Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Jeep Paid Off

This week I sent off the final payment on my 2000 Jeep Cherokee. I bought it in December of 2003, and have paid it off in just over two and half years. It was originally a six-year loan.

I was able to do this by just adding extra to my payments each month - being sure to specify that that the extra was to go towards the principal due on the loan. (A Bankrate.com article on this topic has more on the importance of telling the lender your intentions.)

I did make one giant payment somewhere in the middle of the loan, but for the most part, I just added $100 or $200 extra to the payment.

Now we can take the money that was going towards the Jeep and put it towards wedding and honeymoon debt.

I also added another item to my Sharebuilder investments, dipping my feet into the International market by added some iShares MSCI Japan Index (EWJ) to my account. This Exchange Traded Fund includes some of Japan's most well-known companies, such as Toyota, Canon, Honda, and Sony.

Over in the right hand sidebar, I added the new Yahoo! Finance module, which I've set to monitor some of the investments I currently have, while not telling you how much I have in them. (It's very small.)

Monday, July 03, 2006

This and That

I admit, I'm having a hard time coming up with material for the blog here. I'm still very interesting in financial matters and have in fact been working on a few different little things, but nothing that makes me feel worthy of writing a blog post.

We're in the preliminary stages of looking at houses and getting a feel for what and where we can afford. I need to finish up The Automatic Millionaire - Homeowner to make sure I'm pretty well educated for when we head into the process in earnest.

We're attempting to set a household budget and set a goal for eliminating all wedding/honeymoon debt. Right now the initial target is to be in the free and clear by next summer.

I'm trying to put all account, personal and financial information onto a USB jumpdrive, which I will then keep in a fireproof safe or even a safety deposit box to ensure I have that information and documentation in case of an emergency.

We're continuing our savings deposits and investment plans. Currently we're either saving or investing nearly $450 a month.

Trying to decide whether we stick it out in the corporate world for a few more years, or attempt to strike out on our own sometime in the next 5 years. Lots of things to consider there.