Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Car Shopping Adventures

I have a car that is 13 to 14 years old.  It is starting to have some issues here and there so I am thinking about replacing it.  Since I have kept my car for so long, I plan to buy a brand new car, again (I can hear the gasps from the personal finance community, but I don't care.)

I was hoping to take advantage of some of the year end deals, but nothing is interesting to me.  I have researched and researched and I cannot find a car that I WANT to buy.  I have test driven an Acura MDX, a Honda Pilot and a Volvo XC60.  I am thinking about  test driving a mazda CX9.  Everything is expensive and nothing appeals to me. Also, why are cars so expensive?

The Honda Pilot looks like a van now. It's weird. I did like the Honda Passport, but no Passports were on the lot.  The MDX is pretty expensive with no real added features.  I can get a fully loaded Honda for the same price without paying for the Acura name.  The XC60 is expensive and I can get the standard features in another car for less money.  Volvo also has not done well in reliability ratings, but does extremely well in safety testing.  However, I want a car that does both!  I plan to keep this new car for at least 10 years.

I love my Toyota, but I hate the Toyota dealership in my town.  That makes me not want to buy a toyota and give money to a company that is pretty awful over all  (including scratching cars while doing service work and lying about it, charging for work not actually done, leaving the oil change light on rather than resetting it, stating that they did free things that they did not actually do, e.g, topping off liquids, performing shoddy work like brake work and not properly tightening things so that brake fluid leaked and ruined a wheel, etc.).

I would like a mid size SUV which will hold all of my boxes, binders, carts, etc when I travel for trials, depositions and hearings.  I would like all of the safety features (lane keeping assist, collision mitigation, etc.) and AWD (only for the extra traction for driving in the rain while tired).  I want all of these features because if and only if things go according to plan, I will drive this vehicle for 10 to 15 years. I want to buy a decent car that I wont regret buying after 5 years.

Car shopping sucks.  I may give up and try again in 6 months.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Holiday Bonus!

I got a Holiday bonus check at work yesterday!!! I was totally shocked and so excited!!  I plan to write a super nice thank card to both of the partners and send it out today. I think this is the largest bonus I have ever received, I grossed almost $5,200 and I am taking home almost $4,000 ($3900 and some change).

I plan to give some to my mom and sister, put some in my car replacement fund, put some into my retirement fund, give some to charity and finish replacing the EF used to purchase the new HVAC.

I am incredibly thankful for the bonus and I want to pay it forward!

Thursday, December 5, 2019

I missed November (Face Palm) and Debt Free Bloggers!

Where did November go?  I kept trying to get online and post, but time kept eluding me.  End result? There were absolutely no posts for November. 

Anyways, it is Winter now and it has been pretty chilly in Florida (in the 30s).  I don't have time for a long post because my time management skills suck.  I just wanted to update that I will make my charitable donations goal for the year!  My goal is $400 and I am at $383 for the year.  I will make a donation to a Christmas charity and be done for the year.  Next year that goal will go up to $500. 

I have been reading blogs, but have not been able to comment.  Everyone PLEASE congratulate Double Debt Single Woman for paying off her debt!! She is debt free!!!!   Also, please congratulate Lucy at A Dime At A Time as she is debt free as well!!  Congratulations to both of these hardworking women! (You can find the links to these blogs in my blog list to the right).

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween to all those that celebrate.  I have been out of town, but hopefully will make it back home in time to hand out Halloween candy. Otherwise, I do not have any spooky plans for Halloween. I have been eating a lot of candy leading up to the holiday so I'll be happy to get the candy out of my house!!  However, I did manage to get a work out in while traveling this week (way to go hotel fitness center) so that should ;) balance out the Halloween candy consumption. Truly, I can't want to get back home and sleep in my own bed.

I submitted my November mortgage payment and it was the first one in quite some time that did not include an extra principal payment. :(  I am currently cutting back on my extra payments to rebuild my emergency fund (thanks new hvac unit). The mortgage is down to $189,107.  It didn't even drop down to the next $1000 (face palm).  Hopefully, it won't be long until my EF is back where it should be.  I loved making payments where over $1,000 would go to principal.

I gotta run to get ready for my first appointment of the day!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Money, money, money!!!

