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The End of Year Rental Bonus

February 2nd, 2018 at 05:58 pm

Sooo...for years as a landlord I have maintained a very strict rule of on time rental payments. Allowing very little leeway, if you do not pay your rent on time, the eviction process begins. It's business. It's not personal.

For about five years running, I have made an exception for a particular tenant. Via an annual written addendum to the rental agreement, I agree to defer the December, January and February rent until March 1. This has allowed them to afford a nice Christmas and New Year celebration with their family, pay off any end of year debt and not have the rent hanging over their heads. In turn, upon receipt of their tax refund (usually mid-February but not later than March 1), they agree to pay the December, January and February rent with a $100.00 per month penalty plus the late charge on my Town/County taxes (~$70.00), which are normally due by 1/31 but can be paid by 3/1 without any relevy.

Finally, as security, they contractually list personal property equal to or greater than the value of the rents owed, late fees and tax penalty (each year it's the same diamond ring with the certified appraised value and insurance binder). I take possession of said security, hold it in my safe and return it, as per the contract, within 48 hours of the monies paid.

We laugh during the annual execution of this addendum and joke that we are our own private mobsters. However, they have always appreciated that cushion and I earn $300.00 more per year for deferring three months rent.

This is certainly not for all landlords or tenants for that matter. The risk is low but takes capital to cover any mortgage, taxes, insurance and maintenance without the support of rental income.

I guess my rationale is this. If I can afford to protect my rentals via personal income and get creative in my landlord/tenant agreements to increase my ROI, why not?!?

Thought this might inspire a variety of replies...

Checking In, Taking a Breath, Touching Base....

January 26th, 2018 at 07:18 am

So...if I tried to share with you how crazy my travel and work schedule has been over the past month or three, this blog entry would go on for day. Suffice it to say, I am alive, blessed, healthy and praying for strength!

I have been engaged with the Money Saving Bingo Chart. I have to admit, I have skipped ahead and deposited through 8 weeks thus far. It's fun and I really can't wait to reap the benefits of the efforts.

I have really taken a greater focus on my health. My caloric intake has been reduced, high end vitamin mixes, zero candy, drinks outside of water and a much reduced intake of carbs. I am down 10 solid pounds which is inspiring. I started at 195 and feel great at 185.

I hope you are all well, have a great day and awesome weekend!

Is it too early to plan for a good yard sale?

December 16th, 2017 at 11:59 am

So...for those of you who don't remember, I had a yard sale this past August. No signs or posters, just threw caution to the wind. Total sales....$2.00.

This winter already I have accumulated some very expensive tools from the estate of a deceased family friend. Getting them out of the families hair was actually the best thing I could have done. That said, I am loaded with tools to sell. I am not savvy when it comes to selling on line but have always enjoyed yard sales. I was thinking about organizing and pricing some items out. Is it too early. Any tips or tricks to making my sale a success?

Loose Change Update

November 25th, 2017 at 08:58 am

Soo...as I blogged yesterday, I found a dime while running errands and won a dollar on four dollars worth of scratch off tickets. Well...when I went to turn them in for the cash, I actually had won two dollars! Then, I decided to turn my latest cache of coins in and deposit them too.....$12.79! I did, however, drop the $.79 into the Salvation Army bucket along with about fifty cents worth of Canadian coins the machine did not accept.

All in all, $18.00 in Loose Change deposits! Not too bad. This brings my total deposits for the Rental Mortgage Principal Reduction Extravaganza, Powered by the Loose Change Fund to $312.81 (beginning 11/25/17). And the train keeps a rolling...............

Friendly Reminder...Keep Your Chin DOWN

November 24th, 2017 at 01:27 pm

So...I had today off! I do not claim to work harder or longer than any one or group of individuals, however, man, I needed these last two days!

I got up at 5:30 a.m. (that old biological clock won't stay asleep) and headed to the gym. Today was an upper body day and cardio. Felt great! My local gym versus an "exercise room" off the lobby of a Hampton Inn...no comparison..lololol.

Anyway, after returning home at around 8:00 a.m., I would normally hit the shower...not today! Today, I brewed some coffee, sat, alone in my home office, read the news on line and watched a great Netflix Documentary about Jim Carrey and his role as Andy Kaufman back in ~1995 (Man on the Moon).

