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April 2018 Update

April 3rd, 2018 at 08:00 am

Just a quick update and snapshot in time:


$ 136,859.02 March 2018
- $385.79 Regular Principal
- $150.00 Additional Principal
$ 136,323.23 Ending April 2018


$ 8,000.00 February 2018
+ $1,000.00 March 2018
$ 9,000.00 Ending March 2018

New Vehicle Fund (NVF):

$ 12,363.00 February 2018
+ $898.00 March 2018
$ 13,261.00 Ending March 2018

January 2018 Update

January 9th, 2018 at 07:59 am

Things are moving right along on auto pilot.


$ 138,453.73 December 2017
- $379.47 Regular Principal
- $150.00 Additional Principal
$ 137,924.26 January 2018

Now I want to see the balance in the $120K's!


$ 7,000.00 December 2017
+ $1,000.00 January 2018
$ 8,000.00 January 2018

New Vehicle Fund (NVF):

$ 7,830.00 November 2017
+ $830.00 December 2017
$ 8,660.00 December 2017


Currently have $400/ mo. contributions toward ROTH IRAs, split $200/$200 for DW and I. We may increase that by $50 each this year.

I may also increase my 457 contributions from 5% to 10%. This may happen mid year when I should settle on a wage renegotiation, +$6-8K/ yr. I'll have to double check to see if DW maximizes her employee match (6%), if not we will reevaluate that as well to seek maximum benefit.

November 2017 Update

November 2nd, 2017 at 06:22 am

It has been 8 months since my last update, things have just been on auto pilot recently!


$ 139,506.43 October 2017
- $375.31 Regular Principal
- $150.00 Additional Principal
$138,981.12 November 2017



Been maintaining since July 2017, we diverted some funds to pay for our yearly (at least it seems that way) visit to FL, which we took end of September. This fund increases by approximately $1,000/ month, given maintaining our current wages and cash flow.

NVF (New Vehicle Fund):


I have been saving for a new vehicle. There is nothing wrong with my current 10 year old Honda that I basically maintain myself, just find myself requiring the use of a truck more often than not. Has 106K miles and just put new tires on it. I just paid for mounting and balancing and an alignment at the dealer and gave them my customer supplied tires. I was able to research best price and model of tire for my needs. My next vehicle is probably a mid-size truck, so I began saving Jan 2017, those are not cheap. Just seeing how close I can come to either an outright cash deal or 50-60% down with a 36 month note on the remainder and keep some additional cash liquid. I would not be trading my fun to drive simple driver oriented Honda Civic Si 4 door Sedan, it would see garage duty and nice weather cruising. Ford and Jeep are supposed to be releasing new products to the segment in the next 8-12 months or so. This fund increases by approximately $832/ month, given maintaining our current wages and cash flow.


I cashed out 6 weeks of time at work in September, I put it all in my personal saving account. In 2018, I will be cashing out another 4 weeks and just banking it there as well. The first of the year, in January, I will be receiving a yearly longevity check, which will also boost that account. I have no plans for this money, but I do have a non-frugal automotive hobby as I am an automotive enthusiast.

March 2017 Mortgage and EF

March 3rd, 2017 at 11:26 am


$ 143,635.00 February 2017
- $358.96 Regular Principal
- $150.00 Additional Principal
$143,126.04 March 2017

This was last payment that included PMI on our FHA loan! The April payment is already adjusted by the mortgage servicer!


$ 5,000 February 2017
+ 1,000 Added
$ 6,000 March 2017

Mortgage, FE, 2016 Taxes

February 2nd, 2017 at 09:12 am


$ 144,141.96 January 2017
- $356.96 Regular Principal
- $150.00 Additional Principal
$143,635.00 February 2017

Finally 78% LTV! Monthly Mortgage Insurance cancellation in the works!


$ 4,000 January 2017
+ 1,000 Added
$ 5,000 February 2017

2016 Taxes:

Ouch, did our taxes, but did not finalize, we owe Feds $1,800 and NYS $200. We have moved into another tax bracket and will adjust withholding as we both currently claim Fed M-0 and NYS M-0. Yeah, so we will split the additional withholding amount request between DW and I for 2017 pay check as we make very similar wages. I don't have a problem as March 2017 DW gets an "Extra" paycheck and will pay utilizing those funds, and should cover 90% and will make the difference up with cash flow. Bummer, but oh well, as that "Extra" check could have went toward something else.


