Layout:
Home > Page: 2

Viewing the 'Personal Finance' Category

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.

Parents getting vaccine

January 31st, 2021 at 02:19 am

My grandpa wasn't breathing well this morning. We went to visit him. Other family members dropped in & out. The hospice nurse told us not to stay all day, so we came home. I don't know if she said that for our benefit or his.

My parents are getting their vaccines at Walgreens tomorrow. Not sure if it's the Pfizer or Moderna. My mom mentioned it during a family group video chat & I forgot to ask with all the conversation happening.

With my credit cards paid off I feel like I can take my foot off the gas with all the hours I've been working. I have a big inspection coming up in March so I'm taking February off at the hospital. I'll definitely need more time to get my condo ready as well.

Market has been down, but not horribly so. That GME spectacle was something to witness, for sure.

Net Worth: $1,130,760

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.

Grandpa not doing well

January 26th, 2021 at 11:04 pm

My mom called me at work this morning to tell me that my grandfather wasn't doing well. I left work to take her to the hospital. Though we thought he could have more than one visitor a day since leaving ICU, it's still only one per day. They made an exception today and both my mom & my uncle were able to visit. I still haven't seen him. The would like to arrange a hospice nurse for him. It's so strange because although he is 90, until the last month or so he was so healthy. The last time I took him to a doctor the doctor mentioned to me that he was very thin, but he always been like that. He lost weight so quickly once he started to have issues, and again, he didn't have anything to lose. We just want him comfortable for as long as he has left with us. They took him in for another surgery Sunday, but we don't want them to keep performing surgeries.

In financial news, I have received all of my income documents for the year. Still need to upload a few other statements before my appt. My dad mentioned that I would be able to deduct my charitable contributions last year even if I didn't exceed my standard deduction. That's good. I continued to give to church & the local food bank. I still have a feeling that I will owe.

I think I mentioned that I bought a SodaStream during the Christmas sales. I finally just tried it today. I had bought a couple of zero calorie flavors through Kohl's. I can't wait to try it after it chills. I love my sparkling water & will enjoy being able to make my own. And yay for less waste! 

Net Worth: $1,168,011

 

Pay Increase

January 21st, 2021 at 10:02 pm

I have received my pay stub for tomorrow's paycheck. I received both anticipated pay increases in one check: an annual across the board increase of 1% and my scheduled step increase. The combined increases translated to a 3.9% raise. Not anything to go crazy with, but ever penny counts!

Net Worth $1,166,919

 

Happy New Year!

January 2nd, 2021 at 03:31 am

We made it to 2021, woohoo! 🥳🎉🎊🎆

I am looking forward to achieving these goals in 2021:

1. Finish paying off credit card debt.

2. Contribute maximum to TSP.

3. Contribute maximum to Roth IRA.

4. Contribute to savings monthly.

5. Give to church monthly.

6. Donate to charity monthly.

7. Apply for promotions.

New Year's Eve 2020

December 31st, 2020 at 05:33 pm

Happy last day of 2020! It's been a tough year for many & I'm happy that so many will be able to turn the page on what has been a difficult year.

My sister lost her mother-in-law on Tuesday. They had a very good relationship, which is not always the case with daughters-in-laws and mothers-in-laws, so she was very upset. Praying for my brother-in-law, sister, and my niece & nephew to ease their pain.

I got paid my final paycheck of 2020 today so I can start crunching my final numbers. I hope that the market ends on a high note!

I met with a real estate agent yesterday & signed the agreement for her to be the listing agent today. I also unexpectedly sold 2 candles on FB Marketplace yesterday. I sold for the same amount that I initially declined from another buyer, but I'm even more ready to pare down now. Contemplating contacting the interested party to see if her offer is still good. She was interested in buying 5 candles.

I will do my 2021 goals in another post tomorrow. Happy New Year!

ETA: I also just sent $1,500 to my Roth IRA today to complete my 2020 contributions. Now I can start out fresh in January, without playing catch-up.

 

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!

