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OnTrajectory Financial Forecasting

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Has anyone heard about the product OnTrajectory before?

It was recently introduced to me as a way to plan and make financial projections way further out than what I’m used to doing (which is to say…basically a month or two at a time).

But not only that – the software allows you to see how simple little lifestyle changes can amount to HUGE financial gains across time. Like that specialty coffee you may get a couple times a week? Let’s say it costs $5 three times a week for a total of $15/week. Across the course of one’s lifetime ($15 x 3536 weeks) = over $50 GRAND spent just on coffee! Multiply that by an assumed 3% inflation rate and you’re wasting over $100,000 on coffee!

costs

This intrigued me. What might the program say when I plug in all my financials?

I gave it a try through their 14-day free trial program and was pretty surprised when – right off the bat – it warned me of a potential shortfall when I get into my 80’s.

But they don’t just leave it at “oh, you’re screwed!” – there are realistic suggestions on how one might save more or reduce expenses to make sure you aren’t outliving the money you’ve saved.

This is of huge importance to me given everything I’ve seen and been through with my father’s dementia. So far, we’ve been able to support him on money he had earned in his lifetime. But his memory care facility costs $7,000/month. Yes. SEVEN THOUSAND A MONTH just for rent. It’s incredible the cost of high-quality memory care. And that’s a pretty competitive price for his area (Austin, TX). There are cheaper facilities, but if you’re looking for high quality care….that’s about the typical going rate.

I’ve always said – I don’t care if I have no inheritance, just as long as my parents are able to pay for their own end-of-life expenses, I’ll be happy.

I need to make sure I’m doing the same for my kids, too. And with On Trajectory…..well, I can see some changes need to be made. 😉

Thankfully, I’m young. I still have a lot of financial “what if’s” hanging out in the universe in relation to my marital separation. But once that chapter is closed and I move onto whatever lies ahead, it will be much easier to have a clear-cut picture of what monies I can save and invest, where I can potentially cut expenses, etc. Getting fully out of debt is a BIG part of that picture!

I will say, OnTrajectory seemed to have a steeper learning curve associated with it than some of the other financial products I’ve used (e.g., YNAB and Every Dollar), but they do send out helpful email tips and there’s a whole guided walk-through of the program that you can try out to make sure you understand how it works, etc. There is a huge difference between YNAB, Every Dollar, and OnTrajectory though. The latter two are focused on short-term planning while OnTrajectory is projecting your long-term finances, making the additional technological learning well worth it.

I’m curious if anyone else has heard about and/or used OnTrajectory? If so, let me know! I’m curious to hear about your experiences and whether it’s helped shape some of your own financial goals!


Crappy A/C Situation

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After taking the day off work and dealing with sweltering heat (inside our home was 90 degrees), I was able to have two different A/C companies come out to look at the damaged A/C unit and give me their opinions. Folks, the news was not good.

Our brand new unit, not even two years old (put in as part of negotiations when we bought our house) is totally shot. Done-zo. The first repair guy thought the unit may have been struck by lightening. The second repair guy thought it was blown due to a power surge. We had some flooding with a recent monsoon that would’ve partially submerged the unit and the guy think it caused a power surge that blew the whole unit. Both companies agreed we would need to replace:

  • compressor & compressor plug (which was blown right off the compressor)
  • condenser coil

In addition to these, we’d have to fill the Freon, use an acid neutralizer, and I don’t know….give our first born child??? Ugh, typing it here it doesn’t seem like a long list but one repairman referred to the compressor and condenser as the “heart and brain” of the A/C. Both said it’d be better just to replace the unit all together. But we just can’t afford that. So we’ll repair it instead.

We thought about trying to file a home-owner’s insurance claim. We do not have a home warranty, but lightening is covered through home-owner’s insurance. Flooding, however, is not. It was a separate policy that we declined.

Since the unit is still super new, the main parts are covered (which, I was told, run about $2,000/each, so we really luck out there!). But for the items not covered by warranty (like freon, acid neutralizer, etc.) and the labor to do all the work, we’re looking at about $1100. Oh yeah…..and the condenser coil has to be ordered direct from the manufacturer. It takes TWO WEEKS to arrive. We agreed to pay a $150 rush charge, which will put it here in 5 days. But that’s still FIVE DAYS with no working A/C in the middle of a Tucson summer where temperatures are predicted to be up to 111 degrees!!!!

Not okay, folks.

We started to initiate a home-owner’s insurance claim (when we thought the damage was due to lightening), but I think we’re going to just close it out and pay ourselves. If the total ends up being about $1200-1300ish (that’s the estimate + rush charge to get the part here faster), it doesn’t really make sense to file a claim. Our deductible is $1,000 and I don’t think having the extra $200-300 “benefit” would outweigh the cons of having our insurance go through the roof and having a claim on our record. Is that what you guys would think? I’m open to suggestion here, head still a bit reeling from taking in the news that our brand new A/C unit is totally shot.

We still have the issue of being displaced for the next 5-6 days, too, though. We stayed in the house last night and it was one of the worst nights’ sleep of my life (taking me straight back to the day of having twin infants type of no-sleep). It was 88 degrees for most of the night, but it’s hot stale air. It felt suffocating. We all slept downstairs (the bedrooms are upstairs, but the upstairs was at least 5 degrees hotter than downstairs), and we all tossed and turned and sweated our butts off. It seriously felt unsafe and I’m not going to do it again.

I already booked a hotel to get us through the weekend (Fri & Sat nights). That’s another $100/night. This is serendipitous timing, but one of my old friends from grad school is moving back to Tucson on SATURDAY. He bought a 3 bedroom home but is a single guy so he has tons of space and not a lot of possessions to fill it. I already reached out, “I know it’s stressful timing since you’re going to be in the middle of a move…..but could we bring over some air mattresses and crash for a few days if needed????? Oh, and welcome back!!!! 🙂 ”

He agreed and said he’d be happy for us to stay. I hate to put a friend out like that, especially in the midst of their cross-country move. But he’s literally the only person I know in town who even has the space to house a family of 4. I’ve had a couple friends say they’d take the girls, but at this point (they’re 6), they still haven’t even had a slumber party and I’m kind of scared of/opposed to the idea. This is a bit different since it’s a safety related thing. Oh friends…I think you can see I’m kind of all over the place here, grasping at straws and trying for any reasonable band-aid of a solution to get us through the next week until our A/C is in working order again.

So that’s the update. Right about $1300 out of pocket (could be much worse, but the main A/C components are all warrantied). Even so…we literally don’t have an extra $1300 sitting around. Our “EF” right now is like $500. So this is a huge hit. I’m going to have to figure out something to move money around. It’s really bringing to light our dire financial situation. Obviously that will be the point of future blog posts but for now I’m trying to figure out the immediate crisis at hand. Our broken A/C.

Any thoughts or suggestions in terms of whether to try to file a home-owner’s insurance claim (again, we’re leaning against it….not sure it’d even be covered, but I’d like your thoughts) AND what to do in the meantime while we wait for the unit to be fixed? We’ve also thought of renting a portable unit – it wouldn’t help the whole house but might allow us to “camp” in the living room and sleep comfortably there? Thoughts? Ideas?


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