Home > Archive: May, 2009

Archive for May, 2009

Goals Review - May

May 29th, 2009 at 01:57 pm

What a month!! The big thing I accomplished this month was the refi. The net of the refi is that I will pay it off 11 years early, I will be putting $1,000 more towards principal a month, and it costs me less then $700. If you have a good credit score, equity in the house, and a job; I would look at refinancing.

I also noticed that I have contributed $10,600 to the 401(k) already his year. Looks like I'll max the 401(k) in August or September. Just in time for preschool bills and holidays. Maybe I can also start paying down the principal on the mortgage. We'll have to see how the year shapes up.

Speaking of that, I'm still only working 4 days a week. We haven't had any more layoffs since March and we have had a new hire. I think in a quarter or two I'll be able to work 5 days a week. But, it's just a feeling. In the meantime, I'll work 4 days a week and enjoy the family.

This brings me to another interesting thing I noticed over the past month. I have become more content. It wasn't like a switch, I think it was more a gradual thing. It's kind of like that story about the grasshopper and the ant. The ant works all summer and has food to last the winter and the grasshopper just wastes the summer away.

Last year, I had the nose to the grindstone reducing debt. This year I saved a 3 month emergency fund. I still budget and live below my means. I am just sitting on my pile of dirt enjoying the sunset while everyone around me is feeling all this financial stress and uncertainty. It really is surreal.

I think what has really started to click is that it's not what you make but what you save. I can't stress that enough.

And remember, get you will done and get life insurance, if you haven't already.

Mid May Update

May 13th, 2009 at 05:40 pm

Wow!!! What a month so far. Things are finally calming down. I had a few interviews in New York and California. At the end of the day, I like where I am currently and where I am heading at the moment.

By paying off all my consumer debt and medical and having an emergency fund, I have this sense of content in my life. I no longer feel like a hamster on a wheel, trying to out earn my spending. For those of you where I was, it is worth the struggle and sacrifice to be debt free.

The way I would explain it is you are at the bottom of a hill and there is a path going up the hill. It is heavily wooded, sometimes you can get a glimpse of the sky but the view is obscured. Its buggy at times and dark, sometimes you slip on the loose gravel. When you get to end, you see this spectacular scenic view and for that moment you feel in awe of what you have accomplished. That's what getting out of debt felt like to me.

Now, I am back at the bottom of that hill and looking at a much steeper longer journey – paying off the mortgage. At first like the last hill, it looks daunting. I can't even see the top. I am standing at the bottom in the shadows and am in awe, is it too high, am I ready for this, maybe I can just rest a little more?

Then my inner voice speaks up, "What are you waiting for? There aren't any escalators here."

And with that I continue my journey.

(My refinance went through. My mortgage will be 353,000 at 4.5% for 15 years. I have shaved off 11 years and around $267,000 in interest.)