Dirty Laundry

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LMoot
Posts: 615
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:10 am
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Re: Dirty Laundry

Postby LMoot » Mon May 15, 2017 4:38 am

Thank you jdmartin, FunSpeedAhead, and Smurfette!

Got back Saturday! (back to work in 2 hours...boo) I am tan, with a plan, and a clear and renewed resolve. No near-death experiences this time, but it was my shortest trip there and 3 wks flew right by. I spent most of my time in my ailing grandmother's village, hauling water, doing laundry by hand, eliminating in a hole in the ground, bathing out of a bucket, walking to the market 1-2 times per day to gather ingredients for meals; it all felt like a precious luxury because I had the time in my day. No schedules, no back to back shifts, no unpleasant traffic experiences, no boredom. We did have a few nice sprints at hotels I could never afford in dollars, in the larger cities. One such spring was to celebrate my birthday...the first one in my country of birth, since I was 3 years old.

We visited family and everyone in villages....literally every.single.person in every village....and the custom is to shake hands in the initial greeting, again after giving the news, and upon leaving the home. My dad said he always means to count how many times he shakes hands, but forgets; if I had to guess though, I would say in the thousands. We visited the hospital my sister had her life-saving surgery 3 years ago so my parents could thank the surgeon and staff in person and donate some supplies. I ate more than I do in the states, but still lost over 10 pounds in just 3 wks because of the walking and activity. I escaped with no health problems, malaria, parasites (that I know of). Ivory Coast has gotten much better over the decades in terms of vaccination, medication, and cleanliness of food and water, and education and awareness of communicable diseases.

I took my first overseas solo flight back....and it only took me 6 Xanax over the course of 2 days and 3 connecting flights, ha! My parents will stay for another 5 weeks (their/our house is not ready, but it is beautiful. Nearly all rooms have a mountainous or forest view and the wood and tile work are lovely, very African and tropical. I am a dolt who didn't bring a camera, but I'll post pics we took from my parent's camera when they come back.)

I'm going back in 2019, so I will be hoarding vacation time again. I keep promising old friends that I'll take a group vacation, but I can't bring myself to enjoy anything that will jeopardize or cut into time I can spend in Africa. Life is just....different there; if you have the means anyway. I could see myself living there off and on, and retiring there. Hopefully after my 2019 trip, I will be able to take a break from working full time, and go for longer.



I guess I will throw in some financial 'fo, for topical integrity:

After paying May's rent to grandmother, paying my coworker for her awesome care of my leopard gecko, and getting May's rent check from the tenants, I was able to throw $1000 into the Barclay Dream account, maxing out the $1k/month contribution limit, bringing my total savings to $15,500. It also means that I NOW HAVE OVER 20% OF THE DP GOAL FOR MY NEXT RENTAL PROPERTY SAVED! I didn't get the nearly $1000 escrow check I was expecting so I need to follow up on that today with my mortgage lender. I also need to follow up on getting my mortgage re amortized via a recast, and have the payment reduced to reflect the current escrow. If I can get the check this month, it could be another $2500 savings month since most of my large bills have already been paid in the first half of the month, and the only bills left are cc minimums of around $100 or less on my 0% interest cards; so I'll get to keep most of my weekly pay.

5500/25,000, DP on rental property, Nov 2017 (22% complete)
0/5000 EFund part 2/2, Jan 2018
0/8000, USAA cc1, April 2018
0/5000, Cap 1, May 2018
0/3000, Cap 1, July 2018
0/7000, Citi, Aug 2018
0/6000, USAA cc2, September 2018

5000/5000 Amex, Oct 2017 (DONE)
5000/5000 EFund part 1/2 (DONE)


TOTAL SAVINGS $15,500

green = DONE/ grey = in queue/ red = actively saving

And last but not least, credit score went up pretty significantly in 3 weeks...and the age of credit hasn't even been updated yet:

Credit Score: 664-668 (up 44-46)

jdmartin
Posts: 241
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2014 10:31 am
Location: Southeast US
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Re: Dirty Laundry

Postby jdmartin » Mon May 15, 2017 11:32 am

LMoot, so what is the price of real estate where you live in terms of investment property? I don't know if I remember (if you even said it) where you live . I assume you're looking at ~125k for another rental property?
"Money is better than poverty, for financial reasons" - Woody Allen

LMoot
Posts: 615
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:10 am
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Re: Dirty Laundry

Postby LMoot » Mon May 15, 2017 3:16 pm

Like a lot of older neighborhoods within city limits in FL, my neighborhood has erratic home values. Probably a lot of it has to do with whether the house has been renovated or not as most of the house ages range from the 40s through 60s. The houses themselves are very different in terms of size, style, and craftsmanship. The neighborhood was developing back in the days where planned communities were not prevalent in middle class areas like is the opposite trend now, and people bought land and brought their own builder or had custom homes made, or several different builders divided land into lots. There are one bedroom bungalows under $100k (pre reno) like my house was, and three story custom mcm houses for $400k+. Houses with small lots, and some with up to 1/2 an acre

For now I am looking for small fixers under or around $100k. $110k would be the roof. My DP goal is intended to include all purchase fees and costs.

