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 Post subject: Re: adventures in the black
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 7:03 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 579
doing the monthly rundown a little early this time around. i will be out of town and so had to pre-arrange all the bills and such.

we took a hit in income this month. unexpected circumstances, spouse had to take more than a week off work (unpaid) and incurred some travel expenses. also, i got slapped with $130 non-reimbursed and $90 reimbursable (6+ months from now) professional fees, and i booked a flight and car rental to go see my family this month. go figure, it all hits at once. but we cut back and wound up only $200 short of our full monthly savings payment. somehow.

regardless, some good things:
retirement savings hit a new milestone.
we're up to 1/5 of our 20% house down payment (for estimated price range).
net worth surpassed 30k.


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 Post subject: Re: adventures in the black
PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:59 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 579
here's where that unscheduled time off hit us. we also had a birthday and an anniversary, both of which we decided to celebrate somewhat expensively (since we hadn't been able to do so previously). and i went ahead and just paid off all my travel expenses right away, since seeing ANYTHING in the debt column is just irritating now.

our apartment lease renews at the end of july. i tried to get them to give us a concession to keep their reliable tenants, but apparently that isn't going to fly. too bad. we're still not moving- we're feeling over-moved after the last couple of years. rent is only up by $25/month, that's acceptable. and the location and the place are both very nice. it'll be fine to stay another year.

spouse started a new contract. we have yet to hear back about their 401k savings plan. argh. i'm putting away money for taxes (since mine aren't withheld) based on a certain % of his income going to 401k and an additional 5k each in IRAs. this is going to mess me up. for now we're going to just have to put the extra money toward savings. and lose out on the match (if any). we're going to miss the absurdly generous match he got last year.

but net worth continues to trend upward. mint says we're still on track for our savings goals, but i like to be just a little bit ahead. will probably throw a little more force behind the savings effort this coming month to get back there.


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 Post subject: Re: adventures in the black
PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 7:30 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 579
feeling much more sorted out this month.

first, signing the new lease removed the apartment/moving issue from my mind completely. i'm glad we stayed, even if we didn't get a big concession like i was hoping. we also went with a couple extra months on this lease, so that we are not faced with a potential summertime (and low likelihood of discounts) move next year.

next, we got spouse's 401k on track and initiated the old account rollover. new company's match is pitiful. just pitiful. sigh. but at least that's all going where it should be.

also, savings are back to being slightly ahead of the game. i shifted a bunch to CDs, since interest rates are also pitiful.

we're again revisiting the issue of replacing spouse's car. he's identified a far less expensive alternative that he would enjoy (whew) and we're in the process of finding the right one. this will probably happen sometime in the next few months.

we just passed yet another net worth milestone. i'm pondering what some reasonable goals would be for the end of the year.


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 Post subject: Re: adventures in the black
PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:26 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 579
uuughhhh, my head hurts.

it took them weeks to process our rollover request, but lo and behold, they made the account withdrawal immediately after the market took a huge hit.

now it'll take however long to get the funds to vanguard, and i'm sure the market will rebound and we're in for a permanent 10+% loss on this account due to the worst. timing. ever. i'm going to be extremely wary about this kind of thing in the future.

:(

i expect we're in the inadvertent, unwilling position of selling low and shortly thereafter buying back in higher...


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 Post subject: Re: adventures in the black
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 5:43 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:47 pm
Posts: 90
Location: Ontario, Canada
Ohhh, I hurt for you on that one. We transferred some stuff with bad timing too, but maybe not as bad. Hopefully some stuff was still down when the buy happened.

In any case, keep up the great work with the savings.

_________________
Kate


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 Post subject: Re: adventures in the black
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:12 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 579
thanks, Kate. that kind of bad timing just makes my head hurt. fortunately, in the end, everything came out ok. we're not moving any of it around again unless there is a good reason to!

another summertime month, another series of strange events. this month was an interesting one.

