Whoo-hoo! Eveyone has now signed; it is a done deal.
There is just the little matter of funding and recording, which will happen next week.
Archive for December, 2015
Today I received a package from my aunt who lives on Vashon Island. She sent me two quilts which my great-grandmother made in the 1950s. The quilts were used by my birth mother, her two sisters and one brother during their childhoods.
She wrote a nice letter providing some family history of this ancestor and the early life of her son, who grew up to be the father of my birth mother and her siblings. She told MrsM180 and I this history when we visited last June, but how awesome to have it written down.
I hope I get better at using my phone for pictures.
My thirteenth scheduled car payment has posted. I have updated my "My Car Note" page, if you care to take a peak. And you can, because pictures are fixed.
This month extra principal payments included $180 from my part-time job and $52.37 in credit card rewards. My part-time job is still one month behind in paying me; they owe me for November and December work right now.
Eighteen payments have now been eliminated from the end, leaving 41 payments to go.
I haven't been mentioning it, but dealing with Chase Mortgage continues to be a frustrating ordeal. They make promises and fail to follow through. Currently the promise is funding this Thursday, which you may note is Christmas Eve. I don't believe it will happen.
Here is a picture of SnugglyBumps and Kissylips:
A customer service person at Ting e-mailed to say they are willing to replace my phone. She asked for the IMEI number which I have given her. Waiting for further instructions.
I went to my company Christmas dinner party and did receive a nice bonus. I have decided to pay my January mortgage payment in December with part of it. The advantage to me is I will have another $600 of mortgage interest to deduct, saving me $200 in income taxes. Of course next year I will have to do the same or have only 11 months to deduct. Even so, I will take the tax break now.
This year for Christmas, my brother and sister-in-law have rented a 3 bedroom condo at a resort in Napa using their timeshare points. I am heading to Napa on Christmas Eve and will stay until Sunday the 27th. My mother and nephew are going. J will drive himself and stay just two days. MrsM180 and hubby are a maybe. SB is a go.
Looking at my income tax situation for 2015, I estimate that I will owe $446 to the federal govt and receive a refund of $88 from the state. So, not a bad job estimating withholding.
It is very possible that 2015 is the last year I will be able to file head of household and claim J as a dependent.
In 2015, I had a small amount of income taxed at 25% federal and 8% state. In 2016, it is very possible I will have much more of my income taxed at those rates.
Therefore, in 2016 I will be contributing solely to my tax-deferred accounts and skipping Roth contributions.
After I relocate to Reno, I will no longer be paying state income tax. If I am earning less (which is a distinct possibility), I may not be in the 25% bracket any longer. It will make more sense to continue Roth contributions then; at the very least I will revisit the issue.
My 2015 gross wages should come in at $55,168.95. I aim to contribute 15% of that to retirement accounts, and I do include matching. That means my target is $8,275.35.
By year end, I will have contributed 3.6k to my Simple, 2k to my Roth, and 1k to my traditional. My employer contributed another $1,623.00 to my Simple. Those contributions total $8,223.00, which is $52.35 short. I will contribute another $100 to my traditional by the end of the year and consider this goal met.
Including 2015, I have now contributed a grand total of 19.5k to my Roth. I like to keep track of this number, as Roth IRA contributions can be withdrawn at any time for any reason, no tax or penalty. The rest is earnings and must be left alone until I reach age 59.5. It's shocking how close that time is drawing!
I'm really hoping to break 200k in tax-deferred in 2016. Let's see if Mr. Market cooperates.
I am disgruntled with Ting at the moment.
My phone is older and has gotten to the point it has a fair number of quirks. For example, when I am texting someone it will stop, tell me it has "saved as draft" my text message, then it will begin calling the person I am texting. That's an annoying quirk.
So I have been wanting to get a newer phone, but I don't need all the bells and whistles and I don't want to pay for them. I have been considering my options.
On black Friday, I bought a refurbished Samsung Galaxy S3 from Ting for $147. When it arrived, I noticed the screen was a bit cloudy and it had a scratch. But over the next several days, I realized that the scratch is a crack. I will be honest, I am less than thrilled about them selling me a phone, refurbished or not, with a crack in the screen.
I charged the phone overnight, and the next morning it went dead less than an hour after I took it off the charger. It hadn't even been activated yet, so no phone calls or texts or data usage. I tried charging a second time to make sure it wasn't some sort of fluke, with the same results. So it came without a functional battery, and I will need to buy one. I'm liking the phone even less.
But here is the real kicker: it won't activate. I spent several hours total between two sessions with support trying to get it activated. I tried this and that and did everything they told me to do and...nothing.
I e-mailed customer support asking if I can return it and they have not answered. It has been several days so I assume they are not going to answer.
I had been without phone service as my old phone stopped working once I transferred my number to the new phone. Yesterday morning I transferred my number back to the old phone.
This morning I emailed the support guy and just said no to his latest request. I stated that I am unhappy with the condition of the phone, that I'm done trying to activate it, and that if they won't take it back I am just going to e-cycle it. He politely thanked me for letting him know.
So, I'm not certain what I am going to do next.
I guess the moral of this story is do not buy a refurbished phone from Ting. If it is not in acceptable condition, tough cookies.
The docs were not drawn yesterday.
Two months ago, the buyers were asked to submit photocopies of some bonds they own. They submitted a list instead. They did not follow directions, so that is on them. However, apparently no one at Chase mortgage (their lender) bothered to review the documentation. Until yesterday. So now the buyers must submit photocopies and the bonds must all be verified.
The extent of the incompetence we have experienced during this transaction is unbelievable.
So now we are told it will be next Friday for docs, at the very earliest.
We are still waiting for the house sale to close. The most frustrating part for me is I must wait for information to trickle to me and I don't get to ask direct questions of people who can answer them.
But the latest word today is...BF's realtor spoke with a management level employee at Chase (the buyer's lender) and was assured that the docs will be done tomorrow a.m.
So, we will see.
I had a wonderful holiday weekend. My brother and SIL came down and stayed for 3 days, bringing a 13 year old granddaughter with them. My brother has 4 living children (two more were lost in infancy to SIDS). One of his daughters also came down for 2 days, with her husband, their 6 year old son and 3 year old daughter.
And of course my mother and nephew live nearby, and I have my motley crew.
Over Thursday, Friday, and Saturday we ate turkey, played cards, visited, went for walks, went to the movies, and met a grand-niece and her brand new husband (of two weeks!) for breakfast.
It was just a wonderful time, and even though there are many gaps in our family where loved ones used to be, I really felt very thankful.
I enjoy teasing small children to enjoy their reactions. My little 3 year old grandniece made a remark, and I said "I don't know. I'm just a little girl, like you." She immediately replied "Nuh-uh! You're someone's grandma!" in an accusing tone. So I guess I can't pass for 3 anymore.
I have made my scheduled mortgage payment, along with an extra $1.75. My new balance is $167,300.00.
Chips to date: $1,817.17
Interest savings this month: $6.65
Interest savings to date: $126.10
Eventually, the interest savings on the chips I have already made will compound to $3,934.03, provided I own this house until the mortgage is paid in full. Which I won't.