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Archive for January, 2008

Student Loan - DONE!

January 30th, 2008 at 03:46 am

After repaying $24,420 over 10 1/2 years toward an original $14,375 student loan, I am finally DONE!

One funny note: I paid my last lump payment online the day before MLK Day, so the banks weren't open to process it (adding one extra day's worth of interest). Upon logging in to check my account balance, I found I still owed four cents! I called to inquire about it, and was assured the loan company would "write off the 4 cents." I wasn't too keen on associating the term "write off" to such a long loan. So, after first considering dropping 4 dirty pennies in an envelope, I ended up writing my smallest check ever for $0.04.

Whee! A Raise!

January 29th, 2008 at 03:43 am

Tomorrow is my one year work anniversary. I haven't worked an entire year at the same job since 2001! This is a good feeling of stability. I love my job and the flexibility it allows.

A month ago I raised my 401k contribution 2%, so I won't enjoy that much more money in my take-home paycheck, but I will enjoy the fact that I've forced myself to save extra.

Although the markets have dipped, I take solace in the fact that I'm buying at a supreme discount. The markets will rebound eventually. I've diverted a few percentage from my long horizon target fund toward bonds for the short term. Perhaps that's a little too much diversification, but it makes me sleep better at night.

Due to being an investment dork when I first enrolled, I'm showing a depressing 16% loss since I started my 401k in April of 2007. HOWEVER, when you factor in the employer match I'm still ahead almost 6%, which is a more optimistic view.

Regardless, I'm in this for the long haul and I have at least 30 years to watch this turn around.

Eh?

January 27th, 2008 at 06:31 pm

My auto insurance is set to renew the beginning of March, so I logged on their web site to see how much the premium would (inevitably) increase. Much to my surprise, it had gone up 13% from last year. No tickets, no accidents, no change in credit score, yet a substantial increase over last year.

So I called to ask why the major hike? Needless to say, no one can tell me why or how. Not the parent company, not the agent.

Gee, I'd like to give myself a COLA of 13% JUST BECAUSE! Keep in mind, my health insurance only increased 7% this year (a serendipitous surprise).

Last year, I added $10,000 worth of medical payments insurance, since I had yet to qualify for health insurance at my new job. I've decided to drop this, saving $202 off the premium. Yet when I log on to see the adjusted premium amount, it has only dropped $141. Again, no one can answer why.

I am hoping this will be resolved before the bill is mailed out, otherwise I will get hit with the $4 service charge for the privilege of paying my bill.

Still, my agent assures me he has many customers that would love to have a rate as low as mine. I told him I'm not comparing myself to them. I'm comparing myself to myself-last-year!

Does a 13% increase seem high to you?

I finally join!

January 27th, 2008 at 05:32 pm

After months of lurking and learning, I'm ready to put in my two cents.

My goals are:
staying debt free
continue contributing to 401k at 17%
continue contributing to ROTH IRA at 17%
saving for LASIK

I'd like to learn how to add widgets to my sidebar.