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Just Couldn't Stand It

August 27th, 2014 at 04:38 pm

I just couldn't stand it, I had to make a mortgage chip! I decided to pay an extra $35.28, just to make the balance a nice round number. Yes, I need to be saving cash. But, it made me happy, so I did it!

Things have been going very well with BF and I. I enjoy his company so very much. I know getting his mom's house ready to sell has been so hard for him, but he is powering through. Of course, when you gut the kitchen all the way down to the studs in the walls, it often takes longer than expected to get everything done. But, the house is almost there. I will take pics this weekend and post them.

My mother is considering booking a cruise for 4. This particular trip sails from LA and visits Cabo, Puerta Vallarta, and Mazatlan. It is a 7 day trip. My mother wants to do this trip with J, yours truly, nephew, and herself. The price is quite reasonable at $499 + port tax of $95, per person. I know I said no more vacations until after my next car is paid for, but I'm not going to turn down a trip someone else is offering to me. I will have some costs of course. I told her I would pay for the gratuity and to park my car for a week. I will also probably pay for our gas down and back. I may pay for J to do a fun excursion or two, depending on what is offered.

Net Worth 7-31-14

August 1st, 2014 at 11:41 am

Cash is down. Frown
Debt is down. Smile
Investments are down. Frown
Home value estimate is up. Smile




Car Fund Update:

I received $4.25 from HauserNet and added that to car fund. With that deposit plus yesterday's interest, it is up to $383.72

Credit Card Rewards Update:

My Wells Fargo Home Rewards Visa still gets some use. It automatically redeems in increments of $25. When the billing cycle closed last week, sufficient rewards were available and so $25 was applied to my mortgage balance. So, I made another mortgage chip despite myself. Smile

Chippy Business and Vacation

June 12th, 2014 at 04:18 pm

In chippy news, I have recently received:

1. $160 from my part-time job.
2. $8.67 from Bill Me Later*
3. $1.00 found on the sidewalk.

I have sent all of that off to my mortgage, bringing the balance down to $173,000.43.

*I opened a "Bill Me Later" account through PayPal at some point. A couple of months ago, I bought a dress via Bill Me Later. I paid the bill in full, but never received the dress. Eventually, the store cancelled my order as the dress was out of stock. They promptly refunded me in full to my PayPal account. PayPal immediately sent my money off to Bill Me Later, resulting in a credit balance. I decided I didn't want to have the account if that is how it automatically works. So, I bought a few CDs on Second Spin, then asked Bill Me Later to close my account and send me a refund of my remaining credit balance.

I am off on a road trip on Saturday. Yay! I love a good road trip. The itinerary includes Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, Little Bighorn, Arches, Great Basin, and Bryce Canyon. If we run out of time, we will skip one or both of the Utah parks.

Chips, New PITI, BF's House Update

May 8th, 2014 at 09:29 am

Redeemed another $19.12 in credit card rewards this morning from Capital One Quicksilver, and sent that off to my mortgage.

I did apply for that Wells Fargo Amex, but my application status is "pending". If I am approved, that will be a sweet mortgage chip.

Since my PITI payment changes as of June 1, I changed my automatic payment. I increased it from $1130 to $1135, so with the TI decrease, there will be an additional $54.36 going to principal each month.

I received $160 from my part-time job yesterday, and have sent that off to E Fund. E Fund is pushing 7k now, and will go over when my automatic deposit of $100 hits later this month.

Last weekend, a pool repair guy fixed the heat pump on BF's hot tub. On Saturday night, I got to enjoy a nice soak. It was the first time I had ever been in that hot tub, after nearly 5 years of dating! It was so lovely. I did not want to get out!

Three weeks ago, the plumber got the bathtub in the master bath all connected. That bathtub is a big L, built for two. So, I have enjoyed a few nice long soaks in the bathtub as well. There is a floor to ceiling window next to the bathtub, and outside is a nice walled garden. It is a bathtub fit for a Calgon commercial! I have been salivating over that bathtub since I first saw it, lol.

The kitchen was completely gutted the week before last, so the new stuff should have been going in this week. I guess I will see in a few days.

I am about to lend BF a little more money. His HOA dues are very delinquent, to the point foreclosure is a possibility. Hopefully, it will only be a few months until the house sale closes. He will be out from under that expensive house which he cannot afford, and I will get all of my money back.

