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I need a little advice

March 18th, 2011 at 10:52 am

I haven't posted anything in a couple of months. Nothing much new going on. I'm progressing pretty well with my goals for the year. I will make a separate post about my goals.

Anyways I have a little mutual fund problem that I would appreciate advice on. I have two mutual funds that I originally purchased from an investment broker
in the 1990's. I was happy with them for a long time and the paperwork involved was pretty simple.

Then with various stock market crashes and the recession and so on my mutual funds depreciated a lot and also somehow became more complicated. They snuck in a maintenence fee. Due to my slacker ways I barely noticed. I did call them to find out what was going on but they just insisted that i always had paid the fees. Now I just found out that the fees only started in 2009. They also passed my funds through to several different investment companies. I called the guy that I thought was my broker and it turns out that he didn't want to handle my account anymore so he had turned it over to their Customer Service Team. I spoke with them finally the other day because i had a tax question and actually it
the first time that the brokers seemed to give me any straight answers to my questions. So I think the fact that my old broker didn't weant my account was a good thing.
But the problem still is that the company charges me a maintenace fee of $60 a year and this year its going up to $85. My Mutual Funds are just starting to recover from all the bad things that have happened over the years but are basically pretty close to what
the original base was. I'm thinking of closing it all up completely. That would elimate the fees the brokerage firm that hasn't done much of anything for me. I am thinking of putting the money into Vanguard because that seems to be the most highly praised Mutual Fund company from people on Savings Advice.

So does that seem like a good idea or what should I do? And what Vanguard fund (or any other fund) would you recommend? Its not an IRA. I had Growth and Income Mutual Funds.

Thanks in advance. And I'm sorry if this post was pretty boring to read. I really could use the advice. Especially for the best Vanguard fund to look into.

2010 and 2011 Goals

January 2nd, 2011 at 09:57 pm

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and a good start to the new year.

Overall 2010 was a pretty good year for me financially. I do not think that the relatively small amount I have invested in Mutual Funds will ever completely recover but otherwise I've done fairly well. I accomplished most of my goals, paid off the mortgage on my house 11 years early, and saved $1200 towards an eventual cruise to Antarctica.

I finally posted these goals on my sidebar so its easier to keep track and compare them. I did miss out
on one of my regular goals and one of my "lofty" goals.

Now for my 2011 Goals:

- Pay myself back into my savings account the money that I used to pay off my mortgage.
- Put $3000 into a Traditional IRA again.
- Put $1000 into a Roth IRA.
- Add at least $2000 to my Antarctica fund.
- Add $400 to Emergency Fund (At end of 2010 I have $2526 in this fund)
- Put at least some money into my car fund. I have a car fund created at ING with about $25 in it but need to start saving for a future car purchase.
- Go to Scotland for a week in May for a ghost tour and stay a few days in New York city.
- Might have to have another expensive roof repair. Last year or so I had to have half the roof done and was very satisfied. But I think I have to have the rest of the roof done now.
- Take a short trip to New Orleans for Halloween.

Thats all I got. A few things will be easy but some are going to take some effort. I might add a goal or 2 later on depending on how things go.

Paid off Mortgage

October 30th, 2010 at 08:17 am

Paid off my mortgage this week. 11 years early on its 30 year loan. I actually think I could have done better but still a good thing. Just have to wait for the paperwork to go through to make it all official.

I'm also on vacation right now. Not doing anything special. Mostly watching scary Halloween movies.
I'm hoping to take 2 trips next year though.

Hope everyopne is doing well. And have a great Halloween.

Lost heat contest.

October 3rd, 2010 at 09:31 pm

Well I did not turn on my heat but it got rather cold and kicked on on its own. It does this thing were it it blows the pilot light off the first time it runs. So I had to fiddle with it and let it run a little in
order to make sure its working ok. So I'm officialy out of the contest but I'm still going to try to keep my heat off as long as possible.

I decided not to post any more of my payday updates. At least for awhile. They helped me at first but I just can't keep up with it. I am doing well with my budgeting goals though. In a couple of weeks I'm going to pay off my house. Then I will be completely and totally debt free.

I also plan on saving at least $1200 by the end of the year for my Antarctica fund. Not even close to what I'll need but I have time and its pretty good considering that it wasn't an actual goal for this
year. So far I have about $800 in that account.

Looking forward to Halloween coming up. I always take
a vacation for it. Not going anywhere as far as i know. But the time off is nice and I always have a little scary Halloween movie marathon. I know that I am a strange one.

Payday already

August 22nd, 2010 at 10:40 am

Thursday was my payday. Its actually a little confusing cause I actually get my pay now direct deposited on Weds. But Thursday used to be payday so I stick with that. I usually go to the ATM machine on friday to take out my spending cash.
Just my weird way of thinking I guess.

From this pay after deducting my regular budgeted expenses and taking out $120 spending money:

- put $100 towards my extra mortgage pricipal instead of my usual $50. I will very soon pay my house off.

- Put $30 towards paying my new cable bill.

