Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Back to the world of blogging!

Coming out of lurking mode to give a bit of an update.

- Received a 12% raise last fall and am still working the 2nd job, so cash flow in is great.

- Celebrated a year of being cc debt free in Feb 2010! I still use ccs as my main source of payments for most items, but pay them off early and often.

- A good friend celebrated paying off all of her cc debt just this month. She had been told several years ago to file for bankruptcy, but refused and worked hard to pay it all off. Impressed and proud to have friends like this. :)

- The Porsche I so enjoyed driving was...cursed. Thank goodness I bought a warranty on that sucker. Warranty cost $2200 and it saved me $10k+ in 2 years. Still not happy with that 'investment' - new brakes, new tires, major service @40k miles, hassle of taking it to the shop a dozen+ times, and the loss of paying taxes on a car I only kept 20 months was...a lesson learned.

- Bought a new (to me) car last month. 2008 BMW 335i with 28k miles bought for 30k (out the door! wow I feel like I stole it). 2 years of original warranty and zero cost maint and then an additional 2 years of CPO warranty. Felt pretty awesome to put 12k down and finance the rest at 24 months with .09% financing. Plan is to have a fully paid off car in 2 years and then keep it 2 more years before while it is still under CPO. Much smarter purchase for me, again I dont claim it is a frugal choice.

- Savings was up to about 25k prior to car purchase. It is at close to 10k now and will be working to push that back up.

- Retirement saving made no progress. Didnt qualify for much of it due to too high of income. Company doesnt match, so I didnt even contribute to a 401k.

- I spent a LOT of money on travel last year and have zero regrets or complaints! I havent added it up, but Id guess 15-20k? Rome, LAx2, Indy, Seattle, Florida (Miami, Tampa and Jax on 3 diff trips), Atlanta, Phillyx100 (including the entire month of Dec when I sublet an apt), Napa Valley...that might be it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

EF Update

Funded to $5k, if a month late. Actually funded to +$7k.


Friday, February 13, 2009

CC paid off

Paid off the final $2490 of my 0% cc debt today.

It wasnt early (due to Rome), but it was on time. Another goal checked off!


ps - at the expected growth rate, my net worth should be positive on or about May 15.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Recessionary travel deals

I just got back from Rome.

A week ago Wednesday I suddenly had the realization that I was burnt out and wouldnt really be able to take more than a day or so off until July! Now or never.

So........I found a sick deal on air travel using miles, a 5 star hotel for 3 star price and off I went. Three days later I was flying to Italy for a week.

Air: USAirways was running a special on roundtrip travel to EU for 35k miles (usually its 80K, in fact domestic travel alone is 25k). I had 34k miles, so I bought 1k of miles for $50. I also paid taxes and a slight fee to have a 24 hour stop over in Philadelphia. Total airfare cost was $270.

Hotel: found a rockin deal at the St. George Hotel in Rome. New, 5 star boutique hotel. With breakfast and all taxes, $240/night (6 nights). Also booked 1 night at the Rittenhouse, another 5 star hotel, in Philly for $240/night (1 night). Total paid for 7 nights of hotel $1680.

Entertainment, gifts, food, travel, etc: $1442. This includes quite a range of items. I bought some clothing prior to leaving ($160). I also bought an ipod for video watching on 32 total hours of air time ($260) + Itunes purchases ($40). I bought little in the way of souvenirs - a book from the Basquait show and 2 handmade journals ($120). The rest was basically museum entrances and food (boy did I eat well). Ate at Morimoto when I was in Philly too!

Total spent: $3392 for 8 days

The main savings here is obviously the air component - the same ticket was ~1k.

The same room in high season is $700. Even in a low, non-recessionary time, the room should have been $400. Another guest with the same room paid $350/night. But realistically I wouldnt have paid much more than I did for a hotel - the variable was just how high of quality I could scheme for the price. And wow - it was minimalistic chic luxury, so me.

I used about $600 in cash and the rest on credit. Bills will be paid in the following weeks and EF still in tact, so technically Im calling this the goal achieved: travel internationally, use cash.

Really interesting the sense of freedom and security I found knowing I had $30k available in credit and several thousand in cash. Different than prior experiences traveling abroad.

Friday, January 16, 2009

quick note!

Just paid another $2400 towards my 0% cc debt! Brings the balance down to $2490.

Im very hopeful that I will actually be able to pay this off by the end of this month instead of the middle of next month.

Woohoo :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2009 Goals

Now that the last few details have been worked out, Im ready to post my 2009 Goals!

1) Finish paying off 0% interest cc by mid February.

2) Stay out of cc debt!!

3) Finish funding EF to $5k by mid February.

4) Contribute maximum to 401k (sadly, no match!)

5) Contribute maximum to get IRA match.

6) Travel out of the country using savings (not EF! savings, heh).

For now, Ive decided against trying to pay off the car early. I will likely get rid of it when the extended warranty expires in 1.5 years.

I have an additional goal, but it didnt seem specific enough to list. Im imagining I would like to have somewhere between 10-30k (on top of my EF) available in cash like equivalents. I may add that as lucky number seven sometime during the first quarter.

2009 rocks so far!

Before the end of last year, a source of some additional/weekend income offered me a 'salary' and set # of hours for $X. I thought the offer was way, way, way low and countered with a figure almost 40% higher.

Got the call today that he was happy to accept the higher offer (which btw, I still thought was a great deal for him). Sweet!

Yay for prospering :)