New start in a new country

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peaceofmind
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:08 am
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Re: New start in a new country

Postby peaceofmind » Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:29 am

Updates since last time:
- I paid off both my credit cards, even though their 0% period doesn't end for a few more weeks. I wanted to be sure I didn't miss the cut-off, and the extra few cents I might've saved in interest by keeping the money in my savings account seemed trivial.
- I got my first paycheck from the new job - a nice big one (two weeks' worth). :) I put the majority of it into my UK Emergency Fund, so that got a good boost. Should be on track to finish that in about 5-6 weeks if all goes well (yay!).

Code: Select all

-----------------------------------------------------------
ASSETS [$246,136.64 + £2,729.61]   Net Change: +3,331.27
-----------------------------------------------------------
US Checking           $1,315.35 (+   $568.77)
US Savings            $5,800.70 (+ $4,557.56)
US IRAs              $23,520.59 (- $1,936.36)
UK Checking             £500.00 (-   £818.46)
UK Savings            £2,679.61 (+ £1,959.76)
House               $215,500.00


LIABILITIES        [$199,192.06]   Net Change: -1,940.28
-----------------------------------------------------------
Mortgage            $173,620.15 [4.99% 30yr fixed]
Home Equity LOC      $25,571.91 [4% variable]
Credit Card 1             $0.00 [0% until 07/29/10]
Credit Card 2             $0.00 [0% until 06/01/10]

NET WORTH:
$46.944.58 + £2,729.61 (+4,821.55)

Goals:
1. 3-month Mortgage Fund $3,500
2. 3-month Emergency Fund £5,500
3. 2010 Property Taxes $3,000
4. Home Maintenance Fund $1,200
5. HELOC Reduction (Stretch) $14,500 [Starting: $27,000, Goal: $12,500]

Total: $22,200 + £5,500

Current Numbers:
1. $2,549.78 (72%)
2. £2,679.61 (48%)
3. $3,000 (100%)
4. $1,200 (100%)
5. $1,428.09 (9%)

Total - $8,177.87 + £2,679.61 (39%)
Last edited by peaceofmind on Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

peaceofmind
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:08 am
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Re: New start in a new country

Postby peaceofmind » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:01 am

Updates since last time:
- Made tons of progress on my UK emergency fund thanks to the pay increase with the new job. :) Should be done in a week!
- Got my contract extended through the end of August. :) We'll see if it gets extended beyond that, but even that is a win.


Code: Select all

-----------------------------------------------------------
ASSETS [$245,214.31 + £5,594.67]   Net Change: +1,942.73
-----------------------------------------------------------
US Checking           $1,269.96 (-    $45.39)
US Savings            $5,895.59 (+    $70.92)
US IRAs              $22,548.76 (-   $971.83)
UK Checking             £465.00 (-    £35.00)
UK Savings            £5,129.67 (+ £2,217.06)
House               $215,500.00


LIABILITIES        [$198,536.88]   Net Change: -655.18
-----------------------------------------------------------
Mortgage            $173,392.12 [4.99% 30yr fixed]
Home Equity LOC      $25,144.76 [4% variable]

NET WORTH:
$46,677.43 + £5,594.67 (+2,597.91)

Goals:
1. 3-month Mortgage Fund $3,500
2. 3-month Emergency Fund £5,500
3. 2010 Property Taxes $3,000
4. Home Maintenance Fund $1,200
5. HELOC Reduction (Stretch) $14,500 [Starting: $27,000, Ending: $12,500]

Total: $22,200 + £5,500

Current Numbers:
1. $2,851.21 (81%)
2. £5,129.67 (93%)
3. $3,000 (100%)
4. $1,200 (100%)
5. $1,855.24 (12%)

Total - $8,906.45 + £5,129.67 (50%)
Last edited by peaceofmind on Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

ellie377
Posts: 148
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Re: New start in a new country

Postby ellie377 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:07 pm

good going on the severance request, hang in there until the next check comes.

peaceofmind
Posts: 113
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Re: New start in a new country

Postby peaceofmind » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:58 am

ellie377 wrote:good going on the severance request, hang in there until the next check comes.


