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Retirement, EF, and Net Worth Major Milestone Goal Hit

November 13th, 2022 at 01:00 am

I am sorry for any typos in this.  My space bar is sticking and I don't have any compressed air to clean it out.  I think I've got them all, but I'm not sure.  Our retirement accounts are starting to turn around.  Don't get me wrong.  The IRA is still -18.04% for the year, because it plunged even lower than my last report, but it's come back up by a little over a thousand dollars. That's a loss of $2707.65 in an account we don't contribute to at all right now. It will have to climb a lot higher to erase that percentage and I don't think it can do it by year's end.

The 401K went from over -25% for the year to -13.59.  The loss for the year, only because we have been contributing, is -$9488.88.  We won't make up for that this year, either.  There are only four contributions of $1152.48 to be made, mostly from us, but some from the employer match.  Even if DH gets any over time, it won't be enough without a tremendous rise in the stock market.  I haven't been watching since August, though, because the whole year has been so awful, so I don't know what it was doing.  But judging by our contributions versus where we were at the end of August, it still ate half of them, so I'd say it wasn't the greatest.

Still it is up since the last time I changed my sidebar by $4920.33.  That brings the amount in retirement to $83,848.84.  I also transferred $1000 out of the emergency fund to fix a leak in the van's sunroof.  Never again will we have these on a vehicle we buy. This is the second time we have had to do this repair. I mean the van is 12 years old, but they should build it so this never happens.

When it rains hard the water leaks down into the seat belt wells and soaks them, so when you pull your seatbelt out it is drenched.  So it etiher goes against your jacket or sweater, so you have a wet piece of clothing or you keep towels in your car to put between you and seat belt which is not comfortable and kind of a distraction. And if it freezes really bad, like 17°F or less (-8.3°C), the seat belt will get frozen in the ice after it fills up with water during the day before the temp drops, whether it is rain or melting snow.  If we hadn't just shelled out over $1200 on vehicle maintenance and replacement filters and whatnot, we'd have had the money in our car maintenance envelope. But we did, so we didn't have it.

Anyway, that reduces the EF to $10,285.51.  Which means the total of net worth changes by $3920.33, going from $146,216.13 to $150,136.46.  So we have hit a major milestone goal for us, crossing the $150K barrier on net worth. This was such a long, long time coming.  I feel like we are lucky we even got here considering the last year, where everything that could go wrong with the economy, did go wrong.  So while it is amazing to see it, I'm still kind of scared it will disappear on me before the end of the year, and hoping like crazy it doesn't. But I will know we hit it once and that we will be able to hit it again somehow, some way, if we have to.  And know, as they say, is half the battle.

New Net Pay and Retirement Update

August 23rd, 2022 at 06:22 am

Friday's paycheck was the first one with the new raise on it and the net pay is now $3584.10, give or take a couple dollars here or there.  That was always the case with his old rate.  So that is a difference of $567.73 per paycheck or $1135.46 in a 4 week pay cycle.  And that comes to $14,760.98 a year in net pay.  That's a lot to work with.

So I am debating what to do.  I have some things I have to take care of, like $1000 of work on the van, which I only have $604 saved for, and replacing the console in the truck with one that has satellite GPS and MP3 player compatibility.  I have to buy DD a recliner chair to deal with her back issues and it has to be one she can get out of.

We need to replace the shower/tub with a walk in shower and part of the floor in one of the bathrooms, but I might be able to push that off for another year.  We've sealed the crack in the tub, so it shouldn't get any worse, at least.  And most importantly, I have to get the emergency fund back where it was.  We also need to pay for an appointment with an elder law lawyer for my mother to get her will updated.  She can't afford it and it needs to be done.  Being as we will be inheriting the house, I want to make sure all the t's are cross and all the i's are dotted.  I'd prefer to do legal zoom, that's what we did for DH's parents, but my Mom is weird about the internet sometimes.

But when all that is done, I'd like to bump our retirement up to whatever it takes to max out our 401K.  Right now, where we are at, we will be contributing $23,642.12 this year.  The max for over 50 is $27,000, so we will be $3357.88 shy of that this year.  We are at 16% currently.  For a full year at the current rate of pay at 16%, it would be $25,245.22 or $1754.78 short of the max, if the max is the same next year.  That is, of course, assuming there is no overtime.  Overtime could push it closer since contributions are based on a percentage.

We will definitely be over the regular amount of $20,500, which we've never hit before, but I'd like to be at the higher max next year.  We need to be.  I'm 52, and DH will be 53 at month's end.  We need to get moving.  We are just so far beind in life because of all that medical debt we paid off over 20 years.  Ideally, we would also be able to do a spousal Roth IRA for me and possibly a Roth IRA for DH as well.  He has a traditional one, but I'd like to have Roths. Just not at Fidelity.  They just don't recover from plunges and don't offer better plans at the amount of money he has in there.  We need to get the ball rolling on getting that transferred elsewhere.

After Friday's contribution ($970.97 from us, $181.51 company match) of $1152.48, our 401K and IRA now sit at $79,444.45, which is a change of $1324.51, so $172.03 of growth since last payday.  It's not much, but at least it is going in the right direction and not eating the whole deposit like it has for most of the year.  So that's a positive.

I don't know, I'm just trying not to wait for the other shoe to drop.  Things are going too well.

 

We'll See

July 10th, 2022 at 03:26 am

DH's boss has put in for a sizeable raise for DH.  I know he just got one in December, but his responsibilities have increased by a large margin...a margin that was not required for his job or the last raise.  The last raise was completely swallowed up by inflation.  I had to double, and then raise by another $50, our gas budget.  Electricity, gas, water/sewer, and even garbage have all gone up.

He said that if the raise goes through, DH will probably fall down on the floor.  About the only thing that would make me fall down on the floor would be $150K.  But anything more would be fine, especially if it will cover DD's COBRA (still waiting on the appeal, but who knows?) while we try to get her on disablility or find a cheaper insurance that will still cover her medications.  And maybe let us bump up our retirement contributions.  At least we will be able to claim a significant amount of medical this year and that was before paying for COBRA, which starts in August.

Right now we are at 16% and I would like to be at 20%, maybe even 25% one day.  Even if I can only go up to 17% or 18%, that will help.  I haven't looked at retirement since the freefall started.  I really don't want to, either.  I am hoping in November we will see a sea change and all these people willing to throw our money away on other countries and not take care of us here so we can recover in our own economy and infrastructure, get voted out.  I'll certainly vote against Patty Murray.  She stopped being the Mom in Tennis Shoes she originally campaigned as when I was young and is now just another rich career politician who has strayed so far from what she used to be, I just want her gone.  And I like her opponent.  But I digress.

I've been able to stay within my food budget only because I don't have to buy much in the way of meat, mostly just chicken and the occasional pork.  DH caught the limit on spot prawns and was given more by some of the others again.  They tried to catch Pacific sand dabs, which are in the flounder family, while they were out there but only caught little ones that they threw back.  There is not much meat on the little ones.  Still both prawning trips have been more than enough to cover the gas to go out.  These ones are super expensive to buy.  So we'll get a few meals out of those.  I am really looking forward to crabbing and salmon seasons and we may try to catch some river trout, too, since there are some fishing areas in our local parks.

