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Archive for April, 2016

proof of mortgage pay off came today!

April 27th, 2016 at 02:25 pm

The letter saying we paid off our loan, along with a paid in full sticker on a copy of our contract came in the mail today. Yay! It's incredibly satisfying to get the official notice.

Our check for our escrow also came today. I saw hubby eyeballing it, and had to remind him we need to use it to pay property taxes in June!

Upromise / College savings rewards credit card?

April 3rd, 2016 at 03:29 pm

Our financial lives have been on pause for the last five years. Our No.1 goal was paying off the house. Now that's done, so it's time to catch up on all the other things we should have been doing.

Honestly, I'm elated to be done with mortgage payments, but at the same time I'm a little overwhelmed wondering what to do first and next.

Our other big goals are to ...
-get the EF up by $20k
-save way way more money for each kid for college
-fully fund our retirement, and roth IRAs
-Save for cool vacations
-fix all our broken stuff and make the house more awesome

Gah. Always so much to do!!

Now, onto the college savings, which is the point of this post.

Today, I took one small step. I bumped up our monthly college savings auto deposit from $200/kid, to $300/kid. It won't be enough to fully fund college, but it'll help. (an extra $1200/kid/year, for the next 10 years = $12,000 more per kid!)

I also briefly considered the UPromise credit card to boost college savings. I'm not sure if it's worth the trouble? Basically, you get 1 percent into your 529 for all purchases, but with bonuses and careful spending, can get up to 5 percent.

Seems like it's work to get the 5 percent. On the other hand, any money that is a bonus could boost college savings and it could really add up over time.

Right now, we have an amazon card. We've been pretty happy with it. I usually redeem rewards for a statement credit. We get 1 percent base, 2 percent for restaurants and gas stations, and 3 percent for amazon purchases.

So what do you think? Is it worth a try with a new credit card? There might also be a $50 sign up bonus.

Upromise also has the option to register your regular credit card to possibly get credit for purchases. Have any of you tried that? Does it work?

I usually try to keep our financial lives simple so I can stay on top of everything. I don't know. Maybe it's worth it to try the card for a year and see how it goes?

OR, I could link our current Amazon card to our checking account, deposit the rewards as cash, and transfer them to the 529.

OR, I could do the bonus credit card thing, and find cards with big cash back bonuses and use those to put extra in the 529. Only thing is finding a card that will send a check rather than giving me statement credit or points to spend on gift cards.

Any thoughts?

Officially mortgage FREEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

April 2nd, 2016 at 12:42 pm

We're officially mortgage free as of today. Just have to wait for the courthouse to send us the deed! We're FREEEEEEEEEE!!!!

We bought this house five years ago on April 15. I'd hoped to have it paid off by the time DS2 headed off to first grade. He's still in kindergarten. We're ahead of schedule.

In other news, the state tax refund came, so yay! Some of the money I took out to pay the mortgage can go right back in!


April 1st, 2016 at 02:24 pm

So I logged into the bank account today expecting to see a zero balance on the mortgage, and instead it said we owed $19,000 and a payment was due today!!

I looked at the transaction history and they had reversed our last four payments. And, that money wasn't in my checking account, so it was as if all my money had vanished.

So I almost had a heart attack, and worse, I had to wait a whole hour before the customer service line opened for business. Gah!

I cleaned the house to pass the time.

So, after 20 minutes navigating the phone tree and getting transferred around to the mortgage department, I was told:

Yes, they did receive my cashiers check for the pay off amount

Yes, the loan will be paid off today.

They reversed the last few payments because they found an error in how they allocated the money between escrow, etc., and had to reverse them back to the error to correct them.

They assured me this was all a blip in the process and there's nothing to worry about.

I'm trying to play it cool. But gah. How can I not worry????????