Tuesday, March 28, 2017

$0 Balance

The furniture bill is paid in full!!!! I am debt free (except for my mortgage) once again. Not a dime of interest was paid and I am now the proud owner of a sofa, chair, ottoman, etc.  Happy Tuesday!!!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Getting Close!!!

Yesterday was payday and I was able to put $1,903 on the furniture bill.  I now only owe $1,316. It's so close to being paid off!!

As a reminder this is the 0% interest furniture financing that I did at the end of last year.  I have until January of 2018 to pay off the balance in order to not incur interest charges.  My tax refund will be $1,484 so I should have enough money to pay off the furniture.  Also, my sister (We live together) has agreed to give me some money to pay on the furniture.  She wants to give me $1,000, but I am thinking maybe $700 would be sufficient as it would leave me with a good amount of money left over to put into my retirement account.

I can't wait until that balance is at 0 and I can get back to focusing on my retirement account. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Road Warrior 2017

I have been traveling so much for work over the last 2 months.  I have 3 more trips before the end of March and I think I currently have over $1,200 in travel reimbursements pending.  I will definitely have over $2,500 by the end of the month (which is approximately 1/2 of a month's take home pay for me).

I really hate having travel reimbursements as it has been an ongoing struggle to get them paid in a timely manner.  Additionally, when the reimbursements are paid, it is in a piecemeal fashion. (I may get 1 or 2 after about 60 to 90 days.  Then another 1 or 2, etc, etc.)  The whole process sucks.  I'm trying to get out of a trip on Monday, but I will see what I can do.  I think my assistant is irritated with me for failing to ask her to set up a telephonic appearance earlier, but I do what I can.  At least she had a week to coordinate it.

Due to the slow reimbursement process I had to temporarily pull $500 out of my emergency fund to fund my upcoming trips throughout the end of the month. Arghh!! I hate doing that.  I like my money to stay where I put it.

On a positive note, with my tax return I should be able to pay off the balance of the furniture sometime this month and that makes me so happy as I will not have to pay a penny of interest and I received 20% off of the whole purchase!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Weekend Goals Final Update and Taxes

1. Complete taxes- DONE
2. Balance my checkbook
3. Finish staining that dang fence-DONE
4. Trim around the driveway
5. Treat the house for termites and other pests- DONE
6. Spray the weeds in the sidewalk cracks- DONE
7. Relax and read a book
8. Clean bathroom-DONE
9. Clean room-PARTIALLY DONE
10.Go into work-DONE

I did most of the things on my list.  I will balance my checkbook today because payday is tomorrow and I need to make sure everything is where it should be.  I could not trim the driveway as my sister loaned our trimmer to a friend. Hopefully, I will get to that one day this week. I will be out of town a few days this week so I may have to wait until this weekend.  But when do I have free time to relax and read my book?!!!

I am getting a refund this year on my taxes to the tune of $1,484.  All of that will go towards paying off that furniture I purchased and hopefully in April I can start focusing on funding my retirement accounts for the year (only $8,500 left to go).  

The mortgage interest deduction is the only reason that I have received refunds the past few years.  I have considered adjusting my withholding so that I don't get a refund, but I think I will just leave things alone for now as I hope to really start making huge payments on my mortgage and soon enough the interest won't be enough to deduct anyways. 

Happy Tuesday and Happy Budgeting people!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Weekend Update

I made a few goals earlier this week, for this weekend.  Here is the current status:

1. Complete taxes- I have started, just never finished.
2. Balance my checkbook
3. Finish staining that dang fence
4. Trim around the driveway
5. Treat the house for termites and other pests- DONE
6. Spray the weeds in the sidewalk cracks- DONE
7. Relax and read a book

It's only Sunday morning so, hopefully I will get a few more checked off the list before the end of the weekend.  I think I will add the following items:

8. Clean bathroom
9. Clean room
10.Go into work

I spent most of Saturday helping my mom at her house.  Getting her mailbox painted, pulling weeds in her rock garden, pulling the rocks away from the foundation of the house, going to look at storage sheds for her backyard, fixing a few boards on her deck, running to the store to buy a new rug pad, cleaning the living room so that we could put down a new rug, etc. 

Wish me luck guys!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Not Much Going on Here

Just popping in to say hello and good morning! There is not much going on here, I have just been traveling for work.  I need to spend some time cleaning my house and getting my finances in order.  Hopefully I will get all of that done this weekend.  It's only Wednesday and I am already dreaming of the weekend.  

