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Completely Random

December 21st, 2014 at 04:28 am

I just saw a television ad for a credit union in our city offering a mortgage loan for 10 years. They call it a Ten and Done loan. It seems there are likely plenty of credit unions offering something similar.

When I saw it I thought...so about $20K per year if we were to stay in this house and need to pay off our loan in that same period of time. Considering we just paid off nearly $14K without too much effort, it isn't out of the realm to pay off nearly $20K each year for the next 10.

The only hiccup is we are moving this summer. The best option would be to live on an Army post, if that is where assigned, and not have any housing debt. Or pick a home with a smaller mortgage. It will be interesting to see what happens!

If you have a mortgage, could you pay it off in 10 years? Do you want to?

The Equity Goal

August 9th, 2013 at 08:04 pm

I do have an equity goal. It just hasn't been firmed up in my brain or written here on my blog. The goal is $63,045 (or more!) The ideal goal will be to reach this by June 2015, which is 22.5 months away. This is the next possible move date, although we would like to stretch it out as far as we can. The Army dictates that so we'll see.

We have about $24,500 in cash. We have paid off $6,304 in principal since last year. I expect we will pay another $9,900 by the goal date with regular payments. This leaves $22,341 to meet the goal. On average we will need $1,015.50 per month.

If you have been reading my blog, you know that I'm sending in all the extra funds (i.e. snowflakes) to the mortgage. Right now for 2013, I'm averaging $233 per month in snowflakes. That means we are still short $782.50.

I made a list of possible places to find some of this shortfall: lower our cell phone bill/plan, eliminate our home phone, eliminate the cable bill which allows us only local channels, find and actually move cash on hand to an account(s) with higher interest rates, sell more stuff on hand, and get a job.

I think finding a job will be easier once my daughter starts to drive. She has lots of places to be and they are always conducive to work hours. I also know my husband WILL get a raise next year. So while I may not be able to average $1000 this year, I will be able to easily exceed that next year.

And if home values in this area continue to rise, then I expect some of our equity will come from appreciation. Some online sites state this area should rise by 2%...not much, but something!

I also want to apply some money from our regular income to this goal. I have made a good effort. I know the money is there. I think I'll start with just $50 a pay period and gradually increase it each month.

I need to get moving to make the changes to the cell phones, home phone and tv. The sooner I get the changes made the more I can save towards the goal. And I need to start moving money around too to get the higher interest rates.

Yikes! This is really daunting. I know it's not a perfect plan, but it is a start. Any comments or thoughts on my plan?

Long Distance Searching

May 17th, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Searching for an apartment long distance is hard. Pictures online always look pretty good. Then you read reviews about mice. What? Who wants to live in a gorgeous renovated warehouse if mice are an issue?

Trust me. There are some very nice apartments with some awesome benefits, but man those are pricey, upwards of $1200 or more for a one bedroom. I would feel better with an apartment for $800 or $900.

That said. I think someone, likely DH, will be traveling to the east coast to apartment hunt for a couple days. Likely by airplane.

A furnished unit would be ideal, so he would not have to move very much stuff. However, we may be looking at unfurnished to save money. The only big outlay I can think of for furnishing a home for him is a bed. We'll want another one for a guest room at our next home anyway. We have an extra tv, a chair, even a couch he could take. There are extra towels, sheets, kitchen utensils that we can do without here.

Interesting enough, I'm the one thinking about this more than him. Why is that? Ugh. Beyond stressful.

Please don't comment that DH should live on post. It is not an option for many reasons. If he could live there for free or cheap he would. He can't. This arrangement is our choice in lieu of moving our girls two times during the next school year.

It's Paid Off!!

March 11th, 2010 at 01:41 pm

The home equity loan is PAID OFF!!

I have tried to log into our account with the mortgage company and it seems not to exist any longer...so I'm taking that as the official sign!!

The loan was taken out 3 years 5 months ago when we purchased our current home. We made a plan January 2009 to get it completely paid off. And now here we are!

Only debt now: the mortgage and our van loan...which we will start working on this year. Smile

Thanks for cheering us(me) on along the way!!

