By: Revanche

Creating the September Snapshot

October 5, 2011

I don’t even have the heart to post it, the progress has been so meager in the past two months.

Retirement Downturn
Since the last time I viewed my Vanguard fund, the fund that contains all the retirement monies I’ve saved between ages 21 through 26, it’s lost another $7000.  In two months.  !!!  Yes yes, long term horizon, blah de blah.  STOP THAT.

I’m still contributing to my current employer’s retirement account but that’s in a different fund at a different company.  It still irritates me.  I’ll stop looking now.

Cash Savings
The expense account did come up a significant amount (40%) but so did my spending (220% over last month).  That figure’s actually misleading though – $1200 of that cash is a reimbursement for business expenses and so are the corresponding credit card charges.  Part of it is prepayment of expenses as well.

Also, we are experiencing the first true combinations of expenses between PiC and me.  We have combined forces to rack up all chargeable expenses on a single American Express card to meet a minimum spend threshold in order to earn a 20K point bonus for Starwood points.

On that plan, I’ve prepaid 2 months’ worth of cell phone bills, paid up on auto insurance and vet bills. O, vet bills.

Other Investing
I had grabbed a chunk of cash for my TradeKing account in case I made a decision about investing in a few more stocks. I’m steadily making a whopping $4.70 every quarter in dividends from my stocks.  With the huge dive in the market, I thought there might be a worthwhile discount to buy.  Nothing really caught my fancy, though, so that cash is still just sitting in the brokerage, waiting.

Total Net Worth
Up about a thousand dollars. I should really be doing better.


Specific Spending:
Wedding/Honeymoon:  The reason we’re racking up the hotel points and miles is to defray upcoming travel spending.  As much as possible, I’d rather use awards to pay for actual travel as much as we can.  Starwood points are excellent for hotels and for exchanging to airline miles as well.  They add a bonus 5,000 miles for every 20,000 miles you trade in.

Mortgage: I’m keeping an eye out for any other good refinancing options that we could qualify for and considering how quickly we might pay down the mortgage.

Saving Goals: 
Emergency Cash: I’m really close to the $50K cash cushion that I wanted to hit for my peace of mind.  It’s in a combination of CDs and savings accounts but I need to find a higher rate of return home for it. Or ladder all of it into CDs.

Then I think I’m setting my next cash savings goal at another $50K.  The first $50K is total emergency fund only.  (Hey, remember when you could earn real interest on CDs and such?)

Pie in the Sky?  As an academic exercise, I sort of want to map out how we might work out life on a single income around here.  Just to see what that might look like.  Or perhaps one and a half at first.

I don’t think I like spinach anymore.
Doggle now gets time outed.  And he knows when he’s misbehaving so when he’s getting walked to time out, he walks himself the rest of the way.

3 Responses to “Creating the September Snapshot”

  1. Oooh retirement funds. We just opened ours a few months ago, and even with such a small amount, it’s a bit depressing how much it has dropped. *decades to go, decades to go, decades to go…*

  2. Shelley says:

    Talking about peace of mind, paying off your mortgage is hugely satisfying. That said, we’re spending thousands just now having outside work done to maintain the place. Still, we’re easily better off than renting.

    My goal is to have enough cash so that I would know I could pay my own way if anything happened to Bill before I get to draw my pensions. That’s another five years for me, so totally reachable. I’m probably there, but the exchange rate affects this (given a good part of it is in USD and I live on GBP) and things like house maintenance chip away at it. I’ve no reason to think my rental income will stop during that five years, but it does stutter along with change of tenants and repairs and in bad years can even be a negative number on paper. So, CDs and cash accounts are necessary for piece of mind. The CD rates are pathetic, but my credit union is better than most banks, I think. Interest rates on tax free accounts are better here in Britain and I do occasionally sink some money into one of those, but by the time I drag my money across the first year’s interest is already spent. The price I pay for living abroad…

  3. Revanche says:

    @ILR: Sigh. Yeah.

    @Shelley: I really have to say, that’s what I’m thinking about now rather than investing. Or on top of investing if we could afford it but it might come to an either/or scenario. I don’t know.

    I can’t imagine having to pay for significant house maintenance in addition to the house itself.

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