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This & That

July 25th, 2012 at 06:43 am

**Our new mortgage took several months to show up on our credit report (post refi). In the meantime, our credit scores have taken a bit of a dive. Lending heavily to my theory that our mortgage seems to be most of our credit score (having a mix of account types; maybe extra so for us since we don't have other types of loans beyond credit cards). Of course, we are still 740+ - most of that coming from 100% on-time payments. We kind of do everything else "wrong," but can usually boast 780+ regardless.

Anyway, I noticed the mortgage showing up and our scores still lower than I have ever seen them. But I figure it will work itself out quickly, so went ahead and closed 4 credit cards. I don't like the hassle of all these unused/open credit cards so don't want to wait any longer. We are holding off on any new one-time rewards until our FICO scores rebound. So that round is done and we won't be applying for more cards for another month or two.

I didn't have to ask - Citi gave us a pro-rated refund of annual fee. YAY! (This seems the industry standard to just refund it).

**My ROTH transfer is complete and so we have greatly simplified our retirement holdings.

I am not feeling the pinch losing 10% of my compensation (was full "retirement match") because I also lost all the fees and expenses that came with that. IT's been about 2 years since I have received a contribution (Final 2009 contribution was received late 2010). & no doubt we have scrambled to max out our ROTHs since then. But, I had no choice in the work retirement investments and they were invested very conservatively. I feel like I have closed most the gap contributing more, avoiding fees, and investing more appropriately for *my* age. IT kind of boggles the mind. Anyway, we are now heavy in admiral shares at Vanguard - which means the fees really can't get any lower than that. I keep reading that fees are a huge indicator of retirement saving success. I am clearly seeing why.

**On the retail front I found a nice hike with some swimming holes and thought to myself that I probably should get a 2-piece swimming suit. I checked my allowance status (though obviously I could put this as a "need" of sorts). I just wanted to see where I stood on my spending for the year. The last 3.5 months or so I have bought zero. zilch. nada. Not even any credit card rewards purchase of late.

I am not sure if I am just that *content* or if I am subconsciously hoarding up money for our Orlando trip. Probably a little of both. The credit card rewards have really allowed us to catch up with everyday purchases around the house. But I do generally allow myself a *little* retail therapy. Just haven't needed it, I guess.

I suppose I can splurge on a new suit!

**Saving for Florida (foregoing our usualy staycations) has been *no big.* We managed an amusement park trip anyway, and summer flew by for the kids (school starts in just 2 weeks). We've kept really busy with birthdays and people visiting us from out of town. I think we have room in the budget for a camping trip and a trip or two to the beach (basically just gas for expenses). Kids are also being kept occupied by playdates.

I underestimated how occupied and content we'd be with a -$0- vacation budget this summer. & I also didn't realize how much we'd be catching up with friends and family from across the globe, here at home. They did make it easier.

**On the *BIG* purchases, all I Received was a $200 bill for dh's MRI. They usually bill $1000-ish. I have no idea what this means. I was initially concerned this was only for the IV (because they insisted on using an IV, and all I could see was $$$$ when dh told me that - he said it wasn't very helpful just took more time in the end. They usually just give you a shot of contrast dye). Anyway, but when I got the final bill it looked like it was more for the MRI than anything else. SO, fingers crossed??Especially since this is an infinite annual purchase for our future?

If by some miracle we don't max our deductible this year, that money is going to the mortgage. I won't hold my breath. Wink

**The Big Picture?

Feeling really *caught up* financially.

Savings level and savings pace is reaching our coveted pre-kid/2-income savings baseline. Basically there. It's not particularly apples to oranges as we aren't grossing near what we were last we both worked, but our take-home is probably there (we pay a LOT less in taxes). Our health insurance cost about 10 times what it did a decade ago, but we also have several sources of other income lately. (For example, credit card rewards have been fruitful and tax-free).

Success!!

I am just talking shorter-term type savings. I could keep a steady retirement savings clip and stay out of debt, but it's the middle stuff like paying extra on the mortgage and saving to replace our cars that has been difficult on one-income. I am feeling much more confident with these mid-range goals today.

4 Responses to “This & That”

  1. Thrifty Ray Says:

    Sounds like all is going great on the financial front. Good for you for sticking to your guns and making it work!! Iam sure Orlando will be well worth the savings efforts!

  2. frugaltexan75 Says:

    Yep, I think you definitely can afford to splurge on a new swimsuit! Smile (I personally HATE swimsuit shopping .. my current suit which still fits- thankfully- was purchased in 2004 I think..)

  3. monkeymama Says:

    @FT - I found this awesome website for swimsuits at a reasonable price. That said, I was perusing the two-pieces and did not like any. So, I am holding off a bit. Anyway, so is the only reason I actually like swim suit shopping lately. I bought a suit last year that I will wear every day and keep forever. I *love* it. Well, hoping to get so lucky in a two-piece.

    Yeah, I was freaking out last year because my dh ruined my suit in the dryer - thought I'd never afford a replacement because it had been rather expensive (albeit old).

  4. Swimgirl Says:

    I have had good luck finding suits on landsend.com... clearance, of course, and usually a little off season. They are crazy expensive normally, but I got mine on overstocks or something.

    It's amazing how the summer is flying by! We didn't go much of anyplace this year, either. And yet, my kids stayed entertained, just like yours!Smile

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