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Made Some Market Moves

May 13th, 2022 at 06:50 pm

So for the first time in a very long time I did some portfolio re-balancing. I've been using my contributions to slowly change my target allocations the past few years, but that is a slow process with the size of my portfolio versus the amount I'm contributing. With the market down I decided to make some changes. Long story short I went from 71% domestic allocation in my mutual funds to 78%, and from 29% to 22% international allocation in my mutual funds. This will still keep me on target for the 20-40% international stocks that most recommend. I had changed to a 60% domestic/40% international allocation back in 2017. Slowly I drifted from that allocation just due to US stocks outperforming international stocks. I was at about 34-35% international when I just stopped contributing to them entirely, then it had drifted down to 28% by the end of 2022 first quarter. I know that I wanted to get it closer to 20% so I just bit the bullet & did a re-balancing this week. Right now I'm just contributing to the S fund in my TSP and VTSAX in my IRA, though I still hold C,S, and I, as well as VTSAX and VTIAX. I also hold VHYAX in my taxable brokerage account. That is the money from the sale of my condo for a future home purchase. It is holding nicely despite the downturn. I'm actually still up from when I invested back in September.

In income news I still haven't received the 10% retention incentive that we signed for back in March, and the salary survey for our special pay scale has been completed, but mum has been the word on that. We shall see. Despite not doing any OT, I am still making extra at my PRN job. It would be nice if I can start contributing to the brokerage account regularly. I could scale back my monthly savings contributions and maybe split them between cash savings and the brokerage fund. I'll probably finish out this year of fully contributing to cash savings, though. Then maybe get back to investing in the brokerage account in 2023. I'm trying to get close to being able to pay cash for my next car and with these car prices, that could be a pretty penny!

According to Mint I am down $138,880 over the past month, but still holding well over $1.111 million in investments.

Bad Habit

April 29th, 2022 at 07:58 am

I've gotten in the bad habit of waking up in the middle of the night, in which case I end up on my phone, like now.

Still no retention bonus on our checks. I believe that once is goes through the process that we will get retroactive payments, which will be nice. We were under the impression that it could happen a lot quicker than it actually has so that leaves people feeling frustrated. 

I'm still not quite sure how I would like to allocate this money. I am saving $1,000 cash monthly already. I'm not sure that I want a lot of cash on hand, but at the same time I feel like my cash reserves are minuscule compared to my investments. Perhaps I should keep building it for a future car purchase? It's either that, or fund the brokerage for a home purchase.

In hindsight I do have a little regret about front-loading my IRA in January, right before the market started tanking. Maybe next year I'll go back to monthly contributions. If only we had a magic ball to predict these things!๐Ÿ”ฎ

Heavy Spending Month so farโ€ฆ

April 21st, 2022 at 07:41 pm

This month has had some big spending due to work expenses, most of which as being reimbursed for our laboratory's recognition week. I also paid the first installment of next season's theatre tickets.

I'm excited about the season which includes: Six, Moulin Rouge, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lion King, Tina, Pretty Woman, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Fiddler on the Roof. I passed on the season option of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I've seen it before (as I've seen many of these shows) and the holidays are busy enough as is. If the Christmas show was White Christmas I probably wouldn't pass it up. I love that movie. โ˜ƒ๏ธ 

Our Easter was nice & quiet filled with good food and beautiful spring weather. I love this time of year before it gets crazy hot. I am trying to think of a getaway before the temps start rising. I would say Maine, but we already have our trip to Maine booked for this fall. I am looking forward to it, rustic as the trip may be. I have been wanting to visit Maine for a while. Maybe I will venture further north, like Quebec. ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ 

We have not yet received our retention incentive, but I continue to work overtime and my PRN job. This month is also a 3 paycheck month, so yay! I'm not making any big money moves right now, but I may get back to adding to my brokerage account for a future home purchase. Right now it stands at $75k.

 

Q1 March 2022

April 9th, 2022 at 03:00 pm

I can't recall if I've been using my car value in my net worth as does Mint, but when I calculate it myself I never do.

Investments $1,271,591

Cash $14,888 

Total $1,286,479

Net Gain from February $29,318

My gains include my contributions which are $800 to my TSP every two weeks & $1,000 to my cash savings monthly. The TSP is going to open up an investment window this summer, but I am planning on sticking with their low cost options. I am big on low cost index funds & I don't plan on changing that strategy anytime soon.

