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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

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".

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.

Personal Finance Vlogs?????

August 9th, 2017 at 07:18 pm

So...might any of you know of any Personal Finance Vlogs? Youtube shorts that target all the wonderful things we discuss on SA!

I am really not interested in a data dump or over the top economic hyperbole. Just something fun, intriguing and versed in the tips and tricks of money saving, debt reduction, etc.

Thanks a ton everyone!

New Car Fund Update

August 6th, 2017 at 02:20 pm

So...$3.56 in credit card cash rewards get's deposited into the New Car Fund tomorrow morning.

Just think, what kind of car I could have if I had $1,000,000.00 in credit card rewards going in instead of $3.56. Wow!

Auto Loan Overpayment

August 4th, 2017 at 05:30 pm

So...as you know, I paid a bit too much toward my auto loan payoff. When I last spoke, I knew I was going to get about $61.00 back from the bank. Well, the lien release and over payment check came in. $61.15! I immediately threw it in my New Car Fund and updated my side bar.

Pretty please with how this fun account is growing. Every penny saved is a penny I won't have to take from other savings as I am really going to try to not finance a single dollar....I have ~22 months to save. Wish me luck.

Also, if anyone wants to donate, for every dollar you send me along with a self addressed stamped envelope, I'll provide an autographed wallet sized photo of myself. They make great dart targets or mouse hole covers. I'll provide my address upon request. Enjoy your weekend!

Loose Change for my New Car Fund

August 2nd, 2017 at 05:22 pm

So...I have spent a lot of time in my car this week.
Sitting, parking, driving a little bit, parking again, sitting....yawn. Although my focus needs to be on spot during all this parking and sitting, I am human and at times, find myself drifting off into that awakened coma. I digress.....

This afternoon, just as I pulled into the hotel parking lot, I noticed this shimmering reflection between a section of the blacktop and curb. I parked, got out of the car and walked about three feet down the lot from my car.

Holy mac-a-noly: One nickel and twenty two pennies. $.27 in total. I must admit, stopping along the way to bend over and grab a lonely penny off the sidewalk is one thing, however, kneeling down to snatch a cluster of change in the parking lot did bring out an odd sort of feeling. Embarrassment? Theft? Was anyone looking? Did some little boy or girl drop their "money" and now the big bad man is stealing it?

In any event, I stopped at the front desk and asked the clerk if anyone had mentioned dropping any money or change in the parking lot. Holding the loot in my hand, showing him the find, he looked at me with a slightly cocked head...you know...the same tilt you get from a dog staring intently at you wondering why you look and/or sound so funny.

Realizing I had just thrown this young man into a confused state of morality, I ask that he contact me if anyone inquires. I'd be checking out Friday morning and if nobody takes claim, I'd consider it "finders keepers".

$.27! One of my biggest finds! It'll go into my loose change jar at home and at some point, raise its hand, volunteering to contribute towards my next new car.

Thursday, July 13, 2017....1:00 p.m.

July 11th, 2017 at 05:58 pm

So...I am going to do something I have not done in almost 10 years. I am going to meet with my financial adviser.

For so long, be it out of shame, sadness, embarrassment or any number of self loathing reasons, I have hidden from personal finance. I have plugged along, minding my own business and simply stayed out of the fiscal limelight.

On July 1, 2017, thanks in part to this community, I started blogging and sharing and thinking and focusing to my current and future financial state. Thank you all!

Thursday at 1:00 p.m., I will be meeting with my adviser to discuss the following:

1. Earmark/transfer a court ordered amount of retirement to my ex wife;

2. Identify what to do with the balance of said retirement fund for my future;

3. Re-valuate my existing Roth IRA to ensure it is allocated appropriately based upon my desired risk;

4. Discuss the best move for the relatively high balance in my Cap One 360 MM Account after emergency reserves of course;

5. Discuss opening a Roth IRA for child #1 as she works PT year round

I may not accomplish all that I set out to accomplish and I may not like all the feedback I receive. However, I am taking another step towards preparing for retirement and making sure that even if I have a high spend month with nothing to show for it but some memories and books, my compass with continue to point north.

Making Coffee to support a fourth NSD but alas, Fuel killed me

July 8th, 2017 at 03:31 pm

So...I was invited to a soccer tourney starting this morning (Saturday) till midday tomorrow. Having travelled all week for work I initially declined, however, after a bit of pressure, agreed to go. I immediately budgeted $75.00 for fuel and hotel. I figured I could bring my own food and snacks. Well, to my surprise the invitation included a room, picnic/cookout and breakfast as the league covered it all. How could I say,no. Thus far my spend has been $25.00 for gas but I needed that,anyway. I hate the thought of gas negating my NSD run but as Billy Bats says, what's right is right.

