$ 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
Viewing the 'Budgeting' Category
$ 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
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.
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.
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:
Current Amortization to Date:
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!
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
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
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.
$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.
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!
We are budget billed on our gas and electric provider, still using less than previous owner as our budget bill was set-up using their average 12 months. We pay the budget amount every month, but the meters are read every two months.
I logged on our account and noticed the meter has been read, and I compared it to same time last year:
2014/01/10 703kWH $139.76
2013/01/09 731kWH $137.64
**Average daily cost for billing period was $2.1838/ day.
**Average cost of energy purchased was $0.06605/ kWH.
2014/01/10 226CCF $314.09
2013/01/09 232CCF $320.02
**Average daily cost for billing period was $4.9077/ day.
**Average cost of energy purchased was $0.56027/ CCF.
Using less, however, obviously, it appears electric was cheaper the previous year for the same period.
In addition, it appears we could have done even better in the gas department if it wasn't for the Polar Vortex!
It's that time again; 2014 Goals!
1. Auto Loan paid off by June 2014. This will actually happen by itself with regular payments, which will be 18 months early on our 48 month loan. Once it gets down below $1,000 I may reevaluate with a lump sum payoff. Right now, it costing us less than $6/ mo. in interest.
2. Mortgage principal only payments. Sending $50/ mo. additional principal only payments for 2014. I have automatic payments set-up from our savings account.
1. ROTH IRA (ME), fund $50/ mo. I have automatic contributions set-up from our savings account.
2. ROTH IRA (DW), fund $50/ mo. I have automatic contributions set-up from our savings account.
3. Emergency Fund to $10,000.
1. Fence for rear yard. DIY project. $1,500-2,500 depending on materials used.
I made the goals a little more accessible this year. I had hoped to have the auto loan paid off six months ago, but other things came up and DW switched job to a much less stressful one, but at the expense of less wages.
Here's to 2014!
Our Auto Loan had a minor milestone of under the $3K mark! I did add $55 to principal only for that to happen. I get an "extra" paycheck extremely early in 2014, January to be exact, so a good chunk will most likely be going to the Auto Loan. Once it is down around $1300 is probably when a lump sum pay off will occur.
The Mortgage also had a minor milestone of under the $169K mark this month. Not much progress there at all besides regular payments. There is a home for sale a street over that is very similar in size and style to ours that is listed for $169K, so I will keep an eye on final sale price once and if it sells. I expect high $150's low $160's.
The reduction of Verizon services is already paying off, the first bill saw a savings of $61, so that works for me.
DW changed jobs, less hourly pay, less hours until January 1 and much less stress. After that, a raise and back to 30-35 hours instead of the current 25.5 hours. So the dept shovel has been reduced a bit, for the short term. However, the new job at the Dental office does provide opportunity for a monthly bonus of $500-$5,000, so in reality, the effective pay could be significantly more than her previous employer. There is also a yearly bonus on top. I just had to rework our budget schedule as she now gets paid weekly and not bi-weekly.
So today I called Verizon to downgrade our Triple Play bundle (FiOS Extreme TV [340+ channels], FiOS Quantam 50/25 Internet, and Unlimited Home Phone). We wanted the promotion that was being advertised for new customers for FiOS Double Play (FiOS Select TV [190+ channels] and FiOS 15/5 Internet, as our original intent was to drop the Home Phone. In order to downgrade AND drop the Home Phone, we would have encountered a $140 ETF.
I spoke to the customer service representative and she stated we could keep our Triple Play with the downgraded TV and Internet and that would be $79.99/ mo. I kindly told her that would not work for us and we would rather pay the $140 ETF, have my wife sign-up as a new customer to get the current promotion as the savings are $35/ mo. from what we currently pay and we would break even in 4 months. Of course she was not able to authorize the price, so I kindly mentioned I would like to cancel the service.
I was, as expected, transferred to the customer retention department where they were able to get us the Double Play at a rate of $79.99 - $10.00 monthly statement credit totaling the $69.99 price for the FiOS Select TV and FiOS 15/5 Internet for 24 months. The person was able to waive the ETF as we maintained service with them. Just a new 2-year agreement starts today, which is fine.
Out of all those channels we are "losing", there is only 1 channel we semi-frequent that we would be losing. In addition, those FiOS Quantam 50/25 Internet speeds are only good for wired connections, not wireless as I have called to complain such when I ran some diagnostic testing in the past and only coming up with 20/15 speeds via wireless connection. Much different than what is advertised on their commercials!
No ETF. Saving $35/ mo. = Win!
