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Financial doings

November 27th, 2012 at 07:23 am

Yesterday was a no-spend day, as was Sunday. I sent a $10 check today to someone who is buying a gift for the outgoing President of a board upon which I serve. I also promised to donate $50 to the local hospital which is trying to pay off its construction costs. Long story, but the hospital, which is a non-profit, started an ambitious building campaign before the recession and got caught. I'm glad to help out in a small way; it is a great hospital, and I've been treated very well there.

I noticed yesterday that my mortgage check was not credited, so I called the credit union. It turned out that I had written different amounts on the check -- in one place I wrote $650, but on the line where you write it out, I wrote "Six hundred and 50/100." Oops. So I had them transfer the mortgage from my savings account rather than write a new check. I think I may continue to do that, and just write one check every month to go into the savings account. (I do not have a checking account at the CU -- the idea was to have inaccessible savings -- but I may rethink that, now that my mortgage is there).

I am continuing to leave about $3000 in checking because I will soon be paying the annual property tax.

I have to decide soon whether I will continue to keep my parking space at home. It is in an alley and quite near my back door, which is convenient. However, I am enjoying the benefit of free parking right now because the previous owner paid through the year. In January, I will have to start paying $60 a month. If I park on the street, I will have to buy a $100 parking pass, but it will be good for the year. There is usually parking on my block, and I am not using the car a lot, so it seems that giving up the parking space is the thing to do. The only thing I dread is that I will have to keep moving the car during snowplowing season. But heck, for $60 a month I can do that, can't I?

At least I don't have to pay to park at work any more, though I am paying $105 a month for the commute on the train! Which is so much more reasonable than gas -- I am not complaining.

I did a Pine Cone survey for $3 and found .03 today. A nice symmetry!

7 Responses to “Financial doings”

  1. Petunia 100 Says:

    So your choices are $720 per year for a convenient, guaranteed parking spot or $100 per year to fend for yourself with street parking Hmmm. If you give up your parking spot then change your mind, can you automatically have it back? Is there a waiting list of people who want an assigned spot?

    If you can easily have your spot back, then you may as well try the street parking. If it works out ok, then you are ahead $620 per year.

  2. snafu Says:

    Hope you're enjoying your new condo. Are you finding the adjustment easy or more difficult than you expected? The research suggests it takes a year to settle in new accommodations. Would you consider an automatic withdraw system for your monthly mortgage payment since it's a planned expenditure that stays the same for a long time? It has become simple to transfer funds on-line between different financial institutions.

    I have the impression you are enjoying taking public transportation to work. Have you found car expenses have decreased significantly since lower mileage means longer time between oil changes/maintenance, tire life, etc? When we asked, our auto insurance premiums decreased for the periods we were not driving to work daily.

    I too would opt to drop assigned parking if it's easy to get it back in the future. Meanwhile I suggest increasing awareness of how much on-street parking is available during December. Would it be important to retain assigned parking in the really cold winter months? The $620. saved could be re-directed as a lump sum payment to mortgage principal at the end of 2013 for example.

  3. CB in the City Says:

    I'm pretty sure that once I give up the space, it will be difficult to get back. There is probably a waiting list of people who want it. That said, I am pretty familiar with the street parking from all the times I visited my son and I have never had a problem finding a space. I think the biggest inconvenience will be having to parallel park and remember where the car is. As well as the aforementioned need to move it for snowplowing. (And I would probably have to do that for alley parking, as well).

    The adjustment to my new condo is mixed. I LOVE it and feel very much at home -- but it's also more difficult what with having to walk to the train station and having to navigate stairs. I'm also having to get used to doing laundry in the basement in coin-operated machines. My day is long due to the commute and I'm tired when I get home at night. And since I'm still waiting for my couch, I haven't picked out rugs or hung my pictures. Yes, I know it sounds a little anal, but I don't want to make any decorating decisions until the couch is here and I know what I working with. But despite those things, I do love it, and I love being near my kids.

    I don't want to do an automatic mortgage payment because I want to prepay as much as I can -- and that will vary from month to month. And I find that once you set up an automatic payment it can be hard to change it or stop it. I've had a bit of a hassle with my utility payments, though I think I have it all sorted out now.

    So far car expenses seem about the same, since I've had some trips to make. I may ask about lowering my insurance premium, but before I moved here I was only a couple of miles from work, so in truth, there hasn't been a dramatic drop in mileage. I do wonder if there is some benefit, however, for someone who can prove they use public transportation on a daily basis.

  4. just a thought Says:

    If it were me, I would keep the spot through the winter at least. Street parking conditions can change significantly once snow is involved. Plus, no moving the car for the plows. Then, come spring, I would reassess (sp?) the situation.

  5. CB in the City Says:

    I forgot to mention that I would have to pay for the whole year up front. Puts a different spin on it.

  6. snafu Says:

    On your mortgage, is it your intention to pre-pay on your mortgage thereby creating the ability to miss payments without being in arrears or do you want sums to be directly applied to the principal to lower the balance? If the money is to go directly to principal, I suggest you check the balance to be certain it has been applied as you intend.

    While it takes time to adjust to a new home, you may like to research the cost of having a small, stacked or all-in-one' washer dryer installed in your condo. Factor in a value for lugging a basket up and down the stairs and the multi trips involved to change out from washer to dryer etc. There may be a fear factor and other things to consider and evaluate.

    We've had snow since mid October but not sufficient to require those who park on the street to move their cars. The plows have just gone around them to date. If you pay for a year's parking and relinquish the spot after four months for example, could you get a refund? Could you sublet the spot to another resident to recover your investment?

  7. CB in the City Says:

    My intention is to lower the balance. I checked with my loan officer in advance about prepayment, and I do keep tabs online.

    I would love to have a stackable washer/dryer; that's something I plan to investigate. I would hate to lose a closet, however, so I'm on the fence.

    Subletting is a good idea, but I'm still on the fence about that one, too. Smile

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