<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Page: 2
 

About to divorce Sallie Mae again

May 4th, 2017 at 05:11 pm

As of today I owe $230 to Navient. With next month's payment I will be free of student loan debt, yay!!! I've updated my financial goals as I'm marking this goal completed.

Next on the agenda is to pay off credit cards. I'm throwing everything from my second job at my credit card debt. I love the idea of debt snowballs. Once you pay off a debt you can put that amount towards another debt.

I have increased payments for my car loan & TSP loan as well.

Market Outlook & Life Insurance for a Single Gal

March 25th, 2017 at 08:33 am

We had a nice market rally while it lasted. I have read that Jack Bogle expects about a 4% return from the markets over the next decade or so. That's definitely not the the returns we've been fortunate to see since the market recovery, but it's still good to contribute when markets are sluggish. I certainly have no plans to alter course.

I did go into my TSP and do some re-allocation. I was in one of their Lifecycle funds which was 90% stocks when I first bought into it, but has now crept down to 84% stocks. I'm a more aggressive investor so I backed out of the Lifecycle and did my own allocation of 90% stocks and 10% fixed and goverment securities. I will stay there for the foreseeable future. At lease until age 50.

I got a survey at my job about federal employee benefits so I filled it out & returned it. I then got a call for a free consultation on federal employee benefits. Of course, he tried to sell me a whole life policy at the end. He told me that I am carrying way more life insurance than I need right now, but since the rates are so low at my age I do max out my life insurance coverage.

Not that the money can replace a family member, but it would be nice if something did happen to me to leave my parents a really nice amount of money. As the rates for coverage creep up I will look into a smaller amount in term life insurance. Even with that I really only need to leave my family enough to bury me & pay my home off. I don't have a spouse or children, but I can see that it would benefit my family to have my home paid off until they can get it sold.

Correction to 401k and Taxes Filed

February 25th, 2017 at 01:49 pm

Vanguard sent me a check for over $7k for the excess contributions from last year & a little income for this year. Of course, I'll have to pay both the state & federal about $1700 combined for the payment. Next year I will have to go through the process again as they won't send me back the payments for this year. Yes, I could adjust my contributions, but I'd rather get the money dedcuted from the Vanguard account as I explained in my last post. This year's contributions are only a little over $2500. I tried to get them to not deposit the last transfer when I realized the tax issue, but they released it anyway.

I'll use the amount left over after paying my taxes for debt repayment. I don't plan on sending in my taxes until April for the federal & May for the state. Might as well hold on to that money for as long as I can. It would have been nice to have the $2500 returned to me as well so I could also pay down some debt, but at least I'll see more in my paycheck now that I've stopped the 75% contributions to the 401k.

My Big Tax Mistake

February 12th, 2017 at 09:42 am

So remember how excited I was that I was going to be able to contribute to both a 457b & and a 401k? Well, I was wrong. My TSP is actually a 401a. Who knew? Obviously, not me. So now I have a tax penalty due to exceeding my contribution limit. I had to write a letter of instruction to Vanguard to start the process of withdrawing my excess contributions for 2016.

Another problem is that I've already contributed over $2k for 2017 & I'm not sure if they'll allow me to withdraw that as well. I'm not interested in having that small amount of money at Vanguard if the rest of my money is with the TSP. I do have a Roth IRA with Vanguard, but I don't want more accounts than I need.

Also, I'm not interested in going through this process again next year if I happen to go over the limit again. Yes, I can adjust my contributions throughout the year, but the easiest thing to do is just to withdraw this year's contributions & contribute entirely to the one account which will not allow me to exceed $18,000 in contributions.

What a bother! I thought I did my due diligence researching the tax laws, but I didn't realize that I had erroneously categorized one of the accounts. Lesson learned!

Bonus & 2 raises

January 28th, 2017 at 10:29 am

This paycheck I got my performance award & two raises (annual & step increase), but not the significant raise that we were awarded back in October. They will pay us backpay when they finally give us that raise. Still it was nice to have the other extra money this paycheck. I did increase my 401k deduction to 75% for the previous paycheck, so I hope that the other raise kicks in soon. I'm not really sure what to expect with this new administration.

2017 Changes

January 15th, 2017 at 08:25 am

I made some changes to my finances at the beginning of the year. I did decide to contribute to the IRA monthly rather than biweekly. That will free up some money, but I also upped my contribution to the 401k from 50% to 75%. I'll have to keep an eye on it in order to not go over my limit. I'm not sure that my new job calculates the limit for me in order to avoid penalties. At my full-time job, they don't allow you to contribute more than your limit. It's nice that they keep track for you.

Also, I contacted Vanguard because my last 401k contribution for 2016 didn't post until 2017. I don't know if they can reclassify it as a 2016 contribution, but there is that discrepancy between what will be on my W-2 for 2106 and what will be on their records for the 2016 tax year. I don't like that there is a several day delay between when they take the contribution from my paycheck until Vanguard receives it. At my full-time job the contribution goes into my retirement plan the night before I am paid.

2016 Year End Review

December 31st, 2016 at 10:41 am

This year I contributed the maximum amount to my TSP & IRA. I also contributed $6900 to my 401k since August at my new job. I made well over $14k in just 5 months (despite having more than a month without any hours). I will have to consider putting more into my 401k. Right now I contribute 50%, but can contribute up to 75%.

In not so good news, as least for the moment, I still have not received my raise after 5 paychecks. Also, the year end bonus was not on this check. So all that extra income will fall into the new year. Even more reason to be more tax efficient with my extra earnings. Tonight I will be working a 12 hour shift & I just found out that we get time and a half after midnight. Yay! I wasn't expecting that as a PRN employee.