January 26th, 2017 at 08:53 am

It has been about 4 months or so since my last update, which have mostly been mortgage pre-payment updates, but some things have changed and thought I would share.

The mortgage pre-payment is still moving forward, but the $700 extra (for a total $1,000 off principal each payment) has been reduced to $150 (for a total of $500 off principal each payment). That was done in anticipation of the Holidays and potentially replacing my vehicle in the near future, as well as increasing our cash on hand to possibly move to a larger home sometime in the next 3-5 years. You may be asking why put additional to the mortgage? Mortgage payoff is pretty much what we would realize after a sale, if sold in the next couple of months. Mortgage regulations state, that I have read anyway, require 30% equity in order consider the rents on the current home to be considered income for a new mortgage loan application. Even if we don't rent, I still would like to have options.

Finally received a promotion at work, so 25% increase in base yearly pay is nice, but not effective until Jan 30, 2017, few days left. The management package, no longer union employee, is nice and savings on health insurance alone is a nice net in the pay check. The ability to cash out 2 weeks vacation and 2 weeks compensatory time are nice, which I will be doing for additional monies realized. Nice to see a decent "raise" after going without from 2009 to 2015.

I was done paying into the NYS retirement account (414H) back in July 2016, have since been diverting that to NYS Deferred Compensation 403B plan, and increased it from 3% (414H) to 5% (403B). I will most likely increase that after I see a couple checks to know the effect of the promotion and where we want to be.

The Vanguard ROTH IRA is doing great, just need to look into increasing, which was about 50% funded for both DW and I in 2016.

DW also signed up for her company 401K 6% match, for a total of 12%, she was able to get the match after 2 years of employment. She is up for a 5% raise in the next couple months.

Mortgage Payment - August 2016

August 2nd, 2016 at 05:00 am

$ 147,710.17 July 2016
- $342.83 Regular Principal
- $700.00 Additional Principal
$146,667.34 August 2016

Mortgage Payment - July 2016

July 5th, 2016 at 05:28 am

$148,748.89 June 2016
- $338.72 Regular Principal
- $700.00 Additional Principal
$147,710.17 July 2016

Mortgage Payment - June 2016

June 2nd, 2016 at 08:10 am

$149,783.52 May 2016
- $334.63 Regular Principal
- $700.00 Additional Principal
$148,748.89 June 2016

Mortgage Payment - May 2016

May 2nd, 2016 at 07:20 am

$150,814.07 April 2016
- $330.55 Regular Principal
- $700.00 Additional Principal
$149,783.52 May 2016

Milestone! Finally in the $140K's!

Mortgage Payment - April 2016

April 4th, 2016 at 05:16 am

$151,840.55 March 2016
- $326.48 Regular Principal
- $700.00 Additional Principal
$150,814.07 April 2016

Mortgage Payment - March 2016

March 2nd, 2016 at 04:53 am

$152,862.99 February 2016
- $322.44 Regular Principal
- $700.00 Additional Principal
$151,840.55 March 2016

2015 Taxes

February 26th, 2016 at 11:56 am

Last night I sat down and did our 2015 taxes, pretty simple, but not simple enough to do the 1040EZ for free, Haha!

After all said and done:

Owe Feds: ($135)
Refund State: $239
Turbo Tax: ($77.83)
Net: +$26.17

Pretty much perfect, just the way I like it!

I set that auto Debit for the Feds on 04-01-2016, we should have received our State refund by then and not have to worry about adding or moving money around, well, for that reason anyway.

Mortgage Payment - February 2016

February 2nd, 2016 at 05:11 am

$153,881.40 January 2016
- $318.41 Regular Principal
- $700.00 Additional Principal
$152,862.99 February 2016

Mortgage Payment - January 2016

January 4th, 2016 at 06:40 am

$154,895.79 December 2015
- $314.39 Regular Principal
- $700.00 Additional Principal
$153,881.40 January 2016

2016 Goals

December 30th, 2015 at 08:41 am

I don't think I posted any goals for 2015, but I compared them to 2014 and we are looking good.

