Samantha's goals

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Sam
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Postby Sam » Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:23 pm

Samantha wrote:I'm bummed I don't actually get the title. My bank sent me a letter saying that the title had been electronically filed, and electronically 'released', and if I wanted a copy I had to go down myself and pay for one. LAME.


That is strange, what do you do if you want to sell it, how do you transfer the title? I think I would want a copy for my records.

Congrats!
Sam

http://adventures-of-sam.blogspot.com
(Follow Sam's financial and real estate adventures.)

Samantha
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Postby Samantha » Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:46 am

Well I guess most banks in Ohio now are "electronic lienholders". All I need to keep is the letter stating they released the lien on the title. Which means they went to the BMV and the Clerk of Courts and 'discharged' the lien on the title. So its all mine, but if I want a physical copy then I have to pay for one. Which I could do. But I'm not going to. Its only about $5 though.

So...we picked out our new flooring. http://www.teragren.com/gallery.html
Its the photo on the top right corner, "Signature Naturals Flat Grain Carmelized". I heart bamboo. We hope to install it this summer.

After the floor, we'll go back and finish the 6 month emergency fund (goal Dec 09). Then we'll begin the 'lets get married' fund (goal 2011?).

Samantha
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A Lot Can Happen in 2 Weeks

Postby Samantha » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:37 am

We've made a ton of progress. We put all our tax refund into the emergency fund, and it now stands at 3 months expenses, fully funded. We decided, as a couple, that this is a comfortable level for us. (This will cover all our expenses if BOTH of us lose our jobs AND we lose our renter). Its more likely that one of us would lose our job, and the EF would cover us for at least 6 months.

So... back to the change. After we decided 3 months expenses was enough, we talked about our decision to install new flooring. We had talked ourselves into this being a priority, into it being a NEED. After all, we are walking around on the subflooring since we tore out the horrendous carpet.

BUT then we revisited it. We told ourselves bamboo floors are a WANT. We told ourselves that the flooring will always be in the store for us to go back and buy it later. We decided we'd be more proud to have a "we're debt-free" party, than a "look at our fancy new floors" party.

And I'm not disappointed right now. I'm excited. We'll be debt free by Christmas.

And when we do get the floors...there will be no tinge of guilt!

ETA: I forgot to mention that we had our 'fancy dinner' for our 3 year anniversary and it was so wonderful. Worth every penny. We even splurged $5 for valet!
Last edited by Samantha on Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Samantha
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Postby Samantha » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:20 pm

REVISITING GOALS

New Timeline/Priorities!

December 2009: Debt-Free goal
January 2010: Implement 15% retirement savings AND Begin Wedding Sinking Fund

Because the wedding and retirement are our most important goals, after the immediate goals of being financially liquid for emergencies and being debt-free.

sandi_k
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Postby sandi_k » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:14 pm

Yay, Samantha!

I just scheduled a whopper of a car payment, and it looks like I will have it PAID OFF next month. Two years early.

Which means we'll be debt-free except for the house.

I agree - your floor party will be so much more fun, having PAID for it, and having no debt. We lived in our horrendously dilapidated house for awhile, with 30 year old green shag carpet, and orange and green kitchen linoleum. It's taken awhile, but our house looks AWESOME now, and we paid cash for d*mn near everything. Which means the recent declines in the market don't bother us.

Good job! And I can't wait for the Bamboo Lounge Party once you're debt free. :D

Sandi

Samantha
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Postby Samantha » Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:29 am

Wow, congrats Sandi on the looming debt-free goal! Thanks for the encouragement! I can't wait to be where you are!

On that note...very soon... as in around June of this year... we will transition into a POSITIVE net worth. For the first time in my life, I will have more cash lying around than I have in debt owed to other people. (none of this is including our home mortgage/equity)

It hasn't hit me yet... the implications of this situation. The possibilities are endless. What could we do if we had no payments? The snowball at this point is at about $1300/month. (about a third of our take-home pay) When we pay off this debt...we will have $1300 every month to decide what to do with... on our own terms!

Sam
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Postby Sam » Thu Apr 16, 2009 4:44 am

That bamboo flooring is sweet, but I agree that being debt free first is the way to go. After being in our old house (1920s) for 4 years we are finally getting to do some house projects and purchases as we wanted to (1) be debt free (we completed our debt payoff in Jan. 2007) (2) have a good size e/r fund (which we funded in 2008). Now when we pick out paint colors and new furniture (both on the agenda for this year) we pay cash and or we save up so we can pay cash for the larger purchases.
Sam

http://adventures-of-sam.blogspot.com
(Follow Sam's financial and real estate adventures.)