So mostly I am buying produce right now and it'll be a while yet on when I can replace much of those types of groceries.  Right now I am getting scallions and the first peas are ready to be picked today.  I've got some herbs to harvest from and I am still picking strawberries.  The raspberries are starting to turn color.  So I am able to supplement a little.  Plus I'm pulling the elephant garlic today, now that I've had 7 days in a row with no rain or watering.  That helps them dry out some before being pulled and put on a ventilated drying rack for about 2 weeks and then I can cut off the greens and trim the roots and they can go into a box for dry storage in my coldest cabinet that seldom gets opened.  I think the Music garlic is ready, too, but I'll have to dig down and check.

Once all the garlic is out I can plant carrots, radishes, and 90 day parsnips.  Those are all great things to plant after garlic or onions.  The onions are starting to swell, but they have several weeks to go.  Maybe in another 2 weeks I can ring them and then their growth will take off significantly.  And I'll be able to use the sprinkler and just handwater once this garlic is out.  

I've got baby zucchinis starting and saw my first tomato (small and green) yesterday.  My cucumbers are still really small plants.    My lettuce has bolted and my spinach, too.  My herbs are big enough that I can start to harvest them.  But that's still not a lot of fruit or veggies.  We finally got the green beans planted, but they haven't come up yet.  I will be getting the sweet potatoes in today.  We'll have to do a peusdo greenhouse when the weather starts cooling off in the fall, since it took so long for DH to get the grow bags filled for me.  They are up on pallets to keep them off the ground for when the ground starts getting cold.

I am considering dumping the hog lady since she keeps having her butcher dates pushed back and I haven't heard from her in some time, and going with another beef.  Almost all that is left is hamburger.  Any new hamburger I get I can put through the grinder on a fine grind, mix with some ground chicken, some tallow, and with herbs and spices, run it all through again, and make sausage with it.  I can make mild Italian and I can make breakfast sausage.  And if I ask for the navel cut with the new steer, then I can make beef bacon as well, unless they will make the bacon and the sausage for me at the butchers.  They might not if the equipment for that is dedicated to hogs only, but it doesn't hurt to ask.  It might be, to keep kosher.  I know they will do kosher or halal when asked.

I need to do a stock up on herbs and spices at Costco this weekend, particulary salt, pepper, granulated garlic, paprika, and chili powder.  I also want to get more tomato sauce, some PH water, some TP, Ziplocs, some oil for the fryer, some olive oil, rice, stir-fry veggies, and some golden kiwis.  Maybe one or two more items, but I'll have to check.

I don't need to buy anymore fruit this week, as I still have strawberries to pick, a watermelon, 2/3 of a melon that was not labelled in the store, but tastes like a cross between cantaloupe and honeydew with a yellow rind, 2 small pineapples, some grapes, 3 nectarines, 1 peach, and 4 kiwis.  I might get Rainer cherries, though.  They are my favorite now and only have a short season.  But we don't really need it.  As for produce, we have two zucchini, 1 English cucumber, a head of lettuce, 1 green cabbage, 2 Napa cabbages (for cabbage rolls), 1/4 of a huge bag of frozen stir-fry veggies, 2 packs of frozen broccoli, carrots, potatoes, radishes, 4 yellow onions, 1 red onion, and a head of garlic.  Also, home canned green beans, canned corn, and a can of water chestnuts.   I think we should be fine, so I'll take the opportunity to stock up on some long-term food storage and longer-lasting pantry items, while saving enough money for week two of this grocery budget.

I had raised the grocery budget to $500, but I have popped it back down to $400 every payday, due to the increase in gas prices.  It had to come from somewhere, so I am economizing more and sticking more firmly to meal planning and eliminating take out to more than once a payday and one of those meals MIL pays for.  We have all but eliminated prepared foods and are cooking mostly from scratch, now that I am feeling better.  It took a lot for me to recover from that last fall.  My scab has almost completely fallen off and now I just have to work on keeping the scar tissue from pulling the skin tight, but using cream on it 3 times a day.  I still have some pain from the fall, but I'm down to just using Ibuprofen at bedtime, so it is obviously better.

It was hard to keep a good attitude through the healing process, because it has set me back, but I can still feel the higher dose of the stuff used to control my hypomania and death spirals (as I like to call them, not really death, just dark dives into misery) is doing it's job to keep me on a more even keel.  I still don't have a formal diagnosis other than hypomania and depression.  No one's come out and said bipolar, though.  Which is okay, because let's face it, I don't want to go on lithium.  I will likely be going up another 50 mg on my current drug the next time I see the doctor.  I feel it is the final step, because my outlook on life has improved tremendously over all.

I'm need to call in to physical therapy this week and get myself rescheduled.  I think I will need a new assessment, though, because my range of motion and the flexibility I was getting has now become less and so is the amount of time I can stand or walk with an assistance device and definitely without one and the pain is pretty bad unless I sit rather quickly.  I had been cane free for 8 weeks before this accident.  It's so frustrating, but I will put my head down, muddle through, and get stronger again.  I did it once, I can do it again.  I'll call the doctor, though.  I never got an x-ray of my lower back after I fell and I want to make sure I haven't done further damage, before I do.  I was so concerned with the pain my arm when I went to the hospital, I was completely unaware of other pain.  It wasn't until the next morning that I felt it and kept hoping it would get all the way better on it's own, but maybe it can't.  So we'll see.  We'll see about a lot of things.

Retirement and Net Worth Updates--So Close

May 27th, 2022 at 08:45 pm

I was willing to look at the retirement accounts today and to do the math, now that the 401K is in recovery. The poor IRA, not so much, but at least it quit freefalling. The contribution from today's paycheck to the 401K has not yet been made yet.  So, the reckoning.  As of today the retirement accounts have lost $2,017.92 this year and pretty much ate up all of our contributions.  I know we have more stock, but until that stock is worth something, it means very little.  Our new retirement total is $73,086.69.

However, the contribution of company stock hit today, so our total net worth has gone up.  Our new net worth is $149,542.88.  It's weird to see it sitting that close to $150K.  If nothing goes down by the time our 401K contribution is made from this paycheck it will hit that next week.  It's so close I can taste it.  It would be a major milestone in a year that has otherwise been pretty horrible financially.

 

Interest, Emergency Fund, Retirement, and Net Worth Updates

April 2nd, 2022 at 10:35 pm

We recieved our dividend check from Louisianna Pacific for .70 last week (I think) and the interest income from C1-360 was $4.81.  I also had $15.50 in rolled coins.  I haven't checked the other two accounts but they are generally pennies.  I'll do that later.  Anyway, altogether that made the deposit to the Emergency Fund $21.01. We've already hit six month's expenses, so now I am working on hitting one year's expenses, but slowly.  I've other things to save for.

$20,264.50 Starting Balance

+__,_21.01 Deposit

---------------

$20,285.51 New Balance

They haven't dropped this paycheck's contribution into the retirement account yet, but last payday's finally showed up.  With all the OT DH's contribution was around $1450, but it has gone up by $2639.45 since last I updated, so finally starting to make some gains.  The 401K is only down by 5.08% for the year, instead of 11%, so that's something.  Not sure on the IRA, but it hasn't moved much if at all in the past two weeks.  It's still down by around $700 from it's high.  So the new retirement total is $75,104.61.