We still haven't received the 10% retention incentive on our checks, but I've been training on my PRN job steadily, which means most Saturdays. So there's still some extra income coming in.

Another Payday

March 18th, 2022 at 03:31 pm

Another payday and I had forgotten how nice it is to have the ability to bring in extra income when needed. This Saturday I'm going in to do more training at my PRN job, then Sunday I'm working OT at my FT job. My weekend partner - I'll be working the weekends opposite her - is on the schedule to work weekends through the end of April. That's great because it means plenty of training time for me, as well as I don't have the obligation to work Easter Sunday. ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฐ

Our incentive pay wasn't on this paycheck, hopefully it will get coded in time for the next paycheck.

I am home today awaiting a furniture delivery. I ordered this furniture in August & it was supposed to arrive back in October/November. They still have to replace the damaged furniture delivered in October, but I just got another notification for a delivery next week. I wish they could have gotten it all coordinated for one delivery, but I'm just glad to finally have everything taken care of. My sister had to just sleep on a mattress when she came to stay with me at Christmas. 

The market has been up, but who knows for how long in these times of uncertainty. I had been avoiding news, but when at my parents' this week I watched the news with them. It's horrifying what's happening in Ukraine. I pray that this conflict & others come to a swift end and that justice is done to those that perpetrate violence. 

 

Increased Income

March 5th, 2022 at 06:05 am

We are experiencing a staffing crisis at the hospital so we got offered a 10% retention incentive to commit to a stay a year. That's a much bigger raise than we see at any other time. Add that onto my step increase due in 3 months & it's a nice increase in income. Almost $1k a month. We are also awaiting the results of a salary survey which we hope will bring an additional adjustment. 

I'm not on the schedule yet at my new job. I'm still in training mode. Actually more like orientation mode as I'm just trying to get through the online trainings. Tomorrow I think I will actually get to start training on the bench. I'm told that the job isn't stressful at all, which is nice to know. Everyone has been very nice.

I unexpectedly already got paid this Friday. For some reason I thought my paycheck would be on the opposite Friday for this new job. It's always a pleasant surprise to get an unexpected deposit in your bank account.

The market remains down. I'm not worried about it, but as I mentioned earlier it would have been nice to hit that $1 million mark in my TSP before everything started dropping. It was sooo close. My one fund that hasn't dropped significantly is my high dividend yield fund which I bought at the end of September.

Net Worth $1.257 million 

Starting a New Job

February 25th, 2022 at 05:46 pm

On January 31st I interviewed for a PRN job. On February 1st I got a call from the recruiter that they were offering me the position. On February 1st, President's Day, I went in for a few hours to speak to my new supervisor & read over SOPs. I'll be going in tomorrow morning to start my training. I've heard that it's not too stressful of a job & the pay is better than my last hospital PRN job at 28% more per hour. The weekend shift differential is just slightly less.At my last hospital PRN job I also worked alone in my department while at this job there will be 3 working in my section. That is nice to have. I'll be working every other weekend with some flexibility if I have plans. While I did enjoy working just one job, I'm looking forward to having a little extra income to play with.

My investments are down over $100k from the high in November. I'm not worried, but I was sooo close to hitting the $1 million milestone in my TSP. A little disappointing, but I'll know that I'll get there eventually.

I am praying for the people of Ukraine and for peace. It's a very scary time for many people.

Hallelujah!

February 12th, 2022 at 05:32 am

I usually have to pay even more in taxes when I file, but this year, I actually broken even...or as close to it as possible. I'm actually getting two small checks from the state & federal. ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿพ

And despite my complaining, my corrected W-2 from 2020 caused no issues & I didn't have to do an amended return. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ

Corrected W-2

January 13th, 2022 at 10:32 pm

Since I just finished paying back the SS taxes  from when they didn't withhold them the last few months of 2020, I got a corrected W-2 for that year. I really hated that supposed tax holiday. It has caused more issues than anything else. I hope that I don't have to go back & refile for 2020. The guidance says that you don't have to if you had just one job, but I was working three jobs in 2020. Thankfully, the other 2 jobs were smart enough to opt of the tax pause. As a federal employee I didn't have that option. (I think only one agency was able to opt out.) What a mess!

