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Credit Card Hacked

May 29th, 2021 at 05:56 pm

In the midst of everything else going on, my Capital One Credit card was hacked! I got an alert asking if I had tried to make a purchase at LA Police Gear. I responded no & immediately opened my app to review purchases. They had made several purchases at online gun & tactical gear websites. This alarmed me & I contacted Capital One and several of the vendors immediately. 

I'm getting a new card, but this worried me because of the type of purchases. I certainly don't want anyone planning anything criminal with these purchases.

Unexpected Pay Day

February 12th, 2021 at 05:21 pm

Unexpected pay day! At one of my jobs I am paid semimonthly: on the 1st & 15th, but I guess because it's a bank holiday on Monday I got paid early. I think, the stock market, may still be trading - at least for part of the day. They usually only close all day on major federal holidays.

This long weekend is actually a triple holiday weekend: Valentine's Day on Sunday, President's Day on Monday, & Mardi Gras on Tuesday! Oh, and then it's Ash Wednesday, of course. I should probably consider giving up sweets for Lent. 

Mint sends me notification of various trends. Apparently I'm on a positive cash flow streak, which is why my checking account has continued to grow. I like to keep at least $5k to avoid paying fees.

I am considering paying my credit cards weekly. I know it doesn't make sense if I just pay them off monthly, but I'm feeling a little anxious after having paid off my credit card debt. I don't want to find myself in the same position again.

Next pay day is on the 19th. I am quickly approaching $1.2 million net worth. 

Net Worth: $1,197,166

So much to do

February 10th, 2021 at 11:33 am

Thinking about everything I need to do to get my home ready to sell can be overwhelming so I'm just taking it in stages. I realize that since I filed my 2020 taxes I probably won't be getting the next stimulus due to increased income. But now that I've paid off my credit card debt, my cash flow has greatly improved. I don't plan on touching my growing savings for any of these projects.

Next step is the removal of wallpaper & painting my upstairs bathroom. I got a quote prior to COVID, but it was only good for 30 days. I wasn't super impressed with him because it took days for him to come out then he didn't give me the advance notice he had mentioned, but not many painters are willing to deal with wallpaper so I need to be flexible.

I also need to replace my downstairs bath surround, have the upstairs closets painted with stain kill for past leaks, carpet cleaned, and repair a leak in one of my upstairs bathroom sinks. I've been bad about keeping up with home improvements. One step at a time...

Any bathroom paint color suggestions? I know neutral & lighter is always recommended by realtors.

Net Worth: $1,192,115

Credit Card Debt Free

February 7th, 2021 at 03:23 pm

Not only have I paid off my credit cards, for a short while I actually had a negative balance as I paid more than my balance. I just did my own Dave Ramsey yell at home.

LivingAlmostLarge had another great survey post. I am resharing my answers below for posterity.

My parents retired with 2 pensions. One for 20 years active duty military. They were able to pay all bills with his military income while earning another pension of 20+ years working with the state. They didn’t need that much money in the bank, but working 20+ years without touching their salaries certainly allowed for it. My mom mostly stayed at home until all of us girls graduated high school.

I don’t envision myself retiring early even though I could. I have enjoyed my career & am looking forward to achieving more. I have the age of 60 in mind, which is still plenty young. I will have 30 years with the federal government so a good pension, SS supplement until age 62, and SS after that if it’s still available. I will probably wait until full SS age to withdraw depending on my health. I should have several million in my own retirement accounts as well. I am on track to be mortgage free many years prior to retirement, but I am planning to sell soon. 

Net Worth: $1,180,104

 

 

Thank You

February 3rd, 2021 at 11:26 pm

Thank you so much for your condolences. I truly am touched by your kindness & thoughtfulness.

My evening job has slowed down & I'm perfectly okay with that. I also took off February at my weekend job. I'm ready to scale back. 

Today I sent a full balance payment plus 10% to my credit card. I really want to keep both credit card balances as close to zero as possible from here on out. I'm being very mindful of spending as well. I've noticed that I've been doing a little too much shopping online. I am paying the balance in full with each bill, but after working so hard to pay off $22k in less than a year, I don't want to end up back in the same boat.

