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I owe, I owe, so off to work I go!

February 5th, 2024 at 12:57 am

Of course, I owe money again this year. I think my former part-time employer did not take out enough in federal taxes. Since we transitioned to the new company this year I can see that my federal taxes paid has increased. Hopefully, I won't owe as much next year.

I did move from the 22% marginal tax rate bracket to 24%.

Federal tax bill $2,941

State tax bill $694

Total owed $3,635

Thankful for the surplus I always seem to accumulate in my checking accounts. It will come in handy.

January 2024 Net Worth

February 5th, 2024 at 12:44 am

Investments $1,448,641

Cash Savings $32,579

January 2024 Net Worth $1,481,220

December 2023 Net Worth $1,470,019

Monthly Gain/Loss $11,201

I don't include the below in my net worth.

Checking accounts $17,979

Car value $11,000

2024 Raise

January 24th, 2024 at 01:34 am

My 2024 pay has posted & we received a 4.7% raise. This translates into $5,456 for the year, $2.61 per hour, and $208.80 biweekly. I will receive a step increase in June. That increase will be another $1.77 raise per hour. I'm always grateful for whatever increases I receive. I have already increased savings & contributions for the year so there are no plans to make any further increases.

Update to 2024 Goals

January 14th, 2024 at 05:43 pm

At the end of December I had about $19k in my checking account, which is about double my goal of $10k. So I decided to up my savings goal to $1000 a month from $500. I continue to end up with more money in my checking account at the end of the year than I need. In 2022 I did a transfer to my brokerage account at the end of December. Since I'm looking to buy or build a home this year I'll keep that money & just increase my monthly contributions. 

Now my revised goals look like:

$23,000 TSP

$6,000 TSP employer match

$7,000 IRA

$6,000 brokerage

$12,000 savings

$2,600 FSA (to fund my vision surgery)

December 2023 Net Worth

January 4th, 2024 at 01:38 am

Investments $1,438,561

Savings $31,458

December Total $1,470,019

November Total $1,388,506

Monthly Gain/Loss $81,513

Not included, but worth mentioning. Checking accounts were $19,208 total & car value at lowest estimate is $11k. This puts me at $1.5 million net worth for the first time.

Happy New Year! 🎆 🎇

January 1st, 2024 at 11:16 pm

I hope your holidays have been wonderful. It was good to have family home for Christmas. We had a couple of outings to museums for the kids, but mainly stayed close to home. We played a lot of games as a family which is always fun.

My mom had a low glucose episode & my dad called an ambulance on Christmas Eve. That was the one low light of our holidays, but thankfully she was fine. After checking her out they were only there about 15 minutes & now my dad knows what to do if this occurs in the future. Yesterday my mom said that she feels her glucose levels have evened out & she's not feeling the swings that she was prior. Thank the Lord.

Due to my mom's health, I ended up not attending the extended family Christmas Day gathering though I sent my assigned food dish which was complimented. It was just green beans, but it's kind of become the dish I can make well since it's what I always make for holidays. I like to spruce it up with potatoes & bacon. Baby Yukon gold potatoes are the best. I only use fresh green beans so most of the time is just prep time. They ran out quickly so I will make more next year. I stayed at home with my mom & we had an enjoyable time watching football & movies that day. 

I am planning to visit my niece & nephew in the spring when I can watch them play soccer. My niece is all about soccer & plays on the advance team. Her younger brother is not quite as into it, but plays as well.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2024!

2023 Q4

December 30th, 2023 at 03:54 pm

2023 Q4 is done for the year:

TSP $1,040,872

IRA $306,280

Brokerage $91,409

Total Investments $1,438,561

For comparison, 2022 Q4:

TSP $810,864

IRA $243,949

Brokerage $79,994

Total Investments $1,134,888

ANNUAL Gain/Loss $303,673

End of Year Housekeeping

December 24th, 2023 at 02:45 am

A few this and that as the year comes to a close.

I upped my monthly IRA contribution to $575 per month, which would bring my annual contribution to $6,900 annually. I'll put in an order for $100 on January 1st to get me to $7,000.

I increased my biweekly TSP contribution to $900 which will max me out for the year at $23,000. They reduce the last paycheck's contribution automatically.

Based on tax efficiency I got out of the high dividend yield fund at Vanguard and exchanged to the tax managed capital appreciation fund. VTCLX return was much better than VHYX this year. I could kick myself for not making this change earlier, but c'est la vie, non?

My last paycheck was about $800 higher than usual so I must have been paid for my performance award. My other paycheck was higher as well after working extra hours on my last weekend.

I'm excited & ready for 2024, but enjoying time spent with family this Christmas.



December 13th, 2023 at 04:41 pm

Yesterday my Thrift Savings Plan balance crossed $1 million for the first time. $1,001,824.87 to be exact. 

My Roth IRA balance is $295,011.92. If this holds steady I can expect to cross $300k next year. 