That means NW is up by a total of $2660.46 between the EF and Retirement.  The new net worth is $133,303.40.  It's nice to see some real progress again.

I'm not going to add it in to Net Worth, but just for fun I checked to see the value of our vehicles again.  I had checked at the start of January to see if it changed our net worth and it was steady.  Well, when I checked it yesterday, the value of our van (54,000 miles) has gone up $2000 and our truck has gone up $500 (288,000 miles).  Toyotas are of greater value due to even higher demand than at the start of the year.  At least in my area.  I wouldn't have even looked, but we were checking prices on used Camry's for when my son has enough money saved, just to know a ballpark to save for, so since I was on there anyway I took a look and was quite pleased. 

Emergency Fund, Retirement, and Net Worth Updates

March 19th, 2022 at 01:39 am

We recieved our safe driver's refund from our insurance company.  It was $42.85, which is about double normal, but maybe it is because we have 3 drivers with no accidents in a year.  I also had $5.12 left after paying all the bills, funding all the envelopes, and funding the medical fund.

$20,216.53 Starting Balance

+__,_47.97 Amount Added

---------------

$20,264.50 New Balance

The deposit out of this week's paycheck has not yet been made to the 401K, but it is still on it's way to recovery.  The IRA is just barely starting to recover and it needs to make up about $800 more before it is back to where it was, but at least it is above $13K again.  It's the first time in a while I haven't felt sick looking at the accounts.  I guess as the Ferengis say, "War is good for business."  I really hate that, but I'll take the recovery and pray for the innocents.  I wish that today's deposit had made it in, though.  With the amount of overtime on there the deposit would have been well over $1000.  Probably won't show up until Monday or Tuesday now.  Usually it shows up on Friday unless there was a banker's holiday during the week. 

Anyway, here's the amounts

$72,456.16 New Balance

_71,759.98 Old Balance

---------------

$__,705.18 Amount of Change

That brings new worth up by $753.15 to $130,642.94, so finally cracked $130K.

 

Taxes, IRAs, and Food Strainers for Tomatoes

March 6th, 2022 at 12:51 am

We set DS up with a Traditional IRA today and taught him how to do his taxes.  Of course we have to wait to get paperwork from Vanguard before they actually get submitted, but he dumped $3000 from what he earned last year into it.  So instead of having to pay $300 in taxes, he will now be getting $161 back.

He has been wanting to get this set up for a while and we didn't want to miss it.  I know we still have a month, but I never like to push it.  He would have got more back, but we still claim him as a dependent.  Which we will until he works full time, buys his own groceries (or contributes his share to our groceries), and pays 1/4 of the bills.  Then he can be an independent while still living with us.  He's not even working right now, so it is a moot point.

DH finally sent off our taxes today.  I thought he'd done it in early February like usual, but nope.  So I'll stop looking for it to be deposited and just check on Wednesdays, just not this coming one.  We always seem to get stuff deposited on Wednesdays from the IRS.  We usually do them in February because it only takes a week at that point and because we want to get it in early in case someone tries to pull identity theft.  Someone used DH's SSN back before we were married, and while it wasn't to claim taxes, it was to pay them.

He had to go through the rigamarole of proving that he didn't earn that money, because he wasn't living in California, so that we could prove he didn't earn an extra $50K that year. It was a pain, but since he was working at home, he hadn't started in Alaska, it was pretty easy to prove.  Plus he had receipts from his credit card proving he was making purchases during that time and the location.  So it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

We keep having these beautiful sunny days, but they are too cold to sit outside with the wind.  DS says it is still too cold most days to go on walks.  I want to soak up some sunshine, but I don't want to get chilled.  It's probably just false spring #2.  We can't plant around here until mid-April, but I really need to get my tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and basil going.  I'll have to check the chart for anything else that takes a long time to germinate.

I'm only planting two varieties of tomatoes this year and it'll be mostly Opalka paste tomatoes  They are heirloom and open pollinated, so seeds can be saved from them.  I've grown them before twice with great results.  The tomatoes can be as big as your hand.  These aren't your typical baby romas.  I will also be planting Lillian's yellow heirloom tomatoes.  I'll probably just do two plants there.  Since I am planting organic seeds and using organic planting medium, I will easily be able to sell any extras I don't need.

I'm seriously going to be making homemade tomato sauce, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, and ugly sauce (from the yellow tomatoes), and anything else will be quartered or diced.  I need to buy a food strainer.  My food mill that came from my grandmother and was new in 1934, won't hold together anymore.  I am trying to decide between a hand turned one or an electric powered one or just the add on for the Kitchen Aid.  The latter two are quite a bit more expensive, but none of them are out of budget.  Anyone have any experience with these and could recommend a good one?  I want to make the purchase sooner, rather than later, before prices go up for tomato season.

Retirement Seems to be Recovering a Bit and Mask Mandate End in Sight

February 28th, 2022 at 11:03 pm

Our IRA is back on the verge of $13K when it had fallen to nearly $12K and our 401k is on the verge of $59K, which it has never reached before.  The new total for retirement is $71,759.98, raising it by $600.21.  It still has lost so much this year that that doesn't make up for it by a long shot, but at least it hasn't eaten the whole of the last deposit made.  That changes net worth to $129,885.47 on the verge of $130,000.  If all goes well for the month of March, maybe things will continue in this fashion and we might actually see a positive rate of return instead of this monkey business.

Washington state is officially lifting the indoor mask mandate on March 12th. The outdoor in large groups mandate lifted on the 18th.  DH went to a restaurant for a work lunch meeting and no one, including the employees were wearing masks.  I don't know if the grocery stores will jump the gun like that, but it is nice to know that I will soon be able to do the grocery shopping again.  Masking messes with my asthma severely.  Hopefully I will be well by March 12th!

Of course, I don't think for one minute that they won't try to pull the rug out from under that, but if it does happen, I will be so happy.

Retirement Update

February 17th, 2022 at 02:06 am

Our 401K has started to creep back up, but our IRA is all over the place, but mostly not recovering or going down on average in a week.  Still, it's overall, better.  It's up to $71,159.77, which is a rise of $525.77.  That brings net worth up by the same amount to $129,285.26.

I feel uneasy about how much we have lost this year.  Our income on the 401K is -4.42%.  On the IRA it is -5.16%.  Not numbers that make me feel all warm and fuzzy.  But we're holding.  We either wait out this administration or we hope that something changes at the midterms that opens American oil back up.  Closing it down so much is what is causing a ton of this economic turmoil and inflation.  I've seen it before twice in my lifetime.  You may not agree, but that is my experience.

Turning Covid from pandemic to endemic and opening the world back up would also help a lot.  We are going to have to just live with it like we do the flu eventually.  It can't stay this way forever.  Esepcially when politicians and celebrities flout the rules at super spreader events like the superbowl and fundraisers.  Either we all wear masks or no one does.  And since they won't, there is not much point for us to keep it up unless we want to.  Being vaccinated has not stopped me from getting it and spreading it to my family who is also vaccinated.  Twice.  But at least we didn't die.

