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Archive for November, 2014

Black Friday

November 28th, 2014 at 07:31 pm

We got our Target gift cards at a 10% discount this morning. Smile

I thought that would be our only Black Friday shopping but DH went to Dick's and purchased a dozen golf balls for $5. Excellent deal on something he buys regularly! These balls aren't one of his preferred brands, but he'll save them for times when the odds of losing a ball to a water hazard is high.

Happy Thanksgiving

November 26th, 2014 at 06:21 pm

Garlic bulbs have been roasted.
Cornbread has been baked.
Rice is cooking.

Tomorrow I'll prepare quick buttermilk whole wheat bread, Low Country Stuffing, and succotash and then we'll head over to the neighbors for dinner. I'm going to teach their son how to make homemade butter (shake whipping cream in a jar), and will take their sweet dog for a walk after dinner.

I have a big service project I'm working on that I hope to wrap up by the end of the day on Saturday. (I'll spend most of the day Friday & Saturday working on that, in addition to a couple hours tonight and tomorrow.)

I'll get up early on Friday to get the Target Black Friday gift cards, but that is the only shopping I plan to do.

Life is good.
Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

401K Decisions and other Tidbits

November 21st, 2014 at 02:40 pm

I've decided not to make any changes to my 401k contribution percentage next year. The deciding factor is my marginal tax rate. The tax savings make it worthwhile to continue to contribute the maximum my plan allows even though my investment options could be better.

I'm still able to max my IRA contributions. (If I weren't I'd put less in the 401k and prioritize the IRAs.)

I'm also not making any changes to my 401k investment choices. I'm glad that the decisions have been made and I can stop thinking about them.

I went ahead and rebalanced my account; it was unbalanced by only 1% (had already rebalanced once earlier in the year) but since I was already poking around in it and it's as easy as a couple computer clicks, I just went ahead.

In other financial news, I finally found a bank bonus deal worth pursuing (they have been few and far between this year). Found it on the ever-reliable DepositAccounts.com web site.

And we're all set for our final weekend getaway of the year! I've already "warned" DH that I plan to treat myself to a bottle of beer when we go out for dinner ... A treat I have been looking forward to as I plowed through my most recent work assignment. Smile Even with that splurge, I'm pretty sure we will come in under our vacation budget for the year.

I really need to change my sub-category and stop calling it "Intelligent"(???) Investing because there's no reason to apologize for our conservative investing style. It works for us, we are ahead of schedule with our retirement savings, the funds are there to finance DH's dream if he decides to pursue it, and perhaps most important we don't shift course depending on the way the financial winds are blowing. We have a strategy that allows us to "stay on target ... stay on target" (that's for my fellow Star Wars fans).

P.S. - I think I forgot to mention that awhile back DH gave me the go-ahead to purchase an additional bit of Series EE Savings Bonds. A friend approached us about doing a private mortgage for a home he was purchasing; while we decided not to do the mortgage in the course of the conversation I asked DH why he would consider a 30-year mortgage but say that holding a bond for 20 years was "too long." Also, I think that he is feeling much more optimistic about his life expectancy since he had the minor medical procedure. Silly guy.

Open Enrollment Season

November 11th, 2014 at 08:17 pm

My out-of-pocket (well, actually it's out-of-paycheck) for medical/dental/vision insurance for DH & I will increase 6.5% in 2015, which is right in the ballpark of what I was expecting.

I have not yet decided if I am going to adjust my 401K contribution, but I will probably keep it unchanged. While I'm not thrilled with my investment options within the 401K, I already max out IRA savings so a reduction in 401K contributions would mean more post-tax savings. The tax savings is probably enough to stay the course with the 401K ...

P.S. - Oh my goodness, I have read and listened to so many books since I last updated my sidebar!

Halloween Sure is Fun

November 1st, 2014 at 10:44 am

We potlucked out on the sidewalk with neighbors. That has become an annual tradition. It's low-key with good but not fancy food, so no one spends any more than they normally would for dinner, and we really have fun.

I spent $22 on treats. We had about 120 kids come by. There is nothing left over. I ate exactly ONE treat. Big Grin