<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Archive: July, 2015
 

Archive for July, 2015

Retirement goal progress

July 31st, 2015 at 07:38 pm

The goal: $486,000 in retirement assets by 2019

Balance as of 6/16: $244,790

New balance as of 7/31: $248,572

Progress: $3,782

So, $237,428 to go. If I were to hit the goal by 7/31/2019, I need to grow by $4,946 per month. And there's a good chance the goal will grow before 2019, since it's based on 2x AS's 2019 salary plus 3x my and NT's 2019 salary. If our salaries go up, the goal goes up. So clearly I need to get more aggressive if I'm going to get there!

July 2015 net worth update

July 31st, 2015 at 07:32 pm

Assets:
NT's UK pensions:
#1: 17,105 pounds ($27,368)
#2: 20,501 pounds ($32,801)
#3: 4,452 pounds ($7,123)
NT's 401(k): $37,674
NT's Roth IRA: $7,681
AS's trad. IRA: $15,288
AS's Roth IRA: $24,853
AS's SEP IRA: $4,086
CJ's 401(k): $84,017
CJ's Roth IRA: $7,681
NT's flat: 180,000 pounds ($288,000)
CJ/NT/AS house: $440,000
---
Total Assets: $976,572

Total Debt: $487,650

Current Estimated Net Worth: $488,922

Last estimate (mid-June): $485,086

Change in net worth: +$3,836

Summary: Nice bump in net worth. Since I updated my net worth schedule and already noted July 1 debt repayment, the debt amount didn't change at all, so this is entirely retirement gains and new contributions. I would like to see our retirement account value increasing by $5K-$6K per month, but I'll take $3800 for now. I'll continue to get more aggressive about contributions as more money is freed up in our regular budget.

I'll update the Individual Net Worth page shortly, breaking it out by person.

Notes on the numbers above: House value estimates are approximate. I don't have a way to check NT's UK pensions or flat value, so their values stay static for the purpose of this update (unless I happen to get some info by chance). UK asset values and debt amounts are calculated figuring $1.60 for every British pound.

It's been a while!

July 20th, 2015 at 05:24 am

I've missed blogging regularly, but I've been having a really fun, super spendy summer and just haven't made the time. I wish I could remember everything that's happened this month but I'll probably leave some things out. Plus it's kinda late so it would take me too long. So here's how my month's been in a nutshell:

- We've donated most of the $8,000 I earmarked for charity. I think I have $250 left. I'll probably give it to my alma mater. I just agreed to be on the alumni board of directors, so it would be a nice gesture.

- I moved the money earmarked for taxes into savings ($15,200). At least it'll earn a bit of interest sitting there instead of going straight to Uncle Sam!

- Our $8,000 first renovation is going well, a bit behind schedule but we're really happy with our contractor, his consistent communication and the work he and his guys are doing. We hope it'll be done by next week.

- We spent about another $6,000, mostly from the WV money, on furnishings for the living room. We got a large (9'x12') area rug, a large (50-some inch?) flatscreen TV and some hardware to mount it to the wall, a 93-inch sofa with matching chaise lounge and ottoman, and an armchair. The sofa/lounge/ottoman won't come until early October because we picked a fabric we really wanted (dark gray microfiber). The rug and TV are here but still packaged up and sitting in other rooms, waiting for the reno to be done. The armchair will arrive Tuesday.

- We still have about $4,000 of the WV money. We're not sure what to do with it because we got notice from the city that we do need to deal with the possibly non-code basement bathroom. We're going to have our contractor assess the situation after he finishes the living room. So we may have to use the money for that. If not, we may save it for our next planned reno, the main-floor bathroom. Or maybe we'll use some of it for living room accessories, and to spruce up the dining room (paint job and new light fixture). But I'm sort of assuming it'll have to get used for the basement issue.

- I sent an initial email to my lawyer about consulting on the possible transfer of part ownership of the duplex to our neighbors. He nicely responded that he has worked real estate law in the past but his current focus is surrogacy and family planning, but he'd be happy to consult or recommend a lawyer with a real estate focus. I'm still waiting for my neighbor to write up what he's thinking so I can send it my lawyer and see if he thinks it's something he could advise on. My friend's idea is an unconventional one, so we might need to ask for someone with more expertise in this field. The deal itself sounds OK to my inexperienced self, but I have questions about tax and insurance planning (and I'm sure there are concerns I'm not even thinking of). My friends say if we do this they'll probably leave their share of the home to my kids, so estate planning may not be much of a concern. We'll see. They're in no hurry, so I'm taking my time on this. I have $1500 set aside for consultations and also to possibly submit a plan to the county to turn our garage into an accessory dwelling unit (tiny home).

- AS is close to hitting a gross of $50K in her freelance position! Though $6K of that is the teaching gig that begins in late August and runs through January, and it will affect her ability to take other projects, so it seems she's nearing her annual salary. We'll see how it goes, but I imagine this teaching gig will be a lot of work. (She's freaking out about it, but I know she'll feel better once she's actually into it. It's the unknown that's so scary!)

- I was able to do our August budget surplus retirement contribution: about $2200. AS is only about $150 away from having her Roth maxed out. I'll work on mine next. I should be able to put even more toward retirement in September! I hope I can put it in early like I have for the past two months. Basically, anything left over from my and NT's paychecks after we cover our budgeted items goes into retirement for now. In September our daycare costs go down a bit as AA goes into kindergarten. Eek! She'll still do after-school at the daycare, but that's cheaper.