Payoff Check in the Mail

March 9th, 2010 at 01:51 pm

The certified check that I ordered for our home equity loan payoff arrived in the mail yesterday. Today it is going back out in the mail to the mortgage company!! The processing center is less than two miles down the road from my house, so I expect they will receive it tomorrow. Maybe by Thursday I can log on and see a zero balance. Smile

Waiting on Certified Check

March 6th, 2010 at 03:22 pm

We are still waiting to receive the certified check we ordered earlier this week. Maybe today in the mail? Please.

The check is to pay off the final amount on our home equity loan. So, we are still in waiting mode. Wait. Wait. Wait.

Update: No check in the mail.

Update: Home Equity Loan Payoff

March 2nd, 2010 at 04:09 pm

Our regular payment did go through with the mortgage company yesterday and our new balance is $82.19. Yipee.

Um...not sure why the ticker on my sidebar is not cooperating. I even tried making a new one and it did the same thing. Ugh!!

I called for our payoff amount which is now $82.69. Wow! Interest of $0.50. I ordered our certified check for that amount and it will be sent out tomorrow. We bank online so I don't have a bank to walk into and request the funds. I'm hoping the mail is super fast!

Once the check arrives, I'll get it sent down the street to the processing center about a mile from my house. I'm looking forward to logging in to our account and seeing that big fat zero.

According to Plan

March 1st, 2010 at 10:48 pm

I did make our final regular payment on our home equity loan today in the amount of $118.01!! Never again will I have to make this payment.

I'm waiting for the mortgage company website to update our balance in order to update the sidebar here. I expect that $116.81 will go towards the principal balance. That will bring the balance under $100. Yipee!!

So stay tuned until tomorrow, when I will confirm and update the sidebar. Smile

Progress: 2010 Financial Goals

February 27th, 2010 at 06:49 pm

Our basic goals for 2010 break down like this:

1) Max out our Roth IRA's = $10,000
We make monthly contributions that are automated
2) Save 7% of basic pay in TSP
Automatically taken from paycheck
3) Pay off home equity loan
Only $199 plus interest to go!
4) Save money for college = $3,300
We are scheduled to start contributions in March. I hope to automate these as well
5) Add money to emergency fund = $7,000
I expect we can start adding money in April Smile
6) Pay off van beginning balance = $19,444
Balance is now at $18,579.87 from regular contibutions only. We will begin adding extra in June
7) Convert IRA's to Roth IRA's
Approximately 65% of our IRA's were converted in February. May not convert the rest until later in the year.

I'd say we are on track so far in meeting all goals. Yipee!!

Closer to Zero

February 26th, 2010 at 01:51 pm

Yipee!! I made the $1,800 principal payment to our home equity loan bright and early this morning. Obviously, I'm very anxious to get this thing paid off. Smile

New Balance $199.00

I like that we are getting closer to zero.

No Spend Day

February 25th, 2010 at 10:13 pm

No spending for me today. I spent more than enough the last few days!

I started some spring cleaning today. I washed two bathroom shower curtains and bath mats. Tomorrow, I'm washing comforters.

It doesn't seem that much like spring when snow is everywhere. However, it is getting warm enough for a little melting. Primarily off the roof!! I'll take it.

I can't wait for tomorrow when I will make an $1,800 payment to the home equity loan!! Smile

Home Equity Loan Plan Details

February 23rd, 2010 at 07:05 pm

This post is primarily for my own needs, however I know people like to read this kind of thing.

Current Home Equity Loan Balance: $1,999

On Friday, February 26 pay $1,700 towards principal from paycheck.

On Monday, March 1 pay $118.01 regular payment (last one of which $116.20 will go to principal payoff!) and a extra principal payment of $100.

Edit: I'm going to make a $1,800 payment first, then the regular payment.

After the above payments the principal balance will be $82.80. I will call the mortgage company for a final payoff amount. I expect this to be $83.30. I will request a certified check from our bank. This check will cost me $5 to obtain. I will have the check mailed to us to send with the payoff letter. Once I mail the final check I expect payoff to occur within one to two days, since the payoff address is just blocks down the road from our house.

