Archive for the ‘furniture’ Category

Networth Update

April 6, 2008

I have been busy the last few weeks, as you can see had a slight increase mostly from tax returns and extra $1,000 from for being deployed over 12 months.

I invested a little bit into the Visa IPO to test to the waters, plan on holding on to it long term and perhaps putting some more money into it down the road.

Right now I will be leaving GA when I get back to head to KS, with some trips up and down the east coast in between with stops in SC, VA and NY. I am excited about moving but at the same time a bit worried. Was reading some articles in a Kansas paper and for what I though was a somewhat conservative but progressive state some of the stuff like abortion and other issues seem like they came out of the 50’s or 60’s. I am most likely just reacting to some minor but vocal group, I have no problem with religion but when people stay talking about God this and that and laws and stuff, I just sit back and wonder if they ever took a basic class in school on civics or even understand anything about the history of their own government.

I plan to rent and will be buying some furniture and other things. Right now it looks like I will have $18,000 to spend; I have $15,000 put aside already. Now many will be like wtf, your wasting money but I plan to buy some things which will last; instead of buying and replacing items every three years. Now, I move often so I will have to pay for replacement insurance and pay much more attention to movers, but going to buy quality cooking pots and pans and knives etc.

I also plan to take a more serious look at blogging when I get back, perhaps own domain and use it for more then just updating on money which is what I have been doing over the last year while I was deployed and started this.

JAN Networth

February 10, 2008

JAN Networth

My FNBO saving account just announced that their interest rate had dropped once again so I will be moving my house buying funds to a Vanguard Money Market account. I have now also fully funded my Roth IRA for 2008, and looking good to max my TSP. My new goal is to store away extra funds into the Money Market as a saving towards a house or condo later on.

I still have my furniture fund but I will just be getting a bedroom set, desk and chair when I get back and into my own place sometime in September 2008. I will slowly buy furniture and housewares on a budget after the initial purchases. I priced out an entire apartment for almost 17k at Room and Board and would spent 10k at William Sonoma with the knowledge that yes I spent alot of money that I could have gotten something that did the job just was well cheaper; but I am looking at it more of if I buy that one item I will never have to buy that item again mentality. Rather pay good money up front and only have to replace it if its lost.

Right now I still do not know where I will be in September, I hoping for a urban location in the United States. If I end up in a rural area I will most likely just rent but if in a city I will buy a condo. I will most likely rent for the first six months either way so that I can get to know the neighborhoods. I am looking for a 1-2 bedroom condo in a walkable urban area, something that I can get with VA loan and hold on to in the years to come. Due to location I should always be able to rent or if needed sell it due to location. However great location = $$$. Thus the need to learn the market whatever I end up, that will also give me the time to have a decent amount of money for a down payment and cover costs.

The market is going back and forward but not too worried, I just keep picking up shares and in for the long run. I did change my TSP from a Life cycle to International, since with my Target Retirement from Vanguard and Vanguard 500 index I wanted more international exposure.

Furniture and opinions

July 19, 2007

I have been looking around to buy furniture when I get back to the states because I do not have anything. I want to move past the IKEA/Walmart stuff that snaps together and falls apart and put some money into a product that will last me for a few decades.

Going to link to quite a few items and looking for any input anyone may have. Most of my online shopping has been at Design Within Reach and Room and Board.

Living Room: This sofa, chair and ottoman.

Bedroom: This is one possible bed in walnut and this is the other in mocha. I will add the matching dresser and nightstand in mocha if I get that the Calvin style bed.

Other: I want to put some bookcases (gray) though-out my apartment without using too much space. I am thinking two big ones in the living room and one small bookcase (gray) in the bedroom or office. I thinking about this bench as either in the bedroom or as the table for the living room. Was looking at this dining table in walnut but it may be more then I need plus these chairs in ebony with black leather.

Office: Yes this chair is expensive but I want something i can sit in for a few years. This desk in mocha. This desk costs a bit more since you have to buy the bloody drawers seperate. This one seems to fit between the two going with a cherry top.

That is enough for now.

Its Tuesday

May 22, 2007

All together not a bad day today and yesterday for that matter, at least for me.

Something of a treat today, Toby Keith is doing a concert over-here. Not sure if I will go, depends on work etc.. There are playing the music in the building this afternoon either way, since it seems he will come though. Maybe I will get a pic, who knows.

