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Archive for July, 2019

Daughter got a new job

July 18th, 2019 at 10:21 am

Our daughter graduated college in 2018. Last fall, she got a job as a preschool teacher. She liked the work itself but there were some problems with the overall situation. She stuck it out until the end of the school year but let them know she wouldn't be continuing on with their summer program or returning in the fall.

We had a family vacation planned in June and another in August so we had all agreed that she didn't need to look for something new right away as the travel plans might have been an issue.

She did recently apply for an online position that wouldn't have been impacted by the travel. She hasn't heard anything about that yet. But the other day she applied for a position at a local swim school teaching little ones to swim. They called her for a phone interview and then asked her to come for an in-person interview yesterday. She did that and they called today to offer her a position!

I'm not sure when she starts (I'm at work so don't know the details yet) but I'm guessing it's after we get back from vacation. There is about 40 hours of training she needs to do first. She will get paid for that but at a reduced rate. Once she actually starts working, her salary will be a few dollars/hour higher. It will be a bit less than she made at the preschool but that job was actually paying an unusually high wage for the area so she wasn't expecting to match that.

I'm just proud of the fact that so far she has stayed employed since shortly after graduating except for a couple of brief periods where she was purposely not working. And she found this new job entirely on her own (we pointed her toward the last one as we had a connection). I know this won't be "the" job for her long term but that's okay. It's good work experience and builds more connections. And since starting the last job, she has been adding to her savings and contributing to her Roth from each paycheck.

Next to last mortgage payment made

July 17th, 2019 at 05:59 pm

I made our August 1st mortgage payment today (well, scheduled it today to process on Monday). I paid an extra $1,725 principal. Next month, we should be all set to make the final payment of approximately the same amount and we will be done!

Once we do that, we will be debt-free for the first time in our adult lives. No mortgage. No credit cards (never had that debt). No student loans. No car loans. Nothing.

Our mortgage P&I is about $700 and we've been paying at least an extra $1,000 every month for the past year. Once that final payment is made, that frees ups about $1,700/month in our budget.

Yes, we are planning to celebrate. Also today, I booked a 4-day/3-night getaway for my wife and I in early November. I splurged for a premium room at one of our favorite resorts. That'll run about $1,500 plus some spending money, so basically one month's worth of savings from not having a mortgage anymore.

After that, the bulk of that money will go into additional savings every month. My car is getting up there (it's a 2006) so that will need replacing in the relatively near future like the next 1-2 years, so I want to be sure money is set aside for that. There's also some house stuff that needs to get done.

So we're not debt-free quite yet, but we're very close. One more month if all goes as planned.

Anniversary dinner

July 13th, 2019 at 10:01 am

Yesterday was our 27th anniversary. A couple of weeks ago, my wife had asked if we could go to The Capital Grille to celebrate. She had never been there and I've mentioned it a few times, so I made a reservation.

For those unfamiliar with the place, it is a high end chain steakhouse. Top notch food and service all around. And they really do a nice job with special occasions.

When we arrived and were taken to our table, there was a single long stem red rose on the table and a pre-printed card wishing us a happy anniversary and thanking us for choosing to celebrate it there.

Our server was fantastic, wished us a happy anniversary as soon as he came over, and reviewed all of the menu details. He happily took a photo of us after we got our drinks and then again later when dessert came.

Our meals were excellent. Every single item we ordered was cooked to perfection from my wife's steak, my scallops, all of the sides, and dessert.

Speaking of dessert, my wife ordered from the Restaurant Week menu which included dessert, but our server also came over with a special celebration plate. Happy Anniversary was painted on the plate in chocolate and there were 2 mini desserts to either side of that along with berries and fresh whipped cream.

At one point, the manager also came by to check on us and wish us a happy anniversary.

The topic of dining out, and the associated cost, comes up from time to time on the forums and many say they can't even imagine spending $100 or more on a meal but I have to say, if you've never had a meal like that, you don't know what you're missing. With tax and tip, our dinner came to about $210 and it was worth every penny. Sure there are lots of places we could have gone for less but they wouldn't be nearly the same. It's certainly not something we would do regularly but for a special occasion, you can't beat it.

General update

July 3rd, 2019 at 05:30 pm

It's been almost a month since my last post so I thought I'd update.

We got back from a week in Dallas the other night. First time in Texas for my wife and I. Our daughter had been there once before for a youth group convention in high school. We had a great time and did some fun and interesting things like visiting the 6th Floor Museum from which Oswald shot JFK, the Dallas World Aquarium, the Reunion Tower observation deck, the National Video Game Museum, and more.

Next up is our Disney World trip in less than 5 weeks.

Need to get my wife's van in for routine service. There was also a recall for the airbag. I have to get that done soon as that's the car we drive to Florida.

I had originally thought we'd pay off our mortgage with the August payment but the past couple of months were particularly expensive due mostly to travel-related expenses so I didn't pay as much extra as I had thought I would. I'm pretty sure now we can make the final payment in September. That will drop our monthly expenses by about $700 going forward which will be very nice. It will mostly go to pad the retirement savings but I'm sure we'll spend some too.

Nothing else major going on that I can think of at the moment.