1. we found the right car and pounced on it. spouse will not be bugging me about getting a car for him for some time. we found a nice one, in great shape, low miles, book value about 12k. we paid 9500 for it because it does need some (eventual) work. but that's how we roll, he needs little projects like this anyway. we'll fix it when it warrants fixing, right now it's fine. financed 7k through our credit union very cheaply. i debated paying outright, but then i thought it's better to have liquidity with uncertainty in spouse's position for the time being AND it's better to rack up some more history with the credit union we'll likely use to eventually get a mortgage.

2. buying a car means tax and title and ughhhhhhh. we're planning to sell the old car to catch up from this expense. it pains me to pay this crap. which is why we previously were buying cars for 1-2k! but the ones we have now will last us a long time.

3. a piece of tree hit my car. this has resulted in a cluster@#$* with the insurance company. spouse is back and forth with the claims adjuster, because they don't want to pay out to do the job right. i am now driving spouse's old car until mine is fixed.

4. upgraded phones this month. i had been holding off, but my phone was intermittently not working. spouse did some side jobs to earn cash to get himself a nice new phone too. that was another expense, but it sure is nice to have a phone that actually lets me answer calls.

i've had to just buck up and hold my breath and plow through this month, financially. i have a few other small things to handle but the big and stressful stuff is over. i am taking a half day at work tomorrow so i can handle the little stuff.

so we're a bit behind schedule due to the car expenses and all- overall, our net worth (not including value of objects- like cars) did not change this month. we will move up by $800 when we sell the old car. including objects, though, we've jumped upward a fair bit.

we're looking at probably renting another 2 years, which is ok, because we've still got some uncertainty in the future. better to be able to relocate around the metro area as needed in case spouse is reassigned to somewhere distant (traffic-time-wise) from home. kind of nice to have more than a 6-month plan...


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 Post subject: Re: adventures in the black
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:28 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
And don't forget that you drove the new-to-you car through torrential downpours to get to eat some delicious crabs with the Peach One. HA!!HA!! :rofl:

Things will be back on track next month. At least you can breathe easier now that that car situation is under control for a while.

I miss you guys already.


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 Post subject: Re: adventures in the black
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:44 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 579
indeed, we had some great crabs and even better company! :D thanks for inviting us out, we'll have to do it again soon! it was so much fun, despite the rainy day.

the off month was definitely worth it to get the car issue off the table for another 5-6 years, especially since this was SO the right one to get for him. but i am a ball of stress when off months happen.


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 Post subject: Re: adventures in the black
PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:42 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 579
whew, another weird month!

we ended up going ahead and doing a major tune-up on the "new" car. it seemed fine until spouse discovered that the timing belt had never been done and it didn't look so hot. it's an interference engine, so if that baby snaps, say goodbye. that being the case, we decided to just go for it while he was taking things apart. we did everything except the (eventual) transmission fix. it now runs like brand new and we just ensured we'll see many more years out of it, but that knocked down our savings for the month.

still, we're within a couple bucks of re-achieving the liquid net worth we had before we bought the car, and we sold the old one, so i guess we're doing okay. we have almost 40% of our future down payment socked away. i am feeling fine about our progress there, especially considering we just started directing our money to that goal in late spring. we're in no hurry to buy something anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: adventures in the black
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 6:47 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 579
at least things have settled somewhat this time around!

we had some more car expenses, mainly because we pretty much hate our insurance company. once my car is repaired, we're going elsewhere. they were great when all they did was take our money, but they fail terribly now that we're insisting they actually fix the damn car. we did get reimbursement for some up front expenses from this (it took a couple months and we had already absorbed the hit) that kind of evens it all out for this month.

speaking of reimbursement, i'm waiting on almost $1000 back from my work trip this month, and i have another work thing in a couple of weeks that i'll front and be reimbursed for. so it's coming, but i don't have it right this second. i am not so concerned. they are at least better than the jerks at the insurance company.

we're also facing some doctor's bills from the last month or so- a number of medical procedures (and some days off work) took some toll on the finances. though i can't complain too heavily, the same procedures would have cost us several thousand out of pocket when i was a graduate student with the crappy student insurance. so that's more relief than annoyance, frankly.

so things aren't going perfectly smoothly recently but we are handling it okay. savings are still on track- next month i'm going to bundle into another CD to capture a slightly better interest rate. i'm hoping i can set (and reach) a goal of topping 50% of our planned down payment in the bank by the end of this year.

next month is a 5 paycheck month for one of us! this will be a good thing. another good thing is that spouse may be up for a raise- cross fingers! though with this job ending in january, it's about time for him to start looking for a new job.