I've got to get my 3rd booster scheduled though and for the family as well.  Just waiting out the dregs of this head cold so that we are all healthy enough to do this.  Might have to do it separately as one person gets well.  Otherwise, I'm not sure how it will get done.

It's a little scary seeing Canada turn into a facist regime.  Real facist, not "I don't agree with your politics so I will call you a facist" facist.  The livestreams are scary at times.  But that's all I will say about that, because if I start spouting off on what's going on in Ottawa with that sorry excuse of a PM, I'll never stop.

EF, Retirement, and Net Worth Updates plus an Aside for Gardners

February 2nd, 2022 at 07:12 am

Interest hit today and it was $4.59 at the online bank, and .07 at CU#2.  CU#1 only pays out quarterly.  So a total of $4.66 in interest, so that goes to the Emergency Fund, bringing the new total there to $20,212.21.  That leaves $310.49 to go to hit 6 month's expenses.

Retirement is starting to creep up again to where it was, but is still $342.72 short of that, putting it at $70,634.30.

That means the NW has gone up by $4.66, but down by $342.72, so the new net worth is $128,759.49.  Still nothing to sneeze at, but still depressing to see it going down and eating any money you put in every payday.  I know I am getting more stock, but I want more stock and good prices.

Let's hope that fire at that fertilizer plant in North Carolina does not make the markets implode in the morning.  I feel really bad for those that lost loved ones and probably their primary bread winner.  Plus, losing a fertilizer plant when there is already a fertilizer shortage, is going to mess with the farmer's and the food supply, which is already pretty screwed in many places.

If you're growing a garden this spring for your own family's food, go get your fertilizer now, because once the chemical stuff goes, they'll be swooping in for all the organic fertilizers like bone meal, blood meal, and fish emulsion and you won't be able to get it.  And no one wants to go haul rotted horse manure from the local stables, even if it is free.  Not that we won't.

Last Retirement Update for 2021

January 2nd, 2022 at 07:33 am

I didn't get this posted yesterday, but our IRA closed out the year with a 14.96% rate of return and our 401K closed out at a 12.38% rate of return.  The IRA ends the year at $13,925.02 and the 401K ends the year at $57,978.02.  The grand total of retirement is $70,978.02.

That increases our net worth to $128,199.61for the year ending 2021.

I went into the 401K and raised our contributions from 15% to 16% as the raise will start on the next paycheck.  That should notify them in time since payroll is done on Wednesday.  The 401K said they would email his work on the 3rd.  So hopefully it will, but if not, oh well.  I am not sure if the 401K Christmas bonus has been dumped in yet or not.  I did not see it, but maybe I am reading it wrong.

True date: 1/1/2022

True time: 11:33 p.m.

Emergency Fund, Retirement and Net Worth Updates

December 23rd, 2021 at 11:09 pm

$19,212.52 Starting Balance

+__,_98.00 Amount Added

---------------

$19,310.52 New Balance

Retirement finally cracked $70K and now sits at $70,358.13, a rise of $745.72, which is just a little more than today's contribution.  We are up to an 11.2% rate of return for the year.  It had dipped down to 9%.  It's not like last year's, which if I remember right was 14%, but anything over 10% I consider good.  The company has not contributed the part of the Christmas bonus that is supposed to go into the 401K yet.  I was hoping they would have since they deposited the Christmas bonus on the 17th.

That means that net worth went up.

$126,736.00 Starting Balance

+___,843.72 Amount Added

---------------

$127,579.72 New Balance

 

Emergency Fund, Retirement, and Net Worth Updates

December 12th, 2021 at 05:23 am

$18,982.22 Starting Balance

+__,230.30 Amount Added

--------------

$19,212.52 New Total

$1310.18 to go to hit my main goal of six month's of expenses, which is $20,522.70.  After that we will start working on doubling that.  I had really hoped to hit six month's of expenses this year, and we still might if the Christmas bonus is big enough.  I know we built it a lot this year, because we ended 2020 at $9,465.32.  We've more than doubled it this year at $9,747.20 contributed.  So it's good, it's really good, but I wanted that goal, you know?  If we get close enough, I may dip some money out of the propane grill envelope to meet that, since we never did buy it and I can make that up before grilling season.  We'll see.

As for retirement, we are finally making headway on paper, though we lost a lot of money.  We gained a lot of stock, so it'll all even out eventually.  But we are up by about $75 more than our Friday contribution.  The new balance on the retirement account is:

$69,612.41

That is up $814.07.  My hope to hit $70K by the end of the year is possible, but improbable given the volatility.  If it was static and just added next payday's contribution we would do it, but not if it goes down and down and down like it has been doing and then slowly climbing back up.  C'est la vie.  Que será, será. Etc.

So that means net worth is up $1, 044.37 to $126,736.23.  Which means $23,263.77 to my next big net worth goal of $150,000.

So we are trucking along.  All in all, I shouldn't complain, but it is human nature to do so.  I just want to be there already.  But we really have come a long way this year so far.  Can't believe it is almost over.

 

     

Retirement, it is a Rising, and Freezer Mess Update

November 13th, 2021 at 10:38 pm

In the last two weeks retirement has risen by $1725.28.  $785.40 of that was our contribution and $939.88 of that was pure profit.  The new balance of retirement is $68,798.34, making our new net worth $125,651.65.  So we hit my mini milestone of 1/8 of a million.  Next mini milestone for net worth is $150,000.  Next big milestone is $250,000 or a quarter of a million as I like to call it.

I added $4 to the Hog Fund as that was left in the grocery envelope when I re-funded it.  Usually we don't spend that much, but there was a lot of Haagan Daz ice cream bought for DD's sore throat.  She's allergic to ingredients in most ice creams, but not that one.  But at least we stayed in budget.  The new balance in the hog fund is $1350.00.

We still haven't heard anything from Frigidaire about whether they can find us a replacement freezer.  We should have heard on Friday as that was the 7 day of the 5 to 7 business days they said they should need to locate one.  DH will call them on Monday.  I doubt they can find one.  We can't and we've looked all over.

I think they are in barges off the coast of California that haven't been unloaded in months due to worker shortages.  I'm about to give up on an upright and just see if there is a full size chest freezer instead, assuming they give us our money back.  Between the refund and whatever topping up we might have to do from the hog fund, we should be able to do that and still have $1000 left in the hog fund.  Which is enough to still get a hog assuming we can find the freezer.

It's all very frustrating.

Retirement Fund and Net Worth Update

October 31st, 2021 at 12:03 am

The company seems to be a little more on the ball on getting the retirement contributions sent over in a timely manner this month, so the money actually hit on Friday.  It was really, really nice to see a massive jump this time.  I've kept myself from looking for the past two weeks.  It went up $2466.01.  Our contribution was $785.40, so $1680.61 was pure profit.  Now that's what I'm talking about.  That brings retirement to $67,073.06.

With this and the EF deposit our net worth has gone up by $4604.53, bringing it to $123,926.39.  I wonder if we'll see $125,000 by the end of the year?  Hopefully the retirement accounts won't plunge again.  With just contributions we would make it, but likely not with a plunge.