Happy New Year! ๐ŸŽ†

January 1st, 2022 at 09:57 pm

Happy New Year! I wish you and yours happiness & health in 2022. I meant to post at least once in December, but with the busyness of the holidays time got away from me. ๐ŸŽ„ 

I celebrated a birthday last month. I celebrated by going out to lunch with my parents. They rarely eat out since the pandemic began & with Omicron I doubt they'll be doing it again anytime soon. ๐ŸŽ‚ 

My sisters came home for Christmas. It was so good to see my niece & nephew for the first time since Christmas 2019.  My younger sister flew home, while my older sister & her family drove from Virginia. We had an outdoor Christmas Day gathering with extended family. For once I was thankful for a warm Christmas! The high was 80 degrees here on Christmas Day. โ˜€๏ธ 

I leave Wednesday for Nashville. There's a 40% chance of snow there on Thursday. I'm looking forward to my trip. I ordered some KN95 masks to wear. While I wore cloth masks in New York & was fine, with this new more contagious variant I thought it would be good to get more effective masks. Where we are going is requiring vaccination for entrance & I'm thankful for that. ๐Ÿ˜ท 

I did my budgeting this morning since it's the first of the month & year. Nobember & December were high-spending months. I appreciate the cash my parents have me for my birthday & Christmas. My investments grew over $56k last month. I placed a trade for $6k to my IRA today. I was going to do $500 monthly contributions, but got inspired to go all in today. ๐Ÿ’ฐ

I get an annual raise of 2.2% in the new year & I will get a step increase in June. I have increased my retirement contributions to meet the $20.5k limit this year. I decreased my FSA contributions & I hope I don't regret that. It's always a gamble as you never know what will happen. I appreciated when they allowed us to change our allocation mid-year. 

Net Worth $1.388 million 

Inverstments $1.340 million

Happy Thanksgiving! ๐Ÿ๐Ÿฆƒ๐Ÿฝ

November 28th, 2021 at 04:24 pm

I see the website has been upgraded in my absence. I like what I see so far!

I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving. Ours was quiet as usual. We continued our new tradition from last year of Rock Cornish game hens instead of turkey, along with ham, cornbread dressing, carrot soufflé, and my homemade cranberry sauce. I usually do the fresh snap beans with potatoes & bacon, but my dad said to just cooked the stir-fry veggies we had in the freezer. Fine by me! Everything was delish & I'm eating my leftovers today. ๐Ÿ—๐Ÿ–๐Ÿฅ•

My last two paychecks have had OT on them & that adds up quick. I'm always surprised by how much of an impact it has, but at a rate of 1.5 pay plus the shift differentials, it is significant. Much better than my pay when I had two PRN jobs. Work is about to get busier as my lab manager retires at the end of the year & I am the assistant lab manager. 

I traveled for the first time since 2019! My friends & I met up with my sister in New York. We had a great time. We saw 4 shows, ate great food, & did a ton of walking. ๐ŸŽ๐Ÿš–๐Ÿ—ฝ

I have two more trips booked: Nashville in January & Maine next fall. ๐ŸŽธ๐Ÿช•๐Ÿฆžโ›ต๏ธ It is also my parents' 50th anniversary this summer so we may do a family trip.

I thought I might hit a million dollars by the end of the year in my TSP, but then the market pulled back due to Omicron. It still may hit those elusive 7 figures in 2021, we shall see. 

Yesterday I went to Hobby Lobby & Michael's looking for a Christmas tree. I had thrown my tree out last year as it had seen better days. I got a 7.5 ft pencil tree at Michael's and a tree skirt at Hobby Lobby. Michael's was much less crowded than Hobby Lobby. The pencil tree will take some getting used to, but it's decked out in rose gold, gold, & silver this year. It's a very pretty color combination, if I do say so myself. ๐ŸŽ„

My birthday is next week & I will probably have a quiet dinner with my parents. ๐ŸŽ‚

 

New 401k Limits

November 8th, 2021 at 01:50 am

Last week the IRS announced new limits for remitrement plans. The increase to $20,500 was already anticipated. I will increase my deduction in December to $800. That will give me 25 paychecks contributing $800, then my last paycheck will be a $500 deduction. I can also contribute $789 to get me to the max, but I always like a nice round number to contribute. Plus, it gives me a little extra cash around the holidays.

