Saturday, February 29, 2020

Busy Busy Busy Money Money Money and a Teeny Tiny Rant

Work has been incredibly busy and draining.  Each week this month has been more grinding then the last and I'm hoping things get a little easier going into March.  All I can say is. . . . ugh PEOPLE!  Sometimes I think my life would be easier if could interact with less of them.  I am an introvert at heart but enjoy working in an office with other people.  But sometimes it is just too much.  Luckily I have the option to work from home when I want so when I have PEOPLE saturation I take a step back and work in near solitude at home on the couch with both dogs and both cats cuddled up together next to me.

As it is month-end I should give a financial update but I refuse to look at my investment accounts after the roller-coaster ride the market has taken this week.  I wish this country would get its act together.  When will we get back to working toward the common good and making all our lives better?  I refuse to watch the news these days or any of the debates as all of it infuriates and depresses me.  Hoping the political black cloud either lightens up or blows away altogether.  Sick to death of the negativity, the sniping, the "whats-in-it-for-me", the lies, the manipulation.  I didn't vote for any of that. 

Anyway, sorry for that little rant.  On to reporting what I can without updated retirement info.

Retirement Savings Update:
No current numbers to report but I did get a year end status report and according to that I have 8 years to retire and based on current savings and market behavior it says I'll have anywhere between $83,000 and $103,000 a year to live on in retirement.  This includes 401(k), Pension and Social Security.  Not bad, but I don't trust the market and ideally would like to retire sooner so I'll keep plugging along and socking more and more into my accounts.

Mortgage Pay-Down Update:
With my March mortgage payment I just paid an extra 2.6 principal payments:

January Balance:        $96,555.69 - 3.5 principal payments
February Balance:      $94,242.49 - 4.75 principal payments
March Balance:          $92,429.89 - 3.6 principal payments

Could have paid a good chunk more because I receive my annual incentive performance bonus yesterday, but we have other goals for that money.

Raise & Bonus Award:
My raise will begin to appear in my next paycheck but that pay period straddles the transition between old pay and new, so my end of the month paycheck will have the full effect.  I've caculated it, but once I actually see it's impact I'll see if I need to adjust my 401(k) contributions.

I did receive my bonus and I am extremely pleased with it.  But much to the LoML's dismay (he is a spender), all of it is going into our long term savings account and will be divided up into the various funds dedicated to specific savings goals.

Our various funds are: Emergency, Home Maintenance, Home Improvement, Vacation, Car Maintenance/Replacement and finally Insurances/Veterinarian.   Larger chunks of the bonus will go into the Home Maintenance and Home Improvement funds because at some point we will need a new HVAC system which should be fully funded after this deposit, and we are also saving to remodel our kitchen, powder room, add on a screened-in porch and we need new siding, window shutters and a new front door and storm door.

Another large chunk will go into our Car Maintenance/Replacement fund since we will possibly need a newer car in the next 3-5 years.  We drive Hondas and they are awesome cars.  Mine is 13 years old and runs like a top.  LoML's car is 9 years old and gets way more usage as he travels a lot.  Both are well maintained and we will drive them until they die but it never hurts to keep saving for their eventual demise.

Finally the smallest chunk will go into our Vacation fund.  Over the last 10 years my family has been scrimping and living frugally because we were saving and paying for my two daughters to go to college over a 5 year period (they are a year and half apart in age).  So all of our vacations were usually visiting family.  Twice we went in halvsies on a house in the mountains with my sister and her family but other than that we haven't done a real vacation as a family since my girls were little.  So we've decided to do a big family vacation, location undecided at this point, in the next year or so. The DDs both live with their boyfriends now so they'll be coming too.

So that's all I've got for now.  I'll try to post more often and finger's crossed the market stabilizes and I can report actual retirement fund numbers.

Happy March!

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Retirement Account & Mortgage Update - Month-End January 2020 (Also raise and bonus info!)

Retirement Savings Update:
So as of the end of this month our retirement accounts have increased to $887,211 which translates to an increase of about $35,000.  The 401K keeps jumping around (up $10K then back down $10K) thanks to the cluster *bleep* that is our political environment and its effect on the market.  I've contributed the max plus max catch-up for the month so can't do more than that.   This total does not include any pension amounts, the cash balance portion of which has not been updated for 2019 yet.

Mortgage Pay-Down Update:
With my February mortgage payment I paid an extra 3.75 principal payments:

January Balance:        $96,555.69 - 3.5 principal payments
February Balance:      $94,242.49 - 4.75 principal payments

Slowly but surely knocking the balance down. 

Raise & Bonus Award:
My company's compensation philosophy is to not emphasize high salaries and to reward good performance by scaling bonuses based on your "Individual Performance Indicator".  That being said, my raise ended up higher that I expected at 2.75%.  I was expecting it to be in the 2.25-2.5% range so I was pleasantly surprised.

Since my company's performance for the year exceeded expectations we were eligible for the max bonus amount and since I was considered a high performer I will receive 104% of my bonus.  I am very happy about this and it will go into savings aimed at home improvements and an eventual new car. 

I feel very blessed that things are working out financially for us so far.  We work hard and plan and research but we know that things pop up out of the blue that can effect us financially (shout out to the LoML's cancer diagnosis at the end of 2018).  Fingers crossed that next month is just as boring as this last one and just as successful in the numbers department.

How did your January go financially? 

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