My dad officially did my taxes after I ran the numbers through the calculator & it's what I expected. I will owe about $1400 between federal & state. I've been keeping $5k in my checking account so I'll be able to pay it out without pulling from my growing savings. I bumped my savings from $100 to $500 monthly at the first of the year now that my debt has been paid off.

Hospice

January 30th, 2021 at 04:05 am

They sent my grandfather to a hospice home rather send him home with a hospice nurse, which is better for all involved. My mom went today to pay for his funeral. It was better to do it now, rather than wait. Even if he makes a complete turnaround, that's one less thing for my mom to have to contend with when he does eventually pass.

I ran my numbers through the H&R Block tax calculator. It says I'll owe $1355. Not bad. I'm glad that I had them withhold an extra $100 per paycheck at my third job. It really softened the blow.

I now owe less than $1k on my credit cards & I consider them paid off! My balance will never be $0, so keeping the recurring balance under $1k will be my goal from now on.   

I'm so glad that after temps in the 70's last week, it feels like winter again. A very mild winter, but winter nonetheless.

2020 Year End Review

December 28th, 2020 at 03:50 pm

It's almost 2021 & time to reflect on the wins & losses of 2020. 202 was a very good year for me with few losses except for a couple of canceled trips, which actually ended up being to my advantage.

1. Paid off my TSP loan. I took out a loan of $30k in the autumn of 2015 to pay off credit card debt. I buckled down to pay it off early in May 2020.

2. Paid off my car loan. I had an accident (not my fault) in November 2015. The insurance company totalled out my 2008 Toyota Corolla. I put $10k down on my Honda CR-V and financed $20k at 2.19% for 73 months. I buckled down to pay it off a year early. I hope to keep this car for at least 5 more years.

3. Probably my biggest debt win this year was the $22k in credit card debt that I had earlier this year. It's now down to $2k and I will pay it off next month. That will mean a lot more money to rebuild savings and explore stock investing. I am recommitting to paying off my cards every month.

4. I worked a lot! I made approximately $30k at my side hustle jobs. Since so many of my plans were canceled: trips, dance classes, theatre season tickets, I was able to maximize my time to earn more.

5. I lost some weight. I've gained some of it back, but am recommitting to healthier eating in 2021.

6. I had $0 savings at the beginning of the year. I now have almost $3k in savings. It's not a lot, but it means I won't have to get a loan from my mom again if I have to replace my A/C or some other home repair pops up. I have recommitted to saving monthly. Again, this will be easier with less debt payments.

7. And finally, I passed $1 million in net worth in September. Earlier this month I achieved $1 million held in investments only, not including assests such as my home or car.

Here's to an even better 2021!

 

Paid off my car this morning!

December 12th, 2020 at 04:35 pm

I always say that I'll let the final payment go through as usual, but like with my TSP loan I couldn't wait. My automatic payment of $200 went through yesterday & I had $180.15 remaining. I scheduled the $180.16 payoff amount for today. She's all mine now! 🚙 

This is my second loan payoff this year & I've moved my anticipated credit card pay off from spring 2021 to January 2021. My balance will never be zero as I don't pay in cash, but it should just be my usual monthly purchases on my balance after next month, rather than recurring debt. I am now down to $3k from $22k earlier this year.

My next paycheck I will contribute $700 to my TSP to max out for the year. I still have $2k remaining to contribute on my 2020 IRA. $500 will be contributed on the 15th. 

I'm so excited for my progress this year. It's like I woke up out of a slumber. Next year I'll be able to focus on rebuilding my savings.

Still no news about whether federal employees will get a raise next year, but I'm still due for a step increase. Of course, we will have to begin paying back deferrred OASDI taxes in the new year. 

I enjoyed my day off yesterday. I ran some errands, did some house chores, & had a belated birthday lunch with a friend. Today will be more of the same. I slept in very late today. I guess my body needed it.

Have a great weekend & happy Hanukkah to those celebrating! 🕎 

Net Worth $1,102,723

Day Off

December 10th, 2020 at 11:54 pm

I calculated that I have been working nearly 80 hours every week between my three jobs. Tomorrow is payday (x2) and I decided to take the day off. I have 21.5 hours to use-or-lose before the end of the year. 

