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Archive for May, 2012

Simple IRA Caught Up; Daughter Heading This Way

May 30th, 2012 at 11:02 pm

My boss gave me checks for last year's matching and this year's contributions; I mailed them off yesterday. I hope they will hit my account before my next net worth statement, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter. Either way, the money will be invested soon.

My daughter called over the weekend and said they don't have enough cash to drive out here, rent the house, and get settled, so can they just stay with me for a month? I asked how much she was short. Basically, another $500 would make it work. I had a better idea. Smile I sent a $500 cashier's check to the property manager yesterday, towards their deposit. I raided Mini E-Fund (Piddly Fund re-christened) for most of it. Daughter and son-in-law are to repay me $250 July 1 and $250 August 1. They are finishing packing today and will hit the road early tomorrow. They should be here on Saturday.

I have nothing else to report. My life is kind of boring. :P

Checking Account Sweep

May 24th, 2012 at 12:39 am

I was just looking over my bill book and I see that I have paid everything this month except for Citi MC. (That bill barely makes it before the 30th!) I looked in my checking account and saw that I had $783.76. A balance like that makes me feel rich. Feeling rich leads to spending splurges.

I don't like my balance to get too low, but I don't need that much sitting there. So I transferred $50.00 to the old E fund, and $83.76 to CurveBall. That leaves me $650 and 1 bill to pay with 8 days of May to go.

(I like some "slush" in checking because the first of the month is much tighter than the middle of the month for me. If I actually spent that entire $650 during May, I'd be in trouble.)

Just For Laughs

May 23rd, 2012 at 08:13 pm

I saw this today. It made me chuckle, so I thought I would share.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/couple-has-nest-egg-of-debt...

Received Good Faith Estimate; The Bushmans

May 22nd, 2012 at 10:20 pm

I received my good faith estimate and some other documents. In 2-3 weeks, I should receive the loan docs in the mail. I need to sign and have them notarized (will make appt for this at the local WF branch), then send them back. I am supposed to close June 30th! They are adding on June's interest to my balance and I skip a payment in July. They will transfer my existing escrow account, so I will be short one monthly deposit (from skipping in July). They will do an analysis a month or so after closing, and I will need to send some money.

My new PITI is $1077.92. Smile

My daughter found a house to rent in a small town about a 30 minute drive from here. Her father met with the realtor today to view it (he is a deputy, and is currently assigned nearby). He said the carpet is a bit worn, but otherwise it is a-ok. New appliances and linoleum, and clean. The realtor emailed the lease to her today, she will overnight it with the deposit, and they will hold the house for her until June 15. She should be moved in before then. Yay! They will stay with me for a day or two after they arrive from Indiana, but then will be moving into their rented house.

I did a wallet sweep today, and sent the proceeds ($4.62) off to CurveBall.

I found this blog recently, and am fascinated. This family of 4 lives on one part-time income. They paid 13k cash for their fixer-upper house in a very rural area.

http://www.budgetingwiththebushmans.com/

I don't think I would like living in a town of 100 people unless a much larger town was close by. However, it makes me wonder...could I save up some cash and buy an inexpensive small home for myself? Like a little 900 sq ft place with hardwood floors built in the 40s? Hmmm.

No Admiral Shares in Simples

May 18th, 2012 at 08:59 pm

This morning, I discovered that Admiral shares are not available in Simple IRAs! Hmmmmph. So I am just sticking with the Target Retirement fund. Oh well, it isn't as if the TR fund is expensive. At .21, it is one-fifth the cost of the American Funds TR I had at Edward Jones. And of course, I have escaped that nasty front-end load. All in all, still very pleased to have moved my Simple to my beloved Vanguard. Now to get my contributions (via payroll deduction) flowing into my new Simple regularly. My boss still has not cut a check to Vanguard. I didn't want to have to ask, but here we are. I know he does payables on or near the 15th. I am all set up, so I want my contributions deposited promptly.

Remember when I cancelled my land line a few months back? Remember my saying I must have overpaid my last bill because AT& T sent me a check for $.05? Well, I have receieved another check marked "overpayment refund", this time for $3.99. I'm not complaining, but I really don't know how that is possible. I have added it to CurveBall.

Simple IRA Money Has Transferred!

May 17th, 2012 at 11:47 pm

I received an email from Vanguard today, they have received my Simple IRA money! The email states the funds will appear in my account balance tomorrow. Smile

I spoke with my mortgage consultant today. She said my loan will fund June 30th and my first payment will be due August 1st. My loan balance should go up ONLY by the interest accrued in June. Of course, I could just pay it and not skip a payment in July. However, I believe I would rather use the money to pay off Citi MC and the start up costs to switch to Ting (cell phone service). This will improve my cash flow by $150 per month.

Dare I say it? Things are looking up over here. Smile

My daughter texted me yesterday, the apartment complex has denied them. She has an eviction with money still owed from almost 3 years ago. She signed a 6 month lease, lived in the apartment for a month or so, then moved. She was shocked when they expected her to pay anyway, even though I had told her that was how it worked. She was barely 18. I might have done the same at that age.

So she was upset and says she doesn't know what they will do. A medical bill has drained their savings account, she says. I told her try to find a rental offered by a private party, not a property managment company. Even though they have bad credit, they have guaranteed income from the Army. If they look hard enough, they should be able to find a landlord who finds that attractive. I don't know what else to tell her. I don't want them moving in with me again, it never goes well. Also, I feel adults need to do what they can to make their own way, not do nothing and then wait to be rescued.

Yay for WF's "3 Step" !!

May 16th, 2012 at 08:16 pm

I haven't had a return call from the WF mortgage consultant who sent me that letter, so I e-mailed the woman who was doing my Harp 2 and asked her about it. This is part of her reply:

Yes, I just checked and your loan is now eligible for the 3 Step. I will have to cancel the loan we started and we can make the 3 Step no cost, live tomorrow.

