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Archive for August, 2009

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August 26th, 2009 at 10:19 am

This might be scary..

Biggies:
Grad School $14k 2005-08
3 piece living room set $1700 2006
1st car $4k 2004
2nd car $21k 2008
Wedding/engagement rings $9k 2008
Wedding $16k 2008
House $202k 2009
Closing costs $7500 2009
Moving company $1680 2009
New roof $10k 2009
Plantation shutters $1800 2009
Hardwood floors $1k 2009

hmmm...cant think of anything else...not as bad as I thought. (Now memories of other big purchases will come to me all day long)

Total spent: $289,680
Non Mortgage spent: $87,680





My turning point

August 20th, 2009 at 03:03 pm

To answer BA's question:

I don't think I ever had a "turning point."
I was always frugal and always very stingy with my money.I never had debt, but I never really had much income either.

I think I got very serious about money when I inherited a lot of it. Up to that point I had been dealing with small-ish amounts of savings. $1000-1500 in the savings account at any given time. I was trying to save money for a house down payment but was only able to contribute about $50.00 a month!

A year after I had decided to start saving money for a house- I inherited my parents money. Suddenly I was dealing with numbers I had never seen before, and the money was split into accounts like 401K's, real estate, stocks, bonds and I didn't know anything about them. I realized that if I didn't learn and learn quick- it would be gone before I ever knew what I had.

I didn't ever think I would spend it till it was gone- I was never a crazy spender. Really I was afraid of mismanaging it until it was gone. I pictured how easily money is 'lost' in losing stocks, and how it ends up in other peoples pockets when it is not managed by ethical people. In addition I was afraid of not getting the money's 'potential' out of it, and missing out on a lot as a result. I was afraid of hitting retirement age, being broke and learning from someone else that my initial amount (by then gone) had the potential to double, triple or more in the previous 30 years if only I had properly maintained the money.

Basically, this money was the legacy of my parents, and all their hard work. It was really the only "living" thing I had left of them. (I know money is not alive-but the way it grows, lasts, makes you happy, gives you security, needs monitoring- sometimes it seems like a third member of our household.)

So it was those fears that drove me to a panicked attempt to learn everything there was to know about money, and money management.

Since then, 2.5 years ago-I have learned a lot but not enough. I have slowed down and gotten almost lazy with my money education. I still have about 65% of what I inherited (the stock market and real estate crash took a big chunk), and I have reached a level of peace where I am comfortable with the financial decisions I have made, I am comfortable with where the money sits, and I am comfortable looking into the future.

not much to update

August 20th, 2009 at 02:37 pm

Things are going really well right now. I went out to TX and visited BB. It put things back in perspective for me.

With him being gone so long I started to forget why I love him. I started focusing on what I was imagining he was doing (like spending money) and I started just focusing on money to the exclusion of other things in my life.

But once I got out to TX I realized I have been over reacting the last few weeks. I love BB for so many reasons, and when I am with him, I am reminded why he is doing what he is doing.

And it helps that when I got out there I was able to see he is really holding up his end of the bargain by really not living above his means. He is not able to save much money, but he does save a large percentage of his paycheck.

So now that I am back in GA I am content to wait for the season to end. He is still weighing options about what to do this off season and next year.

This off season. That's all anyone in the baseball world is talking about right now. All the wives were asking me what our plans were- they are trying to weigh and compare their options just like we are. Everyone is living in limbo where there are lots of 'options' but no concrete final offers out there until the season ends.

So we will wait and see. In the meantime I created a flyer advertising BB's ability to give lessons- if that is what BB decides to do. The flyer is very very snazzy.

Long vent

August 9th, 2009 at 07:23 am

Grrr...BB made me mad yesterday. I am not so mad now because I know he did not intentionally mean what he said- he was trying to be helpful. I think. Or maybe he was being selfish. I prefer to think helpful.

SO- the story goes like this:

I have been squirreling money away for the past few weeks to save up for a flower bed border to be put in and maybe also have our front steps redone. I have not gotten any formal quotes but will call for prices when I have $500.00 stashed away.

This is obviously a purely want based purchase, so I have been saving money from my spending money- not taking any money from the automatic savings accounts I already have set up.At the moment I only have $80 so I still have a way to go.

ANYWAYS- I mentioned to BB that I was saving up to have this done during one of our phone calls. BB says "you know that job might be around $4-500 don't you?" I tell him I know this but I want to do it anyways. The call continues nonchalantly and that's the end of it.

A few days later I am talking to BB on the phone and he says, "I was thinking. You know how you are saving up money to have the front lawn border put in?" "Yes" I say. "Well, why don't you put that money towards the windows getting insulated and we can get that done when I get back into town?"

