Monday, April 15, 2013

Two years later ….

Two years after moving into a brand new home, this is a good time to reflect.  

Major Life Changes:

  • We have adopted a kitten.
  • My wife has nearly graduated from school (finishing her last dissertation credits now).
  • I have changed degree plans (and majors). 
  • And the wifey has a real job besides what used to be just an on-campus job.

House Changes:

  • We've furnished it nicely and rearranged it as well. This took some serious time and incentive as we had family from out of the country coming and we wanted to make sure they were comfortable and that everything was within our price range. 
  • This coming month (or next at latest), we’ll be posting before and after pictures of new laminate flooring in one of the bedrooms. Our kitty decided he didn't want to see carpet anymore and he was upset we spent 8 hours away from home...  
  • And another nice improvement, although somewhat trivial was a garage door opener and no longer fearing of some break-in, theft, or someone just keeping an eye on us.

We've also had some repairs:

  • Our AC motor blew, this would have been a several hundred dollar fix, but luckily it was still under warranty and consequently, cost us nothing. 
  • And just recently, which I can’t ever recall happening in any of the past homes I've lived in, a light switch blew.  Luckily I have 2 spare switches since we swapped them out with electric timers (which we absolutely love), but regardless, it would have only been a couple of dollars.

Financial changes:

  • We are still on track to have all of the interest paid off by the end of the year. This was a huge undertaking as I haven’t been paying interest on my loans for some time now since they are on deferment. This wouldn't even be remotely imaginable if it wasn't for my wife’s new job.
  • Also, we are saving money for retirement! Currently we’re just trying to put back about $250 a month. I've spoken to many people about how to invest money, along with read MANY books and they all have such interesting perspectives.  So far, the best take that I have is this: diversify and try to keep costs low. How? Well, I’m currently investing in mutual funds, and I suspect that is what I will always invest in. Currently I've invested in core-large cap funds with very low costs and in due time, I’ll invest in small cap, international, bond (mutual funds), mid cap, etc.  Why own 1 stock or bond, when you can own MANY. Keeping the risk to a minimal, that’s the key.
What lies ahead:
  • Making the back yard look nice, which is very very challenging in Texas if you refuse to water every day...

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