Here is a pic I took last weekend of the pool room. The sliding glass doors on the right separate the pool room from the master bedroom. The sliding glass doors on the end lead to the back yard. The living room and kitchen also have large sliding glass doors to the pool room, so that the pool room can be viewed throughout the house. In the left foreground, you can see the top of the wall separating the pool from the hot tub. Further left out of view, are more sliding glass doors leading out to the patio. In the right foreground, you can see the bar. It is a horseshoe shape, with one side extending into the pool, complete with underwater barstools. The other side extends into a small pit, you walk down stairs into the pit and sit at the counter. The bartender then has access to both sides, so s/he can serve swimmers and non-swimmers alike. You cannot see the guest suite, complete with balcony, which is upstairs so overhead where I stood when I snapped this picture. What a house! So soothing and relaxing, and great for throwing parties.

Edit: And those rocks in the rear left there are a waterfall. The water was not on when I snapped this pic.

Redeemed Discover Bonus

April 25th, 2014 at 01:46 pm

My Discover statement closed today, and I had used the card enough to redeem my $150 bonus. So, I applied an extra $150 to my mortgage principal, and should receive a direct deposit from Discover within 72 hours. Smile They will only redeem in increments of $50, but I had $158.04 in rewards. They will just have to sit there waiting for a good 5% bonus category. Otherwise, I won't be using Discover.

Now I am on the lookout for my next bonus offer.

So far in 2014, I have redeemed $328.11 in credit card rewards and applied every last cent to mortgage principal. I wonder if I can make it to 1k this year? I would need some more sweet bonus offers to make that happen, so we will just have to see.

Annual Impound Account Analysis

April 21st, 2014 at 07:10 pm

My lender has conducted their annual analysis, and the news is good. I have in my hand a check for $146.72, which I will apply to my mortgage balance tomorrow. And beginning June 1, my PITI payment is decreasing from $1111.38 to $1080.64. I will continue to pay $1130 and enjoy a bit more going towards principal.

This is due primarily to my new homeowner's insurance policy being cheaper than my last one. Shopping your insurance provider pays. Smile

Chippy News

January 31st, 2014 at 10:31 am

Last week I received $4.50 from Hausernet, it went off to the mortgage.

Today is payday, and I have $6 in my wallet to throw at the mortgage.

I tallied up my spending in January, and I was mostly successful. I will post once January is truly over.

Today is the day that love comes to town (song lyric reference). BF should be here tonight.

I keep waiting for MsM180 to update her blog. She reached an exciting milestone about a month ago, and has some other news being discussed and arranged.

Coughs and Chips

January 17th, 2014 at 10:06 am

I don't think I have talked about it much, but I suffer from a recurring cough. This has been going on for about three years now. I start getting a little coughy for a week or so, then it develops into a full-blown deep, hacky, unproductive cough. I cough day and night. It lasts 2 - 3 months. It starts in late summer and continues until mid-October. It starts again in January and lasts through late March. (Yep, I am coughing now). I have seen my GP, a pulomonologist, an ENT, and am currently seeing an immunologist.

While I am coughing, I often cough until I feel light-headed and disoriented. Sometimes I cough myself into a pounding headache. Sometimes I cough so hard I trigger my gag reflex and vomit. It is exhausting to cough so much. I don't get enough rest because I wake up coughing through the night.

Yesterday I picked up yet another new Rx, and my share of cost was $180! It does seem to be offering some limited relief, so I'm not going to complain about the price.

This week I received $3.50 from Hausernet for decoy mail, and netted $7 from a wallet sweep. Both sums have already been sent off to the mortgage.

I qualified for my latest $100 credit card reward bonus and have ordered the check. It has not arrived yet.

Catching Those Credit Card Reward Snowflakes

January 4th, 2014 at 10:37 am

The reason I make an effort to earn credit card rewards is so that I can throw them at my mortgage. Last year, I didn't do a good job of catching them all. Some of them "melted". This year, I want to do much better; I want to catch them ALL.

This morning I logged on to my Capital One Quicksilver account and saw that I had $8.64 in rewards. I applied them to my balance. Next, I logged on to Wells Fargo's site and transferred $8.64 from checking to my mortgage.

I plan to make a habit of doing this once per month.

I am also planning to track my credit card rewards total in 2014. How much can I manage to earn? We will see.

YTD Credit Card Rewards: $8.64



Happy New Year And A Happy Milestone

January 1st, 2014 at 11:02 am

Here we are in a brand new year. Happy 2014! Smile I hope everyone here at SA has a very happy and prosperous year.