After giving myself a nice hair cut, I showered, dressed and headed out to run some errands. I had a check to deposit into my "Loose Change Fund", a document that needed to be faxed (yes, you read that correctly), a birthday card and other gift cards to pick up for Christmas and a quick stop at my Chinese Restaurant to order 10 quarts of their amazing Chicken and Rice soup for the football games on Sunday. That's when it happened...

While walking from the car to the restaurant, I noticed a bright, shiny dime! It was beautiful. I stooped and picked it up. Looking around to make sure someone hand't dropped it, I slid it into my pocket.

Now, to some, 10 cents doesn't seem like much, however, it inspired me. I started thinking about "luck" and sometimes, it's okay to wish upon it. After ordering the soup, I looked at my paper change and saw four crinkled one dollar bills.

I took those four one dollar bills and bought four one dollar scratch off tickets (I can't remember the last time I paid for a scratch off ticket) but said what the heck.

After getting home, I took care of some papers, etc., and scratched the four tickets. All together, a gross earning of $5.00, net $1.00. Rest assured, they will all end up in the Loose Change Fund.

The moral to my story, keep your chin down when walking around! You never know when you might stumble upon some Loose Change of your own!

Mortgage Principal Reduction Extravaganza Month

November 11th, 2017 at 06:40 pm

So...Living Life on My Own Terms suggested something for the entire month of December. The Mortgage Principal Reduction Extravaganza Month!

What a great idea! I mean, it's not like many of us don't already focus to the principal reduction of our mortgage(s), however, dedicating December to this critical step towards financial freedom seems like the right thing to do, especially during a month where spending is typically high. My hope is to remain grounded and focused on debt reduction even in the throws of Christmas.

I currently "invest" $250.00 per month towards mortgage principal reduction. In December, I am going to put any other "Loose Change" towards this investment as well. I am going to track my progress in my side bar with my November starting balance.

Wish me luck. Should be fun!

Touching Base

November 8th, 2017 at 04:33 pm

So...it feels like forever since I have been able to focus on my blog and unfortunately, tonight will be no different. Spending an evening with the kids and then another turn around tomorrow a.m.

Hope everyone is well and able to focus on your goals!

It's Been A While

October 13th, 2017 at 05:28 pm

So...it's been a while since I've posted. While I am finally home (until Monday), I thought I'd take care of some personal administrative tasks and settle in and catch up with my SA "family".

So many wonderful posts, conversations, supportive comments and updates, it's been a pleasure reading. I have made a couple minor changes to my blog. One being I no longer have a "New Car Fund". Rather, I have a "Loose Change Fund". Psychologically, not have the stress of "saving for a new car" versus "saving my loose change" seems to be a better fit for me. A play on words? Maybe. However, again, it works for me.

On 7/31/17, my very first mortgage pre-payment hit my account. As of 10/10/17, my principal balance has been reduced $1,473.97 (supported also by the principal reduction via my monthly payment which increases $3.00 per month). Not too bad! It's almost like another retirement fund. Every dollar I apply towards the principal balance is another dollar in equity earned. For me, equity equals retirement. It's also a lot of fun chipping away at the balance. Someday, God willing, I'll make my final payment or sell my house and wipe out the mortgage. What a thrill that day will be.

Back Home....Briefly

September 22nd, 2017 at 06:32 pm

So...work has brought on a lot of travel over the past few weeks. I feel like I am stretched a bit thin and running out of gas. That said, I and my family are blessed and for that, I am grateful.

So, I transferred monies from my New Car Fund ($500.00) to my MM360 account. The balance in the fund is $11.37, however, transferring $500.00 increments is wise due to the earned interest variance between accounts.

Due to travel, spending has been way down, however, I did dine out with my oldest and her boyfriend this evening...all up/all in, $35.67 (tip included), I also enjoyed a large coffee and two breakfast sandwich's this morning...$9.58.

I mailed in another principal pre-payment towards the mortgage. This should hit early next week, taking me to a $95,952 balance. That's a ~$900.00 decrease in one month! At this rate, I should be PIF in ~12 years.

Gonna try to decompress this weekend. A busy month seems to be on the horizon but I am hoping to take some time off towards the end of October.

Stay safe everyone, love your family, love your friends, love yourselves and pray for peace!

