My first Roth IRA contribution for 2018 is setup to withdraw from my checking account on January 2nd. The goal is to have $2750 in contributions by June 30th and the rest by December 31, 2018. My intentions are to fully fund the Roth IRA in 2018. This year I was able to fully fund it for the first time ever.
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2017 Financial Ups
We managed to live on 50% of our income and save the rest.
We bought a two-family house which will produce income each month if it remains fully rented.
Both my husband and I are gainfully employed and hoping to stay that way.
Managed to pay an extra $5K to the mortgage principal.
Fully funded my Roth IRA for the first time ever.
2017 Financial Downs
Hubby's job has been very stressful
We paid $46 in interest on a credit card because I forgot to do an automatic payment. Live and Learn; totally mea culpa.
Husband and I both celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary.
DS#2 graduated college with no debt.
I lost my Sister in March to complications of End Stage Renal Failure. I miss her every single day of my life. Miss her voice and her craziness.
I did not lose any weight
My extended family were hit with a Category 5 Hurricane turning their lives upside down.
Hoping for a happy, healthy and Prosperous New Year for all of you! Happy 2018!
Mini Lofty Savings Goal will be at 13% tomorrow. Tomorrow is my last day of work 'till January 2nd.
Our Christmas expenditures came right about $200 including our share of the Christmas meal. The stocking idea pretty much helped us a great deal.
We are facing some uncertainties with my hubby's job so I want to be cautious and continue to save as much as we can to so that we can weather choppy waters. Unfortunately, I will not continue to knock off the mortgage debt until we have a clearer picture of where his job stands. I rather be safe than sorry.
Mortgage retirement funds (not including the state pension)is nearing the $100K. I know it is not much but considering I did not work outside the home in my twenties and majority of my thirties, I think it it's okay. We have some money tied up to real estate and we are fine with that.
It was payday today. Mini Lofty Savings Goal stands at 20% and we've officially wiped 12 months from our 30 year mortgage by paying extra on the principal. That my fellow bloggers makes me really excited!
It's been bitter cold in New Jersey, making this Caribbean gal yearn for warm weather. I am, however, managing my Seasonal Affective Disorder thus far. Hoping for better temps soon.
The Lofty Savings Goal is officially funded!!!! Hard work, sacrifice and determination helped us accomplish this goal. From this point forward, we will continue saving but not as intensely as before. All our efforts are now focused on killing that mortgage.
2017 has been a really rough year for me but I am thankful for everything we have and I just want to continue being a good steward to all of the financial blessings bestowed upon us. I am grateful for all that I have because I know that there are many without basic necessities.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I am definitely thankful for all of you.
We now sit at 98.5% of our "Lofty Savings Goal". Hopefully it will reach the 100% mark by December 31st. We are so close, I can almost taste it. I am making the first significant extra principal mortgage payment on December 1st. I'll just have to wait until payday to come up with a figure. I'm feeling excited about setting goals and working towards accomplishing them?
We are a little less than 7% away from meeting our Lofty Savings Goal. I'm hoping to be done with it by February of 2018 or sooner. I keep a visual aide to help me keep motivated and excited about meeting goals. I can't wait to color fill the 100% line on my savings thermometer.
We closed on the investment property today and we went out for lunch to celebrate. Just a meal at our favorite pizza place. We are simple people. I am already preparing for Thanksgiving and I have the ham in the freezer as I write. We are going to our son's house for Thanksgiving and Christmas at home.
I received a picture of my sister's grandchildren today and I can't believe how big they are. I could not help to think about my dear sister and how much she adore her kiddos. I'll be sending them Christmas gifts on her behalf "from heaven". It's hard to understand why our love ones depart from us suddenly, but I trust that God's timing is perfect.
The Mortgage Principal Reduction Extravaganza begins next month. We may use a portion of our savings down the line to reduce the principal even more, but not yet. I don't like feeling cash poor. My mom is still with us and going home for her is not an option since the island is making little progress as they recover from the aftermath of Maria. She is not very happy about the cold weather but I told her she has to rough it out until I feel she can go back. If there is progress in the months ahead, I will take her for a visit in March. But it all depends.
Well, this is it for today. I hope you all have a great weekend.
We've been working on a purchase of a two-family home since late August and if everything goes according to plan, we are set to close on this property next Friday. After a little bit of haggling back and forth, we came to an agreement on a purchase price. I know that investment properties are not the easiest to deal with but we've owned rental properties since 1998.
