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Archive for November, 2006

Husbands just don't get it! (Warning: Long Vent)

November 29th, 2006 at 05:38 am

Ok, so after dinner last night, DH and I had a serious discussion about our wants... we made lists and they looked like this:

My list -
pay off car loan balance of $9,000
save emergency fund of $10,000

His list -
plasma tv $2,000
digital camera $300
2007 Jeep Wrangler $20,000
computer $800

So, who thinks we are on the same page concerning how we should use our money? Yeah, that's what we thought. He says we are so young and should enjoy things. I said I don't like to owe money to anyone and would like to prepare for the unknown. What if one of us lost our jobs or got into a serious accident? We'd be up the creek. He asked when did I get so negative and I asked why does he have to be so materialistic. Let's just say the conversation got pretty heated. He then proceeds to fall asleep on the couch and slept from 7:00pm - 7:00am this morning. Sometimes I wonder about his priorities in life. I mean I know he loves us and his family is first but with all the "toys" he already has, I get so frustrated. We just bought this house and it has 3 stories. The first level is all his to fill up with his crap. Let me tell you that the entire floor is FULL of boxes and boxes of collectibles that don't do anything except sit there. He's always bought stuff and I've come to terms with it... I think the most he's ever spent without telling me first was $800 on one item. We've had this kind of "argument" on and off over the past 15 years and we've always gotten over it somehow but this time was different. I kept getting the impression that he felt like "woe is me" and that he never gets what he wants, etc. I think that he thinks that I am such a tightwad and that I need to loosen up a bit. How the heck do we compromise? I have asked my parents to get us the digital camera for Christmas. I think we could swing for the tv and/or computer... but I will NOT agree to getting the new car. Am I being unreasonable? Why is it that I can't get him to see the benefits of paying off the car loan we currently have before we tie ourselves in yet another car payment? He says that it would be the car he would drive and that he should get what he wants. I said that it should be something we both agree to first but he kept saying that he should get what he wants... Ugh. So, needless to say, I had to give the kids their baths and put them to bed all by myself. And since he was curled up on the couch snoring, I took the time to watch a chick-flick in our bedroom. Anyone ever see "The Prince and Me"? After watching that movie again, it reminded me of the times when DH and I were dating and when everything was so much more relaxed and hot between us. Of course, that was college and we were yet to face adult decisions about anything. But it did make me remember how I used to feel about this man and how excited I used to be to just hold his hand. Maybe we just need to go on a date again and revisit our love for each other... you know how it is with kids and the daily rut. Ok, sorry for all the ramblings... just jotting down my random thoughts to get me through this hump. This morning, DH apologized for being such a grump and wanted us to have a better day, etc. So, all is well but we still have that white elephant in the room concerning our finances. I guess we are both stubborn in our ways. Ho hum....

car insurance

November 28th, 2006 at 07:42 am

On a topic related to my last post, we got our car insurance bill today. We always pay the full 6month premium to take advantage of the discount... the total for full coverage on both our vehicles for 6months is only $432! It hasn't been that low in YEARS.

I mentioned to DH that if we get a new car now, that premium will jump back up to probably around $700+ or so and that I would like to enjoy the lower premium at least for a little while. {He didn't think that was funny.} Smile

new car fever

November 28th, 2006 at 07:18 am

No, not for me. I am the sensible one. My DH wants a brand new car. Yes, we need to get a 4WD for the winter. But, NO, we do not need to buy a brand new 2007 model. I would like to spend no more than $10k (which we could pay in cash) for a nice used vehicle... but since DH will be the one driving it, he feels that he should get what he wants, not what we can afford. He insists that we could afford monthly payments, yadda yadda yadda, and that he'll curb his other spending if I "let" him get this car... um, NO. Of course he through out the notion that he doesn't have to ask permission as he's a grown adult with a career. Um, but that ain't the way to be looking at it. Yes, I'm stubborn on this but what is the point of getting a car loan for something that depreciates 2 seconds after you "own" it. Men and their wants! Frustrating.

Added to my kids CDs

November 27th, 2006 at 11:46 am

My kids cd's came up for maturity and I renewed them for another 6 months at 5%. With birthday monies, etc. my 8 year old now has $1200 and my 5 year old has $800. Everytime they get money for holidays/birthdays, we put it in their savings and then their cd's once we can. Hopefully, by the time they turn 16, this money will be significant enough to contribute to their first car purchase.

Thanksgiving was a success!

November 27th, 2006 at 07:13 am

I just wanted to report that hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year went without a hitch. All were impressed that I could cook for so many people without having a thing burnt or inedible. The turkey turned out nice and moist. The fixin's were great. All in all a great day.

