Monday, May 26, 2014
We bought a house in December and moved the week after Christmas.
My son turns A YEAR OLD this week!
Financially, we are doing okay. Sometimes I think about our much higher salary (I think our gross is about $220k currently, up from $120 just a few years ago) and think we have ALL THE MONEY, but, in reality, a high income doesn't mean you don't have to budget. Moving into a new house was expensive. We have done very minimal decorating or furniture buying but little stuff adds up. Plus an enormous heating bill in the cold winter. Plus property taxes! Plus we had to pay to get our condo painted so we could rent it out. Then we went on vacation!
We are trying to reign things in. I hope I can post a bit more about the process to keep myself accountable.
Monday, October 7, 2013
I had an amazing four month maternity leave with mostly time I had accrued through my years of saving up my PTO, plus a generous six weeks from my employer (though a bit too little too late at that point). I came back to work two weeks ago and last Wednesday turned in my two weeks notice.
I GOT A MUCH BETTER JOB!!
After years and years of making around $50,000 I will be jumping up to a salary of nearly $75,000. The job is still in public service so it will have many of the same benefits that made my current job appealing but at a pay rate that is more commiserate with my years of experience. I'm sure it will be challenging in other ways but, after tackling parenthood, I think I can manage.
My husband also started a new job a month ago with a decent salary increase so the $1,000 a month we are spending on day care hasn't affected our budget thankfully. Now more than ever our eyes are on the goal of buying a house and we hope to achieve this goal by Spring 2014.
Student loans? Yup, still paying them. I need to log into my accounts and make sure, but I'm almost positive I've hit the "Under $100k" goal recently so hurray!
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
But, have no fear, they recently gave me a three percent cost of living adjustment - my first since 2009 - remember how excited I was back then? Factoring in the Social Security reduction sunset, it's like $20 more a paycheck. Thanks a lot!
While my coworkers have wised up and abandoned ship, I have no immediate plans to look for another job because of the great work/life balance..which is more important now that I have a baby on the way. Yes, a baby, finally! It's been almost exactly a year since I wrote about our fertility struggles and how they were putting our plans on hold. I'm happy to announce that after a successful IVF cycle I am now five months pregnant. Our SON will arrive hopefully mid June. And, while achieving pregnancy was a herculean feat, the actual pregnancy so far has been pretty easy. I'm healthy, baby is measuring big and healthy and I feel great.
We are still living in the condo and are here until we can scrape up enough funds to put at least ten percent down on a house. Originally we thought we could pull it off by the time the baby gets here but that won't be happening save some sort of financial miracle. Our modified plan puts us moving shortly before the end of 2013. Technically we have almost half the money saved already...but most of that is in our Emergency Fund and I will resist the temptation to drain that with a baby on the way just for the convenience of a few more months with an eat in kitchen. Non-shared laundry would be nice though. Sigh.
In other news, this was the first year we've been married that we didn't greatly miscalculate our tax burden. Instead of owing we ended getting back over $3k so that was a nice addition to our savings plan. DH is still interviewing for a better job and hopefully between his forthcoming bonus in March and any salary increase he may see, we will exceed our goals by the end of the year.
I hope to write more about our plans for the baby and hopefully moving soon. It's a very exciting time.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
A. You totally forget to pay your bills and spend $5,000 at the mall; or
B. "Suddenly" you look and you've paid off over $5,000 in debt!
Don't despair, dear readers, the answer is happily B. I actually did forget to pay one of my student loans a few months back. The Perkins loan is the only one not on automatic withdrawal because I am snowballing it and the web site isn't smart enough to let me do that automatically. Luckily I wasn't "late" with my payment since they consider me paying ahead already. Phew.
Without further ado, here is the roundup:
For the first time I realized that since my parents technically are responsible for the Private Undergrad Loan (it's just on my credit score so I keep it on the list) that I've actually been in the Five Figure Debt Club for quite some time. Not counting that loan, I *only* have about $89k in outstanding student loan debt.
But, of course, I do count that loan and maybe someday, if circumstances change, I will have to make payments on it so the official Under $100k Student Loan Debt Party is postponed probably until April/May of 2013 which is right around the corner if you think about it.
A lot can happen in the next six months and we are eagerly awaiting news on multiple different fronts. Hopefully by the day five figure debt becomes a reality we will have some answers on moving, new jobs, family building, etc. Stay tuned.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Five months later, we got engaged.
Eighteen months after that we got married.
We've been married for two years and two months.
We've had many great times in our home but I feel it's (nearly) time to move on. Why? Let me count the ways.
Our condo is 798 square feet. There is no storage. If you put one thing out of place an entire room can look cluttered. Five things out of place and you may as well be living in a hovel. I feel like I'm constantly trying to jam things in the closet or in a drawer. I dread friends coming over because our only space for entertaining is also where we do most of our daily living and eating.