Next will be Verizon Wireless. We are in an old plan, I am still Unlimited Data, but we will save $20/ mo with a new Shared Plan as we never use more than 2GB of data combined a month.
I am estimating a $60/ mo. savings between the two, easily, as less costly product means less taxes!
So the last week I received an email from our current auto insurance company, but through a different agent. The email stated they had a new "plan" and rate reductions in the area I live. Usually I am like "yeah right" and delete it, but this time I decided to humor them. Same exact coverage through the same insurance carrier just different "plan" and agent, our 6 month premium went from $1,410 to $948. We pay in full upon renewal and what does this mean for the monthly budget? A decrease of $75! Usually I would budget $235/ mo. for the old plan and now I am budgeting $160/ mo. for the new plan for the same coverage limits, deductibles etc. Glad I humored them and didn't brush it off like in the past. It also means we will receive a prorated check from the old policy as I paid the new policy in full over the phone with a cc. The difference between the unused portion of the old and new will be about $310 we will net. Not sure what to do with the money yet.
Central Air vs. Window A/C Unit electric usage for the past 2 months increased $41.92 over the same time the previous year with window a/c. So the total we have seen over the 4 months has only been an increase of $67.41 over the previous year. That is much less than I originally estimated for the majority of the cooling season.
Has anyone ever signed up for one of these cards ever to get the sign-up bonus?
I live in the United States of America, where anyone can be in business for themselves, i.e. Sole Proprietorship.
This goes along with my last post regarding me recently being hospitalized and how my employer reimburses us the deductible and co-insurance (confusing the way it was negotiated, but whatever). Well, I just received yet another bill from the hospital and this one is for $4,500, in which we will be reimbursed 100%.
The Chase Ink Plus Business Card is offering 50,000 sign-up bonus points ($500 statement credit or $625 travel rewards) after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months.
I figured, we could easily spend $500 additional to make the minimum by purchasing already budgeted gas, groceries and some of our Christmas allowances with the card.
With DW signing up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for the other reimbursable medical bills and tuition we could potentially be making $900 total if I could successfully get approved for the Chase In Plus Business Card.
Worth a shot, and nothing to lose I guess!
These are the actual numbers when comparing this year with Central Air vs. Window A/C unit last year.
As requested by a few:
05/08/2012 - 07/06/2012: 1136 kWh = $194.28
05/07/2013 - 07/08/2013: 1272 kWh = $219.77
Even though there are some variables, we paid $25.49 more over the same time period a year ago with the much less capable window a/c. Not bad. I will update again in September 2013 on our next meter read date!
The auto loan is at an amount that we could just pay off immediately if we wanted. I am tired of waiting for each months payment, but retiring the loan now would leave our EF way too low, but still tempting. Next month is 3 pay periods for us which means an extra ~$2,000 to savings on top of our normal amount. My plan is to bring loan under $4K after August regular payment and additional $400 to principle. We also want to increase our EF to $10K by December 2013. I don't think we can have both and the auto loan is only costing us $14 a month in interest. Of course that gets less with each payment, but I just want to be done with it! At that point we would only have the mortgage!
Some have asked that I keep track of Central Air vs. Window A/C electric usage. The central air was installed around the time we would have put in the window unit which was beginning of June. Our utility bills every 2 months so below is the kWh usage for both 2012 and 2013. Keep in mind that I needed to read the meter yesterday and estimated cost based on the cost for electricity in 2012. I will post actual most likely this coming week when I get the ebill.
05/08/2012 - 7/06/2012 = 1136 kWh --- $194.28
05/07/2013 - 7/06/2013 = 1202 kWh --- $205.00
The window a/c would cool and dehumidify only the living room and dining room, leaving the bathroom, two bedrooms, kitchen, and hallway to be desired. The central air cools and dehumidifies the whole house, including the finished laundry room in the basement. The central air is set for holding 75 degrees at this time. I have it programmed to keep 75 degrees when home and 78 degrees at sleep or work, but during the heat wave I placed it on hold.
I have accumulated a couple cards within the last year or so due to sign-up bonuses etc. and it is time to close all but the Chase Freedom.
1. Chase Sapphire
2. Chase Freedom
3. Sears (VISA)
4. Sears (Master Card)
5. Sears (Store Card)
6. J.C. Penny (store Card)
7. Best Buy (Store Card)
The Chase Sapphire was closed the other day to make sure the yearly fee didn't kick in and I was sure to transfer all my points to my Chase Freedom before doing so.