December 10th, 2023 at 03:08 pm

I signed up again for YNAB. I had done the free trial back in 2016 or 2017 and was throughly confused so after the free trial I let it go. I've been looking for something to replace Mint & signed up for Credit Karma, but I haven't been impressed. I have an account with Empower, but don't care for how they are always trying to sell me their services. I guess that's fair since the service is free. They have to make their money some way. So, I decided to try YNAB again and to my surprise I qualified for another free trial. So far, so good. I feel like they've improved some things as I'm not quite as confused as I was last time. There's still a learning curve, though.

TSP Closing 12/8/23

December 10th, 2023 at 02:44 pm

$994,975.78 was my account balance on Friday. Getting close!

2024 Goals

December 3rd, 2023 at 02:49 am

Contribute $23,000 to my Thrift Savings Plan. My match will be a little over $6,000. 💰

Contribute $7,000 to my Roth IRA. 💰

Contribute $2,600 to my Flexible Spending Account. 💰

Save $6,000 in my brokerage account. 💰

Save $6,000 in my savings account. 💰

Buy or build a new home with $100,000 down. 🏡 

Keep dancing! 💃🏾 

Cherish every moment & memory made. 💗

November 2023 Net Worth

December 2nd, 2023 at 10:41 am

One of my CDs pays the monthly dividend on the 1st so I'm always a day late.

TSP $980,827

IRA $290,549

Brokerage $86,295

Total Investments $1,357,671

Cash Savings $30,835

Total Net Worth $1,388,506

Monthly Gain/Loss +$117,446

Checking $16,841 (included this month just to give an idea of what I usually have for cash flow, not included in my net worth calculation)

Car $15,062 (checked Kelley Blue Book value this morning, also not included in my net worth calculation)

My investments gained another $14,000 just one day later. I'm less than $9,000 away from reaching one million in my TSP. So close!


December 1st, 2023 at 12:49 pm

I had an alert set on my phone to open another CD at Capital One today, but have been thinking that I would just keep it liquid while looking for a house. I have two CDs maturing on January 2nd and February 1st and those are both set to transfer to savings rather than renew. That will give me a nice cushion for the new home purchase. Also, I checked rates this morning and the 5.30% 10 month CD is now 4.30%, which is what their savings account is paying. I can go to 12 months for 5.00%, but I think it's better to hold on to cash.

Net worth looks great for November. I'll post final numbers today or tomorrow. Investments are almost to July 2023 numbers. I have exceeded the high of 2021 Q4, but only because of added contributions. I am on track to max out my retirement plans.

Auto Insurance

November 26th, 2023 at 10:50 pm

When my auto insurance renewed in Septmember my rate was raised by 30% with no changes to my driving record. I know that USAA has never been cheap, but this rate is almost triple what I get when I look at Geico or Progressive. So after 23 years solely with USAA I am thinking about leaving them. Who do you have auto insurance with and what do you think about their service?

Happy Thanksgiving! 🍁🦃🍽

November 24th, 2023 at 12:14 am

I hope your holiday has been a good one. I hope you gobbled till you wobbled! 

Expired Car Registration

November 21st, 2023 at 08:09 pm

A friend posted on Facebook that her car registration expired without her realizing it & I immediately realized that mine did the same. It expired in July. We both had moved since our last renewal. I still don't understand how they couldn't locate me since I have updated both my driver's license & my voter registration to my new address. She ended up paying $70 to renew her registration. I'm not even worried about it. I'm off the week of my birthday (I have so much annual leave to use before the end of the year!) so I'll take care of it then. 

October 2023 Net Worth

November 3rd, 2023 at 12:54 am

October was not a good month financially, but I had a lot of fun. I vacationed in Napa Valley & Lake Tahoe. I got back to dancing again with salsa & bachata lessons. I walked regularly. I lost weight. I looked at future homes. I still worry & pray about my mom, but I had more to sustain & relax me.

Investments $1,240,842

Cash Savings $30,218

Total $1,271,060

Monthly Gain/Loss -$35,869

My net worth dipped below $1.3 million, but I'm not worried.  I don't know what the markets will do short term, but I have faith in investing long term. Next month I will have another $10,000 to ladder into a CD. Capital One is paying 5.3% for a 10 month CD. And my checking account is paying 5.25%.

September 2023 Net Worth

October 5th, 2023 at 03:26 am

Investments $1,277,331

Cash Savings $29,599

Total $1,306,930

Monthly Loss/Gain -$55,424

Quarterly Loss/Gain -$33,096

July was such a promising month, but it's been downhill since then. At least the interest rates on savings is paying a little more. I may lock in some more money in CDs before interest rates start dropping.

Fabulous Weekend

October 2nd, 2023 at 12:56 pm

I'm back from a wonderful weekend away about 4 hours north of New Orleans in a beautiful little town called Natchitoches. It's actually the oldest settlement in Louisiana and where they filmed the movie Steel Magnolias. They have a nice downtown on Front Street which runs along the Cane River. I had an event to attend & they also have the car festival this weekend. I saw some really beautiful old cars.

