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An Update

April 29th, 2009 at 01:13 pm

**The tide has definitely turned. We have been flush with cash infusions the last month or so. Last week the tide turned. Now it's just cash outflow. Mostly little things, but I swear if I get one more "$50 surprise" before Monday ("month end" for us). Gah. Just one of those weeks.

I am thinking we may have to pull a little money from my bonus after all. I am not sure. We over splurged the month of April which is our other problem. Big Grin

I have mixed feelings about May. We have a pile of events that will mostly cost us little. We picked out a tent that we were going to buy next month. Since we have a wedding to attend there is the whole wedding gift thing. So it's still adding up, regardless. We have discussed going to Monterey, but haven't decided much. We talked about even spending the night there and not being super cheap like usual. But, we'll see. That can come from the vacation budget, so it doesn't really matter either way. But yeah, May will be BUSY.

Looking ahead to June, I am taking a week off - happens to be BM's last week of school. I figured I Would enjoy the peace and quiet the first part of the week, and time with BM the rest of the week. We have a camping-thing planned for one night and a trip to the minor league game (with the preschool) on another night. I think it will be a very nice staycation. Though I had wanted to maybe go on a day trip or something, BM only has Friday off and the campout is Friday, so I think it will just be a staycation. We won't have to leave the city limits. We are also going to family camp a couple of weeks after that. My May is filled with 3-day weekends, so I am really looking forward to both May and June.

PP's post reminded me. When we get the tent we will do a backyard trial run. The tent is more for the backyard than anything! We may take it somewhere once or twice a year...

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**We got our internet back. Dh is driving me nuts. Enough said. LOL.

We're just in internet limbo while we decide how to proceed. IT's likely we will switch to phone VOIP/fibre optic internet with a more local company. DOwnside? May have to sign a contract. We don't sign contracts for anything, so it strikes me as odd. But it's a far better deal than most anything else, so why we are considering it. We may break our contract rule (the only other contracts we have are our mortgage and Verizon - we've only been with Verizon for over a decade... So that one seems rather moot as we have never found a better deal for our needs).

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**As our cash grows (if the tide turns anyway...) we will have to consider our cash savings accounts. With, really, little cash to go around, I have been sticking with GMAC Online Savings account. The rate is overall pretty competitive. I have been with them a couple of years, at least, and they seem to be slow to lower rates; fast to raise rates. Win-win. Since our cash has mostly consisted of our emergency fund, this is fine. Plus the fees are $0 and the customer service is eons above most of the other banks offering anything similar. I am extremely particular. I haven't found much to like about many of the other popular high-yield banks.

As our cash grows I do become more concerned about spreading it out a bit. PArticularly with so many banks in trouble. Confident in FDIC, I would just prefer not to lose access to all my cash at once, for a time, if my bank(s) went under.

Yeah, I Was looking at some of the other higher paying banks the other day and didn't find much. One of the more popular ones lately has our mortgage. The customer reviews are atrocious. I thought that one might be convenient, but have had second thoughts.

Along the same lines, we will probably start a CD ladder in the future. We just aren't quite there yet. We may also investigate Treasury bills, etc., etc. We will have much to look into as our cash balance grows. It's hard to "set it and forget it" and really make progress. So these are all things I see in the near future. Things change as circumstances change.

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**I think we may start paying down the mortgage a bit extra. It's the thing I eternally struggle with. I could literally flip a coin most of the time.

If we deposit $1500 to the mortgage around christmas we will literally hit our 10-year home owning anniversary with the same mortgage balance we started with.

Sounds terrible, huh? 10 years and the SAME mortgage!?!

There's much more to it than that. Big Grin We literally only borrowed $30k in addition to get twice the house (+ LAND!). It's just been slow going with this whole one-income/kid thing. We actually paid $10k off during our first year on our first home. It was a 15-year mortgage. But things change and we spent the last 7 years or so paying off about $20k.

The tide seemed to turn when we were hitting $4k per year in principal. Certainly no $10k per year, but better than the SLOW process we had been making.

Which I guess is the other thing. Simply paying another $1k per year would put us where we left off (paying off old amortization - shaving a few years off the new loan - to where we were).

We were in no hurry to get there because our recent refi no doubt made an earlier mortgage payoff an easier reality. But we have other more important things to take care of in the interim. So we decided.

But yeah, adding another $1k per year is starting to look so simple and psychologically rewarding. (Still paying $1300 less annually than we were with our old higher-interest mortgage. Win-win).

So I am thinking about it. I may flip a coin come January. I'll let you know what I decide then. Big Grin January 2010 will be our 10-year milestone.

Our mortgage balance has never been below $200k which is a big psychological milestone. That one is kind of exciting too... Give me 3 years...

2 Responses to “An Update”

  1. merch Says:

    I was struggling with the refi and mortgage too – 15 yr versus 30 yr and pay extra versus 30 year not pay extra. There are good arguments on all sides. I decided to bite the bullet and go for the 15 year. I was also slightly leaning that way but could have been pulled a different direction if there was a really strong argument.

    If I don't like it, I could always refi to a 30 or 40 year loan.

  2. monkeymama Says:

    I think the thing for us Merch is if we both work we will pay off the mortgage on a 15-year amortization (or perhaps 5 or 10 years). But after living so many years on one income, the 30-year wins for us. Other goals become more important AND I don't want to be stuck with a 15-year amortization if I lost my job and we had NO income!!!!

    I know I confuse people because we are not particularly gung ho on the mortgage at this point in time. But if my spouse were working we have discussed his entire wage going to the mortgage. Simply because it's gravy. If we were both gainfully employed, in "secure" jobs, a 15-year amortization would probably be our choice too.

    Our mortgage wouldn't be so "low" today if we hadn't put most of his wage to the mortgage when he worked... I definitely appreciate both sides of the coin!

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