Retirement and Net Worth Update

October 18th, 2021 at 01:40 am

Finally had some upward mobility in the retirement account.  This is the first time in a long time where we weren't plopping our money in and then it would drop and we'd spend the next two weeks just getting it back to where it was when we plopped our money in.  It feels good to more than just read water.  Let's hope it continues.

It is up by $1,318.52 since the last time I reported in, bringing the new balance to $64,607.53.

This brings net worth up to $119,321.85.

Retirement Update

September 23rd, 2021 at 07:31 pm

Our retirement accounts have been in freefall for the last month, but the IRA started to recover yesterday.  The only thing keeping our retirement account from dipping under the amount I had lost time I reported was the contributions we made.  So this yesterday we finally pulled back ahead by $235.30.  Ugh.  Rate of return for the year, though, has dropped to 9.34%.

Hopefully they'll get all these dumperster fires put out in the government and in the country and things will recover better by the end of the year.  I'd like to have the same rate of return as the last two years, but that is probably a pipe dream.

Anyway, retirement now sits at $63,288.53.

Emergency Fund Update and Retirement Update

September 9th, 2021 at 04:25 am

I didn't put anything in the EF this payday, but last payday I had $49.93 left to go in, plus I had $3.38 in interest bringing the EF to $16,765.69.

They still haven't put this week's contribution in to the retirement account, which is very annoying.  I know there was a holiday on Monday, but it usually goes in on Friday and now it is Wednesday and nothing.  So I'm just going to list it anyway, since it rose quite a bit from my last retirement update.  It is now $63,053.23, a rise of $1878.19 since 8/7.  And that was with a near $1500 drop in the middle with that Afghanistan news of leaving American behind along with all our equipment.  Fortunatley it recovered all of that and then a bit more.  Around $1580 of that was our contributions.  If they ever drop our contribution in this week, I'll update again.

This brings our net worth to $117,721.87, a rise of $1931.95 since I last updated it, also on 8/7.

Emergency Fund, Retirement (Again) Update and Hog Fund Update

August 7th, 2021 at 12:19 pm

$16,623.91 Starting EF Balance

+__,_87.92 Amount Added

---------------

$16,711.83

With the contributions that went in today, retirement now sits at $61,175.04, bringing net worth to $115,807.92.

I had $200 left in the grocery envelope from last payday, so I transferred that to the Hog Fund, bringing it to a total of $977.  Of course, we are still trying to find someone who does warranty work on the 9 month old Frigidaire freezer that isn't working right.  The Hog Fund may become a new freezer fund or a freezer repair fund, because there at least seem to be people who do non-warranty repair, as opposed to warranty repair, but it might be too expensive to be worth it and cheaper to buy a new one.

If this last guy does not call us back on Monday or doesn't do the work, I'm thinking of going to D&B and pleading our case.  We have bought a dishwasher, a fridge, a chest freezer, a small upright freezer, a mini-chest freezer, a washer, two dryers, a microwave, and at least one bed from them over the past 26 years.  I think a couple of more items, but I don't remember for sure.  We couldn't buy an upright freezer from them this time, because they didn't have any at the time we bought.  We did go there first.  If they had, we would have stuck with them.  But we are long time customers, so can't they please make an exception in this case?  It might work.  They only quit doing outside warranty work a couple of months ago.  I mean, it's worth a shot.  It has always been important to me to support local family businesses and I have as much as I could.

Retirement Update, Interest Income to Emergency Fund, and Net Worth

August 5th, 2021 at 05:49 am

Retirement went over $60K this week, so I thought I'd do an update, even though the next contributions go in on Friday and it should jump significantly if nothing wrecks the market this week.  I was a touch concerned about the president defying the Supreme Court and if people start worrying about another step towards a loss of the checks and balances of our government, but it didn't seem to.  We have Congress and the Supreme Court for a reason.  I don't like end runs by any president, which is what executive orders are, and a huge step towards authoritarianism.  It riles my nature as an Independent.  Most people won't pay attention to that sort of thing until they wake up in a country that no longer resembles a democratic republic.  But anyway, $60K!  It's another mini-goal on my way to my next big one.

I have to get excited at the one place in life where I feel like I am making progress this year.  So retirement is now at $60,370.41, a rise of $1,172.71 since my last check in.

I added the interest for last month to the EF, a whopping $3.85.  Anyone else remember when savings accounts paid 7% interest.  I wish we had that now.  It'd be nice to actually earn a real amount on my EF and sinking funds.

$16,620.06 Starting Balance

+__,__3.85 Interest Added

----------------

$16,623.91 New Balance

So net worth goes up by $1176.56, bringing it to $115,003.29.  So I guess that interest was worth something.  It tipped me over $115K.

Good News for DS and Murphy Visits the New Freezer (but the Beef is Safe)

July 29th, 2021 at 06:16 am

I can't believe it has been nine days since I blogged.  I did fiddle around last night and revamp my blog's appearance.  I like to freshen it up every year or two, so I changed the color scheme and the avatar.  Well, the avatar is basically the same, I just updated the background, clothes, and hair.  I tried to keep the hot pink to a minimum on the blog layout, because I know that can be very hard on the eyes for some people, but I like it as an accent, along with the black for the sidebar headings.  That's why the blog title is in white.  It attacked my eyes when I tried it out in hot pink.  I think the electric blue goes very well with just that hint of the hot pink, though.  I changed my avatar to reflect how I look now, which I generally do after a haircut, though this was not that.  I still haven't gotten one of those.  No, I just have my hair tied back all the time now because it is nearly to my waist, so the photo reflects a long pony-tail.

I'm still spending way to much right now and I have lots of excuses for it, but won't bore you with most of it.  I am still saving heavily to the medical fund, just not the EF.  I did have to buy my son some plain black shoes and some dark blue jeans for the uniform at his new job.  They provide the shirts and aprons.  Yes, my son has been hired for his first job!  He has orientation on Friday.  The position is full-time  I've told him he is on his own for buying clothes from now on.  I am not making him pay me back for this, but I am making him pay me back for the bento boxes and insulated lunch bag for packing his dinner to work out of his first full paycheck.  He will also pay $100 a month towards the utilities since he is pretty much personally responsible for the high water bill, and he will contribute $50 a month towards food along with his 10% employee discount.

He's going to be working at the grocery store six blocks from our house which means he can walk to work, weather permitting, and then we'll drop off a vehicle for him in the parking lot or pick him up depending on how late he'll be.  He's supposed to be working the 4 p.m. to midnight shift, but you know how that sort of thing goes.  He'll be a courtesy clerk which is a fancy name for bagger and cart fetcher/cart sanitizer, and other sanitizing through out the store.  I'm sure there will be other things he does during the slow times.  As far as I know he won't be restocking for now.  He wanted to be a cashier, it was what he interviewed for, but they hired some people with more experience.  Still, he can work his way into it once he has proven himself to be a good employee.

It's union, which is good in some ways and bad in others.  The job security is good.  You can't opt out of the dues and not be in the union which is bad.  The union doesn't have a 401K, it has a pension, which is nice.  But you have to work there seven years to get it, whereas with a 401k you always have access to what you put in yourself and whatever has vested so far from employer match.  I'm not sure how pensions work, if they are strictly company provided or you pay into them.  If you pay into them, it would suck, because this is not a forever job for him.

