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?