Thanks. :) I figured there wasn't much to lose on the severance request (£5 postage and possibly a reference which wasn't worth much anyway), and there was a week's salary to gain.

I think this is the most I've had in savings, ever, so that's pretty cool. (Not that I didn't save before moving, but I did have a more expensive lifestyle with the house/expensive hobbies, so it's a nice change to force myself to live within a certain budget and be able to save everything else.)

peaceofmind
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:08 am
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Re: New start in a new country

Postby peaceofmind » Tue Jul 20, 2010 4:11 am

I was going to wait for the end of the month to post, but I have exciting news to share. As of today's paycheck, I have...
- FINISHED my UK savings! :D Woot!
- FINISHED my US savings! :D Woot!

Goals:
1. 3-month Mortgage Fund $3,500
2. 3-month Emergency Fund £5,500
3. 2010 Property Taxes $3,000
4. Home Maintenance Fund $1,200
5. HELOC Reduction (Stretch) $14,500 [Starting: $27,000, Ending: $12,500]

Total: $22,200 + £5,500

Current Numbers:
1. $3,500.00 (100%)
2. £5,500.00 (100%)
3. $3,000 (100%)
4. $1,200 (100%)
5. $1,855.24 (12%)

Total - $9,555.24 + £5,500.00 (54%)

Other updates:
- I'm starting a new job in a couple of weeks. I wasn't planning on leaving my current one, but this one is longer-term and pays better (albeit with a more expensive commute so that might be a wash)
- Now I get to start whaling on the HELOC (yay), but in the short-term (next month) I will hold off as there will likely be a gap between starting the new job and getting paid, so I want money in savings to cover that

Seeing all those 100%s makes me really happy. :)

peachy
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Re: New start in a new country

Postby peachy » Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:34 am

Congratulations!!
Time to make new goals and reach them. Keep up the good work. :)

peaceofmind
Posts: 113
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Re: New start in a new country

Postby peaceofmind » Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:13 am

Thanks! I've still got my HELOC to knock out, which will likely take me into 2011 to do. After that, I've got a long list of goals, though (12-month emergency fund, paid-off mortgage, small business startup fund, etc).

peaceofmind
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:08 am
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Re: New start in a new country

Postby peaceofmind » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:40 pm

Good month all around. :) All of my asset numbers went up (thanks, stock market!) and my debt numbers went down quite a bit as well!
I'm beginning to daydream of getting the HELOC paid off this year. It would mean not taking time off to visit family at Thanksgiving, but if I could grind through to the end of the year, it's conceivable that it would be GONE, so I may aim to reward myself with a trip once it's dead.

Code: Select all

-----------------------------------------------------------
ASSETS [$247,819.19 + £6,929.25]   Net Change: +3,912.46
-----------------------------------------------------------
US Checking           $1,487.01 (+   $217.05)
US Savings            $6,200.92 (+   $305.33)
US IRAs              $24,631.26 (+ $2,082.50)
UK Checking           £1,259.25 (+   £794.25)
UK Savings            £5,670.00 (+   £440.33)
House               $215,500.00


LIABILITIES        [$197,443.06]   Net Change: -1,093.83
-----------------------------------------------------------
Mortgage            $173,163.14 [4.99% 30yr fixed]
Home Equity LOC      $24,279.92 [4% variable]

NET WORTH:
$50,376.13 + £6,929.25 (+5,033.28)

Goals:
1. 3-month Mortgage Fund $3,500
2. 3-month Emergency Fund £5,500
3. 2010 Property Taxes $3,000
4. Home Maintenance Fund $1,200
5. HELOC Reduction (Stretch) $14,500 [Starting: $27,000, Ending: $12,500]

Total: $22,200 + £5,500

Current Numbers:
1. $3,500 (100%)
2. £5,500 (100%)
3. $3,000 (100%)
4. $1,200 (100%)
5. $2,720.08 (18%)

Total - $10,420.08 + £5,500.00 (57%)
Last edited by peaceofmind on Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

hendrake
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:12 pm
Location: Seattle, WA
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Re: New start in a new country

Postby hendrake » Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:29 pm

peaceofmind,

I am very impressed by the progress that you've made since March.