However, normally my travels would include a 20 oz black coffee from DD.....$2.79. Instead, I made a pot last night, set the timer, filled the travel mug and thermos and headed out this am. I am gonna put $2.79 in my Loose Change Account to celebrate.

Question for my Friends

July 7th, 2017 at 04:57 pm

So...I just posted a blog and of course, thought of another question for my friends to give some thought to.

As you know, I have opened a "Loose Change Account". My sidebar reflects my progress. I still don't know what I am saving for but it's fun to do nonetheless. Anyway, I had an idea after loading next week income/expense transactions:

What if I maintained an even balance in all of my bank accounts (operating account, emergency fund, rental account, etc), taking the minor overages and putting them in "Loose Change Account".

Just a thought...what say you?

Third NSD in a row!

July 6th, 2017 at 05:39 pm

So...I must admit, although I am celebrating my third NSD in July, I need gas and some groceries as packing lunch and eating breakfast and dinner at home has depleted my fridge. But I have also been studying ways to reduce my grocery bill. Something new to me is going to Aldi's and a greater focus to the Dollar General. I am going to split my grocery list into two parts: Part 1 will be Aldi's. Here is where my meat, fish, poultry, fruits, breads and veggies will come from and tonight I'll be researching coupons. Part 2 will be Dollar General. Here is where my milk, eggs and other household staples will come from, assuming the price is better than Aldi's. I am going to try to find where to print Aldi coupons and stay faithful to the grocery list each week.

If anyone knows of a fast, efficient site to download and print Aldi and/or Dollar General coupons, I'd be most grateful.

Oddly enough....loose change has been hard to come by on the streets. Maybe others are catching on...hahahahah

Another NSD and another deposit into the Loose Change Account

July 5th, 2017 at 03:10 pm

So, after checking, re-checking, trying to remember, searching through my suit pockets for any receipts, slips of paper, loose change, etc., I am proud to report my second (and consecutive) NSD! Nothing spent. Not a plugged nickel! Seems like I should reward myself?!?!?!?! Does anyone self-reward for NSD's? If so, how?!

Also, I checked my Capital One CC rewards and found $3.06 just sitting there. I "cashed out" and made a deposit into my Loose Change Account. Check out my side bar for the current transaction information.

Also, might I add....I LOVE THIS BLOG SITE!

NSD and Punishment Delivered

July 4th, 2017 at 06:05 pm

So, for the first time in July (and the first time ever for that matter), I opened my daily spend log and entered NSD!!!!!! For some, this may not sound like a big deal but for me, it's a very special occasion. I am very pleased with the fact that I didn't spend a plugged nickel today!

Also, for those who read my blog yesterday, you'll see my "foolish move of the week" being the purchase of two greeting cards at a major grocery store for $10.78. This evening, I calculated the cost of two greeting cards at my local Dollar General (DG) being $1.00 each with $.08 tax for a total of $2.16, subtracted it from my actual spend of $10.78 and transferred said $8.62 to my Loose Change Account.

Still not sure what I am going to do with the Loose Change Account but it sure is fun having a place to watch the little things add up to bigger ones!

I am both angry and disappointed

July 3rd, 2017 at 07:29 am

So, this morning I and a co-worker decided to work "out of the office". Our location, believe it or not, is a mega-grocery store with a very nice mobile office facility upstairs whereby you can access Wi-Fi, etc.

I was in need of two greeting cards. Usually I visit my local Dollar General and purchase them at a cost between $.50 and $1.00 (less 8% tax of course). Today, for the sake of convenience and "so I don't forget", I found two that I needed and proceeded to checkout. The total...$10.78!

I am left feeling angry and disappointed in myself over my rush to check it off my list knowing full well the financial penalty I would pay (and did). Assuming I paid $1.08 for each card (including tax)at the DG, totaling $2.16 and taking that amount from my actual spend of $10.78, I need to find just "punishment" for the $8.62.


Loose Change Account

July 1st, 2017 at 09:22 am

Ok. I have been thinking about this for a long time. On my dresser is a canister about the size of a can of coffee (not the big fatty, rather, the normal refill size). Whenever I have any spare change, which is rare as I usually do not carry/use cash, I toss it in. I am always scouring the ground for "droppings" and sometimes, hit on a few pennies. This morning, while reviewing my cash rewards via my new Capital One Quicksilver account which pays 1.5% on all charges, I noticed that after only two weeks of usage with a total balance paid of $205.00, I have earned $3.06. Theoretically, this could net me about ~$6.00/month. Not a lot, however, $72.00/year supports some nice stocking stuffers!!!!! I'll take it.

At any rate, I was thinking, do any of you have tips or tricks to capturing small earnings? Little things that require little to no commitment and/or efforts other than bending, stooping or surfing?

I look forward to your brilliance.