Home > Archive: April, 2010

Archive for April, 2010

I pay how much monthly for my house? (and more)

May 1st, 2010 at 04:17 am

Quite often when I try to enourage myself to do the "right" thing (financially anyway) I try to look at the finances from a different point of view. Which is sorta what I am doing when I answer the question in this post's title.

As I have paid my mortgage down, I have looked at how much of each month's payment goes toward interest, as the remaining amount goes back to me as it ups my "equity" ownership of the house. I am now at the point where the monthly interest is only $180, or just $6 per day. Of course there are other bills on the house (utilities, insurance, taxes). Those I estimate are monthly $75, $50, and $250. That totals $375, then add in the $180 and I get about $550, or about $18 / day. That's certainly better than renting a small apartment where I would pay at least $1,000 a month (around here anyway). Its just a different way of looking at how the extra payments on my mortgage help accelerate my payoff, and it makes the extra payments feel more worthwhile.

Now for extra items (if you're up for a long read)...

Physical therapy is going fine. Extra painful during the sessions, as my yelling out in pain at times can attest. Only two weeks in, and my range of motion is almost back to where it should be (ok, in some directions that's true, others I still have a ways to go).

Oooh, I just put in the last $2,000 for my 2010 Roth IRA. Its now maxed for this year (before May no less!). Not sure what I will put that money into, but I have an idea. Now I need to roll over an old 401k into a Roth, and I will be cooking.

In my efforts to eat better, and still eat cheap, I have started to use almond and soy milk in place of the skim milk I have used for years. Regular milk seems to go bad fast, too fast for me as I live alone and don't use it much. The other types of milk last much much longer. But these milks seem thicker to me, so I have been diluting them with water, maybe 25-33%, which tastes better, and brings the price down close to real milk. And with it not spoiling so fast, it may be just as cheap now. Something to consider.

Prescription: Pain :(

April 14th, 2010 at 01:58 am

At least thats the pronosis going forward for me as far as I can tell. I had an X-Ray and MRI of my shoulder that has gotten terrible in the past few months, and at today's doctor appt. I figured I would hear that the rotator cuff was a mess and surgery was needed. Nope, a very minor tear, but the big issue is extreme inflamation and capsulitis. So no surgery (which is good), but a long bout with physical therapy (good I suppose, but painful). Now I need to find a therapist close to work or home, and start into the cult of pain.

I need to keep telling myself "No surgery = good prognosis", other wise I'll probably go crazy.

FSA is losing its appeal (& more)

April 13th, 2010 at 05:50 am

Not sure if everyone knows this or not... but with all the changes coming in the next few years due to the health care overhaul, one thing that is going to look less appealing are Flexible Spending Accounts. I used to put in a certain amount, knowing that if needed I could spend on many over the counter items and stockpile if needed. Well this year is the last for that. Coming next year, most (or is it all?) OTC items will NOT be eligible for flexible spending. I'm not really complaining, I was surprised a few years ago when they expanded the elibility to include OTC items, so I'm just dissapointed now. With everything else going on with healthcare, costs are supposed to go down overall. I hope so, but we'll see. I'm betting my costs will go up, though not horribly. (Actually I'm fairly sure it will go up, since now I will have to pay taxes on my health insurance premiums - now this sucks!)

I've been watching for many months now my retirement accounts refill after last year's free fall. I never lost faith in the accounts, though I was surprised at how quick everything bounced back. With my plan to supersize my early year retirement account deposits (which I started in 2008), last year was a super year for my accounts (I deposited a lot early in 2009 when prices were at their lowest). My retirement sites show my "Personal Performance" for last year at over 50%. Oh, if only I could do that every year! (Can you imagine? You would only have to work a few years, then retire on your earnings. That would be crazy.)

The accelerated pay-down of my mortgage continues. I put in an extra $325/mo., and with the current payments already 80% principle, the end is in sight. The accelerated payoff date is currently mid 2012. I suspect if my finances are pumped up enough, I will probably just pay it off totally late 2011 / early 2012 and look at the payoff money like a short term CD earning the mortgage rate.

The Roth IRA is over half funded for 2010. When my 2009 tax refund arrives (any day now?) I will probably put the last $2K in. The refund is way more than I meant for it to be (I was aiming for a $0 refund), but due to the timing of my end of year paycheck I put much more into taxes for 2009 than I intended. Oh well, the overpayment was at year end, so its not like I gave the free loan to the government for all the year.

Finally - sorry for the rambling - this was more of a train of thought post. This is what happens when you write up something late at night.