Viewing the 'College' Category
May 1st, 2020 at 02:30 pm
The VA finally made their payment for our oldest daughter's tuition this semester. She had 18 days of benefits. The school usually estimates the amount they expect to receive and bills us for the remainder. This semester they underestimated the amount by over $1000! The actual amount they were off by was $1,129.72.
We have received that money back in our checking account, along with her refund of her parking permit which was $94. Her housing refund was $953.79. In total she has received $2,177.51. This is such good news, since she did take out loans this last year totalling $5,500. That will be a significant amount to put towards the balance. It is interesting how things work out sometimes.
She has had one interview, by Zoom, but the person interviewing seemed to be giving advice than trying to hire, specifically telling her she didn't have enough experience. So odd, as you would think the interviewer could read that this is a college graduate. She probably has more experience than some new graphic design grads, as she has been working on campus doing design for four years and has almost completed a year long internship. Of course, there are more experience people who have been in the workforce for awhile. Just still odd she even had the interview in the first place! I know she will find her path and a job eventually. She is blessed that both her part time jobs are allowing her to continue until she finds full time work.
My husband should know very soon if he is on the promotion list. It would be shocking if he was not. Last year we were hopefully, but knew it would be ahead of schedule. This year he would have to be failing considerably on all metrics to not get the promotion. It's simply his year to be promoted if that makes sense. We don't know how quickly it will be effective with all that is going on, but hopefully sooner than later.
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April 14th, 2020 at 02:30 pm
The stimulus money is pending in our account. We are getting $2,400. Our children are over 17, so we do not get, nor do we need the extra $500 per child. We do not even need the $2,400.
We have not made any decisions on this money. I think I'm waiting to see how this plays out a bit. I do think it will get spent in some form or another, which is the point. I have quite a few ideas of things we could invest in to make us more self reliant, but may need to help our daughter or some nieces and nephews.
Our oldest daughter is close to freaking out about graduation and not finding a job. Job postings are minimal. She is looking in multiple states. There is one that is more local that I really want her to get. No word on that yet, and I could see it be a situation where they may be on a hiring freeze. She does have an internship that started back up this week online. She was asked when she graduates and when she said in a couple weeks, he said she can stay on after graduation until she finds another job. That would be really great, although if they go back to in person, could create a housing issue. As it is now she is living 45 minutes away from work with my parents, but they still might work for her. This organization is also in a hiring freeze, so not being able to replace her would be noticeable. This organization also paid her four weeks when they closed down and she didn't work at all.❤️
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April 9th, 2020 at 08:07 pm
Our oldest daughter received her housing refund of $963.79. It seems lower than expected and I haven't yet had the motivation to investigate and do the math. I don't see other parents complaining about wrong amounts, so I expect it is probably right.
My hope is that she will ultimately put this amount on her student loan debt, which she only had to take out this final year (her fifth year, two degrees). The total debt she took out was $5,500. Maybe she can round up and make $1000 her first payment!
Now she just needs to finish up these classes, graduation (ceremony cancelled, but can walk in future ceremonies) and find a job!
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April 3rd, 2020 at 02:48 pm
Our youngest daughter's University has offered a 40% refund on housing and meal plans due to closing. She is living with us, but we have not yet made the trip to clean out her dorm, which currently we have until May 9 to complete.
The housing refund for the semester is $1423.80
The meal plan refund for the semester is $867.48
Total is $2,291.28
I have simply set that money aside to assist us in making the fall payments. I may not need to withdraw as much from her ESA next semester.
We are still waiting on the housing refund for our oldest daughter. More on that later!
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March 29th, 2020 at 02:07 am
It is so interesting to see the contrast of these times we are in. My husband is actually working more now...a home deployment of sorts. I don't even get the mission and even he says it seems off and strange. But we are both thankful he has a job, when so many do not.
Stimulus money. Absolutely do not need it. At least in the short term. If we are on the edge of a depression who knows what we might need. I pray the everyone can go back to work very, very soon. I did have the thought tonight that buying a generator might finally be a good investment. We ponder one every hurricane season, but never pull the trigger. We have only been without power about 32 hours at the most and maybe only twice. Not pleasant, but not dire either. But then I go back to donating the money too.
Waiting to see about dorm room refunds. One daughter will get one, the other daughter's school is still figuring it out I guess. No money has been received yet. The oldest should probably put it on her small student loan, but then I wonder how long it will take her to get a job in this economy.
Dave Ramsey always says if you see a storm you stockpile cash, until the storm clears. I then wonder if I have been saving towards the Big Goal for a whole other reason! Of course, there was no way to know this was upon us. But I do have a pretty interesting intuition about things. I'm really trying to hear what it is telling me.
