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 Post subject: Frugal Coconut
PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:50 pm
Posts: 154
Location: South Florida
2012 Annual Savings Goals:
  • $2,600 HSA*
  • $17,000 Roth 401k*
  • $5,000 Roth IRA
  • ~$6,000 Mortgage Payoff on Primary Residence

* Not including employer matching funds.

2012 Monthly Recurring Expenses:
  • $200 Investment Property (Mortgage, HOA, Taxes, Electric)**
  • $600 Primary Residence (Mortgage, HOA, Taxes, Electric, Water)
  • ~$1,000 Credit Cards (Miscellaneous)***

** Negative cash flow.
*** Amount varies but always paid in full with no carryover balance.

This is going to be quite a challenge. I should bring home enough to cover the monthly recurring expenses but it will be really tight with barely any leftover to put toward the mortgage or IRA ... alleviated only through unpredictable overtime pay, small quarterly bonuses, and those extra bi-weekly paychecks expected in March and August.

You might ask what I could possibly spend a grand on average every month or thereabouts. I wonder that sometimes myself. Right out of the gate we have $40 cell phone, $47.95 internet, $35 membership ... then there's groceries, dining out, gas/fuel, tolls, car insurance, out-of-pocket healthcare costs, and random stuff/services that all add up. The sad part is that I'm not extravagant by any means ... I consider myself a minimalist and I live a relatively frugal lifestyle. My biggest fault is that I don't know how to cook so I definitely have a lot of room for improvement in the food category.

I am a SINK (single income, no kids). I have a spare bedroom that just sits empty and I constantly debate whether it would be worthwhile for me to either 1) rent it out for money or 2) bring in a live-in cook/housekeeper. I will also be looking into the feasibility of a HARP2 refinance on my investment property within the next two years. My ultimate goal is early retirement but I am still only in my early 30s.


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 Post subject: Re: Frugal Coconut
PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:28 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:50 pm
Posts: 154
Location: South Florida
2012 Annual Savings Goals ... January Progress:
  • $2,600 HSA ... $200.00 (7.7%)
  • $17,000 Roth 401k ... $1,627.38 (9.6%)
  • $5,000 Roth IRA ... $0.00 (0.0%)
  • ~$6,000 Mortgage Payoff on Primary Residence ... $500.00 (8.3%)

I don't plan on starting the Roth IRA contributions until the mortgage is paid off, so I'm still on target there. I've already started my taxes and I believe I will be getting a refund which will go toward the mortgage payoff; however, I need to wait to make sure that I have received ALL of my tax documents and also take a second look at the numbers I entered to feel confident that I didn't make any mistakes.

I was quite ill for a while this month and then nervous about what the medical bills would come out to on my new CDHP; however, I expect them to be manageable so that it won't completely bust my budget. I want to avoid tapping my HSA funds because I'm determined to reserve those for the future (as a backup emergency fund and/or supplemental tax-deferred retirement assets). I dined out more than I had planned to (due to aforementioned illness) but it wasn't overly unreasonable, so my next set of credit card statement balances won't be stellar but nonetheless I will be in line with where I need to be.


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 Post subject: Re: Frugal Coconut
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:25 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:50 pm
Posts: 154
Location: South Florida
2012 Annual Savings Goals ... February Progress:
  • $2,600 HSA ... $400.00 (15.4%)
  • $17,000 Roth 401k ... $2,889.60 (17%)
  • $5,000 Roth IRA ... $0.00 (0.0%)
  • ~$6,000 Mortgage Payoff on Primary Residence ... $1,000.00 (16.7%)

I continue to control my spending. My actual budget is not to exceed $600 per month of credit card statement balances (in total) which is not sustainable long-term but it's acceptable temporarily while I focus on knocking out the mortgage. I expect to make a huge dent in March with the tax refund and extra paycheck but then I will only have one small windfall (bonus) through the end of June which is my ultimate goal of getting the mortgage balance to zero but this will be further complicated by the auto insurance bill scheduled to come due around that time. I only have a couple hundred dollars saved on the side (liquid) if things get tight but I'm trying to hold off on using it until the car insurance bill comes due so that I can alleviate the impending shortfall.


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 Post subject: Re: Frugal Coconut
PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:50 pm
Posts: 154
Location: South Florida
2012 Annual Savings Goals ... March Progress:

  • $2,600 HSA ... $600.00 (23.1%)
  • $17,000 Roth 401k ... $4,300.45 (25.3%)
  • $5,000 Roth IRA ... $0.00 (0.0%)
  • ~$6,000 Mortgage Payoff on Primary Residence ... $3,000.00 (50%)

Significant progress was made this month toward the mortgage payoff due to tax refund and extra paycheck; however, it is not sustainable as other bills have started to come in for a doctor's visit, A/C repair to my rental property, and increased premium for car insurance ... all of which will eat up discretionary funds. I should barely be able to put $500 towards the mortgage in April which is nowhere near as much as I would like ... and I expect the same challenges in May and June.