We are aware of all the pitfalls of owning them and the good and the bad that comes with them. We will still have a healthy emergency after we bring 20% of the purchase price to closing. We would not do it unless we have money in the bank to cover our own personal emergencies and anything that comes up with the rental properties. Eventually, we would like to make enough money to cover my income or a good portion of it so that I can perhaps take on reduced work hours or change career paths. Although I love my job, it has become more and more trying as the years go by. I only have one life to live and I want to make the most of it.
On a side note, we have an umbrella policy to help us mitigate any issues.
Last night, I realized that I should make an effort to fully fund my Roth IRA. I transferred the remaining $4,500.00 contribution from savings to the checking and fully fund the IRA. I think I am going to continue doing this for as long as I can. Fund it and forget about it.
Life has been a bit chaotic for us but it is starting to mellow down a bit. My brother and his wife have now returned to work, although they do not have electricity yet. I helped my brother fill out the disaster assistance from FEMA's website and he received $500. We sent an additional $550 to help him out. He was able to purchase a generator to run the fridge, fans and the washer.
Financially speaking we are keeping up with the "Lofty Savings Goal" and I am excited to tell you that we're at 89.7%, a bit over 10% to fully fund this. My mom is now living with us (since late August). She came to us two weeks prior to Hurricane Maria and I am so grateful she did. Otherwise, I would've been going crazy. I've been working an extra hour almost every day at work at $30 an hour. I did not sign for it at first but I was practically begged to do it. On some months, I can make an extra $400. Sometimes, I wish I could just go home after my regular hours; my job drains me mentally and physically.
I am starting to look into Christmas shopping. I did buy a nativity set that I definitely did not need but wanted badly. I waited a month to buy it hoping that the itch to have would go away, but it never did.
Fall in in the air in my neck of the woods and I love it. Autumn is my favorite season!
For those of you who have donated to relief agencies aiding in Puerto Rico, as an American to an American, I want to say THANK YOU!
A little back story; In 1940, my grandfather, a U.S. Army officer was stationed in Puerto Rico where he met my Puertorican grandmother. They soon wedded and from that union, my dad and uncle were born. In 1950, my grandfather, at that point, separated from the U.S. Armed Forces, left Puerto Rico alone to the mainland to look for work planning to eventually send for my grandmother, my dad and uncle. Unfortunately, my grandfather was killed in a car accident at 32 years old. My grandmother chose to stay in Puerto Rico to raise her boys close to her family as she worked as an English teacher at a public school. My grandmother never remarried. Although, I was born in the U.S., I was raised in Puerto Rico until I was 12 years old. We were a "strange" bunch, the only kids in our hometown with an English surname in a Spanish-speaking country. The majority of us were blonde with very fair skin.
Love of culture runs deep in our blood. It's been 36 years since I lived there but I still get goosebumps and butterflies every time I visit. God knows when I'll be able to go again; I'll have to wait until electricity and water is restored. One thing is certain, I will be back. My brother and his family are still there and so are an array of extended family.
Please continue to pray for my brother and family and again Thank you United States of America for taking care of your fellow Americans.
We are going on day #5 of no communication with my brother in Puerto Rico. By now, you probably heard or seen the devastation of Hurricane Maria in the island. I just need to know that they are okay.
Please pray for my family in Puerto Rico as they are being pummeled by another Cat 5 hurricane. I'm super worried.
Hello! Thank God I survived the fist full week of school (work). It is terribly exhausting after two months of a lazy summer. Believe me, I know how blessed I am to have those months to do what I want.
Finances have been a bit chaotic due to my non-nonchalant attitude. It's time to take the reigns again! On a happy note the "Lofty Savings Goal" is growing as we are at 85.2%.
DS#2 was bit by a tick and has Lyme Disease. Fortunate for him the classic bull's eye rash was a dead give away and he is now on a 3 week antibiotic regimen. He did start feeling a little run down but hopefully he will be just fine.
Well, this is for this week. Please know that I'm thinking about all of you going through tough times.
Please pray for my family and friends as Hurricane Irma makes her way into Puerto Rico tomorrow. My brother and his family as well as a ton of extended family and friends live there. Thanks you.
For my fellow Floridian bloggers, I am thinking of you and please stay safe.
A few months ago, I told my DS#2 that starting November he is to contribute $400 for rent. He already contributes $200 towards the family groceries, pays his own car insurance, cell phone and his personal items. He is a great young man, super responsible, kind and generous and works a full time job with great wages. He saves most of his money and he is on his way to buying a two family home as an investment property. He intends to continue living with us and we are fine with that.