Here are my weekend goals:
1. Complete taxes- I have started, just never finished.
2. Balance my checkbook
3. Finish staining that dang fence
4. Trim around the driveway
5. Treat the house for termites and other pests
6. Spray the weeds in the sidewalk cracks
7. Relax and read a book

Okay, that's all. Gotta head to work.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Work update

I haven't posted a work update in quite some time.  This is, basically, because I try not to think about work when I am not at work.  It's just too stressful.

Work is the same as it has been for years.  I continue to look for a good quality job to apply for, the problem is I can't find one that will pay the same amount of money that I am making now (or more) in my town.  Unfortunately, the largest employer in my city is the State. The State has wonderful benefits, but the pay is generally subpar. I am also very wary of private law firms only because the 3 I have worked for have been awful.  I hear horror stories from my cohorts regarding firms they have worked for in town.  That's why I am generally considering positions where my law degree would come in handy, but would be different from the day to day practice of law.   I just haven't figure out what that position is, but hopefully I will. 

For those of you who don't know, my boss is beyond strange.  Seriously, there is something wrong with him, I'm not kidding. I can't even begin to explain what is wrong with him. He is exhausting. His medications (which he speaks of often) do not work.  His counseling, does not work.  However, he has been at work more this year and that seems to slightly help the timeliness issues.  It also seems to help his assistant come to work more. Previously, neither my boss nor his assistant came to work very much and all of the extra fell on me.  He wouldn't get stuff out on time and I would end up staying late and working weekends to get things done. I was tasked with answering the phone and doing other clerical tasks when his assistant wouldn't come to work.  It's slightly better now, but really I think it's because the South Florida office has complained to both partners about not timely getting feedback about firm matters because of the absence of my boss and his assistant.

Now my boss's assistant has received quite a bit of negative attention about her absences from the office.  Nothing has happened to her, but people keep making mention of her lack of attendance and her false timesheets.  However, no disciplinary action has been taken and I think she is very lucky.  At it's peak, her absences could span a 3 week period of time. 1 week of vacation, 3 (work days) pre-vacation to prepare, and 1 week post-vacation to recover from illnesses acquired during her vacation.  Additionally, she, generally, would take (at least) one day off a day every 2 weeks.

I hope this trend continues, of my boss and his assistant coming to work more often, as it really has taken a burden off of me. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

March Goals

In February I made several goals and I don't think I accomplished many, if any of them.

1.Get taxes done- FAIL
2. read 1 book - FAIL
3. lose 2lbs- haven't weighed
4. figure out what needs to be organized=- FAIL
5.try to stick to budget- PASSISH
6. plan 2 social events - FAIL
7. feel less depressed about life. - PASSISH

Although a short month, February was a rough month.  I'm so glad it is over.  I'm ready for Spring, yard work and less traveling for work.  However, I have to get through March, then the travel should slow down for awhile.  I won't go through all the detail, but most of you know about my plight with travel voucher reimbursements (having to wait 2-3 months for reimbursement).  One co-worker actually told me she had $5,000 outstanding at any one time. That is simply an amount of money that I cannot afford to have outstanding for months and month. 

I am hopeful that March will be a better month for me goal-wise. So here are my March goals

1. Finish staining/sealing repaired portion of fence
2. Repair other side of the fence
3. read 1 book
4. lose 2 lbs
5. Pay off furniture loan
6. Get taxes done and filed
7. Work on career options

Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Extra mortgage payment

I was able to put an extra $195 principal payment on the mortgage for my March payment!  My mortgage balance is now down to $215, 503 (from $216, 127)!   My goal is to have the balance into the $214,000s with my end of March payment (for the first of April).

I am slowly but surely chipping away at the mortgage.  I can't wait until the balance falls down into the $100,000s.  I'm pretty sure this house is not my forever home, but I want to make a nice profit when I sell (instead of writing a check).

I can get rid of the PMI when the balance is down to approximately $197,000 so I have quite a long way to go.  I pay off approximately $6,000 of principal a year, so I have about 3 years to go (roughly).   I think I can get the balance down to $197,000 in about 2 years from now because I intend to dump as much extra as I can onto the mortgage this year.

I received a comment via email  (I rarely check my email guys, I'm sorry) from Emily about ways to get rid of the PMI.  Emily suggested refinancing in order to get rid of the PMI if the value of my house had increased enough.  While I hate paying PMI, I don't think refinancing is a good option in my case right now.  I have a very low interest rate and I don't want to lose that just to get rid of PMI. I also think zillow has over inflated the value of my home by about $15,000.  Nevertheless, I wanted to put Emily's suggestion out there, just in case anyone is looking for suggestions about how to get rid of PMI prematurely.

Happy first day of March! It will be Spring soon.