Monthly Archives: March 2007

Fixing My Finances: My Various Accounts (Part 3)

This post is part 3 of the “Fixing My Finances” series. Click here to read Part 1 and here to read Part 2.

Two years ago, when I decided to get out of debt, I had two non-retirement personal finance accounts. Now, I have seven accounts.
Checking Account:

I have a primary and secondary checking account, both with the same financial institution. Both are free accounts, with free online bill pay and free ATM/Debit cards. I pay bills out of the primary checking account. My wife uses the secondary checking account for day to day expenses. I use online bill pay to pay my bills. I only write 3 or 4 checks per month. I am currently considering moving my primary checking to ING Direct’s Electric Orange Checking. My current checking account does not pay interest. I cannot imagine managing my personal finances without having a checking account.

Savings Account:

I have a single, joint-savings account with ING Direct. My savings account is “connected” to my primary checking. If I want to add money to my savings account, I simply login to ING Direct and schedule a withdrawal from my primary checking account. If I want to withdraw money from my savings account, I login to ING Direct and schedule a transfer to my primary checking account. My savings account does not have check-writing privileges. I have deposited my Emergency Funds into my savings account. (Many people use “Money Market” accounts. I prefer a standard, online savings account. I do not need the check-writing privileges that Money Market accounts offer.)

Roth IRA:

I have a Roth IRA. My wife has a Roth IRA. The maximum Roth IRA contribution for 2007 is $4000. I can make deposits to my Roth in one of two ways. I can login to my brokerage and initiate a withdrawal from my primary checking OR I can schedule an online bill payment and simply send a check from my primary checking to my Roth IRA account.

Education Savings Account (ESA):

I have setup and Education Savings Account for my daughter. The maximum ESA contribution for 2007 is $2000. I send a check from my primary checking account whenever I want to fund her ESA.

Brokerage Account:

I have a basic, taxed brokerage account. I use this account to purchase single-stocks. Currently, I have less than $1000 in my brokerage account. I stink at picking individual stocks and I am focusing on tax-advantaged investing, so this account is basically “inactive”.

Continue Reading

No Credit Needed To Host Carnival Of Personal Finance

I will be hosting next week’s Carnival of Personal Finance.

If you are new to “Personal Finance Blogging” you might want to check out this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance hosted at Tired But Happy.

Basically, a blog carnival is a collection of posts, about a specific topic, organized and presented by a host-blog. I have hosted all three of the major personal finance carnivals. For more information about these carnivals (also called festivals) please check the following links.

Information about the Carnival of Personal Finance

Information about the Carnival of Debt Reduction

Information about the Festival of Frugality

To SUBMIT an article to next week’s Carnival of Personal Finance, hosted right here at No Credit Needed, click this link.

Continue Reading

Mad Carpentry Skills (One Wall)

After lunch, I headed to Lowe’s to buy some more building materials for my daughter’s playhouse. After laying the foundation yesterday, I was ready to start building the walls.  I am pretty much a dork at everything that I do, and I do believe that I am building the largest playhouse in the history of the world.  If you look at the pictures below, you will see the first wall.  It is a standard 8 foot wall.  I am still deciding how many windows I want to add, what size door to use, and whether or not to air condition the thing.  (Hmmm… as always, I bite off more than I can chew.)

I will probably add a “loft” that will be 8 feet wide and 4 feet deep.  My goal for the next few days is to have the building framed up, with siding and a roof.  I can worry about the “interior” once I get the building ready to withstand rain.  So far, I’m about $300 into this baby, with much more to spend.  Yikes!  (My daughter is 7.  She will love this playhouse.)

side1b.jpgside2b.jpgside3b.jpg

Continue Reading

A Display Of My Mad Carpentry Skills

I am building my little girl a playhouse in our backyard.  I went to Lowe’s yesterday and purchased some lumber and some plywood and I have built the playhouse’s foundation.  I’ll include some pictures at the bottom of this post.  I purchased about 10 2 by 6’s and 3 sheets of plywood.  My cost, so far, including the lumber, plywood, and some nails, is about $150.  I used treated 2 by 6’s and treated plywood for the foundation, and treated materials cost a little more than non-treated.  My little girl is 7, she is awesome, she asked for a playhouse, and so I’m going to give it my best shot.

I enjoyed going to Lowe’s and purchasing the supplies.  Picking out a location for the playhouse was pretty simple, as was setting up the concrete blocks to go under it.  I will be adding a few more blocks today.  I only used 4 to begin with, and I have decided that I really need 8 or 12.  I want the building to be very stable.  The only “problem” that I had was that my second sheet of plywood needed to be cut, and cutting an 8 by 4 piece of plywood by yourself can be a challenge.  The plywood “snapped” as I was getting close to the end of my cut, so one end is a little ugly.  But, once I add my walls and some siding and some carpet, no one will notice (or care).  My daughter is SUPER-excited about having a playhouse.

Dimensions…

The foundation is 12 x 8.  The entire structure will be covered by a shingled roof.  The enclosed portion of the playhouse will be 9 x 8, and it will have a 3 x 8 porch.  I have yet to decide how tall the playhouse should be.  (I’m designing it as I go.  Originally, I was going to build a storage shed/playhouse, but I wanted my daughter to have her own special place.)  I will (probably) go with standard 8 foot walls, and build a small loft at the back end.  I want it to have a “cabin-like” feel.  The outside will be yellow (or khaki) and it will have a door on the front, and windows on the left and right side.  The back will be “solid”.  I am undecided as to whether or not I will run electricity to the playhouse.  I have an old air conditioning unit that I could fit into a window, but that might be a bit “much”.  I’ll let you know.

(As for the bathroom remodel, all is going well.  The walls are ready for painting and the window is doing fine.)

Pictures (I included the shovel so that you could get a better understanding of the size of the foundation.  Why a shovel?  It was on the ground right before I snapped the pictures.)side1.jpgside2.jpgside3.jpg

Continue Reading