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Bits and Pieces

June 1st, 2024 at 03:35 am

I got June's budget set up.  Way to wait until the last minute, I know.  I don't like this month very much and I will be glad to put it behind us.  We had to withdraw $4000 for repairs on the truck, plus use the $1000 in the car maintenance fund.  Then we had to charge close to $3000 on the van that we will be able to pay off in June with no interest, but it will be squeaky tight.  That is okay, though.  The budget can handle it.  Things should finally ease up in July.

We had already paid ahead for DS to join a gym for 2 months and get four personal training sessions starting in June.  He gets a big discount through DH's job, so the monthly fee is $40 a month.  After June is over we can also pay for a nutrition program for him if he needs it.  We are reading diet cookbooks and meal prepping books together right now, because he really wants to get his weight under control and going back down.  He doesn't want to end up like his dad and he's really afraid I'm going to lose so much weight I'm going to pass him before he gets his butt in gear, which I am getting pretty close to doing in another 25 pounds.  I told him I am supposed to weight less than him, but that doesn't matter to him.

Anyway, I've required a two month commitment from him that he has to cook his own lunches and breakfasts and help with dinners, he has to make out grocery lists for what he needs, and he has to clean up his cooking mess and dishes afterwards.  I am willing to help chop and prep, but I am not doing it all for him.  I also expect more help around the garden and house since he is slacking on that.  If I am paying $80 a week for a trainer, I want that much work out of him.

DH's retirement account has been all over the place this month, but it has ended the month only $242.30 down.  Only because we have put so much money in the account this month.  Still the net worth is down a lot from the hit to the EF.  I'm not going to adjust my sidebar just yet.  Interest comes in tomorrow and I did make a couple small deposits into the EF that I didn't record so I need to track those down tomorrow and do some math first.

We found out what share prices are worth now for company stock.  They have risen a ridiculous amount.  Distributions will be made sometime this summer.  It usually happens in July.  DH is guaranteed a certain portion of a share and then after that it is distributed by seniority with the ones who have been there the longest getting the most.  There are only five or six people above him now because so many people have retired, but the uppers still get a lot, so the extra may be very small.  However, he has gotten a few commendations this year, so I can hope.  I am also hoping the do a cost of living raise like last year, but who knows?

Not too much more going on here.  We are putting together raised beds for the garden and hope to keep doing that even if we don't get some of them filled for use this summer.  It is slow going, but that is okay.  We've got time.

Net Worth , Retirement Funds, and Emergency Fund Updates, Plus some Rambling

May 19th, 2024 at 02:41 am

Both the 401K and the IRA were up substantially from the last time I checked.  New amounts are below:

$153,554.59 401K

+_15,225.66 IRA


$168,780.25 New Retirement Total

-160,553.96 Old Retirement Total


$__8,226.29 Total Gain to Retirement

The Emergency Fund got to small deposits.  One was $2.32 at the beginning of the month in interest.  The other was what was left at the end of payday one for May after paying all the bills, which was $87.69, giving a grand total of $90.01.

$11,009.23 Previous EF Amount

+__,+90.01 Total Added


$11,099.24 New EF Amount

If I'd realized ahead of time that the interest would have brought it so close to ten dollars I would have brought along 76 cents to make it an even $10 in the total.  I have the coins in my coin jar.  Oh, well.

So next I add the EF gain and the retirement gain to figure out the net worth gain.

$8,226.29 Retirement Gain

+_,_90.01 EF Gain


$8,316.30 Total Gain to Net Worth

So then we calculate:

$256,316.02 Previous Net Worth

+__8,316.30 Gain to Net Worth


$264,632.32 New Net Worth

So things are going pretty well, as you can see.  I do have $100 from last payday that I do plan to add to the Emergency Fund, I just haven't gotten around to it yet, because I accidentally took it out in cash and I haven't had a chance to get back to the credit union yet.  But I have time on Monday after I drop my son off for his therapy appointment, since his dad picks him up after work.  The credit union is 3 blocks from the therapy office, at least for the next 2 visits.

It'll be a while before I can really start socking things to the EF and I might actually have to take some money out.  The van has started to make some funny noises.  Now I have $1000 saved in the car maintenance fund and I add $100 to it every month, but I don't know if that is going to be enough if this turns out to be serious.  We just hit 67,000 miles, but the van is 13 years old.  In fact we bought it new on June 4th, so really 13 years old.  Hopefully, it turns out to be something that can be handled with the money we already have save in the car fund, though.

And hopefully whe we get the estimate for the bathroom it'll be for less than what we have saved so that if there are any overruns we have enough without dipping into the EF or having to compromise on what we want.  Once all that is done, though, we can sock it to the EF and get things where I want them and possibly fund a spousal IRA for me this year.  While I'd like to raise the 401K to 20%, I have no retirement savings in my own name and I don't like that.  I have complete trust in my marriage, but I still want some in my own name. 