In addition to paying off my sister's $3,000+ furniture bill, the new HVAC (which works great by the way)I have paid about $800 for a crown because I cracked a tooth.  Oh, I also had a super expensive car repair as well! Yes, I have paid out over $15,000 in cash over just a couple of months. Thank GOD I paid off all of my debt (other than my mortgage) because otherwise I just would not have been able to cash flow any of this stuff.  When it rains, it pours. 

So of course, now I have to replace all of the money that I have spent. Which means I will not meet my retirement savings goal for this year.  Or really any other money related goal for the year.  My plan is to stop my retirement contributions (I still had about $3,964 left to contribute for the year) and stop paying extra (approximately $500) on the mortgage.  All of the extra money I can muster will go towards recouping the cash that I have spent. 

I think, generally, I would not stop my retirement contributions, but due to some uncertainty at work, I would much rather replace the cash in my bank account rather than worry about the retirement contributions.  I have maxed out my Roth for the year and the rest just would have gone into an investment account. 

Work is always crazy, like always.  However, there have been some significant health problems affecting both partners.  Both partners have undergone surgery this year and both will likely undergo surgery again within the next few months. Both partners are getting up in age (one approaching 70 and the other approaching 60).  One partner is probably in a better position to retire if necessary, the other is not. There is always a possibility that one of the offices could close and/or there may be a reduction in staff.  If there are layoffs I want to be prepared with a nice cash cushion.  Right now the firm is being very careful with money and it is evident that they are cutting back. 

Once I get the cash reserves built back up, I will try to get that $3,964, in addition to my 2020 retirement money, into my retirement account. 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

It's Fall and I Thought the Summer was Expensive!

I have been trying for weeks to get a post up.  If it's not one thing it is another! I swear this has been a crazy fall and I am already over it.  

It seems like the firm is back to 3 (plus) months to reimburse for travel expenses.  Really? It drives me crazy that I have to wait for so long to get reimbursed.  I am more irritated right now because I have been shelling out money like crazy! 

My oldest sister (Sister A), who is 50 years old, has always been irresponsible with money.  Well last year, she purchased a new mattress and frame on credit.  It was one of those furniture deals where if you pay if off in a year you don't pay any interest.  I did the same as did my other sister (sister B).  Sister B and I paid off our furniture months in advance and did not pay a single penny of interest! Thanks, furniture store! Of course, Sister A did not.  The deal ends on December 8, 2019.  Which means everything has to be paid off by that day or they add all of the interest that you would have paid onto the account.  When we purchased this furniture we spoke to Sister A about this and how she should not purchase the furniture unless she could pay it off before the special terms ends.  Well, you know how this story ends.  As of July she had barely made a dent into payment.  Eventually, I agreed to pay off the $3,100 balance if she paid me back over time.  It took about another month of her screwing around to get me the login information for her account.  I am basically paying $1,000 a month to get this paid off before the special deal ends.  She is paying me back $160 a month.  I still have $1,100 to go. 

Also, my 18 year old HVAC was on its last legs and I decided to replace it.  Every 2 months or so it would spring a new leak and we would have to pay for new coolant and a repair.  It was never the same leak.  This is in addition to the host of other problems we have had with the unit.  (However, the constant leaks and associated increased utility bills were the most annoying).  I figured I would cut my losses and replace the unit. Hopefully, this will result in less time off of work and a functioning HVAC for more than 2 months at a time. The cost of the new unit and labor? $9,300.  I did get an upgraded model, they required a new thermostat, I added the air purifier and opted for new tubing/hoses.  I put the charge on my credit card and received almost $140 in cash back rewards. That $140 went straight back to the credit card.  Also, my city offers a $100 rebate for the type of unit I purchased and so after the final inspection (Monday) I will submit that information.  So about $240 of the new unit will be paid for with free money.  $1,705 of the cost will come from the money I previously started saving to replace the unit and the rest will come from my emergency fund.  I am so sad to see the money leave my account!! 

More later about the impact this has had on my finances for the year!  Glad to be back the blog!

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Savings Account

Last year I opened an Ally Savings account because the rates were higher and rising fast.  I had not problems with the account and it was easy to open.  Recently Ally has dropped its rates down to 1.90%.  My old trusty My Savings Direct ("MSD") account has, thus far, remained at 2.4% so I moved all of my savings back over there.  I earn over $25 a month in interest at MSD. 

Marcus was another savings account that I looked at last year and it is offering 2.0% on savings accounts. 

