The Official Teacher Finance Thread

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by whizkid, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    A few of us on here like talking about various issues surrounding finances, so this thread was inspired by YTG, FMP and of course, yours truly. As much as we talk about it, this thread was long overdue.

    Feel free to discuss any financial topic that comes to mind: retirement, investing strategies, mortgages, car loans, credit card debt/reward strategies, other credit topics, budgeting, savings, student loans, tax strategies, anything that comes to mind. Found a new rewards card? Post it here. Interest rates increasing/decreasing for savings accounts? Yep, throw it in. Our financial futures are up to us!
     
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  3. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    I'll start.
    I try to maximize my cash back on my credit cards. I hear coworkers all the time say that they'll only use debit cards, but they're not seeing all of the money that the credit card company is paying you for using their card and paying the bill on time! Yes, that's exactly what happens. They pay you! My portfolio looks like this:

    2% Citi DC- bills and spending where I'll only get 2% because no other cards offers more than 1.5%.
    5%- Chase Freedom- gasoline in the particular quarter(s), groceries the same
    5% Discover It-same as Chase and Amazon.com, Walmart.com this year
    5%Chase Amazon- Amazon.com
    SunTrust 5% cash rewards- groceries and gasoline until around late October, going to app for the Ducks Unlimited card which will give me 5% all year round on gasoline.
    Amex 3%- groceries, not currently using it, if I can't find a card offering more than this on groceries, this will once again be my groceries card for half the year as a combo of Chase and Discover will cover the first six months if their categories hold the same as in past years.
    BOA- 3% gasoline- not currently in use
    I have others, but I already spent enough to earn the cash back and the bonus, so they're sockdrawered.

    https://creditcards.chase.com/cash-back-credit-cards/chase-freedom-unlimited?CELL=60LC
    Apping for this one late October!
    Also, I am not a fan of annual fees!
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
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  4. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    I could always app for that SunTrust card again, but meh, they'll catch on.
     
  5. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    For investing, my ROTH IRA is currently 90% equities and 10% fixed income. These allocations will change as I get older when capital appreciation becomes a secondary concern and preservation of capital is the primary concern. Also, I'm considering selling my positions in my brokerage as I rarely put anything in it. One thing to remember when having an individual retirement account and a separate brokerage account is that the brokerage account can knock your asset allocation out of whack if you're not paying attention. This is less of a concern when you're young and can stomach the market swings but not so if you're an older investor headed for retirement.

    I know a guy who invests in currency and says he's made more doing that than he ever did at his six figure salary job, so I'll look into that too.
     
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  6. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Right now, my Roth IRA is split into 50% Mid-Cap Growth and 50% Large Cap Growth. It is more risky, but I can weather the storm as the market fluctuates. Plus, they have been performing better than the so-called Aggressive fund, which bodes well for me.
     
  7. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I only have like 5 credit cards (Wells Fargo, Target, and others), but I seldom use them. I should wrack up points more or get cash back.

    Right now, I am focusing on paying my yearly bills first and then investing the rest. I’ve already paid several months of rent in advance and will finish paying off my lease soon. Once I do that, I will look into credit cards more.
     
  8. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Devotee

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    I have 3 credit cards and they're all cash-back!
    Chase Freedom (which OP mentioned)
    Capital One - 1.5% cash back everything
    AmEx Blue Cash Back (forgot the actual name) - 3% Groceries, 2% Gas, 1% everything else

    I never use my debit card! I used to to deposit checks, but ever since mobile deposit became available on bank apps, I just use that. So.... I don't even carry my debit card!

    I paid off all my school loans 5 years after finishing my Bachelor's (paid for grad school out of pocket during that time) and my auto loans a month later, so I've been debt free for four years now!

    However, I haven't thought about retirement. I pay into TRS, but that's about it.
     
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  9. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    How long have you been teaching? Is your house paid off? Would your teacher pension be enough to cover everything?
     
  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    We are trying to get our house paid off sooner rather than later. We've been paying for 14 years already on a 30 year mortgage. We're hoping to pay it off in less than 6 years. Then we will start saving more for retirement. I only put in 4% of my income into retirement right.
     
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  11. whizkid

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    As I usually do, I'm going to go through my budget and try to cut down on my expenses. I'm tempted to go prepaid as I can get the same features on one as I do on my current billed plan. Also, I'm cutting Hulu before work begins. Won't be watching until next summer.
     
  12. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    Now's the time no matter your age.
     
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  13. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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  14. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    When you're looking for a FICO credit score, keep in mind that only banks or other lending institutions can give a real (FICO) credit score. Sites like Experian, Equifax and Transunion only offer educational scores, meaning they offer scores they believe would reflect a specific credit report. The credit report itself is legit. Educational scores are also known as FAKO scores. For example, Experian might say based on your credit report, you have a score of 780, but your FICO Experian score might only be 710. The 710 score is the real one, but the credit report is legit on both Experian and FICO Experian.
     
  15. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    I have a 797 credit score, I think. I have no idea how people get an 850 credit score and I always pay off my bill every month and I have no consumer debt. I just don’t understand it. I’ve established credit since I was 19 and have enough credit cards, but it never seems to rise any. Grr!
     
  16. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Mine is in the 820s, but as long as you are over 750, you should get best possible terms on a mortgage or other loan. What is your time frame for buying a house?
     
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  17. futuremathsprof

    futuremathsprof Aficionado

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    Well, I still plan to save for several more years before purchasing a home, but it still irks me how I somehow am not deemed credit-worthy enough to have a near perfect score. It is nonsensical considering the fact that I’ve never missed a payment, I’ve never made a late payment, I have zero derogatory marks on my credit report; and I’ve already paid off five out of five student loans, two car loans, and several personal loans. I just can’t wrap my head around it.
     
  18. mathteachertobe

    mathteachertobe Cohort

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    Part of it is your available credit. If you request the limit on your cards to be raised, it may bump your score a bit. I'm not actually suggesting you do so, as I think your score is perfectly fine as it is.
     
  19. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I planned things so that I’d have my house paid for before I retired.
     
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  20. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    I am in a similar boat. The two factors holding my score from going above 800 are average age on each credit card (I tend to open new ones to take advantage of their opening offers). Additionally not having a mix of other credit types like car loans or mortage loans holds it back....it's counterintuitive in some ways. I wouldn't stress about it though. I don't anyone would really scoff at a score in the 700s.
     
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  21. whizkid

    whizkid Cohort

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    I wouldn't even stress it. Like mathteachertobe said, you'll still get a top rate.
     

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