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Archive for April, 2024

Moving Money Around

April 21st, 2024 at 03:16 pm

I guess this is largely a MM(20) money update.  

I thought we would go over MM's cash during winter break, but he ended up not having much of a break.  I am surprised he still has any cash available, but he's been in extreme low spend mode and just stretching that $1K annual gift (using for spending money during college years).  We touched base during his spring break.  I think he had maybe ~$1,200 easily accessible cash.  He was very *shrugs* about it, just needs it to last 3 months.

MM(20) did decide that he was probably going to cash out some or all of his I Bonds.  But we decided to just wait and see what the next interest rate would be.  & we left it that he will need to open a new bank account this summer (to park extra cash).  

I just happened to notice two things last week:

1 - I Bond rate set for 2.97% inflation rate next round.

2 - One of our CUs is paying 5.5% interest.

The CU account is a mega interest account that was paying 4% when the average high yield interest rate was 1%.  It's fallen behind in recent months, but that 5.5% is perfect for MM(20) to park his I Bond funds.  The catch on this 'mega interest' account was that the cap was $5K for the mega interest.  

I can't even tell you why I checked, but maybe it's just because it's been so long since either of us has kept a full $5K in these accounts...  I figured I'd double check (if my memory was correct) and...  The 5.50% is on the first $10K! 

Note: We've already moved our own money over to take advantage of $10K @ 5.5%.

I let MM(20) know.  He is cashing out his I Bond and moving most of that to his CU account.  When all is said and done, he will have $10K earning 5.5%, $500 earning 7% (another CU), and $1,500 left in his checking account.  Maybe only $1,000 left after a few more months of college spending.  He will want to figure out a higher-balance high yield savings account at some point, but won't be necessary until he gets a job and starts piling up more money. 

In other news, MM(20) has had his rental figured out for next year, for a while, but was still negotiating the cost of the bedroom he will be renting.  I guess he got that sorted out and he told me it will be $808/month.  He will be saving $42/month, for a much bigger room and nicer neighborhood. 

Somewhat related, we need to cash out the rest of our I Bonds.  I have been dragging my feet because I got used to the easy separate buckets of money.  But I think I've only really been allocating this money to the kids 50/50 (in my mind) while it was doled out 50/50 into separate I Bonds.  The truth is that this is a '2 in college at the same time' fund.  I just needed a little time to wrap my brain around it.  I am thinking about loosely earmarking $20K for future DL(18) rent expenses.  & then earmarking the rest to MM(20).  I would earmark all of the mega I Bond interest to MM(20).  & also all future interest to MM(20), who is currently paying rent.  This is very simplistic and easy to keep track of.  I really only care about keeping the $20K for DL(18) if he is moving out this summer/fall (and if we are paying two years of rent for two college kids at the same time).  So if we end up falling a little short, this $20K is money we can probably tap if MM(20) needs it.  (At current, DL has no plans to move out.)

I wasn't sure if we would pay for MM(20)'s 5th year of college rent.  We left it as a bridge to cross later.  I wanted to give him ample notice if we expected him to chip in.  But at the same time, wanted to give it some more time to see how things sorted out.  He did his part.  He's done a good job keeping rent costs down.  I suppose when I tell him we are going to pay for the rent, will have to clarify that we can cover rent 'at this rent level'.  (We also found out his 5th year of tuition will be free, because adding the 5th year is giving him a 4th year grant.  I could just pull the 5th year of rent from his gifted college fund, if I wanted or needed to.  Now that we expect he might have anything left in there).

MM(20)'s current lease ends in July and I think the new lease starts August 1?  But he will be able to store his stuff there in the meantime.  MM(20) expects to stay at this house his last 2 years of college.  With everyone I know who rents being constantly kicked out by selling landlords...  I would never presume he could actually stay there 2 years.  But it would be nice if it works out.  Just my past experience re: sky high real estate.  It doesn't help that home sales just went from 0 to 100 overnight.  But I would have laughed at the idea of counting on this rental for 2 years, regardless.  We can only hope that it is that easy. 

A Hike and... an Engagement?

April 19th, 2024 at 03:26 pm

We did the traditional ‘after busy season time off and hike’.  But this time was a little different.  For the first time in 7? years I didn’t just look up the easiest hike I could find. I mean, the hike was labeled “easy”, I guess because of not a *lot* of elevation gain.  But after about a mile uphill, it did kick my butt.  MH’s job is way more physical and he seemed less bothered by it.  But he very heartily disagreed with the “easy” assessment.  It was a 4 mile hike with a lot of uphill.  And…  It was just perfect.  It is exactly what I needed.  I like that it was a bit more of a challenge, while being relatively easy.  & I probably would not have been up to that during several years of recent ‘survival mode'.

This morning I bought some hiking shoes, which should help.  I’d like to go back and redo with some better footwear.  & I am over this “once per year” hike schedule. I’ve decided that at a minimum we need to be doing a hike at least once every month.   

We do really need to take more advantage while our fuel costs pennies.  Not sure how long that will last.  Thinking to hitting more Bay Area and Tahoe hikes.  Last year I realized that we had extra freedom with MH done with the whole 'driving the kids to school' thing.  In addition to that, I do work from home one day per week.  I'd like to maybe once or twice a month hit an afternoon hike.  If it's easier for me to leave at 2 or 3.  I think we left closer to 3:00 for this hike and I was surprised how empty the parking lot was (both before and after our hike).  I expected more of an 'after work' crowd.

Here are some pictures from our hike yesterday.  This is only 30 minutes from our house.

I’ve done a good mix of relaxing and crossing things off my to do list, this week off work.  I feel I have both the physical and the mental energy to get things done.  While my time has skewed maybe 80% - 90% towards just relaxing.  It’s been a good balance.  

In other news...  I was not supposed to know this but MM(20) is engagement ring shopping.  MH and I got engaged when we were both 19, which was weird in our day.  Have got a lot of questions why we bothered to get engaged if we didn't plan to get married until after college.  (& it was just plain weird to get married in our early 20s). I presumed that MM(20) and his girlfriend are not in any rush.  They are certainly taking their sweet time.  I am not surprised at all that they plan to eventually get married.  But it is a big surprise that they are ring shopping.

The only reason I know is because the GF is going halvsies on the ring and she gave a chunk of money to MM(20).  I thought it was rent/utility related.  I am just trying to figure out how much I owe the kid for utilities.  So I asked him about it.  He got really uncomfortable and I thought, "Ugh, I don't want to know."  So I started to tell him, nevermind.  But by the time I changed course, he had already admitted it was for an engagement ring.  


Kudos to the girlfriend for getting MM to buy a $1,200 ring!  (This is what I presume, re: her $600 contribution).  She thinks it's cute that he is an extreme cheapskate.  It is not cute, and it will get old.  So I am relieved he can at least spend money on important things.  Not that I think a ring is important.  But you know, people first.  Then money, then things.  It's the "people first" part that I think he's wise to oblige. 

Admittedly, there could be a YOLO aspect re: girlfriend's recent health problems.  I presume they won't get married until after college, but who knows.  The girlfriend is *amazing* and a very welcome addition to the family.