Archive for July, 2013
Yesterday I stumbled upon a real estate site I had never seen before. It is www.redfin.com.
It is quite different from both Zillow and Trulia, in that you choose 5 recently sold homes, and it calculates your home value based on those sales. Since I live in a large (four hundred or so homes) cookie-cutter subdivision, and since there are plenty of recent sales to choose from, I felt this should work great for me.
I chose 5 single family 4/2 1440 sq. ft. homes which have all closed this calendar year. This is the type of home I have; two were even the exact same floor plan! Of course, there is no way to know for sure how the condition of those homes would compare with mine. But still, I think those sales should be a fairly good indication of the value of my home.
Well, the results showed a value of 148k for my home. What great news! Still upside down, but much less so.
I am going to begin using Redfin each month for my home value when I do my net worth.
In budgeting news, yesterday I received my annual escrow analysis. Both my insurance and property taxes have increased, resulting in a shortage. My PITI is going from 1081.63 to 1111.38 beginning August 1. This means I will have to jiggle my budget around a small bit.
Well, I am the happy recipient of a raise. Starting today, I am bringing home an additional $119 per month. What to do with it?
Well, my life insurance policy is increasing from $14 to $28 per month this month. I guess the insurance company knew about this raise before I did.
Last week, post-cruise, I stood on the scale. This made me very sad. So, I joined a gym. This particular gym is new to me. The monthly fee is $20. In addition, they have an annual fee each June which is $29. For this price, I can bring a guest with me each time I go at no additional charge. It can be the same guest each time or a wide array of different guests.
I bumped up my monthly Emergency Fund contribution from $60 to $118. I bumped up my monthly Vacation Fund contribution from $60 to $75. And finally, I bumped up "Everything Else" from $363 to $375. And just like that, my raise is spent.
I considered then rejected the idea of increasing my retirement account contributions. Between my regular monthly contributions, the additional contributions I make at bonus time, and my employer contributions, I am saving 15% of my gross. I feel that is adequate, so I should focus instead on my cash savings, which I feel are inadequate.
I also considered bumping up my mortgage payment, but rejected that idea also in favor of more cash.
As today was payday, I did a wallet sweep and sent $10 off to E fund.
Hausernet sent me a $.50 payment for February, so I sent that off to E fund as well.
J went to camp last week, I picked him up this past Saturday. The director made a point of telling me what a great kid he is, and that if cares to apply, he can have a spot as a counselor next year. That would mean he would go to camp for free. So, I am all done shelling out for summer camp. Yay!
I worked last Thursday and Friday at my part-time job, and collected my $200 check for June. That has already gone off to E fund. I am done with them for July and will bill another 7 hours. So far, this is working out just fine.
This is the first time I have posted this since my last refinance. I haven't made much progress, but my credit card reward mortgage chips have helped a bit. As you can see, my last payment has been reduced from 874.38 to 414.41.
The credit card rewards post mid-month, so I include them on the next line. For example, that sweet $50 chip was applied on 6/18, but I included it on the line for the 7/1 payment.
Hard to believe it has been an entire year since my last refi, but it has.