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Old 08-19-2016, 12:19 PM
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Smile Post Your Wins

Instead of posting individual threads for your financial wins, lets share stories of how we've paid off our debts, made extra money, or otherwise took home some personal finance wins.

For my part, I recently just bought a condo. This is way better than renting because I'll be racking up 500 in equity every month, plus getting into a better tax situation and now my housing payments will be going into having an asset that's gaining value in the real estate market.
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Old 08-19-2016, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james.hendrickson View Post
For my part, I recently just bought a condo. This is way better than renting because I'll be racking up 500 in equity every month, plus getting into a better tax situation and now my housing payments will be going into having an asset that's gaining value in the real estate market.
Congrats on the condo. I hope it all works out as cleanly as you think. Real estate doesn't always gain value. And how exactly does buying put you in a better tax situation?
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Old 08-19-2016, 01:02 PM
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DisneySteve,

I can deduct the interest on the mortgage of course...before that I didn't have much to deduct at all.
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Old 08-19-2016, 01:05 PM
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I can deduct the interest on the mortgage of course...before that I didn't have much to deduct at all.
That's true, but it doesn't mean you are in a "better" tax situation.

Let's say you're in the 25% tax bracket.
For every $1.00 you pay in interest, you save $0.25 at tax time. Woo hoo. So every dollar of interest really only COSTS you 75 cents. You haven't actually saved anything.
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Old 08-19-2016, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by disneysteve View Post
That's true, but it doesn't mean you are in a "better" tax situation.

Let's say you're in the 25% tax bracket.
For every $1.00 you pay in interest, you save $0.25 at tax time. Woo hoo. So every dollar of interest really only COSTS you 75 cents. You haven't actually saved anything.

Assuming his past rent and mortgage are about the same, saving 25% of the interest is something back he wasn't getting before.

So if it's a $200,000 mortgage at 3% that's $6000. Savings 25% of that is $1500 in tax savings. Not bad.
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Old 08-19-2016, 03:33 PM
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by refinancing and accelerating mortgage payments to pay it off, I only paid 58,530 in interest over 10 years. If I kept the original 30-year mortgage I would have paid out an additional 165,740 in interest over 20 years....

please don't turn this into paying off mortgage vs investing thread. this is a win in my book.

A big win will be if I can find a way to retire in my 50's.

My ultimate focus is on preparing my son for the real world and continually investing in him both financially (he has stocks already) and on a personal level just teaching him whatever I can.
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Old 08-19-2016, 07:12 PM
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james.h Best wishes on your new condo. Condos are always slightly higher risk as they fall 1st and faster if the housing market in your community gets into difficulty. I've always kept track of sales in our complex, asking and actual sold price. You need good management and residents willing to serve on the board who have common sense. Finally, you need good neighbours because we all hear horror stories about things that go off the tracks at other compounds.

We who are your northern neighbours, do not get a deduction on income tax for either property tax or interest but it's really helpful to workout that sum and make it a point of honour to keep it in it's own column until there is sufficient accrued to create it's own investment program. We do our best to set 1% of value for repairs, upgrades and updates to keep our unit current.
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:20 PM
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Poor lad this james guy. I get the sense he wants others to share their win stories, not critique his win story, oh well it is what it is (lol). At any rate my best win was my Hawaii condo as well, paid $60,000 in 1999. Today's assessed value is $180,000.
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:48 PM
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Financial wins this week: sold $20 worth of items on eBay, redeemed Amex rewards for a $25 Amazon gift card and relieved to see my daughter's scholarship of $7,250 applied to her tuition bill.
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Old 08-20-2016, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rigz View Post
Assuming his past rent and mortgage are about the same, saving 25% of the interest is something back he wasn't getting before.

So if it's a $200,000 mortgage at 3% that's $6000. Savings 25% of that is $1500 in tax savings. Not bad.
Exactly.

"Tax savings" was a huge consideration for us when considering renting versus buying. Savings in the realm of $500/month over renting. No small beans.

I don't have much to add to this thread. Mostly on auto pilot with not much going on.
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Old 08-20-2016, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
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Assuming his past rent and mortgage are about the same, saving 25% of the interest is something back he wasn't getting before.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MonkeyMama View Post
"Tax savings" was a huge consideration for us when considering renting versus buying. Savings in the realm of $500/month over renting. No small beans.

I don't have much to add to this thread. Mostly on auto pilot with not much going on.
True. I wasn't thinking along those lines. I was thinking more of all the folks who say, "I'm not paying off my mortgage because I'll lose the tax deduction."

