Monday, July 23, 2018

Secrets and Lies 2

I don't know about everyone else, but throughout my life I often seem to be in opportune (or inopportune) places to hear sensitive, scandalous or private information.  No, I'm not eavesdropping, sometimes people will voluntarily reveal information to me- maybe because I'm the only other person around.  Sometimes it is said in such a place that I am unable to avoid overhearing the information.  

Due to the nature of the information I have been made privy to I cannot disclose it to those close to me as it would ruin friendships, working relationships or simply be construed as gossip.  I'm not the type to want to cause drama in the lives of my friends, family or work relationships. So, your beautiful ears (or eyes rather) will get to hear the random secrets and lies that I hear. I figure my blog can act as my stress relief/venting place for all of the craziness I hear. A lot of these stories also provided valuable financial lessons. 

So this is the second installment of this series.  Let's turn to a co-worker I had years ago, named, "Carol".  Carol was an older lady in her late to mid-50s.  She was married and had been married for around 30 years.  She had 2 kids, one daughter and one son (developmentally disabled).  She made around $25,000 a year as a legal assistant.  Her husband made around $200,000 a year, with bonuses.  They lived in a big house on the north side of town.  She would often host parties at her house and brag about her husband (he was handsome, made a lot of money, etc.). They frequently would scout out potential rental properties. 

Her life fell apart quickly, her husband wanted a divorce, he had been cheating on her with a much younger woman (mid-30s). The history is that Carol was the "other woman" when she first met her husband. He left his wife and married Carol.  Also, he apparently cheated on Carol for years when they lived in Miami (years before I met her), but she stayed in the relationship.  He made good money and she grew up poor.  Carol was not involved in the finances and they had separate bank accounts.  Her husband learned that one of the tenants in their rental properties was vacating the property and decided not to rent out the unit.  He took that as an opportunity to announce his intent to get a divorce and tell her to move into that rental property.  She did.  He stayed in the big house and paid the bills until it was sold.  They had several other rental properties to sell-off too.  Carol was angry, of course.  The family had been through much turmoil just a few years before when their developmentally disabled son had gotten into a bad accident and was no longer permitted to drive.  He would sometimes take his father's car and drive, anyways, to hang out with friends about 1.5 hours away.  He later got into some major criminal trouble which resulted in a major police investigation and a raid on their home.  He was arrested and prosecuted. He did not have to go to prison.

After the divorce proceedings began, Carol started telling her co-workers about how horribly her husband had always treated her and how unhappy she was in the marriage.  She started calling her husband at work and showing up at his office.  She eventually got him fired because she was so disruptive.  Her son would call her friends late at night and tell him how drunk she was.  She turned her son against his father.  She had trouble staying on her budget of $25,000 a year.  She kept one of her husband/soon to be ex-husband's credit cards and charged clothing and purses on it.  She would tell anyone who would listen about how her husband kicked her out of their home.   I'll save you all of the awful details, she was a mess.  Ultimately, she had a decent settlement from the divorce, including half of his retirement money, the proceeds from some of her rental properties and she was fine financially. 

I learned a lot from her situation.  Mostly, if I ever married I planned to be involved in the finances.  That way, there would be no surprises.  I also learned that if a relationship does not feel right, then leave.  Don't suffer along for money or other benefits.  I was very young when all of this happened so it was very eyeopening for me. 

I could go on and on about her secrets and lies, but that is enough for now.  Have  you ever had someone tell you private or scandalous information?  How did you react?  What did you do?

Friday, July 20, 2018

It's Friday!!

Thank goodness for the weekend!! I cannot wait. This is just going to be a stream of consciousness post, so forgive me in advance. 

Monday was payday and I was able to sock away another $1,000 to retirement.  I also made another $25 donation to charity.  I am over $225 in donations for the year. I hope I surprise myself this year and get close to $400 in charitable donations (baby steps people!).  Only time will tell, maybe, just maybe, we will get bonuses this year.  That will definitely up my charitable donations as I believe in spreading the good!  I always give my sister and mother a portion of any bonus I receive.  This year I would also like to give some to charity. 

My retirement contributions so far this year:

1/15/18    $1,390
2/15/18    $610
3/15/18    $1,270
4/16/18    $765
4/27/18    $55
5/11/18    $55
5/15/18    $1,355 
6/15/18    $1,000
7/1/18      $100
7/12/18    $25
7/16/18    $1,000

Those little bits and pieces certainly add up over time.  I have officially reached my $30,000 milestone with this last contribution.  I have only $2,875 left to contribute for the year.

I also have over $2,000 in travel reimbursements pending from work so I might push a little of that money towards my retirement accounts too (when it FINALLY is sent to me).  

I have so much to do this weekend:

1. cut the grass
2. clean the house (including dusting, mopping and vacuuming). 
3. do the laundry
4. wash my car and clean out the inside
5. catch up on some projects at work
6. finish my book- sparkling cyanide by Agatha Christie
7. exercise
8. make dinners and lunch for the week
9. solidify some financial plans/goals- i need a better focus for my financial life

Alright I need to get ready for work.  Have a great Friday!! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Negotiating for A Raise

I probably shouldn't post this, but I am planning to ask my boss for a raise.  Yes, I know that I received a raise a year ago.  No, I'm not being greedy.  Here's the back story: my boss is actively seeking to take on a new client (A company) with a diverse, widespread and large book of business. The company has cases throughout the State.  I have been supportive in assisting him with obtaining this client. He definitely needs to build his brand.   I helped him to submit a proposal, informational paperwork and encouraged him to attend meet and greets with the company big wigs so that he would be awarded the contract. Now, it looks like he pretty much has the contract.  He has intimated that he wants me to run this project.

