The Happenings Over the Last Few Weeks

So I mentioned previously that we currently have two houses.  Well over the last few weeks we entered into a Rent-To-Own agreement to sell the vacant house.

landlord

The process was similar to a normal residential sale.  Buyer submits a purchase agreement and gets a home inspection.  The difference is there is a lease option, which states the option fee aka down payment, and a rental agreement.

The pros for the seller are for the term of the lease

  1. Mortgage payments paid.
  2. Hopefully a monthly profit.
  3. Continued tax deductions.
  4. Typically a higher quality tenant, since they do want to buy the house.
  5. Tenant is responsible for maintenance and repairs.

Cons for the seller can include

  1. Having to be a landlord.
  2. Tenant could trash the place once they realize the still can’t afford the house.

The rental agreement for our RTO is 2 years, at which time the buyer has to obtain financing or lose the option fee.  From what I’ve read the buyer never ends up purchasing the home for most of these RTO.  Check back in two years to see if this is the case for us ;ob

The race for the tenant to move in was fraught with drama, but that’s a topic for another post…

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So what has happened in 7 years?

Well looking at my last post 7 years ago, I guess I quit blogging because of a death in the family. I did end up transferring the loan balance to a credit card at 0% until September 2009.  This ended up being a really good move because I was laid off in February 2009.  That balance transfer cut my car payment in half, and I found a job in September of 2009.  At the time I was laid off I had 14k in my savings account.  I managed to save another 5k while I was laid off.  I was able to do this because I was also teaching music lessons on the side and put that money directly into savings.  It did hurt a bit to pay off that 13k credit card bill, but I was worth it.  BTW, I’m still driving that car :o)

Since I had been making us save for about 3 years and keeping our expenses low, we were able to live off of half of Mr. Thrifty Femme’s salary while I was laid off.  Ah, those were the days!  I should make it a goal to get back to that!  These days I think we could live off of one salary alone.

Boring events include

  1. Saving money.
  2. Opening a HSA.

Big events include

  1. Toddler!Thrifty Femme entering the world.  I will not be posting pictures even though she is very cute :o)
  2. Purchasing a new home in 2014.
  3. Potentially renting our former home 2015.

Yeah 2 and 3 don’t exactly square, but ya live and learn!  That’ll be a topic for future post ;ob

Thrifty Thursday: Groceries

My Groceries Deals is a website that collects the weekly sales for major grocery chains across the country. You enter a zip code and then select the stores for which you would like to see deals. If you register with the site you are able to enter dietary restrictions and limited allergy information.

The search results are sorted by grocery category (i.e. Baking Goods, Beer/Wine/Spirits, etc) by default, although you can also view by store. There are options to find coupons using Smart Source and there is an option to view the nutritional information for each search result. You can also make a grocery list and it will keep a running total of your savings and the amount you will spend as well as organize the list by store. You can either print this list or email it to yourself.

Although the user interface could use some web 2.0 bells and whistles, My Groceries Deals will definitely could streamline the time it takes peruse the weekly circulars and compile your grocery list.

Mid-year Goals Review

Personal Goals 2008

  • Transfer Roth IRA, old 401Ks, and old pension to discount brokerage firm
      Done 03/2008!
  • Contribute maximum limit to Roth IRA for 2007 by April
      Done 04/2008!
  • Become credit card debt free by July by paying off credit card #1 before the 0% intro rate ends – on target Pay off credit card #1 before the 0% intro rate ends
      on target* Done 06/2008!
  • Pay down car loan by 90% by December 31
      on target slipping Blown!

      Well, the original plan was to triple car payments to pay the car off by April 2009. In order for this to happen I had to stop contributing money to savings. I couldn’t hack not contributing to savings, so I came up with an alternative solution to triple payments on the months and double payments on the even months and contribute the would-be third payment to savings, resulting in a May 2009 payoff.

      This has been working well, but now I am considering transferring the loan balance to a credit card at 0% until October 2009. I would save $450 in interest plus earn interest on the money that would have been used for two or three monthly car payments. The hitch is the application form doesn’t have a place for loans only credit card balance transfers, so I’ll have to call or visit a local branch to see if a loan balance transfer would be processed as a cash advance which would be a deal breaker. The other option would be to do a balance transfer to a credit card with a low balance and then request a credit refund. I’m still mulling this over.

  • Continue to contribute 401K to employer match percentage
      on target, might consider contributing more.
  • Research long term investment options
      gotta get started I’m reading the Booglehead book. I suppose that is progress.

*This got revamped because I remembered I have another credit card balance with a 0% interest rate that ends in Feb 2009, so I won’t be credit card debt free until Feb 2009.

Short Term Goals

  • Determine personal net worth – in progressDone 04/2008!
  • Track aggregated expenses for 2007 – in progess, gotta create more meaningful subcategories to get the unreconciled percentage down O_oDone 04/2008. I used this budget template from Microsoft to determine better categories and subcategories.

Family Goals 2008

  • Rebuild family emergency fund to 20K by December 31 24.5K by April 2009 25.5K by May 2009
      On target

      Well, this keeps changing because I keep finding stuff I should be taking into account the eFund. The original goal of 20K by December is actually on target for successful completion.

  • Pay off credit card #1 before the 0% intro rate expires in October
      On target with payment scheduled
  • Budget for 2009 vacation(s)
      Currently on target, but will likely have to continually adjust to anticipate increasing airfare prices.

Short Term Goals

  • Determine family net worth
  • Track aggregated expenses for 2007
      In progess, gotta create more meaningful subcategories to get the unreconciled percentage down O_oDone 04/2008. I used this budget template from Microsoft to determine better categories and subcategories.

    Tentative 2009

    • Pay off credit card #2 before the 0% intro expires in February
        On target with payment scheduled

    Long Term Goals

    • Make some!!
        yeah, still gotta make some…

Thrifty Thursday: The Discounts Edition

Bank of America has expanded it’s Museums on Us program. This program provides free admission to select museums across the nation on the first weekend of each month all year long with a BOA debit or credit card, although there may be other associated fees.

$10 off orders of $60 with Google Checkout for select stores, including Buy.com and TigerDirect. This promotion is good until June 23, 2008.

Starbucks has kicked off a card rewards program. Join before July 14, 2008 to receive a coupon for a free drink.