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2016 YTD Financial Update

December 29th, 2016 at 10:15 pm

Investment & Retirement Contribution

+10.2K Savings
+$40K - Vanguard VWENX Taxable
+$15.1K - 457 & 401K
+$5500 - ROTH VTSAX
+$17.5K - 457
+$3.1K – 529 Plan
+$14.1K Mandatory Contribution
+$105.5K Total Contribution

Mortgage Balance: $459,900
Home Value: $442,562
Underwater: -$17,338 Yikes!

We sold home and bought a new home causing our Net Worth to creep up very slowly in 2016 around $20K. The biggest gains are retirements and taxable account $105K contributions. This puts us $483K Net Worth. I expect to hit $600K NW by the end of 2017.

We also bought a new car that we paid cash for (2016 Sentra) for my daily commute.

We also plan to pay extra payment towards the mortgage next year bring that balance down to $420K.

June financial update - going for 2nd round interview!!!

June 11th, 2016 at 10:51 pm

June has been little busy with kids final weeks in school. Now they are off for summer, lots of activity plan (basketball and bowling). Our oldest will be attending summer school starting next week.

Last week was also our 13th year anniversary. We took 3 days off and spent 3 days in Sonoma County coastal beach. Beautiful beach all around. The good news we were able to stick to our $300 budget for entire trip.

Now that Father's is coming wife advanced me to do some shopping on the way back from our trip; new dress shirts/shoes/socks for work. I totally forgot about Father's day. I missed this expense to include under discretionary spending.

Next week, I have 2 interview set up (one is definitely a promising prospect for 2nd round). I got a call from the Manager last week from our budget office to meet with Director of Financial Services. I kind of nervous at the same time, I want to impress the shit out of these people. I'm ready!

Financially, our budget for June is on track. We already saved YTD $11,051 in taxable savings. Tax Deferred contributions $17,098.75

Failure is NOT an OPTION!!!

May 1st, 2016 at 11:08 am

Update for May:

Year-To-Date, our retirement balances are still down 1.62%, although our Net Worth is way UP compared to last year this time, mainly our debt obligation went down to “zero” with the exceptions of our existing mortgage. I will say, the market has gained momentum that help recover losses from Jan & Feb.

This month we are paying off our daughter’s private tuition for next year, due including registration $5K. Wrote a check for the entire year yesterday.

We had multiple goals in the beginning of the year & completed goals
1) Prepay San Diego trip and Lake Tahoe vacation. DONE.
2) ROTH 2016 Fully Funded by April. DONE
3) Christmas Fund $2500. DONE

4) Car Fund
5) Home renovation

For the rest of this year, we can now focus on goal 4 & 5. We’re pretty excited to get this started.

Overall, our Expenses including savings + car fund minus tuition going estimated $13,600 for May. June is our breathing room. But we can still manage if we stick to our budget which we are. Failure is not an OPTION!!!

Garbage disposal & bathroom faucets....

April 27th, 2016 at 11:39 am

Almost done the budget for May. Some expenses we are looking to do in the house, replace the garbage disposal and fixing our bathroom faucet with new water lines. I found a handy man who live nearby (labor charge $225)...No DIY! I'm looking around $400 that include new garbage disposal & 4 waterlines replacement.
In June, our dog Yogi needs major teeth cleaning, (I mean he needs it bad) about $1100.00 Seems expensive so we are shopping around.

420 - MILESTONE!!!

April 20th, 2016 at 09:47 pm

Yup...pretty exciting happened today. (Normally don't celebrate much) BUT

After updating all our accounts [total asset - liabilities]....we reached [$504,927.79 in Net Worth]. Its also the first time, our investment/retirements is more than our home value.

Its like being HIGH in the SKY TODAY! Woohoo!!

Loss 8 pounds; another 7 to go by Friday!

April 10th, 2016 at 07:43 pm

We leave for San Diego trip Friday 3AM...(8-9 hour drive) So i'm just trying to squeezed as much pounds to lose before we hit the road. Run 5 miles this morning.

