By: Revanche

N-October Snapshot

November 20, 2011

I’m back. Thank you for all the thoughts and condolences, everyone.   

It’s a -something- getting my head and feet back where they need to be so, as usual, I turn to working with finances for comfort. 

We’re nearly through November, so at this point, I don’t know what to call this.

Retirement Accounts
Just as I predicted, my new retirement account through my “new” job (I guess I should call it the Now Job) is fairly mediocre to poor.

Overall Rate of return on the new 403(b): -4.94%
Balance over 1 year timeline: 747.01 to 6661.87

All the increase is in contributions with losses, not gains.

Vanguard rallied this month, though.

Brokerage account
This account sees steady (tiny) increases every quarter generally. $700 of that 1,915.05 is just cash I’m holding for a future purchase that I may or may not make. Still, neither of my stocks have lost money over the time that I’ve held them (though it only matters at the time I sell) and one pays dividends so it’s throwing off income in the meantime. A whole $4 every quarter!

Cash
There was a modest false bump in the cash calculations because I locked myself out of my Ally Bank account at the end of September and never bothered to get back in again. That’s where my CDs are and so I haven’t been getting accurate data on the interest earnings for the CDs.

It turns out that my cash holdings passed the $50K mark this month after recouping the cost of the funeral from funeral gift monies and adding the remainder (a very modest amount) as a separate category to take care of remaining costs as they come.

Spending has been OUT OF CONTROL though. In the week we were down south, we spent more on gas, food, and incidentals than we’d normally spend in a month, I think. I haven’t had time to comb through everything yet.

New

Family Budget:
I’m creating a combined budget for our money going forward. It’s sort of good timing in that we’re at the end of 2011 anyway, so I’m taking all our liquid cash and pooling it to create a fresh set of household funds similar to my current set-up.

I’ve never had this much to work with but there are two of us in our little family and Doggle now, and two extended families to plan ahead for. Now I need to figure out which banks to use.

Mortgage:
We’ve explored some refi options and I am now pondering on the wisdom of the financial risk we’d be taking in committing to one or another of these options. More research to come!

Benefits:
Now that we’re married, we can combine our benefits. Costs will go up on PiC’s side, and go down on mine. I don’t think we actually come out ahead, though, as I do the math.

Insurance:
It’s time to reevaluate the cost of our auto, home and other insurance. We currently carry our insurances separately, of course, so it’s time to see about combining them for cost-effectiveness and discounts.

Upcoming Spending:
* We need a new mattress for the bedframe that PiC Craiglisted earlier this month. I really hate mattress shopping. All those options and I can’t tell the difference in how one mattress feels from the next, but there’s this imperative to pick the right one because you’re going to have it for a trillion years. And you know the bargain hunter in me would absolutely have to know we’re getting the best deal possible. It’s possible I’m a little more gripey than usual about it because I’m tired but … I’m probably exactly as gripey as I normally would be.

* I need to plan our Christmas shopping – I already have some small gifts for other people earlier this year but there are primary gifts for family that haven’t been bought yet.

In sum: Tons to do and I feel like I need to do it all right now. Surprisingly.

7 Responses to “N-October Snapshot”

  1. Mattress shopping… how fun. If this is just for a guest room, you can probably go with a cheaper one. If it’s one you’ll be sleeping on yourself, though, I say take the time and spend the money to get something really comfortable.

  2. I noticed when doing benefit elections that the cost of an employee+spouse health plan was more than twice that of the employee-only plan. Definitely weird.

    We’re glad to have you back!

    Also, here’s how I bought my mattress: I went with friends to costco and they used their membership card to get us a discount and we bought 3 identical mattresses for the three of us 😛
    But I honestly don’t know how I would have picked a mattress if I actually had to make a choice.

  3. I have a Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Contour. It cost me $2K, but it was well worth it, as it really helps with my chronic back and hip pain (I wake up in less pain every morning since I got it 2 years ago, rather than more). I’m not sure what the nature of your problems are, but if a mattress might help, you should give them a look.

  4. Shelley says:

    Glad to have you back. It’s the mad season you know – every one feels they have a ton of stuff to do immediately. I read an article about mattress buying somewhere recently, but can’t find it (no surprise there)…someplace like Wisebread or something.

  5. I’ve been thinking about you. <3

  6. Welcome back.
    I too have to mattress shop. 🙁 I have been procrastinating. It does not seem like a fun thing to do.

  7. Welcome back. Taking into account current inflation & administration fees, there is very little incentive to save money.

    Funny thing is, the more of them you have the bigger your losses are.

    I did some calculations and published them – saving $ 40, 000 a year would not give financial independence over 35 years of continuous savings!

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