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 Post subject: Re: Frugal Coconut
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:23 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:50 pm
Posts: 154
Location: South Florida
2012 Annual Savings Goals ... April/May Progress:
  • $2,600 HSA ... $1,100.00 (42.3%)
  • $17,000 Roth 401k ... $7,733.23 (45.5%)
  • $5,000 Roth IRA ... $0.00 (0.0%)
  • ~$6,000 Mortgage Payoff on Primary Residence ... $2,000.00 (66.7%)

This is a combined update for the span of two months since I neglected to post separately for last month. Steady forward movement in the numbers, exactly as anticipated. I haven't been as tight with my spending lately though, so those effects may become a minor hindrance in the coming months. I am feeling rather dejected as I just can't seem to get this mortgage paid off quickly enough ... and then the obligations still won't be free and clear because I must immediately switch to stashing money in my Roth IRA instead. It's quite an overwhelming mental burden ... lots of self-induced pressure.


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 Post subject: Re: Frugal Coconut
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:50 pm
Posts: 154
Location: South Florida
2012 Annual Savings Goals ... June/July Progress:
  • $2,600 HSA ... $1,500.00 (57.7%)
  • $17,000 Roth 401k ... $10,486.71 (61.2%)
  • $5,000 Roth IRA ... $0.00 (0.0%)
  • ~$6,000 Mortgage Payoff on Primary Residence ... $1,500.00 balance remaining (75%)

Another combined update since I've been focusing on other things and not making much headway on the mortgage payoff. I'm so close and yet it feels so far away. I should be able to make a decent dent in August but not exactly sure how far I'll get ... at least $500 in principal payment but I don't know if I can get up to $1,000. I really want to knock this thing out once and for all though. The extra paycheck in August is backfill to cover previous spending so I'm not getting much benefit there unfortunately. I am also expecting a small quarterly bonus to come in but I am completely out of reserves.


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 Post subject: Re: Frugal Coconut
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:29 am 

Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 10:04 am
Posts: 7
You only have $1500 left on your mortgage? That is awesome!! :rofl: The 401k is right on track too. Looks good!


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 Post subject: Re: Frugal Coconut
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:54 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 1107
Looks like you are doing great! Keep up the good work! ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Frugal Coconut
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:13 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:11 am
Posts: 1088
Location: Sunny Florida
Hey FG, my So Fla friend, you are so close to killing that mortgage. Great, great, great!

_________________
Sam

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


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 Post subject: Re: Frugal Coconut
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:50 pm
Posts: 154
Location: South Florida
2012 Annual Savings Goals ... August Progress:
  • $2,600 HSA ... $1,700.00 (65.4%)
  • $17,000 Roth 401k ... $12,870.35 (75.7%)
  • $5,000 Roth IRA ... $0.00 (0.0%)
  • ~$6,000 Mortgage Payoff on Primary Residence ... $0.00 balance remaining (100% PAID IN FULL)

I'm proud to say that I've wiped out that mortgage. Yeehaw! I can't really say that it's ahead of schedule because I was hoping to have done it a couple of months ago but it doesn't make the victory any less sweet. How was I able to do it this month? I shuffled around some money by canceling a couple of automatic transfers (one to the savings account for my primary residence, one to the savings account for my rental property) after getting notice of proposed property taxes and making adjusted projections. I've also recently kept my spending more in check which has reduced my monthly outflows.

The bad news is that my tenant is moving out at the end of September so this will put a huge damper in my plans of pushing all extra available funds into my Roth IRA to make up for lost time. I have no cash cushion right now ... no real buffer to fall back on ... so I need to build that up and hope that I don't lose too much money during the vacancy and due to any other associated costs with the changeover. I really can't afford to carry this property long without the rental income in my current financial state without causing a severe drain. I took the calculated risk of keeping everything so bare-bones though ... so I knew this was a possibility. As it was before this happened, it was going to be extremely challenging to come up with an average of $1250 per month over the next four months to get that Roth IRA fully funded ... now it seems overwhelmingly impossible. (I know that technically I have until mid-April 2013 but I've never done it that way and I would prefer not to.)