 

Merry Christmas

December 25th, 2020 at 06:40 am

I fell asleep, but fireworks woke me up.

I got my last two paychecks from first & second jobs. We got our performance awards on this paycheck and I maxed out my TSP with a final contribution of $700. Next year I will be back to contributing $750 per paycheck. This year I had decreased, then increased, contributions to accelerate debt payoff. With my debts largely paid off I can go back to my usual equal contributions.

I worked today, which was declared a holiday, so I'll see more pay on my next check. Then I get my step increase & whatever annual increase on the check after that. With the relief bill they are allowing federal employees to pay back the payroll deferral over the year, rather than by April. That sounded good at first, but I think I'd rather pay it back sooner personally.

My lab supervisor from my second job texted me this morning about all the gifts that had been left in my locker. I thought she was texting me to see what days I could work next month. It was very nice all the things she mentioned: gifts cards, earbuds, B&BW, ornament. No gifts from my third job, but I appreciate the flexibility & good pay they provide throughout the year. That's the best gift!

Merry Christmas to all! 🎄🌟

 

850

December 17th, 2020 at 03:44 am

Today was a really good day all around. As well as reaching my $1 million investment goal, my Experian report updated & my FICO score is now 850! It may not last, but I am enjoying that achievement as well. 

Pfizer vaccine arrives

December 15th, 2020 at 05:05 pm

I was paid by my third job today. I worked a little over 47 hours even with the Thanksgiving holiday. Because I don't get deductions with this job my pay is comparable to my full-time job. The 15th is also the date for my automatic drafts for my auto & home insurance and utilities. Tomorrow my biweekly mortgage goes through.

It's nice to have increased cash flow. I'm not having to juggle payments, but I just pay bills as they come.

My final two checks for the year will be paid on Christmas Day. Maybe they will come through on Christmas Eve due to the holiday. Christmas Eve was declared a holiday for federal employees this year so I either will take that day off or get paid holiday pay. I'd rather have the day off since I'm already taking off Monday-Wednesday. If they decide to close the clinic we all get off, but they haven't made that decision yet.

Our facility got our first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine yesterday. Our chief told us that they received roughly the amount of doses that people registered for, so we should all be able to get vaccinated with this first round. My second job also received the Pfizer vaccine so whoever calls me first is where I'm going to get vaccinated. The end is in sight!

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

Birthday Blessings

December 5th, 2020 at 06:49 am

Well, I am less than an hour into my birthday. I just got home from work. So much to be thankful about & to reflect on. When I think of where I was a year ago, I've made huge progress financially & in other ways. 

Today I am less than $2k away from having $1 million in investments. So very close. It would have been nice to make that goal on my birthday, but I know it's just around the corner.

I just wrote a check for my property taxes. I did finally get the bill in the mail. I like to pay my bills as they come in. I know some people do theirs monthly. 

Net Worth $1,101,715

Pushed back to Phase 2

November 25th, 2020 at 02:59 pm

Due to our rate of positives our governor has pushed us back to phase two. We were in phase three with up to 75% occupancy, now we're back at 50% occupancy. 

I unexpectedly sold an EBay item on Sunda (it's been a while since I've had a sale) and the two people ahead of me weren't wearing masks even though we still have a mask mandate. That Pfizer vaccine can't come soon enough for me. Fingers crossed that I get selected. 🤞🏾


I really have banged myself up this last week. I have some sort of carpet burn on my side possibly from the Lyra loop, I think I may have broken the same toe again, and I sliced my finger open in the lab fridge door. I'm a walking accident!

The Dow passed 30,000 yesterday! So exciting. I am less than $23k from $1 million in just investments. My home equity & car worth is what is pushing me over $1 million now. I am kind of kicking myself for not getting in on those travel stocks, but oh well. You win some, you lose some. There will be other opportunities I'm sure.

