Oh, how time flies. Seems like just yesterday I was updating you about how our second quarter went. Now September has come to an end and it is time to do a breakdown of the last three months. With that intro sentence out of the way let’s jump into all the sweet sweet financial goodness you are here for!
Boy howdy that’s a lot of numbers. July was a pretty awesome month since we broke 100k in invested assets! It was also our first month without any cash budgets. We actually had a discussion whether or not we wanted to continue with our cash budget or stop. We came to the conclusion that we were comfortable enough moving away from purely cash. I was actually worried we were going to slip up and let our spending get out of control but so-far-so-good. Otherwise, July was quiet not as busy as the next two months would be.
Holy lack of fanfare batman! I didn’t even realize until I wrote this that in August it was 1 year ago that we paid off our two loans! I’m not sure if that is a milestone anyone celebrates, especially since we have the mountain (mortgage) left. We have found more ways to attack that beast. This year we used our property tax return to do a principle only payment towards the house. It was about the equivalent of two extra payments! We are on our way to paying the house off by the time Mini Donut is 16.
August is around the time I usually get my bonus and we looked over our goals for the year and took most of the bonus and threw it into Ms. BR’s Roth. This will make it so it is maxed out by the end of the year and based on our current contributions we will be able to max out next year without having to add extra.
This month is dedicated to the kid’s finance since that’s what seems to have taken up my full attention. It started out with Ms. BR going back to work and I going on paternity leave. My employer is weird (in a good way) and has a parental leave which men at the company can use to get a little paid time off to take care of newborns. My first act of a stay-at-home-dad was to finally get Baby 2’s social security number.
When we filed for his birth certificate the Minnesota Department of Public Safety decided not to check a box in their system to have the federal government send us a card for the little one. I had the wonderful experience to go to the Social Security Card office in downtown Minneapolis TWICE. The SS person on the phone told me all I needed was a birth certificate but I needed a stack of paperwork from the hospital to prove my baby was in fact a baby and real…and stuff. Anyways, the second time around with all the papers I successfully filed for a card.
It only took a week to get and when we got it I had a new 529 and savings opened within 3 days. The 529 fun didn’t stop there though. Mini Donut got in on that action. You may remember how I fired my financial advisor and he had MD in a terrible 529 plan in Wisconsin, well after fighting with that financial institution for over a month I finally got the money out of their hands and into the awesome hands of Vanguard. That previous 529 provider was gracious enough to charge us $100 to leave the plan (yes they took money away from a child).
Ultimately, Baby 2 has his money with MN Saves and MD has his money with Vanguard. I went over the tax benefits multiple times and it looked like we only would get a tax break for one of the kids based on how much we were throwing in. Plus I felt better with only one non-Vanguard account floating around instead of two. We can always change things up in the future if the laws change.
Car and Solar Panels
|Last Read Date||07/09/17||08/07/17||09/06/2017|
|Total Delivered by Customer (kWh)||339||260||241|
|Total Delivered by Utility (kWh)||564||577||463|
|Electrical Usage (kWh)||225||317||222|
|Total Electric Charges||$47.62||$58.64||$46.32|
We usually have to pay the electric company during the summer for one reason….Air Conditioning. WOW is that an electricity hog. We don’t even have our house as cold as some people I know. Since we have such a fluctuation in this utility I try to budget accordingly and so far I still have a good surplus saved up in the bank for it. I may even be able to budget less for next year.
Gas prices went crazy in September because of all the bad storms down south. Luckily for us, the Leaf let us ride out the worst of the prices. I’m still loving the car. It is so smooth to drive and Mini Donut loves the 100% torque. I will sometimes hear from the backseat, “Dad, I want to go super fast,” that means at a stop sign to floor it. My father-in-law was asking me which electric car we are going to buy to replace Ms. BR’s. I had to explain to him it doesn’t make sense to replace a three year old car and in five-ish years when we are ready we’ll probably end up buying one of the cars that come out in 2019/2020.
The solar panels put out a lot more after we took down one of our trees (I can feel the hate already). No, we didn’t take it down for the solar production. The maple tree was 40+ years old and badly trimmed by the previous owners. It was one bad wind storm from smashing into Mini Donut and the master bedrooms. The tree needed to come down (making a note to look up replacement trees). Now we have taken two trees down but have planted three and plan on a fourth.
Overall, quarter three was pretty solid for us. We haven’t seen as much of a net worth slowdown as I had expected but quarter four will have far less take home pay as my paternity leave becomes unpaid.
How did you do over the last few months? Any exciting changes or things you look forward to in the coming months?