Friday, March 25, 2011

Links to interesting financial articles

8 Financial Goals for Your 30s
I am a thirty-something myself, and found these to be good tips.

10 Celebrities Who Are Flirting With Foreclosure
It makes me feel a little better to see that even the rich are facing sinking house values.

42 Ways To Radically Simplify Your Financial Life
Lots of great tips to help reach your financial goals and simplifying your life.

The Real Cost of Borrowing Money
Even with today's low interest rates, when you borrow money to buy a house, you pay about double the purchase price over the term of the loan.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

One step forward, many steps back

Since my post on March 10, our house value dropped another $2,500!  It's getting discouraging that the value is dropping fast than I'm paying it down.

So as of today the value of our house (using is $187,500 and we owe a total of $201,815.33.  So there is a difference of $14,315.33 to get to break even. On my February 1st post, I was only $5,698.93 away from break even and I have since paid down almost $4,000 since then!  Some day I have to catch up to this... I can't imagine the house value can keep dropping at this rate forever.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Update on Japan Trip

We officially canceled our trip to Japan, and unfortunately it will cost us, but it won't be the worst case scenario. About $1,600 of the trip is non-refundable - most of that being the Japanese Rail pass we had pre-ordered. I'm still really frustrated over the whole thing, but at least I don't have to worry about the nuclear radiation while we are there.

In other news I had been putting a lot of money towards the mortgage in the past month, and we are down to $202,482.51 owed.  Which is still over $12,000 away from break even, but the $200,000 milestone is coming!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Time for a "poor me" post


We've had a string a bad luck when it comes to finances lately.  Between car repairs, parking tickets and our house value dropping like a rock, it looks like we could be facing some bigger challenges ahead...

Last week my husband broke his finger.  Financially this could be a big problem between having to go to the emergency room, surgery on the finger and the various required check ups almost daily since it happened I'm sure this injury is going to cost thousands!  Thankfully we have insurance, but I don't know how much will be covered.  I guess we'll find out in about a month with the bills start arriving in the mail. I had to miss 2 days of work because of having to take him to doctor appointments and the surgery, so that is 2 days I didn't get paid for as well.

Now for even worse news... Now I know... I know... I shouldn't complain because things could be worse. I could have been in Northeast Japan when all the devastation happened this past week.  I feel bad for all the people over there.  But as you may know, we are planning a vacation to Japan very soon.  We are supposed to leave in less than a month.  But if things don't improve, our vacation is in jeopardy. My husband has been letting a travel agent take care of the plans, and he had asked for a quote on travel insurance two months ago.  Well the travel agent never got back to him about that and now it's too late. We paid about $9,000 and if we can't go due to the earthquake, it sounds like we will just lose all that money!  I'm beyond depressed about the idea of possibly throwing away that much money for nothing! That's about 5 months of work at a job I don't like for nothing!   So I guess we just hope that everything improves over the next few weeks and we can still go.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

This is depressing...

I made another payment towards the principal balance of our mortgage today and since it's been about a month since I last checked Zillow, I decided to take a look thinking maybe we recovered some of the value in our house.  Well not only did it not recover, it went down even more!  It's now only worth $190,000!  So frustrating. At this rate I'll actually probably achieve goal #2 (paying all the second mortgage) before goal #1 (getting to break even).  I know I should treat this like money in my retirement accounts - not worry about short term losses.  But I still am a little nervous.  I thought the economy was supposed to be getting better.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Another reason to pay off your mortgage early

On last Friday's Dave Ramsey show there was a couple who paid off their house the at age of 37.  Dave said if they invest the $2,000 a month they would have put into paying their mortgage into mutual funds for 30 years (they'd be age 67), they could make $6.9 million. And he also mentioned putting money that would go to a car payment over the course of 40 years would let you have over $5 million.  Of course this is if you can get a 12% return, which we all know doesn't happen all the time. But even so, this is yet another reason I want to pay this mortgage down and hopefully some day be completely done with it!