The loving kindness meditation I happened on this week was:
May You Be Well
May You Be Happy
May You Be Peaceful
May You Be Loved
Take care of you! We as humans are strong and resilient!
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February 18th, 2020 at 02:38 pm
I filed our tax return for 2019 on Sunday. The IRS and our home state where we file have both accepted the returns. My husband's income is exempt in our home state, so we owe nothing and since we didn't have any state withholding taken, there is also no refund.
We are getting a $1,308 refund from Federal. I had several years in the past where we tried to get closer to zero refund or owed, but I have skipped that the last two years because of tax changes and different credits applying for college expenses.
We have decided this refund will be set aside to assist with our youngest daughter's tuition bill. Her junior and senior years are higher tuition because she is an engineering major, so starting in the fall we will have an additional $1000 per semester on top of what we already pay. It is possible that she will get a scholarship that will reduce the costs.
I did run my oldest daughter's taxes through a program and she is getting a $94 refund from Federal and $34 from the state. We have not filed it yet, as I do want to run through it with her so she understands it.
In other money news, we had to buy a Blu Ray player. It sort of sounds archaic to buy one, because we do stream a lot of content, but we do also own DVDs and Blu Ray discs. We have also started renting newer releases for $0.60 from Redbox (after coupon code), which is less expensive than rentals through Amazon, ect. Our old player was cutting off the sound intermittently during playback. We paid $62.99 after a coupon and it's more than I really wanted to pay but we did shop around a bit and this was the one for the right price with the features we wanted.
I redeemed Swagbucks for a $25 Amazon gift card, and American Express rewards for $36.06. I also sold another item on eBay last night that needs to be mailed out.
What will you do with any tax refund you get this year? Save? Pay off debt? Or make an purchase?
Sales, Surveys, Rebates,
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January 21st, 2020 at 03:25 pm
I have not been good at focusing on much of anything lately, including getting a blog post together. So this is all just random.
I paid our youngest daughter's tuition and housing bill. I had saved $500 a month for the last five months to pay the tuition out of pocket. I used her ESA to pay $5700 to pay for room and board. No loans for her yet!
Our oldest daughter's tuition and housing bill is at about $9,294. She is only taking six credits to finish up this May with her two degrees. I have $6,170 in our account towards that and I believe her loan and a couple small scholarships total $3471. So we will have nearly $300 left. I will likely give this to her at graduation to put towards the loans. No point in doing it earlier, as the loans are subsidized interest.
We got a utility refund for being under the average. That was $27.30. This program is likely going away at least in the short term while they do a military housing wide evaluation, due to complaints. I can see the next refund will be larger at $32.11 and appears to be pending now. I save this money towards our Big Goal.
I redeemed credit card rewards recently. Amex $67.30 and Chase Freedom $3.82, and US Bank $13.00. It all adds up!
I earned an Amazon gift card ($25) from Swagbucks since January 1. I earned $506 in gift cards in 2019. Many of which I think I failed to count towards our Big Goal.
I have kept my eye out of for some Christmas cards on clearance and finally found a box of 14 cards by Papyrus for 90% off. I paid just $1.89 at the local exchange store. This is the only Christmas item I was in need of.
This weekend I went to Dollar Tree and bought 9 cards for $6. 8 were 2 for $1. The valentine card my husband picked out for me was $1. This is a win, as he probably would have ended up elsewhere for a card and paid $7! I also bought some of those foil containers with a lid for food. I put a meal in the set of three for a neighbor who is recovering from surgery. Great deal so they won't have to worry about returning dishes.
I did decide to keep YNAB for now. It is a time saver as far as reconciling accounts, and helps me keep good records of our spending and savings. That will be charged to our account today for $75.59. I have looked at other options but will say they don't quite add up to what YNAB can do.
I think I mentioned this once but my husband raise for the year (not the likely upcoming promotion), is going to end up covering our oldest daughters insurance premium. It sort of doesn't feel like a raise when you don't feel like you get to decide what to do with it. But in reality I'm grateful the money came at the right time for the additional expense and didn't have reduce our savings.
It's going to be a busy year. Lots of travel for my husband. Our oldest daughter will graduate in May (with unknown plans after). Will she move elsewhere? What job will she get? She just seems very focused on finishing up. We will travel to her town for graduation. I just made a hotel reservation and probably am lucky I found something at a reasonable price at this late date!
