July 2014 Monthly Review

Hey everyone, glad you are here, and welcome to our monthly review. Every month, we go over our finances and see what progress (or not) that we have made in the last 30 days.

This July has absolutely flown by, and it seems that our relatively relaxed, non traveling summer is about to go with it. We will be attending some sort of social function one or both days every weekend for 6 of the next 8 weeks (or more, I havent looked). It’s going to be pretty crazy with the baby, but we are having fun having her around. She has started smiling and laughing and I really enjoy hanging out with her. I wish that I had a bit more time to do so, but I have probably taken on too much and cant wait till everything wraps up.

On the online income front, one niche site has been continuing to do well, and will top $500 earned for the month of july, on about $150 in expenses. I am totally hooked, and am already building out 3 more sites that I hope will be even more successful than this one, and am planning to expand my current one. The crazy thing is I am not even in position number 1 for my target keyword, so I’m happy about that and expect this site’s potential to continue to go up as I add more content and value for my readers. On to the monthly review.

Debt

House

Mortgage $ 108,638 (-$561).  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 on those bi-weekly) 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.

What I mean is that since I took a new job and my wife is not going to be working full time next year, we are going to see a serious reduction in income from 2013 (my last full year at my old job) and 2015 – where my wife is working 66% time, and I’m working an entire year where I took a 10%+ pay cut. We will also need to add a “day care” item to our monthly nut, which increases our monthly nut by about 25%. I have settled on $200 bi-weekly (after I get paid) and I’m testing it now, and I’ll see if we can keep it here or need to move it around.

Student Loan

Great Lakes Loan $0 (-$2,079) I finally pulled the trigger on this one at the beginning of July, and it is awesome not to have this hanging over our heads. I wrote a full post on how we are now debt free except the mortgage, and it’s probably the first time since age 20 or so for me (though not for my wife). Now that we have accomplished this, we have been talking a lot about where we should go next with our financial goals, and what direction we should take them. I believe that we have figured that out, we are just looking for a roadmap to get there now. Of course, I will be writing about it when everything is nailed down.

Total Debt: $108,638

We are down $2,642  from last month, and Im totally excited about that – there’s nothing better than wiping out a debt. It would be nice to pay off the house before I turn 32 (in 3 years) but that would require a lot of sacrifice. Our finances are going to undergo a major change over the next few months as we switch insurances and my wife goes back to work (part time). We will also be increasing the contributions to our retirement accounts, so we will be adjusting to living on less than we are currently used to (which may slow down the house projects – not that I’d mind). Our best course of action for this right now is to just keep our spending low and see where the dust settles at the end of the year.

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 – we have moved half the remaining balance of this into our childs 529 plan, and are going to hang on to this account at this amount for the time being. Our medicaid (finally) came through, so we should be past this whole hospital thing sometime soon. Im looking forward to not having to deal with the hospitals or government agencies anymore.

House Fund  $3,000 – This is going to pay for some remodeling in the basement, but we are not sure how much yet. I have been trying to get some people to come out and do this miserable work for us, but no one thinks that it is worth their time to even bother calling me back. We may end up getting friends involved and doing this ourselves.

Vacation fund $1,000 – We are building this account up for a big trip we plan to take next summer.

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

That’s all there is for this month folks. I’ve got some big plans for SLB coming, and hope to have them wrapped up by the end of the month. How did july go for you?

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