Do you think that $600 a month is fair? He agreed to it without protest but why do I feel guilty?
As it turns out, we decided to do the hardwood floors after all. The first estimate came in extremely high. We got two other estimates and decided to go with the second highest of the three. It was tough week since we decided to go with oil base instead of water base. We stayed at my son's house for four days while the work was done. We are extremely happy with the work and I love my shiny floors. This concludes our yearly summer home project.
One more week and off to earn my keep.
The living room floor is pine and original to the 1900 addition to the existing farmhouse.
The dining room and kitchen are hickory (harder wood and shines more)
It was pay day today. This payroll check concluded my summer savings paychecks (through work). I'll be back at work in three weeks.
I am excited to continue pushing to meet 100% of our lofty savings goal. As of today, we are at 83.1%. Quarterly property taxes are due at the end of the month ($1,807.00) but I already have $1,100 set aside for that. $100 went to contribute to my Roth IRA; 403B retirement fund will resume on September 15th.
Weekly frugal doings:
1. I made 12 mini burritos (meat/beans/cheese) for my guys to snack on during the week.
2. I made refrigerator dill pickles with two huge cucumbers gifted to me. (4 quart size canning jars)
3. Line/Rack dried all of our laundry all week.
4. We've not spend any money on eating out since last Saturday.
5. I have two items in my Amazon cart but I am short a little over $6 to get the items for free using credit card rewards. Since, the items our wants and not needs, I decided to wait until the end of the month when I can cash in some more rewards and purchase the items completely free. I'd been so tempted to pull the trigger and buy them but I'm working on impulse control. I'll just wait.
We decided to hold off on refinishing the hardwood floors until next summer.
Yesterday, we received a check for $1200 from our mortgage escrow. I put that money towards the "lofty savings goal" which sits at 81.7%. Once we reach the goal, we will begin paying extra towards the principal of our house (once again).
We have quite a few tomatoes in our garden and I see that the cucumbers and squash are beginning to sprout. The pepper plants are also beginning to flower. We've been eating cucumbers and yellow squash given to us by friends. I love this time of the year.
I've been making some extra meals to freeze. The other day I put everything together for chili, I also made 20 Mexican flautitas with some leftover chicken, sweet and sour chicken and browned boneless chicken breasts for salads and pasta. Today I am making mini bean burritos and pickling some cucumbers.
Three more weeks of summer vacation and I'm off to work!
I am finally done writing curriculum this summer. I was allotted sixty hours at $30 an hour to write K-5th curriculum on my subject area. I am guessing that it will net me about $1,500. It was tedious work but I am grateful to make extra money this summer. I will put the money towards our "lofty savings goal" which by the way is at 78.5%.
The first estimate to strip/sand/stain and polyurethane our hardwood floors came in really high at $5500. It is double what we expected to pay but maybe we were unrealistic about the cost. We are waiting on a second estimate and then we will decide.
I am glad the humidity has eased up a bit on my neck of the woods. High humidity causes all kinds of skin problems for me and it makes me miserable.
Summer break is coming to an end for me pretty soon; a few more weeks and I'm back to the daily grind.
I had really good intentions when I decided to participate in the Uber Frugal Challenge but I want to say that for me, it was a semi frugal fail. Too much eating out.
I did buy two comforters today for two of our beds. The existing ones are getting a little worn and it was time to throw one of them away. In all, I spent a little over $300, thanks to a 20% coupon at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I take a lot of pride on my home and I like to keep it clean, organized and looking nice. I am frugal with other things to spend the money on our home. We are going to get our hardwood floors refinished this month and we are in the process of gathering some estimates.
Our "Lofty Savings Goal" is now at 77.8%. It is, most likely, going to stay that way for a little while since we want to pay for the floors without having to tap into savings.
One more month and I will be back to work; I am certainly enjoying the time off but time off does not pay the bills.
Although, I am not a big fan of AC, it is by far what I missed most from our old house. The fact that we were able to cool the entire house during heat waves was priceless. We are going to look into installing central air next spring. For now, I'm keeping curtains close and cooking meals outside on the grill or crockpot.
July 12-18 edition of frugality:
1. No hamburger buns so I used flour tortillas and made quesadilla burgers. (mea culpa)I should've checked to see if I still had burger buns. Turned out to be delicious.
2. Ran out of sandwich bread for my daily breakfast so I used Naan bread instead as toast. I love Naan bread!
3. I've not used the electric dryer at all.
4. I've been slowly emptying the freezers by not purchasing food items except for perishables.
5. Swept hardwood floors rather than vacuuming.
-I threw a whole cantaloupe away because I waited too long to cut it.