- put $10 to Travel Fund

- put $8 to my Antarctica Fund.

Nothing else much going on today. I am enjoying the new high speed internet. But its a bit of an internal conflict in my heart that it costs so much.
At the same time I was in need of making some personal improvements to myself and my home and my recent spending is helping me with that. Just need to keep some kind of balance.

Spending Spree

August 16th, 2010 at 08:00 pm

Been spending a little more recently.
I added $30 the other day on my prepaid cell phone.
Got cable TV and internet about a week ago. Then purchased a router for that for about $79.
Today I bought a few little items from Marcs with cash and not expensive but still mainly just wants. Then decided on getting a GPS Tom Tom at Target that was on sale. I really don't feel too bad about it though cause these things were not totally frivolous. And my hours have been a lot better at my job.
Definately have to get back to my old frugal ways though.

I'm hoping that I can somehow figure out a way to make a few extra dollars with my new high speed internet. Thats something I'm going to work on.

Payday Update and a few other things

August 14th, 2010 at 09:06 am

Well once again I'm behind posting this but its cause of internet problems. I still had dial up and under normal circumstances it has served me well for a very low cost. But something went wrong with my phone line or something and my dial up still don't work. The phone itself works though. I eventually gave up and decided to get a little closer towards the 21st century. I got cable TV and cable internet. Its very nice and I get a sale price for a year. Still feel like I'm being wasteful though.
When my year is almost up I'll tweak the service to cut down the cost some. But I think the time has come that I will probably have high speed internet for the rest of my life.

From my last paycheck on 8/5/2010 I took out a bit more spending money than usual cause I had a week's vacation and went camping for a couple of days. Went to Mohican and took the 18 mile canoe trip that has become an annual thing with my nephew and his son.
After that and my regular budgeted expences I put an extra $100 towards my mortgage payment. Put $75 towards my travel fund and $73 towards my Antarctica fund. That took care of that check.

About 4 months or so ago I got a Virgin Mobile Pre-Paid cell phone. I had gone a good while without any cell phone but wanted one just for emergencies and such. Well last week it was time to "Top Up" my card to continue service. As soon as I did that I got an email from them that said if I Top Up I could use a promo code for an extra free $20 of service. I called them and told them how it was sent right after I already did it. They were very nice about it and gave me the extra $20 anyways. I had them shut off the text messaging too cause I don't use that feature and keep getting texts that just waste my minutes.
I give them high marks for their customer service.

Well I have to return to work todaty after my week of vacation. Dreading that. It wont be too bad once I actually get there. I hope. :-)

Finally ready to do a new payday update.

July 23rd, 2010 at 08:56 am

I was so far behind from my slacking that I had no idea of how to catch up on my blog. So I'm skipping the past couple of months of payday updates and starting fresh. Over the time that I skipped everything financially was going ok. I made a few puchases but nothing major and everything was paid in cash or on my credit card and paid off in full.
I bought a new vacuum cleaner recently. The one I had still worked but it did a terrible job and sort of blew dust back out. So I bought a nice Dirt Devil for about $88. Like it a lot so far. I can't see paying 500 for a Dyson or such even though I was tempted.
The only slip up financially that I've made was I was a day late paying my credit card bill and got charged a penalty. They wouldn't take the penalty off but it truely was my own fault. Thats pretty minor in the scheme of things.

So yesterday was payday. I made more than usual because I scheduled some Personal Days and for some reson they didn't give me my normal dasys off in addition. So I ended up getting an extra days pay. My next check will have 2 extra days as well. So I feel rich.
After deducting my regular budgeted items I kept out $120 for spending money. That also includes groceries and such. Gasoline is on the Budget and I use my credit card for that.
Put $98 into my Travel Fund.
Put $100 into my Antarctica Fund.
Put $60 for my IRA.
And put the usual $50 into extra Mortgage Principal.

That pretty much covers it. It might sound like pretty measly amounts to most of you but for me this was a good paycheck. My checks are measly. LOL.


June 28th, 2010 at 09:51 am

Yeah I've been missing in Action for a good month or more. Since I don't blog a lot most of you probably didn't notice.

I don't have a good excuse really. I was somewhat keeping up with everyone elses blogs but fell way behind on that. I don't really like this site as much since they changed the format a couple months ago. It
somehow makes it harder for me to follow.

Anyways financially things are going pretty well. My hours have improved at work and it seems like I have been having extra money lately. So thats good. Also I think i'm quite a bit ahead on my goals for the year. I just haven't been keeping a very good track on it.
I even have a couple hundred dollars saved so far for eventually taking a trip to Antarctica. It will be a while before I get to do that. But ya have to start somewhere.

The bad news is that my boss at work truely does hate me and I know she would love it if I were fired. She also gave me a lecture the other day that me and the other person in Toys don't do a good enough job. They are also starting a lot of new stuff that is very hard to get used to. I'll probably survive but I'm really in a struggle to keep my job. I spend more time at work explaining what I'm working on to various
bosses and looking for equiptment to do my job than actually working. There is literally sometimes 4 or 5 bosses running around and only 1 or 2 workers. The bosses usually wont help customers but run over to me and tell me to help. So i might have to sell bullets and mix paint at the same time. Its very frustrating.