I cannot make my usual spreadsheets as I am having difficulty with my starter Excel product. It simply will not open. I have browsed online a bit and cannot find any free programs which don't have a million buggy programs attached. Does anyone have any tips?

I have reached a very happy milestone. My current home value, when I average Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia, is 176k. I owe 175k and change, which means I am officially not underwater! It feels sooooo good! I have been happy dancing around the room.

In mortgage chip news, I did a wallet sweep yesterday and had $9 to throw at the mortgage. Take that, mortgage.

Thank You, Swagbucks

December 27th, 2013 at 09:47 am

Today I received a sweet $25 from Swagbucks in my PayPal account. It made a lovely little mortgage chip.

A few days ago, I received a check in the mail from Tango in the amount of $4.19. This was also courtesy of Swagbucks somehow, I believe a bonus paid for a particular offer a month or two ago. It also made a lovely little mortgage chip.

Detritus

November 19th, 2013 at 09:20 pm

Yesterday I received $3 from PineCone and $3.50 from Hausernet, and have already applied those odd bits to my mortgage.

In recent expenditure news, I shelled out $165 plus tax for a new vacuum. It has 12 amps and seems to be doing a fine job. Also, I spent $50ish dollars to buy a mattress cover which protects the mattress from dust mites. My allergy doctor recommended it. After much mattress flipping and cover wriggling, MrsM180 and I successfully got the cover on my mattress.

Last week, I started allergy shots. I will be getting two a week for 10 weeks. After that, I will be getting one a week for some unspecified period of time, before I taper off further. I can't really tell a difference yet, but they said it would take awhile.

Tonight I made a trip to Staples to take advantage of that AmEx offer. I chose three $25 Shell gift cards, and expect a nice $25 statement credit. I was very tempted to get only two, and get a $25 Starbucks card as well. But, I didn't. I was strong.

An old, dear friend of mine from childhood e-mailed me yesterday. He attached some pics of the kids and I, taken 13 years ago when we were visiting him in Seattle. Oh, those sweet little faces, and arms still pudgy with baby fat. *sigh* Where did they go?

In Swagbucks news, I am really liking the new "first goals". It is much more achievable than the total goal. For me, anyway. I have hit it each day for the past 4 days. I'm going to try hard to hit it every day, for the winning streak bonus.







Mail Order Rx

October 22nd, 2013 at 04:33 pm

Today, my health insurance provider gave me a call to see if I would like to sign up to receive my prescriptions in the mail.

OK, this was low-hanging fruit. I should have done this YEARS ago. And I think I meant to, but just never did get around to making those phone calls.

I take 4 prescriptions. I make a trip to the pharmacy once per month to pick them up. My co-pay is $10 each, or $40 per month.

With the mail order service, I will receive 90 day supplies for $30 every three months. Yes, that's right, $30. One Rx is completely free of charge if I order it 90 days at a time. They even pay shipping.

Obviously, this must be saving my health insurance money too, or they wouldn't be calling me to ask if I want to switch.

In mortgage chip news, I received a $3 payment from Hausernet for April, which I have turned into a mortgage chip.

Contemplation

September 27th, 2013 at 12:56 pm

I've been daydreaming lately, looking at nice little condos in various locations online. I've been calculating the size of my nest egg under different scenarios. The more I contemplate my situation, the more I think that the biggest obstacle to my dreams is my negative home equity.

I've decided to increase my Simple IRA contributions to $250 per month, which is 3k per year. My employer's contribution will be another 1.5k. Together, that is approximately 9% of my annual gross (my gross including overtime and bonus).

I will continue my automatic monthly Roth contribution of $150 per month (1.8k per year), which is a bit more than 3% of my annual gross.

If I were to continue along at that rate until age 65, and assuming I enjoy 5% annual growth, I would end up with enough to live comfortably (though frugally) in my little condo, even with a small mortgage. If I enjoy a return greater than 5%, the picture only gets brighter.

So for now, that is all I will contribute. When I receive my annual overtime, tax season bonus, and Christmas bonus, none of it will go to retirement savings. Instead, I will focus on cash savings and my mortgage. I want to be in a position where I can sell my house whenever I decide the time seems right (without touching retirement savings). I have a long, long way to go to be in that position. So, wish me luck.

I have also recently decided to trim my cash allowance from $60 per pay period to $20. Too much of that money was being spent grabbing a sandwich or a latte. It wasn't good for my bottom line or my waistline. So, I have gotten back in the habit of keeping lunch foods at work.

I received $1.50 from Hausernet yesterday, and have already turned it into a mortgage chip.