-There is still a little bit of food waste but not as much as we used to.
-We ate out a few times this week. I'm trying to cut this back to just once a week.
UFC- I don't feel that I've been as mindful as I should be, but I will keep on trying.
Savings- We are now at 76.3% on our "Lofty Savings Goal. My goal is to continue as gazelle intense to reach the 100% mark.
Weekly frugal doings:
1. Continued to hang laundry on dryer racks.
2. Recycled and reused a graduation card.
3. Consolidated shopping trips
4. I'm still using items in the freezers to make meals. I've only spend money on perishables (fresh fruit, eggs, milk, bread, etc.)
5. Recycled a bunch of toilet paper tubes and newspapers to make starter for the wood burning stove for the winter months.
UFC has been a bit challenging lately since we've been invited to quite a few birthday and graduation parties. Today was definitely a bust because it's my first born 27th birthday. I plan to keep watching our expenses.
We had very enjoyable 4th of July. I'm so grateful for this great nation and I feel privileged to live here.
Our "lofty savings goal" is now at 73.5% and we will be able to add a bit more next week. On the Uber Frugal Challenge front, we've had two no spend days and just one eating out day. The other expenses have been on necessities.
I am going to start working on curriculum writing just to get it over with and I do want to get paid as soon as possible.
That's all the update I have for you. I hope you have a great week.
I finally ordered an AncestryDNA kit. I saved $9.95 on shipping by using an internet code. I've been wanting to this for a long time. I know that a great percentage will be Iberian (Canary Islands) but I am most curious to know if I'm part Irish or Scottish. I cannot wait to get the kit and send it back to them.
The shipping code is FREESHIPDNA.
Both hubby and I spent the whole day yesterday cleaning up a small patch of grass on the side of our house. It had been neglected when we bought the house and it remained in total abandonment in the two years (almost 3 years) we've had the house. The only existing plants were the blue grass and we had to dig them out and replant them. We used a bunch of Hostas from different spots of our property to minimize the cost. In all, the only things we bought for the patch were two hanging plants ($10), $10 for mulch and a garden flag ($11 but it was a want and not a need). We rebuild the stone wall adding another layer of rocks, dug out and replanted the blue grass and other plants. We also mulched the front and side yard and at the end of the day and $31 later, this was the result:
Today was the first day of the Uber Frugal Challenge. No eating out but hubby did buy beer. I don't mind, he is a low maintenance kind of guy and he is entitled to enjoy something. Hoping for a no spend day tomorrow.
Some frugal money saving things I've done this week:
1. All laundry done this week was washed and put to dry in racks.
2. I vacuumed the bedrooms only once this week. I usually vacuum a lot just because I like to see the vacuum marks on the rugs.
3. I bought some things using credit cards rewards and gift cards. (no out of pocket expenses)
4. I used decorations already on hand to decorate for the 4th of July. Resisted the urge to buy more stuff.
5. Hubby and I went to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and scored a lot of 11 Nutcrackers/Santas for $8. My hubby bargained with the cashier to get it from $12 to $8.
How about you?
Today marks the third month without my sister. It is very difficult not being able to talk to her but I've come to accept her death. Grieving is a very strange thing; sometimes there is complete calmness in my heart and there are days in which the storm never seems to end. Anyway, she will always be in my heart.
I am also participating in the Uber Frugal Challenge in July (see details at Frugalwoods.com). I just want to force myself to make meals out of things we already have in the freezers and pantry. Way too many things in there that need to be eaten. I want to be able to reach 74% mark on on our lofty savings goal by then end of August. We're at 71% as of today.
We've been busy bees on the house front. We are cleaning windows and screens, power washing the siding and porch deck, landscaping, etc. I'm taking advantage of my hubby who is on vacation this week.
This is all of I have to tell you today. Patient Saver, Thriftorama, please know that I'm thinking of you.
As it turns out, I will be writing curriculum this summer, 60 hours total at $30 an hour. This translates to about an extra $1,600.00 net income this summer. I applied because I can do this from home and I got to keep the work laptop for the summer. I am hoping to also receive the one time payment for changing health benefits from family to self/spouse next month.
Today is my first day of summer vacation and I am making a list of things I'd like to get accomplished during my time off. First thing today, my six month dental check up.
Yesterday, I was gifted an additional Walmart, Amazon and Home Goods gift cards from students and a colleague. Yay me!
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