For 2016:

1. ROTH - $200/ month both ROTHs; $400/ month total between the two.

2. Mortgage Additional - $700/ month.

3. E.F. - $500/ month minimum.

4. Mortgage at or below $139,999.99

Keeping goals #1-3 easily reachable, and #4 is reached, will be a bonus. October 2016 the mortgage will be 20% from original appraisal from 2010, therefore, good-bye PMI! Will be 10 months longer than originally anticipated, but couldn't be less than 5 years as loan stipulates can't remove PMI 5 within years or less or 20% equity from original appraisal, whichever is longer. October 2016 will be 5 years, 10 months.

Mortgage Payment - December 2015

December 2nd, 2015 at 09:55 am

$155,806.58 November 2015
- $310.79 Regular Principal
- $600.00 Additional Principal
$154,895.79 December 2015

5 Years In!

November 25th, 2015 at 12:42 pm

About 10 days ago my wife and I purchased our first home 5 years ago, currently worth less than we paid and still owe, probably by a substantial amount, but oh well. Let me get to the numbers. We haven't always put extra money to the mortgage during those 5 years, but have consistently (and will continue assuming we remain gainfully employed) for the past 24 months.

Original Amortization to Date:
Interest: $40,534.31
Principal: $15,116.89

Current Amortization to Date:
Interest: $40,158.02
Principal: $22,908.18

I am not sure what I was thinking, but I was expecting more shaved off in total interest, which amounts to a savings of $376.29. Principal paid is, obviously more reflective, of an additional $7,791.29 that would have been added to today's balance if we hadn't paid any extra.

Pretty interesting to see, but this year is the first we paid more in Principal than in Interest, albeit forced. Feels good in a way, next year will be better!

Mortgage Payment - November 2015

November 2nd, 2015 at 05:20 am

$156,713.77 October 2015
- $307.19 Regular Principal
- $600.00 Additional Principal
$155,806.58 November 2015

Verizon - Reducing Costs!

October 1st, 2015 at 11:22 am

I don't think I have ever blogged twice in one day!

Anyway, Verizon has this their new "Verizon" cell phone plans that are cheaper than out "Share More Everything" plans. My phone is no longer in contract, been that way for quite a bit. DW's phone is still in contract, so I'll explain savings below.

Share More Everything Plan
Line Access Me: $40
Line Access DW: $40
19% Line Access Discount: ($15.20)
4GB Data: $60
Verizon and Gov't Taxes Surcharges: $17.33

Total: $142.13

Verizon Plan

Line Access Me: $20
Line Access DW: $40*
19% Line Access Discount: ($11.40)
3GB Data: $45
Verizon and Gov't Taxes and Surcharges (Est.): $13.00

Total: ~$106.60

DW is still in contract on her phone until 6/2016, so in June, the Line Access for that phone will further be reduced to $20 as well, and the cell portion of the bill should be under $100. This was completed yesterday. Good! Saving now = ~35/ mo. Savings in June 2016 = $55/ mo.

Our Verizon FiOS contract for our double play is up this Saturday. I'll be calling them tonight to see if we can get the new customer price again. We got it last time too. If not, I will cancel and DW will call back to get the new rate, as she is not on our current bill as a new customer. Current is Fios Double Play: 15/15 FiOS Internet and FiOS TV Select (190+ channels, 30+HD) for $79.99 + 16.99 DVR + $6.45 Taxes and Surcharges = $103.43.

The two options are:

1. FiOS 50/50 Internet only for $44.95/ mo. for 2 years. No DVR, or TV. We alternate between Netflix and Hulu Plus. Everything we watch is available. Savings = ~$52/ mo.

2. FiOs Double Play: 50/50 FiOS Internet + FiOS TV Local (70 channels, 15 HD) + HBO Free for $50 for the year. Will still need to pay DVR. Savings = ~$35/ mo.

Mortgage Payment - October 2015

October 1st, 2015 at 06:02 am

$157,617.39 September 2015
- $303.62 Regular Principal
- $600.00 Additional Principal
$156,713.77 October 2015

Mortgage Payment

September 2nd, 2015 at 06:06 am

$158,517.45 August 2015
- $300.06 Regular Principal
- $600.00 Additional Principal
$157,617.39 September 2015

April 2015 Mortgage Payment and EF

April 2nd, 2015 at 07:18 am


$161,235.37 March 2015
- $289.30 Regular Principal
- $250.00 Additional Principal
$160,696.07 April 2015


$3,000 Beginning Balance
+$4,000 DW Base Retro Pay
$7,000 Ending Balance

DW will be receiving more retro next pay check, they split her base pay retro from her additional certification pay retro.

