Productive Weekend

Finally! A weekend where I got some things done! Lately I’ve felt like I haven’t been getting anything done. It seems as though I am always on the move, always going somewhere, yet I’m never accomplishing anything. The house isn’t clean. The laundry is rarely done. Groceries aren’t getting bought. I’m constantly playing catch-up, and never getting ahead. And finally, a weekend where I’m getting a little more caught up! Laundry and dishes? Done! House? Clean! I finally planted the hydrangea plant I bought on clearance weeks ago. I’ll finally be starting a week off without feeling like I’m already behind.

What does any of this have to do with money? Well, in addition to a clean house and clean clothes, I was also able to take care of some financial loose ends. I paid some medical bills, did some paperwork, corrected an over-payment, freed up $1,000, and even managed to make $150. Whew! Not bad for a weekend!

I was finally able to get online and close out my 529 Plan. Granted, it’s just moving money from one account to another. But it’s $1,000 that is now unlocked, so to speak. It can be put towards debt repayment, or completing the front porch. Money that’s been invested in a 529 Plan can only be withdrawn (without penalty) for qualified educational expenses, and should be withdrawn in the year that the expenses were paid. Since I decided to stop taking classes after last semester, I needed to withdrawal the money in 2013. Otherwise, I’d risk owing a penalty (I believe it’s 10%), in addition to having to pay back the 20% tax credit I received from my state for investing the money initially.

I also made $150, simply by opening an account! My mortgage is through Chase Bank. They’ve been sending me offers to open a new checking account. Honestly, I’ve had a checking account through Chase before, and for a variety of reasons decided to close it. The offer of $150 to open a new account was tempting though. The account is free, so long as I meet the guidelines for the account. I chose to deposit $1,500 into the account, to meet the monthly minimum and avoid fees. That’s half of my emergency fund. I can let the money sit there, without having to worry about making deposits or withdrawals, and shouldn’t have to worry about incurring any fees. With interest rates on savings accounts being so low, it isn’t a disadvantage to have the money in a checking instead of savings account, especially since I’ve essentially made 10% off of this investment. If there are any issues with the account, after 6 months I can close it, and still keep the $150.

I was made an offer of $100 from another bank for opening an account. But that offer required a number of deposits or withdrawals from the account each month. I understand why they would make the requirements. But I like my current bank, and the way that I have my accounts setup. Having my emergency fund, or part of my emergency fund, in a new account isn’t an issue. It’s money I hope to not be using anytime soon. But I feel like I’ve finally gotten things situated in a way that works for me financially right now, and I don’t want to upend things to satisfy the requirements of another bank, especially one that I’ve used before, and know doesn’t work as seamlessly in my daily life. $100 isn’t anything to sneeze at, but I decided to pass on the offer.

Overall, it was a good weekend. Hopefully it will continue into a good week!

– Cindy W.

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