How Traveling for Work Led to an Unexpected Housing Expense

I feel like I am just stuck in a rut right now.   A lot of exciting things are going on at the moment, and I know that I should be enjoying them.  We finally closed on our house and the title is in our name.  The thought of home-ownership was at one point a dream and now it is a reality.   Now the projects begin.  We have an apartment to pack, wallpaper to tear down, walls to pain, hardwood floors to re-finish, and other projects that will emerge at the blink of an eye.   This should be fun; this should be exciting.  But something feels off right now as I write this article from my hotel room.  After sitting at the same looking desk that I have sat at so many times at every Hampton Inn in “you name it” city, it finally it me.  The reason I am feeling off right now is not because of the volume of work that has to be done on my house, but rather, the fact that I will be traveling a lot for work over the next few months  is having negative impact on my ability to complete these projects and even worse, my savings account.

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Fears of Being a First Time Homeowner

My wife and I just purchased a house…it is still settling in.  I can’t believe I am taking the plunge into home ownership.  This is the largest asset we ever purchased, and it most likely will be the largest one for the remainder of our life.  Last week, I tried to give an in depth account of the purchase in an article. Some of our frustrations, how we stumbled on our house, and the bidding/acceptance process.  At the end of the article, I left a cliff hanger about some of the parts of being a first time homeowner that I am still struggling with.

pay down the mortgage or invest

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Holy $%!? We Bought a House

Today is another chapter in the Dividend Diplomats mortgage series.   Time flies and surprises pop up where you least expect them.  I’ve written a lot about my house hunt recently, starting with reasons why my wife and I were not in a hurry to purchase a house all the way to the process of finding the institution that will provide us with the best mortgage.   We were always told that lightning strikes and when you find the right house, you need to move quickly.  Well, that was the case here and I could not believe how quickly things moved.  In all honesty, I’m a little shocked about it all here and I’m still finding myself trying to process what went down.  Mostly happy, with some doubts (as always), but her is the story about how my wife and I found our house.   I’m going to have a two-part series about this process – one about the purchase and one about some of my emotions/feelings after the offer was accepted.  So here is Part 1 of my mini-series!

pay down the mortgage or invest

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Buying My Wife’s Next Car

Despite my disdain for the costs of owning a car, I find myself in a familiar situation…looking for a new car.  This time, it isn’t a replacement for my dented Toyota Camry.  Instead, my wife is looking for a new car.  With the prospect of having a family being in the not so distant future, we are looking to upgrade my wife’s Honda Civic to an SUV.   This article will summarize some of the discussions my wife and I had about car ownership along with discussing our final options that we are looking to purchase.

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Bert’s 2017 Goals

With 2016 coming to a close and New Years rapidly approaching, we are running out of time to publish our 2017 goals so that we can hit the ground running on January 1st and sprint towards the finish line.  If you haven’t noticed, the two of us have spent a lot of time thinking about taking the right approach to the goal setting process.  We are not aiming to cross a low bar here on this website.  Instead, we have taken months to find purpose driven goals that are challenging and are going to push us.  Will it be comfortable achieving all of these goals…no!  But is that really the point of the goal setting process?  We want to sweat, we want to force ourselves to scrape every dollar together….we want to feel the burn.  Man, I’m starting to sound like Lanny here.  After a month of brainstorming, number crunching, and debates, here they are, my five 2017 goals!

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Is This Stock Market Begging Me to Pay Down My Student Loans?

Each day I watch the stock market in awe.  At 4 PM EST, I read a headline like “Stock Market Sets New Record” and when I log online in the morning I am reading an article about how the market is up in the pre-market once again.   By the end of the day, it is like de ja vu and I start the process all over again.  This market makes finding stocks the meet our stock screener difficult, how could it not?  Well, I have been thinking a lot about where I want to allocate my capital recently and what I want my next move to be.   After doing some research on various blogs, including some articles written by my fellow Diplomat, I find myself considering the option that the title of the article outlines.  Is now the time to accelerate the payments on my student loans?

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Pay Down the Mortgage or Invest: Part II – Rising Interest Rates

Now that the year of 2016 is wrapping up and we are only around 4-5 weeks away until we ring in the new year, I have been deeply thinking about my extra-mortgage payment paydown strategy.  Mortgage interest rates have been sky rocketing since the election, another element to showcase the rollercoaster ride that we are truly on.  This has caused me to potentially make a tweak or two to my strategy that I have had in play for the last few years.  Let’s see what I mean!

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