I wish I didn't need certified funds. Now, it is possible I could simply pay it off online and they would write off the little interest that is owed. However, the website and an email response confirmed that certified funds are required. They will even return personal checks if received.

That is the plan. I'm excited that we are so close.

Paying HEL off....

February 19th, 2010 at 06:27 pm

next week!!

I mentioned last week when I made a $1000 payment to our home equity loan that I hoped the Army would pull through with some money so that I could pay off the loan before April 1. The good news! Yes. The money I was hoping for will be here next week.

I peeked at my husband's pay stub for next week. They are not withholding taxes and have paid us the Hazard Fire Pay that he is due from being in the zone this month. (I expect him home Sunday. Happy Dance!) This is an extra $780!!

I already have $917, okay let's round that to $920, that I plan to pull from the regular paycheck funds.

If you are following along, you know that equals $1700 to put toward the loan payoff next week.

I'm also scheduled to make our regular payment of $118.01, which at least $116 will go to principal, if I make the big payment first!

It seems I will be about $183 short of paying this loan off. I'm now looking for some extra cash. In the end I think I'll pull it from some emergency funds. I can pay us back when my husband gets paid midmonth!

We are so close. Yipee!!

We Need Certified Funds

February 13th, 2010 at 04:05 pm

Since we are getting very close to paying off the home equity loan, I decided to check in to the payoff procedures. It looks like I will need to mail certified funds. Our bank will charge us $5 for the check, which I can request online and have them mail for us. No charge for snail mail.

Right now, I make all of our payments online, so I find this certified funds a little annoying. Seriously, if my electronic funds have been good thus far why do the last few dollars have to be official? Okay...I do kind of get why, since they are releasing the lien the bank wants to know the funds are good. Right? Just a tad irritating. I'll deal with it.

I plan to pay most of the loan electronically and leave the last $50 to $100 to be sent by certified check. The location for this check to be mailed to is just down the road from me. Might take two minutes to get there if I drove a check down, but I guess they probably don't accept walk ins!

Makes me think I should go get a job down the road processing mortgage payments. That might be fun.

Home Equity Loan Update

February 12th, 2010 at 11:18 pm

I made a big $1000 payment to our home equity loan today. Nearly $200 of that came from recent sales for my ebay challenge. The remaining amount came from earned income.

New Balance: $1,999

We are getting so close. I really hope by this time next month we have the loan paid off!!

Withdrew Sales Proceeds

February 11th, 2010 at 02:11 pm

I withdrew $120 of my ebay and book sale proceeds from my paypal account. This money will arrive in my account in a couple days.

The really exciting news about this is that it will all go to the home equity loan! I think I can get the loan to under $2K once we hit pay day. You know that makes me happy! Smile

-------
I did get to talk to my husband twice yesterday before his plane left. That always relaxes me. He's probably still in the air...it is a long flight!

My Paypal Account...

February 4th, 2010 at 03:55 pm

is becoming flush with funds! I usually don't hold any money in there, but with the ongoing ebay sales the funds are accumulating.

Yesterday, Powell's books deposited my proceeds from the books I sent them. They did reject one small paperback and deducted $0.50 for it. I'm okay with that.

I also decided to let Pinecone Research start depositing my survey payments in my paypal account as well. I look forward to getting paid more quickly! Now, I just need them to send me another survey. It seems like they have dried up a bit. My last paid survey with them was early January and before that it was in October.

Right now, I'm thinking I will just hold on to my paypal funds. I might designate it the Christmas fund or at some point cash out and send it to the home equity loan. The latter is probably the best idea. We'll see if I need it to make my mid March goal. Smile

Home Equity Loan: The Wait is Over

February 1st, 2010 at 05:15 pm

Finally! I get to report that the balance on our home equity loan is lower.

I made a regular payment on Friday. The principal portion was $93.85. Today, I made a large extra principal payment in the amount of $906.69.

Home Equity Loan Balance = $2,999.00

We are getting closer to getting this paid in full. I hope to finish it off in March if some extra money from the Army comes to fruition. Fingers are crossed!

