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Paid our property taxes

January 15th, 2020 at 12:34 am

I realized yesterday that we have not yet gotten the property tax bill. I was sure the payment is due February 1 so it seems awfully late to have not received it yet.

I posted a question in our town's Facebook group today and others confirmed that the bills haven't gone out yet. Someone mentioned that there is a 10-day grace period so you really don't have to pay until 2/11, but I don't play those games. I pay before the stated due date, and typically when I get the bill so it doesn't actually get misplaced or forgotten.

Someone also mentioned that you could pay online and that the bills were already posted. I figured there'd be some convenience fee for online payment that I wouldn't want to pay, but I checked anyway. Turns out that the e-check fee is only $0.99. Since a stamp is $0.55, that means it would only cost an extra 44 cents to pay online and be done with it, not to have to write a check, and have immediate confirmation that my payment was processed. No chance of it getting lost in the mail or anything like that. So I went ahead just now and made the payment. Yes, I paid 2 weeks before I had to, but it's done and I no longer have to think about it - until April.

I'm glad they made the convenience fee so reasonable. It's worth 44 cents to me for sure.

Worked an extra shift today

January 10th, 2020 at 11:43 pm

Last year, I pretty regularly picked up an extra shift, maybe once or twice a month. But I haven't done that for at least a few months. We hired a lot of new people so there haven't been nearly as many open shifts, and I was just kind of burnt out and didn't feel like working any more than I needed to.

Recently, I've been paying attention to the openings again. Two or three times in the past few weeks, we've gotten a text or e-mail saying they needed help last minute but every time I've either already been working or had personal plans. Yesterday we got a message that they needed help at one site from 1-5pm today. I was free, double checked with my wife, and took that shift.

I hadn't been to that site for ages, probably close to 2 years, so it was nice to go there and see everyone. It wasn't terribly busy which was also nice. And the other doc on with me is pretty new. We've met at meetings but I never really had any time to talk and get to know her.

And, of course, we get paid $140/hour for weekday per diem shifts so I made an extra $560 for giving up my afternoon. Not a bad deal all around.

Ten Years of Finances

January 3rd, 2020 at 02:59 pm

CCF suggested this idea and I thought it would be fun. Post a comparison of where you were 10 years ago and where you are now, and talk about what happened in the interim. So here goes.

12/31/09: Total financial assets (not including home)
$395,673.73

12/31/19: Total financial assets (not including home)
$1,329,432.03

12/31/09 Mortgage balance: $92,285.99
12/31/19 Mortgage balance: $0.00

So our net worth went up by $1,026,044.29.

Major financial events of the last 10 years, and I'm probably forgetting some

Bought my car in 2012, paid off in 2013
Bought my wife's van in 2013, paid off in 2016

Daughter attended college 2014-2018, all loans by her and us have been repaid

Paid off mortgage in 2019; now totally debt-free

Began a job transition in April 2016 that was completed in November 2017 and now earn more than double what I made at the old job

I think those are the real biggies. Obviously, lots of smaller things, car repairs, home repairs, travel, medical expenses, and all of the other normal stuff. It's pretty powerful to look back like that.

Year end numbers

December 31st, 2019 at 09:15 pm

Now that the market is closed, I did the final 2019 update on our portfolio spreadsheet.

12/31/18: $1,023,684.61
12/31/19: $1,329,432.03

An increase of $305,747.42 for the year. That number is incredible to me. It really shows the power of investing and compounding. That's more money than I earned in 2019 gross and a little more than double my take home pay. Obviously, a strong stock market had a lot to do with it. We'll see how long that continues.

I hope you all had a great year and have an even better 2020.

401k Milestone

December 31st, 2019 at 06:45 pm

For most of my career, I was one of those folks who did not have an employer-sponsored retirement account. I finally got one when I started working for urgent care in 2016, so less then 3 years ago.

As of today, my 401k balance is just over the $100,000 mark.

That's less than 8% of our total portfolio but it was still nice to see that one account cross into 6 figures. I did max it out last year and this year and intend to do so every year I work there so it should continue to grow nicely putting $26,000/year into it.

