October 2013 Monthly Review

This was a pretty typical month around our house. Our program to use gift cards and earn points as well as limit our spending at the hardware store has worked pretty well. We’ve had money left over on the card when the month was over the last 2 months. Part of this is because we are spending wisely, and part of it is because we are almost finished building the spare room and no other (major) projects will be undertaken after that. There is still a bit of trim work left to do, and hopefully that will be finished soon.

Right now, our savings and debt payoff strategy is holding steady, but I’m anticipating that will change soon. We will probably pay off the windows before the year is out (6 or 7 months before the 0% deal ends) then we will probably move on to the student loan, but I’m not sure if we will increase as high as we were paying before ($600/mo) or if we will split that between savings. There have been a few things that we are interested in over the next 12-18 months, so we’ve kind of been hoarding cash for them right now. I’m not ready to disclose anything yet, but soon I’ll have more information.

Around the website, I’m working on a total redesign, so that’s something to look forward to in the coming months. I’m not sure when I’ll be finished with it, but it should make everything around here easier to find and much cleaner. I’ve made a few small changes lately, but this will be pretty big. If anyone feels like giving me a hand and helping me pick out a color palette, that would be great. I’m awful at putting together colors/patterns and textures – just ask my wife.

House

Mortgage $113,650 (-549).  Just the normal payment here.

Windows $1,300  (-13,000) This is the amount we financed for our window purchase.  They offered us a 0% rate for a year, so we took it.  We have sent them a check for 3,000 this month, and that will about knock it out. We should be able to finish it off in november, as we dont have much to purchase. As I write this, there is snow on the ground, so Im expecting this to start paying off very soon.

Student Loan

Great Lakes Loan $ 6,708  (-$140) This got bumped down from 600 per month to 200 per month so that we could focus on the windows and wipe them out before the 0% offer expired (though we probably would have still been fine keeping this at 600. This is finally under 7k and for me I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The windows were at 7,300 just 2 short months ago, so this should go away just as quickly

Total Debt: $ 121,658 5,357 (-$3,699)

Savings

I’ve decided to add our savings accounts to the mix. Currently, We have 4, and I have a Roth IRA. Both H and I (s0rt of) expect to get pensions if we stay with our current employers and retire with them. That being said, I’m not really one to trust all that, so we are looking at having a significant nest egg when we do end up retiring. We keep our savings accounts with capital one 360. We’ve used an online bank for over 5 years, and have had no problems with the at all. They pay the best (meager) rates of all the accounts we’ve found, so if you’re interested in getting a bit better rate, sign up with capital one now.

General Purpose $5,317 – This savings account acts as our emergency fund right now but once the emergency fund is funded with 4 months of expenses, we will direct these funds toward some other goal. We have a few ideas for this savings account, but not anything concrete yet. In all reality, serious talks about what to do with this probably wont happen until the emergency fund reaches about 12k, so we’ve got some time.

House $848 – This is the account we kept our house down payment in. Right now, we just add to it monthly and then when we come across something really big (like anenergy efficient washer/dryer) we pull the cash out and purchase it. Most of the house stuff we simply cash flow though.

Emergency Fund $551 – We decided to build a separate emergency fund so that we could both sleep at night. We didnt want to end up in the situation where we took a trip that we saw heavily discounted and pulled money from savings and return home to find a flooded basement or some such emergency. Naturally, this is exactly what emergency funds are for, so we elected to build a dedicated one.

Vacation $101 – Savings account for vacations – it grows very slowly at the moment, and when we went to alaska, it was fairly depleted.

Health

I have been doing OK at going to the gym, and have switched up my workout routine as of late. I may switch it up again because I feel like i’m not doing enough work at the gym, but that could just be some mental thing that’s not actually true. I’ve only been on this program for a week, so I’m going to give it probably until the end of the year to see where I’m at then reevaluate.

I’ve also been working on changing my eating habits, and will detail that in a future post. It’s been 3 steps forward, 2 steps back, to say the least.

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