Well thats all I have to update for now. I hopefully can start my payday updates on here again cause it does help me keep focused on my budget.

a little of this and that

April 23rd, 2010 at 09:39 am

Had my dental checkup on tuesday. It went well except had a tooth that chipped and needed a filling. So I had that done yesterday. I don't know what it will cost after insurance. I had set some money aside for it and thought I'd have some leftover but probably now I'll be a little short. Nothing major. I have the money just not money that was meant for dental expenses.

I booked part of my vacation for next month. I'm just driving to West Virginia. I reserved 2 nights camping
and I'm doing a canopy tour and a rock climbing class. I'm a little fearful of the rock climbing. Its just a beginners thing though so I think I'll survive it. I think will stay a couple of nights in a hotel.
I hope I can also go caving. That was my real purpose for going there anyhow. But I read something on the rules that you have to go in groups of 2 or more. So whether they can partner me off with someone else or not I'm not sure. One of the many pitfalls of being single.

So far my goals are starting to come together pretty smoothly now. A lot better than things looked a month or so ago. Hope everyone has a great day.

Payday and Tax Refund updates

April 18th, 2010 at 09:02 pm

Thursday (4/15/2010) was my payday. Like a lot of people on here I get paid every 2 weeks so I get 3 paychecks this month instead of the usual 2. Yay! So I can divide this check up slightly different than usual.

- Put $20 into Antarctica Fund.
- Put $77 to pay myself for the car repair from January. Its now paid in full.
- Put $50 into Travel Fund.
- Put $70 in E-Fund
- Put $200 in 2010 IRA.
- Put $63 aside for my next Dental visit. It shouldnt really cost that much.
- Leave $100 in checking just as cushion.

I also deposited my Federal and State tax refunds last week.
From these checks I deducted what I paid HR Block and will put the rest :

- $33 Antarctica Fund.
- $300 Travel Fund
- $300 2010 IRA Fund
- $300 E-Fund
- Putting up to $160 into a new camera. (a Want)
- Left with $240 that I dont know how to use. Will decide later.

With the extra check this month and the good tax refund I feel like I'm finally catching up a bit and making some headway. Hopefully this month builds up some steam to get through the rest of the year.

Happy Easter Payday updates

April 4th, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Hi Everyone. I hope that you all had a great Easter.
I am going to have to change my name on here from Toyguy to Slacker guy. I went over 2 paychecks again without posting. I'm continuing on with my goals OK
though. Just moving along slowly is all. The good thing is that April and May are better financial months for me than some other months. I did get my taxes done and get a pretty good refund from
Federal and $114 from the state. I already received the check from Ohio.

On my paycheck from over 2 weeks ago (3/18/2010) I also received my quarterly bonus. So thats a couple extra hundred dollars. From that check:
- Put my usual extra $50 into my Mortgage Principal.
- Put $50 to my IRA
- Put $200 to my Travel Fund.
- Put $50 to my car repair from January ( bring the total I owe myself to $117)
- Also put $10 to start an Antarctica fund. Boy its going to take awhile to get there. :-)

On my most recent paycheck (4/1/2010)
- Put $50 to extra Mortgage Principal.
- Put $40 to my January car repair (now owe myself $77)
- Put $20 to my IRA fund.
- Put only $4 to Travel Fund.
- Put $10 in my Antarctica Fund. I feel the cold breeze already.

Thats about it. I'm trying to get outside more now that its nice and wanting to walk more. I love walking but have been slacking at that as well. I want to do some fairly physical stuff this year for vacations and such and need to get myself in better shape.

Payday came and went

March 7th, 2010 at 10:47 am

Thursday was my payday. I'm not making much progress on goals but I am working on them as much as I can. Things will progress a little bit better as the year goes along.

Put an extra $50 again towards extra Principal of my mortgage.
Put $20 to my IRA funds.
Putting $3 from check (thats all I had extra) and the "cell phone money" towards re-paying myself for the January car repair. Now I still owe myself $167.
Thats pretty much it.

Went to see "The Crazies" on friday.
Probably not going to be a big hit but it was actually a pretty good movie. Also went to a fish fry dinner with a bunch of friends. They basically go there every friday now and the group is getting bigger each time. It was kinda nice but I can't and wont do it every week. For one thing (even though it was a reasonable price) I can't afford it all the time. Plus I work most friday evenings. Once in awhile isn't too bad though.

I still have a $10 gift card and some money I set aside to go to the Outback Steak house. Thats starting to burn a hole in my pocket. LOL. I want to go there so bad but it seems every time I think about it its just bad timing. I need to set a time and date and just do it. Do any of you have so much trouble
planning a simple trip to a restaurant? LOL.
Well thats all I got for now. Hope everyone is doing well.