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Archive for November, 2019: Reaching For Financial Security
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Archive for November, 2019

Payday and Extra Loan Principal

November 27th, 2019 at 09:49 pm

Today is payday and that means it is time for another principal payment. They never seem to be as large as I would like for them to be.

Today I calculated that I had $208.82 available to send off to principal. I logged on, scheduled the payment for today, and voila, I am somewhat less in debt.

The final payment moved up a month to 3/3/31.

I have now eliminated more than half of the originally scheduled interest. Mostly by refinancing, but still.

It snowed yesterday evening and more is expected. SB took our travel trailer and Bella and headed down to my mom's yesterday, to avoid pulling it in the snow. I will head that way too directly from work tonight. The snow should be gone before we go home, probably Sunday.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with your loved ones, SA friends!

Snagged Three More Secret Shops

November 19th, 2019 at 03:47 am

I applied for, and was assigned, 3 more secret shops this evening. One for next Tuesday (Jack in the Box), one the Tuesday after that (same JitB location), and one the Tuesday after that (a phone shop for tire stores). Still looking forward to being paid for the first one, at the credit union.

I did not calculate the interest exactly right, so did make an adjustment to my 5th wheel loan balance, in my favor. I was using a banker year (360 days) to calculate the interest, but Bank of the West uses a calendar year (365 days), which is A-OK with me.

It is looking likely we have another power outage coming up. Received word today that if it happens, our power will be going out at 2pm this Wednesday, will stay off Thursday, and turning it back on to commence Friday. This is subject to change.

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday coming up, this Thursday is a payroll processing day. That means I will be working in the afternoon, in a different county building, for time and a half.

Payday and Extra Loan Principal

November 15th, 2019 at 04:38 pm

Today is payday, and my paycheck is received via direct deposit. My checking account balance this morning after my cash withdrawal was $2,454.54. From this, I need to subtract my sinking funds transfer ($230) and my dentist bill ($393.40, charged to Citi double cash MC yesterday) and then leave 1k in checking. That means there is $831.14 available.

I logged on to my bank account and transferred $831.14 to my 5th wheel loan. I have calculated the interest due* and updated my spreadsheet and my sidebar. I will check in a few days to see if my calculation is correct or if I need to adjust.

*Bank of the West deducts accrued interest first from any payment, then applies the remainder to principal. This is not as advantageous as what I have previously experienced, that interest is paid only from the regular payment and any extra payment is applied 100% to principal.

My final payment date is now 4/3/31, 6 months ahead of schedule.

Number Crunching

November 14th, 2019 at 07:24 pm

For me, this was the deciding factor in how big a priority paying off the 5th wheel loan needs to be.

If I were to retire NOW, I calculate that I could draw $1,456 per month from my nest egg. Here is how that budget would look:



Everything I need, but not much fun. Without the 5th wheel loan payment, I could increase those sinking fund contributions and have more discretionary dollars. In short, my financial situation would be greatly improved.

Plus, I intend to cancel my life insurance policy once the 5th wheel loan is paid in full, freeing up a few dollars there as well. No one depends on my income any longer. However, in the event of my death, I would want SB to be able to have the 5th wheel free and clear. My children are both self-supporting and will inherit my investment and bank accounts.

So, I am happy with this plan. It makes sense to me.

Made Decision Re: Loan Payoff Time Frame

November 14th, 2019 at 05:28 pm

I have been mulling over how I want to prioritize paying down my 5th wheel loan. Do I not fund my Roth? Do I cut my sinking funds? Do I cut my 457 plan contribution?

I have decided the answers are yes, yes, and no.

I calculate that in 24 months or sooner, I can get the balance down to where I can pay in full from savings. This is what I am going to do.

I have cut both my travel sinking fund and car replacement sinking fund contributions to $0. I have trimmed both my car r&m and car ins/reg sinking fund contributions slightly, but they should still be adequate. This brings my bi-weekly transfer to sinking funds from $380 to $230.

I will not fund my Roth IRA for now. I will leave my 457 plan contribution where it is, 10% of gross.

(I will still take the Panama Canal cruise with my mother. She is looking forward to it and I am not going to take that away from her. She is turning 87 next month, so who knows how much longer she will be able to travel. Currently, there is almost 4k in my travel sinking fund which will more than cover it.)

24 months from now, the 5th wheel loan balance should be under $16,962.08, the current balance in emergency fund + car replacement fund. At that point, I will use as much of them as needed to pay the loan in full. (But not sooner, as I don't want to be without them PLUS still have a loan payment to make). At that point, I will turn my focus to re-building savings.

An Exciting Possibility :)

November 6th, 2019 at 04:40 am

So last Sunday, a friend of mine from my old area came up for the day with her mom and her 23 year old son. This particular friend and I met when we were in the same 3rd grade class. That's been a few years back at this point! She is a country girl; grew up in the country, has horses, etc.

They came in the late morning and stayed until early evening. It was her first time up here to visit me. We had a very pleasant day.

Yesterday morning, she texted me that she and her husband (who has yet to visit here) talked about it and decided that they would like to purchase one of the houses in disrepair and 2 acres from SB. For now, they would come up on the weekends to work on the house. Eventually, they would move here. I said I would pass that on to SB and they would have to discuss it.

Apparently, they had decided they will not retire in the beautiful home and acreage they have now, but will sell to their son and move elsewhere. (They would never sell out of their family, she lives on property her great-grandparents purchased way back when. At this point there are multiple family members in homes on land which was once part of the original property purchase).

It turned out, SB is not opposed to the idea. He said they would have to talk about a lot of details first, to be sure everyone is on the same page.

I am trying to not get too excited about this idea, just in case it doesn't work out. But my goodness, this would be so great!

Did a Secret Shop Today; November 2019 Budget

November 2nd, 2019 at 03:39 am

Last night I thought, hey, why not check the shopper job boards and see if there are any secret shops around here I can do? (At one time, I did a fair amount of secret shopping, but it had been years since I had last done a shop). So I looked, and I found one for a bank just a few blocks from my workplace. I did the shop right after work tonight, submitted my report when I got home, and voila, I am expecting $20.

Here is my budget for November, a 3 paycheck month. Looking forward to a productive month: