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Archive for April, 2019

Charity and community support

April 29th, 2019 at 04:10 pm

One thing that both my wife and I have been talking about is upping our game as far as charitable donations and support of community and cultural causes. Honestly, we haven't been as good with that as we could have been in recent years.

We used to have a subscription to an area theater company but dropped that a couple of years ago. We want to get back to either that group or another one in the area. There's actually a theater company very close to home that we might join.

Many years ago, we had a membership to Longwood Gardens in PA and we went several times during the year. We might sign up for that again.

As far as straight out donations, I always donate to my college's annual fund but will probably up the amount this year. I think the older I get, the more I appreciate how I got to where I am in life. It's time to do a little more giving back.

First new paycheck

April 24th, 2019 at 12:40 pm

Pay day is tomorrow so I got my stub yesterday. This is the first check since my raise went into effect. I was estimating my take home would go up by about $900 and that was accurate. This check included some per diem hours so I don't have an exact number but it comes in right around $916. That works out to $1,985/month.

We already run a monthly surplus of nearly $4,000 so this bumps that up closer to $6,000. And as soon as the mortgage is paid off, another $700 gets added to that surplus. That's about $80,000/year that can pretty much all go to savings in addition to the 25K that goes into my 401K (plus the company match). I'm still kind of shocked that within a few months, we're going to be saving 100K/year or more. Just 3 years ago at my old job, I was only earning about 120K/year so this is a pretty major change for us.

Made some summer travel plans

April 15th, 2019 at 06:35 pm

We are going to Texas this summer. My daughter wanted to attend a convention there so we decided to make a family trip out of it. My wife and I have never been to Texas and DD was in Dallas once for a youth group convention but didn't really get to see much there.

I booked the hotel months ago when DD registered for the convention but hadn't booked airfare. Also, I decided today (based on how much PTO I have left to use) to extend my vacation. So we're now going 1 day earlier and leaving 2 days later.

I booked the airfare which was not a problem (other than the usual hassle of booking airfare).

Then I tried to extend the hotel stay. That's where the trouble started. The website said the dates weren't available, so I called the Rewards club customer service line (I'm an upper level member). She also said the dates were sold out. Then I checked the website. The previous day was sold out but the later dates were available. So I called the hotel directly, but he was showing no availability. I went ahead and booked the last 2 nights online. He said we would be able to stay in the same room since I was booking the same room type.

I then found a nearby hotel just for our first night. Moving will be a minor inconvenience but we'll make sure to pack our suitcases so everything we need for the first night is easy to get to and we won't have to totally unpack. Oh, and I used reward points for that first night so no out of pocket cost.

End result is we're going to Dallas for 8 nights, paying for 7 nights plus airfare plus rental car (which I haven't done yet). DD is paying her convention expenses and I might ask her to contribute to travel costs.

Huge update on my raise!

April 10th, 2019 at 07:35 am

I posted a couple of weeks ago that I unexpectedly got a new contract at work that included a substantial raise. I thought the numbers needed to be adjusted based on my hours. I was finally able to confirm that the numbers I got were actually correct.

I thought my raise would be $15,833.
My actual raise is $40,493!!!
I am shocked and obviously very pleased.

It will be a couple of weeks before I get the first new paycheck to see how my take home changes but it should be around 2K/month. I have to sit down and figure out what we're going to do with the added income but what a nice problem to have.

Got our state tax refund

April 3rd, 2019 at 04:06 pm

We got our state tax refund yesterday. When I subtract what we owed on our Federal return plus what we paid our accountant, we came out about $1,300 ahead which will probably all go to the mortgage. We are on track to pay it off in August but that would speed it up even more.

Forgot the sewer bill - oops

April 3rd, 2019 at 04:02 pm

I was going through some papers just now and found the sewer bill mixed in. I don't even remember getting it. Clearly I must have thought it was junk mail when it arrived as it was with some other junk. It was due 4/1. I normally pay by check since there's no charge for that (other than a stamp) but I went and paid it online. There's a $.99 fee for doing that but a stamp is $.55 anyway so really only an extra $.44 and it's done. I doubt there will be any sort of late fee for 2 days but if there is, it'll be my own fault so I can't complain.