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2016 Year End Review

December 31st, 2016 at 10:41 am

This year I contributed the maximum amount to my TSP & IRA. I also contributed $6900 to my 401k since August at my new job. I made well over $14k in just 5 months (despite having more than a month without any hours). I will have to consider putting more into my 401k. Right now I contribute 50%, but can contribute up to 75%.

In not so good news, as least for the moment, I still have not received my raise after 5 paychecks. Also, the year end bonus was not on this check. So all that extra income will fall into the new year. Even more reason to be more tax efficient with my extra earnings. Tonight I will be working a 12 hour shift & I just found out that we get time and a half after midnight. Yay! I wasn't expecting that as a PRN employee.

Happy New Year all!

P.S. I will someday get around to posting those pictures from Dublin.

Dublin

December 10th, 2016 at 07:25 pm

In New York for the night en route back from Dublin. Will fly back home tomorrow. I had a wonderful trip, though our time was short. We did the 48 hour hop on, hop off bus which made it easy to see a lot of the sites. I saw almost everything that I wanted to see, with the exception of Kilmainham Gaol (sold out in advance) and Jameson Distillery (closed for renovations until St. Patrick's Day 2017). At the price we got our trip for on Groupon Getaways, I'm okay with making a return trip. Maybe next time I'll see the coastal towns.

I see stocks continue to rise. I still thinking we're in for a recession soon, but I'll enjoy watching the gains until then.

December 2016 Goals

November 27th, 2016 at 08:08 am

One month and a few days left in 2016. Three more paychecks. I am on track to max out my TSP & Roth IRA. I will contribute at least 6k to my 401k for the year as well. Other expected income includes the cash my parents give me for my birthday & Christmas. I haven't heard what bonus we'll receive at work, if any.

Black Friday spending included the sale at B&BW and some gifts on clearance for co-workers at Williams Sonoma. I bought some new sneakers online yesterday. Don't think they'll get here in time for my trip, but they were needed regardless. At least shipping to the store for pick-up was free.

Retirement Milestone

November 23rd, 2016 at 06:57 am

I'm less than $500 from reaching $500k in retirement. My birthday is December 5th & I hope to reach it by my birthday. If my 401k contribution wasn't still floating out there & had been deposited into my Vanguard account I would have reached it yesterday. I'm not sure that these market highs will hold for much longer so I may not reach the goal by the time my contribution shows up. This is a goal I've had in mind for several years & now it's almost a reality. It's very exciting to see it come to fruition.

I'm also excited so see that according to Zillow, I'm almost at 50% equity in my home. Thanks in part due to the fact that my home didn't flood in August, so it increased my home value by about 10%.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! May you and yours continue to have abundant blessings in the seasons to come.

Difficult Week, but Something to be Grateful For

November 13th, 2016 at 07:37 am

This has been a difficult week for many of us. I just wanted to recognize that finances seems very small considering the other things going on in our country. Having said that, I will focus on one bright spot in this week for me.

We got a raise at work! It works out to about a 6.7% increase. Not the percentage that was advocated for when the salary survey was done, but still, it's a raise. In addition, in January I will receive this year's annual increase of 1.6% (thanks Obama, even though you froze our salaries for years). Also, I'm due for my step increase in January. So what does all that mean, bottom line? An over $7k increase! I am so grateful! I know that I am so blessed & I am already thinking of how to use it wisely.

I am considering increasing my contribution to the 401k at my second job from 50% to 75%. Also, I will increase my flexible spending account contribution to finance getting my LASIK redone next year. My eyesight has finally gotten that bad again.

As in all things in life, this week had some good & bad. Next couple of weeks I will pick up some more hours at my second job as one of their full-time techs is out for surgery. It will be good to get some hours in before December.

My schedule is so busy that I won't be getting as many hours next month. My birthday, a trip to DC & Ireland, and a lot of fun things on the agenda. I'm looking forward to it all!

Blessings to you & yours on this beautiful Sunday.

Three Month Review

October 20th, 2016 at 05:18 pm

Not quite 3 months since I've started my new part-time job & I've already made nearly $10k. And that includes 2 weeks of not working post-flood. I won't be getting in many hours at all in December so I may as well work as much as they need me for now. I think I will settle into an every other weekend schedule next year. It would be nice to get 40 hours every paycheck, but 24 is more than I was getting before.