Also updated Retirement numbers on side bar for Q1 2015.

Long time?! DW Promotion and Retro Pay!

March 26th, 2015 at 09:24 am

Apparently it has been a year since my last entry. I've been on frequently, just not blogging I guess, however, commented on a few other blogs.

My blog is usually straight and to the point, so this will be no different!

1. Wells Fargo (WF) Mortgage and Escrow. I FINALLY got them to pay our land taxes in a one-time yearly pay-in-full, now I don't have to hunt them down to get reimbursed for the installment fee.

2. Mortgage is due to be under $160K in June 2015 (with current additional payments), I may make it sooner, but trying to get rid of PMI. The loan documents state 5 years or 20% equity from original appraisal, whichever is longer. The use of DW's new promotion may actually make those criteria happen at the same time this December (read options below). I can't stand WF.

3. Retro pay (retro to Jan 4, 2015), will be close to $7K net. We should see that check in a week or two. That will just sit in the EF, which has been drawn down recently for medical expenses and some updates to the home (fence in 2014).

4. The raise that is doubling her salary,

Option 1. Mentioned above with removing PMI ($75/ mo), no, not really that bad, but 20%+ equity sound nice.

Option 2. Save to purchase land in the boonies, looking at about $70K for a 3.5 acre parcel. Expensive here in NY, and not much nice parcels left in this area. Pricey.

Option 3. Bank it all.

5. Retirement will be increased with any of the above. May be able to max both ROTH's out this year.

6. May need to look at opening some 401K's, the tax deduction may be needed to keep tax liability down and it will probably double from last year.

Problem, I am indecisive, DW trusts me and I include her in all large decisions, but my head spins thinking about the options, as we both want them all.

Some decisions to be made!

Mortgage Mini Milestone

April 3rd, 2014 at 05:03 am

I call is mini because it only changes the thousands digit. We are below $167K!

I have been adding at least $100 each month to principal so far this year as to meet one of our financial goals, which was at least $50 additional/ month.

The $100 allows the thousands digit to change every 3 months instead of every 4, so we knock a month off the entire length of loan (if we were to keep it) every 3 months given it's current location in the amortization schedule.

Random Updates

March 5th, 2014 at 05:13 am

I'll keep this short, my posts are usually to the point, so this one won't be any different!

1. Our new appliances. We received 3/4 of them, the fridge should be delivered today, if not, I feel sorry for the store that will have to deal with DW! We have been told many conflicting things regarding the fridge delivery and she has had enough!

2. The "NYS Surcharge" that showed up on an in-patient hospital bill late last year, well that reimbursement finally came to fruition. HR initially said it was our responsibility, well that is not what my contract states at work; $0 out-of-pocket for in-patient. I submitted all my evidence to the legal department here at work, and finally the employer was directed to reimburse me. $389 to the new appliances!

3. $100 to mortgage principal for 3/2014 payment! Still above my goal by double each month. $380 extra so far this year.

4. Sold our old fridge for $100 and posting old microwave for $125 on craigslist. Our out-of-pocket expense on these new appliances are low compared to their final price after taxes!

5. Got both NYS and Fed tax refunds.

6. Noticed the price of the new fridge and stove (already was delivered) went even lower on-line, we got the store to honor those new prices. $124 came back!

7. DW has an interview on Thursday that sounds really promising. I don't want to get ahead of ourselves, but both our ROTH's could be fully funded this year and exceed our EF funding goal. If she does as her income would grow at least twice. Cool to think about.

8. I'm not a big fan of Zillow "Zestimates", I take it with a grain of salt, but I do look at the trend of our "zestimate" and compare it to local actual trends of home values and sales, adjust for bedroom count, baths, lot size, location etc. I estimate we could sell easily for $159K-162K. "Zestimate" shows a value of $154K and has started to level out around that number nicely. We owe $167.2K, still a bummer. $8K under is a lot better than almost $30K we were looking at 2 years ago. I'd rather be in a position we could liquidate if needed and not owe anything at closing, even if we lost money from original purchase price and/or updates.

Ah well, that's it for now!

Expensive Weekend (Partially by Choice)

February 24th, 2014 at 06:37 am

This post isn't the most frugal post, something that I was hoping to put off for a bit longer, but was eventually going to do in the near future.