Undoubtedly, if he secures this contract I will have an even larger work load.  I'm already busy.  I think it's only fair if I am compensated with a raise.  I'm trying to think of a fair compensation arrangement, but that's hard to do without hard numbers.  I don't want to bid against myself by asking for a small $2,500-$5,000 raise.  However, I don't want to ask for a huge raise if the company ends up sending him only a portion of its work.  I'm thinking some sort of commission or quarterly bonus, but I truly fear that he won't be honest about the arrangement (i.e., he will lie about the number of billable hours, number of cases or something else when he decides that he no longer wants to honor the agreement).  I definitely have some thinking to do about the situation. What would you do in this situation?

If he does not want to offer me some additional compensation, I plan on telling him that I can't take on the project and he needs to hire someone else to handle that client. Let the cards land where they may. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

New Savings Account- Update

Another short post!  A few weeks ago I opened a savings account with Ally because it was offering a 1.75% rate.  Right around that time I saw that a company named Marcus was offering 1.8%.  I figured I would stay with Ally for a bit before rushing over to check out Marcus. 

So far Ally seems okay.  It's offering a higher rate than my old savings account so I am pleased.  I was worried for a few days because at the end of June because no interest posted to my account.  As I clicked on various links on the site I saw that the statement cycles ended on the 15th, so I figured I would wait until today to see if any interest posted.   It did!  I received $9.58 for a partial month of parking my money.  That's more than I received for having my money parked for an entire month in my former savings account!

I will keep you updated on how Ally works out for me. 

FYI- this is not a sponsored post.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Net Worth Update

Here's where the numbers stand.

 $11,650 Emergency Fund
 $11,761 Online Savings Account/$6,587 of that amount is for my Car Replacement Fund
 $25,722 Retirement- Roth IRA
  $3,188 Taxable Brokerage (Retirement)

$269 Travel Fund (Work)
$716 pet fund 
$57 medical fund
$1,991 furniture fund
$367 Slush fund

$299,385-per zillow

              Total (not including home): $55,721
              Total (including home): $355,106

Mortgage $203,877

                   Total (not including mortgage): 0
                    Total (including mortgage): -$203,887

        Total Net Worth(not including mortgage): $55,721                                             
        Total Net Worth(including mortgage): $151,229

Net worth, not including mortgage, increased by $4,846 from April(last net worth update)
Net worth, including mortgage, increased by $7,442 from April(last net worth update)

Still going the right direction so that is great! This is despite of some recent drops in my retirement account due to the market and a slightly lower value for my home.   Can't wait to see how much things grow by the end of the next quarter.  Happy Fourth of July!!!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Second Quarter Update

At the beginning of the year, I set some goals for myself.  Let's see how I am doing.

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.  So Far I have contributed $6,500 towards retirement this year.  $5,500 of that went into my Roth IRA.  $1,000 to my taxable account.  I still have $4,000 left to contribute towards retirement for the year. 

2.Increase EF to $18,500. I added just a little to my EF, but then I had to spend $335 for the garage door repair.  I will focus on this after my retirement savings for the year are done. 

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. So far so good,  I have been paying $400 extra on the mortgage for the last few months.  I am defintely on track to have this under $200,000 by the end of the year. 

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. My car replacement fund is sitting at $6,587 as of the time of this entry. Again, I will focus on this more after my retirement accounts are funded for the year. 

5.  Read 15 books. I have completed at least 3 books this year.  I have been starting books, but  not finishing them.  Hopefully I'll do better for the next report.  

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.  I haven't weighed myself, but I have been getting in 4 days a week of exercise most weeks (Except when traveling). 

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. I have contributed $203 to charity so far this year.  I'm actually ahead of schedule for where I should be at this time of year! I can't wait to see how much I actually end up donating by the end of the year.

8. Build medical fund up to $1,000. This is sitting at $57, but I have been using this for various medical appointments. 

9. Continue to build car repair fund up to $1,000. This is currently at $240, but I will need an oil change in the next week or so. 

10. Get more life insurance. No progress here.

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.   I haven't had a chance to even begin to address this.  However, there are a lot of changes coming at work and this might be a bargaining tool for me. 

12. Find a new primary care doctor and receive treatment for anxiety and depression. No progress.

13. Make a decision about my career and job. No progress.

14. Try something new (or outside of my comfort zone) each month (restaurant, activity or social event). I did pretty good at this for the first quarter, but not so great for the second quarter.  I did try a new restaurant, opened a new savings account for a higher interest rate and continued to tip cleaning staff at hotels.

15. Increase net worth by $25,000. I failed to do a net worth post at the beginning of the year. I have been adding to my retirement savings and paying extra on the mortgage so I am definitely making progress on this goal.  Stay tuned for an updated net worth post. 

How are you guys doing on your yearly goals?  Are you on track or falling behind?  I feel like tracking my yearly goals helps keep me accountable and making progress.