June 30, 2009

June Net Worth Update (+$6,366.15)

After a crazy May in which our net worth dropped $12,703.04. June turned out to be a great turnaround month. Our net worth increased $6,366.15 from last month, to a total of $39,617.81 (click on spreadsheet below).

What Worked
We piled $1,675.19 into our retirement accounts (401k, Roth IRAs, & Traditional IRA) and saw them increase to a total of $2,110.87. We also deposited $3,815.08 into our savings account, $1,795.08 of which is from our 1st mortgage that we are not clear if we do or don’t owe.

What Didn’t Work
I have nothing to enter here, thank God.

Next Month
July should be another strong month. I receive a third “extra” paycheck next month and my wife may be receiving her first quarterly bonus from her new company. My 3% contribution increase to my 401(k) will also kick in next month, bringing my total contribution to 8%.

June 23, 2009

Traveling Perks

I just returned from a business trip and am happy to be home. Each trip, I try to earn as many “kickbacks” as possible.

Delta SkyMiles

Before my trip, I started with 29,233 SkyMiles (after using over 100,000 miles to get two free tickets to Hawaii in September. I now have 32,928 SkyMiles, but need them to still give me credit for part of my trip. My total should increase 1,500-2,000 SkyMiles once that is done. Since I am Silver Medaliion status, I was also upgraded to first class during one leg, each way.

Holiday Inn Priority Club Reward

I stayed at Holiday Inn’s each night which increased my points from 15,737 to 21,592. I now have enough for one free night. A couple of the Holiday Inn’s that I stayed at will be emailing me surveys to fill out that will give me an extra 1,000 points.

HSBC Credit Card Cash Back Rewards

I spent enough money on business expenses to earn a $25 HSBC Credit Card Cash Back Reward. My company reimburses me all of my expenses, so this is totally free money.

I will be traveling again next month and look forward to racking up the perks.

June 9, 2009

Already Thinking About Next Years Taxes

Since short selling our condo, my wife and I have taken a few steps to help reduce our tax bill for next year, since we won't have the large mortgage interest write off.

  • When my wife started her new job a couple of months ago, she only claimed 1 dependent to have more taxes withheld (she usually claims 2).
  • We just increased my 401(k) contribution from 5% to 8% to reduce our AGI. This will go into effect beginning my July 1st paycheck.
  • When my wife's company has their 401(k) open enrollment, she will increase her contribution from 5% to 8% to reduce our AGI.

We'll still have some mortgage interest we can write off since we just sold the condo, but hopefully these extra steps will help minimize what we owe next April 15th.

June 1, 2009

May 2009 Income Statement

As I outlined in my May Net Worth post, it’s been a crazy month (click on spreadsheet below).

As far as income goes, it’s actually been a above average. In additional to our regular salaries, my wife received an unexpected $1,000 bonus ($536.65 net), $110 in reimbursements, and we received $125 is credit card rewards. Pretty good.

It terms of expenses, money absolutely flew out of our accounts in May. We spent ~$9,500 with our short sale and move. In addition, we spent $980.46 for a new bedroom set, $204.79 for my Wife's medical bill, and $270 for our dog's annual shots and teeth cleaning. Since we were blowing through money, it was easy to get a bunch of misc little things too that added up to a few hundred dollars.

Next month, we tighten our belts.