Saturday, February 27, 2010

Monthly Update

Pay off car loan - 66.6% (Up 2.9%)
Pay off student loan - 12.5% (Up .2%)
E-fund 2 - 58.6% (Up 11.2%)

My tax refunds arrived, including the amendment due to TuroTax's boo boo. They are nestled safely in savings but already itching to spend those. We'll see..

Sunday, February 21, 2010

How Long Could I..

afford to eat if I lost my job? I decided I better sit down and find out. First stop, my spreadsheet tracking what I spend. Unfortunately I've been half-assed at the whole tracking thing lately but it's the best I have. It looks like I've been spending around $2200 a month. Now some of that is a student loan that could be deferred or put into forbearance if needed. Another chunk of that is me paying over the minimum on my car loan. Another chunk of that is home improvements that, let's face it, I wouldn't be doing if I were living on my savings. So we'll say $1900 if I had to cut back.

Next stop, let's check the touch-able assets. 6 and a half months in cash and cash equivalents. 3 months in taxable investment accounts. When I move my refund as needed that will be another month. So 10 and a half months. Not too bad. Kinda makes me want to spend my refund as previously planned. But for now I'm making note of it and sending it away to savings.. I dunno when I'll feel comfortable spending it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Unexpected News

The company I work for started layoffs this week. By my calculations they've done about half of the planned layoffs for the year. I survived the first round but no one knows when/who will go next. The good news is my tax refund, most of it at least, landed in my account today. Unfortunately TurboTax mucked up my state refund. I live in one of the four states that counts HSA contributions as taxable income. To top it off, TurboTax counted it twice. Then instead of admitting the mistake, it just automatically corrected it - after I filed my returns. So now I can't even use TurboTax to amend my state return since it still believes nothing changed. I love TurboTax, but that is a stinky bug. I filed my amendment today at the state's website so hopefully I have the rest of my refund soon. Mental note for next year - use the state's website to e-file my tax return and save $20!

Anyway, now I'm becoming very indecisive about what to do with the refund. $1000 is definitely spoken for - having been spent already or being spent soon. The rest I feel should be put in savings but in my heart I still want my piano. And the freezer on my refrigerator is not behaving. To be honest I'm sure it's been that way for awhile. I may just ignore awhile longer. Yay for having money to be indecisive about :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Tax Refund Time

Yay, one of my favorite times of the year. Now I know there are naysayers out there who think you shouldn't give the government an interest free loan. If you're one of them, you'll be disappointed to find the interest rate on my savings account is just over 1% at this time so I'm missing out on like $20 worth of interest. Seriously. I'll rethink my strategy when the interest rate nears 5% or if I ever have high-interest credit card debt.

So my plans are like this. 1/3 is going to my emergency fund to replace what I borrowed last month. 1/3 will be split between getting the tree trimmed and paying some down on my car loan. I'm about 90% sure the last 1/3 will be getting me a piano. My refund is around $2500 this year so I'm talking starter piano. I was delighted to find it will be much cheaper than I had figured to trim the tree, provided the neighbors let me use their backyard. They ought to, since they use my driveway at will and since they requested the tree be trimmed..

Hope your tax season is going well!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Roth IRA

Woohoo! I opened a Roth IRA. My hold up had been that Schwab required a $1000 minimum opening balance. I missed the other option, $100 monthly automatic transfer. I love Schwab, but I hate their money transfer interface. It's gotten slightly better than it used to be. You used to be required to mail forms in. Who does that anymore? Now you only need to mail forms in if you want to set up a recurring transfer. I'm one of those wackies who would rather log in every month and make my transfer than deal with mailing papers around the country only to find out you filled them out incorrectly and your request has been canceled. Hopefully I don't get dinged with a service charge next month.

On a side note, apparently they have until the 15th of February to mail my 1099. The 15th!! I think that is due to some new rule last year but I'm not entirely certain. At least I have a good idea how much I'm getting back so I'm rolling ideas around in my head :)