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Correction to 401k and Taxes Filed

February 25th, 2017 at 09:49 pm

Vanguard sent me a check for over $7k for the excess contributions from last year & a little income for this year. Of course, I'll have to pay both the state & federal about $1700 combined for the payment. Next year I will have to go through the process again as they won't send me back the payments for this year. Yes, I could adjust my contributions, but I'd rather get the money dedcuted from the Vanguard account as I explained in my last post. This year's contributions are only a little over $2500. I tried to get them to not deposit the last transfer when I realized the tax issue, but they released it anyway.

I'll use the amount left over after paying my taxes for debt repayment. I don't plan on sending in my taxes until April for the federal & May for the state. Might as well hold on to that money for as long as I can. It would have been nice to have the $2500 returned to me as well so I could also pay down some debt, but at least I'll see more in my paycheck now that I've stopped the 75% contributions to the 401k.

My Big Tax Mistake

February 12th, 2017 at 05:42 pm

So remember how excited I was that I was going to be able to contribute to both a 457b & and a 401k? Well, I was wrong. My TSP is actually a 401a. Who knew? Obviously, not me. So now I have a tax penalty due to exceeding my contribution limit. I had to write a letter of instruction to Vanguard to start the process of withdrawing my excess contributions for 2016.

Another problem is that I've already contributed over $2k for 2017 & I'm not sure if they'll allow me to withdraw that as well. I'm not interested in having that small amount of money at Vanguard if the rest of my money is with the TSP. I do have a Roth IRA with Vanguard, but I don't want more accounts than I need.

Also, I'm not interested in going through this process again next year if I happen to go over the limit again. Yes, I can adjust my contributions throughout the year, but the easiest thing to do is just to withdraw this year's contributions & contribute entirely to the one account which will not allow me to exceed $18,000 in contributions.

What a bother! I thought I did my due diligence researching the tax laws, but I didn't realize that I had erroneously categorized one of the accounts. Lesson learned!

Bonus & 2 raises

January 28th, 2017 at 06:29 pm

This paycheck I got my performance award & two raises (annual & step increase), but not the significant raise that we were awarded back in October. They will pay us backpay when they finally give us that raise. Still it was nice to have the other extra money this paycheck. I did increase my 401k deduction to 75% for the previous paycheck, so I hope that the other raise kicks in soon. I'm not really sure what to expect with this new administration.

2017 Changes

January 15th, 2017 at 04:25 pm

I made some changes to my finances at the beginning of the year. I did decide to contribute to the IRA monthly rather than biweekly. That will free up some money, but I also upped my contribution to the 401k from 50% to 75%. I'll have to keep an eye on it in order to not go over my limit. I'm not sure that my new job calculates the limit for me in order to avoid penalties. At my full-time job, they don't allow you to contribute more than your limit. It's nice that they keep track for you.

Also, I contacted Vanguard because my last 401k contribution for 2016 didn't post until 2017. I don't know if they can reclassify it as a 2016 contribution, but there is that discrepancy between what will be on my W-2 for 2106 and what will be on their records for the 2016 tax year. I don't like that there is a several day delay between when they take the contribution from my paycheck until Vanguard receives it. At my full-time job the contribution goes into my retirement plan the night before I am paid.

2016 Year End Review

December 31st, 2016 at 06:41 pm

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.

December 2016 Goals

November 27th, 2016 at 04:08 pm

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.

Difficult Week, but Something to be Grateful For

November 13th, 2016 at 03:37 pm

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.

Two Month Review

October 1st, 2016 at 05:24 pm

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.

IRS Announces 2015 Retirement Plans Limits

October 24th, 2014 at 04:51 pm

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!

Retirement Savings Plans Limits Likely to Rise in 2015

July 31st, 2014 at 02:20 pm

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

2014 Goals Part II

December 29th, 2013 at 04:53 am

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.


Goal Attained

September 14th, 2013 at 07:43 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.

Link to IRS Announcement on 2013 Pension Plan Limits

October 25th, 2012 at 01:17 pm

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

New IRS Limits for Retirement Plans in 2013

October 23rd, 2012 at 06:23 pm

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 11:04 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.

2012 Financial Goals

January 1st, 2012 at 09:50 pm

New limit of $17,000 to TSP ($16,500 to TSP in 2011)

$5,000 to Roth (EFT completed today for market open on Tuesday, have always maxed out my IRA)

Pay off credit card debt completely (this is the big one, and I'm determined to see this one completed by the end of the year)

Pay off car (on track to have my car paid off long before the end of the year, can use the money to help pay off other debt)

Continue to pay off grad school loans with the help of my employer's student loan repayment plan.

