Sunday, October 23, 2011

Looking for some higher interest income?

I just added another $100 to my U.S. Savings Bond holdings. I set up an account with Treasury Direct a couple of years ago. Not sure why I hadn't even checked the current rates (they've only been out for almost six months!). But shoot....if I can earn 4.6% for the next six months, then 3.06% for the following six months...that's better than I could dream to earn anywhere else!

See here for a much better explanation than I could ever give.

And safety?'s debatable whether the U.S. Treasury is really a good investment. Although I am of the belief that if they default, all our investments will be screwed. :-/

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Final 2 Year Updates

I'm combining these last three into one post ....because life is crazy busy and while I have a minute to type this out I might as well do 'em all!

This one is probably on schedule to be paid off first. It has a 6.15% interest rate and the starting balance was $3,575.78. Two years later, it has dropped to $2,060.51!

Definitely my highest credit card balance. It has a 6.99% which is fixed since I opted out of a change in terms. This one started at $6,698.00. Two years later, it's down to $4,300.80!

Money Market Loan
This is a crazy loan. I borrowed from my savings to replace a heat/air unit in our old house. And for a couple of years I never paid myself back ANYTHING! I'm still not paying much, just snowflaking little amounts when I find them. But at least I'm not ignoring it any longer. Two years ago I owed myself $4,711.50. Now that amount has been reduced to $4,534.39. Not significant progress....but I'm just happy I've put it back on the radar screen!

So there you have it! Total progress since the beginning of this blog.....$69,010.56! Now before you get all excited, remember that $45,739.46 was because of the inheritance my husband received from his mom. It still bothers me that we owe so much money, but it's wonderful to see that the numbers are moving the right way!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A break in the updates to ask for your help!

I have a dilemma....

I sent an email to my favorite mortgage broker a couple of weeks ago. Ended up being able to lock in a 3.875% fixed rate (30 years) for a refi of the primary mortgage. Based on the assumption that I'd refi $246,000, it would drop the payment $140/month. Less cash each month, less interest the bank earns in the long run (even with the extra payments since I'm already 30 payments into this current mortgage). The closing costs are approximately $1,200 so it would take less than one year to re-coup my costs.

Bad news....we got a really crappy appraisal. He pulled 3 comps from a street I would never consider living on since it backs up to the interstate. We actually looked at houses on that street a few years ago, but the constant drone of the tractor trailers would have seriously put me over the edge. The appraiser won't reconsider.

So now...if I want to proceed, I'll have to bring about $9,500 to the closing table. I could pull it from the HELOC --- at a 2.75% variable rate. To refresh your memory, the HELOC is secured by the rental property. I could try to work out some kind of plan that would not only pay off this extra $9,500 but also increase my monthly cash flow. The new reduced loan amount would drop my current payment by $187 instead of $140.

What to do? What to do? Any opinions?