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 Post subject: moving forward in 2010
PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:07 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 577
after a pretty busy (and expensive) year in 2009, we've settled down into life in our new location.

we're starting off the year a little better than expected, since my husband has found a job. it's not a job in his chosen field, but it keeps him busy and it helps pay the bills until something in that field opens up. in this economy, any job will do.

my job is contracted through later this year. i think the likelihood of being offered a second year is pretty good, but i wouldn't want to stay beyond that. it's a very good resume builder, but at that point we would definitely be ready to move on to greener fields if the economy has improved.

our main points of focus this year are:

1. pay as much as possible toward the student loan (federal subsidized, in grace until february, repayment at 6.8% fixed!! crappy.)
2. rebuild savings to a more comfortable level
3. have an actual entertainment budget and eat better quality food


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:43 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 577
now that we have two incomes again, we're catching up on things we've just been cheap about through the hard times. (i have needed a new pillow for years, for instance...) my husband is feeling SO much better now that he is working again. he's like a whole new person, even though the job isn't in his chosen field. that is worth more than the income, in my eyes.

but speaking of income, we still don't have an approximation of what he will bring home on a regular week yet. i'll probably base the finances on this week's paycheck, his first full week.

down to goal business- student loans offer a 0.25% rate discount if i sign up for automatic withdrawal. i don't like that, but i'll do it for the discount. i've already set things up to make manual payments through my bank's bill pay site. i am going to send $10 to make sure it works, then probably start throwing every extra dollar at it starting the first of next month.

i am still trying to decide how much money should go to extra student loan payments vs savings. having money in savings doesn't earn much, but i do get a 6.55% (6.8-0.25) return on any extra student loan payments. i think the tax refund will be going to savings.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:55 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:22 pm
Posts: 548
Location: Northern CA
G, I'm *so glad* that your DH has a job, and is moving onward and upward. You guys have battled a lot of challenges the past year or so, and it's so encouraging to see hte progress.

Congrats!

Sandi


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:41 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 577
thank you :) we're relieved to be back in a forward-progress position. it's been a very difficult decade, honestly, and we are very fortunate to have made it as intact as we are. we're ready to move on!

so we spent a bit of cash this weekend... nothing fun or exciting, just some embarrassingly simple things we've been too cheap to buy. also replenished the emergency cash. next week our little slush fund goes back to 100%... as helpful as those two reserves were when things really hit hard, i wanted to be sure to top them back off as soon as possible.

we are well on track to get caught up on the basics this month. and i am really happy to have a new pillow and sheets that haven't been sewn up a dozen times. (and caught a 70% off sale!) the husband is beyond thrilled with the $4 pedometer he's been wanting for ages. simple pleasures.


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 Post subject: Re: moving forward in 2010
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:09 am 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 577
well, we overspent a little last week catching up on some of the basics we've been ignoring. his paycheck for this week came a few days late (a one-time deal due to paperwork shifting) and it got a little uncomfortable there for a few days. we're alright now. and i have a good estimate of what he will take home per week. it's a slight underestimate since he gets overtime every other week, but i prefer to err on that side anyway.

i want to get a replacement set of non-flannel sheets (the ones i got for us last week were flannel, it's cold here!), and it looks like kohls is having another big 70% off sale this weekend. we can't really think of anything else we need to get caught back up on the basics, except a pair of shoes for hubs. and he still has one more paycheck before we start the major repayment mode in february! this is great! we have decided to check out a nice looking restaurant downtown to celebrate.

i get my monthly paycheck this week. now i get to re-learn how to manage two incomes on different pay schedules again. i am ok with this responsibility. :)

most of the tax documentation stuff has arrived. just waiting on my graduate school... they sent me the 1098 for my tuition but no 1099 for the income yet. this will be a fun time. two partial-resident state forms and fed, with moving expenses and the last education credit. last time we had this much junk to deal with was 2004, when we moved cross-country for me to go to grad school.

i just started a 13-day stretch of needing to be at work at 5:30am and working until pretty late, no breaks. :( after these 13 days, it's two out of every three days at 5:30am for another few weeks. ughhhhhhh...

looking at pursuing a new job/fellowship with better hours at a federal agency in DC... pay is considerably better, but looks like any pay increase would be eaten up by corresponding rent increases. on the other hand, hubs is making roughly half what he would be if he had a job in his chosen field. opportunity in the field would be far better for him in a bigger metro area. the fellowship app is gigantic, but i have until 5/1. i need to send some emails...