I'm sure that MSD will eventually drop its rates along with all of the other banks. I am keeping my Ally account open as an alternative and I will move money between the 2 accounts depending on which is offering a higher rate.  FYI- I don't plan to go back and forth over a 0.1 of an interest rate.  Only if there are bigger and sustained differences.  I waited until there was a half a percentage difference until I switched back to MSD. 

What online savings accounts to you use? 

Monday, September 2, 2019


In July, I had my annual eye exam.  I got a new prescription for my contact lenses and learned that I qualified for a $75 rebate. I have worn the air optix night and day lenses for over 10 years.  This year there was a $75 rebate from the parent company Alcon.

Unfortunately, it was not an instant rebate taken at the register.  It was one that you had to submit documentation and wait for your rebate.  I figured it would be a painful process, but it was not!  I had to submit my receipt, my upc code from my contact lenses and documentation of the date of my appointment.  I was able to do this all online and received a claim number.  Within a matter of weeks, I received confirmation that my rebate was approved.  I was only given an online visa card   I requested a physical card to be sent through the mail and it arrived less than 2 weeks later. 

I have not decided how to spend my $75 rebate, I may wait to use it for Christmas shopping.  I love getting discounts/free money! 

Have you qualified for any rebates lately?

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Charitable Contribution Update

August is slipping away from me.  I don't know where the entire month went!

Just a quick update on my charitable contributions.  A few years ago, I made a promise to myself to increase my charitable giving.  I knew many people who made less money than me.  Those people never gave a second thought about donating to causes, however, I always did.  I decided I needed to do better. 

This year, my charitable contribution goal is $400.  I increase this number by $100 every year.  So far this year, I have already given $383!!! It's only August!  I should easily make my goal of $400 for the year.  Ten years ago, I would have thought it impossible to give even $50 a year.  I was mired in credit card debt, student loan debt, etc. 

I am very happy that I am fortunate enough to give money to charitable causes.  I hope that my giving continues to increase over the years.  It's my small way of making the world a slightly better place. 

Monday, August 19, 2019

2019 Roth Maxed

I have maxed out my 2019 Roth!! I'm about to head out so this post will be short.  My contributions for the year were as follows:

1/15/19 $1,000
2/18/19 $500
3/15/19 $800
4/15/19 $1,100
5/15/19 $750
6/15/19 $443
7/15/19 $600
8/15/19 $807

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Second Quarter Update

1. Put a minimum of $11,000 to retirement.  ($6,000 to Roth and $5,000 to taxable). I am loving the increase in contributions to the Roth.  It's $6,000 this year, in case you have not heard!  The $11,000 goal is an increase of $500 from last year.

ON TRACK!!! I have contributed $5,193 to retirement this year. Only $5,807 left to go.  While I am a little further behind than I would like I am happy to have contributed as much as I have.  This has been an expensive year!! I plan to max out my Roth next month.  

2. Increase replacement car fund to $12,000.

This is at $11,549!! I am almost at my goal.  I may scale  the amount I contribute after I reach $12,000, but I will keep contributing.  

3. Give a minimum of $400 to charity. This is an increase of $100 from last year.

I have donated $278 so far this year!! Over half way done. 
4. Increase Emergency Fund to $20,000.
I have not contributed anything to my EF fund.  This remains at $17,916.  
5. Pay down mortgage principal so that the PMI can be removed.  I'm so close, only 5 or 6 months to go!

DONE!! My PMI has dropped off.  I was paying $115 a month for PMI.  My monthly mortgage payment has dropped to $1,377.  

6. Read 12 books

I complete 4 books so far this year.  I need to increase this. 
7. Lose 20lbs
I have lost 10lbs!! 

8. Increase social activities
I have made a half hearted attempt to do this.  I need to do better.  
9. Learn coding.
I have done nothing to effectuate this goal. 

10. Learn more about my family history.

I have done nothing to effectuate this goal. 
11. Meditate.
I fell off doing this early in the year. 

 12. Be kinder and more patient.
I have been trying to be kinder.  I need to re-up the patient efforts. 
13. Increase FI/FU fund to $1,200.
I have added to this and I am at $499 so far. 
14. Figure out my purpose in life.  

I have done nothing to effectuate this goal.

Friday, July 19, 2019

PMI is Gone!!