I won't even get SSI in my own name, because I only worked for nine years.  Which isn't true, but the farmers apparently paid us under the table when I was a kid so nothing I earned then was reported to the government.  Not that I made enough to pay taxes, my best summer I only made $1500 and that was at 3 different farms following strawberries, then raspberries, then blueberries.  I mean, I will get it in his name, and his would be higher than mine anyway, but that's not the point.  And that's assuming there is SSI when I get there.  So, yes, I want a Roth IRA in my name.  Then if we fully fund it, we can raise his 401K after that.

I am hoping in July he will get a cost of living raise.  They have been doing this as inflation has gone crazy for the last 3 years and this 4th year should be no different.  I hope.  I don't know that he would get a regular raise, because the raise he got the last time he got one was so big a leap.  That was two years ago.  As much as I'd like one, I just don't think they have it right now.  They hired a lot of people in the last year.

But a COL would be appreciated.  2% is still $3180 before taxes, probably $2500 net a year after.  $104.16 a payday.  $2500 is almost our full medical deductible of $3000.  So that is nothing to sneeze at.  And sometimes it is 3% which is $4770, or around $4200 a year or $161.53 a payday.  Nothing to sneeze at.  But if there is nothing there is nothing.  We will know sometime in July which is always when raises come out.  The company has had high profits this year and last, but that didn't come out to much when it came to the Christmas bonus, so not really counting on it here, either.  Just wanting it to have some more breathing room after saving so hard for that stupid bathroom since February of last year.

Major Milestone Markers

April 13th, 2024 at 01:47 am

Hello.  I've been gone for two months.  Dipped out the day after my birthday and haven't really been around since. There have been some big milestones that passed while I was away.  Retirement was a nice one.  It tripped over the $150K mark and then the $160K mark.  Seems like it wasn't very long ago it went over $100K.  I know it was, though.

Net worth did a real big one.  I reached the quarter of a million dollar mark!  $256,316.02 to be exact.

I've started contributing to the Emergency Fund again.  Not a lot at a time, but I've added $457.12 so far and that has brought me over $11K to $11,009.23.  My goal for the time being is to contribute $100 a month as I am still contributing to the bathroom construction fund.

Speaking of the bathroom construction fund, it now rests at $12K.  I think $3000 more is where I will stop and start looking for bids.  I have been managing to put $1000 away each month so far this year, so I hope that will continue.  That will put me at July, which is peak construction season.  We may have to hold off until the rainy season to get it done since most contractors will be busy.  I could borrow from the EF, I suppose, but I don't really like the idea of that.  I haven't even hit 2 months' wages yet in rebuilding that fund.  Which is $14,440.

DH and I passed our 28th wedding anniversay March 18th.  We didn't do anything for it.  DH's leg was hurting too much and I was going through an exhaution phase that I really haven't come out of.  I'm just sleeping a lot.  No other real symptoms.  Sleeping all night and taking naps around noon and then again around seven and then going to bed at eleven.  Probably something to do with my autoimmune stuff.  We figure maybe we will do something this summer or towards the end of spring, just go away for a weekend, just the two of us.  I'd rather save up for something for our 30th, though.  I'd like to go on a cruise.  Not a giant cruise, I don't like a crush of people all around me, but one of the smaller ones.

The 9th of April was also a milestone for me, because it was the 18th anniversary of starting this blog.  Now that's something.  I can't believe I've beeing writing it for that long, that I've had that much to say, or that it has had over 86,000,000 visits, and you've all want to read it that long.  I sure do appreciate it.  It's a nice thing to know.  And you know what is interesting?  When I started this blog I had $200,000 of debt to pay off and by the time my debt was paid off, I had paid off $250,000 because of the interest and an imprudent purchase.  A quarter of a million.  And now my net worth is a quarter of a million.  I've moved my net worth half a million in the opposite direction.  If I had started at $0, and threw money in retirement right from that moment, I could be at $500K right now.  My son has taken that away as a good lesson against debt.  So at least there is that.

At least, once the construction is over on the bathroom, we can work on getting our EF back up to snuff.  I would like to have 3 months' worth of wages by the end of 2026.  It would be great to do it sooner, but I just don't know.  We have a Hawaii trip to save for, a cruise, and a new vehicle with an expected purchase date of 2035 to 2040.  I want to purchase that in cash.  And I want 6 months' wages by 2030, so there's that.

We are working on buckling down, but it isn't always easy.  Take out is still our biggest temptation.  But we are trying to overcome it.  Especially since I am losing weight since we started cooking at home more often.  I've lost ten more pounds since February.  Things are going really well, there.  5 pounds a month might not seem like a lot to some people, but it is really a lot for me, considering how hard it has been for me to lose weight in the past.  And so far there has been no loose skin, so I think it is just the right pace for me.  Well, speaking of dinner, I better go make it.  Hope all is well with everyone.  I seldom have the brain stamina to read the blogs right now.