Our youngest has talked about study abroad for this summer, but I'm insistent that any classes she does take must count for her major or minor. So far, we may be striking out. While the experience would be great, it doesn't make sense to pay for a class that doesn't count.
My parents will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary just after Christmas this year. They have talked about wanting to take a trip with my family and my sisters family on a trip. We have said we will definitely go, but we have no idea where or what the trip may cost.
That potential trip has me wanting to sock away more money in 2020! I mentioned before the year end that some are looking to save $2,020 and I'm thinking of adding that to my savings plans to help with this trip. Hopefully in my next blog post I can try to have it flushed out where I will find this money! I think I just have to make it happen like a bill ($2,020/24 pay periods is $84.17 or $168.34 a month).
Thanks for listening to my brain dump! I didn't even mention taxes...I will save that for another time, too.
Sales, Surveys, Rebates,
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January 15th, 2020 at 08:15 pm
I'll attempt to include a screenshot of my
Text is December 2009 post and Link is https://creditcardfree.savingadvice.com/2009/12/31/the-numbers-of-2009_56168/December 2009 post
, but the run down I posted then was that we contributed $14,147 to retirement, our retirement accounts had increased by $33,219, and the value had exceed $100K for the first time.
We had paid over $10K on a home equity loan, with total debt decreasing by $17K. Not sure our total debt amount, but we may have had a loan on my van and home debt. If I had to guess $160K to $175K in debt.
I also reported paying our daughter's braces in cash along with a trip to Disney World. We were also getting ready for my husband to deploy to the Middle East for the second time.
Ten years later:
Husband is cosigner on a car loan for our daughter which had a balance of $4,959 at the end of December 2019. Otherwise we have zero debt.
We do not own a home and live on a military installation. We pay rent equal to our housing allowance. At this point we have rented since June of 2015.
We have $95,327 in cash (most of it invested in high interest rate CDs.) Part of that, $72,083.93, is cash towards our Big Savings Goal of $200,000.
We saved $21,627.56 in 2019 towards retirement. Our retirement accounts increased $172,287.30 in one year, with an ending balance of $660,822.27.
In 2019 both
of our daughters were in college full time for the first time. Tuition bills were paid in full, with our oldest daughter taking out her first loan in the fall for $2,750. No parent loans thus far!
Our 2007 Honda vehicles are still paid off. While they have lots of miles they still run and look fantastic.
In ten years there has been significant progress in retirement and we have mostly stayed out of debt (just a little help for our daughter).
It's fun to look back and I look forward to another ten years of financial progress. It should make for an interesting story!
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December 31st, 2019 at 02:51 pm
On this last day of the year I thought I'd reflect on a few things, but expect more detailed financial posts in the coming days.
It was an unpredictable year.
I didn't plan for buying our daughter a car, yet the writing was on the wall. That lack of planning resulted in a loan in her name with my husband as cosigner. We are currently making the payment of $133.50 per month because our daughter has a very part time internship. She uses her earnings to cover groceries and gas on the vehicle. The balance is currently $4,949.50. We are not currently making extra payments. I'm mixed about this loan considering we have the cash on hand. But on some level this should be hers to complete once she has a full time job.
We did put $3000 cash down on the vehicle and are currently paying ourselves back for this. I will have an update in a couple days on our progress on this.
Our oldest daughter also has taken on two student loans, each $2750. One is just about to be disbursed for spring. This are the first and only loans she has had to take out. I'm also mixed on these because yes we have the cash, yet I think it is okay for her to have some skin in the game. On the other hand she double majored and we will have supported her for five years by the time!! It's still amazing to me that we were able to get her through school with this small amount of debt.
Our youngest daughter did not need to take out any loans. She still has ESA funds, a least a year of Post 911 GI bill eligibility. We currently save $500/mo (or $6000/yr) towards her tuition.
Our retirement balances have skyrocketed this year with returns exceeding 25%. It was a great year to be in the stock market. We increased my husband's Roth IRA contributions to account for his catch up eligibility since he turned 50 this year.
I'm still impressed with our ability to handle the travel costs associated with having our girls living over 1000 miles away. I think I'm making plane reservations every three months on average!
We did make progress on our Big Goal this year too, which I will report in detail in the next few days. It was an average year towards that goal. Sometimes the effort seems so slow, yet at the same time I'm grateful that we have this goal. I think this money would just slip away without it!
In non financial news, I lost about 15 pounds this year and have been able to keep most of it off all year. I did really well exercising at least 5 days week. I drink a good amount of water regularly. Healthy habits and progress towards a little more weight loss is the goal in the coming year too.
I'm going to count 2019 as a success! Happy New Year!!
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