I finally reached 78%LTV (loan to value) on my home.  That means no more private mortgage insurance (PMI) and I cannot be more excited!!! My PMI payments were $115.37 a month.  My first payment on this mortgage was on July 1, 2013 and it took me 6 years to reach 78%.  I plan to use that $115 a month to save for expected home repairs such as a new AC unit (pretty much a necessity in Florida).  I am already paying an extra $448 a month extra in principal each month. 

The crazy part is that I reached 78% early.  I reached 80% LTV at the end of January 2019.  According to my mortgage payment, I was not supposed to reach 80% until September of 2020.  . I've already paid thousands for PMI since 2013. Imagine if I followed the schedule put forth by the mortgage company. 

The process for reaching 78% LTV was simple.  I just paid extra principal payments on my mortgage each month.  At the beginning of February I received a letter from my mortgage company advising me that I had reached 80% LTV and giving me options for how to have the PMI removed.  Once of which was to pay almost $5,000 to reduce the principal to 78%LTV.  I declined to do that and just kept making my extra payments each month.   I paid my mortgage as usual at the end of June and got my regular statement.  A couple of days later I received a revised statement with the PMI payment removed.  I have not yet received any refunds or pro rata refund for my last pmi payment.  It appears that it was cancelled by the mortgage company on 7/2.  The next premium would have been paid around 7/15.  I don't expect any refunds from my escrow account until maybe next year when the escrow analysis is complete.

Happy Friday!!

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Crazy Expensive Summer

I am burning through money this year!

This year has already been super expensive.  I paid off my new bedroom furniture and mattress which totaled over $7,000.  This was super expensive, but I don't regret one penny of it.  My back used to hurt every morning when I woke up and now I get up in the morning pain free! My 15 year old mattress (I'm pretty sure I got that mattress in 2003) needed to go. 

In the past 2 month I paid:

 $110 for the dentist
 $338 for the eye doctor (exam and new frames)
 $160 for another dentist appointment
 $254 for car repair services
 $212 for contact lenses

Once I write it all out it is easy to see why I haven't even made half of my retirement contributions for the year. That is over $1,000 in expenses just for June and July.  It is expensive to live and work in this day and age.  I travel all over Florida so I need my car to stay in good repair and I will not sacrifice necessary car maintenance. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Net Worth Update

Here's where the numbers stand.

$12,916 Emergency Fund
 $12,721 Online Savings Account/$7,721 of that amount is for my Car Replacement Fund/$5k is for my EF
$4,282 Online Savings Account #2- all car replacement
 $32,885 Retirement- Roth IRA
 $7,966Taxable Brokerage (Retirement)

$865 Travel Fund (Work)
$875 pet fund 
$39 medical fund
$0 furniture fund
$0 Slush fund
$9 car repair fund
$467 Freedom Fund
$152 cell phone fund
$1,375 A/C fund
$11 Mom Fund

$294,334-per zillow

              Total (not including home): $74,563
              Total (including home): $368,897

Mortgage $192,594

                   Total (not including mortgage): $0
                    Total (including mortgage): -$192,594

        Total Net Worth(not including mortgage): $74,563                                      
        Total Net Worth(including mortgage): $176,303

Net worth, not including mortgage, increased by $6,981 from April(last net worth update)
Net worth, including mortgage, decreased by $325 from April (last net worth update)

My home value decreased by about $10,000 from the last net worth update.

Overall still chugging along! 

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Retirement Savings Update

Just a quick update on my retirement savings for the year.  I am behind, but I am surprisingly okay with it.  Well okay may be too strong of a word.  I'm not as upset about being behind on my contributions as I thought I would be.  I just believe that I will hit my goal (or close there to) by the end of the year. 

My contributions for 2019 are as follows:

1/15/19 - $1,000
2/18/19 - $500
3/15/19 - $800
4/15/19 - $1,100
5/15/19 - $750
6/15/19 - $443

All of these contributions have gone into my Roth.

I have achieved a milestone, my retirement account balances hit over $40,000!!  My balance as of today is $40,852!!! My goal is to hit $50,000in total balances by the end of the year.  I have $6,407 left to contribute to meet my goal of $11,000 in contributions for the year.  I don't think the market will cooperate with my goal, but I just plan to get shoveling the money into my accounts.  Each year I raise my contribution goal and I'm already thinking ahead for next year.  I can't decide if I should raise it to $11,500 or $12,000.  I'll probably go with $12,000...because why not??? The more money I put away the better.  I don't want to look around at 55 and wonder how I will ever retirement. 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

I'm back!!