Retirement Update

February 4th, 2024 at 07:16 am

Well, it has finally happened.  The IRA is back to where it was before the great Biden free fall of the stock market.  And it is actually above it by $263.49.  Only took what? Two years to recover?  Looks like Biden stock market year 4 is starting off well, just like year 3 ended well.  Just wish everything else was improving, like food prices and electricity and gas (for the house, not the car).  And who knows what will happen if a real world war breaks out, or a civil one down in Texas for that matter.  But anyway. My combined retirement accounts are so close to $150K, I can taste it.  And yes, I label stock years by president.  I've done it since Bush 2 Electric Boogaloo, when DH got his first 401K.  Just makes it easier to remember.

$133,856.64 401K New Total

$_14,253.86 IRA New Total


$148,110.50 Total Retirement Accounts New Total

-143,668.67 Previous Amount


$__4,441.83 Gains since December 31st

Now about $2700 of those gains were due to contributions from DH and his job, so the rest was interest and that was $1741.83 for the month of January.  Not at all a bad way to start off the year.

I have $1,889.50 left to go to hit $150K in the retirement accounts. I went ahead and bumped it up to 17% for next payday, since 16%, which we have done for the first three paychecks of the year, didn't really make that much of a change to our bottom line, even with the FSA money being taken out pretax.  We will live with 17% for a few paydays and if it doesn't seem to be a burden, I'll bump up to 18%.  The ultimate goal is to hit 20%, which will get us to our ultimate catch up max if we did it all year.  I don't think that will happen this year, unless DH gets a cost of living raise in July, then we could adjust and he's bound to get some OT to carry us over the line.  Maybe.  I know the more we contribute pretax, the lower our taxes will be come income tax time.

So maybe in 2025 we can completely max out, but that all depends on what taxes will be like then and how it will effect our paychecks and that depends on who runs Congress and who the president will be and I really don't want to think about that until November.

Speaking of taxes, it looks like we will be getting back around $365.  It's not final numbers yet, because we haven't gathered our interest yet on the savings accounts, but I can't imagine that will make much of a change since we only have about $11K in savings.  This is the closest we've got to $0, which is what our goal is.  We don't want the government having an interest free loan on our money and we don't want to have to pay either.  This amount is reasonable.

Well, that's it for this post.  I need to do a health update for you all.  It's good news.  Maybe tomorrow.  It's 11:00 p.m. and I no longer seem to be a night owl.  Good 2024 habits.

Retirement and Net Worth Wrap Up for 2023

January 1st, 2024 at 06:48 am

Final numbers:

$129,758.76 401K

+$13,909.91 IRA


$143,668.67 Total Retirement Accounts

These last two weeks increased net worth by $3,464.93, a litte over half of that was contributions.  The IRA needs to gain about a few more dollars to reach where it was before Biden year 2 started.  Biden year 3 has had two really solid quarters, one free fall quarter (second quarter), and one amazing quarter (last quarter).  It puts the 3 year rate of return at 6.5% which is not so good, but for this year the IRA is at 21.62% and the 401K is at 17.21%.  Of course there was $37,484.08 of contributions between DH and his work put in that counts into that, so I'm not sure how accurate that makes the percentage on that one, but the IRA had no contributions.

New net worth is $238,973.61.

$11,026.39 to go and we are quarter millionaires.

Christmas Bonus, Retirement, and Net Worth

December 17th, 2023 at 12:22 am

DH got his Christmas bonus this on Friday and it was $911.64.  Before taxes it was $1200.  Not as good as last year, so the company must not have done as well.  Either that or they will be distributing a larger portion in stock shares this year.  I hope so.  DH worked his tail off in overtime this year so his percentage of hours worked is high and the portion of shares you get is based on the percentage of hours you work.  We've got a fairly large chunk of change in company stock on top of the 401K and the IRA.  Of course we can't sell it back until years one and two after retirement, but it should be significant by then.  Just won't like the tax bill.

We've decided to tithe $91.16 and put the rest into the medical account.  They've changed things up a bit this year with how they do the deductible and the out of pocket max.  So starting in January, the deductible is now $1250 per person or $2500 per family.  The out of pocket max is $3000 per person or $5000 per family.  Which would, supposedly, help out the average family.  But I'd really like to have been done with the deductible, because we have the $3000 to pay that off immediately.  And once that is paid off the out of pocket max is worked on at a 20% co-insurance.

DD will wipe out her deductible and out of pocket max with her surgery in January, but the rest of us will be working on wiping out the $1250 that is left on the deductible and the $2000 left on the out of pocket max.  At least the deductible is lower.  It has been $3000 for the past couple of years, so a drop of $500 is welcome.

