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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 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

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

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.

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.

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.

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!

It's that time again...

January 21st, 2014 at 11:56 am

...the time of year I get a letter ready to send to Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Escrow Division. Our property is split, City and Town, our taxes are as follows:

City Property Tax
City School Tax
Town Property Tax
Town School Tax

How they are paid out of escrow:

City Property Tax - Quarterly Installments
City School Tax - Bi-Annually Payments
Town Property Tax - Paid in Full
Town School Tax - Paid in Full

The only one I have an issue with every year is the City Property Tax disbursement, as the City charges an installment fee to pay in such manner. The first year they gave me no problems, the second and third years they gave me a bunch of bull, but in the end, I've always gotten it back. In my opinion, I should not have to ask every year; either they pay in full or they automatically refund my money!

This year it will be $33.06.

Gas and Electric Bill

January 14th, 2014 at 10:39 am

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!

Saving Money

January 12th, 2014 at 04:50 pm

DW surprised me the other day and mentioned she signed up for a a Chase Freedom card with $200 bonus after spending $500! I had mentioned it two months ago to her, but thought she forgot, but she surprised me! How the spend went down in one weekend:

1. $110 in medical expenses. 100% reimbursed from employer, already received the checks and deposited.

2. $55 auto maintenance. Oil change and NYS yearly inspection for DW's car.

3. $210 for a book for one of my classes. The other class book was purchased last semester and is used again. 100% reimbursable from my employer under tuition reimbursement.

4. Now we came across an App a couple weeks ago called Boxed. It is very similar to our Sam's Club, BJ's, but we never renewed our Sam's club membership as we only went twice a year for bulk paper goods, and I hated how you had to pay a membership fee and could not use a our Visa Card as credit, only debit. Well Boxed doesn't have everything as the Sam's Club, prices are pretty much identical, but has everything we need or would buy, plus it is a new App, adding items almost daily. We figured we were really low on all those items so we gave it a try. We figured we had no other large regular expenses coming up to use the card, so we put together a $200.05 order. With that being said, we effectively paid $0.05 for the whole order, most likely none as the other items above will equal more than $0.05 in rewards! In addition, it was free shipping on orders over $75, and will be arriving in two business days!

Of course once the statement closes and points are awarded, we will take the $200 statement credit and pay the remainder in full!

Mortgage and Auto Loan Get a Happy New Year!

January 1st, 2014 at 06:56 am

Sent $115.00 extra to mortgage principal and $275 extra to auto loan principal!

Both 'thousand place' digits changed, even though it was intentional! Haha!

Sitting at:

Mortgage - $167,998.42
Auto Loan - $1,994.11

In addition, the 'ten thousand' digit changed on our total debt, which is just the two added together, also intentional, which is why I took advantage of this whole "unique" situation!

Total Debt - $169,992.53

Happy New Year!

2014 Goals

December 24th, 2013 at 10:01 am

It's that time again; 2014 Goals!

Debt Service:

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.

Retirement/ Savings:

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.

Home Improvements:

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! Smile

I want my reimbursement!

October 31st, 2013 at 02:01 pm

After being hospitalized in July for a few days, after receiving all reimbursements from my employer (in a very timely manor, I just need to get the request in early in the week on a vendor pay week not an employee pay week) except for one part.

On my bill I was assessed for a "NYS Surcharge" for $389, for which I was not reimbursed. I am supposed to have a $0 out-of-pocket expense for In-Patient hospital services. The HR department said it was a tax and they can't do anything about it directly. The insurance was no help because when I call the insurance they see a plan that does not reflect my actual benefits, so they denied it.

I just had a nice chat with our benefits coordinator stating I had spoke to some people that were hospitalized with the same insurance as me and were not charged that, but apparently the in-network facility I went to is billing as a separate line item. She is looking into it for me and stated it is not my employer's fault or my employer's 3rd party reimbursement agency as they can't pay a tax with pre-tax dollars. The hospital should have never charged it being it is included in the policy cost. I hope I am going to get reimbursed easily. I don't care if the employer cuts me a check and they go after the facility or if the facility cuts me a check directly. I don't care, as long I get the reimbursement I am owed.

I looked it up, the NYS Surcharge is fairly new, as so I am told, and it is to help fund the indigent care pool.

Zero dollars, means zero dollars, not zero dollars plus tax!

Just a Quick Update

October 29th, 2013 at 07:20 am

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.

Good-bye Home Phone and No ETF!

October 3rd, 2013 at 01:44 pm

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!

Looking for CC Sign-Up Bonus

September 23rd, 2013 at 07:48 am

I've ran a Google search for credit card sign-up bonus that requires a $1,000 spend. After 4 years we are looking to finally purchase a snow blower for to up coming winter season. With tax, the unit we are set on will just be over $1,000.

Any one have suggestions? It will need to be a $1,000 spend (or less) in 90 days, no fee (at least for year one), and can be for gift cards or statement credit. I have done pretty much all Chase cards recently. I would like a $250 sign up bonus.


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