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!!