra dime when to the debt.  Now I feel like I no longer have that power of focus.  I have so many different goals now and each month each goal gets a little money.  I miss those $2,000+ payments a month.  I'm not sure where to go with my goals.  Should I cancel all of my other goals and save up the $5,500 for my roth ira?  Then once I get the $5,500 saved up for the year, move on to the next goal?

The problem is everything feels immediate to me now.  I stayed out of retirement savings for so long to pay off debt, I didn't save for a new car to pay off debt, etc.  So now I feel like I have to do everything at once.  It's very frustrating.  I thought everything would be soooo easy now that all of the debt has been paid off.

Unfortunately, I am a believer in diligence and I know that with time and patience good things can come to fruition. I know as long as I keep pecking away, I will meet my goals.  I'm just so impatient!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Budget Breakdown February 16-29

Yesterday was payday so here is my budget breakdown:

$270 utilities
$100 groceries
$95 gas
$735 online savings account
$200 spending
$33 alarm monitoring
$500 retirement
$500 Mom's birthday
$97 furniture fund

After paying off my student loans, this is the first budget where I really got to send more of my payment to savings.  It felt good!!! My online savings account is now up to $5,000.34!! Yay! I now have $10,000 in my checking account and $5,000 in my online savings account for a total of $15,000!

I should start earning about $4.00 a month in interest on my savings account now that the balance is at $5,000!  So far this month, I have only earned $1.79 in interest.

Also, I have set aside $500 to start my Roth IRA contributions.  I know it's not much and I haven't even opened an account yet, but it feels good to now be able to report that I have retirement savings!! One day retirement may become a reality!

Having money going towards savings rather than debt is a good feeling.  It makes me feel more confident and independent.  I don't feel as though my world will collapse if I lose my job. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Budget Breakdown February 1-15

$1,480 mortgage
$310 emergency fund
$182 mortgage escrow shortage
$60 pet plan
$190 groceries
$200 spending
$100 gas

I pulled $1,690 out of my emergency fund so that I could pay off my student loan (back in January), so the $310 represents a payment back into the EF to build it back up.  I actually just checked my bank account and my tax refund came in, so with that my emergency fund is now back up to $10,000!  Whohoo! That was making me nervous having it under $10,000. 

After pulling my EF back up to $10,000 I still had $238 left of my tax refund and I transferred that $238 into my online savings account.  With that $238, I have $4,265 in my online savings account.   I want to build that online savings account up to $5,000 so that my total EF equals $15,000.  I eventually will build it up to about $20,000.  However,  I want to start working on retirement, saving for new furniture and a new car which means anything over $15,000 will have to wait.  Whew! Anyways, I gotta run.  Hopefully, this evening I will have time to catch up on some of my favorite blogs! 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


I finally received all of all my paperwork so that I could file my taxes.   The final numbers show that I will receive a refund of $1,613. 

There were a couple of issues that were irritating to me about filing my taxes.  First, I'm glad that I don't owe any money, but I hated to see all of the interest that I paid for my mortgage.  I paid over $7,500 in interest for the privilege of having a mortgage.  Sigh. 

Second, I paid over $500 in student loan interest last year.  I was able to take a $28 deduction for that student loan interest.  Wow, seriously.  Apparently the IRS saw fit to reduce the amount of the deduction you can take for student loan interest based on your income.  I'm not trying to be political here, but why are you punishing people who have higher incomes?  I think some IRS regulations should be the same across the board.  I tend to think if I have student loan debt it's because I'm not in a position to pay it off, meaning I don't have the financial resources to do so.  Which in turns means I don't have a ton of disposable income due to my "higher" income.  Does anyone else find this as frustrating?  This is just another reason why I am glad that I am not only debt free, but student loan debt free as well!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Taking Care of Things

Now that I have paid off that nasty, hairy student loan I have been more willing to purchase the little things that are needed around the house.  I used to put off the little things so that I could save more money to put towards the student loans.  For example, I purchased a new litter mat for my cats. In store the mat costs $40 (petsmart).  I found it on Amazon for $26 (taxes included).  I needed a new mat because my cats like to claw the mat and rip it to shreds.  Until they began ripping it, it worked like a charm to cut down on the litter that they would spread across the room.

I also finally ordered a new filter for the refrigerator.  Of course, now that I ordered it, it's been back ordered.  Sigh. 

The last thing I ordered was a new set of checks.  I moved into this house 2.5 years ago and never had new checks printed.  I found some inexpensive checks online for a total of $15.93 (checks, taxes and shipping).  Bank of America was charging over $25 for the same amount of checks! 

Now, here's the confession.  I feel guilty for spending the money.  I have the money in my budget, but I still feel inclined to save and sacrifice. I should have saved some of that money to be used to replace the money I took out of savings to pay off the loan.  I can't wait for this weird mindset to dissipate so that I feel okay spending a little.  

Friday, January 29, 2016

Mortgage Payments

So when I arrived home from work yesterday I checked the mail and my yearly escrow analysis for my mortgage arrived.   The statement predicted a $182 shortage which means I can pay that $182 now or spread out during the course of the year. 

Sounds like Wells Fargo found out I paid off my student loans. 

Of course I will pay the $182 now.  I don't want my mortgage payment to go up.  In case hard times ever fall upon me, the smaller the mortgage payment the better.  I hate how it seems that the universe can sense a little extra money in your pocket. Oh well.

Now I just have to wait for the homeowner's association dues invoice to arrive...

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

New Worries

I only have time for a quick post today.  I'm already running behind as far as getting ready for work today. 

I just wanted to take a few minutes and jot down some new worries I have been experiencing since becoming debt free.  This is the beginning of a new phase of my life and now I am worried that it could all be taken away.  What if I lose my job or get fired before I rebuild my emergency fund?  What if I lose my job before I can start saving for retirement?  What if I fall back into debt? 

