Sorry it’s been a little while since I’ve posted. Everything is going great bill wise, I finally have my wife really on board with getting the house paid off early as well. She pays her last credit card off in May and then her plan is to help me put more towards the principal on the house. Each of us has been putting an extra $250 for a little while and she’s going to bump hers up.
Our next door neighbors are putting their house on the market in a few days so we’re really looking forward to what they actually get for it. They said they were listing it for $259k but the realtor said that there have been a lot of bidders’ wars lately and they may get $265k-$270k for it. The great thing about this is that the building is an old brownstone from around 1910 and we have the other half. So realistically our house should get whatever they are asking if not more. They were saying that ours was the last remodeled and actually had some upgrades that the other houses didn’t have. If there is a bidding war for their house we’re thinking about maybe putting it on the market while it’s hot and selling the house and getting an apartment for a little while. We could either invest the money in some land or hold onto it for up to a year to see if we find a place we really like. I think if we hold on to it and the market takes a dive again we’ll be bummed out we didn’t do anything when we had the chance to maybe make $70k-$80k.
We do know that once their house sells we’re calling up the bank to let them know so they can drop the PMI we have on the house. That money would turn around and go straight to principal, but an extra $70 a month towards principal helps.
We’ve also decided to do some exposed brick in a couple of the rooms where we have some plaster damage/issues and we still want to put in our working fireplace, something else none of the other houses have. There are other upgrades we want to do to the house and some issues that need to be addressed but I think our house would do really well with a fresh coat of paint and some minor maintenance.
So bills are looking great and one of the best things that I did was change my work IRA from a Roth to a Traditional. We had someone bring it up to us and when we looked at the numbers it made a huge difference. We did some research for tax reasons and found out that (based on our age and income) that we should be doing a traditional IRA right now because we’re in a pretty high tax bracket and it would be better for us to get the tax deferred right now as opposed to later when we’ll be a in a lower tax bracket since both of us will be retired when we start pulling money out. We had a spreadsheet that did everything and we’re counting on the fact that tax rates shouldn’t be crazy in the future. Once we changed everything I was able to put more money away and my paychecks were only slightly lower because my taxable income was obviously less. I’m investing about $110 more per paycheck but with taxes, my pay has only gone down about $60 per paycheck. So before I would give $81 per check and get matched that same amount plus an extra $27 for a total of $190. Now I do $190 by myself, they match up to $111 and the $27 for a total around $330 every two weeks. Luckily my wife’s company does matching as well so she gives about $400 every two weeks and gets matched a percentage.
Other than that work has been really good, the team I’m on has a couple of work trips coming up and I’m getting a bonus this year, nothing amazing but any extra money is good and it will all go towards bills. I’m also taking a certification test for my career field and while it doesn’t make me promotable in my current position there is a lot of potential in other places. I’ve been studying for it and have 3 months before I test so the next couple of months will include my studying on a nightly basis for an hour or so in hopes of passing this exam. Ash and I have also been working on our Rosetta Stone French. There are 5 levels and I told her that once we both get to level 4 we’ll book a trip to France for a vacation. My mom replied to that saying that enough people speak English over there so we don’t need to wait but I think she was missing the point of learning another language and going over there as an educated visitor as opposed to a tourist. Plus having a second language is always a good skill to have and could possibly open the door for other opportunities.
That’s it, don’t have my balance info to put on this sheet but doing good with paying the bills. We actually got a refund from Uncle Sam this year but they sent us a letter saying that they were putting our refund to our taxes that we are still paying on from last year. Was kind of crappy to see that because my plan was to pay off two of my bills with the refund since my tax money comes out automatically. In the end it all works out the same, once taxes are done they’ll stop taking $350 a month from my checking account and that money will go to the house as well.