January 03, 2005

Finance Matters

I have this giant spreadsheet where I keep track of our family's monetary resources. I put the spreadsheet together in September of 2003, and I've been recording every expenditure (well, almost every one, I miss some) on it since then. It's a big help for planning, to be able to look at our finances in such detail, and it's a lot of statistics that I just love to sort in different ways.

It also gives me a chance to check in every now and then to see if there's a way that I can reduce our spending, and therefore increase our savings. It's even more important that we save more now that I'm out of the money factory. The eBay money is starting to come in, and I did quite well with the Google ads (Thanks to you! If you'd like more detail, feel free to email me jeremiah at openappledumb.com), so we have some income from my schemes, but nothing like it was before.

The next big decrease in spending is (hopefully) going to be a drop in our mortgage payment. There are a couple of ways that our mortgage payment could go down; we could refinance our home, we could drop the mortgage insurance and escrow account, or we could run from the law and not pay it...of course, the last one would lead to very bad things, so we're not planning on that.

We're not really interested in refinancing right now, because we got a great interest rate when we bought the house, and we can't do any better. We're hoping to get the mortgage insurance and escrow account removed, but in order for that to happen we need to have 20% equity. Right now we're at about 12%, so we'd need to have our house appraise at about $15,000 more than what we paid for it. It's close to that right now, but we're gonna hold off for a bitjust to be sure.

That'll give us an extra $250 or so a month, and that's a pretty big chunk of change, nothing to laugh at.

In other news, I realized today that my brain had the same 'mugshot' picture in my head for both Desmond Howard (the former University of Michigan football player), and MC Hammer. Weird.


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