Friday, July 24, 2015

Sick Sick Sick

First I came down with a weird fever... it last about a day and came with a sore throat that lasted a few more after....

but than our little one got this nasty rash out of no where!

We took him to the doctors thankfully and they gave him some medications and creams to use but they too are unaware how he got it or really what it was. They treated him for both viral and bacterial infections and gave use some creams because he had exema or something too.

Thankfully he's starting to act like himself again and the rash is drying our and flaking away. Can't wait for his skin to be back to normal. Poor Little Guy....

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Building the snowball...

Were trying to find some creative ways to build our snowball since we don't have any debt besides our mortgage. The only way to increase is to either bring in more money, or cut back on lifestyle...

or sell things.

We have already life style cut to accommodate day care so our budget is what it is. Its not gazelle but its how I can keep the hubby on board.

So, we have started our annual purge a little early this year. With the selling groups on facebook and sites like Varage Sale, I've been able to post some items for sell and actually been successful in selling them.

Mind you this is stuff we probably would have tossed out for convenience sake to free up space at the end of the year or take down to good will or the DI trailer at church... so were not getting crazy and selling everything we own, but we are making the effort to selling things.

So far this month i've made $155 with my virtual garage sale. So things don't get overwhelming, I'm only posting 3 items at a time on 4 different sites that I can access on my tablet so I check them when I'm pumping. When something leaves, I pull the next thing out and take pictures while the Little guy is sleeping, price them out and then post them up.

We haven't dumped this money at the debt yet, but we are stashing it in our cash reserves at home... we may use it for a month when we don't have any added snowball to keep motivation up or we will use it to buy things for our little one second hand when something comes up that he needs.

Right now we aren't selling anything baby related incase we have a second or if my sister has any use for them, so its just stuff that survived the last purge that we haven't used.

So what have I sold?
  • 2 crockpots 4 quart ($15) and 2 quart ($5) (we bought a larger one this month so I can do more batch cooking on the weekends)
  • 2 beach folding chairs ($10) SCB hated them because they are too low to the ground.
  • Old camping stove ($20) -- Our real BBQ is so portable we don't need a camping stove).
  • Grain Mill / Wheat Grinder ($60) -- SCB's parents found us a used one out in Utah and gave it to us. Its more efficient and does a larger load which is what we need now that I bake and cook so much more than before. Ours shut off frequently to make sure the motor didn't overheat.
  • 2 queen Bedding Sets ($25 and $20). These were the new ones we bought for our bed... but SCB hates them because they don't breath enough for him so his mom made us a couple quilts that work much better so these were just taking up space in the closet.
We currently have some fishing gear up. If it doesn't sell in a week, i'll drop the price to entice the person who is "watching" the post.... Soon well be adding some folding tables just sitting on our deck and a few other things in the upcoming weeks.

Not sure how much i'll get to do when I go back to work, but for now this is the game plan.

Monday, July 20, 2015


One thing that we are lacking in Dave's Plan, is insurance. I've got some life insurance that's employer paid through my work, but we come up pretty short for hubs and myself in the grand scheme of things.

Unfortunately, we'll need to wait for open enrollment to make any insurance additions since its cheaper to go through our companies than to look into third party providers. Since my dad died before age 50, it will cost a lot of money to get term life insurance on myself since we have to rate my "health" level so low...

I can opt into additional term insurance at open enrollment that doesn't have any medical considerations so well look into pricing that out in January when we make changes to our health insurance stuff too. It won't cost us an arm and a leg to get enough insurance on SCB, but well still need to tweak the budget to make it happen with our day care costs, which will affect our mortgage snowball for sure.... If we didn't have to pay for daycare, we'd have a lot more to work with but its our reality and well start dealing with it next month. We may not be able to have 10 times our income covered in insurance, but some is better than none.


I'm also finally transferring that stupid Roth IRA at Capital One to my vanguard account. I actually mailed them the papers earlier this month so its just a waiting game at this point, but once that's said and done, I'll have enough funds to re-do my portfolio and have the initial investment amounts for the new funds I want to use instead of the target date account. We'll have to wait on SCB's since he only has about $6k in his and some of the funds require a 10k initial investment so we may need to leave his in target funds for a while before we can start buying some of the growth stock mutual funds instead.