He'll be opening a Roth IRA with his first full paycheck and will be contributing 15% of his income.  He will be tithing 10%.  We will have to determine what the pecentages are on the $150 he'll pay to us each month for his expenses.  I think he said he wanted to save 40% for the car, maybe more, and then have the rest for his spending.  He'd like $100 out of each paycheck.  Of course we won't know what he'll even be making after taxes and benefits, so numbers may have to be adjusted accordingly, just not tithe and IRA contributions.  Then we can set up a spreadsheet for his budget or get him on the Every Dollar app from Dave Ramsey.  Personally, I prefer a spreadsheet, though.

15% to the IRA is non-negotiable while he lives at home.  He needs to get into the habit of it from day one.  We all see the position my mother was left in when they made her spend down Dad's IRA and 401k for nursing home care to $100,000.  And we see what happens when there is enough money to take care of the left behind spouse and help your kids and grandkids as is the case with DH's mother.  I want my son to have so much money in his 401k by the time he retires that he never has to worry about losing all his money to that if either he or his future wife end up in the same position.

I want there to be enough to have end of life care and still have so much money left over he doesn't know what to do with it all, besides charitable giving and world travel (if that is ever allowed again) and taking care of his sister if she lives that long (doubtful as her life expectancy might make her go before I do with all her disesases).  And that any possible kids he might have can get an education outside the public school system and be able to put their own kids through a college that has hopefully corrected back to the center from the divisive and often communistic brainwashing that has taken over in many universities today.  It all starts with 15% every paycheck and no debt.

I am thinking out of the $150 he gives me each month to put aside $100 a month to go towards his car, but use the $50 towards the utilities.  I'm not sure yet, since we are paying his portion of our car insurance still.  I planned on doing that, though, until he gets his own car.  He's also considering moving to his own Ting plan, so he can get unlimited data on his phone.  I won't let him do it on ours.  Since he won't be getting an allowance anymore (but will still be paid for jobs DH and I loathe, like washing and detailing the van), but still expected to do his portion of jobs as part of his continuing to be mostly supported by us, that money will be mostly freed up i the budget now, too.

His plan is that he's saving up and emergency fund first, then for a car second, and then for school.  He's decided he wants to become an electrician.  It's a two year course so it'll take some time to save up.  He won't get an expensive car, just maybe something in the 5K range.  I'm hoping we'll be able to help him a little, but the cost of the orthodontia work I'm saving up for makes it kind of prohibitive.  We won't be able to help him with school.  My focus has to be on retirement as we are so far behind and I don't want to ever end up in the position my Mom is in or the one my eldest sister is in.

But it does have medical which he doesn't need yet, really as he is only 21 and can stay on our insurance for five more years (you can't opt out).  But it does include dental and vision.  I am hoping the dental includes orthodontia as most plans that have it cover half the cost.  He'll get a big paperwork packet with all the info when he goes to orientation.  Not sure what other benefits there are.  Maybe life insurance or something.

The other thing I don't like is how they schedule.  It is based on senority so basically the people who have been there longest get to pick their shifts first and the person hired last picks last.  It's not done on any fair basis based on availability and a scheduler who makes sure everyone has to work some good and some bad.  It is cherry-picked.  That's why I said that while he was hired for 4 p.m. to midnight, he might not actually get those hours.  Although the lady who interviewed him said that most people don't want those hours, but he does because it fits with his sleep schedule and still gives him the opportunity to go to the chiropractor and schedule doctor's appointments.

It's hard to believe it took until 21 for him to get a job.  He tried before Covid, but first he was under 18 and no one was hiring teenagers here, it was employer's pick, and the picked over 18 every time.  They said as much.  All the kids complained they couldn't get jobs.  Then after 18 unemployment was so incredibly low that no one was hiring so no interviews were even offered.  Then Covid hit and I didn't want him out in the workforce, we didn't know what was going on yet, and he has asthma so wearing a mask for 8 hours a day was not doable.

Now that he doesn't have to wear a mask here (fully vaxed), he got hired the first place he applied.  Employers are desperate because people can still make more on unemployment in most states due to those extended benefits being at $15 an hour.  Most of these entry level jobs can't match that or they'd have to skyrocket their prices to raise wages to entice people, which always triggers inflation.  The benefits are supposed to end soon, though and then people will have to start working again.  I really hope they don't reinstate masks now, like some places are talking about.  I'm not sure he could manage the job if it keeps interfering with his breathing.  Maybe I could get him one of those helmeted electric respirators, although they probably wouldn't let him wear that!  And they cost $1000.  He'd have to pay that back, for sure.

I'm having a little bit of a "my baby is leaving the nest," going on.  He's not planning on leaving any time soon, but this is his first step towards really being an adult.  Other than working on the farm when we had animals, he hasn't had to be consistent about anything.  Not even school, since we homeschooled.  It's weird thinking about having a first job be your entry to adulthood.  My first paid job, I was little.  I only earned $35 that summer.  It was before they changed the labor laws, so I could work in the strawberries and the blueberries as a wee one with my mother (she was a teacher so worked the farms in the summer) and sisters.  There was no greater satisfaction than buying that powder blue Snoopy watch with my own hard earned money.  I had worked 4 jobs by the time I got my first job as and adult at 18.

Times change, I guess.  If you didn't know anyone, you couldn't help get your minor kid a job.  If they don't hire, they can't get themselves a job.  I bet a lot of kids will be able to work, though, with all the hiring going on now.  The faces are getting younger and younger behind the cash register everywhere we go and it's not because I'm getting older.  It's because they are sixteen.  And not just because it is summer.

I also don't like that most places don't take applications in person.  Everything is online now.  The experience of handing an application personally to a manager is just gone.  No first impression to leave with the manager, nothing that might help you get past the pre-interview barrier.  It's a lot easier to ignore online applications than in person ones.  Without that face to face there is no chance to get an edge by presenting yoursef as a neat, well-groomed, nicely dressed individual, or as a go-getter.  Not at all like back in the day.  The internet makes things faceless and impersonal.

As for me, I have been very busy writing.  I set my goal for last week at 6500 words and I did 564, 1663, 1174, 0, 0, 1442, and 2094 which totalled out to be 6937 words.  The two zero days were the really bad days of a five day stomach virus that kept me in bed those two days.  My goal for this week is 7000 words.  I know I almost met that last week, but I told myself I would go with 7000, than 7500, than 8000, etc. on up to 10,000 words a week.  I don't want to overly pressure myself on it.  If it is just 500 more words a week than the previous goal, it is attainable in my head.  Now if I really fly by it one week I may adjust accordingly, but I don't want to push too hard.  The goal here it to write every day or almost every day and I'm doing that, so it's all good.

I don't feel good about my payday report this last payday, so I'm not making it.  Like I said I spent way, way too much this month and while we paid off the card during the billing period, so no interest, we will still have a lot that carries over into next month from this make for the stuff charged after we close.  I really need to just put a halt to the spending on it.

