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Archive for December, 2020

Sold one losing stock

December 24th, 2020 at 04:12 pm

I figured with the end of the year looming, it was time to unload one loser in our portfolio: ARLP.

I bought it in 2019 for an average of $14.76/share.

I sold it for $4.46.

Yes, I should have dumped it sooner but it was a very small position so I kind of ignored it. It had dropped as low as $2.30 a few months ago and at least crept back up a bit. But selling it now will let us take that loss to offset some of our 2020 gains so that's useful.

Rolling over wife's 401(k)

December 22nd, 2020 at 08:18 pm

We took care of the 403(b) so it was time to do the 401(k). I downloaded the transfer form and filled it all out. I had a couple of questions that I was pretty sure I knew the answers to but wanted to be 100% sure so we called them this morning. Then she signed the form, I made copies of everything, and I have it ready to mail, but I'm going to wait until after Christmas since the post office is such a mess right now.

I'm hoping that by the end of January, both the 403(b) and 401(k) accounts will be history with the assets of both moving into her Vanguard rollover IRA. That will definitely simplify record keeping and simplify drawing from that money when the time comes.

Got my COVID vaccine today!

December 19th, 2020 at 01:11 am

I was fortunate to get the first dose (of two) of my COVID vaccine today. Dose two is in 3 weeks so January 8.

I see COVID patients every day at work so this will certainly make me more comfortable about the potential exposure I face every day. Certainly, I will still take all precautions and wear my PPE at work and my mask outside of work, but at least I know I'm far less likely to get ill if I do get exposed to the virus.

Rolled over wife's 403(b)

December 16th, 2020 at 08:04 pm

I've procrastinated on making a couple of financial moves for way too long but I'm finally making some progress.

DW and I called her 403(b) company yesterday to find out what we needed to do to rollover her account. She already has an existing rollover IRA from a prior job so the 403(b) funds can go into there.

We downloaded the form needed and filled it out. Today we got her old employer to sign it, as required, and I'll mail it tomorrow (assuming we're not snowed in).

Next up is rolling over her 401k. I downloaded the form for that but I have a question about something so we need to give them a call to clarify that.

I'll be glad to have two fewer accounts to deal with and keep track of. It will make retirement a bit easier when it comes time to start taking distributions from the accounts.

Anything that can go wrong....

December 8th, 2020 at 08:21 pm

We're having one of those days here.

My wife started getting more serious about her sewing business a couple of months ago. She updated her website. We had a friend design a new logo. I then designed and we had printed business cards. I also printed hang tags to put on her items. She reconnected with a shop owner who is selling her items on consignment, and she has already sold a bunch of things. That's all good.

Today, my task was to update the hang tags with a different email address. In the process of doing so, I suddenly realized that on everything we had done so far, a word was misspelled. Ugh. Business cards. Hang tags. Some product labels. All wrong. Several people had reviewed those designs multiple times and somehow none of us had noticed the mistake until I caught it today.

So now my job is to fix it all. Our friend is going to fix the logo. Then I'll use that to fix the hang tags and we'll have to order new business cards. Fortunately, I printed the hang tags myself in small batches and we got the business cards online for about $20. So not a big financial loss but a huge pain in the butt.

Oh, and one more thing. My wife went to cut some fabric on her Cricut and apparently chose the wrong setting which resulted in the machine cutting through the cutting mat.

I hope you're all having a better day.

11-month spending update

December 3rd, 2020 at 01:04 am

2020 is nearly over - finally. As I've posted before, our spending has been down quite a bit thanks to Covid. The two biggest areas of savings continue to be travel and dining out. Travel has been zero. Dining out still happens though almost entirely take out especially now that the weather is getting too cold for outdoor dining. Yeah, I know they have heaters but when it's in the 30s and windy that only helps so much. I don't suspect we'll be braving that much if at all.

Year to date as of November 30, our average monthly spending has been $5,965. For 2019, our average was $6,657 so down about $700 before making any adjustments to that number.

When I subtract spending for which we got reimbursed, the average drops to $5,541. (The 2019 number is not adjusted for reimbursed expenses.)

Although we do miss traveling a great deal and miss dining out as well, my wife and I both agree that we've been perfectly happy with quarantine life for the most part. I know that reduced level of spending won't continue, of course. The pandemic will end in the coming months and we'll resume traveling. We have trips planned for late March (which may or may not happen) and October (which probably will happen). And if the world is relatively safe again, I'm sure there will be other trips in 2021.

Our saving YTD stands at $94,857. My goal for the year is $100,000. I have two more paychecks from which at least $2,376 will go to savings. That will leave us just $2,767 from the goal which we should be able to manage, especially since December is a 3 paycheck month. Most or all of that final paycheck will go to savings.

I think I do have at least one per diem shift scheduled this month and may pick up another if I feel like it. A lot of my coworkers are looking to give away shifts to use up their PTO. I haven't decided if I'd take any more but if I do, that extra income all goes to savings as well.

Overall, a very successful year financially speaking despite the craziness in the world. And as of today, our portfolio is up over $245,000 for the year. As long as the market behaves this month, we should end on a strong note.