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Archive for July, 2014

52 Week Savings Challenge Progress

July 4th, 2014 at 01:52 pm

I have been participating in the 52 Week Savings Challenge for more than half a year now. I make my deposits twice per month on payday. I also decided mine would be equal amounts of $57 each.

I also started the challenge with $10, and have an additional $60 in the account that have been earned from Capital One 360 referrals (thank you!). My balance with interest as of July 4 is $869.63.

If I were following the weeks, we could say that I have deposited money for weeks 1-18 and weeks 39-52. That is 32 of 52 weeks, so more than halfway to the goal.

I recently decided that this money will fund my daughter's band trip. Although, we may have her put some skin in the game, for spending money, or work the fundraisers hard.

Are you participating in the 52 Week Savings Challenge? Are you still on track to complete the goal? Did you know you could start any time?

First Snowflake for July

July 4th, 2014 at 01:38 pm

Lots of posts today to catch up on all the things I like to keep you up to date on. Scroll down to see more updates!

In yesterday's mail I received a Naked Juice rebate check. I think it was actually for some sort of class action law suit and I'm pretty sure I heard it from Saving Advice owner, Jeffrey, on one of his blog posts. It was for $6.67. That makes for the first snowflake in July!

I also received $40 for referring a Savings Advice member to Capital One 360 accounts during the Independence Day sale. This is a snowflake, but I may just leave that money in my savings account with Capital One to go towards my daughter's band trip.

Have you found any snowflake or extra money since the beginning of the month? Are you expecting any snowflakes?

Retirement Totals...Getting Close to $300K

July 4th, 2014 at 09:41 am

I see the market has continued to go up in the last couple weeks! I'm still not to my personal goal of $100K or to our joint goal of $300K, but we are sure getting close.

As of July 3, my personal retirement account balance reached $98,956.03. I'm so very, very close. If the market goes up and I make my regular investment for July, I expect I can meet the $100K goal. I can't wait!

Together our retirement accounts are approaching $300K. The balance on Thursday was $296,180.13. Sometimes this seems like a lot of money, but it sure doesn't feel like enough to retire on right now.

We will keep investing and moving forward to that eventual goal. I expect to increase our retirement contributions with my husband's pay raise that comes with promotion. We don't have word yet, on when that is official or the effective date.

How are you feeling about your retirement portfolio?

Mortgage Debt Paid in June

July 4th, 2014 at 09:25 am

We paid $1015.16 towards the principal balance on our mortgage in the month of June. Considering we are looking to pay down nearly $14K on it this year, I feel really good about that much debt paid off in one month!

The debt paid off made up of the principal portion of our regular payment which was $464.60. At the same time I send in an extra $103.72 each month to round up the payment to an even amount. Later in the month on the next payday, I send in another $275 towards the principal. All other funds come from snowflake money which this month was $171.84.

So far this year, in just six short months, we have paid down $7,872.29 on our mortgage balance. That is 56% of our pay down goal in 6 months!! The goal is moving right along as planned. I'm kind of looking forward to seeing how much beyond the goal we will get.

How much mortgage debt did you pay off in June? Or other debt paid? Are you ahead of your debt pay off for the year?

June Snowflake Totals

July 4th, 2014 at 08:18 am

June was not as lucrative for snowflakes as some months, but I do know that we have earned $900 in credit card rewards that will hopefully be arriving in July. So no complaints to have saved and earned $171.84 in extra cash.

I didn't really work too hard for the June snowflakes. The credit card reward cards were spent on regular expenses and matched with cash to the mortgage. So pretty easy!

With the addition of June snowflakes, I have saved a total of $3,136.80 for the first half of the year. Considering my original goal for the entire year was $4,000 I'm way ahead of schedule. I did change the goal amount, but I need to go back and look to see what I changed it to. $6,000 or $8,0000 I think.

Here's where the snowflakes came from in June:

Did you beat me in snowflake accumulations? Were you close? Any amount of snowflake accumulation is a good thing in my book! High five to all of you. Smile

Interest For Snowflakes

July 4th, 2014 at 07:59 am

We earned $27.72 in interest on our money market account in the month of June. Currently, we simply just leave our interest in the account to earn a little more interest and grow our savings. Since rates are so low, it does not add up fast.

I could pull the money out of this account each month, or even just twice a year and count them as a true snowflakes towards our debt reduction goal. An extra $300 or so off the mortgage wouldn't be a bad thing.

If you have your emergency fund in a savings account and are earning interest you might consider using the interest earned as a snowflake or extra payment towards your debt. This is especially a good idea if your interest on the debt is very high.

Do you count your interest earnings as a snowflake? Do you use your interest earned to pay down debt? Do you save your interest like I do?

Last Hours for Capital One 360 Offers

July 3rd, 2014 at 06:14 pm

The Capital One 360 Independence Day offers expire at midnight EST. So this is your last reminder if you are interested. Here is my post on the details.

In other news, all is still good here after the storms and losing power on Monday. We even were confident to leave town for a couple days. We spent money on gas and two meals, otherwise we were treated to meals by my parents. We got to see all of our family at various events and even took time to go to an art museum that now offers free admission.

Now that we are back, I need to catch up on laundry and paying first of the month bills. I hope to have some updates about snowflakes, and mortgage balance soon.

Have a super Independence Day tomorrow...and be safe!!

Reminder And Without Power

July 1st, 2014 at 05:22 am

We survived a very strong storm yesterday, either straight line winds or a small tornado. No damage to our home, but a man was killed up the road when a building a collapsed on him during the storm. About an hour after the storm we lost power for eight hours. I think the food in our fridge and freezer is okay, as we really tried to keep the doors closed for the duration.

Our neighbor next door was getting water in his basement, which a sump pump when he has power does a fine job of handling. Without power it is a problem. He ended up getting a generator to handle it. We weren't getting but a drop into our sump pump.

On Sunday night we received quite a bit of rain, which ended up causing an issue with two bridges in our little town. One collapsed when a semi went over it. It is on a major highway through our town. We now can't get to the other side of town without taking a major detour. There is another road we use with frequency, that has also been closed because the road washed away. We have seen pictures of two full sized cars that fell into the area washed away.

We became aware of our lack of batteries, among a few other things that we should be more prepared for with storms and outages. Something to work on.

Don't forget that the Capital One Independence Day offers are still available through July 3. You can get a $100 bonus for the checking account and $76 for the savings. Here's my post about the offers.

Should I throw out the milk and eggs? Any storms in your area lately?

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