I also picked up a copy of the Millionaire next door to try and get through since my father in law recommended it.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Mortgage Update July 15

Principle paid down: $349.04
Interest: $320.92
Additional Principle: $3,613.90
New Balance: $100,897.23

The pay off date is June 2033. July 2032

We just knocked off almost a whole year on our mortgage...  
If I continue to pay the minimum on my loan, we will end up paying a total of $71,361.78 in interest over the course of our entire loan... Before our refinance, we would have paid $116,404.23 in interest.

Getting the Keys...

It took me $7,057.08 to get the keys to my condo and then I spent another $17,672.29 to remodel and repair it... In short, I was -$24,729.37 in the hole on day one...
  • In 2009 I got the First Time Home buyer's Credit giving us $8,000.00. I also got to write off some of the property tax I paid in addition to taking the standard deduction. This gave us an extra $90.10... but then I had to pay an Electrician $95.00 to fix an outlet... We also got a refund from my botched tile job that gave us another $1,265.00.
  • In 2010 I saved $1,087.00 on my federal taxes and $461.00 on my State taxes from itemizing my homeowners expenses. (This is what I received ABOVE what I would have gotten back with just the standard deduction).
  • In 2011 I spent $12.97 at home depot and $72.29 on a kitchen door. When we subtract those costs from what we saved by living in our condo instead of renting, we came out ahead $494.04 (See Mortgage Update + Condo Costs December '11 for that break down.) We also received a small $70 refund check from over paid closing costs. We didn't Itemize our taxes in 2011.
  • In 2012 we finished our Kitchen/Laundry door which cost us $103.24.. We also replaced both our glass slider doors which cost us $2,957.00... and repaired our dryer for $81.42....It ended up being $3,383.47 cheaper to OWN our condo than to rent an apartment on a monthly basis, (See Housing Costs 2012 for the break down) so even after we subtract the windows and other minor repairs, we still came out ahead $241.81 by owning our condo instead of renting...
  • In 2013 we got $52.53 back from challenging my property taxes in 2012. I also refinanced our condo, costing us $447.00 up front for our home appraisal... but we got a check back at closing for $747.20 and a check from my old escrow account for $489.74... We also got to skip a mortgage payment too! In addition, they automatically lowered my property tax value, giving us a check for $86.77.. and we saved $5,191.81 by NOT renting a place (see Housing Comps 2013)!! Additionally we ITEMIZED our taxes in 2013, saving $702.45 on a federal taxes and $503.74 on our State Taxes. (This is what we would have owed had we not had our property to write off).
  • In 2014 we did a few home repairs totaling $976.00... but even with those factored in, we still saved $3,119.04 living here instead of renting an apartment. We also saved an additional $377 by itemizing and writing off our property taxes and interests.
All of that "math" leaves us $2,292.14 in the hole. If we assume our home is worth at least what we paid for it ($120k), we have $19,102.77 in equity...

Leaving us a profit of $16,810.63 after 5 yrs & 9 months!

For 2015, we will again assume our monthly mortgage payments are going to be a wash since it's cheaper to OWN our home then to RENT an apartment. (Check out Housing Comps 2015 for how we figured that one out). So far in 2015 we spent $11,233.14 to live in our condo (including all the extra principal payments), instead of $12,166.00 to live in the apartment.
  • Mortgage: $5,524.05 (P&I, property taxes)
  • Extra Mortgage Principle: $3,614.09
  • HOA: $2,095
 For a total savings of: $932.86

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Met with an ELP

After finishing the Total Money Makeover, I though I would call up one of Dave's local ELP's (Endorsed Local Providers), just to meet and talk some figures on retirement, etc. It was a free consultation so I set up an appointment so i could touch base on where we are at and get some insights on my pension..

We brought in some financial statements and went over our goals and our 5 year plan with him, and while I was initially liking some of the things he was saying, I have to say I disagree with some of what he was saying in a major way.

Including our emergency fund, we have around 28k liquid at the moment. $18,500 is our emergency fund and our checking account padding -- the rest is our sinking funds (Insurance, Christmas, Birthdays, annual bills savings, and a few designated funds like vacation and medical.) Most of it is liquid for a reason-- because we will empty it at some point over the course of the year, but we probably have around $4k of it that isn't going to leave by years end.... but isn't money I would want to tie up quite yet. (1k is a tax buffer since my disability checks didn't have withholding, Another $1k is vacation,  and our $1700 our profit-share check)... yet, he was suggesting we "invest" these funds....

