DH and I are in the middle of our home refinance. I just got a call from the mortgage loan officer at our credit union with great news!
Our home appraisal came way above what they estimated. This means there will not be PMI added on to the mortgage.
They also checked the current interest rate. At the time of application were locked in at 3.5%. When they re-checked it today, the rate went down to 3.125% and they locked that in for us.
The new mortgage maturity will be 2-years less than our current one.
Our monthly payment (including taxes & insurance escrow) will be about $145 LESS!
That means... we will could be adding $145 MORE to the principal payment so we can pay this down faster or, put that money back in savings to rebuild the emergency fund since I raided that to pay off my student loan.
We would bring to closing approximately $400 for the survey (I shredded the one we had...what was I thinking??!!...BOO!).
The credit union is paying all other closing costs. The estimated closing date is sometime in mid-September.
Viewing the 'Saving Money' Category
I received an email from HR congratulating me on 10 years of service at my company.
I got to select a gift from their catalog and I chose a 2-piece luggage set from PremiumBag (worth $160)because we plan to do some serious traveling in the next few years.
A major snowflake in my favor!
I am just $7.00 shy of meeting my savings goal of saving $3,000 in my emergency fund.
Well, I met my goal last month with my own money for my $1,000 emergency savings and my FIL gifted each of us $1,000 for Christmas.
I decided that in my Capital One 360 savings accounts needed to be fully funded.
Car insurance (due in March) = 500.00 (added 242.55 to meet goal) Deposits from my paycheck will be toward September's payment.
Gym annual fee (due in October) = 175.00 (added 118.95) I can cut this deposit in half since the next fee is due in October 2018.
CCW Club Dues and Extras (due in July) = $60.00 (added 53.80)
DS Guardianship and Senior Year = 500.00 (added 406.28) The "fully funded" goal is actually the rock bottom amount I needed. I am sure I will need more.
I will still contribute from my paycheck but I feel secure in knowing that these funds are set aside for the near future.
In the meantime, I still have the $1,000 rock bottom for emergencies.
My hopes are that in 2017, I can be a savings rock star like the rest of you superstars!
Check out my sidebar. My father in law sent us a $5k gift for Christmas (!k for DH, DSs and me). My uncle gave me $120 which will be $30 each for me and the boys. So that adds $1,030 to my emergency fund, catapulting my balance from $1,000 to $2,030. I'm so excited! I will reach my goal way before June 30th!
I am very thankful!
As of today, I reached my goal of $1,000 in emergency savings. That is approximately one month of my share of expenses. That does not include my husband's share.
Next goal is for three months of my share of expenses and I only have $2,300 to go. I set my goal date for June 30th of next year but I think I can get it by March or April.
I started this journey in September and I was able to meet this before the end of November.
My hope and prayer is that I will not need to tap into this.
A different goal:
I want to start a new car fund. My car can likely function for another 5 years so I want to start equivalent savings program as though I am paying a car payment. I will likely have enough for a down payment by the time I am ready to buy.
Ambitious for me. I sat down yesterday and put together our monthly expenses (bare bones expenses). Then I expanded the list to 3-months, 6-months, and 12-months. I decided, that even though I have debt, I need to make a serious effort to save beyond my initial $1,000 for emergencies. My goal is to continue saving to reach these milestones. My husband and I are at the age that layoffs, injury or illness can seriously impact our life. We are truly living paycheck to paycheck. My sidebar is updated with my savings goals. I'm very close to goal #1 and once I reach that milestone, I will put it in a CD. I truly hope we don't ever have a need to touch it.
In other news, inspections for my side biz are picking up from one of my clients. More money!
Breakfast - Coffee and a biscuit
Lunch - Not sure yet
Dinner - BBQ (DH is grilling tonight)
I completed one inspection today so that is $50 for me.
I decided to combine my emergency savings with my healthcare savings. The healthcare savings was really another emergency savings for the days I take leave without pay. The amount in that pot of money was at $190. So as of today I am a tad over $100 away from my $1,000 goal. I transferred $700 to Capital One 360 so it would grow a little bit faster because the interest rate is .75%. My credit union rate is .25%.
Breakfast - The usual
Lunch - Leftover quesadillas
Dinner - Black beans and rice
Walgreens = $22.97
$25 automatic deposit to savings on payday
$16.69 dividend check from Publix
$41.69 total deposit to savings
Has anybody heard of the 21-day fix containers from Beachbody? Walgreens has the el-cheapo version for $9.99 plus tax. I bought that on a whim along with some stuff I planned to buy.
Here is the link to the 21-day fix https://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/21-day-fix-simple-fitness-eating.do
Breakfast - The usual
Lunch - Scrambled eggs on toast and a banana
Dinner - Homemade chicken pot pie
Snack - Back to Nature Multigrain Flax Crackers and a coke.
Fitness - 30 minutes cardio and 30 minutes personal trainer.
