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Archive for September, 2010

Lucky Investing

September 28th, 2010 at 09:46 am

Last year I found out that my employer was taking money out of my paycheck and sending it to a DCP when I worked over summers. I gained access to my account, and I moved all my money into the fund with the best performance that I could see. There was only a couple hundred dollars in the account so I didn't take it very seriously. Well, luckily for me, that fund was a Fidelity Income fund and was entirely invested in government bonds! In this economy I have made a 7% return on my investment!

Well now that I know a lot more and with my knowledge of the impending bond bubble burst, I just rebalanced my portfolio to only have 10% in bonds. I changed to a different fund with a lower expense ratio also. Hopefully I have played my cards right and in 2-3 years when I graduate and roll over that account, hopefully I will have seen decent growth. In the mean time, I'm using this fund as a testing ground for my own investing strategy (the rest of our retirement is invested according to my financial planner/brother's recommendations).

A Little Status Update

September 23rd, 2010 at 08:33 am

I just wanted to update on our status. Currently we have $27,625 in defered subsidized student loan debt. $8,500 of that debt is DH's student loans and will be forgiven by the state over the next 5 years. The rest are my student looans due 6 months after I graduate. We currently have around $1500 set aside for this. It is on my savings plan.

I am currently putting around $650 away for a down payment and another $650 away to buy a car. October will be my first contribution to my Roth IRA at $416.67 per month. These comprise my savings budget.

Outside of the savings budget is more money. We have $50 a month going to my husbands 403(b) off budget. $200 of our Needs funds an Annual Bills account. We are adding a $200 item to Wants to boost our efund before we begin trying to conceive.

So there will be a lot of saving going on. I have figured that if we increase our savings by 2% a year from our base amount of $1680 per month, we should meet our current goals. Thankfully we are already beating our yearly goal for 2010.

Ruminating on Moving

September 14th, 2010 at 03:46 pm

So today we have a friend moving in with us temporarily until his university housing begins. Often when friends move I think about how the stress of moving is often easily controlled with a bit of planning and an emergency fund.

I have seen several people move and here are some things I have learned:

- Take care of acquiring new housing months before your move out date.
- Always plan to talk to your new landlord/housing office in person before you move in. Especially in college town, housing is on a cycle.
- Sell as much as you can! Especially if you may have to store those things and even more so in the years between college and "settling down". If you own Ikea, sell it and buy used at your new home.
- Moving is expensive. Even if you are just buying pizza for your friends.
- Moving takes a long time. Even if you have a ton of friends.
- Lists are your friends. List where everything is packed, especially if you are storing, using multiple cars, or hiring a moving company.
- You have more stuff than you think.

Super Saving

September 12th, 2010 at 12:18 pm

So I just ordered 2 photo albums from Shutterfly. I used a code for 1 free book from Groupon which I purchased using my referral bonus. I also used another code for 1 free book from Borders. I couldn't qualify for free shipping because I didn't actually spend any money. But I did order with my cash back credit card for 1% back and used upromise to get another 9% back. So after both of those it cost me $12.82 for 2 8x8 photo albums and 2 of my Christmas/Channukah presents are completed.

Working on Our Credit Score

September 10th, 2010 at 10:38 am

So I've been working on our credit score a bit lately. I got mine for free last week from FICO and I was surprised that it was only a 729. We won't need our credit for another 3 years when we buy a house so I figure right now is the perfect time to work to improve it. My two biggest problems were length of credit history and revolving credit utilization. We don't carry a balance on our cards, but we use them for all of our purchases so the balance each month looks high.

So far we signed up for another credit card. It offers really good rewards and will get us even more cash back every year.

We each own an individual credit card, and I was thinking that we should add each other as cosigners. I might not want to add my husband to my card because it isn't that old, but his card is 7 years old and has a higher credit limit than any of my cards. Any thoughts?