Its a short weekend trip but enough exposure we limit our expenses. Everything has been paid for except for gas. We rented a beach house with other friends, to help cut the cost & food. Our budget for this trip is $500. It was 8 years ago last time we were in San Diego..can't wait!!!

April's Progress Savings/Retirement

April 2nd, 2016 at 05:08 pm

April is starting well. We fully funded my ROTH (Vanguard $5500) for 2016 & Xmas fund ($2500). The next phase of focus are retirements, car fund, savings/home renovation for the remainding year.

While we continue to add extra principal payment, we have severals big items coming up 1) our two dogs need teeth cleanings, 2) looking for a decent treadmill, 3) kitchen renovation. Not exactly sure how much this will cost, but we are hoping to cash flow most of the cost (once we have bidders), except the kitchen which we have set up fund on monthly basis. We need treadmill because of our allergy. I love running but on 'hot days' its tough to get outdoor. So we're hoping to find one soon. Our kitchen needs new garbage disposal and new dishwasher. But DW wants to redo the kitchen & the bathroom. Im guessing we need to tackle the kitchen first. Once we the know the cost and how much to spend, we can start funding it more aggressively, if necessary we can redirect the car fund to renovation fund.

We've been going back in forth for several weeks whether to increase my wife's 403(b) & 457 contributions. Right now it set up at 8%, but we finally decided to increase to 10%. Our goal this year is to sock away a total of $28,937.77, or 15% gross income, excluding our State & UC mandatory public pension contributions.

April's Savings:
1) Car Fund - $3,600
2) X-Mas Fund $2,500
3) 529 Plan - $400
4) Savings/Renovation $1,300

Retirement Contributions:
5) ROTH - $5,500
6) 457 Deferred - $4,000
7) 403b - $1,836.80
8) 457 UC - $282.40
9) CALPERS - $1,368.00
10) UC RET - $1,836.80

Savings: $7,800.00
Retirements: $14,824.00

YTD Total Combined: $22,624.00

Monthly Update & Zero based budgeting

March 19th, 2016 at 12:26 pm

I want to start blogging our saving progress each month for 2016. March savings is where we are now.

April's budget is almost done once I get all the bills and my wife takes a look our budget. Some background about our budget, we started Dave Ramsey in January 2015 and immediately began following his teaching principle via podcast. Within months we started to do a zero-based budget. We had about 40K in taxable account in our brokerage account and began paying off our credit card bills, equity loan, car loan, and service time. In August I sold my WRX to some 19 year old who worked at Apple computer--drove all the way to my house from the bay area paid cash for it. So in 5 months of following Dave Ramsey we completely turned our financial glimmer of fogginess--sometimes darkness into a glimmer of hope and sunshine. It was a complete financial transformation. We no longer use credit cards, cut them all out and use cash envelopes. We paid off around 43K in total debt by June. By the time we began FPU class late August, we were debt free except our primary mortgage of $225K. We ended refinancing into 15 year mortgage few months later. I thought it was worth it since we have no other debt. We can save more while paying down our mortgage a lot faster. Our LT goal is to pay it off our in 5 to 7 years. While at the same time continue to save on other priorities.

2016 MARCH
ROTH $500.00 $3,000.00
Car Fund $300.00 $3,600.00
XMAS Fund $500.00 $1,500.00
College 529 $100.00 $300.00
Renovation $300.00 $1,300.00
Total $1,700.00 $9,700.00

Fully Funded Vacation
Lake Tahoe
San Diego

We filed our taxes and received close to 4K of refund. I adjusted our withholding last month. Our goal in May is fully fund my ROTH. Once this happen we can accelerate more savings towards renovation, and car fund. Xmas fund goal is 2500 for this year, I expect this to be done in April. Be nice to cross this list out.

Financial Progress so far 2016

March 18th, 2016 at 08:41 am

I know its been few years since I blog here.

We have about $46K in cash, of that 30K is our 6-months EF. But we really need 24K at bare-bone budget. We have no other debt except our mortgage.

