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Archive for July, 2020

Refinance Offer Didn’t Pan Out

July 17th, 2020 at 08:15 pm

I got a marketing flyer from my credit union for home loans about a month ago. The rate to refinance was lower than my current rate with PNC and there were no fees or closing costs. It seemed like a no-brainer. After seeing Amber’s success in refinancing, I was inspired to follow-up.

I talked with the representative to verify the no costs, including no prepayment penalties, and then gave them to go-ahead to move forward. The paperwork arrived a few days later and I read the fine print. I saw a gotcha. They assumed that the homeowner’s insurance had a low deductible. I deliberately have a high deductible because I figure that’s what EFs are meant to cover. It keeps my premiums lower. I called to see if that requirement was negotiable and unfortunately it wasn’t. I asked them to trash the application. It’s not worth saving money in one place only to spend it in another.

Car Insurance Increased

July 17th, 2020 at 12:18 am

So I did drop DS2 from our auto policy once he moved to his own place and bought himself a car as I planned in an earlier post. And our insurance price increased as a result! I guess the insurance company figures that with DS2 out of the picture, DS3 drives the vehicles more. And that’s true. One of the vehicles is in my name but is actually DS3’s – he paid for it. DS2 was 22 with a good student discount. DS3 is 18 without a good student discount. Ah, that’s what I get. I can only imagine how much it’ll be once DS4 and DS5 join the policy. They’ll be getting permits in the Fall and licenses sometime next year. Then I’ll have 3 teenaged boys on the policy. Eeek!

Our current 6-month premium is now $1070. That covers three drivers using two cars with liability coverage only. The liability coverage is 250-500-100.

June Financial Update

July 3rd, 2020 at 03:35 pm

Once a month I calculate our net worth and today was the day. It’s always just after the mortgage payment hits. We’re up $15k since last month. All the numbers moved in the right direction except our house value. According to Zillow, it decreased by $3k since last month.

I used to use a site call to enter our monthly numbers, but the site shut down. I have kicked myself for being dependent on a site because while I do have monthly net worth totals for the past decade, I don’t have the components of each calculation. Those numbers were all lost when the site shut down.

What I especially liked about the site was seeing the graph of my net worth over the years. It was an encouragement when I felt that our budget was tight. I also enjoyed looking at the numbers for others to inspire me. There is another similar site but it’s not quite as easy to navigate and I’d have to start over. Ugh. So, I finally decided this morning to recreate a net worth tracker in Excel. It was easier than I expected though that’s mostly because it’s not fancy. But I got the graph I wanted. It also graphed each component by default and I started to remove that but then decided it could be interesting to see when lines cross. For example, when my Roth IRA account value exceeds our house debt.

Graphs show trends with one look. The graph so far shows how volatile the markets have been because most of our net worth is invested in the stock market.

Net Worth ride from Oct 2019 to June 2020

I think I’m going to take the time to enter all my monthly NW totals without the components for the past decade into the Excel table. That graph will tell a more complete story.

Q2 Annual Goals Progress

July 1st, 2020 at 09:37 pm

Another quarter has passed so it’s time for my annual goals check-in to keep my goals visible and prompt me to correct course where needed.

(1) Get EF back to 3 months’ basic expenses – DONE! Poodle jumps!
(2) Adopt a permanent health-enhancing habit each month – on target
(3) Renew my professional certification by the September due date – DONE!
(4) Pay no CC interest or fees – on target
(5) Spend time with each kid to encourage his current area of growth – on target
(6) Complete identified home maintenance - behind

(5) Areas of focus:
DS1 – career planning – restart due to Covid-19
DS2 – housing of his own - DONE
DS3 – college transition – in progress & challenging
DS4 – Scout rank advancement – in progress & challenging
DS5 – Confidence, schoolwork – good progress made, will continue in Fall

(6) Next maintenance:
Replace half-bath light/fan – no progress this quarter
Pressure-wash house - DONE
Painting: living room – DONE, family room – no progress, & downstairs ceilings – no progress

Overall, I’m pleased but it’s clear where I need to put some focus. Two of the three remaining home maintenance tasks are to be hired out and one I can do myself. For that one, all I need to do is buy a matching can of paint and get off my duff.

My health habits are going fine, but I still find fasting and water consumption unnatural. In order to stay on course, I really have to think about it and make myself do them.

My professional certification is good for three years so it won’t expire until Sept 2023. I don’t think I’ll be renewing it again.