First entry - overview

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Panda
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Location: Texas
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Re: First entry - overview

Postby Panda » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:01 am

Congrats!!!!! That's a great milestone.

Do you think your reduced EF level is appropriate or are you planning to bring it back up?

In general, I think you've got a really great plan/attitude towards the money stuff. I wonder a little bit if based on the fact that you don't really actively budget your money (still true?) despite staying focused on the big stuff (IRA, 401k, loans, etc) means there might be unseen low-hanging fruit. I wonder this about my own finances as well, which are somewhat similar to yours.

(I also set a heck of a lot of my money aside for travel. I know it changes my future position, but it's worth that trade-off to me to have in my life now. So just be conscious of what you choose to do and I think you'll be okay.)

BikeRider
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Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:41 pm
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Re: First entry - overview

Postby BikeRider » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:09 pm

Panda, sorry, I didn't get a notification on your post. To answer your question, my EF I'm comfortable with keeping at 3 months given my current job. I want to hit some savings goals so I've slowed contributions to the EF, but do plan to build it to 6 months over the next year or so.

I also definitely think I miss some of the low hanging fruit by focusing more on the big things, but I've tried detailed budgeting/tracking and it just doesn't work well for me.

It's been two years since I really started tracking.

Update!

ASSETS
$114,400: 403b
$13,900: IRA
$15,000: Emergency Fund (EF)
$1,000: ING Savings - used for trips so fluctuates wildly
$1,100: Checking - used for all bills so fluctuates

DEBTS
$162,400: Mortgage at 6.375%
$5,300: Student Loan at 3.125%

Paycheck Breakdown
These numbers are per paycheck every two weeks. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see numbers at a paycheck level (26 per year) and not monthly.

$2,300: paycheck (after taxes, 403b, etc...)

Bills/Debt
-630: mortgage
-53: student loan
-100: assessment
-120: utilities
-42: insurance

Savings
-230: savings
-200: emergency fund
-200: vacation fund
-50: holiday gifts
-20: big bills

Remaining
$704: used for entertainment, eating out, gifts, car maint, etc..

A couple things I've changed over the past month or so:
* Established a "savings" account on ING to have more cash on hand for various "wants"
* Decreased emergency fund contribution from $400 per paycheck to $200
* Added a "big bills" account to cover home insurance due once a year (that always catches me off guard)
* Upped trip fund from $50 per paycheck to $200 per paycheck
* Retirement stays the same: 11% to 403b (5% from me, 6% from work) and 5% to Roth IRA
* My emergency fund secretly holds the engagement ring fund so it's higher than my actual 3 month emergency fund (6,600).

I think this plan aligns more with how I'd like to structure finances (e.g. have more in liquid savings than pay that towards mortgage).

BikeRider
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:41 pm
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Re: First entry - overview

Postby BikeRider » Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:37 pm

Here's an update with figures rounded since I find it easier to read that way.

Assets
$213,000: Home
$116,300: 403b
$15,100: Roth IRA
$6,600: Emergency Fund
$10,000: Engagement Ring Fund (fully funded)
$2,000: Vacation fund
$2,500: Savings
$1,300: Checking

Debts
$162,400: Mortgage @ 5.375%
$5,000: Student Loan @ 3.125%

Goals
Increase Emergency Fund by $3,400 to $10,000
Save Wedding Fund of $5,000

At this point, I'm not interested in accelerated payments toward the student load due to its low rate (~$120 a year). I did a quickie refinance with my existing lender and probably will not pay extra towards the loan since I refinanced at a shorter term.

My goal list seems woefully short. Regular contributions to my vacation fund keep me traveling and trying new experiences. My retirement contributions remain the same so that's chugging along. "Surprises" to the budget are now addressed with regular savings contributions for big bills (e.g. yearly home insurance) and gifts during the holiday season.

So, I'm in the fortunate situation where automating saving keeps working well for me, but it's also getting boring at this point.

BikeRider
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:41 pm
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Re: First entry - overview

Postby BikeRider » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:44 pm

An update:

Assets
$213,000: Home
$141,000: Retirement Accounts
$10,100: Emergency Fund
$13,400: Savings (wedding, vacations, gifts, savings)
$6,100: Checking

Debts
$160,300: Mortgage @ 5.375%
$4,200: Student Loan @ 3.125%

I feel like I'm chugging along pretty well. I've automated the following monthly:
    * 10% to retirement with 10% match from employer
    * $500 a month to savings
    * $433 a month to vacation fund
    * $108 a month to gift fund
    * $54 a month to big bills fund (e.g. home insurance)
    * $100 extra to mortgage

I'm trying to adjust to getting paid monthly instead of every two weeks so I've instituted the following rule:
    * If the checking account exceeds $4,000 on the 15th of the month, transfer the excess to savings.
    * I treat $3,000 of my checking account as an immediate emergency fund. I saved that amount as part of my EF and keep it there.

Satellite
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:27 pm
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Re: First entry - overview

Postby Satellite » Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:23 pm

Hi BikeRider

I am interested in knowing where you live? Only because I notice that the value of your home has not changed at all over the last 8 months.

BikeRider
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:41 pm
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Re: First entry - overview

Postby BikeRider » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:02 pm

Hi Satelite,

I live in Chicago, IL and use the amount on the last appraisal when I refinanced my mortgage. I don't spend the time checking out recent sales of comparable units to update that value. My main motivation for tracking my finances is to make sure I'm heading in the right direction over the long term.

