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Viewing the 'General Musings' Category

2014 Goals

August 31st, 2013 at 08:46 am

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

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

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

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

August 30th, 2013 at 12:25 pm

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

Stock Market Surges

August 18th, 2013 at 09:42 am

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

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

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

Tired

April 27th, 2013 at 12:15 pm

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

2013 Assessment & Changes

January 27th, 2013 at 07:39 am

Some changes I made thus far this year:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hurricane Isaac

October 5th, 2012 at 04:04 pm

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

Raise

September 15th, 2012 at 08:03 am

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

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

Traveling Gypsy

August 11th, 2012 at 07:35 pm

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

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

2012 Financial Goals

January 1st, 2012 at 01:50 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.

Happy New Year!

January 1st, 2012 at 01:06 pm

I am so excited to see this new year. I have a lot of hope and wishes for this new year and I believe some prayers will be answered in a big way. God has been faithful to me and my family.

I have spent most of the day going over my financial status and making plans for this new year. My net worth for 2011 increased by $38,000, mainly due to retirement contributions. Pretty good. I think my net worth will increase significantly again this year.

My one financial resolution was to stop shopping. I think this will have a big impact on my financial standing as it will allow me to pay down debt rather than just maintain my credit card debt level as I did this past year.

Increase savings + decrease debt = a recipe for success in 2012!

Parade of Homes

May 22nd, 2011 at 07:27 pm

My mom and I went to the Parade of Homes yesterday and today. We saw some absolutely beautiful homes that made me appreciative to even be a home owner, but also made me dream of the possibilities. These homes that we saw, particularly yesterday, were spectacular, custom built homes with all sorts of amenities. I could only wonder at the cost and time to keep those homes looking so show ready. I can barely keep my home up and have a growing to do list. But then again, if I had one of those homes I could afford the help to keep it up. My mom and I had a lot of fun. It was good to enjoy ourselves after burying my uncle this past week. We needed a weekend like this, it was an escape.

May Day!

May 1st, 2011 at 09:40 am

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.

2010 W-2

January 8th, 2011 at 10:48 am

The federal government wants to be sure we pay our taxes on time! Already got my W-2 online this week. I got my retention pay that was shorted on the last paycheck of 2010. I also got my first student loan payment. They put it on my check for tax purposes, but it gets sent directly to Sallie Mae. So now I'm just waiting on my other W-2 from the state. I also need interest forms for my student loan and mortgage, as well as year end contributions from my charities.

CFC (the Combined Federal Campaign for federal employees) is easy as the same amount gets taken out each week on my paycheck and I pledge a certain amount for the year.

ChildFund (aka Christian Children's Fund) takes out a different amount every month depending on whether it's a month that I pledge an additional gift to be given directly to my sponsored child. Usually it's just the $24 sponsorship, but some months they deduct additional as I give gifts for Easter, her birthday, and Christmas, and they then add a gift handling fee on top of that.

I've considered ending my sponsorship with Child's Fund and just giving to CFC. It's hard to do that when you have a child to connect with your giving. You know that child's name, you see her face, you know all about her family.

I'm adding up the gifts that I remembered to track for the year and I'm up to $1,500 so far. I don't mind giving to family and friends and charity. It's a pleasure.

LSU won last night. I fell asleep watching the game. I guess I knew they were going to win at that point. Really proud of Jordan Jefferson's performance last night. I hate all the criticism he gets.

Today the Saints play the Seahawks. I'm worried. They have a lot of players not listed. Seahawks aren't a strong team, but any team can beat any team on any given Sunday, or Saturday in this case.

Starting my fasting on January 10th. I hope that I'm ready for this! I will need a lot of prayer.

Happy 2011!

January 1st, 2011 at 09:00 pm

Happy New Year! Yesterday and today I reviewed much of my year end finances and made some changes for 2011. Yesterday I updated my spread sheets for my 2011 earnings and savings. Today I made my 2011 deposit to my Roth IRA. My deposit should be processed January 4th. I also changed my exemption from 1 to 0 at my full-time job. Last year I changed my exemption from 1 to 0 at my part-time job. Hopefully next year I will not owe taxes as I did last year and I project I will this year again.

Happy New Year!

December 31st, 2010 at 09:37 am

Here's to a prosperous, healthy 2011! I can't wait to greet this new year. 2011 is going to be a great, great year!

Pleasant surprise this morning when my accounts were updated on Mint.com. Received $1456.16 in capital gains and dividends on my Roth IRA at Vanguard. Nice little boost to my end of year account balance. Think I'll send off $5,000 for my 2011 Roth contribution tomorrow. Love doing that! Goal # 1 accomplished on the first day of the year.

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas!

December 24th, 2010 at 10:28 pm

Merry Christmas! It has been such a merry one already for me and my family. I hope the same is true for you and yours this holiday season.