Today's Focus

Current Goal: Eliminate Mortgage on Rental Property

January 1, 2019: $59,592
September 13, 2019: $56,210

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Tuesday, May 14

How I've Been Simplifying My Life

Getting rid of material things, unnecessary tasks, and unused financial accounts is important to me.  Living simply allows me to focus.  Recently, two of my bank accounts were compromised.  Both were at the same bank, with one being my primary checking account.  I have no inkling as to how someone obtained both account numbers and routing numbers, and what's even more troubling was the method used to withdraw funds from the accounts.  Without knowing how to prevent this from happening again, the only thing I can think of to do is to simplify my finances so that I can be laser-focused on each of my accounts.

Bank Account Closures

Closed a Savings Account

I never used the savings account and only kept the minimum balance I thought I needed to get free checking at my bank.  Once I realized I qualified for free checking based on having direct deposits, it was no longer necessary to keep the savings account.  Since this was one of the compromised accounts, it made sense just to close it out. 

Closed My HSA

I drew down the balance in my Health Savings Account.  I no longer qualify to make deposits into the account, which made it an easy decision to get rid of it. 

Canceled a Credit Card

Finally, I canceled a credit card I had with Bank of America.  Since I had no other relationship with that bank and the card had an annual fee, it was a no-brainer to get rid of it.  I have other credit cards with annual fees, and will consider closing them when the benefits don't justify the fee.  I have two cards, for example, that award a free night each year at the branded hotel chain.  Since the annual fee is less than the cost of that free night, there's no reason to cancel the account.

Resolved Nagging Issues

When I purchased our phones last year, I took advantage of a Google Fi promotion for buy one phone, get one free.  For some odd reason, Google never credited my account for the promotion.  I had to contact the company more than a dozen times, but eventually they properly credited my account.  I'm still waiting on the apology for all my time that was wasted!

Lastly, when I sold the townhouses in March, there was a lien on one of them from a mortgage I paid off 10 years ago.  Chase forgot to release the lien when I paid off the mortgage.  Getting this resolved took several hours of my time, but I finally received the necessary paperwork, and the closing attorney released the funds I was due.  This was a huge relief!

Eliminating Things

The battle against "stuff" rages on.  What is helping right now is an idea I have to house hack our next home purchase.  Right now it's just an idea, but if we go through with it, I want our next home to be one that we can Airbnb during high demand times or when we are out of town.  In order to do that, we need to minimize our personal belongings, which will need to be stowed away before guests arrive.  

I've been actively dejunking.  Right now we have almost a carload of stuff that needs to be taken to Goodwill.  This is just a drop in the bucket, though.  My focus is on excessive clothing at the moment.  It's hard to get rid of clothes that "almost fit" or those that are barely worn but just aren't my style, even though it should be easy to toss these things.

How are you simplifying your life?

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