Saturday, September 19, 2020

Fall Is Too Early!!!

 I love the change of the seasons.  Don't get me wrong - Fall is probably one of my favorite seasons.  But where I live we don't usually experience Fall weather until around mid-late October.  As soon as September hit we've had most days in the mid-70s and today its only 62 degrees.  I'm not ready for this.  My garden isn't either.  This is prime pepper time here and if it gets too cold I won't get near the bounty.

Also, we live in a city that provides leaf pick up.  But it doesn't start until Mid-October.  There are very strict laws here that don't allow leaf burning or putting them in the garbage.  They get picked up and brought to a communal mulch pile.   Leaves are falling already and we can't do anything with them.

On the plus side I was able to harvest 3 pumpkins from my garden this year.  I hope they don't rot before Halloween!! 

The LoML has been traveling a lot for work so I've been doing some cooking.  Earlier this week I saw a Jamie Oliver show about eating more veggies and he made a Cauliflower Cheese Pizza.  I had half a giant cauliflower in the fridge so decided to give it a try.  So yummy!

Last week LoML hit the farm stand for some veggies and he picked up a yellow watermelon, a bunch of bananas and a huge bag of gorgeous blueberries.  The LoML is not a big fruit eater so I'm not sure what he was thinking.  No way I could eat all of that before it went bad. So I cut up half of the watermelon and gave the other half to my kids to take home.  Then today I made a blueberry banana bread.  

It smells fantastic.  That will be our treat for the week.

In financial news, I am really trying to figure out how to get this house paid off as fast as possible so I can retire.  This job is killing me and I really don't want to do it for another 3 years.  So today I bit the bullet and we applied to refinance.  My interest rate will drop more that 1%, though I will have to pay around $3,500 in fees.  My monthly payment will drop by around $240 which I will add right back to the the extra principle I'm already paying to get this sucker gone.

Well that is all I have for today.  I hope your September is going well!!

Monday, September 7, 2020

August Month-End Financials and Life Planning

Happy September everyone!!  Its been a busy last couple of weeks and I am late getting my financials updated.  Last week we celebrated the LoML's birthday and this weekend we celebrated D#1's birthday as well as Labor Day.  In between it was work and yard work/gardening.

Retirement Savings Update:
I don't have updates for our outside retirement accounts or LoML's 401(k) yet so the new number only reflects an increase in my 401(k).  The new current total, not including my pension is about $925,000, an increase of about $19,300 from what I reported last month.   I continue to contribute a little more then the max plus max catch-up per month which means I'll hit my maximum annual contribution limits before the end of the year.  When that occurs I'll dump that extra take home pay into my extra mortgage payment.

Mortgage Pay-Down Update:
With my September mortgage payment I again 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
May Balance:             $88,397.84 - 4 principal payments
June Balance:            $86,326.50 - 4 principal payments
July Balance:             $84,215.12 - 4 principal payments
August Balance:        $82,068.40 - 4 principal payments
September Balance:   $79,887.34 - 4 principal payments

So far this year we've paid $18,334 in principal - we are almost meeting our 2020 goal of paying off $20,000 by year-end.  We've knocked off almost 3 years from the mortgage in just 8 months.

Regular Savings:
I continue to sock away about $2,700 a month into our savings account.  This past month had a lot of outgoing due to vacation, my D#1 buying her first house, 4 cars needing inspections, 2 birthdays and LoML's annual life insurance premium.  September should have almost no major expenses so that is good.

I mentioned my 2020 goals and I have to say this is the first time I've really thought about them since I posted them back at the beginning of the year.  So I need to revisit them.  COVID and work totally derailed me right out of the gate. So stay tuned for a 2020 goals assessment and adjustment.

I've also been spending a lot of time thinking about my life as it relates to my job.  I am very, very grateful to have this job with great benefits and really good pay.  I've been working for this company for just about 28 years and survived multiple mergers.  Like everyone's career, mine has been full of ups and downs, but this last year and a half has been particularly frustrating and draining on me mentally, emotionally and physically.  What's worse is the next 9 months is probably going to be the busiest and most stressful.  My boss and our Director knows this.  We had a meeting last week to try to map out the work load so we can plan for the pain points and prepare for extra resources when necessary.  We've never had to do that before.  I do A LOT.  I have been complimented many times on the volume of work I can do.  I am the type of person who just wants to get it done so I can move on to the next task or make room for more work to come.  This means I will just keep working into the evenings to get ahead.  I've done this my entire career.  But with working remotely it is even easier for me to just login when I pour my first cup of coffee at 7 a.m. and just keep working well into the evening, every evening, and it is taking a toll on my health and happiness.

I need to figure out a way to manage how I deal with my job.  And I need to think hard about how long I want to do this job at this increased pace and intensity.  I'm just not into it at this point in my life but I'm not sure we are ready for me to execute a career change or possibly an early retirement that might result in less income.   I'm just beginning this thought process so more to come.  

Fall Is Too Early!!!

 I love the change of the seasons.  Don't get me wrong - Fall is probably one of my favorite seasons.  But where I live we don't usu...