User Real IP - 18.205.60.226
Array
(
    [0] => Array
        (
            [0] => 182.68.68.92
        )

    [1] => Array
        (
            [0] => 101.0.41.201
        )

    [2] => Array
        (
            [0] => 43.225.98.123
        )

    [3] => Array
        (
            [0] => 2.58.194.139
        )

    [4] => Array
        (
            [0] => 46.119.197.104
        )

    [5] => Array
        (
            [0] => 45.249.8.93
        )

    [6] => Array
        (
            [0] => 103.12.135.72
        )

    [7] => Array
        (
            [0] => 157.35.243.216
        )

    [8] => Array
        (
            [0] => 209.107.214.176
        )

    [9] => Array
        (
            [0] => 5.181.233.166
        )

    [10] => Array
        (
            [0] => 106.201.10.100
        )

    [11] => Array
        (
            [0] => 36.90.55.39
        )

    [12] => Array
        (
            [0] => 119.154.138.47
        )

    [13] => Array
        (
            [0] => 51.91.31.157
        )

    [14] => Array
        (
            [0] => 182.182.65.216
        )

    [15] => Array
        (
            [0] => 157.35.252.63
        )

    [16] => Array
        (
            [0] => 14.142.34.163
        )

    [17] => Array
        (
            [0] => 178.62.43.135
        )

    [18] => Array
        (
            [0] => 43.248.152.148
        )

    [19] => Array
        (
            [0] => 222.252.104.114
        )

    [20] => Array
        (
            [0] => 209.107.214.168
        )

    [21] => Array
        (
            [0] => 103.99.199.250
        )

)
Archive for December, 2018: Ceejay74's Personal Finance Blog
<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Archive: December, 2018
 

Archive for December, 2018

New year's non-resolutions: my 2019 mindset

December 31st, 2018 at 11:08 pm

Usually I have goals with measurable results and I achieve maybe half of them? So for 2018 I tried to really analyze why goals succeeded or failed, and come up with ones I was sure to meet, and enjoy meeting.

Well, the results were not what I expected. Over the year I ended up abandoning most of them and doing some other equally awesome things. Basically, my focus and priorities changed. It was still one of my favorite years, but I don’t like the feeling that I didn’t meet my goals.

I won't go into them in detail, but here are the things I achieved in 2018:
Creative - learn guitar.
Vacations: UK family trip after Xmas. Solo trips for adults. CJ family reunion in June/July Niece's wedding in Va. in August.

And things I didn't quite get done in 2018:
Creative - get a novel publishing-ready.
Health - Limit drinking on everyday nights.
Health - limit screen time outside of work.
Health - Try relaxation/destress tactics on nondrinking/no-screen-time days
Pragmatic - emergency preparedness.
Work/professional development: Look for class on Agile; see if work will pay for it.
Work/professional development: Limit social/personal internet at work.
Jan: No personal internet/phone at work one day per Financial: Retirement assets to $475K. Net worth to $650K. Bump NT's 401(k) up 2%.
Financial: Kids' savings up to at least $1K per year of age.
Home: Full kitchen renovation.

So there you go.

I feel like I've entered a new stage of life where I can achieve anything I set my mind to, but can't necessarily map out the exact things that I'll want to do.

So for 2019, I've decided I’ll have less structured “intentions”: a mindset where I try to live a full and successful life and, yes, have ambitions, but I'm not laying out specific ambitions or milestones I'm working toward.

Part of it is my new mindset but also, I realize with family members in all three of our extended families struggling, and also all of us chasing our dreams, which may make our day-to-day schedules and finances less predictable.

So here are my intentions for 2019:

- Make healthy choices (with an eye toward fitness, weight control and general energy and vitality and hopefully longevity). My initial thoughts are getting back into walking and AM exercises and intermittent fasting, and trying to bring more salads and whole foods into my diet. But I'm leaving this open to any other ideas or inspirations I have.