2010 Goals: Take 2

January 30th, 2010 at 07:23 pm

In light of my previous post, where my husband and I determined that we will pay off our van loan before saving for a truck, I revised the 2010 goals.

1) Max out our Roth IRA's = $10,000
2) Save 7% of basic pay in TSP
3) Pay off home equity loan
4) Save money for college = $3,300
5) Add money to emergency fund = $7,000
6) Pay off van beginning balance = $19,444
7) Convert IRA's to Roth IRA's

I have deleted the goal to save for the truck in 2010. We will end up being able to save quite a bit of cash at the beginning of 2011 for the truck.

Since, I have already made one regular van payment in 2010, our current balance is now, $19,012.14. I will start a ticker on the side once this becomes our primary goal. This will not occur until at least June of this year.

It is good to have goals and know what you want to accomplish. I'm looking forward to working on this new plan!

Updated Our 2010 Goals

January 29th, 2010 at 08:53 pm

I updated our 2010 financial goals on my page to the left. Previously, I had left the amounts blank. I did not know at the time what amounts I could allocate to each area. Now I know.

1) Max out our Roth IRA's = $10,000
2) Save 7% of basic pay in TSP
3) Pay off home equity loan
4) Save money for college = $3,300
5) Add money to our emergency fund = $7,000
6) Pay down van loan = $7,500
7) Save cash for a truck = $7,350
8) Convert IRA's to Roth IRA's

I'm not entirely decided about paying extra on the van loan. It is at 3.9% interest rate. The next truck loan will probably be higher, so it may be better to simply save for the truck, to reduce the amount we would need to borrow. It's hard to decide when it is over a year away.

I'm just realizing that most of our goals are saving! Cool.

Tax Refunds Arriving THIS Week

January 26th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

I e-filed our taxes last Wednesday. Both were accepted in less than 24 hours!

I can see that the state refund is a pending deposit in our checking account for tomorrow. I expect to see our federal refund on Friday, since that is the expected deposit date they listed when our return was accepted.

Fast. I like fast.

I hope to get some of this money in to our home equity loan next week. I will finally get to write an update!!

Taxes Done: Refund

January 21st, 2010 at 02:19 pm

I had to compete online yesterday with all the other military members to obtain my husband's W2! Once that was obtained, I plugged the numbers into the online tax program. We are using taxactonline.com. I paid $17.95 to print, and efile both income tax returns.

The result is a refund from both the federal and state governments. Unfortunately, the refund is more than expected. Seriously, I can never get us to zero!! I try. I really do.

Federal Refund: $399
State Refund: $728
Total Reunds: $1,127

I was only expecting around $700 total. I'm sure I can find a place to put the extra $400+ !

Currently, I'm holding on to extra cash. With deployment nearing, my husband has expenses that I can't quite anticipate. Last week he bought a new duffel bag and tshirts. We spent about $100!

At some point...that home equity loan will be paid off. Maybe even in one lump sum!

Anyone else have their taxes done?

Thinking about HEL

January 12th, 2010 at 08:06 pm

Our home equity loan.
I want to pay it off quick.
It occupies too many of my thoughts.
Today I had a new thought.
Pay it off in a year.
Additional payment per month: $232
Seems easy enough.
I'll think about it.

Was that a poem? If not, just thoughts!

Net Check Increases

January 8th, 2010 at 04:18 pm

As expected, my husband's net check has increased. Specifically, $100.86. He is paid twice a month. Can't complain about an extra $200 a month, right?

Although I can see the deposit amount, I can't yet see how the pay breaks down. A little frustrating since I thought the net increase would be about $105! I have to wait two more weeks for details.

The extra $200 will help fund college contributions for this year. We hope to send in about $2000 for each of them in 2010. I'm going to pay off the home equity loan first!

Setback Already!

January 3rd, 2010 at 08:29 pm

I have nearly $1100 set aside that I was trying to decide what to do with. I now know what it is being used for.

I sent my husband to get the oil changed in the car yesterday. Turns out a major repair was needed to the tune of $975! When they lifted the car (2002 Ford Taurus) up the strut on the back left of the vehicle broke stabbing the tire at the same time. Guess what? We HAD to get new struts on the back and a new tire.