DS's therapy, a couple of my scheduled appointments, and DH's appointments to have his knees checked out and likely x-rayed, will probably have the deductible met sometime in February.  So the big flush of medical spending will be done and we will only have to worry about co-insurance until the out of pocket max is met, which will be a relief.

They finally, finally, finally dumped in the money for the 401K they'd withheld, but hand't put into the account, so 3 paydays' worth was dumped in on the 15th, plus the match, which was a substantial dump with all the overtime.  Even so, there was a good leap in profits in the last two weeks in the 401K.  A bit over half of the gains were profit, a bit under half was what was deposited.  Even the IRA went up a bit.  It has $269 to where it was before the free fall started 2.5 years ago, but it may yet get there.  Too bad the recession/depression destroyed it for so long, but the last couple of months have been a lot better.

The new amount in the retirement accounts, minus company stock, is $140,203.74, a rise of $8835.15 in two weeks.  The 401K is at $140,203.74 and the IRA is at $13,368.59.  You can see why I was so upset about the money not being deposited into the 401K account, because the last six weeks have been phenomonal and we could have made more money.  I mean, I know it would have probably only been a couple of hundred dollars, but that is money that would have grown into something and I feel cheated out of it.

Seven weeks and five weeks is too long to hold onto someone's witholdings, in my opinion.  They are a company with over 100 employees though so the Safe Harbor Act does us no good.  Oh, well, what are you going to do?  At least it is there now.  And this last one only took them a week to get in, so there is that.  But next payday is the Friday before Christmas and they tend to take their sweet time when a holiday is right after a payday, so this may start up all over again.  But I can't stress on it.  What will be, will be.  I have been working on letting things go in therapy, but I have issues with doing that on the financial front, because letting things go is what got me into so much trouble in the past.  So maybe everything but finances.

Anyway, this bumps the old net worth up to $235,508.68.  Seems like just yesterday I was coming up on $100K and now I'm about to hit $250K in networth.  Crazy what being out of debt can do for you.  We have decided to go ahead and bump up our retirement savings from 16% to 17%.  I am not quite brave enough to do 18% yet, at least not until we are done saving for the bathroom repair.  Heck, after that I might be brave enough to go up to 20%.  We'll see.



Cardiologist Follow Up, Next Year's Deductible, More 401K Talk

December 1st, 2023 at 01:18 am

I finally made it to the cardiologist for my second follow up appointment after my procedure during the summer.  I had to cancel once because I had the flu, ironically 2 weeks after getting my flu shot.  I had a pretty severe case of it.  I was well for ten days only to get slapped down with Covid the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  So that makes two Thanksgivings in a row ruined by Covid.  But I tested two days before my appointment and I was negative so I was able to keep my appointment and go.  I still feel cruddy, but way better than last week, so there you go.  It's more like a cold now.

I finally got a name for my condition.  It's called microvascular dysfunction and I was born with it.  Normally, I would have probably been fine with it my entire life, other than the difficulty they had finding a blood vessel big enough to draw blood from or start an IV in (there is one in my arm and one in one hand), but when I got Covid last year, it caused the right chamber of my heart to become enlarged.  With the right meds and watching my salt and restricting my water, we are hopeful that we have helped with reducing that back to normal size.  I know I have felt a huge difference with the reduction of salt.  He is letting me up my water a little bit more and my brain feels better already.  It's just 8 ounces more a day, but it is a big difference to me.

He said my heart sounded really good, so hopefully that means we have also fixed the flow rate on the other chamber of the heart, too.  He said both things can be fixed or at least drastically improved.  Well, the first thing can be completely fixed.  The flow rate on the other side depends on the salt intake and the amount of water in the blood, because of the microvascular dysfunction, which I will always have.  You can not make tiny veins and arteries any bigger.

So I will have an echocardiogram on the 12 of January to see how everything is doing and if there is an improvement with the meds and the dietary changes.  I hope I get the female technician this time.  The male is kind of a jerk with a really bad bedside manner.  It's not really the sort of thing you can request.  They only let you request that for a mammogram.

Speaking of mammograms, I got my annual letter to go and get one.  I don't always get them annually.  I should, since my mother had breast cancer at 40.  I usually get them at least every 2 years since I was 40.  This year, since the doctor did a blood test for cancer earlier this month, and it was negative, I'm not really feeling it.  The only reason they did it was because they were unsure of some markers they were seeing, but it is the same old, you have another as of yet undiagnosed autoimmune disease that isn't lupus or any of the other common ones to go along with your rheumatoid arthritis and you are massively inflammed right now with some kind of infection.

And I said, "No, duh."  Well, no I did not.  I said, "That's what my rheumatologist said," which is also what I said before they took the blood test, but you know doctors.  Turned out yes, there was some kind of massive infection, because the next night I dropped like a rock with Covid.  So then I had to call the doctor's office and they had to call the lab that is part of their office and let everyone I had come into contact with know they were exposed to Covid most likely.  That was fun.