Two Month Review

October 1st, 2016 at 10:24 am

Two months into my new second job & I feel more squeezed than ever. Maybe having a second job gives a false sense of wealth. I have somewhat over-extended myself with my increased savings.

I am contributing 50% to the 401(k) & $500 to my Roth IRA every paycheck. I had not contributed anything to my Roth IRA since last year. If I contribute $500 for the last 11 pay periods of this year & the first 11 pay periods of next year, I'll have met my maximum contributions for this year & next year. Then I'll have $500 more every pay check.

I'm excited that I'll be able to max out 3 retirement plans next year: my Roth IRA, my TSP, & my 401(k). I am making a lot of hours, but I don't want to complain as I have been searching for another job for some time. This job is a blessing & I see how my retirement savings have grown these past 2 months. Now to decrease the debt.

New Job

August 26th, 2016 at 05:23 pm

I can't believe that it is almost September & this is my first blog of the year. My last blog was over a year ago about an interview for a job that I didn't ultimately get. But today, I'm writing to say that a month ago & finally started a second job. This job means so many opportunities for me. The opportunity to max out another retirement plan, to pay off debt, and maybe down the road, to buy some income properties. Unfortunately, a natural disaster curtailed my work hours as the hospital closed due to flooding. But more importantly, I was spared any flooding. I'm feeling so blessed lately!

Another Job Interview

July 18th, 2015 at 09:51 am

This week I had only my second interview this year. I'm optimistic as I used to work with the manager, but she's interviewing several more people - who also probably used to work with her. Pay is not great, but I'm motivated & the work is largely on the weekend: 5a-1:30p. I would still have most of my weekend to do as I please or need.

In other news, I had an employee leave to pursue educational opportunities so I'm short-handed & will be hiring - hopefully soon! I'm excited to be able to interview & hire someone who fits in with my vision of what we need. My other employees I "inherited". I realize what a huge game changer adding a new employee into the mix can be, so I hope to choose wisely.

My Second Job Search Continues

April 25th, 2015 at 07:14 am

I continue to apply & have promising leads, but nothing comes to fruition. I had a promising interview several weeks back, even worked with some of the employees, and I never heard back. It's hard not to be discouraged, but I press on. I am determined to find another income stream & I'm open to any credible possibility. If anyone has any ideas, feel free to share.

I have had some ups & downs since my promotion, but I'm grateful for the chance to grow professionally.

Finally

February 8th, 2015 at 11:00 am

Yes, finally. Finally, my promotion is on record. My last paycheck was supposed to my first for my increased pay, but that wasn't done in time. So this week's paycheck will have a double increase. I've stepped up my credit card payments & have applied for PRN jobs to provide additional income to get my debt paid off for good.

The things that I usually shop for I've been abstaining from. It feels good. I've made a few clothing purchases (caught an 80% off end of season sale) to supplement my work wardrobe. I plan on advancing my career every chance that I get. I'm taking all the classes I can & networking every chance I get. I've never been more motivated. This promotion has been a very good thing & I'm so grateful.

IRS Announces 2015 Retirement Plans Limits

October 24th, 2014 at 09:51 am

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleaebeling/2014/10/23/irs-announces-2015-retirement-plan-contribution-limits-for-401ks-and-more/

$500 increase for my TSP. IRA limit remains unchanged. I'm always excited to be able to save more!

Job Promotion

August 2nd, 2014 at 08:27 am

I thought that I had posted this last month, but apparently not. I got offered a promotion at work after applying & interviewing for the position. Now, that was 3 weeks ago but I still haven't started in my new duties or increased pay. I don't know what my increased pay will be, but it will just be used to pay current debt. Still, I'm so excited, and this is the answer to many prayers. I've been working towards this position since I joined my agency & finished graduate school years ago. I can't wait until I can officially put that new position on paper.

Retirement Savings Plans Limits Likely to Rise in 2015

July 31st, 2014 at 07:20 am

I did a search today for 2015 retirement savings plans limits & found this article which seems to think that limits will likely rise next year. I hope so.

http://www.fool.com/retirement/401k/2014/06/05/401k-limits-for-2014-what-they-are-and-why-they-di.aspx

I Wanted to Write a Blog Just Because...

