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Busy and profitable week or so

May 21st, 2015 at 12:35 pm

I've been really busy at work, and several money things have happened that I haven't had time to blog about. Let's see if I can remember them all ...

The escrow from my old duplex mortgage came in! Over $3K. Most of it I used to make up for the money we had to put into new escrow, but there was about $450 more than I needed for that. I put one-third toward retirement, one-third into our shared spending money and a third toward debt payment.

(The debt payment only covered accrued interest on that $15K line of credit, but at least it means future payments will go more toward principal. And actually I noticed we now have some available credit on the line, so they did put most of it toward principal, but since I can see the accrued interest keeping the balance at nearly $15K, I'm not counting that way. So no debt paid off with that payment, but that's OK.)

And, since the money is in the bank now, I was able to open AS's SEP IRA (retirement account). I put $957 in there: 10% of the money she made from freelancing in the last quarter of 2014. As soon as I have enough money in the bank to do so, I'll add in the 10% she made in the first quarter of 2015, but right now I need to keep that in checking to make sure we can cover her 2nd quarter income tax prepayments. As soon as we have enough in the bank to cover both, I'll add to her SEP.

I wrote to the county about condo property taxes because we double-paid first half due to closing on the sale of it. The county got back and said they considered property taxes to be paid in full for the year and wouldn't be able to refund any until they were overpaid -- presumably whenever the new owners paid 2nd half taxes later this year or early next year! I wrote to the title company and they called the county and got it straightened out -- they should refund the overpayment sometime next week.

Then, I got the remainder of the condo mortgage escrow in the mail today. Only $193, but certainly welcome! I'm dividing it into thirds like I did the surplus from the duplex escrow refund.

NT's UK property manager wrote to ask for more money -- just 114 pounds this time ($182). Luckily we'd waited to wire the other amount he asked for, so we'll only pay the wire fee once. We still don't know what the council taxes will be that he mentioned, but it sounds like we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. I'll wire the money for the last two renovation expenses tomorrow -- I've got the day off work.

Good news about that though -- he also let us know he's found somebody to rent the place starting May 29 for 825 pounds per month -- 30 more than the 795 he initially projected. That means we'll be able to pay his mum back a bit more quickly and start saving up spending money for a trip over there.

Speaking of which, we decided when we're going to visit England next. In late June/early July of 2016. We've got a while to plan, which is good because we've got to save up airfare for 5 passengers now that neither girl can sit on our laps anymore.

We also talked about leaving the kids with their grandparents for a few days and checking out another European city with some of our Oxford friends, and the grandparents agreed. We've more or less settled on Barcelona. I'm excited -- the only European city I've visited outside the UK is Amsterdam!

NT ran a check to see how much it would cost if we were traveling THIS June/July instead of next. It probably doesn't have much to do with reality, but it gives us a rough number to start working toward. Get this: round trip airfare for 5 from US to England, plus round trip airfare for us three adults from England to Barcelona, came to about $9000! That's more than we've ever spent on an entire trip including hotel and food, and that's just for the airfare. It freaks me out a bit, but we really want to do it and can afford it, so we will. And hopefully the actual fares will be a bit less than that.

The good part is, NT's mum is paying for lodging for us while we're in UK, and we'll have money saved up in the UK account for dining and other spending, so the only other expenses we'll need to cover are a hotel in Barcelona and maybe rental cars. And, of course, we have well over a year to come up with the money, so we can start saving up a few months before we want to purchase the tickets.

6 Responses to “Busy and profitable week or so”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    I'm looking forward to get a check when we close on this house and our escrow account should be close to $2K!

    The trip sounds exciting! Are there credit card mileage bonuses you could look into to cover some airfare? I don't knwo if these are offered for international. You might look at MillionMileSecrets for tips. At a minimum you are looking at saving $750 to $1000 a month to have the money saved up it appears.

  2. Kiki Says:

    When my sister lived in the Netherlands, to send money back and forth we set up an account in an American bank and gave her the debit card. Could you do that with NTs mom? Open the account and give her the card to use to access cash needed for the UK property?

    Why doesn't the property manager take credit or debit cards? Would make wire transfer fees zero.

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    Great ideas, guys! I'll look into credit card rewards. Last time we went to England, we opened three Delta Visa cards and ended up getting $900 off our fare total. So at least SOME of them let you use for international travel.

    AS pulls in a lot of money some months, so it's possible we could save it up in two or three months. But we'll have to see what her income looks like later this year/early next year. I need to research how far out is the optimal time to reserve flights, price wise.

    And I should have NT check if the property manager takes credit cards. Honestly I never thought to ask! NT does have a UK credit card account. If not, we'll just do this one wire transfer--once we have rental income coming in, we should be able to use that money for any other expenses that come up. (Unless the council tax comes before we get any income.)

  4. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    It sounds like a lot of good money vibes are happening. Smile

  5. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Your vacation plans sound wonderful!

  6. jp Says:

    Also, don't forget, that if you are checking up on your rental property, it can be a tax write off as well...

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