Next week I'll be in Napa Valely, then Lake Tahoe. I'm looking forward to it. The resort in Lake Tahoe has a lot to do according to my friend. I've done too little planning for this trip, but I'm going to just enjoy my time away without the pressure of having every moment planned. We have two tours booked for Napa Valley which should take up most of our time there. 🍷 

Duplicate Credit Card Payment

September 23rd, 2023 at 08:02 pm

I charged the balance owed on my vacation next month to my American Airlines credit card. I wrote & mailed a check, but somehow they also debited my checking account. So o paid twice. Rather than wait on a reimbursement check I'm just going to switch all my credit card purchases to this credit card. I also charged a couple of Trader Joe's grocery runs to my new Kohl's Capital One card in order to get a $15 credit promotion. 

I also started to use my debit card on my new chocking account so I'll start earning 5.25% interest.  I'm trying to be smarter about taking advantage of all promotions & interest requirements.

August 2023 Net Worth

September 7th, 2023 at 04:00 am

Investments $1,333,367

Cash Savings $28,987

Total 1,362,354

Monthly Gain/Loss -$30,326

Wine Country 🍷

August 28th, 2023 at 01:57 pm

Not much to say about the stock market. I hit my high July 31st & it's been down since then. Oh well.

Looks like my cash surplus will be double what it was at the end of last year so I'm starting to think what I should do with it. Fully fund my IRA in January or pad my home down payment? I could do both actually.

I am looking forward to Napa Valley & Lake Tahoe. Flights & hotel have been booked. I booked the rental car yesterday. Now just to reserve the wine train.

For those that have been to either destination, what did you enjoy doing?

Capital One CD Rate Increase

August 10th, 2023 at 12:47 pm

The 18 month CD rate at Capital One is now 5.15%. I don't know if I want to lock up my cash right now as I think about buying a home, but it's very tempting. I don't quite have the $10k that I like to have as I ladder my CDs. I'm at right about $8k. If they still a have this rate at the end of the year I may consider the longer term. Right now I have two 11 month CDs at 5.0%.

Mortgage Pre-Approval

August 3rd, 2023 at 03:57 am

I was pre-approved for a mortgage loan. I set the purchase rate at $350k - the absolute most I want to spend - with a 20% down payment. The goal is to pay at least $100k down. My mom has offered to give me $100k, but I think it's best that I not take the money. I would rather her keep her money to make life easier for her & my dad.

I'm looking at home purchase about a year from now when my current lease ends, but at least I know what I have qualified for while I'm searching. Interest rates have really kicked up. My current rate would be 6.50% for 30 years. I hope that the rates fall before I'm ready to buy.

July 2023 Net Worth

August 2nd, 2023 at 02:55 am

I can claim an all time investment high this month.

TSP $985,217

IRA $292,627

brokerage $86,464

Investments $1,364,308

Savings $28,372

Total $1,392,680

That is $52,044 in investment gains & $52,655 gains over last month. Maybe August will be the month I see one milllion in my TSP? I'm also not far off from $300k in my IRA. I will hopefully see that sometime next year, if not this year.

In other news, I applied for a pre-approved mortgage loan so my credit score took a hit of a couple of points due to credit inquiries, but I'm still well over 800.

Expensive Month

July 29th, 2023 at 11:53 am

July is shaping up to be an expensive month, but I am enjoying myself. I had my trip to NYC earlier this month, I attended an Alicia Keys concert this Sunday, and I just booked a trip for October to Napa Valley & Lake Tahoe yesterday. I'm really looking forward to it. 

Since the laboratory where I PRN at may be bought out by the end of the year, I may not have a second job beyond December. That is fine by me. I will have more time to visit home. I have started to look at new homes being built. I supposed I should also look at existing homes, but I am excited about the idea of picking out just what I like in my home. My lease ends in one year so I would like to time my next move around the end of my lease.

I really want to encourage my parents to get a house cleaner at least every two weeks. My dad has so much on him as caregiver. I will bring it up this weekend. I might have to call in the troops (my sisters) for support.

My investments & net worth are at an all time high of $1.361 million and $1.429 million respectively. I just want to see $1 million in my TSP. Just once, even if it doesn't stay there. I am at $982k so I'm close. 

Pay Check 7/21/23

July 20th, 2023 at 10:47 am

Yesterday I got my paystub for my biweekly check. We got our raise as well as backpay. It was a nice little bonus. 

The market is up this week & I'm inching towards $1 million in my TSP. My high this week (before my biweekly contribution Thursday) was $979k. I am at $1.35 million in all investments.

I also hit a liquid cash high of $50k. I don't keep that much in cash as I always look to have my money invested. Even when I was saving for my first home I didn't have that much saved.

Net Worth

July 16th, 2023 at 02:09 pm

My net worth on Mint hit a new bench mark this week. I am currently at $1,401,489 in net worth. It's the first time I can recall that I've hit $1.4 million. This includes all cash & my car value.

I've also recovered the $1.33 million I had in investments at the end of 2021. I now have $1.34 million in investments. Though my TSP & IRA are quite where they were, I now have a larger brokerage account than I had at that time. We'll see how the rest of this year plays out!


July 16th, 2023 at 01:49 pm

I mentioned back in May, I believe, that we got another 5% raise. Well, it takes a little while for everything to be filed. On Thursday night we got the notification in our employee file of the raise. Whether we'll see anything on this week's paycheck remains to be seen, but we should get back pay dated to early April when the raise was effective.

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