All of them except for the two Chase cards remained in our lock box, and quite frankly, I am not sure if they are all activated.
Closing all except for the Chase Freedom will be removing $22,800 in available credit. May effect our credit score slightly, but it is not like we are looking to apply for any loans in the next few months anyway.
Between the Chase Freedom and my local credit union credit card (oldest card), $15,000 total available credit between the two is enough, not that it matters to us anyway.
Our central air was installed last Friday and works great. It is nice to have the whole house cool and dehumidified rather than just the immediate room as with a window air conditioner.
Speaking of the window air conditioner, we listed it on Craigslist and sold it last night for $175. I will deposit that tonight and put that toward the principal on the car loan so that it will be below $5K after regular payment hits June 24. I will be sure to blog that milestone separate as well! Haha!
DW bday is June 26, so she asked for a Fitbit One, so they were on sale for $10 off. We purchased at Best Buy and they guy asked if we were using a Best Buy credit card. We said we didn't have one, and asked if we wanted to sign up. I asked if there was any incentive and it was $20 off current purchase if approved. So after we were approved, we walked out spending $75 after tax on a $99 purchase before tax! Plus, we didn't need to use that card to pay for it! Now, just another card with a ridiculous amount of credit for a retail store I need to cancel. Haha!
Speaking of credit cards, the remaining $2,000 balance of the central air was able to be charged to my Chase Freedom card. We will have no problems paying that before it is due by July 12 or so. I will use my existing $65 in rewards as a statement credit so only really $1,935 will really be due!
I need to renew my NYS drivers license by June 14 as it expires this year, which is $80.50. Again, no issue paying that, but those little things like that tick me off sometimes!
Thanks to all who had commented on my previous post regarding credit card sign-up bonuses!
So we got an updated price on getting central air installed.
2011 Price = $2,430
2013 Price = $2,870
An increase of $440 in 2 years!
Oh well, the quote was for a Lennox Merit 13ACX (13 SEER, 2 Ton system) w/ Condensate Pump installed etc. I wrote out the 30% check yesterday when I met with the sales person. They will be installing it next Friday (May 31, 2013). There isn't really much time to get DW to sign up for a reward CC, so we will use my Chase Freedom card for 1%. Come to think of it, I should have asked if they even accept credit cards.
I am already adding ways to subsidize the cost of it:
$200 from sale of window a/c, $65 in rewards on my Chase Freedom card already I can cash out for a check, and $150 from sale of home entertainment receiver system I have laying around that is well worth that cost! So, hopefully looking at about $2,455 total spent in the end. Not bad, and slightly less if I can charge the remaining $2,000 on my Chase Freedom Card, plus, it won't be due until mid-July and be able to cash flow with-out touching EF!
We are looking to possibly subsidize our Central Air purchase with a decent sign-up bonus credit card. Anyone know of any decent ones?
I already have Chase Sapphire ($400 back after $3,000 spend in 3 months) and Chase Freedom ($300 back after $500 spend in 3 months [the good offer!]).
My wife has yet to sign up for any, but Chase Freedom changed their bonus to $100 + 0% On balance Transfers for 15 months and 0% on Purchases for 15 months after $500 spend in 3 months.
The central air quotes back on 6/2011 for the install of central air were $2,100 - $2,350 depending on the manufacturer of the unit, so I am hoping they are still around those numbers. I will know when I meet with the company tomorrow on how much prices have changed in 2 years. A Chase Freedom card in DW's name might work for this.
The Chase Freedom card, unless there is another someone can recommend (looking for cash bonus mostly), sounds like it is top choice. Unfortunately, at least $1,000 of the EF would be used for this if we purchased outright and the EF currently sits at $6,000. However, being the Chase Freedom card is offering 0% for 15 months on purchases, we could float a month or two and cash flow the purchase until July 2013 since there would be no interest. Knowing me, I would just pay in full anyway and be done with it, but I do like to see the EF stay consistent.
My car went in the shop yesterday for a clutch replacement, charging labor only as I supplied all the parts. Got the call that it was ready today and he mentioned he prefers cash or check as he will be charged 3% for the swipe. The shop has some really fair prices and someone I can trust. I had originally planned to put it on my Chase Sapphire card to earn some points as I need to cancel it before August or pay the yearly fee. I also wanted it on there to float the payment as it would not have been due until May 9. I have no problem paying by check, but the EF will be seen below $5,000 until April 26. So going against my previous post, I guess I did touch the EF with all the expenses previously posted. Oh well, at least we have the cash available!
Been a couple months so I will give an update on this around here!