For 2022 I am planning to contribute the full amount to my IRA in January. My plans is to save $500 monthly in order to contribute the full amount again in January of 2023, and so on.

I've been working OT this past week again. It's good to have a little extra cash around the holidays, whether to spend or to save. I've continued to put money in my brokerage account from the sale of my condo & that has been doing well. All of my investments are doing well, actually. Knock on wood, I may get to $1 million in my TSP by the end of the year if this continues.

End of Month October 2021

October 30th, 2021 at 03:48 pm

I hate losing a blog just as I'm trying to post it! Ugh.

Friday was the end of the month as far as investing so I've been crunching my numbers already. I'm such a numbers need that I really love this time of month. Mint has my net worth increase for the past 30 days by $118,900. This is incorrect, but I attribute it to having a lot of money moving through accounts & my mortgage being paid off due to selling my condo. I also was having issues updating my credit union accounts last month.

My calculations show a gain of $68,616 for October. it's a good thing to do your own calculations and not just rely on the budgeting apps as they can be wrong. I love my Clever Fox budget planner and am already looking for next year's planner. Last year they were pretty late releasing their products. It seems like they would want them on the market by Black Friday, but choices were limited or even sold out in December last year. 

Yesterday's paycheck was larger due to coming in that one Saturday for a few hours. Next paycheck will be even larger because I picked up some evening hours for OT. Our evening shift differential is 10% and weekends are 25% base, on top of the OT rate. It works out pretty nicely. Also, we have shift incentives because we are so short. I'm happy to have the extra money & to help out.

My trip to NYC Is rapidly approaching. I have missed the city so much. I last visited the summer of 2019. We fly out on Veteran's Day. My sister is taking the train up from DC. We have tickets to 3 shows and reservations at the Met and a couple of restaurants. ๐Ÿ—ฝ๐Ÿš–๐ŸŽ๐ŸŽญ

I have lost 13 pounds in the past month, but I will indulge a little on my trip. I have been pretty strict on plan with the exception of this Thursday when we had our Halloween office party. ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿ‘ป๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐Ÿฅณ

How is the weather where you are? Here it finally turned cooled yesterday. I'm glad that my dad gave me some gumbo for my freezer when I visited this weekend! His gumbo is of course my favorite gumbo. ๐Ÿฅ˜

October Check-In

October 23rd, 2021 at 02:10 am

My investments are almost back to the high of September 6th. Today they stand at $1,300,918 which is almost my entire net worth with the addition of my car & cash savings. 

I applied for a PRN position (you knew I couldn't stay away from a second job for long!), but turned it down when they told me the per diem rate, which was the same rate I was paid in 2008. You'd think with all these healthcare shortages that they would up there rate.

This past Saturday I did some OT at my hospital and that rate is more than twice the per diem I was offered. Our ENW supervisor, who is desperately short-staffed, asked me to work as much as I could so it looks like I'll be pulling some OT. One good thing about my promotion is that by losing my supervisory status I can make time and a half overtime, whereas I used to just get comp time. I am always in use or lose territory with my annual leave by the end of the year, so I don't really need to earn more time. 

I am setting into my new apartment. Furniture keeps trickling in & I am doing a little updating in my decor. I had some rowdy upstairs neighbors, but after a few complaints it looks like they have settled down. The leasing agent said she would contact the dad. I guess that worked. It's super annoying to be kept on weeknights by kids who have their daddy to pay their rent. The rest of us have to get to work in the morning!

Budgeting & New Mattress

October 9th, 2021 at 01:28 pm

I took some time this morning to update my budget in Mint. So many categories were obsolete now: homeowners insurance, alarm system, property taxes, student loans (which I paid off over 4 years ago!). Then others needed to be adjuste: mortgage & rent, which more than doubled. 

One of my credit union accounts won't update in Mint, which is frustrating because it's my largest cash account. It is, however, updating in Personal Capital.

I finally figured out how to add my car value in Personal Capital this morning. It's crazy because the Kelley blue book value today is almost the same as it was when I bought it 5 years ago. Supply & demand, I suppose. I think this is the first time in my lifetime that cars have held their value. Usually they are rapidly depreciating as soon as you drive them off the lot.

My new mattress will be delivered today. Mattresses have become quite expensive, but at least I get interest free payments for 4 years. The furniture will be no payments for one year. I don't expect to pay for that long on the mattress, but will take advantage of the one year payoff for the furniture.