So anyway, it will be fun to see who eats up the deductible first this year.  DD has her surgery scheduled on January 5th, my echo is on the 12th, and my son may or may not get his testosterone implant in January.  If we are lucky it will be in December still 100% covered.  DH did sign up for the HSA debit card this year, so at least we will have that.  Which I need to remember will lower the paycheck.  We've had a year without that deduction.

I have to take that into account when thinking about the 401K deduction.  Think I'll definitely have to go 17%, not 18%.  I still think we will make it, though, since we almost did with 16% and that was with DH only having the raise amount from the end of July on.  Actually, I didn't consider that.  I may have to run the numbers again.  I'll do that after we get his last paycheck and I know exactly how much he earned this year.

I wonder if there is a way to just have a dollar amount withdrawn from each paycheck instead of a percentage.  I don't see it as an option of something we can do on our end, we can change the percentage to whatever we want whenever we want, but if there is a way for his employer to make it a dollar amount out of every paycheck, then we could make sure we got the max next year without having to stress over it towards the end of the year.  That would be nice.  Then it would be $1153.85 each check with the last check of the year evening out the odd penny here or there.  It would be about $160.85 more than we are putting in now with each check, but that is doable if we keep ourselves on budget.  I'll have DH look into this further.

I'll have to have him get me his approximate gross income for this year, too, so I can base my calculations on that.  I know what his gross income is supposed to be going forward, but if I can figure out how much overtime he has worked this year on top of base salary, it will make it easier for me to estimate the percentage I need to use next year based on the full year at the higher salary, plus overtime, and not just 14 paychecks out of 26.  The overtime will continue into next year, and will probably increase and they are talking about another COL raise, too, which may or may not happen, but wouldn't go into effect until July anyway if it does happen.  The on in July was 3%, so would probably be similar.  I guess we will see.


Close to Maxing Out 401K and Net Worth Update

November 30th, 2023 at 05:05 am

We are getting close to maxing out on the 401K.  We've already hit the normal max out, but since DH is over 50, we are going for the catch up amount, which is $30,000.  Unfortunately, we are still waiting for payroll to make the contribution from November 10th and of course they have not made the one from the 25th yet, either, so we are waiting for them to deposit at total of $2104.73 that they did deduct from the paychecks.  DH checked.

Once they do it, and DH is finally getting his butt in gear, and checking with payroll tomorrow, we'll have contributed $26,362.73.  And we should have another $993 from each paycheck unless there is overtime, bringing our contribution to $28,348.73 for the year.  I am super tempted to run the numbers and see what we would need to do percentage wise to get that extra $1651.27 withheld.  It would be $825.64 and $826.63 from each check.

Which we could manage if we don't save anything for the bathroom in December, skip the gift fund and the phone fund contributions, and don't put anything in the household account which has $196 in it and all I need to buy from that money is a new filter for the fridge because we just replaced it and I like to have one on hand when we do that.  So that will still leave that account with $140 in it.  Since we just restocked everything we need, we should be just fine until January or February on what we have.  I would just have to figure out percentages.  I really want to max this thing out.

Then I want to figure out what percentage I need to put the 401K at to max it out for next year.  Because of the raise, I think we can comfortably go from 16% to 18%.  I just haven't done it.  I really need to run the numbers.  Okay, back from running the numbers.  Yes, it looks like 18% is what I need to be withholding.  Which would be about $1250 a paycheck instead of $993.  Depending on overtime it could be more.  It would be a difference of $257 in pretax dollars, but I don't know what that would shake out to in post tax dollars.

Either way, I think our budget can absorb that.  There are definitely places we can tighten up and have some more discipline about.  We could probably even just do 17%, because with the amount of overtime DH works, we'd probably smack up against it just fine raising it one percent and if it looks like we won't, I can adjust it in September instead of waiting until November.  I just wasn't paying attention this year, because of heart conditon, then the stomach flu, then the real flu, then Covid again.  $128.50 a week seems like an easier hit, but we might just be fine.  I don't know.  I'll talk to DH about it when we do our yearly, "I know you don't wanna, but you're gonna, sit down and go over the budget with me," meeting at the end of December.  That's when we go over the state of all the finances, too.

The IRA is finally back up again.  Still not quite up to pre-Biden levels, but doing much, much better.  And the 401K is doing nicely despite the lack of contributions.  This month was good for it.

$118,135.80 401K

+_13,232.79 IRA


$131,368.59 Total Retirement Accounts

This is an increase of $9913.20 since I last updated my sidebar.  This increases my net worth to $226,673.53.


Retirement Update

November 6th, 2023 at 11:35 pm

I'm getting a little annoyed at DH's work.  Usually they make the contribution to his retirement fund the day his paycheck comes out or no later than the following Monday, unless their is a bank holiday on the Friday or Monday and then it might be as late as that Wednesday.  But for the last little while it has been a week late.  Which means we missed out on some great days on his fund where he could have earned a lot.