I am home during the day for the next 3 days. I need to go grocery shopping for today's holiday cooking. So happy to have a few days off. I still have to work in the evening, though. I have 3 more use or lose days before the end of the year after this. I will take them the week of Christmas. My sisters are still planning to come home & I pray for their safety traveling.

it is my birthday next Saturday & my early birthday present to myself was buying President Obama's first volume of his presidential memoirs. He is a wonderful story teller & I look forward to reading it when I can find the time. I may lend it to my mom first as I'm currently so busy. It is over 700 pages.

Friday is payday & I only have 3 paychecks left in 2020 as well as 3 payments on my car. My last car payment is my Christmas paycheck. Merry Christmas to me! That's $200 extra biweekly. I love when I give myself a raise through debt payoff. I will also max out my TSP with my last paycheck.

Happy Thanksgiving all! 🦃 

Net Worth $1,077,566

Working Picking Up

November 23rd, 2020 at 06:08 pm

My work at the private lab has really picked up. Since they first called me in on a Friday evening, I've been in every weekday evening since then with the exception of one. They have arleady contacted me to say they'll need me every evening this week, except for Thanksgiving evening. At my hospital job they also are offering as many hours as I want. They continue to lose their full-time staff for better pay & hours elsewhere. I don't understand why the hospital administration doesn't take some action. It's a critical situation in the middle of a pandemic.

I can say that the rate of positive COVID tests are really ticking up.  One of my fellow lab supervisors lost his wife to the virus Saturday. I don't know her health history but I would guess that he is around 50, so not elderly. Please be safe out there all.

My debt pay off continues to tick down, while my net worth continues to tick up. If I continue to work these hours the payoff date will continue to move closer. I've already made at least $25k between these two jobs this year.  Next year, when I'm debt-free I'd like to scale back. I think I have finally learned the lesson on how to budget & be more aware of the debt I'm accruing. 

I can't wait to write an end of year update. I've accomplished so many things this year!

 

 

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. 

NPR looking for financial stories

October 9th, 2020 at 07:04 pm

Hi all! NPR is working on a project on American families living paycheck-to-paycheck. Does that describe your household, before and after the pandemic? NPR correspondent Alina Selyukh would love to hear from you!

In an email to Alina, please describe a little bit about yourself and your situation. Her inbox: [aselyukh@npr.org](mailto:aselyukh@npr.org).

Feel free to copy and paste to repost.

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

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!

Payday Friday

May 29th, 2020 at 02:57 pm

It’s payday Friday & I received 2 of my paychecks. Hopefully they’ll have my third check for me at my new job this evening. I thought it would be direct deposited, but maybe it will take another cycle before that starts.

This payday I wrote checks for my state & federal taxes, as well as a donation to my high school alma mater. They took out my full loan amount for my TSP, so they will need to refund me the overpayment as my loan will be paid off. My increased TSP contribution didn’t go through this pay period so I expect it to go through next pay period.

My first week at the new job was a little rough. We got slammed with Covid-19 samples due to a cluster, but this week has been much better. I’m getting into my groove with it. My introvert nature doesn’t mind working alone in the lab, either.

Hope you have a relaxing weekend!

Sign-on Bonus

May 15th, 2020 at 01:05 am

I received the job offer last Friday & filled out the HR paperwork that night. Today, less than a week later, I was handed my sign-on bonus. The manager told me it was probably just the paperwork with my info but no check since I had missed the pay period cut-off, but when I got in my car I opened the envelope & there was a check. So surprised & pleasantly so. I am banking the money until I complete the one year period.

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.

Montreal Refund

April 15th, 2020 at 01:12 am

I have not received my stimulus check, but my friend did Venmo me my share of the refund for our canceled event. It was about $60 less than what I paid because they apparently charged us a fee for them canceling an event. Go figure. So that was $977.20 deposited into my account today.

I am still awaiting a decision on my claim for the airline tickets. I know airlines are allowing you to rebook within a year, but I purchased travel insurance & would rather have the money. I filed my claim March 11th & I was supposed to hear back within 10-15 business days. I have been patient since I figure they are overwhelmed, but I finally decided to give them a call tonight. I got a voice message that they were closed even though it’s well within the business hours posted on their website. I’ll try again in a few days.