My furniture went from expected delivery in October to full delivery expected in January. I should get some pieces this month. That is one thing that hasn't changed: furniture deliveries getting delayed. They blame it on the pandemic, but I remember prior orders. I'm looking forward to getting my second bedroom & sun room (office) furnished.

My investments for Q3 were up, partly because I invested the profits from the sale of my condo just before the end of the month. Since it's only 5% on my portfolio I decided to try something a little different & invest in Vagaurd's high dividend yield index fund. It's pretty new having began in 2019. It will be interesting having a new fund to follow.

Got my Vaccines

October 2nd, 2021 at 02:18 pm

Yesterday I got my both my CV19 booster shot as well as my flu shot. I went to bed early last night. Woke up just before midnight with all the symptoms of coming down with something. I am achy, chilly, tired, have a headache, & my arm is pretty sore. Then this morning they started working on the roofs before 7. I hope this banging won't be going on all day long. ๐Ÿค•

Today is a 3 paycheck month. I'm going to transfer some more money to my brokerage account for investing. At least $3k. The market is a little shaky with talks of a government shutdown, but I know it's best to stay the course.

Money Invested from Condo Sale

September 30th, 2021 at 08:18 pm

I was able to transfer the funds from the sale of my condo to my new brokerage account just in time to invest before the end of the 3rd quarter. The proceeds ended up being just 5% of my total investments so I played with the investments just a little rather than sticking to my usual index funds. I still selected an index fund, but not the total domestic stock and total international stock index funds I'm currently invested in for my IRA. 

After living in my condo for 15 years, it's interesting that my equity was such a small amount of my net worth, when I always read that most people's net worth is largely tied up with their home. I'm not anxious to own again, and I've done much better selecting mutual fund investments that investing in my home. That's not to say that I'll never own again, but I always been told that renting was throwing away money. I don't have that perspective now.

No Longer a Homeowner

September 19th, 2021 at 04:46 pm

I am no longer a homeowner! Closing went off without a hitch. Just a small glitch when they got my new street address wrong, but that didn't delay anything. 

When I was searching to see what my credit union's hours were I found that they had opened a new branch even closer to the title company's location with later hours. It's an interaction center which was a new thing for me. My mom said her credit union is the same now. You walk up to a screen that is something like an ATM, and you interact with a teller via video. I'm sure the tellers feel a lot safer. 

My money is on hold for a week then I have access to it. All this time I've been thinking about how to invest it & I'm still undecided. The market has been kind of blah lately so maybe this is the perfect time to invest.

Today is closing day

September 17th, 2021 at 01:22 pm

After a one week delay, today is closing day. I'm excited, but a little nervous. I think more nervous than when I bought my condo for some reason. I'm heading there this toning to make sure that I have the mail box key identified correctly. Then my parents' may have an extra key, which I will pick up. My realtor has a set as well. I hope the bee buyer enjoys the condo. It was good to me for many years.

I'm still undecided about how to use my funds, but I will definitely invest some of the money from the sale of my condo. I am not thinking to buy anytime soon.

I am looking forward to traveling again. I have a trip to New York planned over Veteran's Day weekend. I have my flights & hotel booked. I also booked my hotel & flights for Nashville in January. I've never been to Nashville & I know many people love it. I just booked the flights yesterday using miles that are expiring in January. I had enough to book first class tickets so that will be a treat. 

Have a great weekend.

 

Got Power Back!

September 11th, 2021 at 08:42 am

Thursday afternoon my apartment complex got back power. I was so grateful! I never realized that I could sweat so much doing absolutely nothing. And then to add insult to injury, it would be hotter inside than outside! I now have all my creature comforts back: air conditioning, hot showers, & internet to binge on Netflix. When I moved I got rid of cable & got first an antenna (tried 2 & returned both) then I got a Fire Stick. I loved it so that I am getting one for each television.


The day before I got power I had met with a friend that came into the city. She does insurance claims so she was deployed to New Orleans. She had been in Lake Charles still working on Hurricane Laura claims. I borrowed a battery fan & lantern from a mutual friend of ours. She also lent me another lantern & several batteries. I was so thankful. Tuesday night I would wake up as soon as I fell asleep due to the heat. Wednesday I finally had a restful night. But I'm happy to longer need any of it!

