September 2014 Monthly Review

September 2014 Monthly Review

Welcome back!

Monthly Review

There has been a pretty small number of posts here lately, as I have been working on a redesign for the site! It’s not quite ready yet, but I think it looks pretty good if I do say so myself. I had hoped it would be finished by early september, but that just didnt happen as I got sidetracked with other things and ended up not being able to work on it as much as I’d hoped. It’s almost finished now, I just need to put the finishing touches on some of the extra features and content for the site.

With the redesign, the focus of the site is going to shift a bit as well. When I started this site back in 2009, I was not in a good place financially. I had more debt (55k+) than I would earn from 2 years working at my job (before taxes) and had poor financial habits. I have since done a lot of things, like pay off all my debt, buy a house, get married and had a child. After many discussions with my wife, we’ve decided on a new goal to focus on (financially speaking), and I’ll be writing a bit more about that than I have in the past. Don’t worry though, I’ll still write about how to save money by going green, but I’ll stop writing about things like getting out of debt – because I’m (we are) not in debt anymore and there are TONS of other great get out of debt blogs around.

Debt

House

Mortgage $ 107,206 (-$767) This is the first full month we’ve been on our “accelerated” payment program, and things have been going fairly good. Unfortunately, the way our bank works is that they dont apply the extra $100 to the note right away, but hold the money until a full payments worth of funds have been applied to the account. What this means is that we pay our mortgage at the beginning of the month, and  there’s already $200 or so from the last month in there, waiting to be applied. Obviously not an ideal situation, but it is what it is. The solution is simple and automatic, and it will shave about a year off of our loan, bringing our remaining payments from 13 y ears down to 12, meaning that by the time our daughter is exiting elementary school, we should own our house free and clear.

As I mentioned last month, we hope to change this amount once January rolls around and we switch our insurance.

I’m working on a bigger post on the specifics on this issue, as the goals my wife and I have for our finances have changed since we’ve become debt free except the mortgage, and will be examining some options reflecting those changes.

Total Debt: $107,206

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 $0 – This has all been moved into the baby’s 529 plan.

House Fund  $3,500 – We are upping this amount, and have finally found a contractor to do some work for us in the basement. This is a major project, so we expect the balance of this to go down quite a bit after the work is completed.

Vacation fund $1,300 – This account is slowly building, and we are looking for great places to go when we are overseas next year. Planning this vacation is going to be a lot of fun!

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

 Thanks for reading everyone! How was your september? Did everything go well for you?

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