We already had a similar thing happen to the front end about a year ago. This is VERY common on these cars. It won't happen again since these are manufactured different than the original. Thank goodness! I'm so thankful we were not driving it at the time.

This car repair will set us back at least another two weeks on the home equity loan. At this point, I might just save up the money I need and then pay it off rather than little bits at a time. With my husband's overseas travel getting closer there are bound to be unplanned expenses. What I mean is my husband hasn't thought ahead to what those are and/or hasn't thought to tell me. Ugh!

My stress level has gone through the roof in the last 24 hours because of this car repair on top of other things going on. Crazy, really. I should be grateful we have the cash right now to pay it off without dipping into the emergency fund. I'm just disappointed with the set back. I will get through this!

2010 Financial Goals

January 1st, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Our basic goals for 2010 break down like this:

1) Max out our Roth IRA's
2) Save 7% of basic pay in TSP
3) Pay off home equity loan
4) Save money for college
5) Add money to our emergency fund
6) Pay down/off van loan
7) Save cash for a truck
8) Convert IRA's (if feasible)

I plan to flesh these goals out with exact numbers soon. These goals will take us into 2011 when we expect my husband to return from overseas.

The retirement goals are automated, so these will be easy. The home equity loan is top on my list with an expected payoff at the end of February!

We often have focused goals. One or two big ones at a time. My husband's deployment will bring in extra cash so we are going to tackle several goals at a time.

The Numbers of 2009

December 31st, 2009 at 03:15 pm

Our financial picture of 2009 wraps up like this:

Retirement contributions: $14,147.00
Retirement accounts increased: $33,219.29
Retirement accounts exceeded $100K

Total debt decreased: $17,011.21
Nearly $10K paid on HEL!!

Our net worth increased by approximately $50,230.50, which does not include any increase or decrease in our home's value.

We paid cash for a trip to Disney World and our daughter's braces. Yipee!!

What I'm Thinking...

December 22nd, 2009 at 05:38 pm

Right now, all I'm really thinking about finances is: try not to spend anymore money until payday! We will get paid on December 30th because of the holidays.

December is a spendy month. It's not just the gifts, but the food, the gas for traveling and batteries!

Okay. You know me to well. I am looking ahead financially, too! I'm looking forward to making our next big dent in the home equity loan and updating our final numbers for 2009. The stock market seems to want to go up the last couple days and I want to include any gains!!

On a tax note: I think I will total up the value of our thrift store donations today and enter it into the tax program.

Under $4K!!

December 15th, 2009 at 02:49 pm

I made a regular payment to our home equity loan, as well as, an extra principal payment in the amount of $145!

Our new loan balance sits under $4K at: $3,999.54

We started 2009 with a balance of $13,999. In one years time, we have paid off nearly $10,000 on our home equity loan. I should have sent in an extra $0.54 to make it an even $10K. Oh well. Close enough!

Even though it would have been nice to have paid the whole thing off this year, I feel great that we made good strides. Remember, we paid cash for our daughter's braces and a trip to Disney World. Right now, we are only a few more months away from getting there. I let you know when it happens, of course!

We Have Less Debt!!

December 1st, 2009 at 05:29 pm

I made a big payment to our home equity loan today in the amount of $935. As a result, the loan balance is now $4,236.95!
I think we can get to under $4K by the end of the year. Smile

I told my husband I made a large payment to the loan. He said, "What? A double or triple payment?" Umm...our regular payment is $118. That's almost 8 times the regular payment! Can you tell he doesn't pay to much attention to this stuff?

I bought 20 holiday picture cards online yesterday from Kodak. I never send out picture cards, but I took a really nice picture of our girls while we were at my parents over Thanksgiving. I found a 40% off coupon and with shipping paid $11.78. Pretty good! I now need to buy some stamps.

I'm thinking of buying our new digital camera from Amazon. I realized that I can save the sales tax by purchasing from them. The camera I'm looking at comes with an extra memory card if I buy from Amazon as well. I would save about $24 online. It seems worth it. I just need to run it by my husband.




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