Just some random thoughts --

Is your Emergency Fund large enough? Everything about your life (working in England, leaving one job to become a contractor and then leaving that job for another job) seems exciting and at the same time pretty scary to someone boring and work-a-day like me.

No doubt you're very talented and you don't have to worry overmuch about being unemployed for any length of time, but if the worse were to happen, can you live for 3-months on £5,500? Maybe you can - I don't know. If you went back and added up everything you spent over the last three months, would it come in at less than £5,500? If so, awesome, congrats! In which case, considering it's only August, I would see if I could set aside £7,350 by the end of year, and call it my 4-month emergency fund - then at the very least, add another month next year.

I like that you're attacking your HELOC. I hate debt. Is it an adjustable interest rate BTW? I assume it is but maybe no. Regardless, good for you for being willing to pound away at it once you realized that you didn't qualify for a Roth.

I know you have that US IRA, is there a British-equivalent that you can start contributing to? I'm not saying that you should do so to the detriment of your HELOC-attack, but if your new company does any sort of match you might take advantage of it.

You seem to really have a grip on things though. I'm impressed by your choices. Would you mind sharing your age? Only roughly, of course - no specifics necessary.

peaceofmind
Posts: 113
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Re: New start in a new country

Postby peaceofmind » Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:43 am

hendrake wrote:I am very impressed by the progress that you've made since March.


Hi hendrake, thanks! I'm always impressed when I read the numbers in your journal.

Is your Emergency Fund large enough? Everything about your life (working in England, leaving one job to become a contractor and then leaving that job for another job) seems exciting and at the same time pretty scary to someone boring and work-a-day like me.


It's "enough" for now. I really want this stupid HELOC GONE, and then I plan to get my EF up to 9-12 months of expenses (eventually 24, but that will take a while). Also, the UK government gives a (small) stipend to people who are job-hunting, which (theoretically) has no expiration date (unlike US unemployment), so that would help a bit.

No doubt you're very talented and you don't have to worry overmuch about being unemployed for any length of time, but if the worse were to happen, can you live for 3-months on £5,500? Maybe you can - I don't know. If you went back and added up everything you spent over the last three months, would it come in at less than £5,500? If so, awesome, congrats! In which case, considering it's only August, I would see if I could set aside £7,350 by the end of year, and call it my 4-month emergency fund - then at the very least, add another month next year.


When I moved, I set up a tentative budget of £30k (pre-tax) to shoot for. Since I've gotten here, I've been managing just fine on that, and throwing extra money at savings/debt. £5,500 is technically not *quite* 3 months of salary at £30k (which works out to about £1,900/mo post-tax, so I'm £200 short), but that's also salary. My "needs" expenses total about £1,300 which includes £300/mo to my HELOC, so once that's gone, £5,500 would cover about 5 months of "needs" (with a couple wants in there as well, probably).

I like that you're attacking your HELOC. I hate debt. Is it an adjustable interest rate BTW? I assume it is but maybe no. Regardless, good for you for being willing to pound away at it once you realized that you didn't qualify for a Roth.


Thanks. It is adjustable rate, so I want to get it out of the way now when the rate is low, since I'm assuming rates will jump up eventually.

I know you have that US IRA, is there a British-equivalent that you can start contributing to? I'm not saying that you should do so to the detriment of your HELOC-attack, but if your new company does any sort of match you might take advantage of it.


As a contractor, I don't qualify for any benefits like company matching (and I've found a lot of companies don't match anyway, for whatever reason). That said, you're allowed to put away £5,100 in cash that grows tax-free (similar to a Roth), and you can put away £5,100 in shares as well.

