Home > Archive: April, 2023

Archive for April, 2023

Budget By Paycheck 4/28/23

April 29th, 2023 at 02:52 pm


begin - beginning checking account balance

pr - my net payroll check

SB - my contribution towards our joint living expenses

cash - My budgeted amount is $260, but I only needed $220.  I forgot to adjust before I made my House DP transfer, so I ended up with an extra $40 in checking.  I just left it there, because I will have a big expense to pay beginning with the next paycheck.  More on that below.

sf - automatic sinking funds transfer which will happen on 5/2/23.

Citi MC - the balance on my Citi MC.  It included $149.35 for a meal out, and $16.91 for Sirius XM.  The meal out was dinner and drinks for 3.  I have a couple of girlfriends from work, we all now work in different departments in different buildings.  We meet up every month or two at a particular restaurant.  We take turns paying, and it was my turn.  The restaurant has gotten a bit pricey, as you can see.  The Sirius XM is a new expense.  When I bought the Tucson, 3 months were included free.  Then I received an email offering me an additional 3 months for $2.  I accepted that.  And I have found that I really enjoy it.  My promotional subscription ended on 4/14/23, I downgraded the membership from premium to music only and kept it.

CarMax - I rounded the half-payment up to $250 as that is the amount I was saving towards my next car out of each paycheck before purchasing the Tucson.  The new balance is $22,062.52.  Edited to Add:  On 5/5/23, while clearing my checking account transactions, I noticed that this payment had not hit my bank account.  I logged on to CarMax, and there is no record of this payment.  So annoying!  I scheduled it again for today, and of course there is now more interest due.  I just hate debt.  The new balance is higher than it should be, at $22,086.68.

house DP - the amount I had available to contribute.  The new balance in the fund is $1,161.51.

Broad - a loan repayment.  The loan balance is down to $50 now.

life ins - my monthly life insurance premium. 

end - the ending balance in my checking account.

So I went to the dentist on Monday for my bi-annual cleaning and it was time for x-rays.  Bad news, I need a crown.  My share of cost for that is $610, plus I will owe something for Monday.  I will pay the dentist with my Citi MC, and then will have 2 paychecks to get the balance paid in full.  Of course, this will impact my savings efforts which is frustrating, but it is what it is.

Look At This Cute Little House

April 23rd, 2023 at 06:38 pm

Look at this little house, isn't it cute? 

Carbondale, IL Real Estate - Carbondale Homes for Sale |®

And what do you know?  It just happens to be located in the same town where my very favorite 2 people in the whole world live.  What a coincidence.

Almost a year ago now, I re-named my "hobbies" sinking fund "house down payment".  I have been adding small bits of money here and there.  Well, I am ready to get serious about this sinking fund.  Because I want to make a large down payment on my last house; 100% to be precise.  The balance in the account at this moment is $857.46.  While this is a lofty goal, notice that this little house is listed for sale at 49.9k.  There is plenty for sale in the area in this price range.

I intend to stop making extra payments on my car loan for now.  I intend to stop making Roth IRA contributions for now.  I have always intended that my Roth would be long-term savings for something like a new roof or a vehicle replacement.  I don't want to touch it for anything else.  While 71k is not a huge sum of money, it is a fund I do not plan to tap anytime soon.  I hope to need the house down payment much sooner.  

I am only contributing 5% of my gross to my 457 plan.  I will just keep doing that.

When will I make this move?  I do not know.  But I know that when the time comes, I want to be financially ready. 

Budget By Paycheck 4/14/23

April 17th, 2023 at 02:39 am

begin - beginning checking account balance

pr - net payroll check

SB - my contribution towards our joint living expenses

cash - cash for expenses over the next 2 weeks

sf - automatic sinking funds transfers

roth - contribution to my Roth IRA

Citi MC - my Verizon cell phone bill and monthly Netflix subscription

CarMax - my latest attack on my car loan.  The new balance is $22,270.24

house DP - a tiny contribution towards my house down payment fund

Broad - a loan repayment; $200 still to go

end - ending checking account balance 

My CalPers Pension

April 1st, 2023 at 07:24 pm

I have been meaning to talk a bit about how my CalPers pension works. The formula which will be used to calculate my benefit is:

Salary  x   Service Credit  x  Age Multiplier

The number used for "Salary" is the average of my highest 36 months.  So each time I get a raise, it takes a full 36 months for the new salary to fully "bake" into the pension calculation.  However, each month which goes by means a slightly higher "Salary" number.

The number used for "Service Credit" is my years of service in the CalPers system, calculated out to 3 digits past the decimal point.  Every passing day in which I am an active employee increases my service credit slightly.

The number used for "Age Multiplier" is based on my age when I retire.  I am in a "2% at 62" plan, which means that at age 62 my Age Multiplier is exactly 2.  If I retire before age 62, my Age Multiplier will be less than 2; if I retire past age 62, my Age Multiplier will be more than 2.

I am already vested and am at least 50 years of age, which means that I can retire from CalPers at any time.  However, my monthly pension payments will not begin until I reach age 62.  I also have the option to forfeit my monthly pension and instead withdraw my contributions plus interest in a lump sum.  One reason to consider opting for the lump sum is that because of the WEP (Windfall Elimination Provision), my eventual SS benefits will be reduced by half of the amount of my pension, up to the cap.  For 2023, the cap is $557.50, meaning they cannot reduce my SS benefits more than by $557.50.  When the time comes, I will have to calculate to determine which option is in my best interest.  It seems to be that right now, the lump sum would be more beneficial.  However, each passing day tips the scales slightly more in the favor of monthly pension payments.

If I were to retire today, my monthly pension payments would begin at age 62 and would be in the amount of $388.42.  I would lose $194.21 in monthly SS benefits as a result.  Or, I could opt for the lump sum which is currently 25k and change; there would be no reduction in SS benefits down the road.

If I were to work until age 62, my monthly pension benefit would be:

$5,916  x  11.7  x  2  =  $1,384.50

Probably slightly more as I will likely enjoy a few cost of living raises between now and then.

So clearly, not a fortune, but when added to withdrawals from my nest egg and possibly a small monthly SS check, it will be enough to provide for my needs.

I had not wanted to work until age 62, but of course I will do what I need to do.  So I just keep calculating, and when I reach the point I can afford to retire, I will know.