Decided to put $5,000 into the Clothing Fund, I can always increase it. I found a better account for the savings, seems HBSC offers a direct on-line saving account with a 5.05% rate which beats what my bank offers. I opened an account there and put $5000 in it. With the Furniture and Clothing fund combined at $15,000 based off one year I will only need to invest $14,279 and if I increase it to $20,000, only need to put in $19,039. I will take the SDP fund (which I opened yesterday, I tried to do it down in Kuwait but after two attempts it never went though) and move it into that same account when I get back since it provides better interest. If I let the $10,000 from the emergency fund sit for 20 years it will grow to around $24k. Not sure if I will do that since mutuals still offer the liquidity but higher interest rates.  I need to do more research into some of the Vanguard funds.

I did not intent for this to go into much details, when I started it but mostly just commenting on things I am noticing and running into in-regards to my own money.

I plan to go start my TSP today, so should get my pin in a bit and start putting my money in a Life-cycle 2040 fund. Its a 401(k), but with no employer contributions. The limit back in the states is $15,500 can be put in this year; but over here the limit is around $45k can be put in. When redrawn later on in life, the amount invested that year is tax free, however you are taxed on the interest for that year. I am going to try to max the 401(k), at the very least it will help me do come catchup since I failed to do it up till this point. 

A friend mentioned saving for house, I have decided to rent, however once I have the furniture, clothing, emergency and retirement accounts setup, I will open a fund to start saving up for a nice house in my later days. I am still undecided on if its better to rent and then buy a house when I get out of the military or if acquire houses as I go, renting them out when I move instead of selling them; thus having someone else pay for the mortgage and by the time of retiring having 3-4 houses paid off, that is quite a bit of equity and provides for a steady source of income over the years and you can always sell one or two off as you get ready to retire for a nice cushion.

The L2040 is a nice looking fund, based on automatic asset allocation with very low operationing costs and maintenance. The fund starts aggressive but gets more conservation as it reaches 2040. The Life-cycle funds started back in 2005, it returned 16.53% last year.

I also eligibility for a $20,000 lump sum bonus for agreeing to three more years active duty. Normally, I would not be offered any bonus but due to shortages currently and projected they are offering it. Its tax-free if I take it over here. That by itself would take care of the funds listed above and allow me to crank up what I am putting into TSP. However, I need to do a bit more research before I decide either way.

In other news, I am starting to love Amazon, they have amazingly quick shipping over here, and when you start using their used buying you can save quite a bit of money. Sometimes the item is still new but 10-40% cheaper then direct buy from Amazon, however the best deals are on items which are not limited print runs and have been around for quite awhile. So far, getting quite a few books and CD’s that way. I still like having the CD’s even with all the digital music these days.

A couple choices…

May 20, 2007

As a few friends pointed out I have a bit of disposable income sitting around which I need to find a good use for.

I need to create a emergency fund which I will not touch unless I really need it. So I plan to  start putting money monthy into the Saving Deposit Program.  Its a program for DOD personnel who are deployed which has a 10% interest rate up to $10,000. When I get back I can put it into a saving account my bank offers with a 4.81% rate; that way I will have a nice fund that I can liquidate if I need it.

I have set a goal amount of $10,000 for furniture, I may raise this to $15,000. This may seem high but honestly I only have one decent furniture piece that my 50″ HDTV sets on. Everything else is a Walmart quailty particle board that looks ok, till you try to move it and it falls into multiply pieces. I move so often I need to buy some decent furniture that while not expensive will move with me and last for a few decades. IKEA seems to be hit and miss, you either get an amazing product or you get something that may as well have come from “Walmart”; I do hear they have nice cheap sofa’s though. I currently have a sofa I got used for $50 bucks. It has a horrible blue floral pattern, that was my introduction to the world of slipcovers. I have been looking at Room and Board for quite a bit, the craftsmanship seems to be topnotch but the price reflects that. If anyone has any opinions or ideas let me know.

Still trying to figure out how much I want to put aside for clothing. I still got shirts from college and others I have collected over the years. My choices of “nice” are limited; most falls into wear it on the weekend around the house and town. I am not going for name brand as much as quality; with the intention of taking care of it so I can wear it for years to come.

I got a shirt I ordered from KATG today in the mail. Its a entertaining podcast that I started to listen to awhile ago. It’s for the mature or immature audience to be honest. I would recommend you try it yourself and decide.

Since its Sunday, I was able to grab an extra hour of sleep. I average six hours of sleep; about 2 hours of “me” time and the rest is work each day.  Was reading an article in Star and Stripes today which mentioned many people are only getting four hours of sleep. Four hours is what is recommended that everyone needs for a 24 hour period. That is not for continuous operations however; four hours a day for much more then a few weeks will burnout anyone out.