LMoot
Posts: 615
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:10 am
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Re: Dirty Laundry

Postby LMoot » Fri May 19, 2017 4:11 am

Friday update!

I'm feeling the lack of a second paycheck (I even forgot to budget for it!), but still managed to send $500 this week to savings, bringing my total cash to $16,000. I haven't gotten paid from the zoo for about a month, and won't get a full paycheck from them until probably middle of June, after I start racking up some hours.

I've been feeling stir-crazy since returning from Africa, going from manual labor (my project this time was hacking down a 6ft tall clay termite mound behind my grandmother's house and using the clay to pack in the undercut of the foundation caused by erosion), to sitting in front of a computer 10 hours/day). I've decided to release this energy in the way I've always done: I am going to redo my bedroom and am giving myself a $500 budget...most of which will go to replacing my closet doors with mirrored doors. I used to dance to stay in shape and the studio I danced at is now defunct, with no nearby/desireable alternatives. I've come back with an arsenal of new African music, and with the help of YouTube and dance mirrors maybe I can soukous my way back to the fitness of my 20's <sigh>

My escrow analysis finally went through and my monthly payment will be $145 cheaper. I am still waivering on doing a recast...it would only reduce my payment further, by about $70. There is no longer a fee to do it so it would be cheap/easy enough, but I would lose a lot of my interest-savings because of the reammortization. The whole reason I considered doing it was to reduce my DTI to more easily qualify me for a mortgage on a second property/ increase my savings rate....but it's not enough of a reduction for me to change my savings rate, and if $100 or less is the deciding factor for a loan approval, then I probably couldn't afford it anyway. Because it took them so long to do the analysis, I now have an escrow overage of over $1,500. I am going to call later today to confirm the amount I'll be receiving, and when I'll get it. Of course it will all go towards the rental property DP fund.

Speaking of rental property, I feel stuck. I left with grumblings of the "L" word at work, and since I've been gone, a merger they've been fighting for fell through and their appeal was denied by the DOJ. Needless to say the grumblings got louder, and by no less than my own manager during a team meeting. The prudent lmoot (and every single being with rational thought) wants to say "Maybe now is not the time to purchase another property and take out yet another loan, especially with already $35k+ in credit card debt, and only $15k in savings". The reckless and impulsive lmoot (some would say, the true moot), wants to scream "Eff that! This sh*t is the reason why I want to have more control over my income. Fear and timing is the reason why it's been taking me so long to make this move. Que sera sera."

Needless to say, I will be furiously scribbling out a worst-case scenario for the next couple months in order to determine if I should treat this dark cloud as yet another needy, unwanted thing demanding of my attention and resources....or as motivation to stay the course towards my initial target. Now is probably a good time to update myself on my company's severance offering.

6000/25,000, DP on rental property, Nov 2017 (24% complete)
0/5000 EFund part 2/2, Jan 2018
0/8000, USAA cc1, April 2018
0/5000, Cap 1, May 2018
0/3000, Cap 1, July 2018
0/7000, Citi, Aug 2018
0/6000, USAA cc2, September 2018

5000/5000 Amex, Oct 2017 (DONE)
5000/5000 EFund part 1/2 (DONE)


TOTAL SAVINGS $16,000

green = DONE/ grey = in queue/ red = actively saving

LMoot
Posts: 615
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:10 am
Contact:

Re: Dirty Laundry

Postby LMoot » Fri May 19, 2017 8:42 am

* update *

I called my mortgage lender, and I'm not getting the $1500 escrow check I was hoping for. I will be getting a $2100 check. BWONGGggg! Yeah it's only about $500 extra, but every bit counts. They said expect it within 10 days. Not counting any other savings for the rest of this month, that would bring my DP fund to 8k! Aka 32% of goal. Aka almost 1/3 completed.

fiddlefaddle
Posts: 266
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:38 am
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Re: Dirty Laundry

Postby fiddlefaddle » Fri May 19, 2017 10:00 am

Hi LMoot, I've been trying to catch up with your journey. You're doing a great job of putting aside money this year!