- Deepen friendships. In 2018 I put a lot of effort into widening and deepening my social circle with mixed results. Recently I've been spending less time chasing the people who don't seem to be putting any effort in reciprocating. If they want to hang out, I'm not shutting off any avenues; I'm just going to focus more on the people who have been more responsive, and putting out feelers for other people to focus on.

- Do creative things. Right now I'm feeling very happy learning guitar and working on a new novel with a college friend. I'm also seriously considering finally self-publishing one of my novels as kind of a test run. But we'll see what other creative urges hit me! The point is to do things that aren't just stressing over the news or mindlessly checking my phone or computer.

- Chase pleasure. I don't know how many solo trips we'll get to go on (due to the uncertainties I mentioned) but if I do get to, it'll likely be to see my fave band in other places, meeting up with my Canadian friend I met in January via their concerts. That friendship has been the single biggest social success I had, even though we mainly communicate via computer! I also want to see lots of other live music, which has become one of the biggest pleasures of my life. So has guitar. Maybe it means more date nights with my partners; we didn't get many this year. I also consider reading a creative activity, and I don't read as often as I used to, so I could try to focus on that. And my kids are getting to the ages where we start to have activities we both enjoy, so I hope to hang out with them more and more! This is a wide open field, so hopefully I'll surprise myself pleasantly!

- Build my career. I'm still very happy with my current job and seem to be still making good impressions and doing good work, so right now that's my focus. I don't have any big ambitions about moving up quickly; as long as I get modest raises and the work environment stays supportive and the work interesting, I don't see any need to do anything other than continue to challenge myself and keep growing and deepening my skills in this position. But I realize jobs are a fluid thing, so again, a wide open intention!

- Be flexible when life throws things at me. This is about resilience as well as openness to new ideas and new situations. It's optimistic that amazing new opportunities may present themselves, but also realistic that challenges may arise, and I don't want to be blindsided or feel persecuted, I just want to land on my feet no matter what. I hope I can do that!

So, those are my thoughts. I'm in the UK, so we're about to hit the new year in about an hour. I wish all my SA friends the 2019 they want, and the ability to tackle the year even if it doesn't turn out the way they hope!

December 2018 net worth update

December 31st, 2018 at 05:14 pm

Assets:
NT's UK pensions:
AV: 17,967 pounds ($22,459)
SW: 28,134 pounds ($35,168)
FL: 6,462 pounds ($8,078)
NT's 401(k): $65,000
NT's Roth IRA: $28,427
AS's trad. IRA: $17,592
AS's Roth IRA: $45,967
AS's SEP IRA: $31,914
CJ's 401(k): $119,579
CJ's Roth IRA: $32,096
NT's flat: $212,500 (200,000 pounds value x1.25 -15%)
CJ/NT/AS house: $427,281 ($454,554 value -6%)
---
TOTAL ASSETS: $1,046,061

Debts:
US Mortgage $383,174
Loan from friends (duplex) $9,000
UK Mortgage 1 $31,410
UK Mortgage 2 $6,621
UK Mortgage 3 $6,973
---
TOTAL DEBT $437,178

Current Estimated Net Worth: $608,883

November 2018 estimate: $626,147

Change in net worth: -$17,264

Summary: We lost last month’s clawback and then some. Sigh. We’re essentially where we were at the end of June. Not a great way to end the year, but oh well.

Notes on the numbers above: House value estimates are approximate. (I do have my eye on a comparable listing for the UK flat, but it's been on the market a long time.) UK pension values updated about once a year. UK asset values and debt amounts are calculated figuring $1.25 for every British pound.

Quick check-in, hopefully more soon

December 24th, 2018 at 06:39 am

Hi friends!

I had an absolutely crazed December; working nights and weekends trying to get through a mass of work that suddenly hit me all at once. I did all I humanly could, so now I can take my two weeks with a clear conscience if not a clear plate. I'll have a lot to do on Jan. 7 so I'll need to hit the ground running, jetlag be damned.

But until then, I have some time off, so I'm going to try and rest my brain as much as possible.

