January 8, 2018

2018: New year, new plans

I broke this out of my 2017 year end review because it was too unwieldy. Besides, fresh new goals deserve their own post. Correction – some are goals, some are just habits to build.

At first, I thought my trouble setting goals this year was because I don’t know exactly what I want next for our family and that makes it hard to plan for the next 1-3 years. That’s true. But there’s another aspect to it. I’m instinctively doing something sensible.

Being laser focused on one thing, wealth building, is a good Right Now habit. It’s that habit that gets me to the goal. But it doesn’t prepare me for achieving success in the big picture. Like coming into money when you’ve not had any before and haven’t had time to build good money management habits retirement, whenever it happens, is a huge transition.

On the micro scale, obsessing about money when you’re making it is easy, replacing that obsession when you’re retired and only spending or managing it is likely much harder. On the macro scale, I’m starting to envision the person I want to be in ten years. I want to be someone who has the time and energy to go on adventures, someone who explores the world a bit and then comes back to her books and little gardens at home, who doesn’t have to work for income and can relax with her family at home most days and entertain herself doing volunteer work. I want my family to have the best shot at education and opportunities they can handle, and the confidence and support to go for them.

To become that person, I’ve got to start working on improving our health and fitness (for PiC and me anyway, we’re Old), improving our finances, researching soil pH and garden planning.

(more…)

January 3, 2018

2017: Our year in review

HNY

2017 highlights

EARNING, SPENDING, SAVING

The good

  • My day job income increased a little, PiC’s increased a bit more. I’m annoyed that I’m still behind in our secret race but excited to hit an earnings milestone this year, and overall, no matter who’s winning, we both win with increases.
  • Unlike last year, we did end up with a jumbo loan for a new place, five years ahead of schedule. We’re safe and love our new home, so I’m going to call this as a good thing.
  • We maxed out PiC’s 401(k), my IRA, his IRA, and made big contributions to JB’s 529.
  • We increased our official deductible charitable giving by 50% but it’s still low. This is a work in progress.

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January 1, 2018

Net Worth & Life Report: December 2017

Money & Life Report: December 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

On Money

Income

Our normal income comes from two full time day jobs.

We experiment with earning money on the side, including minimal cash flow that we don’t touch from an investment property and investing in dividend stocks.

Our side income comes from Swagbucks, selling clothes on Poshmark which is hit or miss, using cash back sites like Ebates, Mr.Rebates, and tracking activity through Achievemint (my introduction to it). Any purchases you make going through my Amazon links keep these blog lights on.

The long term goal is to replace our day job income before my health declines enough to prevent me from working.

(more…)

December 27, 2017

The fun we had: Fall 2017

The fun we had in Fall 2017What I read

Those Who Save Us, by Jenna Blum
(Borrowed from the Prime Reading membership program.) This was well written but also profoundly disturbing. The lives during the Third Reich, the impunity with which Nazis tortured, maimed, and executed living beings, men, women, children, animals based on some belief of their superiority… it’s positively chilling to realize that there are still people today who endorse those appalling beliefs.

Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer
(Borrowed from the Prime Reading membership program.) I’ve read part of this series before but it’s been over a decade and it was a bit of fun light reading.

Hellcat Vol 1, Kate Leth.
(Borrowed from the Prime Reading membership program.) Kate Leth is a fantastic writer but this is the first chance I’ve had to read her. Definitely recommend!

Any Witch Way You Can, Amanda M Lee.
(Borrowed from the Prime Reading membership program.) I objected to some minor inaccurate word use but this was light fun reading insofar as a story can be light when it involves a murder mystery. I enjoyed the mix of the supernatural, the everyday town, and the relatively simple mystery. (more…)

December 13, 2017

Reaping Dividends: December 2017 report

Reaping Dividends: The much delayed October 2017This was supposed to be the October report but stuff happened. Lots of stuff, but you’ve read all about it by now, right? Time for real money talk – let’s dive in!

My current portfolio lives at Ally now, they bought out Tradeking a while back. At $4.95 per trade, and as a relatively low level investor, that suited my needs but I started wondering how much I could reduce my costs by moving to Vanguard where my retirement and 529 portfolios live. It’s not that I trade often, but when are savings bad? In case you’re thinking the same, these are their service tiers and the assets you need to qualify for each:

PERSONAL INVESTOR – Less than $50,000.
VOYAGER® – Starting at $50,000.
VOYAGER SELECT® – Starting at $500,000.
FLAGSHIP® – Starting at $1 million.

Unfortunately, the highest tier I would qualify for is the Voyager tier with the following fees:

VANGUARD ETFs: Free
STOCKS AND NON-VANGUARD ETFs
Online. All trades: $7
By phone. All trades: $25 (not that I ever trade by phone) (more…)

December 4, 2017

Net Worth & Life Report: November 2017

November 2017: Money and life report

On Money

Income

Our normal income comes from two full time day jobs.

We experiment with earning money on the side, including minimal cash flow that we don’t touch from an investment property and investing in dividend stocks.

Our side income comes from Swagbucks, selling clothes on Poshmark which is hit or miss, using cash back sites like Ebates, Mr.Rebates, and tracking activity through Achievemint (my introduction to it). Any purchases you make going through my Amazon links keep these blog lights on.

The long term goal is to replace our day job income before my health declines enough to prevent me from working.

(more…)

November 6, 2017

Net Worth & Life Report: October 2017

Money and Life Report: October 2017

On Money

Income

Our normal income comes from two full time day jobs.

We experiment with earning money on the side, including minimal cash flow that we don’t touch from an investment property and investing in dividend stocks.

Our side income comes from Swagbucks, selling clothes on Poshmark which is hit or miss, using cash back sites like Ebates, Mr.Rebates, and tracking activity through Achievemint (my introduction to it). Any purchases you make going through my Amazon links keep these blog lights on.

The long term goal is to replace our day job income before my health declines enough to prevent me from working.

(more…)

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