Tomorrow I will pay my credit card & car loan. I am down to my last 2 car payments. I owe less than $400. My credit card debt has gone from $22k earlier this year to $4k currently.

Since my family isn't coming home for the holidays I'm sending gifts their way. I calculated shipping rates to send via USPS & FedEx and surprisingly, FedEx was cheaper. I assumed that USPS would always be the cheapest option. I certainly was wrong.

Christmas is coming so fast! It will be a tough one without family, but we'll all hopefully be together in the somewhat near future.

 

 

Post-Election

November 8th, 2020 at 02:23 pm

Well, it's finally over. The election has been called & I couldn't be more relieved. The markets handled the uncertainty just fine.

I planned on giving all of my immediate family planners with stickers for the next year. (Added: I already purchased the Denise Albright planner stickers. She has several sets of stickers for working people, moms, dads, budgeting.) I found some planners at Dollar General yesterday, but I think I will end up buying something spiral-bound. They were surprisingly nice for $1, though.

I think I will end up paying off my credit card debt before spring. Probably not by the end of the year, but earlier than I had planned. My car loan has 4 more payments on it then she's all mine!

Net Work $1,023,683

More Income

November 2nd, 2020 at 11:40 am

I haven't been working my third job since August, but on Friday they contacted me to say that they're going to be ramping up COVID-19 testing. They have a new instrument so I would need to be trained on it if they want me to use it rather than the instrument I was already trained on, the BD Max. Both labs that I work at also got a BioFire, but it doesn't seem to be getting much use yet. 

At the hospital we are using the Abbott ID Now. It gets super busy with the seasonal flu testing, as well as the COVID-19 testing. The ER is supposed to be getting their own instruments to run, which will be a huge relief for the lab. 

 

I checked my mail Saturday & I received my settlement money! I mobile deposited it & scheduled 3 more weekly payments to my credit card. This debt will be knocked out in no time!

 

The IRS announced that retirement plan limits will stay the same next year. So I will continue to contribute $19,500 to my TSP & $6,000 to my Roth IRA. 

Kicking off the 4th Quarter

October 2nd, 2020 at 04:01 pm

This month is a 3 paycheck month, which happens twice a year. Nothing really changes for me as so many of my bills are paid biweekly: mortgage, car loan, credit cards. I alternate paying my two credit cards every other paycheck. My auto loan is still on track to be paid off the last paycheck of December, which is coincidentally, on Christmas. Merry Christmas to me!

My investments were up exactly $69,500 from the end of the second quarter. The power of time in investing really becomes apparent after a couple of decades. You're making much more than you're contributing.

It was my mom's 70th birthday Wednesday. I took the day off to spend with her & my dad. We had a nice day. I worked out in the morning. I took them out for lunch (her first time in a restaurant in over 6 months). She wanted a lemon cake so I ordered a lemon cream cheese cake from a local bakery. My older sister sent a meal delivery & my younger sister sent her a gift card to their favorite restaurant. I also picked up some flowers in her favorite color, yellow. My dad bought balloons. I gave her a few gifts of things I thought she would enjoy: pumpkin spice cappuccino k-cups, floral scented soaps, pumpkin spice almonds, a journal with colored pens, and few health items that I thought she'd like to try. The weather was absolutely perfect. The only thing I forgot was a glass of wine or champagne to toast her 7 decades.

9-11

September 11th, 2020 at 05:30 pm

Today is 9-11 & we remember all the lives lost that day. I pray that our country returns to the unity we had in the days following that tragic event.

This week has been busy. My employee is out on maternity leave & another employee has also been out this week. I had to cover the lab as well as my everyday supervisory duties, plus cover for my lab manager in some duties as she took a short vacation.

Today I stepped on the scale & I saw a number that I haven't seen in well over a decade. Pretty exciting. I just hope to continue on this path.

I signed up for a level 1 hammock class at the aerial fitness gym. It will be my first time trying hammock. They also have pole, flexibility, and chair choreo classes. I have never worn heels as high as the heels they wear for the pole classes! I think I'll pass on those classes, at least for now.

Now that we are moving into phase 3, they are starting back at the salsa studio. They are having a limited sign-up social Tuesday. I'll need to do some practicing before I make an appearance!