There's more and more of those similar thoughts brewing in my head.  I want to save money and be financially secure and I'm worried that something bad will happen before it get there.  I know my fears are irrational, but they keep popping up.  Does anyone else have this little worries creep in? 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Mark the Day...

I am debt free!!! Well, except for my mortgage!! I pulled the trigger and pulled money out of savings to pay off my student loan.  I really just couldn't bare waiting any longer and paying $0.14 a day in interest.  I did not feel the elation that I had hoped to feel, instead I feel a bit nervous.  I pulled the money out of savings so my emergency fund is down to $8,316 (but my online savings account remains at $4,023).  I hate having my emergency fund below $10,000, but by mid- February it should be back where it was.  Less than a month away.

It's weird how being debt free is not as exciting as I thought it would be.  I felt way more excitement paying off loans and credit cards along the way. Strange...

Oh well, now I can start planning my journey to build wealth and give.  Here's a lovely snapshot of my account:

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

January Budget 16-31

$190 utilities
$100 groceries
$100 HOA dues
$79 car registration
$98 dentist appointment
$1622 student loan
$33 home alarm
$200 spending
$100 gas

I don't think I will have to pay the $98 for my dental exam because the firm just recently started providing dental insurance. However, I will probably use that money for a voluntary bar association due payment ( I am a member of a local bar association and the dues are $90).

I already paid and blogged about my student loan payment. Now, that the balance is down to $1,693, I am seriously considering paying it off- like today.  I accrue $0.14 in interest a day and I already owe $0.68.  I'm just tired of paying on this thing.  I will let you know what I decide to do!

Saturday, January 16, 2016


Yesterday was payday and I made a large payment on my one remaining student loan.  I used the entire $400 I received in travel voucher reimbursements, the $1622 I budgeted for the payment and the excess money I had left from last budget period.  The total payment amounted to $2,154!  That payment brought the balance down to $1,693 (with interest calculated through 1/31/16)!!!  I am paid up for over 9 years, my next payment is not due until May 16, 2025!!

 Literally, only $1,693 stands between me and being DEBT FREE (except for my mortgage)!!  I am pushing my pessimism aside and I am going to be debt free by the end of this month! If I am able to pay this off at the end of this month, I will have cut over 14 years off of the original repayment plan!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

January 1-15 Budget

Hey guys and gals, January is flying by and I have not had the chance to put up a new post in awhile.  Since it is almost the end of this budget period, I figure it must be time to put up my budget post! lol!
Anyways, this is how the first 15 days of January were budgeted out:

$1,480 mortgage
$592 student loan
$60 pet plan
$90 groceries
$200 spending
$100 groceries

There will be major changes coming to the budget in mid- February once I pay off my student loan and I have already made a couple of draft budgets just to see how things will fall out.  Oh I just received a $400 travel voucher reimbursement and have decided to put that money on my student loan, so I think as of tomorrow I will have the student loan paid down to about $1,800 or $1,900 (depending on my spending today and tomorrow).   Yay!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

2015 Goal Review

 I made 10 goals at the beginning of 2015.  I did a  status update on June 5, 2015 and Octotber 4, 2015. Below are the final results

1. Pay off $10,000 on my student loans.

PASS- - I paid off $20,317 on my student loans!

 2. Pay off the smaller student loan completely.

PASS- the loan was paid off in April of 2015!

3. Cash flow the dental work I have left.

4. Be a better friend to my friends.
PASSISH I was definitely there for a good friend of mine when her mother passed away this year.

5. Read at least 24 books
FAIL- I ONLY READ 18 BOOKS! I don't know what happened.  

6. Give more (time and money).
FAIL!!- I did not give much time or money to any charitable organizations. 

7. Lose weight = 30lbs. OMG!! Weight loss to date--3lbs. Sigh.

 8. Find a new job.

9. Be more positive!

10. Increase online savings account to $3,500.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Student loan Numbers Through December 2015

I tracked my student loan payoff amounts (somewhat) for 2015.  The total amount owed at the end of each month is shown below.

December 2014: $23,650
February 2015 $22,226 
April 2015: $19,408
May 2015: $18,939
June 2015: $16,632
July 2015: $14,824
August 2015: $12,392
September 2015: $9,999
October 2015: $8,019
November 2015: $5,692
December 2015: $3,844

I paid a total of $20,317.22 to my student loans in 2015, of that amount $506.26 went to interest.  I made my final goal of paying $20,000 to my student loan in 2015!! I'm so excited that I accomplished that goal.  It was a great year for student loan payoff.  My next payment is not due for over 8 years! 

Coming soon, an analysis of how I did on my 2015 goals!

Friday, January 1, 2016

$3,000s and Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year Everyone!!!! Welcome to 2016!!

I accomplished both of my most recent goals for my student loan! I paid over $20,000 on it in 2015 and got the balance down into the $3000s.  The exact amount owed is $3,844 (with interest calculated through January 15, 2016).  The next payment is not due until 3/16/2024! I'm so excited to have gotten the balance down into the $3,000s because I wasn't sure that I was going to make it, but I had just enough leftover Christmas money to make it happen.  See the snapshot below:

My goal is to have the loan down to $2,500 my mid-January and then pay it off at the end of January.  I will have to make over a $1300 payment in mid-January and hopefully (fingers crossed) I will receive a travel voucher reimbursement before the end of January so that I will only have to pull a small amount of savings to pay this thing off.  Boy, the idea of getting rid of the risk associated with this student loan is making me so happy!  I constantly fret about what would happen if I lose my job and can't make payments on it.  I would hate to have it paid it down so low and then have a bunch of interest accrue and raise the balance back up.