March 22nd, 2014 at 09:32 am

Because I don't have any blog entries for 2014 & it's been bugging me.

The 2nd job has not materialized due to the administration moving very slow. I've remained in contact with my interviewer & she's very interesting in hiring me so I remain optimistic. One thing I know, is that I will not fritter away that second income like I did with my previous second job. I am on a mission like I never have been before.

I am also very hopeful to have good news to share about my current job in the coming months. Fingers crossed & prayers lifted up. 2014 has already been a very blessed year for me.

My trip to China is done & in the books as the best adventure I've ever embarked upon. We had a great time. I never thought I would go to Beijing, but now I can say that I did that and so much more - like walk on the Great Wall! We were leaving Beijing the day after MH370 disappeared, but I am thankful for a safe journey.

Next trip is to visit my sister's family in May to celebrate my nephew's first birthday & her husband's retirement from the Navy. I'm really looking forward to that.

Spring is here & the weather is beautiful. I'm going to enjoy it for as much as I can before the weather & humidity gets stifling hot!

2014 Goals Part II

December 28th, 2013 at 08:53 pm

I am enjoying reading about everyone's goals for 2014. It inspires & excites me for what is ahead in the coming year.

I told myself that I was content with working one job, but as I look at my goals, I decided to apply to work a part-time job again. I may not get it, but it would be incredibly convenient as the hospital is located just down the street. It would also help me meet my savings goals & re-build my emergency fund. And the more I work the less time I have to spend money.


Happy Thanksgiving!

November 30th, 2013 at 02:03 pm

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I am very thankful to be so abundantly blessed. Too many blessings to list them all, but a few stand out at the moment.

I have had a great year at work. I recently was awarded a peer award by my colleagues. I also have the highest rating level possible. Bonuses are tied to ratings. I don't know what my bonus will be this year, but I am grateful for whatever I get in these difficult economic times. Also at work this week I won our Biggest Loser competition. It was nice to have some extra cash in my pockets, not to mention the benefits of getting healthier.

My birthday is Thursday & I'm looking forward to the coming holidays. I just know that this coming year will be an exceptional year for me!

Home Improvements

October 13th, 2013 at 04:44 pm

I have a lot of home updates, improvements, & repairs coming up. Checking them off one by one. I know it's important to take care of your home to protect your investment, but as I spend time at home, I know that I also want a home that looks good & feels comfortable.

Goal Attained

September 14th, 2013 at 12:43 am

It's pretty cool when you meet & surpass a goal without knowing it. It was a pleasant surprise when I logged into Mint this morning & was able to mark a goal completed & set a new goal. Two major goals met in one year. Pretty stoked about that.

2014 Goals

August 31st, 2013 at 08:46 am

As we head into fall, I was thinking about reaching this year's goals & looking ahead to next year's goals. This year my main goals are retirement & debt repayment, as they are every year. I always meet my retirement goal, as I will this year. In January I funded my Roth IRA with the maximum $5,500. I don't know if I'll be able to do that this January. I may have to fund it throughout the year, since my savings have been somewhat depleted to pay down debt. I will continue to fund my retirement account at work with my maximum contribution. I have not read if they're anticipating another increase in limits next year, though. A $500 increase would only mean an extra $20 biweekly though.

Last year I transferred the majority of my credit card debt to a card with 0% interest for 18 months. I started out paying $200 weekly, but now pay $100 weekly since I have one job. I still plan to have that paid off before the 18 months of no interest.

On a lighter note, I am going to enjoy this 3 day weekend by taking some time to cook, relax, and visit with family & friends.

Student Loans

August 31st, 2013 at 08:12 am

The student loan repayment program at my facility underwent an audit. I've been having problems getting them to pay my student loan going on a couple of years now, so this was welcomed news. Well they still seem to be having problems figuring things out since they sent me a letter stating that they would pay me for an award that has already been paid, plus they extended my service obligation date. *sigh* At least it's something, not everything that they owe me, but I will happily take this lump payment that they're promising to send to Sallie Mae. I can't wait to divorce that lady - again!

