February 2014 Monthly Review

What an interesting turn of events. Just last month in the monthly review I was talking about what H and I were going to do in terms of child care when the baby came. We were mostly talking about some nebulous time in august or september, when teachers need to report back to work and what we wanted to do then. Little did I know that we’d need to figure it out this month. Not only that, we also needed to sort out how we were going to handle both of us needing to be away from work for so long while our daughter is in the NICU. My wife has been staying in denver with my parents, and I’m working monday through thursday every week. After figuring it all out, we are starting to adjust to the new routine.

All told, it’s going about as good as can be expected. The baby is doing well, and we are handling the (major, unexpected) disruption to our routine pretty well. Just taking it 1 day at a time and we will be fine. The baby is progressing fine, and is gaining weight. She’s doing all she’s supposed to do, which is good.

House

Mortgage $ 111,438 (-$555).  Just the normal payment here. This note goes down by about 550/mo, which for now is acceptable. H and I talked about goals and savings for 2014 and once we meet our emergency fund goals, we can start paying this down more aggressively.

Student Loan

Great Lakes Loan $5,843   (-$368) This payment was bumped up to 400/mo when I did all the savings moves, and it’s going pretty well. I’ll probably leave it at 400/mo for a few more months while we adjust to the lower spending levels and our daughter comes home. Once that happens, I’ll bump this up to whatever amount it needs to be to make this go away by the end of the year.

Total Debt: $ 117,281

We are down $923 from last month. It’s crazy to see such a small number there, 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 dont have near as much debt as I used to. Our savings is going up quite a bit though, as we’ve seen good gains there.

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.

Kid Savings $6,381 (+$304) – Looks like this one got bumped up to a $300/mo contribution. We arent drawing from it yet for expenses related to birth, but I assume we will start getting bills soon. We have enough to cover our insurance maximum for the year with this cash, and I’m certain we will hit that soon.

House $1,726 (+$101) – We dont really have any remodels planned for the house anytime soon, but this will probably be tapped to replace appliances or whatever if needed. They say that 1% of your value should be tied up in this, so we will just keep building this up for a while.

Emergency Fund $6,086  (+378) – This was one of the big winners when I redid our savings levels and withdraw rates at the beginning of the year. I increased contributions to this by 3x. Once this gets to 10-12k, we will call this done, and start directing funds to other goals (probably a split between investment and vacation).

Vacation $301 (+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.

Total Savings: $ 14,494

This has gone up nicely since I started tracking it a few months ago. Before that, it was kind of stagnant as we were using it for house renovations and traveling to alaska. Those accounts will get built back up, and we will probably go somewhere else, though not for a while. We are solidly contributing 900/month to this account, but we arent getting much Return off of it

Health

I’ve been doing pretty well in the health department lately. Some friends of mine did a whole 30 in january, and I had been looking at doing one for a while. They had positive experiences, so I set myself up to do one, and was supposed to start 2 days after the baby was born. I didnt get to start on time, but I was able to gather myself and start 1 week after I thought I would start. It has been going pretty good so far, and as of this writing I’m on day 8. I havent had anything more than a fleeting or passing craving for anything on the no-no list, which I count as a pretty big win.

I have been feeling pretty good so far, but I’m curious to see how well I’ll feel as the time goes on. Im going hopefully get back to the gym today and get some sort of routine down that will fit in with all the driving I’m doing and the time away from our house.

Readers: How did your month go? Did you make progress, or did you stay the same?

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2 thoughts on “February 2014 Monthly Review”

  1. Looks like February was a pretty solid month for you. Good to hear you’ve worked out a schedule for traveling back and forth to the NICU and that the baby is doing well. I’ve been tracking my progress using a quarterly system and so far this quarter is right on track – paying down debt and boosting my savings.

    • Good to know that everything is going well for you – I’ll have to see how we are doing on at the end of next month and see if we need to make any adjustments.

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