We have two cats and one litter box. And please, I know this is bad but there is literally no other place to put a second one. I'm thisclose to just buying one and putting it against a door to a closet that we never open. When we had one cat I felt like cleaning the box was no big deal. Now I think my cats are engaged in an Olympic sport of competitive pooping. They poop all the time. I need another solution to this problem and the only thing I can think of is to move. We already have the fancy thing that makes your litter box look like furniture so that's not the issue. The issue is floor space. We don't have any.
Our income has dramatically increased. When he bought the condo, my husband was making $80k a year. My income wasn't factored into the equation because we were unmarried and I was also paying rent at my apartment - and continued to do so for nearly a year. Now we have a household income of $170k and it may rise some more in the next few months (fingers crossed).
We always agreed that our current office would serve as a nursery for our first child until they were one years old and then we would move. Well, we've been trying to get pregnant for over a year and I feel like we've waited long enough. My husband needs his office and the idea of trying to fit baby stuff in that room in addition to all the stuff that needs to be in there makes me not want to have a baby at all.
I'm sick of condo living. I want a yard! I want to be able to run the blender at 10 o'clock at night (don't ask) and not worry I am disturbing someone. A neighbor in a nearby building has a dog who has taken to barking after midnight all of a sudden. I can't pinpoint who it is and why they allow barking but I'm sick of it. I also feel our condo fees are way too high (even though my husband is the building treasurer and assures me there is no misappropriation).
So we have decided we will aim to move by early next summer. Our budget will be between $300 and $350k. Right now the main priority will be saving the $17,500 we will need for a down payment.
I am going to look into alternative income and hopefully my husband will get the raise he has been promised. Now I need to start researching locations, needs, wants, etc.
When should I talk to a realtor? We didn't use one last time around (FSBO) so that part is all new to me. I would attempt FSBO again but I think I need a little handholding this time.
Wish us luck!
Friday, July 27, 2012
We have also been faced with the prospect of relocating for the past four months or so but have no idea how serious we should be taking the idea. It would mean leaving my job and moving to a high cost of living area. Part of it sound great but other parts freak me out. I'm not sure if I even found a job in the new location if I would make enough money to be able to afford daycare.
Which brings us to this: we're still not pregnant. We've been trying for so long and have been undergoing fertility treatments for the past five months now with no luck. We are very grateful that our insurance has covered most of our treatment but the medication and the copayments have added up. I just can't wait to be done with this chapter of my life but I will keep going until I have my baby.
My second niece/nephew is due in a few weeks. It's hard to deal with my mixed emotions on this subject. I hope to have a better update soon.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
If I leave before my ten year mark I get my contributions back if I don't want to collect a small pension instead. As of today they total $8,397.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
If you were guessing she goes back to school and saddles on another $50,000 in student loans you would be wrong!
But, no, I assure you, the loans have still been getting paid. And today I decided it was time to see where I'm at. So here goes nothing:
Yes, that's right. Since my last update, I have knocked out close to $7k in student loan debt! The magical less-than-six-figures mark is within my grasp.
NB: The total amount paid off is showing an error right now. If it doesn't update soon I'll fix this later. Rest assured the real number is $6,655.49.
At this rate, I'll be under $105k by the end of the year and will reach the wonderful land of $99k by June, 2013. That's assuming I don't make any adjustments to the payment schedule.
DH and I hope to raise the amount we're paying as soon as we meet other financial goals but it's good to know we're on track. That's all for now!
Friday, February 17, 2012
Because you're not supposed to talk about it.
I want a baby.
I remember a couple years back, when I was planning my wedding, a commenter remarked on my blog that I was going to "get married, get pregnant and quit my job." As you can imagine I was offended by his remarks. Not only because he was implying I was some sort of Gold Digger, but because he was trying to fit me into a box. The Predictable Female box. Even though I always thought I wanted kids, for someone else to assume I would be having them just because I was getting married hurt.
Then during the 18 month engagement we talked a lot about the future. We wanted to have some time as a married couple before starting a family. We wanted to travel, enjoy each other's company and become financially secure. We set a date that we would start to try.
Months go by and I invest in books, a thermometer, over the counter medical supplies, fertility yoga, fertility tea, herbs and vitamins. I drink 96 ounces of water a day. I turn 32. I try acupuncture. I'm still not pregnant.
The good news is I have excellent insurance and an appointment to see a specialist in less than a month. I'll keep you posted and I promise to try and resume a more frequent blogging schedule from here on out.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Thursday, June 30, 2011
But first, time to update the student loan numbers! I am getting excited to see the numbers slide down closer to the five figure mark. I predict I will owe under $100k in student loans by February 2014. Yay! Maybe I'll do something crazy to celebrate at that point like go back to school (boo!) or have a baby (yikes!).
As of today, I owe $118,180 for my fabulous education, over $800 less than last month.
