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Month in Review- August ’15


Hello on this Tuesday evening. I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend.

I realized over the weekend that it is time for another month review, so let’s dive into it:

  • At the beginning of the month, we (GF and I) decided to do a garage sale (here). The thought was launched after reading a book about de-cluttering our house. However, after much work, we still have not done the garage sale :(. It’s still on the forefront of our minds, but the stars just haven’t aligned, where we’ve gotten a weekend free of no plans to just do it. Plus, we still have a lot of work to do going through our house. The basement is done, but the attic is only 25% cleared. My fear is that we are too late for garage sale season. Should we just hold off until the spring?
  • Here, I posted about my plans going forward for paying off my debt, albeit with some caveats. I’m keeping the fun fund going, continuing my contributions to my nephew’s ESA fund, continue contributing 10% of my pay to my 401k and pay weekly towards my mortgage ($150/week).
  • It the same post, I also outlined my timeline for paying off the debt. Hope fully this will occur in 18 months (now 17) before I hit 30, but most likely to happen in 22 (now 21) months.
  • In this post , I showed everyone the less than professional card I made for my dad for his birthday. I also highlighted some of the other things we did for him. He loved our gifts for him and we had a great time celebrating his 55th.
  • In that same post, I also shared my budget with everyone. This is the budget I’m going to use from this point moving forward.
  • In Weekly Update #22 (here), I shared my plans concerning my life after debt. This stirred up some controversy, particularly my plans concerning my retirement funding. My ultimate goal is to become financially stable without having to worry about a traditional job. This isn’t saying I’m not going to work at all; I do plan on making making still in some capacity.
  • The following week (here), I outlined my past, present and future stances on my retirement contributions. I received some great feedback from all you which I’m using to more carefully outline my post debt retirement plans.

Financially speaking, this was a very successful month back from vacation. All together, I was able to pay off $1,883.94 this month! Not bad.

And to update my balances since last week, here you go:

Loan NameInterest RateOriginal Balance- May '09Current BalanceTotal Paid OffPaid Since Last Week
Sallie Mae 015.25$27,837.24$23,719.92$4,117.32$0.00
Sallie Mae 024.75$22,197.02$18,604.04$3,592.98$0.00
Sallie Mae 037.75$20,692.10$0.00
Sallie Mae 045.75$10,350.18$3,342.10$7,008.08$703.13
Sallie Mae 055.25$6,096.03$0.00$6,096.03$0.00
Sallie Mae 06 and 074.75$6,415.09$0.00$6,415.09$0.00
Sallie Mae- DOE 015.25$5,000.00$0.00$5,000.00$0.00
Sallie Mae- DOE 025.25$3,000.00$0.00$3,000.00$0.00

I hope everyone has a fantastic week!


Buy versus Rent


Has anyone seen this awesome calculator from the NY Times that tells you whether its better (financially) to buy or rent? I love all the different variables it takes into consideration when making the determination!

Check it out HERE.

I’ve been playing with it, inserting different figures to see how it impacts the outcome. It’s crazy how detailed it is – including many variables I’ve never even thought of (e.g., home price growth rate, rent growth rate, investment return rate, etc.). It seems to be extremely detailed and I like how simply playing around with the chart has made me think about things I otherwise wouldn’t even know to consider.

Meanwhile, in Wimberley, Texas…

My Dad owns a property with quite a bit of land. He has about $100,000 in equity in it and I’m of the opinion that it needs to be sold ASAP. The upkeep is incredibly costly and since my Dad won’t be living there anymore, I don’t want to fool with it (e.g., trying to get tenants, trying to make sure tenants pay, doing clean-up and make-ready when tenants move in/out, etc.). My brother is of the opinion that the property will appreciate quickly, earning us more money (in terms of equity) than it would if we were to sell and pull out the equity now. I think on average the price of homes have been appreciating about 5% per year (compared to the stock market’s average 10% annual rate of return), so I think we’d do better investing the money wisely. Thoughts?

Just FYI, we have a meeting tomorrow (I’ll be conference called in) with an attorney to discuss establishing a trust with Dad’s assets. We’ll also meet with a financial advisor to get his/her advice on the situation (and likely meet with a realtor to get his/her opinion on the home’s value, etc). But just throwing this out there for you fine folks, given the incredible wealth of knowledge that you are. I’d love to hear your opinion(s)!