Thursday, May 31, 2012

This Won't Last Long

This won't last long, but its always exciting when our ING savings total* breaks $40,000.  Our home owners insurance and wind storm is due in June so the total will drop in a few weeks, but I'll enjoy it for now.

* We keep several sub accounts at ING, dating back to the days when it paid 4% (at present is paying .80%) including escrow accounts for each property, travel/vacation savings account, our emergency account, house account, holiday/gifts account, etc.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

2012 Goals Update - Mid May

(1) Max out 401k(s) - $15,186 (45%)(goal is $34,000)
(2) Max out IRA(s) - $2500 (25%)(goal is $10,000)
(3) Add to e/r fund - $4400 (44%)(goal is $10,000)
(4) Pay down mortgage - $2075 (42%)(goal is $5,000)
(5) House projects - $550 (11%) (goal is $5,000)
(6)  Trading account fund - $0 (0%(goal is $5,000)

Total - $24,711 (36%)

At present, we are $3154 behind on our goals.  We have made some progress this month on catching up.  And, since this is a month in which I am paid three times, 5/3, 5/17 and 5/31, I am expecting to make up some more ground at the end of the month.

But, it has also been a spendy month.  As I mentioned previously, one expensive, unplanned family trip cost about $1000 (I put all of my recent small bonus towards those costs).  And, I have one planned girls trip coming up over Memorial Day weekend.  While my girls trip is budgeted for, it certainly doesn't help us make up any ground to be spending money on a trip.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Every Little Bit Helps

I will be receiving a small bonus this year at work - $1000.  The bulk of that bonus will be going to pay for a last minute family trip that was (1) expensive (due to last minute nature) and (2) not budgeted for.

Any amount left from the bonus monies will go towards our 2012 IRA goal.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

2012 Savings Goals - May Update

As I said yesterday, forward progress is forward progress, but our forward progress is slow.

(1) Max out 401k(s) - $13,492 (40%)(goal is $34,000)
(2) Max out IRA(s) - $1600 (16%)(goal is $10,000)
(3) Add to e/r fund - $ 3600 (36%)(goal is $10,000)
(4) Pay down mortgage - $1600 (33%)(goal is $5,000)
(5) House projects - $450 (9%) (goal is $5,000)
(6)  Trading account fund - $0 (0%(goal is $5,000)

Total - $20,802 (30%)

We are about $4,400 behind on our goals.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Snowflaking Reminder

We are making very slow progress on our 2012 goals, at present we are more than $5000 behind on our goals.  There are lots of very good reasons for our slow progress, mostly related to Mr. Sam's certification classes and the costs related to same.  There are also some lame reasons for our slow progress, mostly starting late and not keeping day to day expenses in check.

I have two trips coming up in May, one unplanned trip for family reasons and one planned trip that I take each Memorial day weekend.  I budgeted for the planned trip but not, surprise, the unplanned trip.  So, I had a very expensive plane ticket, more than $600, and there will be additional costs as well.

So while I just paid our beginning of the month bills on my lunch hour, I debated as to whether we can afford to put aside money for our 2012 IRA goal at present.  Normally, I sock away money for this goal in $500 or $1000 increments, but there is no way we can do that this month.

So I pondered the issue for a few minutes and eventually went back to the lessons learned in 2007 when we were paying off $55,000 in debt.  And what is that lesson?  Every little bit counts.  When we working to pay off our debt, I would make multiple payments during the month, some were big and some were small (those small payments are known as snowflakes in the debt snowball vernacular).  The idea is to keep moving forward, keeping chipping away at the debt.  So, I took that lesson and applied it to our savings goal, we con't do $1000 or $500 towards the 2012 IRA today, but we can do $100.  And that is what I did, I transferred $100 to our 2012 IRA account.

Forward progress is forward progress.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Carlos ???

We have lived in our house since 2004 and we are one of the few people these days that still has a home telephone.  The telephone number assigned to our home telephone has been my number since 1998.  

For the last few years, every six months or so, 70% of our home telephone calls, that we have answered, have been collection calls for Carlos [last name redacted].  At present, our home telephone answering machine is full.  When I get around to listening to the messages 90% of the calls will be collections calls for Carlos.  Bank of America is desperate to reach him and has been for years.  The calls come in waves, I will, at times, put in the effort to call back some of these collectors and ask them to "disassociate this number from Carlos."  Sometimes my effort pays off  some collection agencies are receptive and cooperative, others simply hang up on me.

One of my major complaints is that for the vast majority of these calls, which are automated, there is no way to indicate that they are calling the wrong number.  Often the only option is to press #, or whatever, if I AM Carlos.  Recently, I tried this option, I pressed # indicating that yes I was Carlos and was transferred to a live person.  Thereafter,  I tried to explain to that person that they were calling the wrong number, half way through my explanation they hung up on me.  Then 5 minutes later I got a second call, this time from a live person, who again asked for Carlos.  I'm assuming that the follow up call was from the same collection agency and I'm further assuming that I received a second call because I had positively indicated that I was Carlos.

My husband just doesn't answer our home phone, but it is my telephone number why can't I answer it assuming that it is a call for me or for him?  I pay for the telephone number and service, don't I have some right to use it.  I would send out cease and desist letters to set up a law suit for these automated calls, but I don't know how I could do so since I don't know who is calling, most of the time, and I don't have the account or loan number they are calling on.

Any thoughts?