My current goal/plan is to:
- get rid of the HELOC by Dec 31 (if not feasible, at least get it as low as possible)
- spend Jan-Mar putting money into my ISA (the UK Roth) before the tax year ends in April
- after that, start up a pension fund (15% contribution) and start auto-contributing the max for my 2011 ISA
- use any extra money to bump up my EF as much as possible

I'm hoping the 15% + the £10k I can put into tax-free savings will help make up for the fact that I didn't contribute anything to retirement this year (in part to get rid of debt, in part because I wasn't sure if I'd settle here long-term)

You seem to really have a grip on things though. I'm impressed by your choices. Would you mind sharing your age? Only roughly, of course - no specifics necessary.


Late 20s. :) I've never been a spendthrift, but really focusing on my finances and planning for the future has been a recent addition to my lifestyle (over the past 2 years). I'm really liking the idea of possibly being able to work for myself on projects I'm interested in once I have the financial foundation/flexibility to do that.

hendrake
Posts: 27
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Location: Seattle, WA
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Re: New start in a new country

Postby hendrake » Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:58 pm

Hi peaceofmind.

I think it's pretty clear that you have all your ducks in a nice, orderly row.

Congratulations!

To learn that your "only" (I'm allowed - I'm old...and jealous) in your late 20s makes it even more impressive.

Don't kill yourself to "get rid of the HELOC by Dec 31" but I gotta say I wouldn't be surprised if you knock it down to the $10k range by Dec 31. I have no doubt however that by this time next year it will be long gone.

Pity about the lack of match, though I can't say I'm really surprised. Looking over your upcoming plans, you'll have to set aside another $3,000 for 2011 Property Taxes, right? Possibly the Home Maintenance Fund too, I suppose?

Regardless, it's all very impressive. Guess all I can say is keep on keepin' on. I fully expect, when you're my age (it happens faster than you think!) you're numbers will far, FAR exceed where mine are now.

Though I hope the fifteen years between now and then are kind to me as well! :)

Best,

H~

peaceofmind
Posts: 113
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Re: New start in a new country

Postby peaceofmind » Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:54 pm

hendrake wrote:Hi peaceofmind.

I think it's pretty clear that you have all your ducks in a nice, orderly row.

Congratulations!


Thanks! :)

Don't kill yourself to "get rid of the HELOC by Dec 31" but I gotta say I wouldn't be surprised if you knock it down to the $10k range by Dec 31. I have no doubt however that by this time next year it will be long gone.


If I can throw £3,000 at it each month, it'll be gone by the end of the year. Provided my income/expenses don't drastically change in the next 5 months, that should be pretty feasible. We'll see, though. Given that my original goal was 12k, even <= 10k would be great. :) And yes, knowing that the end is in sight, even if it's up to 12 months down the road, is really great.

Pity about the lack of match, though I can't say I'm really surprised. Looking over your upcoming plans, you'll have to set aside another $3,000 for 2011 Property Taxes, right? Possibly the Home Maintenance Fund too, I suppose?


Yes, I'll spent a month or two not saving for the EF and instead re-filling/adding to my US-based sinking funds. I'm planning on selling my house in early 2012 to take advantage of the tax-free profits from sale, so at least that'll be the last year I have to worry about it (until I buy property again, I guess).

Regardless, it's all very impressive. Guess all I can say is keep on keepin' on. I fully expect, when you're my age (it happens faster than you think!) you're numbers will far, FAR exceed where mine are now.