Satellite
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:27 pm
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Re: First entry - overview

Postby Satellite » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:16 pm

Thanks BikeRider

One last question...what bike do you ride? :)

BikeRider
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:41 pm
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Re: First entry - overview

Postby BikeRider » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:22 pm

Haha, great question! I just have an entry level hardtail Gary Fisher that's great for tooling around the city. I've been toying with the idea of getting a single speed Trek Earl, but I'm pretty happy with my current bike and don't have the space for multiple rides. I don't think I'd ever go fixed gear.

BikeRider
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:41 pm
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Re: First entry - overview

Postby BikeRider » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:20 pm

Another six months have passed so I'm due for another update!

Assets
$213,000: Home
$155,000: Retirement Accounts
$11,000: Emergency Fund
$17,000: Savings (wedding, vacations, gifts, savings)
$5,100: Checking

Debts
$158,000: Mortgage @ 5.375%
$2,800: Student Loan @ 3.125%

What's Automated
10% of pay to retirement with 10% match from employer
$500 a month to savings
$433 a month to vacation fund
$108 a month to gift fund
$60 a month to big bills fund (e.g. home insurance)
$100 extra to mortgage

Upcoming Big Expenses
The funds are already set aside for these fun activities. I still need to remind myself it's okay to write these checks (i.e. i'm still hitting my savings targets, the money has been saved).
$7,500 for Wedding
$5,000 for Honeymoon

More good news! Got an annual raise of 2.5% and a promotion so should be bumped to a higher pay scale soon. I feel like I'm chugging along pretty well.

fantasma
Posts: 964
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:16 pm
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Re: First entry - overview

Postby fantasma » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:25 am

BikeRider wrote:Another six months have passed so I'm due for another update!

Assets
$213,000: Home
$155,000: Retirement Accounts
$11,000: Emergency Fund
$17,000: Savings (wedding, vacations, gifts, savings)
$5,100: Checking

Debts
$158,000: Mortgage @ 5.375%
$2,800: Student Loan @ 3.125%

What's Automated
10% of pay to retirement with 10% match from employer
$500 a month to savings
$433 a month to vacation fund
$108 a month to gift fund
$60 a month to big bills fund (e.g. home insurance)
$100 extra to mortgage

Upcoming Big Expenses
The funds are already set aside for these fun activities. I still need to remind myself it's okay to write these checks (i.e. i'm still hitting my savings targets, the money has been saved).
$7,500 for Wedding
$5,000 for Honeymoon

More good news! Got an annual raise of 2.5% and a promotion so should be bumped to a higher pay scale soon. I feel like I'm chugging along pretty well.



I think you should refinance your mortgage...5.375% you can do a lot better. Perhaps you should look into it.
Be what you want to attract.

Eagle
Posts: 1189
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Location: USA
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Re: First entry - overview

Postby Eagle » Thu Sep 06, 2012 5:04 am

BikeRider wrote:Another six months have passed so I'm due for another update!

Debts
$158,000: Mortgage @ 5.375%
$2,800: Student Loan @ 3.125%

Upcoming Big Expenses
The funds are already set aside for these fun activities. I still need to remind myself it's okay to write these checks (i.e. i'm still hitting my savings targets, the money has been saved).
$7,500 for Wedding
$5,000 for Honeymoon

More good news! Got an annual raise of 2.5% and a promotion so should be bumped to a higher pay scale soon. I feel like I'm chugging along pretty well.


Congrats on getting married and paying for it up front! And a raise/promotion in this economy is fantastic!

I agree with Fantasma might be a good time to refinance.

Looks like things are going great! Keep up the good work. ;)
~ Eagle
www.eaglesoaringhigher.com

BikeRider
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:41 pm
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Re: First entry - overview

Postby BikeRider » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:50 am

Thanks for the feedback, Eagle and fantasma. I emailed three banks my company recommends for refinancing. Doesn't hurt to get some information on 15/20 year fixed options.

We are indeed paying for our wedding and I refuse to cover a dime of its cost with debt. Our budget is set ($15k for wedding, $10k for honeymoon) and we've saved the money so we're good to go!

alohabear
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Re: First entry - overview

Postby alohabear » Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:07 pm

BikeRider wrote:10% of pay to retirement with 10% match from employer


Wow, 10% match from employer?

<----jealous!

Congrats on your promotion and upcoming raise. It looks like you're doing an awesome job working towards your financial goals!

BikeRider
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:41 pm
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Re: First entry - overview

Postby BikeRider » Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:21 pm

Thanks, alohabear. Yes, 10% is super generous. I still read it twice to make sure it's legit as 10% is the most generous match I've ever had.

BikeRider
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:41 pm
Contact:

Re: First entry - overview

Postby BikeRider » Tue Feb 19, 2013 5:57 am

Alrighty, we're married and now have a new financial picture:

Assets
$213,000: Home
$225,000: Retirement Accounts
$ 27,000: Emergency Fund (9 months)
$ 38,000: Savings
$ 5,000: Checking

Debts
$156,000: Mortgage @ 5.375%
$ 24,000: Student Loan @ ?%

2013's Financial Goals
$11,000: Long-term savings
$ 7,000: General savings
$10,000: Home improvement
$ 9,000: Vacation
$ 1,000: Extra mortgage pmt

These goals are in addition to pre-tax retirement contributions. This year's focus is home improvement. I'll lobby next year's focus to be accelerated debt reduction. My long-term goals are to eliminate the student loan by the time we're 40 and the mortgage by the time we're 50 (we're 33).

We continue to automate moving around money as much as possible except bill payment. I like to keep an eye on the monthly bills rather than auto pay those.


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