Yay! Yay, yay, YAY!

She called me just now, too. My Harp 2 is being cancelled today, will be "dead" tomorrow, and we will open my 3 Step.

So I'm going from 5.25 to 4.125 with no closing costs, and a new 30 year loan.

I'm just going to stick with her, since she gets back to me and certain other people do not.

Streamline Refinance

May 15th, 2012 at 04:26 am

Today in the mail I received an offer from my lender (Wells Fargo) to do a streamline re-finance. It states the terms are based on my LTV of 147%. It says no application fee, no appraisal and no closing costs (no kidding). The rate is 4.125.

It was mailed to me by the same guy who did my loan last time, but who didn't return any of my phone calls when I was trying to find out more info about Harp 2.

The Harp 2 refi I have going on right now with Wells Fargo does have closing costs and the rate is 4.375.

Why didn't they mention this program before? The streamline refi is a much, much better deal! I am calling tomorrow.

Some Big (To Me) News :)

May 11th, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Well, my new Simple at Vanguard is still sitting there with $0.00. Edward Jones has sold my mutual fund shares, and I have nothing but cash sitting in my Simple there. I am impatient for them to transfer the funds! So far in 2012, I have contributed $600 to my Simple, but that money hasn't been sent. I think my boss will write the check when he does payables on the 15th. I sure hope so! He will write the check to Vanguard, then give it to me. I will need to log on to Vanguard's small business site and print a deposit coupon, then send that in the mail with the check. Hopefully, he will do my 2011 matching at the same time. (They ended up filing an extension, effectively extending the deadline for 2011 contributions, since the Simple issue was still up in the air on April 15th). I'm just impatient for it all to be DONE already.

Over at the Boglehead's Forum, they suggested I use admiral shares of total stock market in my Simple, then adjust my holdings in my traditional IRA to compensate. What a smart idea! This will effectively reduce my costs even more. I view my traditional and Simple as one pot of money anyway, so that will work just fine. They suggested the same for my Roth, but I'm not going to do that. In my mind, my Roth has a different purpose, so should be invested for that purpose and allocated separately.

I charged the balance due to the travel agent for Hawaii, then transferred the money (before the bill came). With my refi in the works, I didn't want a 4k Visa bill showing up on my credit report (I assume they will check it again before closing). So airfare, hotel, and rental car are all paid in full. Everything left in Vacation Fund is for food and excursions.

My TIAA Direct accounts are open and funded, I have no money at all in Ally any longer. So far everything is fine with TIAA Direct.

I believe I will skip the insurance when I sign up at T-Mobile next month. That means my total monthly bill before taxes will be $80.43. With tax it should still be under $90, which is so much better than what I have been paying! My savings will go to....savings! My cash is getting much too low for my liking, so an additional $50ish per month will certainly help.

A few no frills gyms have opened up near my home and are competing with each other. I am going to investigate, but I believe I can trim a bit from my current gym membership of $25 per month. My girlfriends (reason I joined this particular gym) never go when I do, so I would prefer a gym closer to home anyway. If I can free up $10 to add to savings each month, that is just fine with me.

And the big news...my daughter and son-in-law will be moving back from Indiana next month! They will be renting an apartment before they get here, my daughter says. They have been pricing them online and it seems they have decided on a complex not too terribly far from my house, so I'm excited about that. Once it was clear and agreed upon they WILL NOT be staying with me, I was very happy with the news. Smile

I am looking forward to a nice quiet weekend. BF was at my house for a week and just left Wednesday. He will stay home this weekend, as will I. J will have a friend over tonight, and I will likely take them to the movies tomorrow. They want to see The Avengers. I want to get some yard work done. I still (yes, STILL, can you believe it?) have an ugly front planter. I want to get it looking better this spring, so my plants are established before winter sets in.

Cell Phone Plans

May 10th, 2012 at 04:10 pm

So I have about a month to go until the contract on my line and my mom's line is up. J's line has another year and 3 months to go.

This month, my bill was $148.77. This is an improvement (!) because I am no longer getting those $2 charges for data access (accidentally hitting the button, not actually accessing the web!). Currently, I have AT & T.

I have been pricing T Mobile this morning. I can get a 3 line plan with 1000 daytime minutes, unlimited nights & weekends, and unlimited text, including insurance, for $94.77 per month plus tax (I think). This would be a savings of $40ish dollars per month.

I would have to pay a $105 activation fee ($35 per line). To leave AT & T early will cost me an early termination fee on J's line of $150 less $4 per full month of service, which should equal $114.

If I wait, the early termination fee will eventually go away, but the activation fee will not. Meanwhile, I will still be spending an additional $40ish dollars per month.

I think it is worth paying 1 early termination fee. It is not worth paying 3, so I can't switch just yet.

How about the insurance? It costs $4.78 per month per phone. Maybe I should just get it on J's phone? That would trim another $9.56 per month.

Do you pay for cell phone insurance?

Mortgage Payment #49

May 4th, 2012 at 06:24 pm



I was very excited about eliminating payment #357, but my pending refi kind of killed my excitement.

Once the refi is complete, I am going to focus on my savings, both cash and retirement, and stop trying to chip away at my mortgage.

April 2012 Net Worth

May 4th, 2012 at 06:20 pm

TIAA Direct Bank

May 4th, 2012 at 04:22 pm

I just stumbled onto this a few days ago. There is a new online bank called TIAA Direct Bank. It is affiliated with TIAA-Cref. Their rates right now on savings and money market is 1.25%, which compares very favorably with other online banks at this time.

I have opened accounts and intend to switch from Ally. I have no loyalty, I just want the best rate I can get.