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End of March Update

April 1st, 2015 at 05:36 am

Investments lost some money this month, so we are down a little in spite of making contributions.

401ks: $252,528
IRAs: $44,305
Def Compensation: $91,539

Total Retirement: $388,372

Taxable Accounts
SCHB ETF: 2,755
Fidelity: 84,824
Loyal3, TradeKing: $9,963
DRiP/DSPP Plans: $2,275
P2P Lending Accounts: 3,493

Total Taxable: 103,310

Total Investment Balances: $491,682

Total amounts invested this year:

401ks (including match): $4,187
Deferred Comp: $1,443
Schwab ETF Fund: 650
P2P Lending: $885
IRAs: $900
Loyal3, DRiP Plans etc (Taxable): $5,938

Total Invested: $14,002

February Mid-Month

February 14th, 2015 at 03:25 pm

So far

Non-Paycheck Income

Swagbucks/Perk/Surveys etc $130.06
Credit Card Rewards $60.60
Storage Rent etc $67.97
Stock Dividends $10.46

Non-Retirement Investments made

SCHB ETF $290
P2P Lending Accounts: $260
Loyal3 Account and DRiP Accts: $1047.9
TradeKing Brokerage: $497.15

Balance of Retirement Accounts: $386,014
Balance of Non-Retirement Accounts: $102,039.56
Total Investments: $488,053.71

Note: I am really looking forward to breaking $500,000.

So far in 2015 our Investments have increased by $26,485. Of that $8467 has been from contributions and the remainder from growth.

Some January Numbers

February 2nd, 2015 at 09:38 am

Amounts Saved:

Retirement Accounts
401K - $1,182.92
Non-Deductible IRA: $300
Employer Match - $591.45
Voluntary Def Compensation: $477.8

Taxable Accounts:
Schwab: $200
P2P Lending: $300
DRiP/DSPP/Loyal3 $1,511

Some Balances:
Retirement Accounts: $368,421
Other Investments: $80,788
Emergency Fund (added $400) - $23,198.79
Furnace and A/C Replacement Fund (just started) - $481.65
Chimney Rebuild Fund - $2147.78

I have applied to start a new DRIP for HCP, Inc. The minimum starting purchase is $750, which I've set aside. However the plan only processes new purchases once a month so my account is waiting for the next batch processing date to fund. I didn't include that in my amounts saved since the money is still in my bank account. But I've already subtracted it from my register.

Unfortunately my husband's company stock has taken a huge hit this year which has reduced our Net Worth. It looks bad on paper but since we had no plans to sell the stock, hopefully it will recover sooner rather than later. The President was golden parachuted away in December and they are now in rebuilding mode.

My husband thinks they will have a much stronger year financially since they just picked up 2 rather huge contracts. There are rumors that the Dividend is going to be decreased next quarter which is important to my planning processes, since we use much of that Dividend money to invest in other places. We'll just have to wait and see what happens. Thankfully I dissuaded my husband from buying more Company stock within his 401K, which many employees have done. They are all kind of nervous now.

I have a 0% Discover balance that is due to start charging interest on the March statement so I will probably pay it off fairly soon. I like to pay those off far in advance so I can be certain the balance is at $0 well before the cut-off date.

For the first time in over 2 years, I don't think we'll have enough Fidelity Investment rewards accrued to cash out for investing this month. But EBATES is supposed to pay this month so I'll get some money there. I received a $25 Swagbucks payment right at the end of January so even with the bonus on the 5th, it'll be a bit of time before I can make a February cash-out.

Converting an Old IRA to a Roth

March 25th, 2013 at 06:42 am

I have an old stinky IRA --- It's terrible that I can't even remember but I think it was at one point a 401K at my very first job out of college??? Anyway, it has just been sitting there in some mutual funds at Fidelity for about forever. I was thinking over the weekend that I should convert it to a Roth. I know I'd have to pay income tax, but otherwise we make too much money to have Roth IRAs so I kind of zone out whenever I hear them mentioned.

If anybody knows of an article or two I could read I'd appreciate it. I'll probably go Googling today.

There is not much else going on. The furnace at my Mom's house quit working over the weekend and we currently have her at a hotel. She's had a lot of unexpected expenses this month, I'll probably have to give her some money.