Not at all finance related, but on my mind today.

August 30th, 2013 at 12:25 pm

I was watching the news the other day, on the 50th anniversary of MLK's March on Washington & his famous "I Have A Dream Speech". They pointed out that while he is celebrated today, when MLK was assassinated he was seen as a very divisive figure. He was hated by many who saw him as a race baiter, rabble rouser, & just a generally bad American. And I was thinking, don't they do the same thing today? Hate you for your politics, hate you for your skin color, hate you for your religion, accuse you of doing what they are guilty of themselves? Then I thought, people can say whatever they want about you. The test of time will judge your actions in the correct light, not the view tainted by people's political agendas or bigotry. If you just keep on doing the right thing. What a legacy MLK left by not letting the naysayers deter him from speaking the truth boldly. Your critics of today are temporary & will be soon forgotten. Just keep pushing on.

Stock Market Surges

August 18th, 2013 at 09:42 am

The stock market has had some record setting highs this year. More than any other year I believe I read. I'm always happy to see my investments increase.

I'm managing on one job just fine & enjoying all the free time. I've started working out 5 days a week & started back training by jogging. I can't wait to see my progress. One thing about running, you can really see the improvements early on & they keep on coming.

My employer is officially no longer paying on my student loan. I believe the money was misappropriated/lost. I've always made the payments & will continue to do so. This repayment plan was just extra. I'm sorry to no longer have it, but prepared to pay it myself regardless.

Tired

April 27th, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Two weeks since my second job was eliminated & I'm more tired than ever. I feel like I need to get a second job again just to get some rest! Smile

2013 Assessment & Changes

January 27th, 2013 at 07:39 am

Some changes I made thus far this year:

1. Started off the year with a spiritual Daniel Fast & it made all the difference. Also, it forced me to stop eating out & enjoy cooking healthy, whole foods at home.

I went into 2013 with a renewed sense of hope & the fast just really opened my heart to what God has in store for me in every area of my life.

2. Transferred my credit card debt at Capital One to Pentagon Federal @ 0% interest for 18 months.

3. Attended the inauguration & visited with family. I had a wonderful time.

4. My second job that I have held for 4 years will end in April due to the hospital closing. I have worked at this hospital in some capacity since 2000. I'm just waiting & praying to see what I should do on that.

I've been wanting to start a small business for some time now. I am excited to see what the future holds on that.

Link to IRS Announcement on 2013 Pension Plan Limits

October 25th, 2012 at 06:17 am

http://www.irs.gov/uac/2013-Pension-Plan-Limitations

New IRS Limits for Retirement Plans in 2013

October 23rd, 2012 at 11:23 am

So next year I will be able to contribute $17,500 to my TSP, up from $17,000 in 2012. Next year I will also be able to contribute $5,500 to my Roth IRA, up from $5,000 in 2012. Yay! $1,000 more towards my future sounds awesome to me!

Hurricane Isaac

October 5th, 2012 at 04:04 pm

I'm anticipating that I will get some extra income in the next month from working during the hurricane. This will help fund my vacation & the hours I will miss working at my second job while on my vacation. I will save the rest in my savings. I plan to fully fund my Roth IRA in January with cash in savings.

Raise

September 15th, 2012 at 08:03 am

I got a somewhat unexpected raise this paycheck. I knew it was coming, I just didn't expect it quite this early. I was very happy to see it. I've been very blessed financially. Also, I'm hoping that my student loan payments by my employer gets sorted out soon. It's been 9 months of back & forth trying to get the paperwork fixed. It is ridiculous that it's taken this long, but I'm grateful for the payments still being made in the meantime.

The stock market has been doing really well lately. I can't believe it's almost time - again - to reassess my finance goals for the year. Where has this year gone?

Traveling Gypsy

August 11th, 2012 at 07:35 pm

I've been a busy bee traveling here & there. I have a few more trips planned, but will settle down next year. Traveling isn't free unfortunately. I want to get back to blogging, but not much is happening with me. I'm in a steady state of paying off debt & saving. Same strategy as always.

I will probably lose my second job soon so I'm looking for a replacement. Last month I paid off my car so that's $327 less in monthly loan payments for me. Yay!!!


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