DW is getting NYS Certified for the job she has been doing for the previous two years. After the course, she will be able to sit for the exam and get her full certification without being a trainee for two years as she has the experience. All that ran us $2100 and we cash flowed that.
My 2007 Honda Civic Si 4 Door Sedan, after 6 years of ownership, finally needed repairs. The suspension components were wearing out costing me $600 in parts and installed them myself. Brakes were changed, $300 in parts and had DWs grandfather's auto body shop to the work as it was cold outside for me to do them, $185. The major one is scheduled for clutch work. I sourced my own parts as dealership costs are ridiculous, all parts sourced were $860 and a shop to do the work at $75/hr x8 hours is $600. So $2545 in repairs we also cash flowed.
The IRS, also apparently wants money this year, Haha, so $1146 is set to be debited from our account April 1. I was messing with my W4 all year and DW also made about 15k more than previous year. I adjusted myself back to claiming zero allowances on both fed and state for 2013. We always set DW to zero for both, so no changes needed there.
If it wasn't for all that, DWs Auto loan would have pretty much been paid off! At least we didn't touch our EF!
So this weekend I put the snow tire and rim set-up on my car and retired the summer tires and rim set-up for the winter. Back when I had the vehicle inspected in September it was mentioned that I was in need of brakes really soon. Well here it is December and when I made the switch, I had a look at my brakes, yup, extremely low in the front. So I logged on my favorite Honda site, (car enthusiast at heart beneath the frugalness), and ordered up some front and rear brake pads and rotors. The original Honda set finally wore out after 5 years, 3 months and 75K miles! I got some upgraded brakes for $269 for front and rear pads and rotors. The distributer is out of Connecticut and the parts should be here in NY tomorrow according to UPS tracking. I will be installing them some time this month with a friend. I called Honda and their billable book time for all 4 corners brake pads and rotors is 3 hours at probably around $95-$120 an hour. Excellent savings. I do a lot of my own repairs.
I may actually make my goal for 2012 for having auto loan at 50% paid off in 12 months AND $6,000 in th EF by floating my CC statements. Cheating?! Maybe, maybe not. Haha. I got the bill today and the statement balance was about $1,320 less than total charged. Obviously the various items overlapped the billing cycle. The next bill won't be due until end of Jan. 2013, allowing another month of savings etc.
So November 24 the auto loan hit and was at about $8,080. I could not stand to see it that close to being under $8K, so I transferred an additional $115 to bring it to about $7,965! Even with December interest it will not be above $8K ever again! So 44% paid off in 11 months!
Last post I wanted to be 50% paid in 12 months, but may be at 48%. We also wanted $6K in the EF by December 31. We can't have both though.
We have $600 budgeted for Christmas spending this year. We are on budget so far on that.
We did rescue a dog three weeks ago, our first dog at that. We have a cat we adopted 2 years ago as well. The dog is a 2.5 year old Pomeranian mix. She came spayed, micro chipped, up-to-date on shots. The donation was $250 and spend about $250 on supplies etc. That we did not budget for, main reason we can't have both $6 in EF and 50% auto loan payoff in 12 months. She is a cutie though.
The Phase 4 of 5 windows are installed and look great! Just the basement left for some time in 2013.
Only random (hopefully) expenses remaining this year is NYS auto inspection for $21 on my wife's car and NYS registration renewal on my car for about $120.
I expect the cc bill to be about $4K from all the above, so when I get it, funds will be transferred to pay it in full.
Current Monthly Budget as of 02/2012:
Total Net Checks = $4,830
Mortgage = $1,300
Auto Insurance = $230
Auto Loan = $320
Electric/ Gas = $195
Verizon = $290
Water/ Sewer = $15
Groceries/ Gas/ Medical = $800
Total Net Savings = $1,690
*Mortgage includes P.I.T.I. and PMI.
**Auto Insurance is paid in full every 6 months.
***Electric/ Gas is budget billed every month.
****Verizon is Cell, Cell Data, Home Internet, FIOS TV, Home Phone. Looking to cancel home phone 11/2012, in contract so I can't cancel sooner. Also we are paying extra for 25mb DL/ 25mb UL speeds on our Home Internet, will down grade that to regular at that time too.
*****Water/ Sewer is billed every quarter.
******Groceries (incl. eating out) is $400, Gas is $300 and Medical (co-pays, vet etc.)is $100. Over estimates and any additional goes to savings at end of month.
Any additional to mortgage and auto loan gets taken from total net savings; $275 to mortgage and $225 auto loan.