I apologize for the unexpected blogging break!  Please know that I have been reading along with your blogs (but unable to comment from my phone) for the past 2ish months.  I have had some family medical issues and an overload at work.  Things appear to be evening out for now and I am greatly appreciative. 

I will do an update on my 2019 goals soon as it is almost the end of the 2nd quarter. However, I am down about 8lbs and my retirement account balance has hit a milestone of $40,000!! I was hoping that this would be the year that my retirement accounts hit $50,000, but I don't think that is going to happen.  There is too much turbulence in the markets. I still have over $6,000 to contribute for the year. 

I have had so many medical expenses this year, I'm not sure that I am going to meet my retirement contribution goal.  I am getting new eyeglasses, contacts, I see the dentist quarterly now, I have to have a deep cleaning on my upper right teeth (in addition to the quarterly visits), I may have to have a crown replaced, etc.  There are so many more that have just crept up on me. I can't even remember them all right now. 

 I also am unhappy that the Fed may be lowering the interest rate later this year.  I finally was making a decent amount of money in my savings accounts!!! 

Anyways, I have lots to write about, but I will have to let this be it for now. 

Happy Blogging!!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Savings Rate

Boy, I have I been busy lately!  I have been neglecting this poor little blog.  I hope to have a chance to catch up with my blog reading this weekend.  Frankly, I am considering calling in sick tomorrow.  I have 2 meetings and 2 conference calls on Friday. So if I don't want to go into work, tomorrow is my only day. 

Anyways, on to the point of this post!

I calculated my anticipated savings rate today,  it is about 22% of my net pay.  I've read a lot of FIRE blogs and most indicate that savings rate is the most significant factor in reaching financial Independence.  Based on my anticipated savings rate, I want to try and increase it to 25% by the end of the year.  I need to develop a new method to track my savings.  This will be a hard goal to balance with my goal to pay down my mortgage. 

My job is crazy (it'll have to be a whole separate post) and stress ridden.   I really need to see the needle start to move towards financial independence in order to continue to work there.  I hope increasing my savings rate gives me the emotional and mental boost that I need. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Net Worth Update

Here's where the numbers stand.

$12,916 Emergency Fund
 $12,552 Online Savings Account/$7,552 of that amount is for my Car Replacement Fund/$5k is for my EF
$3,160 Online Savings Account #2- all car replacement
 $29,255 Retirement- Roth IRA
 $7,617Taxable Brokerage (Retirement)

$803 Travel Fund (Work)
$850 pet fund 
$5 medical fund
$1,274 furniture fund
$0 Slush fund

$304,669-per zillow

              Total (not including home): $68,432
              Total (including home): $373,101

Mortgage $195,623
Furniture (0% financing) $850

                   Total (not including mortgage): -$850
                    Total (including mortgage): -$196,473

        Total Net Worth(not including mortgage): $67,582                                      
        Total Net Worth(including mortgage): $176,628

Net worth, not including mortgage, increased by $7070 from January (last net worth update)
Net worth, including mortgage, increased by $9,367 from January(last net worth update)

The value of the my home has decreased a little bit.

My mortgage is getting so small.  I was putting an extra $450 toward principal.  That dropped to $439 when the escrow adjusted.  I am still hopefully to have the pmi drop off by with my end of June payment. 

Saturday, March 9, 2019

International Women's Day - Experience with Males in the Legal Field

Yesterday was International Women's Day.  On twitter I read several threads about women lawyers dealing with inappropriate male bosses, yet overcoming their situations and continuing on into their legal careers. I thought these stories were inspiring and many were shared by very strong women.  These women were no shrinking violets, but they were overwhelmed with the situations that they found themselves in.

I thought I would share my experiences here.