$1.3 million!

December 15th, 2019 at 03:52 pm

I just updated our portfolio spreadsheet and the total topped $1.3 million for the first time. It's been close for a while with the gyrations of the market but it finally got there.

It means nothing. It changes nothing. We'll just keep plugging away as we're far from ready to retire (financially speaking) but it's nice to see the number continue to climb.

Master list of financial accounts for wife/daughter

December 15th, 2019 at 02:03 am

Many years ago, I typed up a list of all of our financial accounts in case anything ever happened to me. It listed each account company, type of account, account number, and phone number. I realized recently that I haven't updated that list for a very long time.

I pulled out the list today and it was dated December 2006. Surprisingly, it wasn't terribly outdated. A couple of companies have changed names and we have a few new accounts.

I made a new list today. Instead of phone numbers, I listed website addresses with user ID and password for accessing each account. I attached that list to a copy of our portfolio spreadsheet so that it all matches up.

As soon as we have a moment, I'll have a "financial date" with my wife and show her the new list and how it all goes together. The list will be stored in our lockbox with other important papers.

December update

December 9th, 2019 at 01:38 am

Not much new going on. Everything is cruising along nicely which is good.

I've sold a couple of items on Facebook Marketplace recently. It definitely has advantages over Ebay and I've used it to get rid of some things that have been sitting around or a while, including things that I tried unsuccessfully to sell on Ebay. The fact that there's no shipping cost helps a lot. That's what makes it hard to sell lower priced items online.

I maxed out my 401k a month or so ago so for the last couple of paychecks, I took the money that would have gone to that and put it into our Vanguard account instead. I did the full amount even though I was doing it with after-tax dollars. We have one more paycheck in December and then the 401k funding will resume, plus they upped the limit $1,000 for 2020 so it'll take a bit longer to max it.

We took advantage of the Target gift card sale today and bought $600 worth at 10% off. Last week we bought gift cards for one of our favorite restaurants. If you bought $75 they gave you an extra $20. We go there about once a month so that'll save us a bit. And yesterday I paid our auto insurance bill through PayPal with our Chase Freedom Visa which has 5% cashback on PayPal purchases this quarter. That saved me $63. $60 from Target, $20 from the restaurant, and $63 from the insurance. All of those things can really add up over time. Oh, and we bought $300 of the Target cards with our Discover card that has 5% back at Target this quarter though we're not sure if that includes gift card purchases. I'll have to wait and see.

My wife and I are going to NYC this week overnight and seeing a show. It's for her birthday. I booked the hotel on reward points so that's free. Of course the parking, dinner, and show aren't. Unfortunately, it looks like it will be very cold so we probably won't do much in the city. That's okay because I like wandering in the city much more than she does anyway.

I guess that's all the main stuff for now.

Sent extra 6K to Ally

October 27th, 2019 at 02:01 am

My base plan is to send at least $1,500 to Ally and $1,500 to Vanguard every month. Occasionally when excess accumulates in our checking account, I move that to Ally too. Yesterday I was able to transfer an extra $6,000 as I had gotten paid on Thursday and everything else was covered.

Our CC bills will be higher than usual the next 2 cycles because we bought a dishwasher last week and we’re going out of town for a few days next week but I think I’ll still have enough in checking to cover all of that. If not I can always transfer some back. At least this way it’s earning interest.

Change in asset allocation

October 19th, 2019 at 01:37 am

I updated our portfolio spreadsheet and our asset allocation has drifted some from 12/31/18. I'm not surprised by that as I know we've been accumulating more cash. And of course market performance affects the numbers too.

12/31/18
69% stock
23.4% bond
7.6% cash

10/16/19
61.16% stock
26.67% bond
12.17% cash

I don't really have anything particular to say about these numbers. I'm fine with where they are. I do want to keep track as I don't really want the stock allocation to drop below 60%. I'm currently splitting at least $3,000/month between our savings account and our taxable Vanguard account so if I need to pump up the stock allocation, I can just direct more toward that instead of savings for a couple of months.

Huge update on my raise!

April 10th, 2019 at 02:35 pm

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 11:06 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 11:02 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.