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6 Months Goals

June 24th, 2008 at 09:48 pm

Thanks for the mid year reminder Merch about reviewing my 2008 financial goals. My 2008 financial goals were as follows:

1. Increase 401K to 10% and fully fund
Roth $5000
2. Save $5000 to Emergency House Fund
3. Reduce $4200 debt to $2950 (0%
4. Pay $2088 extra to mortgage principal
5. Help DS#1 to be financially independent

I am on track with my retirement funds. I have a monthly direct deposit for my Roth. I started the year at 10% increase for the 401K. A salary increase resulted with me increasing it to 12% starting July.

$218 a month is automatically transferred into the emergency house fund. Any surplus money at the end of the month is used to fund the account. Still waiting for my economic stimulus check! I didn't really count on it but it would help us reach our goal quicker. I plan to check with IRS on why it is taking so long.

We can do better with reducing the credit debt. We currently paid $830 since February but we can do better. I know it is because of the 0% interest and I have until 2013 to pay it off. My plan was to pay it by February 2011. I can add an extra $75 to have it paid off by November 2009.

We are on point with the extra principal payment. $174 a month is automatically transferred to the mortgage.

DS#1 is doing better with keeping a better handle with his finances. During March he had a problem with him not being aware of his debit card use. Resulted with $60 overdraft fee that got his full attention! He is now keeps track of his spending habits. He pays his school, phone and car insurance bills on time. This is without reminders from his parents. He has maintained his budget and contributes to his (401K and Roth)retirement funds. He is slowly realizing that he actually has more money to have fun. We do not assist him with wants. I think that is the key to his financial development. I did not want to raise a young man feeling that he had his hand in our wallets. Now to work on DS#2 during his summer visit with us.

Update on Finances

June 21st, 2008 at 03:54 pm

I've been very busy lately due to my running schedule and heavy work load. Just ran a 5K today at a decent 10 minute mile pace. I am happy about completing the run. My next goal is preparing for the 8K in July. My running group was key to me successfully completing the race. Lots of laughter and encouragement (especially running up hills!)

My job is moving to a new location at the end of the month. My drive was a 25 minute commute and will change to a 45 - 90 minutes commute depending on traffic. The good thing is that my employer is allowing us to telecommute two times a week. My work hours will permit me to avoid the morning and afternoon D.C. traffic jams. I also received a 6% raise which will be used to boost up my 401K, house emergency fund and to pay for higher gas expenses.

DH has negotiated a good salary and an outstanding benefits package from the new prospective job. He is now waiting to see if the military will allow him to retire in October. We hope to have an answer about his release date by the beginning of July. We are on pins and needles about this because there is a chance that the military may say no due to the current status of Afganistan and Iraq. This has happen to a friend who was due to retire in August but was denied and was immediately deployed to the conflict. All we can do is stay positive and hope for the best.

Our DS#1 has purchased his own bedroom furniture (used) and mattress set (new). Paid in full about $650 in cash money. He is now saving up for a television set for his future apartment. He also is continuing to save up for his three month emergency fund, first and last month apartment fees. He plans to look around for inexpensive living and dining room furniture in September. I still can't believe that he has a plan to move out the house in one year. He also had an unexpected car repair (alternator and electrical problems) that cost him $400. He was prepared due to his saving $500 in his car repair fund. He was very happy that he had this fund to pay for the repair. This is a proud moment for us.

DS#2 will be here in July for the summer. We are really looking forward to seeing him. He has all ready lined up a summer job. He has expensive tastes in clothes and electronics. This summer job will be used to supplement his expenses because we won't finance his wants. It will be a challenge due to his mother has a live life on credit and don't worry about the costs. My DH is worried that DS#2 will grow up living beyond his means. I told him that the young man can learn about finances from us but we should do it slowly without being pushy. Since he doesn't live with us full time that is all we can do. Raising young men is so much fun!

A Parenting Miracle!

May 19th, 2008 at 09:30 pm

I was just informed by DS#1 that he paid in full (cash money!!) for his college tution($516.80) and books($50). He is taking Accounting 202 during the summer to attain his degree at a faster rate. I told him that I will pay 75% of the tution. He insisted that he wanted to be responsible for paying the full amount. He had saved the money after our last budget lesson in March. I don't know if I should laugh or cry with joy. I plan to put the $387.60 into his surprise moving out the house fund. My DS#1 is a young man of few words (really he communicates with us in monosyllabic sentences) but his expression was priceless. This is better than winning the lottery!

DS #1 Independence

April 8th, 2008 at 12:30 am

One of my reasons on starting this blog is my DS#1 progress with financial independence. He is gainfully employed part time college sophomore living at home. He is responsible for paying for his books, 25% of his tution, car insurance, gas, misc. expenses and a nominal fee for rent. DH and I came to a conclusion that paying for rent is important to his financial development. He asked me for help with developing a budget for living on his own after he graduates in two years. Well, after I pick up my mouth off the floor. We are developing a plan on how much he needs to save. He is now researching on how much a studio apartment or sharing an apartment with a roommate would cost. He is also looking to start buying furniture via Craiglist, store and yard sales. His first purchase will be a new mattress at the end of this month (he decided he wanted to buy a full size vice queen because he wanted to stay within a $200 budget). We also discussed that he needed to establish a credit history to apply for apartments. After the bank took out $60 in overdraft fees the young man is now in control of his debit card. He wants to learn the proper way of handling credit. DH feels that we should to teach DS#1 how to use credit properly but also show how it can be mismanaged. It's great that DS#1 is receptive to managing money. I know he will be able to accomplish his goals!

Teaching #1 Son

March 12th, 2008 at 12:50 am

My 20 y/o son is in college full time and gainfully employed part time (great benefits including free health insurance) while living in our home. I am paying for 75% of his tution. He is responsible for his 25% tution, books, miscellaneous expenses, clothes, car insurance and a nominal share of rent. His part time job consists of 23 - 34 hours a week at $12 in hr plus monthly sales commissions. His monthly sales commissions has been averaging about $1000 - $1800 a month. He contributes to his employer's 401K of 5% and a $25 a month Roth IRA (plus an extra 10% from commission check is placed in Roth).

The problem is that he has no control of his debit card! He has overdrawn his checking account 3 times last month (a total of $60 overdraft fees). I lent him the money and he paid me during his next payday. We had a long discussion about his love of the debit card. He said it was easier to pull out the card to spend without thinking about how much was in his account. I had him set up e-mail notifications for his checking and savings accounts. I also assisted him with a spending plan and set up the envelope method for his money.

I think it's working because he actually had money for his spring break trip this week without raiding his savings account. He even left his debit card at home so he wouldn't be tempted. Maybe, I should of had this discussion with him prior to the overdraft mess. Oh, the joys of parenthood!