.... now, it's time to switch gears to Christmas. No plans on hosting Christmas dinner but it's time to get my butt in gear for all the shopping that needs to be done.

I also need to sit down and figure up our Dec budget as well as forecast 2007's budget. What fun! (Ain't it a bit strange to look forward to that kind of thing?)

Hope everyone's final month of the year is financially healthy! Here's to not racking up a huge credit card bill for crap that no one really wants anyway.

Christmas shopping...

November 20th, 2006 at 01:07 pm

It's time to start Christmas shopping, I guess. We found something for DH's grandfather that he would love but it also costs $170! That's really going to break our budget but we feel that he deserves it. So, we'll just have to scrimp elsewhere. I sure hope this isn't the first of a trend for the remaining gifts we have yet to buy... else we'll be BROKE before we know it. When did things get so expensive!?

Not another list !! :)

November 17th, 2006 at 10:11 am

Happy Reading:

1. My parents, as immigrants, came here with 3 small children and a pack of paperwork... fast foward to today and they are worth at least a million dollars working very blue collar factory jobs. Don't tell me that hard work doesn't pay off!

2. I graduated valedictorian from high school as well as college... graduated college in just 3.5 years which I consider an accomplishment.

3. I hand raised abandoned newborn kittens and loved the experience (still have 2 of them).

4. My hubby was my first and only boyfriend... actually my first official date... 15 years later and we are still going strong.

5. I have size 5 feet and am 5 feet tall... can't find shoes that fit too easily or pants that are short enough.

6. I lost my hair and gained a very active libido when I was pregnant with my second child. Why? No one knows. Today, my hair is back but my libido is gone.

7. I can be classified as legally blind when I don't wear my correctively lenses.

8. In high school, although I was the shortest, I was always on the bottom of the cheerleading pyramid because I had the most muscles. Most of the other girls were toothpicks and couldn't pick up much weight. Needless to say, our pyramids were always lopsided!

9. I love reading money articles or watching money shows - no matter how boring the actual subject might be.

10. I am a closet thrift store shopper... shhhh, don't tell anyone!

11. I don't have a creative bone in my body.

12. When I was younger, my dream was to go into outer space - doubt that will ever happen, but if the opportunity presents itself, I'll be the first to sign up.

13. I hate to run.

14. The only celebrities I have met are Wilfred Brimley and William Shatner.

15. People think I am smarter than I really am.

Finally applied to grad school!

November 15th, 2006 at 08:38 am

I have officially applied to grad school sending in my application package today. I had taken the GMAT back in March, gathered all my transcripts, etc. but held off in actually applying until now... It felt good to write the $50 application fee check. I don't see why I wouldn't be accepted. I won't start until next summer but I'm looking forward to it. It's all going to be online so it should work out in my work/home schedule, hopefully. Now, to figure in tuition in our budget next year. Of course, I've thought about how we would pay for it but haven't actually sat down to figure out the numbers... will do so once I get the acceptance letter, I guess. It shouldn't be much of a stretch for us and we WILL NOT go into debt as we'll have enough cash flow for it. I'm excited!

Updates

November 14th, 2006 at 12:25 pm

Well, I think DH and I have decided to wait on getting our retaining wall... it's not a necessity at this point so we'll save up some more money and then get it built later, maybe in a few months. I'm glad we made that decision.

Update on Thanksgiving dinner ... did you know that Thanksgiving is next week!? How did it creep up on me? I really need to go shopping - don't even have the turkey yet. Yikes, I hope that there isn't a turkey shortage this year! Smile

An update on Thanksgiving

November 13th, 2006 at 05:57 am

With your advice, I've got folks bringing stuffing, green beans, dessert, and iced tea. That really just leaves me doing the turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes. I'll buy frozen dinner rolls, heat up some corn, and get some cranberries going so we should be all set. Maybe it won't be so stressful after all.

We got a quote on that work we wanted done on our land. The retaining wall project is $7200 and clearing the stumps, etc is another $400. I guess it could've been worse as I was thinking more like $10k. Bad thing is that they won't be able to get it all done by Thanksgiving. So, question is do we want to do it now or wait until next year? Hmmm...

Extra upcoming costs

November 9th, 2006 at 11:26 am

Well, with my upcoming Thanksgiving dinner party, I figured it was time to finally get our property to look decent. Let me explain. We bought a brand new house in the middle of some trees. The builder did his best to get the house up and then he was out of there. The landscaping is horrible and the driveway/parking area is tight. Of course we accepted this and negotiated the price accordingly knowing full well that we'd fix it up soon... well, since it ends up that we are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, I guess we'd better jumpstart the process of getting things done. I've got 3 different companies coming out between now and Monday to give estimates. We need trees and brush removed, tree stumps dug out, and a retaining wall built so the parking pad can be extended. We've never done anything like this before so we are kinda unsure as to how much we should budget. We'll have to see what the estimates come back as --- oh, and they said that they could get things done by Thanksgiving but you know how that might turn out. I sure hope it won't be too costly.