When I first started practicing law, I worked for an older man (somewhere around 50).  He previously had been an entertainment lawyer in Miami, Florida.  I don't even know how to describe this man.  He was scum. We worked in an area of the law dominated by women.  Most of our state contacts were women. He hit on women that he was attracted to, yet he was married with a kid.  He was probably more than twice the age of the women (just fresh out of college) that he was hitting on.  One girl reported that he bought a bottle of her favorite perfume (expensive) and gave it to her as a gift.  She was surprised and shocked.  (It wasn't her birthday or anything).  He asked to take out to dinner.  She declined.  My experience with him was first he showed me and our 21 year old assistant a video produced by a former client of his which included various women, scantily clad in bikinis, seductively posing by a pool while a rap song played in the back group.  It was weird. It was just us and him and he continually prompted us to look at the screen.  Another time he came in my office and closed the door and told me that he overheard a co-worker and I planning to go out dancing on the weekend.  He repeated several times that his wife was out of town and that he would like to go with us.  He then stated that I reminded him of an ex-girlfriend of his and that we could crash at this house if we wanted to.  You know if we were too drunk to drive home.  Yeah, no we didn't invite him to go out with us.  Yet another time we went to a conference in Miami.  I went out with some of my co-workers and we had drinks and went dancing.  It was fun and all of us, but our designated driver, were a little tipsy.  When we got back to the hotel we saw him sitting downstairs in the lobby.  He came over to talk to us and wanted to walk me back to my hotel room because I was drunk and he wanted to make sure I was safe.  Problem was I wasn't that drunk.  I had maybe 3or  4 drinks over the course of about 5 hours.  I was sitting quietly eating my chicken nuggets.  My friend Kristi loudly told him "No" and that we would walk as a group back to our rooms.  Thank God for good friends.  He later got in trouble to kissing another female co-worker at that same conference.

My third lawyer job put me in contact with a guy who felt that most women lawyers were lesbians.  He couldn't understand why a straight woman would work in such a demanding career field.  He was a terrible attorney and never should have been practicing law.  He was my supervisor.  He would buy all of us women presents and try to get close to us.  If we were not receptive to his advances he would then try to convince us to "come out to him" because surely we were lesbians (just like all of the other female attorneys).  It, of course, could not have been that we were in our 20s and he was 48 years old (and married with 5 children and an ex-wife).  Feel my sarcasm there, it's heavy. 

My fourth and current lawyer job opened me up to all new kinds of misogyny.  This was the first time (After practicing law for 6 years) that I was mistaken as a court reporter by male opposing counsel and male witnesses.  Another male opposing counsel invited me into his office after a deposition to talk about our schedules (something that is typically done through email by assistants) for mediation. Stupid me willingly went into his office and he gestured for me to sit while he went to his desk.  His office had a small chair, a large couch and a then another small chair for guests with a table next to that chair.  These were facing his desk on the other side of the room.  Since I had a large bag (containing my materials for the deposition) and a purse I sat on the couch and placed my items beside me so I could fish out my phone and written calendar.  Again, this is an older man in his mid to late 50s.  He starts reading off dates from his computer calendar and asking for my availability.  Then he walks over to the couch and sits on it with me, moving my bag to the floor so that he is directly next to me.  It instantly creeped me out.  Frankky, I was creeped out as soon as he came from behind his desk.  I realized I had made a mistake by even coming into his office.  I told him I needed to get on the road (I had driven about 3 hours to get to the deposition).  He put his hand on my lege to stop me from getting up and asked me to stay for a late lunch.  I think the look on my face said it all.  I left unharmed and unmolested (at least any further) and he was meaner than a hornet to me for the rest of that case. 

My current boss is almost 70 years old and behaves that way.  He tells inappropriate stories and makes inappropriate jokes.  He called his wife one day from work and told her to meet him at home for his lunch break and to get the viagra ready.  He thought it was hilarious.  Yes, 3 of his female staff were sitting in his office at the time.  He loves looking at women's breasts and he will sneak looks whenever possible.  I wore a v-neck shirt to work once.  A normal t-shirt nothing extraordinary, but I do have large breasts and when I was sitting my breasts were more prominently displayed due to my position.  My boss came in my office at the end of the day and told me to find a document among a stack of papers.  I was annoyed because the stack was huge and it was the end of the day.  I started going through the stack leaning over my desk and flipping pages while he stood there above me. Not realizing why he wasn't helping- I chalked it up to his usual laziness and thought that associates should do the tedious work.  As I narrowed down the stack, I picked it up and rested it on my lap. with about 500 pages left, I started flipping the pages towards me that were not relevant.  He stopped me at one point and picked up a page that was laying against my chest. Of course, accidentally grazing my chest as he did so.   It wasn't the page he was looking for.  With that I stood up and told him the project would have to wait until the next day because I needed to leave.  I could go on and on, but I'm out of time and I wanted to put this post up yesterday. 