I'm not too worried about paying additional on mortgage until I complete the previous goals.

2012 Retirement Plans Limits Announced

October 26th, 2011 at 01:24 pm

Well I've been waiting for the 2012 retirement plan limits since before the IRS announced the cost of living increase for Social Security recipients. Lost in all that was the increase for qualified retirement plans (401(k), 403(b), 457(b)) to $17,000, though after the SSI increase I was expecting it. Income limits have increased as well for IRAs, AGI, etc.

This is great. It means money that we can put away to secure our retirement. I will increase my biweekly deduction sometime in December to make sure it's in effect in January.

May Day!

May 1st, 2011 at 04:40 pm

It's May, already! Time flies the older you get. I understand that all too well now. Well, I'm on my same course with my finance with some minor changes. I decreased the amount going to savings to increase credit card payments. I think it's a good move.

I am also back to working my regular schedule at my second job. The hours were never cut short fully as people have been needing time off for maternity leave and what not. So I have all the hours I'm used to having plus some more as things pop up. I am grateful to have not just one, but two jobs in this economy.

Milestone Reached

December 15th, 2010 at 07:24 pm

Today when my retirements accounts were updated I had surpassed my $200,000 goal. I am very excited. My next goal will be $250,000 or a quarter of a million dollars. I like typing out "million". I am sure that if I stay diligent with my savings that I will one day reach one million dollars saved.

2011 Goals and 2010 Progress

December 6th, 2010 at 03:47 am

I have had a great birthday and the Saints won!

I am updating my progress on my 2010 goals, which remain unchanged or 2011.

I completed goal #1 in January 2010.

I will complete goal #2 with my last two paychecks this month.

I am working on goal #3, but it's hard to pin down my monthly expenses. I am tracking on Mint.com, but my expenses seem to vary widely from month to month depending on what's going on. So I'm just averaging those expenses. I think $20,000 would be reasonable start to rebuild my emergency fund to, and I'm not far from that.

Goal #4 has not been completed at any time this year. Maybe next year.

I am working on goal #5 and with my employer's help, the graduate school loans will be paid off quicker.

Major Milestone

August 26th, 2009 at 04:49 pm

My combined retirement accounts have totaled over six figures for some time now, but for the first time I had a single account that reached six figures. I've been waiting on that to happen, with the way the stock market has been rising in recent weeks. I'm pretty excited to be able to pull up an account and see six figures. I even printed it out so I could remember the day I first saw that. I'm pretty sure that the stock market will be rising and falling for some time, but it was exciting to see this morning.

No New A/C!

May 4th, 2009 at 12:30 am

My air conditioning went out last weekend. I called a company to come on Monday afternoon, took a few hours off from work to meet them, they charged me a ridiculous price ($301) to change a wire and tried to convince me to buy one of their overpriced A/C's or pay over $1,000 in repairs that may or may not work. My dad talked to a cousin and he came out Saturday. He changed some little thingy dingy and it cost me $65. I'll never use that company again.

2009 Goals

July 29th, 2008 at 12:21 am

I'm always looking ahead as well!

My 2009 goals remain the same as my 2008 goals. Contribute 20% to TSP, build savings to 6 months' of income (I think I currently have about 4 months' income), pay off credit cards, and pay down my car and graduate school loans. I need to do better on paying off the credit cards, otherwise I'm doing pretty well on accomplishing my goals for 2008 and beyond.

Home Vacation

March 27th, 2008 at 03:48 am

I'm on vacation for the new few weeks. My last day at my job was Monday. I worked the holiday weekend. Four 12-hour shifts, 7p-7a. Now I'm on leave for several weeks, trying to use up my annual leave. I start my new job April 14th.

I'm not going anywhere special. I want to save money and do things here at home. I have several things on my to do list. I had my alarm system installed Monday. I feel much more secure after the break-ins in the community.

I've been working out more. My blood sugar is running a little high and with my extensive family history of diabetes I need to lose weight and exercise. I feel better already.

The next few months will be very frutiful for me financially. I have a surplus on my graduate school account and it will disbursed to me next month. The economic stimulus will be in the mail in May.

Leaving my old job I will get paid approximately 500 in annual and compensatory leave. I wiil have that amount contributed to my 403(b). I also have my 457(b) to contribute. It's nice having both plans and being able to contribute $31,000 a year. With the federal government I'll be getting a 5% match on my contributions as well. I'm feeling very blessed.

