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Rough Couple of Weeks

December 14th, 2012 at 10:41 am

My 86 year old mom (who lives with me) has been in and out of the hospital the past few months, but really declined about 2 weeks ago and was rushed to the hospital again. She is doing better but will now need to be admitted to a short term assisted living facility for a 4-6 week stay for some post-op care.

The toll it has taken on her is of course my primary concern, but something like this just wreaks havoc with a normal schedule, work, meals, sleep, traveling back and forth to the hospital etc. I just "live better" when I have a set routine and schedule.

My budget for the last 2 weeks is just all messy. I was pulling money out to eat on the run, pick up some things that my mom needed, more gas money than usual etc. My body is feeling it too. Way too much junk food, not enough sleep and no time to exercise or to just chill out.

Now that things are starting to settle down, I can get back on track, but it got me to thinking that unfortunately, my mom will prbably continue to have health challenges and I need to really be more prepared when these emergencies happen so that I don't go into a tailspin.

I have a fully funded emergency fund for money, but seem to lacking on a "life planning emergency fund" for all the other things (not money related) that happen.

On a happier note, it's Friday!

So Close!!!

November 27th, 2012 at 05:25 am

My 12/1/12 Mortgage payment cleared today.
Previous balance: $102,496.77
Payment breakdown: $1396.41 (regular monthly payment)
Additional Principle: $1400
New balance: $100,453.77

Oh so close to breaking that six figure mark!

Discussions about Mortgage Payoff

November 26th, 2012 at 11:06 am

Over the Thanksgiving break I was having dinner with several friends. Some are nearing retirement age and one commmented (lamented really) about how she wished she had paid down her mortgage early. It got me to thinking about when/how/why this became a priority for me.

Working as a career counselor I met with many people since the 2008 economic downturn who lost their jobs and some eventually their homes. Many of these people had adequate EF's, (at that time the recommendation for an EF was 6 months living expenses I think) but simply could not find employment. It really inspired me to make paying off my mortgage a financial goal. The security of having a paid off home (at least for me)is priceless. I am not a risk taker, so this makes sense for me.

There are many different ways to prepare ourselves financially, some disagree with paying down a mortgage and heavily invest instead. This is not a post about what is "right or wrong" in terms of financial planning. Just my own thoughts about my own personal way of planning for my future!

Update

November 12th, 2012 at 11:01 am

I joined the site last year but haven't blogged much. I am hoping to write more often to help keep myself motivated!

My main goal remains to pay off my mortgage as quickly as possible. I have no other debt. Over the past year I always pay an additional $1000 to my principal each month. As of today my mortgage balance is $102,493. My projected payoff date (with the additional principal added in) is 08/2017. Not bad considering I just bought the house in 06/2010 with a 15 year mortgage.

I ran some numbers and if I can add an additional $400 dollars a month to principal my payoff date would be 09/2016. I think I can do this if I really tighten up my budget. My biggest area that needs attention is the dreaded grocery shopping and eating out! I really dislike cooking and grocery shopping, but I am determined to do better in these areas.



The Dreaded Chore!

January 11th, 2011 at 06:10 am

OK, we all have that one dreaded chore that we really really dislike. Hate is such an extreme word, but for me, it's grocery shopping! Yes, I hate it. I don't really know why, but I do. I used to observe people blissfully going up and down each isle with their coupons and calculators and store ads, and wonder why they seemed so happy? What was the secret that I was missing? When I was married, my husband would do most of the grocery shopping and I would do most of the cooking. It worked for us.

Now, I cannot avoid it. When it was just me, I could do quick stops, just get the essentials (mindless shopping) and get out! But now, my mom lives with me, and I am shopping for two and need to add this chore to my more "mindful" list. Plus, mindless grocery shopping gets expensive.

My mom has turned into my secret weapon so to speak when it comes to this chore. She LOVES coupon clipping, list making, deal hunting and meal planning! So now, I leave the house once a week armed with my list and coupons, and I found a great time to go when the store seems less crowded.

I can't say that I am loving it, but I don't dread it as much anymore and I do enjoy seeing how much money we are saving each week, now that my grocery shopping has become more organized and mindful! Maybe that was the secret...all those shoppers were smiling thinking about all the money they were saving!

Moving from "mindless" to "mindful"

January 7th, 2011 at 07:31 am

Today is payday! I paid my bills and had one thousand dollars to "save". So, rather mindlessly I just transferred that money into my savings account. Great! But it seemed kind of mindless, and easy, and safe. But..as I mentioned before I am not a risk taker at all with my money. So it makes sense that I would just plop it into savings.

My two main financial goals are to pay off my house in 5-6 years and to save for retirement. I want to do both of these things in the safest way possible, so I am trying to figure out the best way to maximize my money without risking it. Because I haven't quite figured it out yet, I am not ready to leap into something.

I am considering: Paying extra each month on my mortgage. I have a really low interest rate (4.25%).So is it best to put extra money on the payment each month, or just continue to save the money and when I have enough saved just pay the mortgage off in one lump sum? or, do some of both? I just like the sense of security I get knowing I have that money in the bank should I need it.

Decisions, Decisions!

Well, I am rambling...if you read all this thanks for sticking with it and have a great weekend!

Taking a Hard Look at My Life

January 6th, 2011 at 12:03 pm

1/6/2011

So I am fifty years old, divorced, and taking stock! There are so many things that I want to focus on, with the big ones being improving my health and my finances. I am employed full time, own my home (not outright yet) have my 84 year old mom living with me and trying to plan for the future.

I am risk averse when it comes to saving money, so lately I have just been socking money away in my savings account which is currently at just over $34,000. I owe $130,000 on my home and would like to pay it off within the next 5-6 years. I only have about $50,000 saved for retirement. I have no other debt, car is payed for and no credit card debt. I think my money philosophy has been shaping up more as a "pay off all debt" type then the "heavy investor" type. It gives me a great piece of mind to think of having my home fully paid for by the time I am 55 or 56 years old.

On the health front, I have been experiencing a few problems with my back, need to lose weight and get more active.

I believe that physical, mental, and fiscal health are all intertwined, and this seemed like a good place to blog about these connections. I enjoy reading other's blogs, what seem to be random musings are very enjoyable to read!

So that's it for my first entry, just my brief "story" with more to come.


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