Happy New Year all!

P.S. I will someday get around to posting those pictures from Dublin.

Dublin

December 10th, 2016 at 07:25 pm

In New York for the night en route back from Dublin. Will fly back home tomorrow. I had a wonderful trip, though our time was short. We did the 48 hour hop on, hop off bus which made it easy to see a lot of the sites. I saw almost everything that I wanted to see, with the exception of Kilmainham Gaol (sold out in advance) and Jameson Distillery (closed for renovations until St. Patrick's Day 2017). At the price we got our trip for on Groupon Getaways, I'm okay with making a return trip. Maybe next time I'll see the coastal towns.

I see stocks continue to rise. I still thinking we're in for a recession soon, but I'll enjoy watching the gains until then.

December 2016 Goals

November 27th, 2016 at 08:08 am

One month and a few days left in 2016. Three more paychecks. I am on track to max out my TSP & Roth IRA. I will contribute at least 6k to my 401k for the year as well. Other expected income includes the cash my parents give me for my birthday & Christmas. I haven't heard what bonus we'll receive at work, if any.

Black Friday spending included the sale at B&BW and some gifts on clearance for co-workers at Williams Sonoma. I bought some new sneakers online yesterday. Don't think they'll get here in time for my trip, but they were needed regardless. At least shipping to the store for pick-up was free.

Retirement Milestone

November 23rd, 2016 at 06:57 am

I'm less than $500 from reaching $500k in retirement. My birthday is December 5th & I hope to reach it by my birthday. If my 401k contribution wasn't still floating out there & had been deposited into my Vanguard account I would have reached it yesterday. I'm not sure that these market highs will hold for much longer so I may not reach the goal by the time my contribution shows up. This is a goal I've had in mind for several years & now it's almost a reality. It's very exciting to see it come to fruition.

I'm also excited so see that according to Zillow, I'm almost at 50% equity in my home. Thanks in part due to the fact that my home didn't flood in August, so it increased my home value by about 10%.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! May you and yours continue to have abundant blessings in the seasons to come.

Difficult Week, but Something to be Grateful For

November 13th, 2016 at 07:37 am

This has been a difficult week for many of us. I just wanted to recognize that finances seems very small considering the other things going on in our country. Having said that, I will focus on one bright spot in this week for me.

We got a raise at work! It works out to about a 6.7% increase. Not the percentage that was advocated for when the salary survey was done, but still, it's a raise. In addition, in January I will receive this year's annual increase of 1.6% (thanks Obama, even though you froze our salaries for years). Also, I'm due for my step increase in January. So what does all that mean, bottom line? An over $7k increase! I am so grateful! I know that I am so blessed & I am already thinking of how to use it wisely.

I am considering increasing my contribution to the 401k at my second job from 50% to 75%. Also, I will increase my flexible spending account contribution to finance getting my LASIK redone next year. My eyesight has finally gotten that bad again.

As in all things in life, this week had some good & bad. Next couple of weeks I will pick up some more hours at my second job as one of their full-time techs is out for surgery. It will be good to get some hours in before December.

My schedule is so busy that I won't be getting as many hours next month. My birthday, a trip to DC & Ireland, and a lot of fun things on the agenda. I'm looking forward to it all!

Blessings to you & yours on this beautiful Sunday.

Three Month Review

October 20th, 2016 at 05:18 pm

Not quite 3 months since I've started my new part-time job & I've already made nearly $10k. And that includes 2 weeks of not working post-flood. I won't be getting in many hours at all in December so I may as well work as much as they need me for now. I think I will settle into an every other weekend schedule next year. It would be nice to get 40 hours every paycheck, but 24 is more than I was getting before.

Two Month Review

October 1st, 2016 at 10:24 am

Two months into my new second job & I feel more squeezed than ever. Maybe having a second job gives a false sense of wealth. I have somewhat over-extended myself with my increased savings.

I am contributing 50% to the 401(k) & $500 to my Roth IRA every paycheck. I had not contributed anything to my Roth IRA since last year. If I contribute $500 for the last 11 pay periods of this year & the first 11 pay periods of next year, I'll have met my maximum contributions for this year & next year. Then I'll have $500 more every pay check.

I'm excited that I'll be able to max out 3 retirement plans next year: my Roth IRA, my TSP, & my 401(k). I am making a lot of hours, but I don't want to complain as I have been searching for another job for some time. This job is a blessing & I see how my retirement savings have grown these past 2 months. Now to decrease the debt.

New Job

August 26th, 2016 at 05:23 pm

I can't believe that it is almost September & this is my first blog of the year. My last blog was over a year ago about an interview for a job that I didn't ultimately get. But today, I'm writing to say that a month ago & finally started a second job. This job means so many opportunities for me. The opportunity to max out another retirement plan, to pay off debt, and maybe down the road, to buy some income properties. Unfortunately, a natural disaster curtailed my work hours as the hospital closed due to flooding. But more importantly, I was spared any flooding. I'm feeling so blessed lately!

Another Job Interview

July 18th, 2015 at 09:51 am

This week I had only my second interview this year. I'm optimistic as I used to work with the manager, but she's interviewing several more people - who also probably used to work with her. Pay is not great, but I'm motivated & the work is largely on the weekend: 5a-1:30p. I would still have most of my weekend to do as I please or need.

In other news, I had an employee leave to pursue educational opportunities so I'm short-handed & will be hiring - hopefully soon! I'm excited to be able to interview & hire someone who fits in with my vision of what we need. My other employees I "inherited". I realize what a huge game changer adding a new employee into the mix can be, so I hope to choose wisely.