Our kitchen appliances, I've blogged slightly regarding these aging relics (a couple of them anyway) in the past, are being replaced.

Stove (Electric): Circa 1985, has been giving us issues since we purchased the home in 2010. We put some money in it to keep it going (replaced a few of the exposed burners), but when you are down to 3 out of 4 burners, things can get annoying. When you use the oven and the smoke detector goes off, things get annoying. I did a massive cleaning on it last year, but no avail to mitigate the issues. We are going to have delivery haul away.

Fridge: Circa 1998, has been making a funny loud noise at times for the past 3 years, cools and freezes well, not the most energy efficient, does not maximize and utilize the space well. We are going to attempt to sell on craigslist for around $150. If no go, our electric company will recycle and pay us $50 for it, as well as haul it away.

Dishwaher: Circa 1998, not the quietest model, cleans satisfactory if you rinse most food off dishes before placing them in. Will attempt to sell for $50 on craigslist.

Microwave (Over-the-Range): Circa 2008, not really anything wrong with it, obviously the newest appliance in the kitchen, but we will attempt to sell to family (a couple people interested) for $100.

Well that's the back story, the new story is expensive, and we only got mid-grade items.

Fridge: Samsung, Stainless Steel, we only had two options for the style we wanted for the space requirements. We ended up with a french door, bottom freezer model. Cost: $1,619.00!! Oh my!! Really!? Get this, it was the same cost as the next size up, only in America.

Stove (Electric): Samsung, Stainless Steel, nice 5 burner, flat top, convection. Lets see how the "steam clean" feature actually works, pretty skeptical. Cost: $967. Eh, not bad, but still pricey.

Dishwasher: Samsung, Stainless Steel, 6 cycles, hard food disposer (no filter to clean!), quiet 47dBs, stainless steel tub. Cost: $599.

Microwave: Samsung, typical over-the-range style, controls low on door for easier access, ceramic interior (same inside material as oven). Cost $319.

Total after before discounts and tax: $4,607.84
Total after tax and discounts: $3,857.84
- $220 Chase rewards
- $385 Reimbursement from work
- $300 C.U. Rewards
- $250 NYS Tax Refund
- $532 FED Tax Refund

= out-of-pocket $2,170.84

Not horrible considering, but $329.16 under budget ($2,500 budget) that we wanted to spend on them.

Escrow Frustration, It Has To Go!

February 17th, 2014 at 05:33 pm

I've blogged before regarding how our mortgage escrow company pays our City property tax in Quarterly Installments, but the City charges an installment fee to utilize that method. I usually have to go through hoops to get them to reimburse me as it is not our problem or choice they do so. Well, yet again, 4th year in a row they continue to do their "normal" practice. I called them up and it wasn't pretty needless to say, I've had enough. They finally blamed it on the "tax authority" and gave me the contact info as according to them, the "tax authority" requests the taxes be paid in such manor. Well, it is our money in that account, not theirs, I say how the money is spent!

Anyway, I'm tired of it, the mortgage will be going quickly as humanly possible. We had already made a goal of at least $50/mo. toward the mortgage for 2014, we want to escrow ourselves, I am tired watching their every move like a hawk.

Extra payments so far this year:
Jan = $115.00
Feb = $165.00
Mar = $310+$750(tax refund)+$300(CU Cash Rewards)

Auto Loan Gone!

February 2nd, 2014 at 08:03 pm

While all of my social network was posting and commenting on who the are going to bet on for the Super Bowl, we did something better, with guaranteed 'returns', used my "extra" paycheck and away it went, along with the auto loan!

The only debt we have is our Mortgage!

We officially own both vehicles:

2007 Honda Civic Si Sedan (PIF: 11/2011, 11 months early, on 60 month loan)
2010 Honda Civic LX Sedan (PIF: 2/2014, 22 months early, on 48 month loan)

Auto Loan Deteriorating!

January 25th, 2014 at 10:12 am

The Auto Loan regular payment posted yesterday and bring it down to:

Regular Payment: $321.70
Amount to Interest: $6.12
Principle: $315.58
Total Remaining: $1,647.64

Loan Details:
2010 Honda Civic LX 4 Door Sedan
Loan Origination Date: 12/2011 $14,300
Loan Length: 48 Months

Currently at month 26 of loan, therefore, we are 22 months ahead!!

Will be paid off by month 30 (at most!), or 1.5 years (at least) early!

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