Saturday, April 4, 2020

End of The Month Financials, Bills

This past month was expensive and stressful.  I thank God everyday that I am able to work from home and at the moment my job isn't at risk.  I am not, however, loving how busy I am.  I have two filings to put together and file on May 1 and they involve wrangling several subject matter experts, tons of data, financials and testimony.  With all of the stress of what is going on with COVID-19 it is difficult to stay focused.

A lot of money went out the door in March and the beginning of April.  I already talked about the $1,500 dentist bill I paid.  Yesterday I paid our 6 month car insurance premium for 4 of us for 4 cars.  That was $3,069.  Then I paid the credit card bills which were $552 (LoML travels for work so we keep those expenses separate as he gets them expensed) and $35 for our main credit card that had reoccurring expenses (Netflix, Sirius radio and such).

Retirement Savings Update:
So as of the end of this month our retirement accounts have lost probably over $100K.  I'm estimating it based on taking a peek at my 401(K).  I did increase my contributions another 2% to hopefully take advantage of the market bounce back - if and when that ever happens.   My pension cash balance finally recorded its 2019 company contribution and interest which amounted to $19,769.

Mortgage Pay-Down Update:
With my April mortgage payment I paid an extra 3 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
April Balance:             $90,429.93 - 4 principal payments

I've knocked out almost a year of my mortgage just in extra payments. That feels unbelievably good.

This last paycheck had my full raise in it.  With maxing out my 401(k) (plus the extra 2% for good measure) and the increase in benefit costs being deducted, my take home is about $120 less per pay than it was last year.  But it hasn't really impacted us since we are stuck at home and aren't really spending money.

I am an avid veggie and herb gardener.  We normally grow lettuces, peas, kale, bok choy, spinach, arugula, radishes, beets, etc. from seed and the rest I grow from purchased plants.  This year I did plant all of those (already coming up in the garden) but I decided to buy the seeds to grow pepper, squash, cucumber, and some herbs and edible flower.  I bought grow lights and a heat mat as well.  A one time investment that I will get a ton of use out of.  I started my peppers back in February.  The LoML loves to pick out our veggie plants to buy and I planned on letting him pick out all of the heirloom tomato plants we will grow.  But with the current state of the world I decided to go ahead and order those seeds as well.  They arrived last Tuesday, I planted them immediately and they have already sprouted.

Here are pics I took of my happy little peppers last month. 5 varieties: Shishito, Padron, Anaheim, Habanada, and Serrano.  These aren't all hot and since they are small peppers they are prolific producers.  You get a lot more produce than from a bell variety, which in my experience takes all summer to give you one or two peppers per plant.  YUM!

Today I will plant the second batch of peas, lettuces, beets, etc. to extend our harvest. 

I hope everyone is staying home and staying healthy!  I feel like this is going to be the way we live for quite a while.  Our world has dramatically changed and change is hard.  Keep on keeping on!! 

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