New Car Fund Update & The "Yard Sale"

September 5th, 2017 at 03:44 pm

So...$5.59 in deposits to the New Car Fund. Believe it or not, part of that deposit was the "take" from this past Saturday's "Yard Sale".

No, you DID read that correctly. Our total "take", $2.00. The gentleman even paid with two one dollar coins...lolololol!

You see, I got a bit behind on the marketing of said "Yard Sale". I.e., no signage, no social media announcements, no nothing! I rolled the dice and stayed the course on setting up and watching at least 500 cars drive by. Two cars stopped, one person bought a $2.00 gas can.

I will say, however, the weather was beautiful, the time spent with family sitting around the table talking, reading, laughing and sharing was worth all the money in the world.

No complaints at all. Next time, however, I will spread the word much better!

New Car Fund Update

August 28th, 2017 at 04:34 pm

So...you may find my update a bit premature, however, as I make an auto deposit on the first of every month, I figured I'd update it now as no other deposits will be made prior to.

Hope all is well and you continue your personal finance "stroll".

Yard Sale Plans and New Car Fund Deposit

August 23rd, 2017 at 05:30 pm

So...plans for the yard sale are taking shape. Saturday, 9/2/17 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The items for sale will be tagged and priced. Between myself, my better half and kids, each one of us will add our initials to our item(s) to ensure the money is paid out accurately.

I, for one will be adding my proceeds to the New Car Fund, which was funded a few times this past week so progress continues.

I am pretty excited about the "sale". Again, I have never coordinated one but really enjoy going to them. This time, I am going to try to market it for a full scale "blue lite special". Let's hope for good weather and spendy visitors.

New Car Fund Update and the Sale of the Century

August 19th, 2017 at 06:24 pm

So...I redeemed credit card cash rewards for a total of $5.80. This is going directly into the New Car Fund of course.

I think a month or so ago I may have blogged about gathering some items for a yard sale. The initial though was that my parents would house the sale and I'd simply contribute some goods to it. Well, it sounds as if my mother is going to put off having it until next summer. That doesn't work for me.

You see, I am the type of person that once I get something in my head, planned or unplanned, I tend to move forward with great tenacity and focus. At times, this has backfired and put me in a "line of fire" that looking back, was foolish and careless, heroism aside. Other times, it has proven tactful and necessary with positive results.

Consequently, when my mother announced the sale of the century, I went through my entire house and although not a pack rat or the type to hoard anything, I couldn't believe how many items I found I really didn't need, would ever use or otherwise wanted anymore. Useless to me.....treasures for others.

All this leads me to a decision...next Sunday, I think I am going to have a yard sale. Nothing fancy...a sign at each end of my road. Maybe have a friend post something on Facebook (I do not do social media) and setup a table or two with my "goods". My thought is, worse case scenario, I can enjoy a pot of coffee in the morning and some tasty water in the afternoon, read a good book and share some laughs with anyone who wishes to visit.

Good night all!

My How Times Have Changed....For the better for me!

August 13th, 2017 at 02:45 pm

So...my kids and I drink gallons upon gallons of water! Although chlorinated and filtered through carbon, we just can't bring ourselves to drink the well water at our house. That said, after much due diligence, the cheapest way to obtain drinking water is to purchased cases of bottled water. Yes, I have refilled them at my better half's house...however, most generally, we place our empties in the blue recycling bin and grab a few cases when they are on sale.

Anyway....the bin fills up. Shocking I know and of course, this phenomenon remains a mystery to the kids. Now, how have times changed and for the better for me you ask? Well, when I was a young man, I would have fallen all over myself to gather any/all can's and bottles to return for money. I sold worms, mowed lawns, did odd jobs, ran errands, etc., to earn gas money, comic book money, candy and ice cream money and so on. If I had a monthly bin of water bottles sitting there for the taking, totaling ~$4.00, I'd be on it like white on rice.

And that is exactly what I did this afternoon. And from the recycling center, I went to the night drop box at the bank and made my deposit into the New Car Fund....all the better for me!

New Car Fund Update

August 11th, 2017 at 01:25 pm

So...sitting in my car, watching and waiting, I decided to visit my Quicken register and see if I could find any "loose change". Low and behold, by simply moving those dangling "cents" from a few of my accounts, I added $7.47 to the fund. I'll update my side bar now and keep my head down this weekend as we visit some festivals for some dead presidents both metallic and paper.