I want to do a detailed end-of-year rundown like I typically do. I'll be in the UK on New Year's Eve, so I'm not sure if I'll do it beforehand or try and do it from my phone in England. I don't think I'll take my laptop...but I'm still figuring that out. We leave the day after Xmas and I haven't even thought about what I'm going to bring!

This was an odd year. I started off with some of my most organized, regimented goals ever, did really well the first two months, and then things just kind of went off the rails. But not in a bad way, really...I still had a busy, fruitful, creativity-filled year, I just ended up doing things differently from the goals I had so methodically put in place.

So I think next year, I'm going to structure things differently, in that I won't really structure annual goals. It'll be more about being ready to jump on something when I feel it, no matter when it happens in the year. I'll still have intentions, ambitions, but not as many yardsticks or finish lines. It'll be about the doing, and hopefully there will be some achievements reached along the way that I'll celebrate.

Besides the fact that the very concrete goals didn't work as well for me last year -- indicating I'm moving into a different way of getting things done -- another reason I don't want to be so specific with my benchmarks is we have a number of wild cards next year.
- My mom is home from the hospital and doing somewhat better, but I still feel it's very possible that she's not long for this world.
- AS's mom is struggling financially and with finding a stable place to live and any kind of employment; we've had to bail her out financially a few times in the past couple months and feel the worst may be yet to come.
- AS had her best income yet this year, and we have high hopes for next year, but she's taking a leap and getting rid of some of her steady but lower-paying work to give herself more time for higher-paying work and also to build her personal brand. So there's some risk but also more potential for reward.
- We've enlisted a kitchen designer, and depending on what the estimates come to, we may have to decide whether to take on a short-term loan to cover part of it, or find alternatives that work within our current savings, or put off the renovation a while longer until we have the funds. So it's hard to say the impact that will have.

Anyway, still taking stock of the year and thinking about next year, so I'm hoping to do a longer, more coherent post soon. But since I had a bit of time to drop in, I wanted to at least say something. One of my "intentions" for next year will definitely be to blog more frequently again -- I miss it! Even though I still read all of your blogs, I haven't had time to comment as much, so I hope to be more present in general here.

December 2018 debt payments

December 4th, 2018 at 04:50 pm

All the mortgage payments hit:
US: $735 to principal
UK1: $180
UK2: $38
UK3: $40

That's $993 to principal.

Current household debt:
US Mortgage $383,174
Loan from friends (duplex) $9,000
UK Mortgage 1 $31,410
UK Mortgage 2 $6,621
UK Mortgage 3 $6,973
___
TOTAL DEBT $437,178

November 2018 net worth update

December 2nd, 2018 at 10:56 pm

Assets:
NT's UK pensions:
AV: 17,967 pounds ($22,459)
SW: 28,134 pounds ($35,168)
FL: 6,462 pounds ($8,078)
NT's 401(k): $68,536
NT's Roth IRA: $30,623
AS's trad. IRA: $18,848
AS's Roth IRA: $49,538
AS's SEP IRA: $26,427
CJ's 401(k): $130,284
CJ's Roth IRA: $34,576
NT's flat: $212,500 (200,000 pounds value x1.25 -15%)
CJ/NT/AS house: $427,281 ($454,554 value -6%)
---
TOTAL ASSETS: $1,064,318

Debts:
US Mortgage $383,909
Loan from friends (duplex) $9,000
UK Mortgage 1 $31,590
UK Mortgage 2 $6,659
UK Mortgage 3 $7,013
---
TOTAL DEBT $438,171

Current Estimated Net Worth: $626,147

August 2018 estimate: $615,442

Change in net worth: $10,705

Summary: We made up about half the net worth we lost last month, partly through modest fund recovery, plus debt repayment and retirement contributions.

Notes on the numbers above: House value estimates are approximate. (I do have my eye on a comparable listing for the UK flat, but it's been on the market a long time.) UK pension values updated about once a year. UK asset values and debt amounts are calculated figuring $1.25 for every British pound.