My closing has been rescheduled for this coming Friday, the 17th. I hope everything goes smoothly over the next week.

Closing Delayed

September 9th, 2021 at 12:10 am

I was scheduled to close on the condo this Friday, but it has been delayed due to the lender not having everything accounted for. I'm disappointed as I was looking forward to closing that chapter & getting some cash to invest, but I have no other choice but to be patient. It was a rather short closing date target to begin with, maybe a little too ambitious.

I came back to the city yesterday morning. My apartment complex has few residents staying here. It makes me feel a little nervous, but I don't get out after dark. We are still under a curfew from 6p-6a.

Last night without power was miserable & it looks like it may be a week or more longer before I get back power. Outside my window is the Jefferson Parish office buildings which ran on generator power all night. So close, yet so far away. I was envious to say the least.

My friend is an insurance adjuster & she got into town last night. The Air BnB where she is staying got power a few hours after she got into town. After work I went by & picked up a battery operated fan, batteries, a couple of lanterns, & some hurricane snacks. So thankful for her & the mutual friend that lent her the fan. I am now shopping online looking to buy the same to get me through the next hurricane. 

if I don't get power back by Friday I will head back to stay with my parents for the weekend. I can sleep in peace for a few nights & wash my clothes.

Hurricane Ida Aftermath

August 31st, 2021 at 04:26 pm

My loved ones are all okay. We lost power for less than 24 hours at my parents' home. My apartment is without power & under a boil advisory for the foreseeable future as is most (all?) of Jefferson Parish. I am back at my parents' home after venturing into the city to check in at the hospital. After I learned of the water situation I requested leave for the week. I hope the situation will be better in a week, but as I understand it, it could take up to 6 weeks to get the power fully restored in Jefferson. With a boil advisory I would need power for my apartment to be habitable. There is also a curfew from 6p-6a daily. I just left my apartment at 6p yesterday, after picking up some things & cleaning out my refrigerator. There was no way that I was staying the night. I'd rather risk getting stopped, but thankfully it was smooth sailing all the way back to BR.

New Orleans had a total black-out after the storm blew through & the mayor is asking people who evacuated to not return. I was told there was some looting going on, which is another reason I wanted to leave before dark.

It's still hard to get gas in Baton Rouge, but it is available if you're willing to wait. I don't plan on going anywhere until maybe Laber Day so I'll wait. Hopefully it will be more readily available. 

This truly was a devastating storm. Thankfully there were not many lives lost, but the damage to infrastructure is pretty significant. The (huge) bright spot is that our levees held.

I will see if anything gets postponed with my condo sale. I went by yesterday morning after the storm & all looked well.

Hurricane Ida

August 27th, 2021 at 04:33 pm

We have a hurricane headed this way. It is expected to make landfall Sunday as a category 3. I am prepared as I am going to be at the point, but I will make one last trip to the store & gas station when I get off work this afternoon. Hopefully it won't be too crazy. I just want to grab any last thing that I can think of. Stay safe with these fires & hurricanes out there! ๐Ÿ’จ๐Ÿ”ฅ

Moved & Sold Condo

August 20th, 2021 at 08:57 pm

Thank you for the kind condolences on the passing of my cousin. It still feels unbelieveable. We had the funeral on a Wednesday night & the gravesite dismissal the following morning. Immediately following the dismissal I got on the road to pick up the key for my new apartment. I had packed my car with some cleaning supplies & some important papers that I didn't want transported by the movers. I made it back to my condo that night.

The following morning I was up at 5 to finish last minute things. I still wasn't finished when the movers arrived after 8, but I was done well before they had everything moved. They didn't have the additional wardrobe box on the truck like I requested, but other than that things when pretty smoothly with the exception of a little damage to my footboard. The entire move took 8 hours. My mom thought that 5 hours would be too long, but I was actually surprised that we got it done it only 8 hours.  I had a lot of boxes & moved from a 2 story condo to a second story apartment. In August. In south Lousiana. It was hard work. Many of my boxes were books. I gave away plenty of books prior, but still had a good number of them. Maybe before my next move I can let go of even more of them. 

