May 2014 Monthly Review

Hi everyone.

Another month has gone by, and it has been a busy one.We were finally able to take our kiddo home from the hospital, after almost 3 months of her staying there. We are both really enjoying having her home, and my wife is having fun being at home as well. I have also taken a new job this month, and will start the first working day of june. I had been with my employer for the last 3 years, but I felt that it was time to go. I had most likely reached my ceiling there for the next 5-10 years, and because it was a government position I wasnt really expecting any raises during that period either. I really enjoyed working there, but it was time to move on. I honestly didnt think that I would be able to change jobs without leaving town, but I was offered an opportunity so I jumped on it.

Thankfully I will still be able to bike or walk to work, as the office is less than 2 miles away. Not having to drive to work is crucial to my long= term financial, heath and sustainability plan, so its not something that I was going to give up easily. All in all, Im excited for this new opportunity.

In other financial news, my wife and I have figured out a plan and a new financial goal going forward, so I’m working on a post  about that as well. Im not sure when it will be ready though, as the kiddo is taking up a lot of our time, as well as the services I offer on my other website, online side income.

Debt

House

Mortgage $ 109,763 (-$560).  Just the normal payment here. This note goes down by about 550/mo, which for now is acceptable. I think we will bump up the payments on this once the student loan is gone, but I’m not sure exactly how we are going to do that. I’ve considered paying extra, as well as switching to bi-weekly payments (and paying extra) but there are a lot of things going on right now and I kind of want to wait till the dust settles before I lock in something.

Student Loan

Great Lakes Loan $2,465  (-$1,827) Another big pay down month here, like two months have been. We are so close to being “debt free except the mortgage” and I can not believe it. Remember when I was 55k+ in debt in 2009?! This is totally wild and exciting, and it just proves that changing your finances isn’t just about the “big wins” (though those help A LOT) it’s about changing your habits and lifestyle.  It’s about sticking with those changes for 5 years! When I first started this whole “debt payoff” kick, I honestly thought it would be less than 24 months of work, and here I am more than 5 years later still grinding away. No wonder people give up and just resign themselves to an indebted lifestyle.

I’m also amazed by the amount of momentum and desire to just pay it off kicks in once you get down around 6,000. I have been kind of flopping around on this loan for a while, but once we got near 6k (which in my mind was basically 5k, a realistic payoff number) we kicked it into high gear. I foretasted a stretch goal of the end of the second quarter for this loan, and it looks like we might be able to hit it. If we don’t end up killing it by 6/30/14, we will be able to knock it out at the beginning of july for sure!

Total Debt: $112,228

We are down $2,387 (!!!)  from last month. This is the second third 1k+ pay down month in a row, and the first 2k+ Paydown month in a long time! A few  one more month like this and we will be debt free except for the mortgage! It’s crazy to see such a number that is lower than what I’ve become accustomed to, when back in the early days of the blog the debt level would go down like 1,500-2,000 per MONTH. It’s not going down near as quick now, which is OK because we don’t have near as much debt as I used to. I’m keeping all of that extra cash now, instead of paying someone else interest on it, which is nice.

Savings

There are going to be some major shakeups coming to this area. Even though we have all of our accounts at one bank now, I’m probably going to end up moving them to another bank so that we can have one less bank than we do right now. There will also be changes to the monthly contribution of most of these accounts. There has also been a staggering amount of growth in this arena over the last 6 months, mostly due to unexpected money coming in from various places. We got a gift from the in-laws, money from social security, a refund from our home insurer and money back on our income taxes. Those windfalls have really solidified our financial position.

Kid Savings $7,893 (+$904) – This is the account that we started for childbirth expenses. Since we had such a crazy birth experience, we didnt end up needing it. The insurance covered everything (except our deductible), and we are currently working to get medicaid to cover the remaining portion. The reason that this went up so smartly is because we got the last of the checks that we were getting from SSI (which I’ll write about later). Once all these hospital bills are taken care of, we’ll probably move these funds (or a portion of them) to a 529 account for the baby.   This is one other reason that we are going to move our accounts to another bank.

House $2,329  (+$201) – This account is higher than I think we’ve ever let it get, but that’s a good thing because right now our basement is nothing but concrete walls and a few framing studs. Work will begin hopefully soon, but there’s plumbing, electrical, wall removal (hopefully), framing, drywall and more to be done. It’s going to cost more than what we’ve got in the account now.

Emergency Fund $9,924 (+1,280) – This is advancing slowly and steadily, and should be to a level where we will consider it “fully funded” in one year! We are shooting for a goal of 10k-12k, and got a HUGE bump from our tax refund this year. <— I Wrote all that at the beginning of last month, and right now we are just on the cusp of where we want it to be (10k). I’ve already bumped the contributions down from the normal $375 on this account to $100, and we will just slowly let this build up and increase our emergency fund. Right now, it holds about 4 months worth of expenses if we were to both lose our jobs, which we feel is enough buffer. We will keep slowly contributing to it, and probably cut off the fund totally when it gets to ~8 mos expenses.

Vacation $677  (+125) – This is just going to keep building at this rate for a while. Obviously, we dont have many plans for vacations any time soon, though we are currently planning out the next 8 months because our companion pass will be expiring at the end of this calendar year.

Total Savings: $ 20,823

We are up $2,510 on savings from last month to this month! That is so awesome, and I cant believe the huge jump in net worth that we’ve seen just this month alone. I’ve noticed that with your finances you can do things right for so long and seem to pleatu, but then there will be one month (like this one) that you’ll just be able to totally bust through that plateau. The oddest part is you are never really sure when you’re going to break free, it just happens one month after you look at the numbers.

 

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6 thoughts on “May 2014 Monthly Review

    • Hopefully we will be able to. We’ve got a few hospital bills coming in that we are not sure if we will be paying or not, and there are a few other things going on – may spending was a bit heavy.
      All that said though, I did switch jobs, and will get quite a few new checks in june – a mid month check for the first week at my new job, as well as my vacation time paid out from my old job – which is about 2 weeks worth. Hopefully with all that movement, we’ll be able to knock it out.
      I’ve had the thing on the ropes for months – it’s time.

  1. Sorry, I haven’t checked in for a while. I hope the kiddo is doing well. The 3 months stay in the hospital doesn’t sound good at all. Good luck with the new job too.

    • Thanks joe – I like it so far, but it’s very possible that the new job is going to kick my passive income efforts into high gear.

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