1-liter Coke = $1.07
Gas = $20
Check for niece and nephew's birthday = $40
Total = $61.07
According to Mint.com, here are my Spending Trends from last year (2015):
Auto & Transport $6,065.27
Bills & Utilities $3,565.28
Fees & Charges $3,080.93
Food & Dining (most purchases) $2,092.08
Business Services $1,750.35
Health & Fitness $1,315.34
Gifts & Donations $340.00
Personal Care $80.97
Misc Expenses $16.00
I'll have to examine the uncategorized and miscellaneous spending in particular to figure out what that is. But this gives a picture of what my annual spending is. If I am to put together an effective emergency fund and retirement fund, this is a good place to start.
Breakfast - The usual
Lunch - Leftover quesadillas (from last night's dinner) and a pear
Dinner - Chicken and rice
Snack - Back to Nature Multigrain Flax Crackers with some low-fat cream cheese.
Savings Recap for October:
Starting balance = 412.89
Ending balance = 687.00
Total savings deposits in October = 274.11
Some deposits were snowflakes (money from my aunt and my dad). The rest was on my own.
Goal for November = 100.00 (2 paydays).
Goal for December = 213.00 (3 paydays).
Food Flakes (total = $22.20):
From some coworkers, I received ...
a box of Kashi Teff Thins Crackers valued at 4.19
a box of Back to Nature Multigrain Flax Seeded Flatbread Crackers valued at 3.49
three lbs of Seattle's Best Medium #3 Coffee valued at 4.84 each or 14.52 total.
Breakfast - grilled cheese, coffee, Good Belly
Lunch - overnight oats and orange juice
Dinner - not sure yet
Fitness - 30 minutes cardio (that's the plan) and 30 minutes personal trainer.
Well, today is the first of the month and I got my interest payout of a whopping 11 cents (.25%) in my savings account. At least that makes a nice round number of 682.00. My goal is $1,000 by December 31st so I have five more paydays to go (two in November and three in December).
I lost track of my change jar total. I've been adding here and there.
Breakfast - The usual.
Lunch - Grilled cheese sandwich and a coke
Dinner - Fettuccini Alfredo with shrimp
Extra food - 2 snack cakes
Fitness - Cardio for 20 minutes and personal trainer for 30 minutes
My dad gave me $40 towards gas (even thought I told him several times it wasn't necessary).
My aunt gave me a gift of $70 cash.
I paid back DS1 $20 because he put gas in my car while we were away.
I spent $10 on junk food and lotto (basically I threw it away).
So I have 80 "snowflakes" left which I deposited in my emergency savings account. My sidebar is updated.
Breakfast - The usual
Lunch - Salmon with cream cheese on toast
Dinner - 2 slices of pizza
Snack(s) - banana and a pear
Fitness - nothing
I was able to add $44 extra to my savings this payday in addition to the $25 that I automatically transfer which put me over $600. I know that I can put in $25 per pay day and I have five paydays left which is $125. That would leave an additional $250 I need to find to reach $1k by December 31st.
I have an to do today inspection today (side hustle). DS1 has been doing nearly all of them so I need to get on the ball.
Tomorrow we depart for Miami (finally)for the weekend. Teacher planning day is tomorrow so I'm taking DS3 along with my parents. DH and DS1 & 2 are staying home.
The reason for the trip is to see my uncle with Alzheimers. My dad is the oldest living sibling and my uncle is the youngest son. I think they are about 8 or 9 years apart. My aunt from NYC is here to sit with my uncle (my mom's brother).
I am renting a car instead of booking the train. Last time it was 8 hours late. Though my mother would rather take the train but I can't stand it. It's boring and it feels eternal. I would have a hard time with delays. Its a 6 hour ride by car and a 9 hour ride by train.
Well now that the hurricane is gone and things are back to normal in my world, I need to get back on track on my finances, my eating habits, and my fitness.
Breakfast – Overnight oats, Good Belly, Orange Juice, Coffee
Lunch – Chicken breast sandwich with chips and a coke
Dinner – Beef Stew and rice
Fitness – Thinking about fitness
Good news is that now I am over half way toward my $1,000 savings goal. $25 is automatically deducted from my checking account and deposited to my savings account each payday. Last payday, I was able to add an additional $100. This payday, I was able to do the same. If I can continue this steadily, I could reach my targets in 4 more paydays (2 months).
Well, the wheels are turning on how to build upon that. However, there is still the debt to tackle. By the end of the month, CC1 should be under $14k.
Breakfast: overnight oats, apple and coffee
Lunch: Cheese omelet w/tomato and onion on a slice of bread, plain greek yogurt with frozen blueberries
Dinner: Pork roast w/mashed potatoes
Snack: fresh pineapple
Workout: I had to cancel my workout yesterday because I ended up with one additional inspection. I really need to make the time tonight to at least go to the gym and walk the treadmill for a half hour. I know I would feel better.
I spent $4.28 at Wendy’s for lunch (even though I brought a grilled cheese from home). I didn’t have cash so I used my credit card. Not good.