So move day was Friday. I was hurting so much the next few days that I couldn't turn over without groaning. Then Sunday I was back at the condo to clean before pictures & pick-up more items that I had left at the condo. I still didn't clean as well as I'd like & the carpets needed a good cleaning, but we got the pictures done Monday morning. Tuesday morning I had the carpets cleaned & Thursday morning I had a lady come in to clean the condo, including the refrigerator & oven. Thursday evening my realtor had the first showings scheduled. Friday afternoon I got an offer at full asking price, waiving an inspection & not asking for any of the repairs that I was trying to get approved through my insurance. What a relief! I was so estatic, especially considering that another unit had been on the market for almost 2 months. That same weekend the other unit also went under contract. I believe it was one of the buyers that viewed my unit. I think that commission should go to my realtor as she was really hustling so to speak to get my unit exposure. Closing is scheduled for September 10th.

I've been busy getting settled into my apartment. The grounds are beautiful with a creek, fountains, and gazebos, as well as a beautiful pool. It's a nice spacious 2 bedroom/2 bath with over 1300 square feet. The carpets are new & the walls freshly painted. I finally have enough room in the kitchen for more than one person & enough storage to get all the appliances off of the counters. I made a coffee & tea bar in the kitchen, which I can't wait to invite guests to use. The living room has a large sitting area off of it where I will put a desk. It's got a lot of closet space which I have made use of: a coat closet, walk-in closets in each bedroom, very deep linen closets in each bathroom, and another closet off of the sitting area where I am storing all of my Christmas stuff. The washer & dryer are a huge upgrade from my set, which I included in the sale of the condo along with the refrigerator. I am planning to purchase another bedroom set as I sold my nearly 30 year old guest bedroom set to my friend's daughter. She's in college & just got her first apartment.

My new neighborhood is full of shopping & restaurants. The shopping center adjacent to the apartment complex includes Hobby Lobby, Home Depot, Ashley furniture, and a Starbucks. Then across the street is a plethora of other big box stores and restaurants. The parish office building where I can register to vote & conduct other business is also across the street. Everything I need is in a very short radius from my apartment. On moving day when I was looking for a gas station to buy the movers some Gatorade I found the post office which is also very close. There is the same family of hospitals that I used to PRN at in the neighborhood as well. I don't plan to pick up another job at this time, but it would be convenient.

The commute has been great as well as they have an express way into the city which keeps me off of the interstate. I'm very happy with my relocation so far in all aspects. Getting on the interstate to head back home is convenient & I've already been back a few times since my move. I'm looking forward to my family staying with me from time to time when I get my guest bedroom furnished.

 

Lost my cousin

August 1st, 2021 at 07:02 pm

I was off on Monday. Tuesday morning we had a supervisors' meeting then I met with my supervisor to discuss updating a policy. My mom called & left a voicemail during the meeting. Then my dad left a text message to call them. I excused myself from the meeting then as I knew it was something urgent. When I called my mom told me that my cousin had passed away. She & her fiancé had tested for Covid-19 & were recovering at his home. She lives with her parents, but once they tested positive she moved out to quarantine. On Monday she started to feel bad, then that night she started to have issues breathing. By Tuesday morning she was gone. It took her just that fast. She was 41.

My aunt & uncle lost their youngest daughter at the age of 30 only 3 years ago. Two of their three children gone in just 3 years. It seems unbelievably cruel. My uncle had C19 last fall & was hospitalized twice. Once for the virus, the second time for getting a blood clot due to the treatment. He was taking all precautions & had no idea how he got it.

I last saw my cousin on May 1st when we had an outdoor birthday party to celebrate my aunt's 70th birthday. She was beautiful inside & out and had her life ahead of her. Her doctor recommended she not get vaccinated due to having Crohn's disease. I don't know what concerns her doctor had, but hindsight is 20/20. I wish she had been vaccinated.

I am off this coming week because I was preparing to move as I have been for weeks. The funeral is Wednesday night in New Orleans. I will attend, but I'm nervous about my parents attending even though they are both vaccinated as am I. I will drive back to Baton Rouge that night, attend the gravesite service in the country the next morning, then head to New Orleans to start moving into my apartment. 

I pray that you & your loved ones remain healthy.

Still Purging & Packing

July 24th, 2021 at 05:16 pm

It's amazing what you can accumulate in a home after 15 years. I moved into this home with only the bedroom set I had in my parents' home. I have accumulated so much stuff, some that I didn't buy myself & never used. Such as a silver gravy boat. I don't even make gravy & if I did, I wouldn't serve it in silver! So that has been my life the past 3 weeks. If anything will cure me of my love of shopping it's weeks of having to give things away. ๐Ÿ› 

I hope to get repairs done soon so I can list my condo soon after I move out. It's so hard to find reliable people that follow up. 

