August 2014 Monthly Review

Welcome everyone – thanks for stopping by and reading.

It seems like august just flew by, and I spent more time working on side projects than ever. That venture of my online business is starting to see success far greater than what I’d imagined, and I’m looking to continue that trend as the year comes to a close. In this neck of the woods, we decided on an extra payment amount for the house note, and are still working on getting some updates done to the basement.

Note to bloggers: If you’re going to be at fincon, lets meet up. I’m running the cocktail tour thursday at 4pm with my buddy Joel from Save Outside the Box, and I’d love to meet you there.

Debt

House

Mortgage $ 107,973 (-$665) after a lot of talk, there’s finally been some movement on this front. This is by far our biggest monthly expense (about 3x higher than the next closest one), and we can see that when this is paid off our needs will be significantly lower. I’ve been talking about adding extra payments to this once everything got sorted out and I finally did it. For now, we settled on $100 extra every 2 weeks, which amounts to a bit more than 2 full extra payments every year.

The great thing is that by January, we should be able to raise this significantly. We are in a bit of a cash crunch right now because of job switching and seeing a 10x increase in insurance costs because of it (ugh), but we should get back to lower insurance costs in january when we move to my wife’s insurance for all of us (instead of mine) and that should free up $900 or so per MONTH!

Total Debt: $107,665

We are down $665 from last month, which is to be expected. We are waiting to make any drastic changes until we can increase our cash flow, but we have already lowered our spending in anticipation of our lowered incomes for 2015.

Savings

We have moved all of our savings over to vanguard, and instead of putting them in different accounts, we allocated the funds based on a hard number for our emergency fund and a percentage of what is left. Right now, we have our emergency fund in two places: Vanguard Money Market Fund (VMMXX) and Vanguards Total Bond Fund (VBMFX). There have been some suggestions to move a portion of that to a dividend fund, but I’m not too keen on that with the balances where they are at the moment. I forgot to turn on the automatic withdraws, so these didnt really grow much last month.

Child Fund $2,000 – This is gone and has been close, and the balance was deposited into the 529 account we opened for our daughter. In a depressing turn of fate, she already has more assets in that account than either my wife or I have in any one account with vanguard.

House Fund  $3,000 – This is holding steady right now, and it looks like we may have found someone to do the work we are looking to do in the basement.

Vacation fund $1,000 – We are building this account up for a big trip we plan to take next summer. This is also holding steady as we had to pause contributions to make up for some overspending that happened in late june and early july. Shame on us.

Emergency Fund $10,000 – just the boring old 10k in here. Going to leave it steady at this level for the foreseeable future.

All in all, we had a good month and moved forward a bit, but we are honestly kind of in a holding pattern. We dont know what my wife’s reduced checks will look like, and we dont know what sort of monthly income we will be having for 2015. We’ve figured out our expenses and our monthly target, but we dont know what percentage of our income we will be able to save.

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