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Yawn...random financial updates

November 11th, 2009 at 01:21 pm

I'm in creditcardfree's situation right now...my finances are pretty dull. Looking at my "Number Crunch" spreadsheet, which shows me all known activity for the next three months, all we have this week is to withdraw spending money on Friday, and on Sunday I get to move some line items down to the next month (money that I set aside for quarterly & yearly bills). Whoopee. The problem with trying to make an exciting game out of my finances is that I miss the action when nothing much is happening!

Learning from ccf's posting, I won't open up for questions. Wink I'm trying to think what little financial things have happened recently that I haven't blogged about...

Well, I've done some tiny bits of philanthropy this past month; I donated $5 here and there to help promote the health care reform bills, I gave some money at work to buy treats for my boss (a newlywed whose husband has just been diagnosed with lymphoma), and today (in honor of Veterans Day) I donated $5 to an organization that helps homeless Minnesota veterans. I'm feeling the urge to give more, but hoping just $5 will help them a tiny bit (they can at least add me to the number of donors) and satisfy that itch. I don't want to put off philanthropy forever, but right now I feel like our money mostly needs to be doing other things.

I've been finding money nearly every day on the street that I walk to and from the bus stop and work, and to and from meeting NT for lunch. I've found 3 dimes in the past month, plus a bunch of pennies: 2 today (plus one at Target), 2 yesterday, plus several more, usually at least one a day.

I found out that one of NT's pensions has gained quite a bit of value since he gave me his info when I first took over his finances, so my next net worth update will be pretty. Smile He also got a letter that he needs to cash out of this lottery thing that he'd bought into, because he can't be in it unless he's resident in the UK. I think he still has to find some info for it, but that will be nice once we get it; we'll have it deposited into his UK savings account, so it will add to the baby/emergency fund.

AS had a good interview on Monday, and should find out within two weeks whether she gets the dream job. We don't know how much it pays, but anything more than unemployment will feel like a big raise! (She nets $348 per week on unemployment, so I think that would be equivalent to $18K-$20K per year.) I've already figured our budget for January and February assuming no income for her, because I'd laid it out before the unemployment bill was signed, and I'm just going to keep it that way until I find out whether she'll be getting a salary or just more unemployment. This is great too in case she does get a job but there's a lag in receiving the first paycheck; we won't be hurting for that money because I've already made a workable budget without it. Anything AS does bring in for January and February will go directly to paying off my dad; we hope to have that debt settled before baby comes.

I've still been keeping track of baby expenses, and we're at $1089.23. I also factor in what I'm saving on birth control, but not what I'm saving on wine and booze. Smile I'm counting medical bills at face value, even though so far I'm able to pay them with my health savings account, which is pretax money.

Speaking of healthcare, I'm anxiously awaiting the reveal of our 2010 options at work. I've gotten several hints that lead me to believe costs will be going up again, but who knows how much. Knowing how much well-baby visits are costing on the high-deductible plan, and knowing I have a labor & delivery coming up in 2010, I doubt I'll be doing the high-deductible again. I've decided what I'm going to do: figure out the max out-of-pocket for every plan offered by my and NT's employers and go with the lowest worst-case scenario. I'm not going to worry about whether it comes with HSA, FSA or nothing; I'm just going to look at the potential dollar amounts I would pay at worst under each plan. (NT is generally healthy as a horse, so for him I'm just going to pick the lowest premium, which will probably be at his own employer.) The only other thing that could possibly sway me is if my current doctor wouldn't be in NT's network, but I doubt that would be the case.

I'm also going to do the math on the max out-of-pocket that could happen from putting the baby on each plan, and make the decision ahead of time so there's no scrambling to decide when it enters the world.

I've returned to my old conundrum about the best places to invest for retirement considering we'll probably be retiring in England. Would a Roth IRA really benefit us, or would the UK be able to tax the portion that's untaxable in the U.S.? When exactly should I hire a financial adviser to help me make those decisions, and how will I find one who's an expert on expat retirement? We're nowhere near ready to accelerate our retirement contributions, but I have some dribs and drabs of retirement money for AS that I'm not sure what to do with: about $4000 in her old employer's 403(b), $515 in a CD that's coming due this month, $850 or so just in a very low-earning savings account. If anyone has any ideas, I'm open to them!

1 Responses to “Yawn...random financial updates”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    You did have some things to write about your finances! I've had a glass of wine, so I'm not going to give any suggestions on your incoming money. I'm sure you'll know just what to do!

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