Personal Finance Question

If you had over $100,000 sitting in a regular savings account – what would you do with it and why? Also, how much would you leave in savings (if any) and why? Real or hypothetical, assume you don’t have any (non-mortgage or profitable business) debt.

Question inspired by these two articles from Ninja at Punch Debt in the Face.

*taps mic* Is This Thing On?

Is it really March already? I can’t believe Q1 is almost over. Where has the time gone? Some people are probably wondering where I’ve been and what’s been going on with me. Well, I can tell you what is NOT going on. A vacation! My calm, quiet, peaceful life has taken a complete 180 and I’m long overdue for a vacation. Like yesterday. So far, I only have one confirmed getaway, but it’ll be another 1.5 months before I can partake in white sand, blue water, and colorful libations. *daydreaming* Until then, regular life continues…

My finances are good. Met a major goal and I’ve successfully adapted my lifestyle to save/invest 50% of my income. Man listen…that was no easy task. But it worked out. Oh yea, I had a brain fart last month. I was so distracted by the issues I’m juggling right now, I forgot to pay my mortgage. When I received the late notice, I paid it immediately and asked for forgiveness. They waived the late fee and didn’t report to the credit bureaus. Thank goodness for that.

My dental work is progressing well. All medically necessary things are done, except one, but that will be complete in two weeks. So far, I’ve spent over $2k in my mouth – after insurance! O_O I have a few more things I need want done, but my insurance won’t cover the cosmetic work. Boo! I need to research options to minimize out of pocket costs. Worst case, I’m probably looking at another $5k which is why I haven’t taken a vacation yet. But to be honest, I’ve been wanting to do this for years and kept putting it off so it’s worth every dime.

Work is good. Still in the same position, good salary, awesome work/life balance, great bosses, average challenges, minimal stress. Seems perfect, right? Yea, but I was starting to get bored and considered exploring my options. I made some moves to get the ball rolling, but God had other plans and dropped a big elephant in my lap. So now, I’m thankful for my job again because the balance allows me to focus on more pressing issues in my personal life.

I’m still healing from the surgery. I did some stupid things that caused a setback. Doc had to refer me to a unique specialist who did extensive tests to diagnose the real problem. It took a while, but she finally identified the issue and put me on a very effective treatment plan. I’m making progress. Doc thinks I’ll be good to go in about 6 weeks. I feel MUCH better already, so I think it’ll be sooner than that. But I promised to be a good patient (this time).

Hmm…what else is new? Oh, can someone come get Old Man Winter? He’s overstayed his welcome and I’m ready for spring now. K’thanx’bai!

What’s in Store for My 2015?

welcome 2015

So what’s in store for my 2015? I have no idea. I stopped creating new year’s goals and vision boards a few years ago. Now I just do what I say I’m going to do at any given time during the year and remain open to God’s will for my life. 2014 was pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. But the same as last year, I have no expectations or resolutions for 2015. Life is good. I roll with the punches. And keep my eyes on Christ. My theme for the year will be: Travel, Pray, Love.

A few things I plan to do this year:

Extensive dental work. I have a truck load of stuff that I want done, some medically necessary, some cosmetic. I added supplemental dental coverage to my basic coverage for the year and my first appointment is in 2 weeks. When I’m done, my pockets will be dry, but my smile will be flawless. Yaasss hunty!

Invest 50% of my gross income. As usual, my allotments are already set up to maximize my 401k ($18,000) and IRA ($5,500) contributions for the year. But most of my financial focus will be on growing my non-retirement investments and overall net worth. I’ve never tried to invest 50% of my income before, but it may be possible. If not, 40% is definitely feasible.

My travel bucket list is a mile long, but there are a few things on my short list (within 5 years) that I’d like to visit, see, or do. Some of them include: Mardi Gras in Nawlins, Carnival in Trinidad, ride a camel to the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, climb the Great Wall of China, relax at a renowned spa resort in Arizona, rent a beach house with my girls in the Hamptons, visit the USVIs, swim with dolphins in Florida, and do all the touristy stuff in LA. Considering the cost of my dental work, only 2 or 3 of these things are likely. Anything extra will be a bonus.

I might change my hair (straighten, cut, and/or color). This is the look I want. I’ve been saying this for years and still haven’t done it. Not sure when I’ll do it this year, but we’ll see.

Continue to study and apply the word of God in my life. I consistently ask God to purify my heart. I strive to be more compassionate, patient, and forgiving towards others. And make it a priority to be a better friend and supporter to my personal board of directors. ❤️

If I fall short or accomplish something extraordinary, it’s all good. God’s plan for my life far exceeds anything I could ever imagine for myself. So I will rely on Him to direct my steps. If He says move, I’ll move. And if He says be still, I’m ok with that too. I pray that the desires of my heart are aligned with His will and I am content with the way He chooses to bless me.

Here’s to a fantabulous 2015! Happy New Year! 🎉💃😀

My Top 10 Memories of 2014

gbye 2014

10. Recording the highs and lows of every month, titled A Look Back Then Forward, on this blog. I’m glad I have that record because I enjoyed going back to read about what I found important each month. I don’t journal as much as I used to, so I’m mad at myself for stopping in September because the last quarter of this year was full of major events (South Africa, surgery, UAE, 40th birthday celebrationS, holidays, etc). But because of those major events, I was distracted from blogging. Such is life.

9. Accomplished most of my 2014 “To Do” List, wrapped up my 30s bucket list, and began chipping away at my 40s bucket list.

8. Money money money! Completed my 2014 financial plan, exceeded my investment and charity goals, reached a major money milestone, and achieved 91% of my net worth goal.

7. Lots of fun memories with my peeps that bring me unspeakable joy: sky diving, Beyonce & Jay Z concert, family fun day, trampoline park, shooting range, snow tubing, wine festivals, etc.

6. Reconnected with family and friends, some I hadn’t seen since childhood. It feels good to be in the presence of people who “knew me when…” It reminds me of the Cheers theme song – *singing* some-times you wanna go, where e-very-body knows your naaaaame… 😊

5. Giving/Receiving love and support from my top mafia…my tribe…my inner circle…my personal board of directors during a very challenging period. Whenever I experience hardships, a few people consistently emerge and stand out from the rest. I don’t use the word “friend” lightly, so I thank God for genuine friendships that withstand differences and the test of time.

4. Travels! Vacationing in South Africa – Cape Town, Robben Island, Johannesburg, Entabeni, and Pretoria – my soul was touched and my perspective of the world changed. This was, by far, my best vacation EVER! Vacationing in the United Arab Emirates – Dubia, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah – was one of those experiences that make you say WOW when looking at the pictures. The road trip to Niagara Falls in Canada with my travel buddy was fun. And my solo trip to the west coast was made even more awesome when one of my oldest and dearest online buddies took me on a wine tour in Napa Valley.

3. Growing in my walk with Christ. The more I study the word of God, the more content I feel. I’ve learned to seek him in all situations, big or small, and place less emphasis on external circumstances. He is the ultimate source of my joy and I am thankful for his grace and mercy.

2. Had major surgery. After dealing with the most pain I’ve EVER felt, opting to have surgery was still a difficult decision because I was afraid. But glory to God, I got over it and survived. Since then, it has significantly improved my quality of life.

1. Turning 40! Thanks to my family, closest friends, and a few online buddies, this year was the BEST birthday and Christmas I’ve ever had! It involved 3 or 4 failed surprises (LOL!) but the thought was greatly appreciated. Thank you all! ❤️