My rent will be more than double my mortgage, which I can afford & am okay with. Since I applied 3 weeks ago they have already raised the rent by a few hundred dollars. (On another note I hope I don't regret passing up on the 3rd floor unit with the vaulted ceilings & skylight.)

My 401k rollover has been deposited in my TSP. It was only a little over $1k, but I'm glad to have the money consolidated in my TSP. I was being charged a $1.25 fee for what I'm not sure. It's not much, but I try to avoid any fees.

Stocks were up & down this week, but ended up at a high. My accounts are at an all-time high. 

Investments $1.193 million

Net Worth $1.335 million

Purging & Packing

July 11th, 2021 at 08:33 pm

My weekends now consist of purging & packing. Purging involves dropping off my discarded items to the local charity consignment store. I have packed more books than anything else. I have donated many as well. I bought a CD organizer & have been able to get rid of all of the cases. I just ordered a second one for my DVD's.

Yesterday I got a call from the apartment manager that she should be sending me my lease. After all those papers I signed I thought that I was done. Apparently I have 16 more pages to go through. I think I signed less paperwork when I bought my condo.

I initiated the rollover of the small employee plan from my weekend job. I am consolidating with my TSP. My investments are at an all time high of $1.189 million. Net worth is $1.329 million.

I hope my condo sells quickly. Repairs are coming along. I got a lot done this Monday & it only took him about an hour. Funny story, my handyman turns out to have two degrees as an MD & PA. But he started this business & it's doing so well that it may be his full-time career now. I love seeing people pursue what makes them happy. And it seems to be quite lucrative for him.

Leased an Apartment

July 4th, 2021 at 06:27 am

I signed a lease for an apartment on Friday. I will not move in until August 5th. The commute from where I live now is about 1.5 hours to the hospital. Luckily with school out traffic has not been horrible. But it is surprisingly, somewhat tiring. I'm usually not motivated to do much when I get home, though I will now need to pick up the pace on packing my things.

I'm excited about my apartment. I've actually never rented an apartment, even in college. I've lived in dorms or homes that were owned (house, condo). The rent is expensive, but I wanted to be in a quiet, safe part of town. I will have 2 bedrooms, 2 baths. I looked at a 3rd floor model with vaulted ceilings. I ultimately took the 2nd floor apartment with better views. I was a little worried about electricity costs & my mom walking that many stairs when she visits. 

The grounds are beautiful & there are creeks and jogging paths that run through the property. It feels so peaceful. I will think about maybe getting a second job when I've had some time to settle into this job, but that may be at least a year in the future. For now, I will buckle down & budget to accommodate my increased expenses. The move was worth any increased expenses for me. Some things go beyond money, such as our happiness & peace of mind.

I am planning on taking some furniture and giving away or selling the rest. I would like to replace my guest bedroom, living & dining room furniture. I have picked out some not expensive replacements at Rooms To Go. Some things are available now, others have availability at the end of the year, though they could come in sooner. I'd rather wait to get what I want. 

I am praying that my condo sells quickly. I am having work done on Monday, then a few more things to do dealing with water leaks. It's just one thing after another. I'm ready to be free of all these issues.

First Week

June 26th, 2021 at 12:08 pm

My first week went well. It's a lot of new information, but I love point of care testing already. It's always interesting. 

My promotion took effect 2 weeks before I actually started the position. So I had increased pay this week, including holiday pay for working the new Juneteenth holiday. I also had increased contributions to my FSA take effect. My matching TSP contributions increased due to my new base pay.

Investments were up over $32k this week & my condo also increased in value a little.

 

 

First Day

June 22nd, 2021 at 02:13 am

Today was my first day in my new role at work. The commute to New Orleans is as really easy this morning. Unfortunately when I left - 20 minutes late - it was raining heavily & there were flash flood warnings. Even though, I made not bad time. I came straight to my evening job. This is my last week doing my evening job.

My first day was overwhelming. I was bombarded with information, but I think I will enjoy it. There's so much new to learn. One thing they are honest about is that they need more organization. And that is something I love to do!


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