Monday, April 22, 2013

2013 Goals - April Update

(1) Max out 401k(s) -        $13,392 (38%)   (goal is $35,000)
(2) Max out IRA(s) -         $6,010 (55%)    (goal is $11,000)
(3) Add to e/r fund -          $3,200 (32%)   (goal is $10,000)
(4) Pay down mortgage -   $1,245 (25%)     (goal is $5,000)
(5) Trading account fund - $50  (1%)        (goal is $5,000)
(6) House projects -          $800 (27%)      (goal is $3,000)

Total:  $24,697 (23%)

We are a couple of thousand ahead of where we should be.  I'm not sure how that happened except that Mr. Sam is ahead on his 401k contributions which may have occurred when he received his bonus but just showed up now.

Friday, April 12, 2013

An Interesting Analysis of the Envelope System of Budgeting

I enjoyed this interesting post from Slate by Emily Oster on the Dave Ramsey envelope budgeting system.

While I am a big fan of Dave Ramsey's philosophy and we utilized his snowball system of paying down our unsecured debt, I've never used his budgeting plan.

Rather we use a allowance system which works like this.  I pay all the fixed and semi-fixed bills, the mortgage, car insurance, utilities, etc.  Then I allocate and move money to savings which can include savings for upcoming annual bills, i.e. property taxes, or upcoming expenses, i.e. vacations.

Then each of us receives the same amount for day to day discretionary spending which includes groceries, gas, dry cleaning, personal expenses, gifts (but not holiday spending), eating out, entertainment.  And part of the reason for this is our expenditures in these categories changes from month to month as Ms. Oster pointed out.
Example: You go to the store and milk is more expensive than usual (something about the sequester?) Because you have your limited grocery envelope, you have to respond to this by buying less of some grocery. You could buy less milk, or fewer veggies, or less pasta.  However: It may very well be that you’d rather keep with your normal grocery purchase and cut back somewhere else—say, two fewer lattes this week. But because the “coffee” budget is separate from the grocery budget, you end up with the same number of lattes and fewer bananas.

Additionally, neither of us likes to feel overly restricted so with one pot to spend on day to day spending we can spend as we like on different categories but we restrict the overall amount of money.

How do you budget your day to day expenses?

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Remote Check Deposit - Follow Up

Earlier, I posted about Wells Fargo's new remote deposit feature which allows you to take a photo of your check and deposit it remotely.

Since its a new month, I used the remote deposit feature of our first two rental checks received in April.  I found the feature easy to use and saved me the 10 minutes of running to the bank to deposit the check at the ATM (times two, saved me 20 minutes).

My only complaint is that I'm limited to $1000.00 remote deposit per day.  However, I'm not clear if that limitation is per account (we have different accounts set up for our rental properties).  So, for the first two rental checks, just under $1000.00 each, I received the checks on separate days and was able to remotely deposit both.  But, the third rental checks is $1500.00 and it was rejected when I tried to deposit it using the remote deposit feature.  I'm going to call Wells Fargo and see if I can get my daily balance bumped up to $1500.00 per day.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

You know its spring in Florida when . . .

You know its spring in Florida when you are at the Super Wal-Mart at 6:00 a.m. buying rat traps.

Now I'm not in charge of rat wrangling, rather Mr. Sam is takes care of this landlording task (thank goodness).  So, he was at Super Wal-Mart early this morning buying traps.

Here in Florida we have problems with roof rats due in large part to our climate and the abundance of fruit trees.  And, at one of our rental properties, we have a beautiful, big mango tree that produces tons of fruit.  This tree produces so much fruit that its more than our tenants or ourselves could ever eat.

I've heard about some food pantries that run back yard fruit drives so I'm looking for an agency that is local to us where we can donate these mangos.  In the meant time Mr. Sam is over at the property setting up traps.