What we decided to do with “all that extra money”

In the end, DH was a voice of reason and noted that we really don’t know how long his job is going to last (they have funding for ~2 years, but it’s touch and go after that, and the company owner is in his 70s and keeps putting off succession plans), and he would much rather have 10K in the stock market than a 10K vacation to Hawaii (or anywhere else).

That said, we did make a few changes:

  1. DH increased his allowance from $35/week to $40/week, with a 10x lump sum of that at birthdays and Christmas.  It’s been $35/week for a long time and was $30/week before that and $25/week back in graduate school, so this isn’t that big an increase.  He is looking forward to buying a new super fancy monitor.  (Work will be upgrading his computer for him, but he wants a nice monitor for gaming!)
  2. I impulse bought a $75 pair of jeans online without knowing if they will fit based on this post from anabegins.  There was a woman in the reviews who sounds like she’s the same size and shape I am who gave her size which is what tipped me into purchasing.  [Update:  They fit and are as advertised.]
  3. After we get the water filter thing figured out, in theory we will move on to replacing the counters (I want quartz that looks like marble), the stovetop (DH really wants gas), and the sink (it’s cracked, showing the iron beneath it) in the kitchen.   [Update:  My sister’s car died recently and her car shopping got me looking at cars and there’s a lot of new stuff out there so we might replace DH’s car prior to remodeling the kitchen.  We will see.  Update:  We bought a base model Clarity for $35,500– it’ll be a while before we update the kitchen!  DH wanted a new car more than a gas stove.]

Other than that, all our plans are still puttering ahead back from when DH got back from layoff.  So that means we’ve been donating more.  We’ve funded backdoor Roth IRAs.  Our 529 saving was already bumped up to $750/kid/month (previously it was $500/kid/month).  The DCs will be going to various daycamps as expected (this will be the first year for DC1 who previously had daycare!)  I’m trying to keep 50K in the Capital One savings account (currently 40k), 30K + the month’s expenses in our Credit Union [currently down to one and a half month’s expenses with the car purchase], and ~20K give or take in Wells Fargo. (I don’t mind having less in Wells Fargo, mainly I put any reimbursements or side income that comes to us in checks in there and write most of our checks under $500 from it, so the amount varies.  We need at least 2.5K in there to keep the checking free.)  Additional lumps of money will go into a taxable Vanguard broad based stock, though I’m not sure how much to build up before making a transfer.  Back in graduate school I invested when it got to 6K over what I thought we needed (I think because that’s what it took to fully fund two IRAs!).  The last time I put money in taxable stocks it was 30K because we had excess leftover from living in Paradise.  Maybe I’ll do 10K now since that’s a nice round number.

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12 Responses to “What we decided to do with “all that extra money””

  1. Shannon Says:

    Madewell high rise jeans are my favorite. I have one pair that I wear constantly. I may have to buy this pair now too.

  2. Leigh Says:

    Sounds like a good plan!

  3. SP Says:

    My personal choice would be kitchen > car!

    BUT, this is all fantastic! Glad you are loving your jeans, maybe I’ll check out that brand next time I’m in the market for new jeans!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      But we have no public transportation, and both of our cars are pretty old and not really reliable enough to trust for long distance trips (DH was starting to worry about trips to the City as well).

  4. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    I’m having no trouble getting through to my senators/representatives today. Pick an issue from 5calls and call today: https://5calls.org/
    (Gun control is a good one to call about. I did that yesterday–I’m not crazy about how 5calls separates each gun control possibility into a separate call so I just gave the full list of changes I want. Today I called my rep about DACA and my senators about protecting key parts of the Dodd-Frank act, vote No on S 2155)

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

  5. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    Ooh I didn’t know ALL those details about the job, or I would not have encouraged the trip to Hawaii. I feel totally irresponsible for doing that :P (That said, if you could swing it for much less than $10K I bet it’d be wonderful.)

    We have some quartz that looks like marble and some quartz that doesn’t. I love them both.

    Did you already publish a post on the backdoor IRAs? I’m doing some research on that – I have a ton of money in a rollover IRAs, unfortunately mixed pre and post tax money so cleaning up will have to happen, and I think it’s time I get my act together on converting that money.

    Yay for good transportation now!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We did! Let me grab the link.

      • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

        Oh duh, I know I read that post. I should have said – had you written up the tax implications when you did the bulk of the conversions early on or did you do them every year? I have six figures in my traditional IRA and am trying to figure out when and how to take the tax hit. Also trying to figure out how to mitigate it.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Ah– well, we did our first Roth conversion back when they started, and we’d lost money, so we got a nice bump for our taxes that year instead of having to pay extra. (I believe it was the year we started the blog, deep in the throws of the recession, after having only contributed during boom years). After that, we have no traditional money in IRAs, so we had earned very little money (like $5) from Vanguard’s money market account before converting into Roths the second and third times we did it (both times this winter). So we didn’t have to deal with all the horrible tax implications when you have actual money in your traditional IRA. It does not look fun. :(

        So we did not miss anything important tax-wise, though taxact did double check with us. If you have a tax program, it might be worth messing with some hypotheticals since I’m pretty sure they didn’t change the roth conversion stuff for 2018.

  6. Confused money feelings | Grumpy Rumblings (of the formerly untenured) Says:

    […] year we were starting to feel pretty wealthy until we bought a car.  We have not yet completely refilled the emergency fund, but it is […]


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