Though I hope the fifteen years between now and then are kind to me as well! :)


Thanks, me too! Good luck your own "keepin' on", it's slow work.

peaceofmind
Posts: 113
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Re: New start in a new country

Postby peaceofmind » Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:17 am

Got paid for August, so finally a numbers update...
- Mortgage balance below $173k!
- HELOC balance below $18k! :rofl: :o

Code: Select all

-----------------------------------------------------------
ASSETS [$246,392.33 + £6,896.19]   Net Change: -1,459.92
-----------------------------------------------------------
US Checking           $1,487.01 (+        $0)
US Savings            $6,200.92 (+        $0)
US IRAs              $23,204.40 (- $1,426.86)
UK Checking           £1,118.10 (-   £141.15)
UK Savings            £5,778.09 (+   £108.09)
House               $215,500.00

LIABILITIES        [$190,778.43]   Net Change: -6,637.63
-----------------------------------------------------------
Mortgage            $172,933.21 [4.99% 30yr fixed]
Home Equity LOC      $17,845.22 [4% variable]

NET WORTH:
$55,613.90 + £6,896.19 (+5,204.71)

Goals:
1. 3-month Mortgage Fund $3,500
2. 3-month Emergency Fund £5,500
3. 2010 Property Taxes $3,000
4. Home Maintenance Fund $1,200
5. HELOC Reduction (Stretch) $14,500 [Starting: $27,000, Ending: $12,500]

Total: $22,200 + £5,500

Current Numbers:
1. $3,500 (100%)
2. £5,500 (100%)
3. $3,000 (100%)
4. $1,200 (100%)
5. $9,154.78 (63%)

Total - $16,854.78 + £5,500.00 (80%)
Last edited by peaceofmind on Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

peaceofmind
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:08 am
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Re: New start in a new country

Postby peaceofmind » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:23 pm

- I'M DONE WITH ALL MY GOALS!! :D :D :D :D
- HELOC balance below $8k! (The paycheck for this month will knock that out, woo!)
- My current contract is ending in 2 weeks. They've offered me a permanent position (no salary details), but I think I'll be better off continuing to do contracting, as this will bring more income and give me more time flexibility. I'm trying not to make any decisions (or stress/analyze too much) until I have offer(s) in hand to compare, though...right now I'm still in the lining-up-interviews stage.

Code: Select all

-----------------------------------------------------------
ASSETS [$248,803.50 + £6,896.19]   Net Change: +2,411.17
-----------------------------------------------------------
US Checking           $1,344.72 (-   $142.29)
US Savings            $6,200.92 (+     $0.00)
US IRAs              $25,757.86 (+ $2,553.46)
UK Checking           £1,118.10 (-     £0.00)
UK Savings            £5,778.09 (+     £0.00)
House               $215,500.00


LIABILITIES        [$180,577.11] Net Change: -10,201.32
-----------------------------------------------------------
Mortgage            $172,702.32 [4.99% 30yr fixed]
Home Equity LOC       $7,874.79 [4% variable]

NET WORTH:
$68,226.39 + £6,896.19 (+12,612.49)

Goals:
1. 3-month Mortgage Fund $3,500
2. 3-month Emergency Fund £5,500
3. 2010 Property Taxes $3,000
4. Home Maintenance Fund $1,200
5. HELOC Reduction (Stretch) $14,500 [Starting: $27,000, Ending: $12,500]

Total: $22,200 + £5,500

Current Numbers:
1. $3,500 (100%)
2. £5,500 (100%)
3. $3,000 (100%)
4. $1,200 (100%)
5. $19,125.21 (131%)

Total - $26,825.21 + £5,500.00 (116%)
Last edited by peaceofmind on Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:42 am, edited 3 times in total.

peaceofmind
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:08 am
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Re: New start in a new country

Postby peaceofmind » Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:32 pm

So, time for some new goals, I guess.

Goals:
1. Pay off HELOC $7,874.79
$0 (0%)

2. 2010 Cash ISA £5,100 (Deadline: April 5, 2011)
£0 (0%)

3. 2010 Shares ISA £5,100 (Deadline: April 5, 2011)
£0 (0%)

4. 2011 Property Taxes $3,000
$0 (0%)

5. 2011 Home Insurance $1,000
$0 (0%)

6. Home Maintenance Fund $6,800 (Goal: $8,000 Total)
$0 (0%)

Total: $18,674.79 + £10,200
$0 + £0 (0%)

Fresh start, I guess. :) Part of me is sad to see all 0%s again, but that just means I get the fun of making them go to 100%!


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