My sister put an offer on a condo & it was accepted! I'm very excited for her becoming a homeowner. She's never had her own place, even just renting an apartment. I'm going to send her some tea towels as a housewarming present as well as a gift card, maybe to Target.

My finances are as usual. I continue to make progress on paying down debt & will soon be able to say that the credit card debt is below $10k. Still on track to pay it off by spring.




Another Unexpected Settlement

August 30th, 2020 at 12:19 am

You may remember a few years back I received a settlement won by the union. Well I got another notice that I would be getting yet another settlement. Talk about an unexpected windfall! It won’t be as much as last time, but I’m certainly not complaining about free money in any amount. It will be make a nice dent in my credit card debt. I’ll definitely have it paid off by the time my 0% interest period ends.

I’m still not getting any hours at my third job, but I am in high demand at my second job. They always struggle to retain personnel there. My employee is now on maternity leave at my full-time job so I’ll be busier picking up her rotation as well as my usual supervisor duties. My second job wanted me to pick up some hours during the week, but I just couldn’t commit to it at this time even with my third job on hold.

Net Worth: $992, 900







PayDay Review

August 8th, 2020 at 04:14 pm

Yesterday was pay day. I got paid from 2 of my jobs. My third job pays semi-monthly so on the 1st & 15th. This month the 1st was a Saturday so I got paid on the 31st, which was a nice surprise.

My car payment is automatically deducted on paydays. I now owe less than $2k on my car. I also schedule credit card payments at least every other week. My credit cards are now down to $10k as I mentioned in my last blog post.

My IRA deduction will go out next Friday. It is scheduled for the 15th of every month, but the 15th falls on a Saturday this month. At one time I was sending the full year’s contribution on January 1st. I hope to get back to that in 2022 when I’m debt free except for my mortgage. My auto & homeowners insurance as well as my utilities are also due on the 15th. My mortgage is paid biweekly the Wednesday after my two paydays.

Net Worth: $959, 901

Back to School

August 7th, 2020 at 01:56 pm

I can't believe it's back to school time again! Even though kids got out early this year, it seems like it was only yesterday. My friends have been posting their kids’ first day pictures on Facebook. I pray that everyone from the children to the school administrators stay safe & healthy this year.

Last week I spent a good bit of time reviewing my budget journal. I also bought new binders to replace my financial statements binder that is falling apart. I will have separate binders for my TSP, SS, Vanguard, etc. I suppose I could pull some things & file them away, but I like having all statements at hand for my open accounts. I usually only file away accounts that have been closed.

My credit cards are now down to $10k from a high of $22k. When they are paid off I know that I will need to dedicate some money to taking care of things around my home. Until then, every dollar goes to debt paydown.

I did a little too much shopping last month so I ended up returning several items. Other items were household items that I know I'll use, especially the cleaning supplies. I also bought a bunch of those $2 masks from Target, because if we're going to be wearing these masks for the foreseeable future it makes sense to have more than a few. Plus I like coordinating with my outfits/scrubs. Smile

I continue to work the 3 jobs & I'm glad that I didn't give any up since the work hasn't been consistent for the third job, even though it pays more. I'm back on the schedule at the hospital for August. Though I was supposed to be off all of July, I still got called in twice for coverage. I wasn't complaining. It gave me some hours when I wasn't getting much elsewhere.

I'm still trying out new lean & green recipes every week. I invested in a Dash mini waffle maker & a Dash mini griddle. They were on sale for $12 at Belk & I got an additional 10% off for picking up my order. The first time I attempted to pick up my order I didn't realize that the stores were closing so early & I just missed the closing time.

I'm now down 15.5 pounds in 5 weeks. I hope to be close to goal by Christmas. I originally set a goal of losing 40 pounds, but I'm starting to believe I can get back down to where I got to when I did Weight Watchers. Not by Christmas necessarily, but sometime in spring. I also have my 25th high school reunion in the spring so that's a great motivator.