The remaining $15-16K are designated to the following (growing every month). I'm tweaking this number regularly so this numbers are changing.

1) home renovation $6K - Goal 20-25K by Fall 2017. But we need to start some renovation by this summer, at least start with our kitchen.

2) Tacoma fund $3600 balance - Plan to grow this balance to 20K by the end of this year. Not sure we are set in stone with Tacoma, or it could be 4runner.

3) Christmas fund $1500 (Goal $2500). Our goal is to have this funded early next month since my wife always tells set this aside first.

4) Daughter's private school tuition due in June for next fall $4200. We have enough to pay the current tuition already but we are continue to add more to this account until we decide to re-direct some of this funds somewhere else in the future.

5) ROTH Contributions $5500 will be fully funded in May.

6) Summer vacation fully funded in January.

7) I plan to sell VTHR 100 shares and buy more shares of Netflix. Yes, I'm going aggressive worth about 6% of our net worth in 1 stock.

My spouse will be receiving 2% pay increase this July. As for me, I'm not sure how much. Our bargaining team have yet to bargain with the state. I suspect about we should receive roughly 2% to 3% pay increase. Maybe we can add more towards 403(b) and 457 contributions.

Mortgage 15-year mortgage: Our target goal to pay off in 5-7 years. We are off target t(I mean way off this year). We just putting in extra $200 on average a month.

We are up 8% YTD in our retirement investments. Hope this continue. If I count losses from last year, we are still down about 4-5%. So we aren't fully recovered yet.

Wife just got promoted

August 11th, 2011 at 01:36 pm

Yipee! DW who is RN (BSN) recently received her long over due Supervising position. NO more clocking in or out - straight salary with differential pay and permanent workschedule. Of course we are very happy. It means she will not be subject to "call backs" when hospital are slow, but will lose her ability to earn OT (working over 12 hours per shift). It a significant pay increase nonetheless, 10% increase increase hourly base from $52 to $57 an hour. This increase also came in the right time since the hospital staff may not see general pay increase due to market decline. But we just don't know.

House repair/remodeling

June 29th, 2011 at 11:12 am

It's been a while since I post a blog. Things have been really hectic lately. I won't get into that now.

In the last few years, we have been talking about remodeling our kids room; new furnishing, paints, drawer, etc. (We did the painting ourselves) Now that they are bit older 5 & 7 Smile yeah i knowSmile we needed to going with the remodeling, at least, before x-mas comes around which we also needed to prefund also. So we had two dilemma, 1) whether to use part of our EF (24K) to pay the cost - $3K credit balance, or 2) deferred savings for several months to pay off the balance. I was pushing for the latter, so that we don't touch EF and helps build our points up to.

I'll make the first payment this week $1500 and second payment on Aug 1st. I just hope we don't add any more balance to it.

It's looking to be a GOOD NEW YEAR so far!

December 10th, 2010 at 01:55 pm

We received a letter from our lender reducing our Adjustable mortgage rate from 5 percent to 3 percent starting in February. Giving us a saving of $290.00 a month for the next 12 months.

Last month, we got a new Union Contract (3 year deal) (signed by the Governor), eliminating our 3-days furlough, in exchanged 3 percent higher contributions towards our Defined Benefit, one-time 12-month 4.62 percent pay reduction with 1-day per month credit (vacation). Our 3 percent pay increase won't be until 2013. The new contract gives me an immediate $206.00 NET PAY increase.

Wife (Registered Nurse) just learned this week, her Employer will be will be giving out pay raises starting in January anywhere from 3 - 8 percent. We are not sure what she will be receiving. Her last raise was 2 years ago.

This month is the last time, we will be paying our son's Music Therapy & Private TUTOR, and Gardening services. This give us a saving of roughly $300 a month. Of course, we may revisit this expenses again in the future.

We estimate our out-going expenses will be reduce by almost $590 a month BUT increasing our household INCOME by roughly $506.00 (low end) as high $679.80 once pay increase is determine.

It's beginning to look like CHRISTMAS!!!

