Thursday, December 29, 2005

Deposit Put Down, More to ING

A fairly busy financial week for the last week of the year. Some of the events:
  • Received my payment for October and November from the Fox Sports Website.
  • Made a $500 deposit (from checking) for our Wedding location in California.
  • Transfered $600 to ING Direct for more savings.
We'll have some things coming up soon. We've got to start booking some of the travel for family, and also the honeymoon.

On a totally unrelated note, there was a financial downer this week as well. I received a call from a financial services company which handles my ex-wife's car loan. I was a co-signer on that loan. She's behind, and usually is every month. Now she is about 38 days past due.

Now I realize that my options for getting taking off the loan as a co-signer are slim and none. But it's a period of my life that I want to completely put behind me. She cannot refinance the loan in her own name because her credit is so poor. I'm not sure what my other options might be, but I'd be open to suggestions...

Friday, December 23, 2005

Early Expenses

The first wedding expenses are trickling in.

We spent about $50 on "Save the day" cards, which were ordered online. We got priority shipping and processing, so they cost a little bit more.

We had bought a couple rolls of stamps in preparation, but then found out that the stamps would be going up in price starting January 8th. We'll have the cards out before then.

We also registered a domain, purchased hosting for a year and a website template for a total of about $95. We plan on using the site to keep people informed, as they will be coming from all over the country to our wedding.

So that's almost $200 already...

We're waiting to hear from the location we've decided upon as to how much of a deposit we'll need to put that down. We'll probably have to put down $500 to a $1000. Edit: It's going to be $500 to put down.

My future mother-in-law is graciously and generously insisting on paying the rest of the reception fees, which means we pay for the dress, flowers, music, cake and honeymoon. A few other things too.

D is a travel agent, so she's got some great deals lined up for the honeymoon...

Monday, December 12, 2005

More ING

Snuck an extra $300 over to the ING Direct account this week. Hoping to have $6000 or so saved in cash by the time the Wedding/Honeymoon bills start coming in.

Also have $100 more going to Sharebuilder today. For the first time, I'm actually seeing increases and decreases in the balance of the account due to the fluctuations of the stock market. Previously it might go up or down by a matter of cents, now I'm seeing it in dollars. It will be interesting to watch as the account grows to see how the market impacts. This account was created as my first foray into stocks, and is my testing ground.

We're looking at wedding locations, and it's always frustrating when you go to a place, tell them what you want and they verbally give you a figure that sounds reasonable. Then you go and tell them to send a written proposal and it is thousands more than they verbally quoted you. Not cool.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Current Financial Snapshot

So here is my December 1st, 2005 Financial snapshot. It shows things in pretty good shape since the last one, which I believe was at the end of August. You can also compare this to where I was a year ago.

A few points of clarification on the data:

You might wonder why I'm carrying the credit card debt when I have enough in accounts to pay it off. The debt is on a 0% APR card until May of 2006. I plan on paying the balance off before then.

Something to keep in mind with the figures for the month is they included a large cash purchase...namely, Darcy's engagement ring. I'm not going to say how much it was, but lets just say it was in the thousands.

I'm going to be picking up a nice payment sometime in the next month for my first two months of work on the Fox Sports web page. That's likely to be stashed away into some savings to help with wedding expenses.

I've increased my automatic deposit to Sharebuilder to $100 a month. That should help it grow a bit more, as with my previous $50 a month deposit, that included two purchases of $4 each. Now I'm still making two purchases, but a higher % of my money is going to be desposited. (Before: $50 - $8 = $42 Now: $100 - $8 = $92 So now 92% of my deposit is going towards stocks as opposed to only 84% before.) If I keep the same plan, the more I deposit, the higher % of my money is actually going to start working for me.

I need to see if I can afford to double up my weekly withdrawals to ING and VirtualBank as well. Right now $25 a week is automatically going into each account. To go to $50 to each might make things a bit tight for me. I'll ponder this.

So at the moment, I'm automatically placing $300 a month into either MoneyMarket accounts or Investments. For someone who couldn't save at all a few years ago, this is definite progress.