Payroll has been all over the place for the last six months and it is irritating when you have OCD and expect everyone else to maintain their schedules the way they are supposed to and they don't.  Well, he got paid last on the 27th and he gets paid again in 4 days and they still haven't made the retirement contribution yet.  That's ten days.  If it hasn't been made by Wednesday I'm going to have DH ask what is up.  Regardless, retirement has gone up a lot, which is why I am annoyed at the lateness.

$122,455.95 Previous Balance

-___3,061.56 Amount Earned

$125,516.95 New Balance

Of the $3061.56 earned all but $307 of it was in the 401K.  But the IRA is still significantly what it was under before 2021 and the great freefall of most of 2022.  I'm so glad things started to turn around towards the end of the year and this year, although most of his earnings are from contributions, there still has been a 6% amount of interest made.  Nothing like the 17% we earned 2017 through 2019 and 14% in 2020, but so much better than the last couple of years.  I am hoping that 2024 will bring us back up to 8%, but I have no illusions due to war and out of control goverment spending.  Maybe if we invested in all the war companies, but then I would feel ethically icky.

I am thinking about putting most of my Emergency Fund back in Capitol One 360.  The bank failures seem to have stopped for now and I could be earning a lot more interest right now.  I feel very safe with it in the credit union though.  But maybe that is a delusion.

Net Worth Update

October 20th, 2023 at 09:03 pm

I know I made at least one report between the side bar and now, but I can't remember what it was, can't find it in the blog post, and forgot to update, so I will make sure I update it this time.  I am going off of the side bar for this, though.

Our 401K now sits at $110,046.18.

Our IRA has been all over the place, but currently rests at $12,409.31

Our total retirement now sits at $122.455.39 up $9111.88 from the sidebar total of $113,343.51.  Excluding company stock of course, which is added into the total net worth.

I also went through the savings accounts.  I know I am lazy about recording interes these days.  I know I save $70 each month for garbage, but the amount paid is $67.28, so I just leave the extra in savings, and I know I oversaved on the car insurance I just paid, because it was lower.  So I swept that all into the Emergency Fund and it is now at $10,572.11 up from $10,441.01, a difference of $131.10.

This increases net worth by $9,242.98 from $207,517.35 to $216760.33.  And the house was just assessed by the city auditor as being worth a bit over $800,000.  That will automatically make us millionaires when my mother dies.  But I'd rather have my mom than the house.  Next year the valuation of the van will go down, but we should again get more company stock then the decrease in value should be.  It is still valuable to us due to the low mileage.

So over all we are moving ahead.  Not as fast as I wish we were, because our IRA keeps tanking, but we are getting there.  The 401K isn't doing all that great either.  It just looks like it is because DH has been working so much overtime since April that his contributions and the company match going in have made it really grow.  But not much else has happened.  Sure we've bought stock, but whether or not they've done anything is hard to tell, becaue it sure seems like the amount we put in and work has put in, is the amount we have.  I know one day it'll start making a profit again, but very unlikely for the next 15 to 18 months.  Hopefully, not longer.  It depends on how bad the recession gets, although I would argue it is a depression and not a recession, looking around at many of the people here.  They just keep redefining the words, so as not to look bad for the history books.

As Oliver Anthony would say, "And they think you don't know, but I know that you do."

And as Forrest Gump would say, "And that's all I got to say about that." 

On to Better News--Unexpected Raise and Maxing Out Retirement? Maybe

August 11th, 2023 at 06:49 pm

DH got a raise!  Neither one of us was expecting it after last year's raise-a-paloosa.  It's more than a cost of living raise of 2% which everyone got at least that much, but somewhere around 3.2%, so a bit higher.  They are trying to create a new position for DH that doesn't exist yet, and that may take until next year, and with that should come another pay bump, but I'm not counting chickens.  This was a nice, unexpected raise of $5200 a year.  I don't have the exact number, because of course when I finally go to write about it, I've misplaced the paper, so chore number 3 for me today, after writing this and paying a doctor's bill, will be to clean off my desk and sort through the paperwork.

So that should work out to $433 per month or $200 per paycheck.  Before taxes.  I'm thinking we should just put the raise into the 401K and pretend it isn't there and then we don't have to worry about it messing up the budget or possibly being bumped into a new tax bracket.  Although all the overtime this year might do that anyway.

Right now we have contributed $16,941.51 to the 401K and have $5,558.49 to go to hit the regular max of $22,500 for the year and we will get that just with his regular pay and the OT will put us over somewhat.  It will be the first time ever we have hit the regular max.  Since we are both over 50, though, we can go for the catch up max of an additional $7500, which would put us at a $30,000 max for the year if we want to try for that.  I don't know if we can get the $30,000 max, but with any extra, it might be wiser to take the extra money and open up a spousal Roth IRA for me.