- We've been having fun with AS's paychecks. Everything after setting aside tax and retirement is up for grabs. We've been spending, spending, spending, ever so frivolously. Food, wine, car shares, clothes, you name it. (I'm still tracking every penny, of course, to make sure we don't spend more than we have.) It's been so so fun, after a year of extreme self-control and nearly a decade of being very moderate. But, I'm starting to eye our priorities, namely more home renovations and the trip to England and Spain next year. I proposed we put half of AS's net pay aside for those goals, and AS and NT agreed. We'll still have plenty to play with, though maybe not as madly as we have been this past month.

- We finally got rental income on the UK flat again, hooray! We'll be able to cover the August mortgage payments without transferring money and can pay NT's mum back the first bit of money (just 250 pounds this time, but the first payment will be an important reassurance that we're serious about paying her back, I think). Very happy that situation is beginning to sort itself out!

Financials aside, our summer has been going really well.

- We've been enjoying our back yard and the nearby neighborhood parks, the girls have been taking swim and dance classes and having a great time/learning a lot at both.

- We still eat together with our downstairs neighbors about twice a week. We've been doing it downstairs, since our dining room table is in NT's record room (our living room furniture is in the dining room), and our big front porch is only accessible if you walk through the construction zone.

- Our first cat Noodles still hasn't come home, so we're assuming he's not coming back (though we'd love it if he pulled one of those miracle journeys and returned to us). We decided we'd try fostering a cat and see how that goes. We're open to an FIV+ cat, since our cat Clue has the disease and that way we wouldn't have to worry about transmittal. We may get our first foster the last day of July.

- We're heading to my family reunion in Ohio this Friday, taking Friday and Monday off work, renting a minivan. It's a 12-hour drive, so we're doing 6 hours a day, approximately, staying in a different hotel each night. We'll get to the town where the reunion is (well, close by, since that town doesn't have a hotel) Saturday night; the reunion is Sunday afternoon; we head back Sunday evening and finish up the driving on Monday.

- Work is going really well for all of us. Well, NT is too busy again, and his days start super-early; that may not be a permanent job solution if they don't fix it, but it's good pay and not as bad as it was for a while. My job is great: I have a few high-profile projects that I seem to be nailing for the most part. All for two Fortune 500 clients of ours. I was worried for a while that I wasn't busy enough, but I'm not anymore! We have summer hours as long as you work 40 before you leave on Friday, so I've been trying to write for an hour at home after the kids go to bed. So far I've only worked enough extra hours to leave at 3pm on Fridays, but even that is nice! Maybe some week I'll manage to work enough to get out at 1pm. AS, as I mentioned, is doing great at her freelance work. Other than stressing about the teaching gig, I'd say it's the happiest she's ever been with her job.

- We had a family heart-to-heart last week about figuring out a way to make dinners less stressful (trying to get the kids to eat), come to a peaceful place about housekeeping/chores, and just generally be less critical/shouty with the kids and one another. (Not that it was horrible, but I'm pretty sensitive to any conflict in the home.) We've had to course-correct our parenting before, but I feel like this was a big breakthrough. Things have been calmer, the kids are getting plenty to eat even if they don't always finish everything, and I'm just enjoying my home life more. I'm sure we'll slip into bad habits from time to time, but I'm proud of all of us for putting in the work discussing our flaws and then figuring out ways to alleviate them.

- I finally wrote another blog post on my other blog, ordinarysavers.com! It took me about 6 months since my last post. I'm hoping to get back in the habit now, because a few of my friends have told me they really appreciate reading it and wish I'd update it.

I'm not sure if that's all my news, but that's plenty! Whew! It's after midnight and I need to start settling down for the night.

June 2015 net worth (starting new schedule)

July 4th, 2015 at 07:06 pm

I've decided to update net worth at the end of each month instead of mid-Month. I only started that schedule randomly. It makes more sense to do it this way! I'm a couple days late on it; next month I'll try to do it Aug. 1 or thereabouts.

Assets:
NT's UK pensions:
#1: 17,105 pounds ($27,368)
#2: 20,501 pounds ($32,801)
#3: 4,452 pounds ($7,123)
NT's 401(k): $36,967
NT's Roth IRA: $7,673
AS's trad. IRA: $15,258
AS's Roth IRA: $22,625
AS's SEP IRA: $4,082
CJ's 401(k): $83,166
CJ's Roth IRA: $7,673
NT's flat: 180,000 pounds ($288,000)
CJ/NT/AS house: $440,000
---
Total Assets: $972,736

Total Debt: $487,650

Current Estimated Net Worth: $485,086

Last estimate (mid-June): $420,169

Change in net worth: +$64,917

Summary: Even more awesome change in net worth! Our retirement accounts stagnated, but we got an update on NT's flat's value. Similar units are now selling at 200,000 pounds! I decided to shave 10% off that value for the purposes of the net worth, since it would cost something if we decided to sell it. Even with taking off 10%, our net worth still increased nearly $65K, and our assets are approaching $1M at a good clip.

I'll update the Individual Net Worth page shortly, breaking it out by person.

Notes on the numbers above: House value estimates are approximate. I don't have a way to check NT's UK pensions or flat value, so their values stay static for the purpose of this update (unless I happen to get some info by chance). UK asset values and debt amounts are calculated figuring $1.60 for every British pound.

July 2015 debt payments

July 2nd, 2015 at 03:32 am

All the mortgage payments hit:
US: $652 to principal
UK1: $222
UK2: $47
UK3: $50

All told, $971 paid toward principal. That takes our total household debt to $487,650.