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Been Lazy

September 27th, 2007 at 06:51 am

I haven't been very posty and I guess it has been the same on the financial front. Was a little behind on bills and stuff. I think mostly since this "bug" hit I have been way off. I felt awful last night, for one. Blech - for dh and I it still comes and goes, one full week later.

I think a lot of my behindness on the bills came from stuff I had to mail. I went a good few months with the new postage rates without mailing a SINGLE item. But I gave in a bit ago and mailed a few things. I guess I am just stockpiling things since there is so little we have to mail these days (all the online bill pay and everything). So I went through yesterday.

Sent $150 off to LM's UGMA. I am doing $25/month, but the automatic investment feature is not working on his. Dh has to call Vanguard and work it out (it's in his name but he hasn't a clue - I set it up online and do all the work). We have to pick a time when we are both home during business hours to call and straighten that out.

So that included $50 gifts and 4 months of contributions - set for 2007. Now I can procrastinate on working that out for about 3 more months. Maybe 5. Wink

Renewed membership to Fairytale Town. $50. Money WELL spent. "Free entertainment" for the year so we take the kids a lot. It just takes 4 visits to recoup our cost, and we go much more than that throughout the year. (Actually it may take only 2 visits now that LM is 2 - think he pays to get in now too).

Still getting the paperwork for my $1k ROTH contribution.

Oh - I upped my life insurance. Dh and I both have $500k coverage. We only pay $500/year for the next 25 years or so (we locked it in our 20s - smooth move since it was significantly cheaper then). BUT I have been feeling like dh needs much more coverage than me. If something happened to him, little would change for us financially. I can still work. I could make GOOD money part time even if I chose to be here more for the kids. On the flip side, he just doesn't have near the options. I told him I would get this extra insurance until he begins to bring in a steady income again. It is pretty cheap through my professional associations. $100/year for $200k. I will receive a rebate on the premiums, so it will be closer to $70/year or something. We are doing well enough on money right now, though I thought about it before, now I can justify it. I think ideally dh would put the $200k in "retirement" and live off the $500k. He could stretch it a long while (certainly until the kids turned 18). As for me, the $500k from dh? I would invest it all. Our life insurance broker kept saying we would want to pay off our mortgage. Is he crazy? Um, no. No need. That $500k in the bank would do me FAR better. I'd probably downgrade the house to one I could pay cash for anyway. I could move into the house next door and do that. Hopefully it never comes to that anyway though. I feel better with dh having a little more until he gets back into the workforce. It would just be nice to know if I was gone dh would have TIME for the kids. Though in reality his parents would take care of him anyway - LOL. Not that they have a lot to give, but they take care of him way too much as is. If I was gone I imagine they would give him substantial financial support. Between that and the insurance I think they all would be just fine.

Preschool next month is ugly. Since the 1st is a Monday and the month is 31 days, that is 5 full weeks for the kids. Around $600. I had a good thought though. November is a short month AND the preschool is taking a week of unpaid vacation. Therefore that month will only be $360 (or about usual for one kid). So, PHEW is all I have to say. December we pay for like 2 weeks the kids don't even go (holiday). That kind of sucks, but whatever. It's the way it is. I used to be self-employed and I understand why it is. It just sucks to pay for like a full month when you only get 2 weeks! I think last year I was feeling a little over my head and then they ended up taking 2 months off to medical emergency. So it will be interesting to see what they do for the holidays and stuff - never been there through the holiday season. As nice as that was on the pocketbook, I am glad everyone is healthy. Wink

I also shifted some of our investments around. Got out international investments to more of a 25% allocation (was inching up closer to 30%). Shifted some things around. I will eventually sell my D&C fund in Fidelity and pick up a Fidelity fund. I just don't know what. I used to have a bond fund I was rather happy with. Thinking about it, but I am so heavy in cash and everything. Then I look at my balanced fund and it is kicking butt. So I don't want to sell that one to get into a bond fund. I try to diversify our portfolio across all our IRAs, but makes rebalancing a little tricky in a sense. We'll see I guess, with time. Will probably have to pick some Fidelity Fund. Or just be heavy in small or mid caps for a while (what I currently have). I guess I don't really see the need for another fund. I transferred so much stuff around this last year I just don't see transferring money out of Fidelity an option right now. With time it will matter little. The rest of our portfolio will grow and I can have all my Fidelity money in one Fidelity Fund (small-cap I think I have now).

My goal as it stands for next year is to put $400/month into IRAs. I am not sure if this will be feasible, but I am thinking $200/month to my T Rowe fund (well diversified Target Retirement fund - just started AIPs so am building it up to a decent level). & then $100/month to Vanguard Total Stock Index and $100/month to the Int'l Index (dhs Vanguard IRA). That would keep us a good 25% in international.

The small-cap and mid-cap funds are in my IRAs. I think with any windfalls I get will be a good time to consider contributing to those, just to keep them in line with my allocation goals. Something to evaluate at least annually.

Outside of my 401k that I had maybe one year, we have never made regular investment contributions. So it is nice to get back to that. We are putting away $100/month as is right now. It's small, but it's better than nothing. For sure. I think this is a major step to managing our wealth better. I may only be able to invest $200/month next year. But that's okay. We start small and inch up. I don't have to save up to buy a house. I don't have to save up for my next maternity leave. It's a REALLY good place to be. It's nice to be 30 and think, the only thing we really need to save for at this point, is retirement. I guess college and all that, but that is SO far away. Easy Peasy. Wink It's a mind shift, after working towards so many very BIG short-term goals.

Of course retirement is a BIG long-term goal. Kind of scary. I think our whole adult life we have averaged 10% contributions, and that will continue regardless if we contribute a dime (due to my current job). BUT we are trying to make retirement more top of mind. My goal is to make 15% contributions (max out our ROTHS) in the next few years. Saving raises... Working overtime... Saving windfalls to retirement... Challenge money... We have met all our other financial goals, so next year challenge money can ALL go to retirement. Sweet. We may just have a chance to contribute the max $10k next year. (Just sounds so daunting).

We are getting close to having one year salary saved in retirement. Maybe next year.

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