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Archive for May, 2019

My Sinking Funds

May 21st, 2019 at 01:34 pm

I try to prepare for future expenses by saving a bit each payday in various sinking funds. With the recent purchase of a new 5th wheel, they needed some tweaking. I update the balances regularly, which you can view any time you please by clicking on the "Sinking Funds" page link in my sidebar. This is what I am currently doing:

Car Ins & Reg - This is now for both my CR-V and 5th wheel. I am budgeting $2,700 per year for insurance and registration for both. This breaks down to $103.84 per pay period.

Car R & M - This is now for both the CR-V and 5th wheel too. I am budgeting $1,500 per year, which breaks down to $57.69 per paycheck.

Car Replacement - To replace my CR-V when the time comes. I am budgeting $1,500 per year plus my "round out", which breaks down to $64.24 per paycheck. ("Round out") is the amount needed to give my sinking funds transfer a nice rounded number).

Clothing - Current budget is $600 per year. This will change once I am no longer dressing for work. This breaks down to $23.07 per paycheck.

Electronic Gadgets - To replace my phone, laptop, what have you. The budget is $300 per year which breaks down to $11.55 per paycheck.

Emergency Fund - Not a true sinking fund, but here it is. Currently no money is being regularly added.

Gifts/Xmas - The budget here is $1,000 per year, which breaks down to $38.46 per paycheck.

Planners & Goodies - For my fancypants planners and supplies. The budget is $100 per year, which breaks down to $3.85 per paycheck.

Roth - Saving up for next year's contribution as I've already contributed 7k for 2019. The amount is 5% of my gross pay, which works out to $103.15 per paycheck.

Travel/Vacation - I am budgeting $2,500 per year, which breaks down to $96.15 per paycheck.

All together, $500 per paycheck is automatically transferred into these funds a few days after each payday. This method works very well for me. Once set up, it is so very simple and requires no effort on my part.

Floor Plan Schematic

May 17th, 2019 at 08:36 am

Here is a floor plan schematic of my new 5th Wheel:

I'm In Debt Again!

May 15th, 2019 at 08:40 am

It would have been more practical to buy the 5th wheel our friends were selling, or some other used 5th wheel. But, I decided that I wanted the beautiful new 5th wheel with extended warranty.

So, I bought it. The same one in the pics I shared in my post "Tow Vehicle Purchased". We have not yet taken delivery. The dealer is installing a tankless hot water heater and slide out "toppers" (covers to protect the roof from leaves and dirt while the slide is out). Plus, we need to have a 5th wheel hitch installed in the truck bed. (Which of course can't happen until we get the truck back from the dealer. Grr!).

I am very pleased and looking forward to living in my new home. We will keep our current travel trailer as a "guest room" so that family & friends can come up and visit us.

My loan payments are $417 for 15 years; the interest rate is 6.74%. I have already found that a lender called Essex Credit, which is funded through Bank of the West, will refi me at 5.15%, dropping my monthly payments to $375. However, I will have to wait as they require copies of both a loan statement and DMV registration; I have not yet received either one. I had checked with Wells Fargo before taking the financing the dealer offered; WF's best rate on an RV loan is 11.59%, and goes up from there. I could not believe it. I think they must be wanting to get out of RV financing altogether.

I think I am just going to pay the loan one payment at a time and direct extra dollars into savings.

Overnight at Walmart

May 13th, 2019 at 07:54 pm

Well, this is fun. Tonight is our first overnight in a Walmart parking lot! Several circumstances converging have put us here tonight.

Early last week, a warning light came on in our new truck with only 400 odd miles on it. SB called the dealership and they told him to bring it in (last) Wednesday morning and to drive as little as possible in the meantime. Wednesday arrived, he took it in, and they have had it ever since. They cannot figure out what is wrong with it. They have provided a Ram 1500 rental truck while we wait.