The bottom line is that I am still practicing law and I haven't let anyone run me out of the profession.  Women are described as weak and not being able to tough it out in litigation.  That's the excuse as to why so many women lawyers in appellate law and as in-house counsel.  Women are strong and put up with so much.  The problem is most people ignore and minimize the barriers that we have to go through.  Sometimes these barriers are invisible to others, but they are real. 

Monday, March 4, 2019

New Month!!

It's March, which means that it is almost Spring!! I cannot wait for longer days and more sunshine.  I hope to get back to more (and longer) walks after work.

I have a few goals for March

1. Fertilize the lawn
2. Put at least $750 towards retirement
3. Get passport paperwork completed
4. Put $1,000 towards furniture bill.
5. Treat the lawn for ants/insects
6. Get some filing done in the office
7. Go on a trip to a city I have never been to before.
8 Book a cruise.
9. Donate money to charity.

I am going to count #9 as completed as I donated $50 to the local legal aide organization on Thursday, but it did not process until Friday (March 1st).

Happy Monday, Everyone!

Friday, February 22, 2019

February Going Ons

Hey Everyone, it has been awhile!  I have been having some internet problems and computer problems and by the end of the day, I just don't have the energy to fool around with computers.   Everything is back up and working now!

Does anyone have any interesting weekend plans?  I plan to work in the yard.  I need to clear out the flower beds, etc. There are lots of weeds and bugs to deal with here in Florida.  I may even cut the grass this weekend.  The temperatures are supposed to reach the 80s this weekend.  I also need to clean the garage and the shed and the back porch and and and.....

On to the finances. I contributed $500 to my Roth IRA this month.  This was only half of what I contributed last month.  However, I only have $4,500 left to contribute for the year.  Don't forget the contribution limit increased to $6,000 this year!  Once I max out my Roth I will move on to my taxable account. 

I paid $1,000 towards my furniture bill. Only $1,900 left to pay off! I can't wait to be debt free (except for my mortgage again).  This is the 0% financing deal that I used to replace my 13 year old mattress, etc. 

 I donated $50 to charity this month. This went to my law school.  I usually contribute $100 a year to my alma mater.  I already gave $50 in January, so I am done with that for the year.  Next month I will probably give to my local legal aide organization. 

I did add $200 to my savings account and $50 to my pet care fund.  I also paid my almost $200 escrow shortage. 

 All of my credit cards remain paid in full, but I do owe my dentist office $10 for my most recent cleaning (from Monday).  I hate when they bill later, I'd rather pay when I leave, but oh well. 

Have a wonderful Friday!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019



I filed my income taxes early last week and I will be getting a $112 refund.   I am so incredibly excited that I don't owe any money!!

I looked back through my bank statements last year to see the amount of my tax refund.  Last year I received a $1,184 refund.  That's over a $1,000 drop from my tax refund last year.  The only reason I have received a refund over the last few years is because of my mortgage/home ownership. Previously, I was pretty much breaking even. 

However, due to the changes in the tax code, I took home an extra $2,400 last year.  That plus the $112 refund results in approximately $2,500 more take home pay for me!! That's approximately an extra $1,300 in take home pay (after subtracting out my $1,184 over payment) as compared to previous years. 

Happy Tuesday!!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Mid-month Check In

It's January 18, we are half way through the month!! I figured I would do a mid- month check in on some of my goals. 

I am plugging away at the retirement funds, I added $1,000 to retirement from my 1/15 paycheck and it felt good. Only, $10,000 more to go for the year.   I love putting money away for the future and I know that I am extremely fortunate to be able to do so.  I feel so much for the federal workers who are not getting paid right now, due to the government shutdown. 

I have contributed $100 to charity this year.  I gave $50 to my law school and $50 to St. Jude's.  My goal is to give $400 this year, I am already a quarter of the way there!!  I hope to be able to make a charitable contribution every month. Even if it is only $1.  I should probably try to take some clothes to goodwill every month too.   

My escrow review statement arrived via email this morning and, of course, there is a almost $200 shortage.  The payment is also going up by $11 a month.  Face palm.  Mortgages are the worst. I have read horror stories on the internet about people having thousands of dollar shortages.  I take that as a reminder to be thankful that mine is only $200.  Also, my PMI should drop off this year so that will make my escrow and total mortgage payment drop.  I'm certain it won't be long before my payment creeps back up though. 

