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Archive for December, 2009

I'll be funding the Roths early for 2010

December 27th, 2009 at 04:49 pm

For a combination of reasons, we've accumulated an unusually large amount in our checking account. July 1, I increased the percentage of my pay going to savings from 20% to 21%. DW's surgeries didn't cost us nearly as much out of pocket as I had anticipated especially thanks to the 50% discount she got for being a hospital employee. We didn't do any particularly costly travel this year. We paid off our HELOC last year and DD's braces came off. And overall, I think our spending has been down in general.

Anyway, the end result is we're sitting on a fair amount of cash that really isn't needed for any particular purpose.

Normally, I fund our Roths every 2 weeks with a portion of my pay, beginning with my first check in January and usually maxing them at 5K each by June. As it stands right now, I plan to send in $3,100 to the Roths on January 1 as soon as we're eligible to make 2010 contributions. That should put us on track to max them for the year by the end of April or maybe first check of May, at least a month earlier than usual.

The other thing I want to do with spare cash is start chipping away at our mortgage more aggressively. I've been paying an extra $100/month for a while, but if we stay on track the way we've been, I could potentially pay off as much as 8-10K extra in 2010 if I choose to do so.

I have just started all the year-end financial review stuff so my 2010 plans aren't all firmed up yet, but this is where I am right now.

Snow, Snow and More Snow

December 20th, 2009 at 08:28 pm

It started snowing about 6 am Saturday and forgot to stop. By the time it was done, we had recorded the record high snowfall for the month of December beating the record set in 1909. We also got the 2nd highest snowfall ever after the storm of 1996.

Needless to say I've spent a good part of the past 2 days snowblowing and shoveling snow. I'm done now. Well, not done in the sense that all the snow is cleared but done in the sense that I'm not going out there again. I've got my car shoveled out. The van is mostly cleared but needs a little more work. I'll probably do that tomorrow night after work and DW and DD can work on it tomorrow, too.

It has been a long time we've seen snow like this (13 years to be exact). I just hope this isn't a sign of things to come this winter.

Surprise check in the mail today

December 17th, 2009 at 07:38 pm

We got a nice surprise today. Before my wife's first surgery on 10/23, the office required us to make an upfront payment of $316 which I assume represented the percentage of the bill they anticipated wouldn't be covered by insurance.

Today, my wife got the mail and saw what she thought was another bill from the practice and wondered why because she thought we had paid everything. It turned out to be a check refunding the $316 because insurance had covered everything.

Today is her birthday so that was a nice little bonus gift.

Need money - Clean your house Pt. 2

December 13th, 2009 at 02:40 am

As I reported a couple of weeks ago, we've been working on some house cleaning lately. The first round turned up some monetary rewards by finding stuff to sell on ebay.

This week, cleaning actually turned up money. Wednesday night, I was cleaning in the basement. I came across a file box of papers from when my wife and I ran the Girl Scout cookie sale for our daughter's troop 3 years ago. I realized there was no reason to still have that stuff and started pulling everything out to recycle. In one of the folders, I found a $20 bill. I'm certain that we handed over all money due to the troop so this $20 probably belonged to us for some reason, but I have no idea why it would have been in that file. So the next day, I stopped at the Girl Scout office and told them the story and to give the money to her troop (she's not a scout anymore).

Today, my daughter found a $20 bookstore gift card and $8 cash plus some change while cleaning.

So that's almost $50 turned up in a few days. Get rid of your clutter and get organized. It may pay off more than you realize.

November 2009 Survey Total

December 1st, 2009 at 10:36 pm

I'm a physician and get to do a lot of online and occasionally in-person market research projects and surveys. Here in my blog, I report my monthly income from these. I also do Pinecone and Opinion Place and that is included in the total.

For the month of November, I received $441 to survey income, a pretty decent month. I'll keep at it and keep shooting for at least $400/month.