Here are the details:
Hope you all have a fabulous 4th of July Weekend celebrating America: where anyone can get a higher education. :-)
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
I've been a public employee for almost five years but I didn't officially join the retirement system until April, 2007. I am currently in the process of buying back the service credit from the period in which I wasn't a member. I will be done paying that off in a couple of months. This means in April of next year I will be vested in my pension since it will have been five years since I joined but I will have 5.6 years of service credit.
Vesting in HUGE since, in the five short years since I've been a public employee, the state has created one new tier and is about to create another one with a lot less benefits than the tier I am eligible to vest in. Two major things the new tiers won't have that I currently have are the ability to retire at 55 without penalty and the fact that after ten years I will no longer have to make any contributions to my pension.
Thus, I get out so much more than I put in. Here are some numbers:
As of April 1 of this year my pension contributions total $5,999.95. Assuming I make the same salary for the next six years I will have contributed about $14,000 to my pension. Then I stop contributing but keep working for at least ten more years. How much do I get?
Using a final average salary of $49,312, when I am 57 years old I will have 30 years of service credit. I will thus be eligible for a Single Life Allowance of $29,587 a year. That's 60% of my final average salary. All for contributing just $14,000! This is totally morbid but even if I only collect for one year I am getting 2x my money back! Note that I'll probably elect one of the Joint Allowances because I'm married and then it's a little less ($24,900).
Will I make it to thirty years of service? I don't know. I hope so. We're still child free so I assume I will work until my hypothetical kid is in college. Being that they're not born yet that's another 24 years or thereabout. Even if I only worked twenty years I am still eligible for a sizeable pension as well (just not sure how sizeable).
So....twenty six more years to go!
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Here are the stats:
Retirement: My 457 account balance stands at $9,861. I have approximately $5859 in my pension (refundable until vested). And finally I have approximately $1000 in my Roth I.R.A. but the statement only comes quarterly so who knows if that's gone up. This makes for a grand total of $16,720 saved for retirement.
Student Loans: These are at the LOWEST THEY'VE EVER BEEN at a whopping $119,009!
Credit Card: All of our debts are joint debts now so this number is misleading but they will all be paid off within 4-5 months now that we are working together.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
I want to start throwing more money at the Perkins loan but we're still adjusting to our new budget and paying off some other debt so we're currently just paying $200 a month. I still think I can knock it out in 2011 somehow. It will feel awesome to only have two payments to make each month instead of three.
My husband is enjoying his new job. His travel schedule is a little crazy right now so we're adjusting to that as well. Just got back from an excellent Memorial Day weekend camping.
Here are the stats for this month:
Monday, May 2, 2011
Now that I've combined accounts with DH I could technically count all of his assets and liabilities too but for now I'm going to just track mine. It wouldn't put me in the black to do so, however, as his networth is around negative $15,000 (still much better than mine!).
Here are the details:
Cash: This category is pretty useless now that my cash is combined with DH's. If I ever acquire some of my "own" cash from saving my fun money, here is where I will track it I guess.
Retirement: My 457 account balance stands at $9,892. I have approximately $5659 in my pension (refundable until vested). And finally I have contributed $1000 in my Roth I.R.A. and for some reason that makes sense when my financial advisor explains it, it's only in a Money Market account now. This makes for a grand total of $16,551 saved for retirement.
Student Loans: These are at the LOWEST THEY'VE EVER BEEN at a whopping $119,790!
Credit Card: All of our debts are joint debts now so this number is misleading but they will all be paid off within 4-5 months now that we are working together and DH got a new job!
Friday, April 29, 2011
Since tomorrow is a Saturday and I will be celebrating some big news with my own handsome husband I decided to do my student loan debt roundup a day early. I'm happy to report that I am finally in the $110's!
Here are the numbers:
And stay tuned for some exciting news in the S.N. family!
Monday, April 4, 2011
Here's the breakdown:
Cash: I'm keeping this the same because all of the cash I have right now is earmarked for debt payoff.
Retirement: My 457 account balance stands at $9,551. I have approximately $5459 in my pension (refundable until vested). And finally I have contributed $1000 in my Roth I.R.A. and for some reason that makes sense when my financial advisor explains it, it's only in a Money Market account now. This makes for a grand total of $16,010 saved for retirement.
Student Loans: These are at the LOWEST THEY'VE EVER BEEN at a whopping $120,793!
Credit Card: Not much progress yet as we're scrambling to pay off joint debts first.
My husband and I talked about our debt payoff progress some this week and we've decided to join accounts. I know this is definitely the right move but I'm still a little nervous to see how it's going to work out. We're a team now so we should act as one financially. I will probably continue to post "my" networth on the blog though just because I like to track it.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Unfortunately, a $200 payment I made a few days ago to my Perkins loan hasn't shown up yet so it looks the balance has increased instead of decreased. :-(
The good news, as always, is that the overall balance has gone down and I now owe $120,793.25 in student loans!
Here are the details: