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July Wrap up

August 15, 2018

Much belated due to being out of town a lot!

Net Worth and Money

It is summer salary season!  T has a “9 month salary”, which is by default is paid out over 12 months. In the summer, he can use grants to earn additional salary, spending his full effort on furthering his research. Summer grant money is not guaranteed (he has to apply for and win grants), but it is predictable on a timescale of a couple of years. Most professors in his department can consistently pay themselves summer salary, but there are funding environments where this is not true.

With the extra cash flow this summer, I refilled our property tax account so the money is on hand for the December & March tax bill payments. This is out of convenience and allows me to avoid budgeting these on any monthly level.  They are a bit high for me to feel comfortable cash flowing.  We’re still holding a lot of other miscellaneous cash for now, but when my upcoming maternity leave comes to a close (and T finds out about tenure), we’ll reevaluate.

Between the two of us, we have over $10k in outstanding travel reimbursements owed to us by our employers right now.  I booked travel lodging for ~1.5 months for 3-4 people and it is all on my personal cards. I don’t track this in my net worth, but having $10k outstanding is an anomaly.  In the end this is not terrible – I get cash back/credit card points, and we can cash flow this.  It is still slightly alarming!  I’m getting a good chunk of this back within a few days, but I’m still incurring expenses.

I’ll be done maxing out all of my retirement options with the paycheck that arrives at the end of August.  T is on pace for an end-of-year max-out (assuming he logs in and slightly adjusts his 457b contributions).

We received our new tax assessment, and I updated our house value accordingly.  Our tax assessment lags my estimate of our market value by at least $100k, but practically speaking, our home value has limited influence on our financial plans.  Generally, we intend to stay in this house and RETIRE in this house, so the important thing is to eventually kill the mortgage and be able to cover the rest of our spending with our investible assets.  After four years, our total remaining payments are now equal to our purchase price, assuming we make no additional prepayments that knock off more interest in the amortization schedule.

With all of this, our net worth went up about 3.7%

Spending

I’m behind on tracking this again…  My spending on food and such is low due to work travel, but we’ve been spending on home projects and (a little bit) on baby prep.

Work

I spent more nights in my own bed than away in July, which is unlikely to be true for August.  We spent two weeks “in the field” traveling for work, then came home for a week to rest up before heading off for the final and longer stretch. Things went really well during that two weeks, and it was tiring and fun.

There was a lot of coworker social time on the work trip.  This was fun, but something that I’ll need to watch out for in the upcoming longer stretch. I need some time to recharge and have to be sure I take it when the opportunity presents itself.  Also, a bit of the social time leaned a bit towards the “let’s drink a lot!” side, which was marginally annoying. Thankfully, this was infrequent and limited to a few people. It was easy enough to accommodate/ignore, and there were plenty others who seemed almost as disinterested as pregnant-me in partaking.

Other work has been really hard to keep up on, so I had to strictly prioritize during my week home to ensure I didn’t drop too many balls. It has been pretty busy – I feel like I’m failing to keep everything moving.  My main project has been really supportive of my side project AND upcoming leave, not to mention really fun and meaningful over the years. I don’t want to let them down.

House Projects

T did a bunch of landscaping work in July, although progress seems to have stalled a bit.  We also got a new light fixture for our entry way and finally hung up a proper coat rack to replace the plastic command hooks that have been “temporarily” holding our coats for a couple of years.

Pregnancy / Baby

As far as pregnancy goes, everything still has been pretty easy!  I had a lot of bloody/stuffy nose issues while on travel (dry air / air conditioning / altitude change?), but it was easily manageable.  I know the 3rd trimester will likely get uncomfortable, but I’m happy that things have been smooth so far.  We had another checkup, and nothing to report.  I have had some Braxton Hicks contractions, which started around 20 weeks and are standard.  Nothing much else to report for July!

 

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2018 9:38 am

    We’ve been debating using non-salary income to help cash flow mortgage payments easier. Due to a confluence of factors (housing costs going up, monthly to biweekly pay switch), housing is more of our monthly income than we are comfortable with, so we have been debating using non-salary income to budget for the mortgage principal payments between that deposit and the next expected one. Reminded me of you using non-salary income to fund your property taxes.

    We assume we won’t retire in this place, which is why I do try to keep the condo value accurate in our net worth about once a year, since its equity would be helpful to move.

    It seems like your net worth is continuing to track upwards nicely!

    • August 15, 2018 2:19 pm

      It is reasonably likely that our plans will change between now and retirement, but I don’t have anything better to assume at the moment! Most places that have careers for us are also high cost housing, so keeping conservative assumptions for housing makes sense for us for now.

      Since I know our budget still adds up if we only assume guaranteed salary, I don’t worry about the mechanics of which money is paying what bills. It is a little wasteful to have it sitting in cash for much of the year, but it makes me not have to worry about it.

      • August 20, 2018 7:44 am

        That is what I’m trying to come around to – knowing that the budget still adds up if we only assume guaranteed salary, but that it’s nice to have a bit more breathing room from month to month.

  2. August 22, 2018 3:40 pm

    “We received our new tax assessment, and I updated our house value accordingly. Our tax assessment lags my estimate of our market value by at least $100k…”

    I’ve been wondering how to deal with our home line item on the spreadsheet. I’ve been leaving it at the purchase price though the tax assessment is higher. It feels like it’s all guesswork since the part that impacts us is the mortgage and we have no plans to sell, so the asset side hardly matters insofar as assets that we can lay hands on. I keep going back and forth on this! I bet that part of me doesn’t want to use the tax assessment in case the value falls at which point I’d have to reduce our net worth and that would bother me.

    I’m making a TEENY amount on the side in comparison to our mortgage so I’m still waffling between investing everything extra versus putting that tiny bit toward mortgage prepayment. I feel like I’m still making up many lost years of investing, though, so I’m guessing that’s where the money should go.

    Our property taxes should be covered with the cash flow I set aside so that new system is a lot less stressful than it used to be.

    Yay for non-exciting pregnancy 😉

    • August 24, 2018 6:11 am

      I use tax value to take some credit for apprecation, without complexity of actually trying to figure out market value. I would be surprised if the value falls below the tax value at this point, but it could happen. But like you, no plans to sell so it isn’t a super important decision

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