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Archive for May, 2019

An actual life update? Let's see if I can do it!

May 31st, 2019 at 09:27 pm

Jeez, I think the last time I managed a proper blog post that wasn't just updating numbers, it was early March! That's almost three months!

Well, there's no way I'll be able to sum up three months' worth of doings, so let's see how many highlights I can pack in.

- March was bday month. It was great if hectic. We spent a TON on AS's 40th party (she hardly ever wants anything extravagant so I went all out fulfilling her request). We actually had to reschedule because there was a blizzard in early March! But besides that rather big hurdle, it went really smoothly and was a big hit. It was pretty cool; we rented a fancy kitchen studio, invited many people; a few friends cooked and got videotaped and now we have these great videos of our friends cooking in a fancy kitchen! Super fun. Final price tag: Somewhere between $3K and $4K!! (Yes, more than our wedding and reception, I believe! Big Grin)

- In April I took my two solo trips for the year; one to Canada for 4 days and an overnight road trip to Omaha. Both in order to see my favorite band! They were "solo" in that I was the only one in my family going; in Canada I hung out with my Canadian bestie and we saw 3 cities and 2 shows! The Nebraska roadtrip I did with my downstairs neighbors.

- We still haven't resaved up all the kitchen reno money we had to spend on the boiler and other issues in early March. I have had it. We've paid cash for all the other renovations on this house, but I'm starting to explore financing options to cover part of the kitchen reno so we can just get it done already! The last time I went into very temporary non-mortgage debt was for about a year while we were selling our condo and refinancing this home. So I'm not super happy about the idea of taking out a loan, but I'm even less happy about our kitchen. Many kitchen things are starting to break down all at once too, so we may as well do it right instead of replacing them with things that may not fit into the final design. I should know more about financing next week and then our designer can finalize our design and our contractor can schedule a time to get started.

- AS's mom has been having a hard time lately...I honestly don't know how much we've given her this year because it's been a couple hundred here, a couple hundred there...so that's been one of the reasons we haven't been able to save more toward the kitchen reno, but there have been other factors, it wasn't just this. I hope (fingers crossed!) things are stabilizing for her, because this drip of money is unpredictable and puts a kink in my best laid budgeting plans.

- NT's hat business is a lot of fun for him, but over the past year it's gone from being about $1K in the red to nearly $5K...he's invested in a few festival fees for the summer so I'm really hoping he can at least reduce that deficit over the next couple months. As of now we're able to float it in our regular budget without carrying any real debt, but it makes things tight at times in our cashflow.

- NT and I haven't gotten raises this year and no sign of it...both of our companies are struggling just a bit so I'm not really expecting any. AS's freelance business has been a bit slower with income this year; she's doing some great profile-raising stuff and some lower-paying but high-prestige projects as well. I think she'll bounce back and then some, and I'm glad she's taking this opportunity to get the word out about herself more. It can only help.

- NT has two solo trips planned this summer, and AS may do her teaching residency thing again like she did last summer, which was less like a work trip and more like a vacation. The two possibilities for her are California and Ireland, so either or both would be great! They pay for housing and travel, so she'd only have to cover meals. Family vacationwise, we've got a June weekend in southern MN coming up, a July week in a house by a lake near Green Bay WI, and AS and I may take the kids to VA in late July to see our folks. Speaking of:

- My mom is still bedridden and my dad is her full-time caretaker, but they seem to be holding up pretty well considering. AS's mom seems to be doing OK healthwise, although housing and employment have both contributed to financial issues. A visit home would give AS a good chance to assess her condition, as she can sometimes mask her problems over the phone.

- My own spending has gone a couple hundred in the hole this year because I've been getting more and more into live music, and tickets + rideshares + drinks can really add up. Then this week my spending went REALLY far in the hole because...

- I've been editing one of my NaNoWriMo novels off and on all year, and I've finally got it to a place where I'm ready to self-publish it! So I purchased ISBNs (for this book and enough for four others, because it was cheaper per piece like that). Nearly $400. I will also have to pay to create print and e-book editions of my novel, but I'm hoping to sell enough to recoup the costs eventually!

Once I do get the book up for selling, I'll share it with you guys. I'm publishing under a pseudonym because I don't want it connected to my corporate writing, so I don't even have to give my real name here! Smile

OK, I think those are the high and low points of finances and life. Feels good to chat on here again instead of just reading and getting back to whatever other thing I'm busy with!! I'll try not to let 3 months go by next time.

May 2019 net worth update

May 31st, 2019 at 12:56 pm

Assets:
NT's UK pensions:
AV: 22,397 pounds ($27,996)
SW: 28,134 pounds ($35,168)
FL: 6,462 pounds ($8,078)
NT's 401(k): $73,847
NT's Roth IRA: $33,922
AS's trad. IRA: $19,371
AS's Roth IRA: $53,813
AS's SEP IRA: $30,041
AS's cash: $2,259
CJ's 401(k): $137,532
CJ's Roth IRA: $38,476
NT's flat: $212,500 (200,000 pounds value x1.25 -15%)
CJ/NT/AS house: $427,281 ($454,554 value -6%)
---
TOTAL ASSETS: $1,100,284

Debts:
US Mortgage $379,470
Loan from friends (duplex) $9,000
UK Mortgage 1 $30,508
UK Mortgage 2 $6,431
UK Mortgage 3 $6,773
---
TOTAL DEBT $432,182

Current Estimated Net Worth: $668,102

April 2019 estimate: $680,223

Change in net worth: -$12,121

Summary: Last month I was excited to gain nearly $22K in net worth. This month we lost nearly half of that. Market volatility is no joke and it just gets more pronounced the more skin in the game you have! Frown

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.

May 2019 debt payments

May 2nd, 2019 at 02:53 pm

All our mortgage payments hit:

US: $745 to principal
UK1: $181
UK2: $38
UK3: $40

In total, $1,004 went to principal.

Updated debt totals:
US Mortgage $379,470
Loan from friends (duplex) $9,000
UK Mortgage 1 $30,508
UK Mortgage 2 $6,431
UK Mortgage 3 $6,773
---
TOTAL DEBT $432,182