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!