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June 2019 debt payments

June 7th, 2019 at 10:28 am

All of our mortgage payments hit:
US: $747 to principal
UK1: $180
UK2: $38
UK3: $40

That means we put $1,005 toward debt this month.

New debt totals:
US Mortgage $378,723
Loan from friends (duplex) $9,000
UK Mortgage 1 $30,328
UK Mortgage 2 $6,393
UK Mortgage 3 $6,733

TOTAL DEBT $431,177

PatientSaver?

June 3rd, 2019 at 02:12 pm

I don't know if the blogs are messed up, but PatientSaver's blog seems to be retired, with the last entry posted in 2018? Does anyone know anything? Did I miss a farewell or any kind of explanation? Or is this just a temporary glitch, do you think?

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 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

April 2019 retirement goal update

April 30th, 2019 at 09:15 am

Goal: $776,700 by March 2024

Current retirement balance: $473,628

Still needed: $303,072

March 2019 balance: $452,766

Progress since March 2019: +$20,862

There are 59 months to go before March 2024, so that means we need assets to appreciate $5,137 per month on average to meet our goal.

Overall goal: saving 8x income by retirement (age 65)

Incremental goal explained: getting my and NT's retirement to 4x our salaries (currently $75,120 and $62,100) by the time we turn 50 and AS's retirement values to 3x her annual income ($75,940 in 2018) by the time she turns 45.
$75,120 x 4 = $300,480
$62,100 x 4 = $248,400
$75,940 x 3 = $227,820

The goal will shift anytime our salary/annual income changes.

Note to self for net worth update

April 5th, 2019 at 03:45 pm

I got NT's annual notice on one of his pensions. (I must have missed at least one previous one, because even last year's value is more than what I have listed!)

So for our net worth update at the end of the month, I'll change this pension:
AV: 17,967 pounds ($22,459)

to
22,397 pounds ($27,996)

That'll be a nice boost for our retirement goal!

April 2019 debt payments

April 4th, 2019 at 08:06 am

All our mortgage payments hit:

US: $743 to principal
UK1: $180
UK2: $39
UK3: $40

All told that is $1,002 of debt paid off.

On a related note, we checked in with our UK property manager about selling the flat, but he's convinced the market is terrible right now because of Brexit uncertainty. So we're reupping with our current tenant for another year and will look at listing it next year if things have improved.

New balances:
US Mortgage $380,215
Loan from friends (duplex) $9,000
UK Mortgage 1 $30,689
UK Mortgage 2 $6,469
UK Mortgage 3 $6,813
---
TOTAL DEBT $433,186

March 2019 interim retirement goal result & new goal set

March 31st, 2019 at 01:02 pm

March 2019 was where I set our first retirement goal milestone, since I turned 45 and AS turned 40 this year. (NT turned 46 but I'm weighing his assets by the same measurements as mine, to keep things simpler.)

Goal: $563,540 by March 2019

Final balance: $452,766

Result: Fell short by $110,774. Now, starting January our goal got about $50K more ambitious due to AS's income increasing, so about half of that shortfall was due to that.

This was an incremental goal along the way to 8x income by retirement It aimed to get me and NT to 3x our income, and AS to 2x hers.

Anyway, it's time to set our next incremental goal! The new goal is based on getting my and NT's retirement to 4x our salaries (currently $75,120 and $62,100) by the time we turn 50 and AS's retirement values to 3x her annual income ($75,940 in 2018) by the time she turns 45.
$75,120 x 4 = $300,480
$62,100 x 4 = $248,400
$75,940 x 3 = $227,820

So our new goal is...$776,700 by March 2024! (And of course it will shift anytime our salary/annual income changes.)
Current retirement balance: $452,766

Still needed: $323,934

There are 60 months to go before March 2024, so that means we need assets to appreciate $5399 per month on average to meet our goal.

So, here we go!

March 2019 debt payments

March 8th, 2019 at 11:09 am

Finally getting around to this ... it's been a very busy weeks, with three of our five household birthdays hitting one after the other! Lots of parties, gifts, spending, fun ...