Samantha
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Recap!

Postby Samantha » Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:14 am

I am thinking I need to recap all of our progress and our future numbers:

We have paid off all our debt except the student loan! We have saved and emergency fund of $7,500 which is 3 months expenses. We have cash in all our recurring expenses envelopes!

Right now the student loan stands at $10,800 and our pay-off goal is this Christmas. (cutting it very close but we are optimistic!)

So all things working out... in January 2010 we will begin saving for the next step stuff...

1) Car repairs/replacement fund
2) Retirement (2 ROTHs and a 401k)
3) Wedding Rings
4) Home Repairs

Not neccessarily in that order. We will have about $1400 a month for these things. Anyone have an opinion on which order is most important/ which ones we could do at the same time?

peachy
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Postby peachy » Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:12 pm

Great job Samantha.

As far as how to fund the next four things, I would do a snowball on savings, and start with the smallest, and go from there. The home repairs category is really large. Maybe you could break it down into a) repave driveway b) fix leaky faucet, etc.. and that way it won't be such an amorphous category (I'm not sure if that word applies here, but it's a sunny day I feel like using it-ha! I just looked it up. It applies).

Then you can decide whether car replacement is more important than wedding rings (based on timing), the retirement fund you want to finish by next April 15, but if you can get your retirement funded by Dec 31, that would help for next year, so do what you can. If your goal is to fully fund 2 roths and a 401k, I think you're in good shape and whatever you decide will work out.

InterfaceLeader
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Postby InterfaceLeader » Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:35 pm

I really like your recipe for chicken soup :) Thanks for sharing!

jac
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Postby jac » Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:33 pm

What are the deadlines for the next four goals? The wedding is in 2011, right, so how much do you need to put aside to have the rings by then?

Samantha
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update!

Postby Samantha » Fri May 01, 2009 8:30 am

Update:

Total Debt balance: 9,800.00 exactly (weird)

So excited! We are cashing in our change jar next week, so that should add a little boost, too. We'll be debt-free by Thanksgiving!

Jac: The problem with our fuzzy goals is that they are so vague. We don't have a "goal date" or due date, or any sort of definite timeline. I have no idea when the 2002 honda will stop running. And we haven't set a date for the wedding (we aren't officially engaged). We all know retirement is fuzzy...I guess we have about 45 years to go for that goal. And home repairs, while deemed urgent by me, are livable by some standards. And everyone knows how subjective costs are, too. We could spend 5K, or 10K, or 50k on a wedding. Same with remodeling the kitchen.

I guess we've got some more work to do to define the totals and timelines of our next goals!

Sam
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Postby Sam » Fri May 01, 2009 9:43 am

Without knowing more about your proposed house projects, I would put funding retirement accounts before any of the other goals. And $1400 a month (plus you'll get some extra dollars since you will be using pre-tax money) will not be enough to fully fund 401ks and IRAs for both of you (that would be $44,000 a year). So you'll need to figure out how much goes to retirement and how much goes to the other goals.
Sam

http://adventures-of-sam.blogspot.com
(Follow Sam's financial and real estate adventures.)

Samantha
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Postby Samantha » Fri May 01, 2009 10:01 am

44k/year? Geez, I hope not. We only bring home 47k year. But our gross is more like 60k/year.

Where do you get retirement maximum figures?


ETA: Sam, thanks for the information! (I just read your blog...) For us, the recommended 15% of our income would be the 10k IRA maximums. That will be our specific yearly goal, in the future. (My co. puts a little into my 401k for me, which we are not counting.)

We've talked about the 3 month emergency fund being able to cover any major car repair that would be needed, so the car replacement fund did not make the cut.

I think we are going to work concurrently on some specific, small home repairs AND the wedding fund, which is important to us. They are both very short-term goals, and after completion we'll immediately begin throwing cash into retirement.

Recap:
3 month emergency fund ($7,500) ------ Funded March 2009
Debt-free goal date ($9,800 left) ------ by November 2009
Small Home Repairs (app. $5,000) ------ by April 2010
Wedding Fund and engagement ring (about $25k) ------ by December 2011
Begin 15% ROTH IRAs ($10,000) ------ by April 2012 (for 2011 contributions...)

Samantha
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Postby Samantha » Mon May 18, 2009 1:09 pm

New Debt Balance:

8,105.

Now thats a huge dent! We cashed in our change jar, there was about $500 in there! And we keep looking for snowflakes! In June, garage sale snowflake should add at least $100.

We could have this paid off by October if we keep making progress like this every month.


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