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 Post subject: Re: moving forward in 2010
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:10 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 577
ahhhhh.

we now have the slush fund and emergency cash back to their usual levels. i also am sending out the last of the nagging little bills that have been sitting on the coffee table. husband got his new boots, and in typical style went over budget. (but boots from this brand in the past have held up better to his footwear abuse, so i can't complain TOO much.)

we are now caught up on everything we can think of. so it's time for a nice dinner this weekend followed by settling in for a long road to paying off these student loans.


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 Post subject: Re: moving forward in 2010
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:02 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 959
galactic wrote:
ahhhhh.

we now have the slush fund and emergency cash back to their usual levels. i also am sending out the last of the nagging little bills that have been sitting on the coffee table. husband got his new boots, and in typical style went over budget. (but boots from this brand in the past have held up better to his footwear abuse, so i can't complain TOO much.)

we are now caught up on everything we can think of. so it's time for a nice dinner this weekend followed by settling in for a long road to paying off these student loans.


It'll be over before you know it! :mrgreen: You can do it!

_________________
Be what you want to attract.


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 Post subject: Re: moving forward in 2010
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:19 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 577
i certainly hope so! i can't imagine us getting it all paid off before my current contract ends, but it will be nice to have most of it paid for (undercutting some major interest accumulation) at that point should we relocate again in the fall.


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 Post subject: Re: moving forward in 2010
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:26 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 577
and so concludes our last day of "catching up" time.

we got parts for hubby's car tune up.
we paid for his certification exam (ouch!)
we bought a humidifier, sweet relief.
we had our dinner out.

now it gets real. i am simultaneously looking forward to this, and not.

also- he has an interview in nearby big city on wednesday. keep fingers crossed for us!


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 Post subject: Re: moving forward in 2010
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:41 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 577
we are eligible for federal taxes e-filing, so i decided to just get down to business and file already. nice refund. and since i had entered all the info for the federal return, i decided to go ahead and file both partial resident state returns that way too. except they wanted $14.95 per state :(

i ran mock-up state returns last week, and found that $30 for tax software paid for itself in money it saved us. alright then. money coming in, yay!

i should have made a big extra payment toward the student loans by now, but i've just been hanging onto the money. i guess i'm nervous to let it go in case something bad happens. yes, that's why we have the e-fund, but that's all i can figure as to why this money is just sitting there.


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 Post subject: Re: moving forward in 2010
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:46 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 577
hubby just got a job offer in his field! the pay is practically the same as what i make, so this is a considerable bump in income for him (and us!)

we are very excited. he starts working there at the beginning of next month. there will be some disruptions in pay cycle and such, and some commute expenses in the meantime. i'm glad i've got a little notice for that.

whewwwwwwwww!!


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 Post subject: Re: moving forward in 2010
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:24 am 

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 959
Now that is great news!Congrats!

_________________
Be what you want to attract.


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 Post subject: Re: moving forward in 2010
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:31 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:22 pm
Posts: 548
Location: Northern CA
Yay! Yay! Yay!

So, I say throw the money at the Student Loan once he gets his first paycheck. Momentum matters.

Congrats to your DH - he must be SO thrilled that the move worked out so well!

Sandi


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 Post subject: Re: moving forward in 2010
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:07 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
*doing the happy dance over here*

Congratulations. How rich are you guys going to feel? hee hee.


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 Post subject: Re: moving forward in 2010
PostPosted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:21 pm 

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:30 am
Posts: 577
thank you for sharing our excitement! :) it's a weird feeling, to think we finally have two careers. we have worked so hard for this.

during the wait to hear back after the interview, hubs stressed out a lot and spent quite a bit of money. his self-restraint diminishes under stress. though we still have quite a bit stashed away, it's less than it was. it's not the end of the world, i guess. the income will go up considerably soon enough. i will roll what's left this month's stash into next month's money and throw it all at the student loans. that will be huge!

i'm expecting to budget $350/month for gas for his commute. as i mentioned a while back, driving that far will require a more reliable and efficient vehicle in the near (but not immediate) term. we are going to give this some careful thought.

federal tax refund just put us within $200 of our new e-fund goal. state refund #1 will get us there. state refund #2, might do something nice for us and send the rest toward the student loans.


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