Anyway, I finally checked our mortgages and all our payments hit.
US: $741
UK1: $184
UK2: $38
UK3: $41
In total, that's $1,004 to principal. Yay, our minimum payments finally add up to more than a thousand bucks! Smile

Current household debt:
US Mortgage $380,958
Loan from friends (duplex) $9,000
UK Mortgage 1 $30,869
UK Mortgage 2 $6,508
UK Mortgage 3 $6,853
---
TOTAL DEBT $434,188

Murphy hit in a big way

March 3rd, 2019 at 02:51 pm

Things have been going along pretty well so far this year. It's been a spendy few weeks, with all our birthdays hitting in month (we planned a big blowout for AS's 40th that will run us about $3K; everyone else's parties are more like a few hundred each) and signing the kids up for spring swim, theater and art classes. And a few other things have cropped up here and there. So our shared spending was running a deficit of a few grand (about $5K), but we could easily float it and I felt like we'd be able to chip away at it over the next couple months with AS's expected checks and our usual budget surplus.

Then we got our first tax return news; NT and I owe about $2400 between state and federal. We don't yet know if AS will owe; I'm hoping for some benefit from the tax deal since she's a business owner, but she also made a lot more money in 2018, so I kind of expect her to owe but don't know how much. We have $4300 set aside for taxes, so if what she owes plus what we'll need to pay our tax guy comes to less than $2K it won't be a big deal, but I'm not sure.

So I was already thinking I need to adjust my withholding and take home about $200 less per month. That was going to eliminate/reduce our monthly budget surplus. Then our downstairs neighbors' boiler broke on Friday.

The estimates of various options ranged from $5K to $20K. It was a bit of a shock. But I finally asked NT and AS to come to a decision with our neighbors which option was best bang for buck, and I'd work out how to pay for it.

They came up with one that's about $8600. Yikes, but it's gotta be done.

We had about $36K saved up for our kitchen reno. Early rough estimates (depending on how drastic we want to go) were $45K-$80K. We were mulling our options; do we save up the full amount, think about financing, try to sell the UK flat and use part of the profits? But I ended up pulling $11K out to handle the boiler and also reduce our shared spending deficit. I also took $2K from vacation savings and wiped out the deficit.

So now we only have $25K in reno savings. And we heard from the UK property manager that the market is really bad, the worst he's ever seen. Plus he says we'd have to have the place vacant if we hope to sell it, which would mean having it sit not generating income. So it seems like with everything else happening, we should probably not list it at this time.

I don't know what to do about the kitchen reno. I wouldn't mind financing a small amount but I don't want to do half of it or anything. So I think we just sit back, wait for AS's tax return results, wait to see if NT and I get raises this year, wait to see what kinds of jobs AS books this year. Slowly start rebuilding our reno and vacation savings in the meantime.

Although we're very eager to fix our kitchen, I don't want it to put us in a place of financial insecurity again. So we'll take some breaths and decide later what we should do.

I feel good that we have the money in savings to deal with this. I'm choosing to look on the bright side!

Anyway, I've been having a very fun, active, busy year so far otherwise. Lots of exciting things happening on the "chase pleasure" new year's intention for sure! I'll try to check in with some of the happy stuff in my life.

February 2019 debt payments

February 10th, 2019 at 02:27 pm

I have so many balls in the air right now, I feel slightly behind on everything, including blogging!

I only now checked our mortgage payments to see our new balances.

US: $739 to principal
UK1: $178
UK2: $38
UK3: $39
Total principal paid this month: $994

New household debt totals:
US Mortgage $381,699
Loan from friends (duplex) $9,000
UK Mortgage 1 $31,053
UK Mortgage 2 $6,546
UK Mortgage 3 $6,894
----
TOTAL DEBT $435,192

January 2019 retirement goal update

February 1st, 2019 at 02:07 pm

Well, now that I'm basing our retirement goal on AS's 2018 income, it just got $50K more ambitious!

Goal: $563,540 by March 2019

Current balance: $434,490 ($129,050 to go)

September 2018 balance: $436,289

Progress: -$1,799

Ordinarily, I only post retirement goal updates when we make positive progress, but since AS's salary calculation underwent a reset, I figured I should post.

As a reminder, this is just an incremental goal along the way to 8x income by retirement. This mini-goal aims to get us to a milestone by the time I turn 45 and AS turns 40.

The milestone (which changes whenever our salaries change) is to get me to 3x my current salary, which is now $75,120, so $225,360; NT to 3x his, which is now $62,100, so $186,300; and AS to 2x hers, which in 2018 was $75,940, so $151,880.

To reach the interim goal by the end of our birthday month (March) in 2019, that's 2 months, so we'd need to contribute (or have assets appreciate) $129,050 -- $64,525 per month(!!!) -- to reach it.

So yeah, we're going to fail badly on that there goal. Considering we've made no gains since August, despite dumping thousands and thousands of dollars in our accounts, there's not much more we could have done about that.

Come March, even though we'll be short of that goal, I'm going to set another 5-year goal. Which of course will change any time one of our salaries does.