It’s been a busy few months for me. Unfortunately, I had to put some house work at the top of my priorities, so I had to put off any real blogging activity for the past couple of months. It was tough for me to do because I finally felt like I was getting some traction. I believe I’ll have more time in the coming months, depending on how well I manage it anyway, so I hope to write regularly again.
At least two people are reading, or have read my blog at some point. It’s a nice feeling, because it can be a little disconcerting writing when there is a possibility no one is reading this blog.
Must read from @budget4wealth, Zillow’s Financial Blogger of the Week: Is Mortgage Refinancing a Good Option? http://t.co/VxAsl4yk50
— Zillow (@zillow) April 30, 2013
2nd Quarter Summary
- We’re still maxing out our 401(k) and 457 plans at work through payroll deductions. Because my wife makes a considerable amount more than I do, we had to reduce her contributions from 15% to 14% of her pay so she wouldn’t hit the $17,500 limit before the end of the year. It’s been six months since we started maxing out our bi-weekly contributions at work and it hasn’t been all that bad. Take home pay was not dramatically reduced and we’re deferring a lot of taxable pay.
- I filled out a one page application for a review of my property value and sent it in to the county tax assessor early on in the year. Since the value is calculated on January 1st of every year, I was able to get them to reduce the taxable value of the property (since property values in my area were significantly lower then), saving me a little over $1,000 in property taxes. Not bad for just an hour of effort.
- Every since we moved into our house, we’ve been collecting recyclables of aluminum cans, glass, and plastic bottles on the side of the house. It was starting to get a little crazy with all of the full black garbage bags taking over the side yard. We finally borrowed a minivan, filled it up, and took it to the scrap yard. We received a little over $50 for our efforts, which was a little disappointing. However, it’s better than the alternative of throwing it away due to the monetary and environmental consequences. I put that money into my daughter’s 529 plan.
- We got a small tax refund, so like I had planned, I opened up a regular taxable investing account at Fidelity. I ended up purchasing the Fidelity Spartan Extended Market Index Fund (Investor Class) with the initial funds. I also linked my Fidelity American Express Rewards Card to the account and have had two automatic rewards transfers already.
- Our automatic deposits to our emergency fund continued and we’re now at the 3 month coverage mark.