I should receive my pay stub today so I’ll know what my paycheck is.
I earned $100 yesterday (at the time of the last post I only had 1 scheduled for $50). I rarely touch the money from my side business. We have the typical expenses that involve paying for insurance, business license/tax and other things business oriented. We pay DS1 when he does inspections. But we have earned enough to pay off my car (I had $5k left on my car loan balance), and bought desperately needed living room furniture $2k. We were sitting on flat cushions and getting pinched by the springs.
DH did his side gig yesterday and came home early (10:00 pm). Typically he gets home around 11:30.
I decided to add an additional $10 to my medical leave fund. I estimated that before taxes, I make $147 per day. After taxes and deduction that makes about $80.50 per day. I would like to have a cushion of 3 days since the leave is intermittent. So far I have $110 saved so that is just over a day I have saved.
It is very hard to make my goals with the cut in salary due to an FMLA day.
I’m here at work now and after I get off work, I’ll stop over at my uncle’s house to check on him. Then I’ll stop by my parents to check on them and pick up DS3. Then I drive DS2 to his therapy appointment before the rush hour really hits. Maybe while I wait, instead of reading, I’ll just walk around the parking lot for a half hour. I think I’ll do that because after I get back home I know I won’t feel like dressing out and going to the gym.
Raided the change jar for a pack of tortillas (for taco salads later in the week) = 1.29
Tithe at church
Breakfast: cereal w/milk, banana
Lunch: Overnight oats and peach tea
Dinner: Turkey/Veggie Casserole leftovers.
Snack: Ice cream sandwich
Extra food: none
I have several change jars. My husband has one for his spending on his dresser. He uses a beer growler. In July, we emptied his growler and counted out the change. The total was surprising…Nearly $200! He deposited in savings. I have a small jar and I separate the silver change from the pennies. We also keep a piggy bank in the laundry room and whatever change we find, we put it in the bank. I also have an Altoids tin that I keep in the car and sometimes change I find I put in there. I recently gave a homeless person my entire Altoids tin containing change (I think I had about 3.00). I like keeping those tins with change in them in case I can help someone. Finally I have a small jar that I keep at the office. I rarely carry cash but when I do, I sometimes buy lunch and deposit the change in my small jar. The amount on my side bar is from my dresser. I will take some time to count what I have in the laundry room and at the office and make a combined total. I would consolidate but for some reason, I find comfort in having a little stash of pocket change near me.
I forgot to mention about side gig from Friday. I have a hurt foot and my side gig requires I climb a ladder to check smoke detectors. I wasn’t confident in doing that with my foot so I asked DS1 take over the inspection and I will drive. We agreed to split it 35/15 in his favor since he completed the entire inspection and I just drove. So my earnings were 15.00 instead of 50 but that’s ok. In a future post I will tell you about my side business since it is a long story.
I briefly mentioned in a previous post that I have savings in Capital One 360 for the days I am out on FMLA (family medical leave act) to take my dad to the doctors. I recently began this fund to supplement the wages lost on the days I am away from work. FMLA is supposed to protect you from job loss due to being away from work for many absences due to medical situation or caregiver duties.
Anyway, opened my first account when they were ING Direct and they had an amazing interest rate. The interest rate is now abysmal but I use it like an envelope system for expenditures that are not in the normal budget. Like an escrow account like CCF uses.
Here are my escrow savings accounts with Capital One 360 (deposits every other week on paydays):
Healthcare FMLA days, 20.00 (I just opened this)
Christmas Club, 10.00 (I hope to supplement with gift cards I earn from apps. I may try surveys if I have the time)
DS3’s school expenses, 5.00 (He is a junior in high school. Saving for his senior year and all that entails).
Clothes Makeup and Hair, 5.00 (this is for me)
Travel 2.00 (low priority but I may have enough for travel in September)
Lunch Going Out, 2.00 (setting aside funds to have lunch somewhere)
Sharebuilder 1.00 (investment accounts, IRA and Roth)
CCW Dues n Cards, 1.00 (I’m in a ‘Church Lady’ group. This is already fully funded for 2017)
Gym annual fee 39.99 x4, 7.00 (Even though I knew about it, it still took me by surprise last year. I’m prepared now).
I don’t know why I haven’t opened one for auto insurance. I will need to do that soon. We taught DS1 well because he escrows his auto insurance. Proud of him!
DH working overtime.
Spent 3.75 on a box of ice cream sandwiches.
Counted the change in my change jar = 6.07
Breakfast: 2 slices of French toast, 1/2 banana, coffee
Lunch: half a sausage and some cheese
Dinner: Turkey/Veggie Casserole (My first attempt. Needs some improvement), red wine.
Snack: 2 oz. of hard cheese
Extra food: Ice cream sandwich (dessert)
I think I will start a NSD ticker for the month of September and display on the sidebar. My goal is to have 15 NSDs in September (half the month).