Net Worth $955,181

Where I’m At Now

July 18th, 2020 at 01:58 pm

From a high of $22k in credit card debt earlier this year I’m now down to...[drumroll]...$12k! And I now have a $5k buffer in my checking account that I haven’t had in years, plus I have $2300 in savings that I haven’t had in years. All of this has happened in less than 6 months, y’all! 🤯

Amazing how quickly you can see changes when you buckle down & make the changes. Also, I would never wish the devastation of this pandemic on anyone, but it honestly had a role in changing my behavior & contributing to my success. With nowhere to go, canceled trips, and all the available hours to work it made a big difference. Also, the $5k gift from my mom that she will match at the end of the year. I’m so blessed!

And my investments are up to $840k this morning. Who knows how long they will stay there, but they’re chugging right along for now.

And in other good news, my latest credit score updates was 836. If I pay off all my debt maybe I’ll see a perfect score of 850?

Victory!

July 11th, 2020 at 03:37 pm

After 4 months of wrangling with the travel insurance company they are cutting me a check for my canceled flights to Montreal. 🇨🇦 I only got a credit for the Switzerland trip, but I can use the money for any destination. 🇨🇭 I have no plans to travel anytime soon. Probably not until next year at the earliest.

I am staying busy with work. Making plans to have some work done on my patio and trying to decide on a new comforter. The latest one that I tried to purchase they canceled the order. I never knew deciding on a comforter could be such a task! 🛏

I started my health program on June 29th & lost 9 lbs my first week. Monday is my second weigh in.

I am steadily paying down debt & have paid off $9k since this pandemic began. I am on track to have it paid all off before my 0% interest rate expires in April 2021. My TSP loan was paid off in May. My car will be paid off at the end of the year. My investments are almost back to February’s highs. All in all, financial things are on the upswing for now.

Making Progress on CC Debt

June 6th, 2020 at 02:53 pm

From a high of over $22k my credit card debt is down to $16k. With my next payment I will have paid off one of my two cards. Then I will tackle my card with the largely 0% interest from a balance transfer. I can’t recall exactly when the 0% interest rate expires. Sometime next year. I may not do anything but work right now between my 3 jobs, but I will be debt free in 2021!

It’s Gonna be May

May 2nd, 2020 at 12:53 am

I couldn’t resist the *N Sync title, sorry! It would have been more appropriate if I posted it yesterday, but better late than never!

My mom called today & asked me if I wanted my $10k for my wedding. Now there’s no fiancé in sight, not even a boyfriend, but when my older sister got married 14 years ago she promised me & my younger sister the same amount my parents spent on my sister’s wedding. Younger sister has said she doesn’t even want to get married, but it’s for us to use as we’d like - though my mom wants me to use it to pay down my credit card debt. She’s giving me $5k now & another $5k in the new year. I’m very grateful & maybe if I spend it all on my credit card debt as I plan to, then my boyfriend/fiancé will appear. Like Murphy’s Law, right? 😄

Stimulus Payment

April 16th, 2020 at 11:22 pm

I was able to enter my direct deposit information into the IRS website yesterday evening. So now I wait. Tomorrow is pay day & I expect two nice sized checks so that’s something to look forward to. I have already scheduled a $1k payment to one of my credit cards.

The Revealing

March 3rd, 2020 at 06:26 pm

So through a set of circumstances that my mom is calling divine intervention, almost the entirety of my debt was revealed to her. Of course I was...there is not a word that could accurately describe what I felt. My debt is definitely a source of shame & fear. Not fear in that I can’t pay it, but that it’s a cycle that I’ll never get out of.

So we had a discussion over the phone. She wanted to wait until later to talk since I was at work, but I hate that. When people have something serious to say to me I want to hear it now, not later. Anyway, after the discussion I went in & cut my TSP contributions down to the minimum I needed for my full match. That will put $600 more in my check before taxes. Once I finish paying off my TSP loan in July I’ll have another $250 a paycheck after taxes. Once I pay off my car I’ll have another $150 per paycheck, also after taxes of course. If I suspend my IRA contributions that’s another $500 a month.

I’m going to pull out my Dave Ramsey book & get serious. I may even take the course offered at church. I’m tired of this debt yo-yo & I’m going to nip it in the bud once & for all.

My mom asked me about my travel & will take the next 2 trips that I have scheduled. After that I’m on hiatus. It will be hard to pass up trips with my friends, but I’m so determined to do this. Also, I think my mom is somewhat in shock & I’d like her to not worry. She says that she isn’t, but like me, she’s a worrier by nature.