Universal Studio Trip (Hollywood Ca)

April 5th, 2010 at 10:52 am

We just came back from our family trip vacation (3 days and two night trip) Universal Studio over the weekends. Kids and wife enjoyed the whole trip. My back is killing me of course, driving a total 860 miles (Sacramento to LA and back). We spent a total of $900.00 (tickets, hotels, fuel, and food, oil changed).

We have another vacation coming up late July. Though this one won't cost us as much.


February 6th, 2010 at 04:48 pm

It's been since I blog. Anyway, did our taxes yesterday. We owe CA state tax $833 but we are getting $5,137 from Federal. Net about $4304.

Anyway, we are using this money to pay our property tax $1156 due April. We'll use about $1500 for our summer vacation. The rest will go towards our emergency fund.

Payment Option 1 or 2

September 10th, 2009 at 08:35 am

This month has been austracious in spending but I'm not complaining. We had birthday dinner for my wife last month. I also got a traffic ticket which i already paid. Paid off the annual payment for both the homeowner insurance & term insurance. Our 95 Altima needed a new radiator replacement include labor. Lastly, our old TV finally gives up on us. Replaced by a new plasma TV. We used our AMEX Costo card to purchase it for additional two year warranty and the rebate.

I'd pretty much paid off many items mentioned above except, the plasma TV. Sure we could have bought the lower cost model, but we really love this one.

Traffic ticket $507
include traffic school
Homeowner's Ins $406
Term Insurance $657
New Radiator included
labor $240
Plasma TV (tax incl) $2417
$4,227 Total Cost

Current balance now is $2814.00.

Option 1: Use the money in one of our account which has a balance around $1700. This balance is to pay our property tax due in December. We'll borrow from this fund to reduce the balance amount. By Oct 1st, this card is fully paid. This still gives us plenty of time to pay back before Dec.

Option 2: Make a $700 payment every two weeks until its fully paid. This will take us to mid November. The interest cost will probably around $20 to $30.

Which option you like?

We have a third option which is use our EF to pay it all off. But these aren't consider Emergency, so we shouldn't even consider it. Right?

Promotion inteview today

August 18th, 2009 at 08:48 am

Kinda nervous today at noon....with all the job losses and furlough i'm pretty excited and nervous at the same time. I haven't interview for a long time, feely rusty. I'm just hoping not to get tongue-tied and don't rumble on and on. I want this promotion so bad which is about 30% bump an lead analyst/associate position.

Red Light Camera got caught

August 16th, 2009 at 08:46 am

429 bucks is my ticket cost for failing to stop completely intersection. It's been a while since I got a ticket but this the most expensive ticket I ever got. It's my fault, i doubt the judge will even lower the bill since I got by a camera. Got to suck it up and pay the price...Oh well!

Traffic school here i come!

Paid off our car today

June 3rd, 2009 at 12:59 pm

We finally paid off our Honday Odyssey after 3 1/2 years of making payments. We just couldn't stand it anymore. We used $8K of our EF to do it, but we still have a running balance $11,200. The good news, we will be adding $1625 a month towards it starting this month. The end of the year EF balance will still be around $22K.

House value just keep dropping...

April 20th, 2009 at 09:19 am

Every month for the last 6 months, I get a monthly news update from Zillow.com to my work office computer on housing value. For a while, our house value stayed relatively flat especially at the end of last year. It hovered in the mid $230Ks. But now with all the “foreclosures” in full effect, "COMPS" are way depressed. Many existing homeowner’s are just foreclosing on their primary home for bigger and cheaper. For example, we found 4 to 5 bedroom homes, 2 ½ baths, and 3 car garage sold in the low $220Ks to the mid $230Ks. In fact, 3 houses down the street from where we live; a family just moved across the street (yes, just across the street!) because the previous homeowner foreclosed on it and it was now $100K cheaper than what they paid on their original house. It’s the same house model and square footage. It’s was unbelievable! We certainly feel the “times” have shift; low interest rate and plentiful foreclosures for many buyers.

Just like our neighbor, we’d like upgrade to a bigger home for a lot less. Of course that would be ideal in today’s time. Boy that would be really nice…. On the other hand, we are also responsible person.

