Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What I Wish I Did Before I Got a Mortgage, Pt. 1

The most important thing I didn't do properly was to remember that I get paid twice a month. I was budgeting my income on a monthly basis, which works out great when you don't have a mortgage, but badly, when mortgage goes right out your bank account the second it goes in there from your company.

This month is the first month I paid my mortgage (the first real month is paid for in closing costs), and so I'm realizing that too much of my cash is going out the door in the first week of the month, and almost nothing in the last week of the month. This will cause a 2-3 week period where credit cards can not be fully paid off, since I don't actually have the cash to do so.

What I should have done was to call my credit card companies and change all my due dates to the second half of the month. That way, cash outflows are not so front-loaded in a month.

Most credit card companies will allow you to make a due date change every 6 to 12 months, but you'll only need it once.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Need to post more frequently

All the recent activity with people reading and commenting on my prior post about the fraud perpetuated by the Google Money Machine people has guilted me back to blogging. I took a break for a while because work was burning me out, and frankly, I was running out of material.

Now that I have my house, there will always be a source of material to write about.

Interestingly, today I finally discovered a use for getting the print editions of newspapers. Normally, I don't even want the print edition of the Wall Street Journal (and I send that to my parents' house), but since I just moved in, every person and their mother is trying to sell my subscriptions of one thing or another.

Today's local paper had the coupon insert inside it. I figured, hey, I'll save some money and I'll flip through it. Turns out, Reese's is doing a 55 cents off promotion off any of their candy. When I went to Target to look for some, Target had a sale going for an 8-pack of peanut butter cups for a $1. BAM! $0.45 for candy.

Great deal. Now, if only I found a way to save over $200K and pay off this mortgage....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Long time

Time to catch up. Big NEWS!

On contract for a house, closing July 31st. Going to set me back about $210K and I've been scrambling to get inspections, mortgages, and lawyers.

Recent economic improvement and then subsequent further news about declines has been wrecking havoc with mortgage rates.

When I started looking, 30-yr mortgage rates were around 5.00% and then started to creep up to 5.6%. In the last week, the rates are starting drop and come down to around 5.4%. Hopefully within 1-2 weeks, I can lock in right around 5.00% again.

That's it for now. Be back tomorrow with some thoughts on the economy.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Networth Update

Wow, looking back, it's been a good two months since I've posted a networth update.

On the whole, things are going pretty well. Now that the stock market is back, my investment account and 401(k) are both steadily rising, while no new major expenditures have helped keep me heading toward the break-even point.

As of May 31, 2009, my networth is -$5,569.23. My networth increases about $610 a month with a 62.3% probability. I'm trying to increase that probability month to month by sticking closely to my budget.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Is the dead cat bouncing?

As I blogged before, there's plenty of belief out there that the last month's worth of bounceback in the stock market is just a momentary uptick during an otherwise downward trend.

One big economic statistic driving the market down today was the release of foreclosure data, suggesting last month was a record high level of foreclosures. Then you have retail sales data below expectations and a round of negative earnings from insurance companies, and we're back to where we started.

So do I think we're in a dead cat bounce? I still don't believe in it. I think in general, investors are behaving rationally as economic data comes. The horde mentality and the wild swings are gone. Drops are within regular variance in the stock market.

What we need now is a more solidified banking sector and a final decision on the failing US auto manufacturers, and we can start digging ourselves out of this mess.