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Archive for August, 2007

Raise and savings adjustments

August 29th, 2007 at 12:12 pm

Just got our new “net” salary amounts due to our raises, etc… looks like between both our paychecks, we’re looking at a net increase of $207.19 each month. For the first time, I’m actually going to proactively save our raises… I’m going to set up a transfer so that $200 will go directly into savings which will be an extra $2400 that we won’t even miss over the course of the year.

Our HR Director paid me a visit yesterday and told me that I should expect my promised additional $5000 raise sometime before Christmas – and hopefully it will be approved to be retroactive to July 1. I sure hope that comes to fruition… would be another nice “bonus”. That would be a gross of $416.66 a month which would net out to be around $359.80 after taxes and retirement. Over the course a year, that would mean an extra take home amount of $4317.60 – would be a great addition to our savings!

New semester and AC update.

August 22nd, 2007 at 07:19 am

Today is the start of the Fall semester. My boss talked me into dropping one of my classes so I’m just taking one accounting course – hopefully, it will be a smooth semester. The book itself cost $140 – used via Amazon even!!! Geez. Oh, well.

DH decided to bring home a wireless hub thingy last night. He kept saying that it was worth the $150 for all the items so that we would have internet access anywhere in the house. He also kept saying that he would ebay his brains out to pay it back. I was trying to argue the fact that it wasn’t a necessity. We have cable internet downstairs and that was just fine. I don’t see the need to have internet everywhere else in the house. Oh, well… it’s like talking to a brick wall.

As to the air conditioning situation that I posted about last time, it is ironic how that turned out. The day after my post, DH’s grandfather called and asked if we could use a window unit. He has 3 in his house and hasn’t used one of them for the last 2 years or so… anyway, he gave us that unit and so now DH is very happy. I wake up with a runny nose now but at least DH can sleep without sweating. So all is well with that… it will be interesting to see how high our power bill will be now. I swear that the company here extorts everyone. Our electric bill is usually around $120 and that’s for no AC. Down the mountain (with a different company), we only paid around $100 each month and that was with running AC all the time in the summer. It’s a ripoff I tell you… but what can we do except pay what they charge?

motherly advice from boss and update

August 9th, 2007 at 06:20 am

My boss called me in yesterday to tell me that she was worried that I was overly stressed. She said that I reminded her of herself and she wanted me to lighten up on the school load. She kept saying that she was talking to me as if she were my mother… motherly advice vs. boss telling subordinate to shape up. I didn’t even realize that I was stressed out or anything. I felt fine these past few months and thought my work was going fine as well. Then she called from the road later on in the day just to check up on me and make sure I was okay. Yea, whatever. Today, she comes into my office and gives me a hug and tells me that I’m doing a wonderful job and to keep smiling… and to remind me that she feels like she’s looking after me like a mom would. That kind of urked me. I mean it’s not like she’s talking like that to all the men around here. Sure, I’m her daughter’s age but I don’t need a mother at work. It’s just her style, I guess… either that or she thinks I’m the most fragile employee she has. Whatever…

It’s been so hot here this week. We don’t have AC in the house so DH has been miserable. I’m okay with the heat but he can’t stand it. We’ve only been in the house a year and we had decided to try to make it through a couple of years before getting AC. All the duct work is in place since we have gas heat, so it’s just a matter of getting a unit installed and voila. The only thing is that we’ve already spent a fortune getting our retaining wall installed that cash is a bit tight…(see below). But, the house has been at around 85 degrees all week and I even have to admit that it’s been really hot. DH was that close to getting a window unit last night for $130 but I talked him out of it. I just can’t see the benefit of putting in a window unit in the bedroom just so that he can sleep… shouldn’t you be awake to enjoy the AC? Just a difference of opinion… the heat should only last about a month out of the entire year for the area we live in so would it be worth getting AC for the entire house? That’s the question that I’ve been asking… of course hubby thinks we’d have it on for more like 4 months out of the year since he would definitely use it if it were available.

On the more fun financial side of things…

I placed two trades with Zecco… I didn’t want (nor could I afford) to do much stock trading so I started off with just $100. I bought one share of company X and another share of company Y. I bought these while the stock market was down last week so we’ll see how much activity comes about once the market goes back and stays up. It was nice not to have to pay any fees to purchase these stocks. So far so good with Zecco.

I had done a BT transfer at 0% to get money for building our retaining wall. Back in June, we took the BT and paid ourselves the $20,000 into our savings account. After paying for the wall and the paving of our driveway, we’re down to $5,000 left. We’ll use that for my tuition and other items. By the time the BT period is over in Jan… we’ll pay it off in Dec to be safe… we’ll have the $20,000 balance on the card down to $12,000. Then we’ll cash in some liquid accounts to the tune of $10,000. That leaves just $2,000 that we’ll need to save between now and Dec to pay off the entire BT amount. It should all work out beautifully… I hope.


DH is really trying to stay within our budget for Aug. He knows that we are a bit “tight” from now until Dec in making sure we have enough money for paying off the BT. I commend him for making an effort… believe me, it’s really tough for him to not whip out the credit card without even thinking. I tried to put him on an all cash diet before and that really didn’t work … caused too much stress for our marriage. So, all that he really carries in his wallet is the one credit card that I pay off each month. We did go over our budget for back-to-school shopping for the kids, but they did need everything that we bought. Using coupons and things helped quite a bit but we ended up going over by about $100. Oh well… will adjust something else to compensate.

It’s official… my raise for this year is 4% and DH got 4.62%. Our “bonus” this year will go up $200 for each of us as well. I will purposely try to budget our raises into savings this time… never really took an effort at doing that before but we seem to be living well within our means right now so it’s a good time to pull that raise amount from the top each month for investing. So for being in our early-mid 30’s, we are now going to bring in a gross salary this year of $97,820 (year being from July-June)…not too shabby. I’m also still in the works to receiving a $5,000 raise that my boss had promised me when I was first hired last year. I had brought that up a few months ago and she was still going to do it but wanted to wait until this fall… I’ll remind her again in the next couple of months. If that comes to fruition, then that will make us go into making six figures. Wow. With such a high income (or at least to me, it is)… you would think that we’d have much more savings. If DH would curb his spending, then we would be able to save a lot more than we do – but marriage takes compromise. He’s just not one to look at the big picture when it comes down to saving/investing for the future… so I have to juggle between saving what I WANT to save and what I really CAN save in order to have the cash to pay off the credit card each month. I would say that the difference is about $1500 each month but oh well. One has to maintain sanity in a successful marriage, right?