Exciting about the escrow check. I love it when checks are bigger than I expected!

I have to be honest, your credit card debt scares me. On page 1 of your journal a few years ago, you had $6,000 of credit card debt and now you have about $35,000! I would be very hesitant to buy another property until a big chunk of the credit card debt is gone, especially with a possible job loss in the future.

LMoot
Posts: 615
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:10 am
Contact:

Re: Dirty Laundry

Postby LMoot » Sat May 20, 2017 6:57 am

Thanks fiddlefaddle! I am not afraid of the credit card debt. I just keep telling myself it's a loan/investment. I am just thankful that every cent is at 0% interest, and most of it is not due for another year or more. But I am done accruing thankfully, and the minimums are chipping away at it at it, currently at about $500/month.

I am still trying to evaluate my fear level at the prospect of being laid off. As I have been working it out in my mind, I do have a great chance at finding a job within a few months. My sister has been at her job for over 10 years, and I was there for five years and left on good terms. So I can always go back to that, even though I don't want to. My brother has also been at his job for over 10 years and is in great standing.

I can pick up more hours at the zoo like the last time I quit working, I can pay for cobra health insurance through my HSA, my rental income is nearly double my mortgage. And my expenses are low enough, even with the credit card minimums, that I could easily survive on the part time job and rental income without dipping into savings, and possibly even adding to it. It's not ideal because I wouldn't be saving much, if any. But it would give me time to weigh my options.

However, I agree with you that a rental property in the fixer-upper stage would kill that buffer. First it would drain all of my savings, other than $5000 for my emergency fund, and how horrible would it be to be in the middle of fixing it up and I can't get a tenant in, and I lose my job. Not to mention the looming due dates next year, before interest starts in on the debt.

A lot to think about. Where I stand now I am not afraid of job loss, even with the debt. Several of my cards run 0% balance transfer offers throughout the year for low, and sometimes $0 fees, as I recently discovered; it would be nothing to me to push the date out for another 12 to 18 months, if I needed to. But add a second mortgage and another property to fix up, to the equation....and that is scary.

LMoot
Posts: 615
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:10 am
Contact:

Re: Dirty Laundry

Postby LMoot » Fri May 26, 2017 10:00 am

This has been another good savings month. I got to add a $2000 windfall from my escrow check, so that helped. I have over a third saved towards the down payment of the house; coming soon...50%!

I am definitely not doing a recast. Because my last extra principal payment was over a year ago… Over by four months… My bank requires me to pay it down by a minimum of $5000 at time of recast, in order to get it re-cast. So that's not happening. But I did decide to de escrow my account, so starting with July's payment, I will only be paying the mortgage portion from here on out. My next tax bill isn't due until November, and insurance bill isn't due until March of next year.

This is the most I have regularly saved in my life, and I hope to keep the momentum going. Right now I am saving over half my net income (so not counting pre-tax contributions). I really would like to be in the position to only have to work seasonally to sustain my yearly bills. If I keep my head down I can reach this goal by the age of 37, and have my first house paid off by 35. Wow, never would I have thought back in my early 20s, that I would be making short term plans to pay off a house and buy another house (or two), and quit working full-time. I know I get ahead of myself a lot, but I am proud of what I have achieved, and dreaming bigger than what is probably reasonable, gives me motivation.

8500/25,000, DP on rental property, Nov 2017 (34% complete)
0/5000 EFund part 2/2, Jan 2018
0/8000, USAA cc1, April 2018
0/5000, Cap 1, May 2018
0/3000, Cap 1, July 2018
0/7000, Citi, Aug 2018
0/6000, USAA cc2, September 2018

5000/5000 Amex, Oct 2017 (DONE)
5000/5000 EFund part 1/2 (DONE)


TOTAL SAVINGS $18,500

green = DONE/ grey = in queue/ red = actively saving

plank
Posts: 162
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:28 am
Contact:

Re: Dirty Laundry

Postby plank » Sat May 27, 2017 8:12 am

I love your positive attitude about money (and life in general). It's infectious.

I wouldn't be able to really relax about money with that much CC debt, but if you think you can handle it, go for it.

Just keep in mind, banks loans money at 0% to lure people into a false sense of security and won't hesitate to drop the hammer if it's in their interest.

Right now you would need to work for like a year just to pay off the current credit cards. That's a lot of debt.

You know all this though. I'm sure you've considered all the possibilities.


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