We’ve been in sub-zero weather for a week here in Minnesota and I finally make my reappearance. My apologies for the slow posting period; for a variety of reasons I haven’t been on the computer much. First, I was striving towards my goal of reading as many books as possible this year (with a new all time record of 66!), including the Holy Bible from cover-to-cover. Second, I have been sick as a dog this last week 🙁 I truly appreciate now why they say that health is wealth, because I couldn’t keep anything down at all and could hardly focus the entire time. I am in awe of people who put up with entire lifetimes of illness.
But at the very least I can do my regular monthly update! My decision not to sell my stocks in mid-October has come to bite me in the ass and I am down another $20k in that area. Much of this will come back next year, but the opportunity cost from not being able to trade, pay down debts, and live with less stress is still there. I’ve re-read Donald Cassidy’s “It’s When You Sell That Counts” and it reconfirmed for me what a mistake it was to not sell when the time was ripe, but when I thought to get into the lowest tax bracket. I won’t make that error again. But that is trading. You become better over time but will get kicked in the ribs occasionally. If you can get past that you will learn and start making money.
On the plus side though, I did not spend much money on Christmas gifts and I escaped without any major car repair bills either. As such, I dropped $3.5k into my personal loan and finally pushed it below the $10k mark. I aim to have this paid off 100% before the year is out and finally get some breathing room in the monthly budget.
I also got word from my roommate/contractor that he will be able to get a plumber in the 2nd week of January to scope out work on building a basement bathroom, so hopefully this project will finally get underway. Outside of the plumbing,framing, and shower pan installation I know enough about tiling and drywall to do some of that work myself and keep costs down.
The name of the game is to cut expenses and increase income. The goal is simple. Lets try to keep to it!
Updated figures are below.
$2.3k in cash
$1,650 in bonds
$30.5k in 401k/Roth IRA
$90k in stocks
$102.5k home equity (House value $290k – Home mortgage $187.5k, )
$8.4k in a personal loan (@9%, being paid off at $534/mo)
$16.7k in school loans (@6%, being paid off at $600/mo)
$187.5k home mortgage (at 4.125%, being paid off at $1400/mo, half from me, half from a mother-in-law unit I rent out)
$650/mo in rent, on a month-by-month basis