New Year, New Start, New Goals

January 20th, 2008 at 02:37 am

So how are you coming along on your new goals for 2008? I'm doing well so far. I updated my Roth contributions and the first increased contribution went out on the 15th. My 457 contributions have remained steady until I hopefully get a new job, and a raise. I opened a CD on the 5th as part of my emergency fund. I haven't received any tax forms yet. I'm waiting on receiving my tax refund to pay off my credit cards. So far, so good.

2008 Goals

November 27th, 2007 at 10:55 pm

I decided to write down my goals for 2008.

EMERGENCY FUND:

Contribute $245 to my three accounts. My goal is $15,000 in 3 years, my current balance is just over$5,000.

DEBT:

I have about $2,000 on a credit card. I will contribute $500 plus the amount of my monthly purchases every payment.

My original Sallie Mae loan is now at $300. With automatic payments my loan will be paid off in about 4 months. My grad school loans will begin repayment 6 months after my December 2008 graduation.

My car payment will be $326. After finishing with the credit card balance I will contribute the extra to the car payment.

RETIREMENT:

Continue contributing $400 biweekly to my 457. That is an annual contribution of $10,400.

Continue to fund my Roth IRA to the maximum. That will be $5,000 in 2008.

HOUSE:

My payments are $313 biweekly. I occasionally get a few pennies interest from a savings account and will transfer to principal. Otherwise, my payments will continue as is for this category. I'm more focused on the other debt.

CAREER AND SCHOOL:

In somewhat related plans, I want to focus on school and looking for a new job. I'm off this week since I worked the holiday (12 hour shifts for 4 days) and I'm writing papers and taking civil service tests.

The lady asked why I wanted to take the test again since I scored so well. I told her that I wanted an 80 on the test. I scored a 74. She said that few people score so well and I must be a perfectionist. I'm not. What I am is really motivated to move on to a better position.

I took another test since it hadn't been 28 days since I took the one that I wanted to retest on. Next time I'll take a different one again. I'll keep taking them until I'm where I want to be.

What are your goals???

Financial Peace University

November 25th, 2007 at 03:49 am

Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University on CD is on clearance and I bought it. I've been listening to it in my new car. I enjoy listening to him, I don't pretent to believe or follow everything he advocate, but he inspires me to do better.

I'm determined to pay off my student loan and credit card in 3 months. I will then attack my car loan and grad school loans. Repayment isn't for 18 more months on the grad school loans so I will concentrate on the car loan which is at a low 4.94%. The grad school loan are at 6.8% and the student loans in repayment are at 7.25% with a $300 balance. The original balance was over $7,000.

My car loan came in at about $17,300. The grad school loans will be $20,500, but I'm getting several thousand back once the tuition is paid. I guess I will put it on the car loan before the grad school loan.

I just bought Alicia Keys new CD at Best Buy online. Just $9.99 and free shipping!

Sold the car

November 8th, 2007 at 04:21 pm

I sold my car Tuesday for $2,000. I'm happy to have it sold. I probably could have gotten more if I had been patient, but I wanted it done with and I was trying to do something good. It was somewhat of a stressful transaction for me and next time I'll know what to do differently.

I'm using the money to pay off my credit card and student loans for good. That will be such a good feeling. I was thinking about using it to pad my emergency fund, but Dave Ramsey has inspired me to get Sallie Mae out of my life!

Turned on the heater last night. 68 degrees is a little hot. I'll have to try lower the next time I need it. I may ask for an electric blanket for my birthday or Christmas.

Finish Rich

September 29th, 2007 at 02:41 am

I've read several personal finance books. I like David Bach's recommendation to save at least 12% of income and paying yourself first. He breaks down how much you need to save to retire at a certain level of prosperity. I plan to save no less than 20% of my income to retire wealthy.

My increase to my 457(b) went through but my decrease to my 403(b) did not, so I saw a little less in my paycheck this week than usual. That's okay. This allows my contributions to reach a certain goal level.

Student Loans and Taxes

September 1st, 2007 at 08:15 pm

With the year 2/3 over I'm trying to get an idea of my tax situation for the year. A lot of it depends of whether my second installment of tuition of $4,500 can be paid this year instead of next. If it comes this year I'll meet the $10,000 Lifetime Education credit, if it goes through next year I'll exceed the limits and thus miss out on some of the tax benefits. I'll have to speak to our Financial Aid Coordinator to see what the situation is.

What I understood is that the payments would post as my financial aid comes in, but it looks like they're putting us on the same 4-payment schedule as those that will pay as they go. The next payment would be due January 5th if so. I'm going to ask her to post that payment in December instead. I've already taken out the loans so I'm already paying interest. Might as well have it paid on my tuition when it could help me financially, rather than next year.