Meanwhile, my grandniece had her baby last Wednesday. After 3 years of infertility, this baby has been much anticipated by my grand niece and her husband. When we heard the news, we took our travel trailer down to my mother's house on Thursday. We visited grandniece, her husband, and beautiful new great-grand niece in the hospital. She was born a little early, weighs 5 1/2 lbs, is healthy, and absolutely gorgeous. We stayed Thursday night in our trailer at my mother's house.

On Friday morning, I commuted two hours to work, then commuted two hours back afterwards. A long time friend was having a birthday party dinner Friday evening. I had not seen this friend in quite a while and had been communicating with another friend who was helping to plan the party. So SB and I strolled in to her party and surprised her. We had a very fun evening catching up with some old friends. Afterwards, we stayed Friday night in our trailer at my mother's house.

On Saturday, my son and daughter-in-law came to my mother's for a visit. My grand niece and her new little family were released from the hospital Saturday afternoon and came for a visit. I got to hold that beautiful baby again, cuddle her, and smell her sweet baby smell. My daughter-in-law said "I am afraid to hold her, I might want one". It was a very happy day. So we stayed Saturday night in our trailer at my mother's house.

Sunday of course was Mother's Day, so I was happy to spend it with my mother. My cousin who lives in San Mateo and her husband came for the day. My daughter called me. My brother called my mom. My cousin in Spokane called my mom. My nephew in Stockton call my mom. My niece in Willits called my mom. My niece in Seattle called my mom. Of course, I got to chat a little with each relative too. So it was a very full day, and we slept Sunday night in our trailer at my mother's house.

This morning, I left my mother's town at 5:30 a.m. to come to work. SB left some hours later, and learned the happy news that our truck is still not ready. In fact, they aren't even sure what to do next. They have been in contact with the factory and have tried multiple fixes. No luck so far. I am very disgruntled about this entire matter and I'm not really certain what is going to happen.

My office, the dealership, and Walmart are all within a mile or so of each other. SB does not want to take the trailer all the way home, and then turn around to come back and pick up the truck. He would rather just camp here at Walmart and wait. So that is what we are doing. My, but don't I have the most thrilling adventures?

Serendipity

May 4th, 2019 at 11:21 am

I enjoy serendipity so much. Some friends of ours who are close to finishing their new build home have been living in a 5th wheel. They just offered it to us for 5k.

We went to see it. It is not as pretty as the one in the pics I recently shared, but it would be quite an increase in space for us. It is 27 ft with 1 slide and is very clean. It is a 2002 model with worn green carpet which would have to go. It does not have an on-demand hot water heater which is a MUST; those run $1,600 installed. There is more counter space, more living space, and more fridge space. The bathroom is smaller than our bathroom now, but with more storage space. I said I would let them know one way or the other by Tuesday. I am leaning towards "yes".

In other news, SB found a 2006 Toyota Corolla LE with 42k on the odometer, asking price $5,400. He bought it and sold his Acura MDX. It is in excellent condition and gets great mileage. It is now his daily driver in good weather.

On 4-30-19, my Wells Fargo savings account with $10 in it earned a cent of interest. This prompted me to look at the interest rate. It has shot up to 1.22%. This is the highest rate I have seen paid on a regular savings account by a brick-and-mortar bank in a long, long time.

Retire Now Update

May 1st, 2019 at 08:08 am

I have continued to refine and update my "if I retire right now" spreadsheet.

I have extended the final line to the month I turn 100. I will tweak my monthly withdrawal to maintain steady income from date of retirement to the month I turn 100. The next month, I will be flat broke.

Extending the time out several more years reduced my beginning monthly withdrawal amount. Good portfolio growth the past two months has increased it.

In addition to my nest egg, I am including the cash value of my pension plan. Because I am not yet vested, if I were to retire now, I would not receive a monthly pension payment. However, I would be entitled to a refund of all I have paid in (but not the amount my employer has paid in on my behalf). I would roll the money into my 457 plan and so it would become part of my little nest egg. Once I vest, I will forfeit the cash value so will no longer include it in this calculation. However, I will receive a monthly pension which will certainly factor in.

My new monthly beginning withdrawal amount is...$1,406.00. (I am sticking with whole dollars).

Nope, not yet. Better keep working.