Alright, that's all I have time for this morning!  Have a great Friday everyone!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Net Worth Update - Jan 2019

Here's where the numbers stand.

$12,916 Emergency Fund
 $12,487 Online Savings Account/$8,947 of that amount is for my Car Replacement Fund/$5k is for my EF
$1,946 Online Savings Account #2
 $23,585 Retirement- Roth IRA
 $6,666Taxable Brokerage (Retirement)

$788 Travel Fund (Work)
$800 pet fund 
$5 medical fund
$2,096 furniture fund
$73 Slush fund

$308,598-per zillow

              Total (not including home): $61,362
              Total (including home): $369,960

Mortgage $198,399
Furniture (0% financing) $4,300

                   Total (not including mortgage): -$4,300
                    Total (including mortgage): -$202,699

        Total Net Worth(not including mortgage): $57,062                                      
        Total Net Worth(including mortgage): $167,261

Net worth, not including mortgage, decreased by $6,406 from October (last net worth update)
Net worth, including mortgage, increased by $6,065 from October(last net worth update)

I bought my new bedroom furniture, including a new mattress, I owe $4,300.  I have over $2000 in savings to put on the bill.

The value of the my home has increased so that is awesome.

My mortgage has fallen under $200,000, yay!

This was a crappy net worth update mostly because of the stock market.  My net worth has fallen (without including the mortgage) , but it will go up again soon!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Fourth Quarter Update

At the beginning of 2018, I set some goals for myself.  Let's see how I did.

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.  PASS.  I contributed $10,760 total.  My balance did not reach $35,000, due to the uncooperative stock market. 

2.Increase EF to $18,500. PASSISH.  My E-Fund ended the year with a total of $17,916

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. PASS!  I actually added about $400 extra to the mortgage for several months.  The mortgage ended the year at $198,399.  My PMI will drop off when the balance reaches $192,600. 

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. FAIL. My car replacement fund is at $8,947.  I only added $3,750 to the fund. 

5.  Read 15 books. FAIL- I only read 7 books in 2018. 

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.  FAIL- I exercised more than I thought I would, but I did not lose 20lbs.  Gotta do better this year. 

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. PASS.  I donated $338 to charity this year.  I also donated 2 bags full of clothes. 

8. Build medical fund up to $1,000. FAIL- this worked as a sinking fund.  I put the funds in and pulled them out as I needed them. 

9. Continue to build car repair fund up to $1,000. FAIL-this also worked as a sinking fund.  I put the funds in and pulled them out as needed.

10. Get more life insurance. FAIL- I need to lose weight first.

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.   FAIL. 
12. Find a new primary care doctor and receive treatment for anxiety and depression. FAIL.

13. Make a decision about my career and job. FAIL- but I did get a raise. 
14. Try something new (or outside of my comfort zone) each month (restaurant, activity or social event). PASSISH- I tried a lot of new things last year.  New cities, new restaurants and met new people. 

15. Increase net worth by $25,000. Not sure yet.  I haven't run the numbers for my net worth yet. 

Thursday, January 3, 2019

New Year, New Goals!

Happy New Year Everyone!! I hope you all had a wonderful new year's day.  It's already the third day of the year and I am just getting around to posting my goals.  Here goes:

1. Put a minimum of $11,000 to retirement.  ($6,000 to Roth and $5,000 to taxable). I am loving the increase in contributions to the Roth.  It's $6,000 this year, in case you have not heard!  The $11,000 goal is an increase of $500 from last year.
2. Increase replacement car fund to $12,000.
3. Give a minimum of $400 to charity. This is an increase of $100 from last year.
4. Increase Emergency Fund to $20,000.
5. Pay down mortgage principal so that the PMI can be removed.  I'm so close, only 5 or 6 months to go!
6. Read 12 books
7. Lose 20lbs
8. Increase social activities.
9. Learn coding.
10. Learn more about my family history.
11. Meditate.
12. Be kinder and more patient.
13. Increase FI/FU fund to $1,200.
14. Figure out my purpose in life. 

What are your goals for the new year?  Any special ones that you would like to share?

I hope that my next post is an update on my 2018 goals.  Have a great day everyone!