I agree with MonkeyMama about being on auto pilot. Any "wins" these days usually involve getting a great deal on something. The biggest "win" for me in recent months was starting my new PT job. The hourly rate is 70% higher than at my regular FT job. So far, I've earned just over 10K from the new job. That includes a bunch of training days as well as regular work shifts. Plus I've now got a 401k for the first time in my life.
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Old 08-20-2016, 05:04 PM
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recently wife and I started an investment contest; each started w/ $350k. So far, I have $349k; wife has $480k. I guess not much of a win for me... yet : )
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Old 08-20-2016, 05:14 PM
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recently wife and I started an investment contest; each started w/ $350k. So far, I have $349k; wife has $480k. I guess not much of a win for me... yet : )
Are you doing that with real money or just on paper?
I'd say it's a win for sure if it's real money since you are up a net of $129,000.
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Old 08-20-2016, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by disneysteve View Post
Are you doing that with real money or just on paper?
I'd say it's a win for sure if it's real money since you are up a net of $129,000.
real money; we're too old to play with fake money. We started 2 accounts and funded $350k each to compare our investment wisdom. Turns out wife is way better when she puts energy into it.
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Old 08-20-2016, 09:51 PM
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No win is too small. Its hella hot here in Portland, Oregon. I went to one of the local big box stores and bought a fan. The box was damaged so I asked customer service and got 10% off.

Not a whole lot of savings - only a couple of bucks - but I'll take it.
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Old 08-20-2016, 10:11 PM
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This win is more important than money.

Recently, wife agreed that if I lose some weight, I can get back on a motorcycle (and I'm assuming it is implied that I can basically go motorcycle racing). I've been working out very hard the last few weeks.
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:00 AM
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I bought something online. While it was in route to my home I changed my mind. When the package arrived, I told the postal person to 'return to sender'. I will get a credit back when it is returned. It costs nothing to return an item if you haven't opened the package yet! That decision saved me $40!
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Old 08-21-2016, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by QuarterMillionMan View Post
Poor lad this james guy. I get the sense he wants others to share their win stories, not critique his win story, oh well it is what it is (lol). At any rate my best win was my Hawaii condo as well, paid $60,000 in 1999. Today's assessed value is $180,000.
ill take some heat off him and reveal the real haters ... my biggest wins were with RE in 2009, snapping up homes for 80k that had topped out at 375k, currently valued at 260k
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Old 08-21-2016, 09:07 AM
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Well, I broke my foot and initially thought getting a knee walker/knee scooter was overkill. But changed my mind this weekend and decided to price out. Ended up buying one used for $150. Expect to sell for $150+ when done.

Makes you wonder how many people would do without because it's "expensive". We do stuff like this all the time. I am just annoyed it took me so long to figure it out I could work it out for probably $0 out of pocket.

(The $150 cash came from a focus group my hubby did this past week. An extra $150 is always good, so will add it to the win pile).
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Old 08-21-2016, 10:36 AM
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I've recently sold a few electronics on ebay and made more than I paid for them being used. Really odd considering what they were (Tablet and computer video card).

I think the biggest win for me was more in the form of a being in the right place at the right time blessing. When I bought my house in 2009 everything seemed fine. It was a 1300sq ft 3bd/2bth house on aprox 1/2 acre lot for 79k$ financed. It was only 3 years old, but had been in foreclosure TWICE before I bought it from people who were not in foreclosure.

About six months later, I get a letter in the mail showing the property lines and layout not knowing what it really meant. I just knew it looked wrong from what we were told when we bought it. I found out the land in our subdivision went into foreclosure and the bank that owned it resurveyed everything. They discovered my house was on a lot the bank owned and the concrete slab I park on that attaches to the house was on the lot tied to my loan. lol The bank went to the title insurance company, got the full retail of the property, and then gave us the second lot giving us almost 1 full acre.

A few months later a neighbor had to move due to a foreclosure (this was that housing market crash time frame). He was in the process of building a storage building to match the house. Stick built on concrete blocks(moveable). I was eyeballing everything and remember the neighbor told me once it was built on the property line, however, it turned out of the 14ft wide building(14ft x 20ft x16ft tall roof peak) 12ft was on my property. The bank was going to move it, but decided to just give it to me. It was worth about 5k$ as it sat unfinished. I had to pay 1k$ to have it moved a few hundred feet, and finished it myself. Gave me about 10k extra value with around 5k$ in it. Property added around 10-15k$ also. (low cost of living area.)

I figured I would show our little house. Don't judge the multicolored shingles on the building. Lol It was like that when we got it, and I just left it.
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Last edited by GoodSteward; 08-21-2016 at 10:42 AM.
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