Monthly Update

Monthly Update

winter sun

Another month, another monthly update!  I’ve cashed in some assets for the new bathroom remodel, with my bonds totaling to $2,000 and my work stock options for another $4,000.  I then dropped around $5,850 dollars so far on the work ($3,300 for plumber, $1000 for shower walls, $1000 for shower glass, $150 for shower pan, $250 for concrete and jack hammer rental, $150 for framing wood and other various supplies), or $6,500 if you include the fact that I’ll be waiving the rent for my roommate this month for all his help with the project so far. I expect the remaining costs to be between $2,000-$3,000 because all that’s left is the flooring (~$400-$600), vanity and countertop ($400-$700), sheet rock ($100) , lighting ($400) and paying my roommate for another month. If I can get this remodel done for under $10k that’ll be a steal.  I had some contractors quoting $20,000 to $40,000 for the job – which is why is pays to do some things for yourself! Once that’s complete, I expect my home value to increase by same amount I put in since I’m keeping costs down (~$10k), and I will increase the rent after my current roommate moves out (which he told me is likely this summer or fall). It would likely go from $650 to $900+, so that would be a nice $3,000 yearly bonus.

I also continued making progress paying off my loans, but am beginning to feel the “frugality exhaustion” that Trent Hamm over at the Simple Dollar refers to so often. I’ve thrown thousands into paying off my debts, but the end goal feels impossibly distant, and though I’d love to send the rest of my savings account after it too my routine monthly expenses forbid it.  It’s profoundly frustrating to know exactly where you want to go, but not be able to really do much to get there without getting a second job. That feels like I’d be going in the opposite direction from where I want to go, which is a life where I spend more time doing the things I really enjoy… but if I truly want to be free from debt I should suck it up for a year.  I can hope that when I do my taxes this year that I’ll get a refund and can drop most of that into my personal loan and write it off.

On the other hand, I also realized this month that my school loan payoff is accelerating and the majority of the money now goes to principle. The total will soon drop down to $15,000 in the next month or two, and if my personal loan is any indication, the rest should fly by.  If I could go back in time though, I should really have worked harder to avoid school debt.  I’ll have probably spent $50-60k on this by the end, and that’s money I could have really used elsewhere. I have no idea how people with $80-100k in school debt handle it.  That’s a ball and chain that can haunt you for decades. Speaking of which, maybe I should read No More Harvard Debt for ideas…

I’m also waiting for my stock to recover.  Any bit of good news at this point would be warmly welcome and should cause the price to bounce back, but its been a quiet month and stocks decline on no news. I’m pissed about missing the huge upswing elsewhere in the market, though its making my 401k is going up nicely.   Fortunately, I have no hesitation about shorting stocks, so if the market ever declines I expect to make money off that in the future.  If you dont’ catch all of the bull market, you can at least catch a piece of the bear market to make up for it.


Updated figures are below.


$3.5k in cash
$0k bonds
$33.3k in 401k/Roth IRA
$85k in stocks
$103k home equity (House value $290k – Home mortgage $187.5k)


$7.7k (@9%, being paid off at $534/mo) (~15 months until finished at base rate)
$16.2k (@6%, being paid off at $600/mo) (~32 months until finished at the base rate)
$187k (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

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