I will be raising our grocery budget to $900 a month from $800 to feed four adults.  Inflation is getting to be too much to maintain at the lower level and DS will be taking his dinners to work so really need to buy things that can be eaten cold, like deli meat, which is much more expensive.  The costs of fruits and vegetables, in season, has doubled and tripled on some items.  I'm glad we don't need to buy beef anymore.  But chicken and pork have gone up a lot, too.  I'm not finding .99/lb chicken anymore, the sale price is now $1.99/lb.  Same on pork shoulder.  Bacon is a little scary.  It'll drop back down once we get some pork and chicken in the freezer.

Oh, and here's the kicker.  Our new Frigidaire freezer that we bought in December?  It sounds like an airplane taking off at times and the alarm keeps going off that it is losing temp.  All the food was about 1/4 thawed except in the very back, so we had to distribute that food through the other freezers.

I unplugged it after it tried to go down the runway at 5:30 in the morning.  We were trying to keep broth frozen in it to see if it would thaw or not, but with that kind of noise on the other side of the wall from the head of my bed, nope, nope, nope.  DH is supposed to call and wait on hold with Frigidaire most of the day tomorrow (I'm assuming) while he works, as it is still under warranty.  He can prop it up on speaker phone.  It's no way near a year old.  I will be out tomorrow with doctor's appointments, and grocery shopping, so I can't do it.

I don't know what the heck is wrong with the motor, but I have a theory.  I don't think the door was hung right, because we've had the little light blinking a lot when it should have been solid green and the alarm would go off every few days despite no one opening the freezer during that time.  There is a magnet that is supposed to line up with the bottom of the freezer, but it doesn't quite.  And there was always frost on the bottom basket.  I think the door was put on wrong which is keeping the seal from being quite right.  I think the motor probably had to work too hard to constantly be freezing and having no rest cycles because it was always trying to get it to stay  at temp.

I am hoping they will just replace the motor and fix the door at this point, or just replace the freezer.  I think it is a lemon.  If it wasn't when we bought it, it is now.  If we can't get it working right, or get a new one in time, I will have to cancel my hog order.  I did give her a heads up the day the melt down started to happen.  She said to just keep her informed when we know something.  It'll be a bummer if we have to cancel.  She says that if no one buys them like I am, they just go to auction, so she'll not be out too much from it.

I know we haven't had the freezer long, but I was already relying on it heavily.  Thank goodness we have the large chest and mini-chest and fridge freezers.  Without them it would have been awful because we had just bought the side of beef.  And I don't know if  freezers of this size are back in the stores yet.  Or any freezers.  And they cost around $1000.  Maybe more now due to inflation.  But honestly, I should not have to pay for a new one anyway.

Oh, well, I'll do what I always do.  Put my head down and cope with it.  There, a long entry to make up for not posting for 9 days.

Retirement Update

July 10th, 2021 at 06:22 am

Our retirement account balance now rests at $59,197.67, an increase in the two week period of $1196.98, only $785.40 of which was contributions.  We gained $411.58 in interest.  I am starting to calm down a bit about the stock market.  I was getting antsy after last month didn't do so well.  Not that it matters, we are in it for the long haul, and I'm not about to bail.  It would be nice to hit $60K next payday, but who knows?  Might take longer.

That brings our net worth to $113,677.54.

Retirement Update

June 26th, 2021 at 07:07 am

Retirement has gone up to $58,000.69, a difference of $1136.27 since last payday.  All of that was contributions from DH or work, except $52.27  It was a rough two weeks, but the IRA finished ahead of where it was last payday by $15.31.  I hear the next six weeks are going to be very bumpy for the stock market.  I hope it is just a rumor.

I am really missing the stock market from the 3 years pre-Covid.  I have a feeling the only reason we will be moving forward at all this year is going to be mostly due to contributions, not gains.  Oh, well, we hold as always.  No panic selling.  Keep treading and we'll keep our heads above water.  This won't last forever and the recovery period will gain ground eventually.

Tomorrow I get to ditch the darn mask.  It's due to be 100 degrees F and I need to go grocery shopping, so thank goodness.  I finally feel like myself again.  The Moderna vaccine was really hard on my fatigue levels, both times.  I was exhaused for 12 days each time.  I had horrible bone aches after the second shot for 36 hours.  But those were my only symptoms.  I have waited out my time, so now, in my state, the fully vaxed only need them in medical facilities that require them.  It'll be weird to show my face again, but it has been lovely seeing other people's faces the last couple of weeks.

Bits and Pieces

June 24th, 2021 at 06:39 pm

So DH totally screwed up in telling me how much an hour his raise was.  It wasn't $11 an hour, it was $1.10 an hour.  Way to move the decimal point.  And no, he didn't give it to me in print, he literally told me $11 an hour.  So basically none of the stuff I thought was going to happen with retirement or savings is going to happen.  It's a bummer.  Hopefully he will also get a merit raise.  $1.10 an hour doesn't even keep up with how bad the cost of living has gone up in the last two years.  Better than nothing, though.

I did notice that if we could save just $66 more a payday into retirement we would max out, though.  I just don't think I can swing it, not with the forced long-term care insurance starting.  Maybe after we max out our Emergency Fund that can be something we work toward.

Our steer has gone to butcher.  It has a hanging weight of 665 pounds.  I have sent the check off to the farmer for the remainder, $1892.20.  With the deposit, that means the beef cost me $2292.20.  There is still the cut and wrap fee of .78/lb.  Well, they say .78/lb, but it tends to be more like .78 per package and a lot of packages have more than a pound of meat in them.  So while I do have $600 I left in the beef fund to cover it, it'll be $521.04 max and I don't think it will come to that.

Above that amount I had $254 left in the beef fund that I went ahead and moved to the hog fund.  That brings the total in the hog fund to $647.  As soon as I pay the cut and wrap fee at pick up, I will move whatever is left over to the hog fund, which will be at least $78.96, making that amount be at least $725.96 and probably a little more.  My goal is $1000, so I will be just shy of 3/4 of my goal.

We continue to eat down the chest freezer and move things into the house freezer as things from there are used up to make room for the steer.  It is coming along nicely.  He said I should be hearing from the processing facility sometime in the next 11 days for my cut orders.  I  want as much chuck roast as possible, but not so much the other types of roasts except pot roast.  I want all the round ground, we don't like them as roasts or steaks.  I want all the sirloin tip roasts cut into steaks.  And I want my steaks 3/4 inch thick not 1 inch thick.  I can genearally get two extra steaks out of it per type that way.

I want all the soup bones, the fat for making my own tallow, and the liver, heart, kidneys, and tongue.  We've never tried the tongue or kidneys before, so that'll be interesting.  Organ meats are quite healthy for you.  I'm a little squeamish about the tongue, but it is supposed to be quite good.  I guess we will find out. 

The special standing walker we ordered for DD arrived yesterday and it is really going to be a game changer for her.  And it has a seat she can actually sit down on.  Standard walkers are pretty painful for people with her conditions.  It folds up easily enough that she can do it herself, at last for the time being.  That was $248, but money well spent.

I can make do with the walker we inherited from FIL after he died for quite a while yet.  I only use it on severely bad days where I have to go out of the house.  Most days I am fine with my cane or if I am doing really well, without it.  But as things continue to worsen, I would definitely like to get one like that as it is easier on the L-4 and L-5 area of my back.  It takes up a lot less space when folded, too.