Retirement Savings

March 15th, 2013 at 05:56 am

An up stock market is more fun than a collapsing one and I've been keeping an eye on our Retirement Accounts lately. 401ks, profit sharing accounts and IRAs are at $243,000 - so we've almost hit the quarter million mark. I know it is only a number but it is a milestone so I'll be happy to see it go over that. Hopefully once it goes over that number it will stay there, but I have a feeling this zooming stock market is going to correct itself fairly soon.

In addition to that, my husband has two defined benefit pension plans which will help to support us in retirement. They both allow for a spousal payment (joint annuity) but one of them pays nothing if DH dies or retires before age 62. Our family joke is always that is the company's method of making sure the spouses don't kill off the executives before their time.

I don't count our primary Investment account which mostly holds DH's company stock bonuses in that retirement amount because it isn't a retirement account. We've been talking recently about cashing some of this out and diversifying into real estate, but selling is kind of tricky due to Insider Trading restrictions.

Drip Drip Drip Drip

February 4th, 2013 at 11:06 am

Tiny little snowflakes have been appearing all morning. $3.84 Paypal deposit from QuickRewards, a $22 check for some textbooks I sold and I won $5 in a Superbowl pool.

The funny thing is that I am such a numbers geek, putting all those little snowflakes into my YNAB and then dutifully assigning them a job gives me such a happy feeling. I wish everyday could be a happy little snowflakes day.

My husband this weekend discovered we live in what is known as YNAB Bufferland, which means we have one full month of budget saved up in our checking account and we are living on January's income in February.

"You mean I can have ALL my allowance for the month right now?"

"You betcha!"

So then later on he asked how our other savings was doing and I showed him our Retirement spreadsheets, Vacation funds, and Emergency Savings. He gets these bursts of interest in our finances about two or three times a year. Otherwise, he's content just to know the ATM will give him his allowance whenever he asks for it. LOL

We are very much opposites attract in that manner because I HAVE to balance my checking account daily or I get hives. I even do it on vacation -- wake up and balance the checking account online.

I Had Such Big Plans

February 1st, 2013 at 07:59 am

So earlier in the week I was looking at my Calendar and I noticed that February 1st happened to fall on Friday. Awesome! Because I had in the back of my mind this niggling thought that I should create a blog and what better time do accomplish that other than the first day of the month on a Friday --- which is typically the day when I have a good amount of free time.

Then Friday morning hit and my mind was a complete blank.

But here I am, and I had promised myself I would get this thing going, so let's all just push our way through.

My best piece of news for the week was that our family finished up the month of January $546.42 under budget. This was in categories such as Groceries, Entertainment, Clothing etc etc. Much discussion abounded amongst the household what to do with our windfall and the final decision was...

$100 to Emergency Savings
$100 to my Retirement Fund (separate from DH's 401k)
$300 to Our Big Adventure (vacations) and Gift Giving Savings Account

and the final $46.42 I gave to my older children to put onto their Student Loans. This was because they both spent a good amount of time here in January and I told them that if they would ~try~ not to eat me out of house and home and run us over budget in groceries I would split the "savings" with them.

So in other activity, I was recently watching a documentary from ESPN 30 for 30 titled "Broke." It has to deal with the enormous number of Professional athletes (over 70%) who find themselves bankrupt or in financial difficulties shortly after their careers ended.

I admit, I was fascinated as to how this could happen. These people make millions and millions of dollars and then it just ..... evaporates on them. My fascination is fueled a bit just by the sheer human nature of being attracted to other people's drama and failure as a means to make yourself feel better. I mean, sure I've made mistakes in my life but LOOK AT THEM, THEY'VE MADE MUCH BIGGER ONES!!! It is awfully judgmental of me.

Stepping back though I looked through that list of athletes and I realized they were all so young when they made their money and for the most part they went from relative poverty or at best middle class to enormous wealth. I tried to imagine what the results would be if somebody stuck a couple of million dollars into one of my 20-something children's bank account.

I have to tell you, it'd likely be a disaster. Just as it would have been a disaster if somebody had given me so much money in those early years of adulthood.

We talk much in this country about the lack of fiscal education. I think "Broke" shows this lack of such education at the most extreme level. It also shows our immaturity and failures personally (me included) and as a society. Most of us when we are young make financial mistakes, many of us (often me too) keep making them long after we are old enough to know better.

These athletes make them with lots of zeroes added onto the end as Dave Ramsey would say.

That's about all I can think of for now. I will try to get back in a couple of days to continue the blog. I do highly recommend the ESPN documentary Broke if you get the chance to see it.