It would be nice to have some money that has already been taxed to use later in life.  If whoever  is in charge of the government at that time doesn't screw things up and mess with money that isn't protected in a 401K.  I just don't know how much we would have to have to start it up.  I know he can start up a Roth for himself through the same company his 401K uses and his company will just deposit the after tax money right into the account from his paycheck, but I don't know if they will do that for a spousal IRA, too.  We will have to look into it.  The 401K company just sent us some paperwork about him opening a Roth and gave a number to call if we wanted to talk to them about it.

I'm not sure when the raise will start.  DH and everyone else was told it would be on the last paycheck and it wasn't, so who knows?  It might show up on the next one.  They said first paycheck in August, but maybe they meant first pay period in August.

Maybe I'll just bump the percentage up in the 401K until we hit the $22,000 max goal and then when we do that, we can decide what to do next?  We have time to open an IRA for me.  I know I have said that year after year, but this year we might actually be able to do it.

The 401K is finally making serious strides and not only that, the IRA is finally back above $13K.  It needs to hit $13,900 something to be where it was before February 2021.  It's taken a long time to climb back.

$107,392.57 Amount in 401K

+_13,052.63 Amount in IRA


$120,445.20 Total Retirement

That is a rise of $7101.69 since the last time I updated my side bar.  That also raises my net worth to $214,619.04.  Maybe if we push hard with retirement, we will have a quarter of a million dollars in net worth by the end of 2024.  That would be amazing, because it would mean we went from paying off $250,000 in debt when you add in interest, to being worth $250,000.  It is an interesting parallel.  Back in the debt days, I never, ever thought we would get close to having that without a positive number in front of it.  Meanwhile, my next goal is $225K. Onward towards that.  I just have to keep our spending in check.

What do you know?  I made it through that entire post without it hurting my hand until the end, and even then it is not too bad.  Things are getting better.  Still lumpy, but better.  Hope everyone is having a great day.



New Numbers Update for Retirement and Net Worth

June 24th, 2023 at 04:49 am

Our new net worth is $207,517.35.  This is a combination of factors, but since it involves the new ESOP contribution, I can't get specific about numbers.  I am excited that we turned the next big numer on the old odometer, if money were miles, on the trip to becoming a millionaire.  $200K is a big one.

Retirement, Emergency Fund, and Net Worth Updates

June 7th, 2023 at 11:08 pm

I updated my sidebar.  There has been some serious progress made in DH's 401K since the last time I upated retirement and of course that has propelled net worth forward a great deal.  DH has been working 80 hour weeks since the last week of April, so that has doubled his contributions and it has doubled the amount that his work has put in as well.  So 3/4 of the rise is due to contributions.

The rate of return for the year isn't great compared to any time in his working life except the two Obama years in a recession and last year (also was in a far worse recession by definition even though they won't call it one), but it is almost 8% for the year at the moment, which I will happily take over the negative of last year, or the 2% and 3.5% we earned during those two Obama years, which at least were still positive.

I remember how excited I got when our net worth hit $100K and then $150K and now $175K. We will soon be closing in on $200K.  I know they say once you hit the first $100K stuff starts to pile up more quickly, but it is really weird to see it.  Usually at the end of June is when they dump in more company stock, too.  I'm not sure how much DH will get.  You get a certain percentage just for working there, based on how many years you have worked there, but it doesn't vest for 3 or 4 years, and then you get bonus shares on top of it based on how many hours you have worked beyond your regular hours, and how high up in the company you are, if you have gone above and beyond your duties, etc.  And sometimes there are bonus shares if someone has retired and sold back their shares, which you have to do when you retire.

Anyway, DH is now fully vested in both his company stock and his 401K, so it is all his.  He loves his job and he isn't going to leave it, but if he suddenly had to he could roll over the full 401K and sell back the full amount of stock.  That's always a good place to sit.

I also updated the Emergency Fund.  It was off by $500.01.  That was a payment to the mold guy.

I had a great dream last night that my mother won the lottery, the biggest jackpot ever recorded, and we never had to worry about money again.  A nice retirement was assured.  Wouldn't that be piece of mind?

More Retirement

January 15th, 2023 at 01:49 am

I don't usually do a retirement update a few days after doing a retirement update, but I was checking the 401K to see if they had finally put in the contribution from the 1-6-23 paycheck.  They used to be so good about it, it would be in that Friday or no later than the following Monday tops.  If there was a Friday holiday or a Thursday holiday things would be delayed, but that was understandable.  But things were back to normal.  There's no excuse for a week long delay unless someone is on vacation, but DH said no one in payroll was.  Oh, well, nothing I can do about it.

However, it had been deposited, but the balance was quite a bit more than would account for just DH's contribution and work's contribution, which is at the higher percentage now, so that's pretty awesome.  Their contribution was $288.12, when it was something like $116 or $118 something before.  Now the 18% on our part doesn't start until next Friday, so our contribution last week was still the same, $921.98, for a total contribution of $1210.10.  It had risen an additional $821.29, so that account is up a total of $2031.39 in a couple of days.  So the 401K is now at $80,612.97.