Then he seemed to think that pulling my pension at 55 was going to cause a tax event and penalties after he said he was familiar with Calpers and the teachers pensions. (it won't -- because I'll separate from the employer and take the monthly payments, not take the lump sum to invest because it has a survivor benefit so if I die, my husband continues to receive the payments and we will most likely make it beyond 67 years of age when the "lump sum" would be used up..)


So instead I came home and spent some time "re-balancing" my funds myself to put them in the 4 categories Dave recommends.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Survived a Trip to target....

We survived a trip to Target and only got what was on our list (a cell phone card and diapers). This seems like a victory in operation get the budget under control because while my husband considered getting a few lego sets, none actually made it down the checkout lane despite the clearance stickers on them.

I've started browsing the mommy facebook and "varage" sale groups in my area and I was able to score a free sealed container of the formula we supplement with and I might be able to get another in a week or so from a gal who lives a little further north, but will be coming down this way soon and is holding it for me...

My neighbor just gave me six 8oz containers of formula (Enfamil Gentlease) out of the blue and while its not what we are currently using unfortunately, it was really nice of her. After browsing the mommy groups online I'm hoping I might be able to trade or swap it for what we are currently using to supplement since trading formula brands is okay on their site (Selling formula is a no no because it can promote WIC fraud). On a side note, we had been given a bunch of formula from friends before the baby arrived just in case (leftover cans and different brand samples), but I passed those on to a family that wasn't going to be able to breast feed since they weren't supplementing formulas (not sure if there is a difference there???). If I can't swap them, we'll pass them along to them again, but if I can swap them for supplementing formulas that would be great... especially if my neighbor keeps dropping us off samples. (She works in a pediatricians office and she said next time she would bring us some supplementing samples). If this becomes a regular thing, we may end up switching brands because I get coupons for Enfamil in the mail, but no discounts for Gerber Good Smart (what our pediatrician recommended). I see the pediatrician in August so I may discuss switching brands and if there is a real difference in the two. (My neighbor also knows my current pediatrician as she used to work with him before he moved over to Kaiser).

Also scored a Free $10 gift card from Target on the diapers we bought. Apparently if you bought 2 boxes, you got  a $10 gift card. The boxes were $24.99 a pop so it dented our baby budget for the month, but these are apparently cheaper than Costco (We paid 32.72 for the same amount of diapers there in bulk earlier this month, the Kirkland brand ones. I can't find the receipt to return them to costco, but since the box is sealed and I paid with my AMEX, I may call to see if they will allow me to return them without the receipt. If not we'll use.) 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Transfering Money...

I'm magically about 1/2 way through the TMM book. I've been reading a few pages here and there whenever I get a chance and making a list of things we need to do to really have a "Total Money Makeover." Its been a challenge to get some reading time in, but you'd be surprised how much I can do while pumping! I'm just glad the book is broken up into all these little mini sections so I can get a page or two in there while doing something else.

Its a lot of common sense... but Dave is right about the emotional aspects and not just the math. This morning I transferred the balance of our Roth IRA savings over to our other checking account to apply it to the mortgage to give us a jump start.... It was so hard to transfer that money and switch focus from saving for retirement to paying down the house.

But I did it.

This month is going to be a HUGE payment month for us and I'm hoping it will help build up momentum to see a big win like this. We won't be "eliminating" a debt, but we will be paying an additional $3,613.90 on our mortgage this month -- which will definitely knock off a few months and give us a sooner pay off date, even though that's not what we are after in our time frame.

We budgeted to pay an extra $69 (the money that was monthly going to our Roth IRA savings account); we had $25.61 leftover from last months budget from categories that don't roll over; we had $10.25 in interest from all our little savings accounts and sinking funds; we had $3,269.73 in our Roth IRA savings (aka money that was waiting to go in at years end-- mostly from extra checks and money we have budgeted for daycare that we aren't using yet), and $239.31 in saved overtime that we hadn't spent.  

We should also have a decent month next month too because its a 3 paycheck month for hubby this month (July) so we'll have a whole check after tithing to add to our August snowball... plus the daycare money we won't need to spend this month...

So at least we will have 2 big months of pay downs before we need to get super creative with our snowball.