Thanksgiving stress

November 8th, 2006 at 05:35 am

Well, I'm hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year for the first time for my family... there should be around 20 folks coming - eek! The thing is that I don't cook much so this is definitely stressing me out. I have hopped online and found some recipes so it's just a matter of following them to the letter and hoping that everything will work out. My biggest concern is that everything won't be done at the same time. Also how do I keep everything warm until serving time? I also didn't budget for Thanksgiving dinner as we usually go to a family member's but who was to know that I'd draw the short straw this year. What have I gotten myself into?

Emergency Fund?

November 7th, 2006 at 06:00 am

Ok, so the debate that everyone has is one that I cannot settle with myself. Any of you have advice for me? The issue is that our family does not have an emergency fund established. Yes, we have savings to cover the expenses that occur on a semi-annual or annual basis. Yes, we put aside $50 into a non-retirement mutual fund each month (bal is up to $8k). The reason we haven't officially designated an e-fund or consciously save each month toward an e-fund is because we have over $100k worth of unsecured credit limits. We haven't charged on these cards for over 3 years. When we were actively paying down the cards, I played the balance transfer game (quite well, I might add) and was able to grab up some really good credit card accounts at very decent rates. I didn't close these accounts but again we don't use them at all and haven't for years. Oh, and just as FYI, the reason we had credit card debt is the typical college scenario of not knowing any better as well as charging some school tuition on the cards... the interest I got on the cards vs. getting a student loan was actually much better in my situation. Gosh, does it feel good not to have any credit card debt floating around!

So, should I continue just considering these credit cards my e-fund in the event that we would ever suffer a true emergency? I know arguments can be for either side... I have been going along the idea that we should put all our extra pennies toward paying off our final car loan and then maybe start actively pursuing a true e-fund savings. Whatcha all think?

Nov 1, 2006 debt numbers

November 6th, 2006 at 12:50 pm

Mortgage bal = 286,755
Vehicle bal = 9,271
Total liabilities = 296,026

wow, what a welcome

November 6th, 2006 at 12:38 pm

I just finished posting my second entry and see that 6 folks have left comments on my first entry! Wow, that's a nice welcome. Looks like there is curiousity about my degree/job... here's more info for all you nosey people! Smile

I graduated with a finance degree and am employed as the chief finance officer for a public school system. So, yes, I truly work with numbers all the time. It's a good thing that it's also my passion or else I'd be burnt out by now! I am also in the process of getting my MBA.

I look forward to hearing from more of you!

The ugly numbers....

November 6th, 2006 at 12:32 pm

Household GROSS ANNUAL Income = $93,000
Household NET MONTHLY Income = $5,340

Mortgage(with extra principal) 2,000
Vehicle loan (with extra payments) 500
Electricity 100
Water 20
Cell phone 25
Roth IRAs 200
Mutual Funds 50
Groceries/eating out 400
Household 300
Gas/Oil changes 200
"sinking funds for insurances, etc." 500

The balance leftover is always absorbed by DH. He knows he spends too much and is trying to compensate as he has taken up a part-time job now. Although he makes a decent salary at the full-time job and works part-time as well, he still spends on the avg. about $1,000 per month! We have yet to sign up for any phone or internet service at our new house and probably won't for a long while.

We haven't added to any credit card debt in nearly 3 years now. I started out listening to Suze Orman 10 years ago, then found Dave Ramsey about 3 years ago. I still follow their advice but am always looking elsewhere to soak up more information on how to improve our lives.

I bring my lunch to work everyday and so does DH (now). I only buy what I need but DH buys what he wants. So, it's a constant battle but we manage and get along as best we can. So, although he KNOWS he spends too much, he is trying to curb it a bit... believe me he could definitely spend a ton more and holds back a lot!

Let's Begin!

November 6th, 2006 at 12:09 pm

Hi, folks! I am excited to actually start this blog. I have spent the last several weeks reading many of your blogs and thought, what the heck! I might as well document my process online as I aim to reach financial freedom. Maybe you guys out there in internet-land can provide guidance and support along the way.

Here's a brief history about our family. I'm the saver. My DH is the spender. We have two great kids. We recently sold our home when we relocated due to getting new jobs. In selling the house, we paid off over $35k in credit card debt... our credit card debt actually was as high as $60k at one point before I buckled down and became determined to pay it off. So, right now, currently, we just bought a house with a $288k mortgage and we owe $9k on a vehicle loan. That is all the debt we have right now.

I'll post again with our income/debt numbers for all of you to see! Smile