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 Post subject: Re: adventures in the black
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:57 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 579
geez. another rough month. seems like the last few have been pretty bumpy.

more car expenses. i did my usual pre-winter preparation and found my car needed a little TLC- replaced the other two tires (tread depth was 3/32" and winter approacheth) and ordered a kit to clear up my hazed polycarbonate headlights. been having trouble with the dealership trying to get this last problem fixed on this comp claim, they seem to screw up my car more than fix it. consequently, we now have about $550 out of pocket in this on top of the deductible, plus a LOT of our time. we shall see what else happens, but at least they gave me the upper-level claims adjuster for this round.

next, spouse's car needs some new tires before winter too. sigh. i am hoping that by doing all 4 at once (like we usually do- this last bit on my car was an exception) we can score a deal at tire rack or something.

out of pocket costs for a meeting. i took a hit for maybe $100, but it adds up. i am waiting on another $150 or so reimbursable. i did get my big reimbursement check for the last trip and paid off the credit card. so this small reimbursable will go back to savings.

those nasty doctor expenses hit. that was rough, but we got them all paid off. i think the worst of that has passed for now.

so we ended the month breaking even, but a bit behind on the savings. which is unfortunate. making the year-end goal will be a stretch. i hope i can still make it.

the nice news is that spouse is starting a new job in a couple of weeks. it comes with a MAJOR pay bump and better 401k matching. this makes up for the big pay cut he took while working this job over the last 5 months or so. and i'm looking forward to a less stressed out version of him.

we kinda need the extra pay. we've got until late spring to get ready for a baby!


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 Post subject: Re: adventures in the black
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:19 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:57 am
Posts: 384
Great news all around -- congrats on the spouse's new job and the baby! Nice timing there, too. :D

Don't be too discouraged. Sounds to me like you are doing really well -- you handled the last few months' unexpected bumps without incurring new debt, and your savings is mostly on track. You are still IN THE BLACK!!!! :clap:


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 Post subject: Re: adventures in the black
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:15 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 579
thank you, Cecily! funny how these things wind up coming together at the same time. i can only hope things keep on going this well. :)

wow! we did it! 50% of our planned down payment is now saved. i can't believe it.

what a year.
- started off by paying off the last student loan balances in the springtime
- got a great deal on a used car for spouse and strategically took out a smaller-than-we-needed, low-rate loan to build a relationship with our credit union. paid the rest in cash.
- socked away a bunch for retirement (401k for him + fully funded IRAs for each of us.)
- net worth from just above zero to "how did we do that?"
- and now reached 50% of our down payment!

somehow we've even made room to enjoy life a little bit, and recover smoothly from the occasional rough patch in the road.

spouse's new/better paying job runs for several months, and we're going to make use of this nicer pay rate while we can. we have a fully funded emergency fund, but with a baby on the way we're going to increase the balance on that next. we're going to pre-pay a lot of the anticipated medical expenses, and put some money away in case we reach out-of-pocket max coinsurance this coming year. and of course, keep on pushing as much toward this down payment thing as possible. not that we urgently want to buy a house next year, but we want it to be an option sooner than later, should we decide to go for it.


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 Post subject: Re: adventures in the black
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:40 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 961
Congratulations on everything. :clap: :rock: :D

_________________
Be what you want to attract.


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 Post subject: Re: adventures in the black
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:12 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 255
Wow. It sounds like overall, you had a great 2011. :D Congrats on the baby!


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