One Year With Prosper.com

Mar 17, 2007 @ 01:59 pm by EMS

March 13th marked the 1-year anniversary of my oldest loan funding on Prosper.com.  I’m proud to say that I am now funding a total of 26 loans and all 26 are current (no late payments or defaults).  At the beginning of the year, I had a two loans become late, but they have since paid up and have made their last two regular monthly payments.  My average ROI (at least according to Prosper) is 14%.

After a 3-month hiatus, I think now is the time to actively start putting some money back into Prosper.  I’ve done some research on how to identify good loans, and since I’m looking for returns not much higher than what I can get from a savings, I think I can mitigate some of the risk that I had initially feared.  I plan on going back to my strategy of matching my Prosper balance every time it reaches $25 and therefore keeping more money in investments rather than sitting in the account interest-free.

2006 Tax Refund – $4800

Mar 14, 2007 @ 08:03 am by EMS

I just heard back from our accountant that our tax refund this year will be about $4800!  I have mixed feelings about this.  On one hand, I certainly don’t like to give the government a $4800 interest free loan, but on the other hand, I certainly won’t mind this one time windfall.  Since so many events happened this year, I really had no idea if I was going to owe money or receive a refund and therefore planned on not making any withholding adjustments until after 2006.  I generally do the taxes myself, but selling and buying a house, several stock gains (both long term and short term), as well as a large distribution from our Roth IRAs all had tax implications that I may have missed.  However, we do need to look at and adjust our withholdings, especially with a new deduction showing up in a few months.

I was most surprised that I didn’t have to pay any taxes at all on the proceeds gained from cashing out chunks of our Roth IRAs.  I knew about the 5 year limit, but I had figured that I would pay taxes on capital gains from stocks that I purchased less than 5 years ago.  However, since the IRAs were started over 5 years ago, all gains were tax exempt.

What to do with this money?

  • 2 new toychests for the kids (< $350)
  • A new set of cooking pots ($150)
  • Fix the hot tub (hopefully < $450)
  • Pay the accountant (~ $200)

The rest will go into savings, either our Roth IRAs or to the kid’s college savings.

Utilities Cost Decrease with New House

Mar 09, 2007 @ 07:46 pm by EMS

One of the benefits of our move last year is that with the newer home construction, we will save on our utility costs.  Our square footage is more has more than doubled, but we have decreased our gas and electricity costs over $300 from the same time period last year.  Some of the savings can be accounted by the decrease in price of natural gas, but I’m pretty sure that our actual gas usage has decreased as well.  Combine that with the fact that we have dropped our water bill because we are now on a well, and we’ve made a bit of a gain on the difference in mortgage payments.

I’m still taking steps to decrease our utility costs.  As mentioned earlier, we are running about 85% of our light fixtures with compact fluorescent bulbs.  I’m seriously considering not running the hot tub this year, as the costs of running it is pretty high, and we really didn’t make as much use of it as I had hoped last year.  Regardless, since I now know how to winterize it, I certainly will not be running it during the winter months as I originally had planned.

February 2007 Net Worth Report (+471)

Mar 02, 2007 @ 12:54 pm by EMS

Not a good month 🙂

I generally look forward to Februaries because it’s a short month, which means fewer days for expenses while still bringing in the same monthly income. This year was a bit of an exception though. Our monthly spending ran a bit higher than I would have liked, mainly due to a work-related trip/vacation to Miami and the fact that I found a Wii and had a bit of an impulse buy. Combine that with a bad month in the market, and you get a lackluster monthly increase.

I realize that I’m pretty short of obtaining my year end goal of a net worth of $193,000, but I’m not quite ready to modify that goal quite yet. Hopefully March will be a different story, as I’m hoping for a small tax refund (should find out soon) and less than average monthly spending.

February 2007 Net Worth


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