My referral for a neurosurgery consult finally went through so calling them is on my to do list for the day.  Along with finally getting the drip line put in the raised bed with the tomatoes in it added and the last set of hoops and deer netting up.  There is a lot outside that needs to be done and I am finally starting to feel like I can do some of it again.

I think I'm finally getting my sleeping straightened out.  I've been falling asleep between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. instead of 3 or 4 a.m. and I've been waking up in the morning instead of the afternoon, so hopefully this will last.  I like actually having a whole day of sunlight in which to live my life.

If I am feeling particularly ambitious I might try to plant some seeds in the garden.  I'd really like to have some kohlrabi this year.

 

Good News

June 18th, 2021 at 02:53 am

I have to say I have needed some good news with one thing after another for the last two years.  DH's work is giving a 2% raise across the board.  It goes into effect starting next week, so it won't be on the next paycheck, but the one after that.  And they are starting reviews for merit raises on top of that in July.  DH's isn't scheduled for his until the end of July, but it means there is a chance of an additional raise, too.  Since he never got one when he got promoted because Covid happened and they cut back on a lot of things, I am hoping we will see that now.  Either way, the 2% raise is $11 an hour more, so nothing to sneeze at and I am very grateful for it.  It's been 3 years without a raise.

One of the verses I look to a lot is Jeremiah 29:11:  "For I know the plans I have for you.  Plans to give you hope, and a future."  I have it posted at eye level on the wall by my computer.  I have kept that in the forefront of my mind as much as possible during the last year and a half, constantly reminding myself that there is a future with hope in it, even when I felt hopeless at times with all the medical issues and expense they brought.

I was starting to feel it worse when I found out that the state of Washington is going to force long-term care insurance on anyone who is working and they were going to enforce it by taking it out of paychecks.  There was a one time chance to opt out if you could prove you had other long-term care insurance.  DH opted out and we are getting some in place.  While it would be more convenient to do it through the state, they only offer $36,000 lifetime coverage and for every $100 they pay you have to pay $100 if you use the insurance.  And there is no provision to guarantee they won't raise how much they are taking out whenever they feel like it.  And also you have to pay more in based on your income so you are subsidizing other people.

We are getting one that is $50,000 lifetime coverage and a slightly cheaper premium and we have control over it and can shop around if it goes up, unlike with the government.  DH and I had been talking about getting long-term care for a while anyway, I just don't like being forced to.  It's another monthly bill coming in of $48.71.  I was able to pick the date it comes out of the checking account, though.  And with the raise I won't have to cut back in another category.  And I really ought to get some long-term care insurance for myself, but I can't get it through the same place as him as that is only offered to their employees, not spouses.

So if we both get the insurance that'll be around $100 in a new bill.  Allowing for them taking out 15% for the 401k pre-tax, about a third of what is left to payroll taxes, and taking 10% off for tithe, we should end up with an additional $400 a payday unaccounted for, give or take.  That's just a guestimate, of course, and I won't know for sure until we get the first paycheck without any overtime on it.  That'll make it a lot easier to save for both medical expenses and the Emergency Fund.  Assuming nothing else in our lives goes blooey.

If he gets an additional 1% merit raise, that would give us $1000 to save to medical and EF each month and that would be great.  Merit raises are generally higher than 1%, usually 2 to 5%, but I'm not being greedy.  I do wish, though, that they'd go back to contributing 5% to the 401K and not just the 2.5%.  I'd rather have that than a merit raise, to be honest.  The 2% of the regular raise is enough to help us out and ease the pressure tremendously.

On the bright side, just with the first 2% raise we are going to hit the $19,500 401k max for the year right at the first payday of December, assuming no more overtime at all this year, which is unlikely.  That is a huge milestone I didn't think we'd make this year.  Technically since he is over 50, we could put $26,000 into his 401k as a catch up amount, but I don't think we will have an additonal $6500 lying around to do it with and if we did, we'd more likely open a spousal IRA for me.

It is nice to have a little more hope for the future again, though part of me is still holding my breath waiting for Murphy to whack us again.  Does that ever go away?

Oh, and I got my second Moderna Covid vax on Sunday.  It took me until today to feel like a human being again.  Hence the big post.

Retirement Update and Hog Fund Update

June 16th, 2021 at 01:23 am

Our retirement accounts now total $56,864.42, a difference in total of $2,689.12 in the last 17 days.  Most of that is from contributions from us and work, but about $400 was profit.  DH worked a lot of overtime on the last two paychecks so close to $1940 was what we contributed.  I hope one day work will go back to contributing 5% instead of 2.5%.

As for the Hog Fund, after I met my goal with the Beef Fund I had $29, so I transferred that to a new envelope and on payday I had $192 left in the grocery envelope, so that moved to the Hog Fund envelope.  Then I added $172 to that, so there is $393 in that enveope now.  The goal is $1000, so $607 to go.  I have reserved a whole hog for October.  It should dress out somewhere around 220 pounds max.

After that my goal will be to start stocking up on chicken.  I probably won't buy it bulk off the farm, though, as I prefer to just buy thighs and legs.  Unless we can find a source for that, we will just go with grocery sales.  I'm not sure if DH is going to get much fishing in this summer with the amount of overtime he's been clocking.  If he can go we will stock up on whatever he catches.

I just feel a really strong need to be prepared for 2022.  Either way, we'll have food.

Retirement and Net Worth Updates

May 29th, 2021 at 12:42 am

Retirement has gone up by $2010.42 bringing it to $54,175.12.  That does not count today's contributions as they have not posted to the account yet.  Not sure how much that will be, either as DH had over time on this paycheck.  Some around $900, I think.

They dumped more company stock in as well.  I'm not allowed to say how many shares we own or what a share is worth, but the value of the new stock we own has increased our net worth by $4483.04.  Company stock can only be sold back at retirement and then it is 1/3 at retirement, 1/3 after a year, and 1/3 after two years post retirement.

With the amount added to the EF our net worth has risen by $7039.52, bringing it to a grand total of $108,466.40.

Retirement Milestone Hit

April 17th, 2021 at 04:21 am

This is a very woo hoo retirement update.  Since my update on April 7th, our retirement has gone up by $2,548.36.  Only $798.00 of that was contributions from us and work.  That's $1,749.48 in pure interest in ten days.  We blew right past our first milestone goal of $50K this week.  The new balance of our retirement accounts is $52,164.70.  The new total of our net worth is $99,675.89.  Getting real close to the next milestone there.

Retirement Update

April 7th, 2021 at 06:24 am

Retirement has gone up to $49,614.34 after the contributions hit the account today.  That is a rise of $1582.39 since the last update.  Getting closer and closer to that $50K milestone, just $385.66 to go.  I'm also getting pretty close to the $100K net worth milestone, too.  Just $2882.97 to go to hit that.

Retirement Update

March 16th, 2021 at 04:54 am

The retirement plans seem to have recovered from the chaos that was last week.  The new balance is $48,301.95, a rise of $1,228.61 since March 3rd.  $770 of that was contributions, so $458.61 was pure interest.  I really don't like the volatility since January, but what are you going to do?  We invest for the long-term.  I have the choice of looking at the roller coaster or ignoring it and I'd rather look.  I am looking forward to it hitting $50K, hopefully sooner rather than later.  But whatever happens, happens.


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