So I decided to check my IRA and that also went up substantially compared to how little it is in there.  It is back above $12K at $12,013.39.  I know it is not by much, but it has been a long time since I have seen it out of the 11's.  When all this free fall started, it was just about to touch $14K so it has a long way to go to hit where it was and I'm not sure what is going on right now.  Maybe it is the new Congress, maybe not.  Things always seem to rise on new hope, at least for a while.

$80,612.97 401K  Balance

+12,013.39 IRA Balance


$92,626.36 New Retirement Total

I am well pleased.  The rate of return for both accounts YTD is approaching 5%.  I hope that train keeps chugging up the hill and then hits flat land at 15 to 16%.  I was getting that in 2016 to 2019 and in 2020 got 12% and even still got 10% in 2021.  It was 2022 that just killed us.  I know it is early yet, too early to be hopeful or excited, but if we can turn this disaster train that has wrecked the economy around, if there is even a little sparkle of hope, I'd like to grab onto it, even if it gets dashed out later.

Retirement Update for the End of 2022, Plus YTD 2023, and Contribution % Changes

January 13th, 2023 at 03:49 am

Since I was barely on my feet January 1st, I had not gathered the data in for our retirement accounts' standings.  To begin with, we started out 2022 in pretty good shape.  There had been some ups and downs in 2021, but for the whole year over all, we'd done well.  So we started out 2022 with $57,978.02 in the 401K and $13,925.02 in the IRA.  So between the two our retirement was at $71,903.04.

We do not contribute to the IRA so the losses are much more obvious there.  We ended the year with $11,437.47 or a -14.05% loss for the year with it.  We did contribute to the 401K, 16% of his salary, actually, with a contribution from his employer.  I don't remember how much and it changed mid-year and is changing again this year, going back up to 5% where it was pre-Covid, which will be great.

As for the 401K, it ended the year at $75,752.20, which at first glance might seem great.  It's a lot more than $57,978.02, right? That's $17,777.18 more than we started the year with, right?  Nope, because what came out of DH's paycheck, which was $23,000 and what came out of work's contributions, which 6270.23, we didn't come close to breaking even.  In fact, it flat our ate $11,493.25 of our contributions. Or that's what it feels like.  I know we bought stock and all that, blah, blah, blah.  It's still what it feels like.  And we had no gains, we had losses, and our losses were worse than the IRA percentagewise at -14.59%.

All in all, retirement ended the year at $87,189.67 or $15,286.60 higher than I started, about 55% of what was contributed.

It's not all bad news, though.  Since I was checking all of that today, I did notice that both the IRA and the 401K are up for the year so far.  The 401K is up 3.81% and now sits at $78,627.86 a rise of $2875.66 in just 12 days, and they have not yet added the contribution from the January 6th's paycheck, so that's all just interest.  I can't help but be a little excited since I haven't seen something like this in a year.  The IRA was 4.43% so it has risen by $529.64.

Together that is $3405.30, which brings the retirement total up to $90,594.97!  We cracked the $90K mark. If this year can just give us a positive rate of return, we will hit $100K in retirement.  They say when you hit that number things really start to change for you with your retirement adding up.  Of course, "they" weren't living in a recession, almost depression.

I still have some calculations to do to figure out current net worth, but will update that when I have it.

Oh, and we have bumped our retirement contributions up to 18% from 16%.  That will have us contritubing $27,000 this year.  Well,  just under since it won't start until the paycheck on the 20th.  That catch up contribution amount is $30,000 if you are 50 or older, so we could go up to 20% of our pretax income to get that, but I'm not sure we are ready for that.  I know we can do 18%, because we were doing it.  2% of DH's income was going to the FSA card before and since it isn't doing that this year, we decided the best place for it to go is to retirement.  We'll still get the tax savings through the year, just in a different way.

One of the reasons I decided to do that was because it was $115 that was taken out every two weeks pretax for the FSA card, but without it, we were only getting $28 a paycheck extra.  The rest was going to taxes.  Well, screw that, government.  That money is going to work for us for the rest of our lives, not go to you and your irresponsible spending habits.  We didn't need an extra $28 before and we don't need it now, but $115 each paycheck will go far for retirement.

So that's that, 18% for the next year, unless for some unfathomable reason they give him a raise this year.  I can't imagine him getting another one so soon, the one he got last year was so big.  I wouldn't expect another one before the summer 2024 and even then, not like this last one.  Even if it is a small one, if we raise the retirement percentage by whatever it is and continue to live on what we lived on before until we max out and put anything that is left in an IRA, that would be good, too.

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 05:22 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 02:26 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 07:45 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 09:35 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:


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 30th, 2021 at 11:03 pm

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.

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