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Happy Halloween 🎃 👻

October 31st, 2020 at 06:54 pm

Happy Halloween! 🎃

We had a fun Lyra photo shoot yesterday evening inspired by Halloween. I got some good pics out of it. My flexibility with Star on the Bar (my favorite pose) continues to improve. 🌟 

Yesterday at the clinic we had a Halloween party. There was costume & pumpkin decorating contests as well as other fun games. Lots of good food as well. It was a fun event. 👻

We survived Hurricane Zeta with little local damage. There was more damage in the New Orleans area with this storm. And we still have another month to go in this very active Hurricane season. 💨

I've decided to start trading stocks within my Roth IRA (for tax purposes). I'm excited to do my research & learn more about the companies I'm interested in. They say you should buy what interests you & I am definitely leaning towards stocks related to travel. 🛩

Cruises are no longer under a No Sail order as of midnight today, but who knows when they will start cruising again. When will people feel comfortable cruising? Maybe not until there's a vaccine & even then maybe only when we've had time to study the side effects. 🛳

I got my third paycheck of the month yesterday. It's nice when you get to make an extra payment on debts. I'll do some end of the month budgeting later today. 💰

I have 4 biweekly payments left on my car loan! Today my cash on hand exceeded my debts for the first time in years, probably. Still on track for total debt payoff by spring 2021. 🙌🏾

Net Worth: $960,559 

 

 

 

 

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.

End of September

September 29th, 2020 at 08:47 pm

The end of September means my mom's birthday (tomorrow) and also the end of the 3rd quarter. We're not at market highs, but neither are we at market lows. I'll definitely see an increase over 2nd quarter earnings.

This is also the time of year that we usually hear about whether contribution limits for next year's retirement plans will increase. From everything I've read we shouldn't expect an increase. So my contributions will stay at $750 biweekly and $500 monthly.

PayDay...Kind Of

August 15th, 2020 at 03:51 pm

I got paid yesterday for my third job. I only worked 4.37 hours due to the kit shortages. I paid 75% of my pay in taxes because I have it set up to take an additional $100 out each paycheck. So I netted approximately one hour’s pay. Oh well. Even though I’ve only worked there 3 months I’ve already made over $10,000 for the year.

TSP says my personal investment performance for the last 12 months is only 6.26% but it sure seems like a lot more with the recent gains.

Net Worth: $969,408

August Already

August 2nd, 2020 at 12:41 pm

Time flies when you’re having fun. July was a good month for me. Although I didn’t get as many hours as I did in June, I still consistently paid down debt. I’ll be getting more hours this month. I also did a bit too much spending on July so I’m taking/sending some things back.

My debt continues to go down & my investments continue to grow. Next year when all my debts are paid off & I get another raise maybe I can start looking at doing stock trades. I have a couple of friends as well as my mom that seem to really enjoy it. I won’t start with much at first.

I got my hair done for the first time since everything got shut down. It was $90 including tip. She had to trim a good bit. I’ll have to be more consistent about going now. Hopefully we don’t get shut down all over again.

A couple of things that I won’t be sending back is my new Dash minis: griddle & waffle maker. I got such a great deal at Belk’s thanks to a tip. $12 on sale and another 10% off with pick-up. I already made roasted garlic mashed potato waffles & they were so good.🥔🧄🧇

My friend invited me to an online Croatian cooking class at the end of the month. The theme is Jewish foods & I think it will be fun. I can’t eat the food on my current plan, but I can bring it to my parents. I will have a little to taste test if I decide to participate.

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.

Pay Day Friday

June 13th, 2020 at 05:03 pm

I received 2 of my paychecks this Friday. I will receive the third on Monday. My credit card debit is down to $15k with yesterday’s payment. Monday I will send $500 to my Roth IRA. I have set up recurring transfers again on the 15th of every month.

I am contemplating taking a break from my second job in July. The third job is keeping me plenty busy with 20-25 hours weekly. Having a break on the weekends would be nice.

With the lack of gym time I’m looking to make some changes to my diet. I’m speaking to a friend today that has lost a lot of weight through dietary changes. And with my weekends free maybe I can get back to taking my evening walks on weekends at least.

TSP Increase

May 14th, 2020 at 12:01 pm

I had decreased my TSP contribution to just enough to get the full match while paying down credit card debt, but with the new job, the sign-on bonus, the stimulus payment, canceled vacations, & the gift from my parents I decided to increase it to meet my limit again this year. I may have to adjust it again closer to the end of the year to make sure I max it out.

I also will have finished paying back my TSP loan at the end of the month. I sent an extra $500 payment last week. That will give me another $250 per paycheck.

COVID-19

March 14th, 2020 at 03:37 pm

I know everyone is tired of hearing about COVID-19, especially us health care professionals, but it affecting all aspects of life. This week my facility had the first positive patient in our state.

I was supposed to leave for Montreal tomorrow, but that trip (and the event I was traveling for) is now canceled. Also looking very iffy at the moment is my trip to Switzerland booked for May. It may be a blessing in disguise that I can stay home & focus on paying off debt rather than traveling.

I’m down nearly $200k in the market. Sure wish I had been sitting on some cash that I could have dumped in the market.

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.

Stock Market

February 29th, 2020 at 09:25 pm

My investments updated today & I am down more than $100k from recent highs. Oh well, I’m staying the course through all the ups & downs. I sent an IRA contribution in last Friday & I wish that I had sent it in this Friday. But you never know what will happen & can’t time the market.