I dread having this big unknown hanging over my head. Makes it difficult to focus because I can't really plan anything. It's basically preparing for worst-case scenario hibernation mode until suddenly it's over and I can breathe a big sigh of relief ... before remembering that there's still plenty of work to be done. Kinda discouraging. I don't know how I'm going to meet my goal. I expect that by December my contributions towards the Roth 401k will stop because I will have maxed out ... so that should help but at least a good chunk of that money must be allocated to pay the auto insurance bill coming due around that time. In the meantime, I'll just have to buckle down as best I can and keep my fingers crossed.


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 Post subject: Re: Frugal Coconut
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:08 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:16 pm
Posts: 961
It is an amazing accomplishment to finish paying off a mortgage; hope you get a tenant soon!

_________________
Be what you want to attract.


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 Post subject: Re: Frugal Coconut
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:43 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:57 am
Posts: 378
Congrats on killing the mortgage! Here's hoping things ease up for you quickly...

CecilyC


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 Post subject: Re: Frugal Coconut
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 11:57 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:50 pm
Posts: 154
Location: South Florida
2012 Annual Savings Goals ... September/October/November Progress:

  • $2,600 HSA ... $2,400.00 (92.3%)
  • $17,000 Roth 401k ... $16,931.41 (99.6%)
  • $5,000 Roth IRA ... $0.00 (0.0%)
  • ~$6,000 Mortgage Payoff on Primary Residence ... $0.00 balance remaining (100% PAID IN FULL)

The good news is that the bleeding has stopped because I secured a tenant who has already successfully made their first payment. The even better news is that I was able to do it myself without involving any real estate agents (which saved me from forking over one month's rent in commission). The vacancy lasted approximately 40 days ... eventually I'll have to figure out a way to improve this turnaround time. When I was submitting their HOA application for approval, I found out that the services of the property management company were slated to be terminated at the end of the following week ... so I'm really glad that I got the paperwork through when I did ... because otherwise there might have been massive delays.

For all intents and purposes, all of the goals are met except for the Roth IRA. I expect to be around $3K short for making my full Roth IRA contribution in this calendar year. I am debating whether to make up the remainder in early 2013 (which still counts for 2012) or if I want to dip into my line of credit to make it happen in December (and deal with the consequences as that will push my goals back for 2013 anyway, plus it kind of feels like cheating).

Planning for next year will be tough as the limits have increased. My non-retirement related focus is two-fold ... 1) set aside an emergency fund again and 2) save up for closing costs so that I can hopefully do a HARP2 refinance on my rental property. I am currently taking steps to get to the point where I can potentially rent out the master bedroom in my principal residence ... which would significantly impact my bottom line.


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 Post subject: Re: Frugal Coconut
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:09 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:11 am
Posts: 1088
Location: Sunny Florida
Quote:
For all intents and purposes, all of the goals are met except for the Roth IRA. I expect to be around $3K short for making my full Roth IRA contribution in this calendar year. I am debating whether to make up the remainder in early 2013 (which still counts for 2012) or if I want to dip into my line of credit to make it happen in December (and deal with the consequences as that will push my goals back for 2013 anyway, plus it kind of feels like cheating).


FG - great job on killing that mortgage, so awesome!

As for your Roth IRA, I work on maxing it out early in 2013. I wouldn't opt for accessing credit to make that contribution.

_________________
Sam

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


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 Post subject: Re: Frugal Coconut
PostPosted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:11 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:50 pm
Posts: 154
Location: South Florida
2012 Annual Savings Goals ... December Progress:
  • $2,600 HSA ... $2,600.00 (100%)
  • $17,000 Roth 401k ... $17,000 (100%)
  • $5,000 Roth IRA ... $0.00 (0.0%) but $2,500.00 already saved up to make the maximum 2012 contribution by mid-April 2013 (50%)
  • ~$6,000 Mortgage Payoff on Primary Residence ... $0.00 balance remaining (100% PAID IN FULL)

I have come to terms with the miss on meeting all of my goals for this year. It is not the end of the world but, even so, I still have time to make up for it early next year and I already have a plan to do so. Because the IRS made a change to allow 401k contributions up to 50% of gross pay, I am able to start off the year with a lower percentage and then increase it to 50% to make up the difference. I've already confirmed that this option is available on the plan sponsor's website. (Previously I had to leave it at an almost constant 35% otherwise I would never max out.) Lowering my Roth 401k contributions at the beginning of the year will result in more take-home pay from which I will immediately benefit by being able to complete the refinance on my investment property quickly and making up my full Roth IRA contribution for 2012 and hopefully getting most/all of the 2013 contribution out of the way too.


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