Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Happy New Year

Hi All and Happy New Year! I hope and pray that it will be a Happy New Year for you and your families.

I am staying prayerful that this will be a year of Greater and a year for Wishes Fulfilled. My Dad is having a heart procedure on Thursday so I am asking for your prayers and I thank you in advance.  

I finished off 2013 strong financially. I did the very best I could do with all that I was juggling and it was a blessed year. I squeaked by and I don't know how I managed. Wait! Yes I do...God! After August, I didn't have more than $500 in free cash to my name but I made it happen. Below is a snapshot of December 2012 and December 2013 so you can see the progress.  I really tried to put my best foot forward. 

As you may recall, I went back to my Financial Advisor in the Spring with all kinds of spreadsheets, information and projections to see if there was anything more I could do to put myself on a better path and to better prepare for having a family. He wasn't surprised since he remembered my spreadsheets from back when I was just 24 years old. lol  After talking with me and reviewing all of my information, he concluded that I was doing my best and that I was on the right path. The only thing he wished I could do was contribute to my company's 401k which has a matching program of 100% up to 5% of my salary.

So in July, I bit the bullet and started back contributing to my 401k. That change reduced my monthly income an additional $400. I started the year bringing home $5,700/month and that decreased to $4,600/month by the end of the year with the roll off of the middle class tax cuts, switch to bi-weekly pay schedule, my 5% 401k contributions and then my 5% ESPP contributions. So after July, things were beyond tight. The ESPP is a great plan and the stock and company are solid. I get to purchase stock on a quarterly basis at a 15% discount and I can sell it immediately. The only cost is $20 to sell the stock. I started in the last quarter as a way to force myself to save 5% and I contributed $1,100. Now, I have $1,300 in stock value to liquidate. Not bad. It forces me to save and I get to make a profit. All in all, I am on the right path and I am making progress. 

 * Other: Stock Options @ Cost - Vesting 12/2015
Current Market Value ~ $12,400

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