The good news, however, we can still afford our house payment of about $1,563 a month. Actually, we can afford our house even if it caps at 10% or $2500 a month. We still owe $274K. We’d like to refinance before our interest reset in Jan 2010 into a 30-year fixed rate. But having a negative equity, no late payment history, and good-paying jobs still doesn’t help us qualify for any refinancing options or loan modifications of any kind. We’ve asked my lender and a relative of ours who does loan medication. The best option we’ve heard so far is for us to buy the bigger home for a lot less while putting up our existing home for rental. But that means carrying two mortgage.

With any luck at all, we are just hoping the current interest today will remain our existing interest rate @ 5.0% when it reset. But still. I can’t help asking the question.

Where’s my BAILOUT?

It's been a while

April 17th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

It's been a while since I blog on here.

So this year our main focus is to pay-off our van (Odyssey). So far, we are staying on-course in achieving this goal by the end of the year.

We also had a slight changed of plan on this year's family vacation. Instead of using all $2K vacation in July, we are now planning to use just $1000. Our TV is showing degrading resolution. So we kinda force to buy new TV eventually. That's fine. We plan on staycation instead. Maybe take a few trips to Bodega Bay, Marine World, or San Francisco Zoo, but no over nighters.

Oh, I almost forgot. We now increased our EF to $17,300 in trying to reach $36K goal. We are still socking away $1,125 a month that began Jan 08. That's means, no more starbucks (for over 1 year half), brought lunch from home, less eating out, and sticking to our family budget. It's a beautiful thing. Smile


March 10th, 2009 at 10:39 am

Did our taxes over the weekend. Got a nice $4k refund (federal), owed state $97. It's still not bad. It's perfect timing since we are ready to pay our property tax bill $1600 next week. We plan to keep save the rest of the money building our EF.

Made $8.02 profit on BOFA

March 2nd, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Ok...i've been very careful trading individual stocks this days. So today BOFA was very attracted at $3.43. So i put trailing stop sell on the upside. Voila! Not much but i hope to utilize this more often.

2009 Goal Update

January 10th, 2009 at 11:42 am

Last year was a great year in many ways except the market of course which I will not talk about. We we were able to saved $12K for our EF and reduced our debt significantly. We paid attention to monthly spending plan which include everything and avoided the use of our credit cards completely. We also established both our term insurance at work.

This year, we will continue putting money towards EF, Roth, and vacation/gift fund. But our main focus this year is to pay off our van which we still owe about $12,298.15. I just made $1000 payment last week. I'd like to pay that off by November if not sooner. That will clear $700 a month extra towards savings & retirement contributions, and some for home repair costs.

Several things will be happening next month. DW will be traveling to the Philippines to visit her family and friends for two weeks. She saved about $4K last year. She's looking forward for this trip, while I will keep the fork. But I'm glad her aunt and my parents volunteer to help me since I will not take any vacation.

We also anticipate to owe the IRS this year about $1K, first time in our 5 year marriage. We also anticipate to do some remodeling, repainting in our family living rooms. Redecorate the kids rooms and also minor wall repairs. Our kids totally trash our walls and made existing holes even bigger. Oh yeah! We bought a new CalKing bedroom when our kids pretty much destroyed our footboard and rails connecting to it. That was $698 plus insurance coverage, just in case.

Our 2009 Goal - Pay off car loan

December 22nd, 2008 at 01:13 pm

El-Erian of Pimco said on CNBC market bounce for 2009 "will be a prolong U shape because govt bailouts. In the good ole days, government was a referee. Now the government is both referee and the player. Government involvment changes the rules and regulation which makes things unpredictable and creates distortion." This doesn't bode well for our investment outlook, so we decided to change our contributions to maximize the highest benefit.

We're not completely pulling out from the market. We are long term investor while still putting contributions towards our pension and DW's 403(b). But we won't be putting extra towards ROTH and IRA this year. Instead we are going to apply those contributions in paying off our family van (06 honda odsyssey) anywhere from $300 to $400 a month extra on top $700 monthly payment. Our car balance as of today $13,291.00. We plan to pay it off by Dec 2009.