To provide backstory: Our 100 yr old windows work fine but are old and also sealed shut. We were quoted a price of $1500.00 to get all our windows re ballasted, unsealed and insulated a little better. We planned to have our windows done this past spring but the roof came up and we put the window money into the new roof instead. When BB went off to baseball this season he said that during the season he will save up the money to have the windows fixed. That was going to be his contribution to the house.(When he decided he would save up money during the season for the windows I knew he would be short $4-500 and rather than go through the math to punch holes in his theory I just mentally decided to shell out the remaining couple hundred because I knew the windows are a big deal to him right now. I think it has to do with the whole taking apart and putting back in aspect of the work- he gets really excited when he explains the process to other people. However I did not TELL him I would cover whatever funds he was short on- I just started putting away some money every paycheck so it would be there when he returned from the season.)

So when he asked me to use my flower border savings to contribute to the windows...that told me has not saved anything CLOSE to what it will cost to have the windows done. I am not surprised by this at all- for my birthday he purchased plane tickets for me to visit him and that was $350.00. So I knew that ate up a large part of his savings and he would be returning from the season with only a few hundred dollars to live on while he looks for a job.

The issue I have is many:
1. This goes back to the promising me financial things and not following through with it. Several times he has promised me money he will have in the future only to end up forgetting he promised it to me, needing it, or spending it elsewhere. And when he does not give me the money he promised he never apologizes or aknowledge that he is completely contradicting something he promised a few weeks or months beforehand. Its like he is hoping I will not remember or if I bring it up he get's defensive and pulls a "Gamecock..I don't have money to EAT and you want money for our wedding/windows/ect.." (And of course I want him to eat! But it was poor financial planning that got him into a situation where he had to decide to eat or give me the promised money!) Honestly I don't expect him to give me money for anything but he needs to STOP VOLUNTEERING IT because it really makes me angry when he does not follow through.

2. I am fine if he cannot pay to have the windows fixed. It is a priority for both of us to get done but if I don't have the extra money in my paycheck for it then why should I expect him to have the extra money in his paycheck? I do have a problem that he wanted me to take the money I had been saving from my spending money and apply it towards one of his priorities. He has his own list of priorities for getting the house fixed up and I have mine. He wants the windows done and then he wants a new refrigerator. I want my garden border and then this winter we need 3 trees removed that are growing into structures and then
I want the master closet taken out (yes I said out. It was an add-on and juts into the room oddly and leaves our bad squished up against 2 walls.)I plan to squirrel money away all year for each of these projects to get done because they are not really NEEDS so logically they should come from spending money. Likewise I think our rusty refrigerator will last another year or two so if BB wants to replace it now then that is his job.

3. I am just tired of 100% of my paycheck expected to cover everything. I feel like because I pay the bills for this house then none of my money is sacred. If he can create a compelling enough argument of why we NEED to get this or that done then it becomes my fault that it is not getting done. On the phone yesterday after my surprise he asked me to reapply the money I got very hostile. He got defensive and started rattling off assumptions about how much air/heat we are losing every month out of the windows and ended it with "well don't complain to me when our heating bill is $300 this winter." Which is ridiculous because I pay 100% for the electric bill so if I want to lose money every month then it is my right to do that. (Of course I don't WANT to but that's not the point today.)AND it is BB who ALWAYS must be comfortable! I often joke around that for the rest of my life I will never be comfortable because I married BB. I will always be too cold or too hot because BB controls the thermostat. BB always freezes me out in the summer and prefers to run the heat in the winter over putting on a sweatshirt. So the pretense that he is concerned about the electric bill just infuriates me. I AM concerned over the electric bill and that was my hot button for him to push. The ace he had up his sleeve to manipulate me into giving him what he wanted.

So we didn't talk for a while and then I talked to him last night and everything was cool.He had totally dropped the subject but I am still angry about it.
In his head he was just suggesting something but in my head it was a symptom of a way bigger issue.

I am just angry in general about the situation. I feel like I pony up enough of my paycheck for house responsibilities and since BB is not contributing to our financial situation then why should he feel entitled to be telling me how to spend my paycheck?

I tipped 60% but I UNDERTIPPED last night

August 2nd, 2009 at 06:45 am

I am still new to the city and trying to meet people here. I "know" several people here, but don't know their phone numbers or anything. I am trying to integrate myself into groups and last night I was invited to a bar that was hosting a special event by the family that owns the bar (They are my age).
Since I went by myself I didn't feel comfortable drinking very much but I had 3 beers and 2 glasses of water. I stayed for about 3 hrs and feel like I made a lot of headway getting to know the family/staff and their friends.

So when I closed out my tab I tipped generously (about 60%) and walked out.

On my way to my car it occurred to me that I had a very inexpensive night. I pulled out my receipt and realized they only charged me for 2 beers rather than 3. I guess their gift/discount to me. But I tipped according to the price.

So essentially the bill was $6.00 and change and I tipped $4.00 creating a total of $10.00 and change.

But the bill SHOULD have been about $9.00 because I had 3 beers, not 2. So my tip covered the free beer but nothing else.

So I undertipped. And I want these people to like me and be my friend.

I feel really bad. What should I do?