In January 2010 we should have an extra $700 a month to do whatever we want. It most likely going to towards EF until we figure it out.

I can't believe it!

December 10th, 2008 at 08:35 am

I'm still in the state of shocked after being told this morning that one of our manager and who I personally worked for was murdered yesterday along with her husband. It's being called double homocide.

She was a very kind person and cared for people. We're just stunned and still can't believed this happened. We don't know who would do such a thing.

I just thought i'd share my emotions....i'm bummed


Marking - 1st Year Anniversary

December 1st, 2008 at 02:31 pm

Before becoming a regular member on this site last year, we didn't have a solid financial planning. We went about our business as usual. After many adviced on this site, we began to pay closer attention to our family budget. We began tracking our spending; lunch, dinner, groceries, and all the little things we hardly paid attention. We began funding our emergency funds and improved our overall financial picture while reducing our debts significantly.

So here's the things we've accomplished in 2008.

-Saved $12K in EF
-Reduced our overall debt by at least 35%
-Reduced Unnecessary spending
-Term Insurance
-Used mainly "cash" over credit
-ZERO credit card balance

This time last year we owed about $46K in total debt combined (car loan and home equity loan). Our balance as of today in mid $28K. That's $18K debt reduction from last year. More importantly, we were able to budget expenses like christmas gifts and birthdays without resorting to credit cards.

2008 is only the beginning not the end.

Enjoy my days off last week...

November 15th, 2008 at 11:25 am

I wasn't planning it all, but it just work out that way somehow. Last Monday I woke up very lethargic and sick. The next day was it a holiday. Wednesday was already scheduled day off to take care some personal matter. I came back to work Thursday but left to go home around 11 am feeling still "sucky" the entire morning. And Friday was the same so I stayed pretty home all week. The good news I still have about 140 hours of PTO. My boss will be out for 2 days next week. That's good so I can catch-up on my work without any disturbance.

I love my mom...

November 13th, 2008 at 10:04 am

My parents helped me put down $20K down payment towards our home 5 years ago. I've reached 10K left remaining balance as of yesterday after dropping at her house. She told me out of the blue that I'm no longer to pay her back. I was shocked of course...maybe she had won a lot from her Bingo winnings. She sometimes doesn't tell me how much she wins, nor obligated but she does anyway. But she really sounded serious. She wants me to apply the remaining payments towards my two kids 529 plan. I'm already set up making $50 a month. So now I'm upping that contributions to $150 a month each.

Just one of those nights....

November 2nd, 2008 at 11:01 am

So I had my kids buckled in the car seats already getting ready to go out for pizza. Pressed the garage door opener and turned on the engine--not knowing, the garage door did not open all the way up.So as I was backing out, all I heard was this expensive slamming sound noise. You know, what I'm talkin about? Got out and check the damages. It turned out to be a minor damage. But obviously its going to cost few hundreds. Some bending on the railing but real damage on the section panel. I also knew I wasn't able to take the car out. So I called for delivery instead.

I went online to find any garage repair shops that are still open. Luckily there was few shops that does emergency repair. One repair shop suggested that I should replace the entire doors since the labor cost will equal the cost of a new panel sections anyway. They said it cost just $750.00. But I didn't need to replace anything. So I called another shop who was willing to repair the garage door but charges $59.99 to come over plus $300.00 labor. The labor seems a lot but given the situation, I thought I might as well since I didn't have the tools to repair it myself. Altogether it cost me $350.00 plus $30.00 pizza.

I'd say it was an expensive dinner.

The good news, this is the first time we had to tap our EF. We had $12K EF balance, current balance is now $11,650.00.

Paid Property Tax

October 27th, 2008 at 12:59 pm

Why every year I cringed whenever I send my payment towards property tax bill? Maybe I could have added that towards our car loan. At least, we won't have to worry about it for another year. Wohooo...I feel liberated lolSmile

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