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I'm not broke and I feel guilty

October 27th, 2009 at 09:33 pm

It seems that many of my hard working friends are suddenly getting hit hard with the economic recession. I in turn feel bad and want to help somehow.

The guys who replaced our roof a few months back called yesterday offering us a great deal to get our windows repainted (They know we have some rotting panes and just need a new coat on the rest- and they are generally handy guys who specialize in roofing). Seems they have not been able to find work since our roof job months ago- the roofer has resorted to selling off personal items to friends just to try and stay afloat (I learned this from the mutual friend who purchased some of the items). When the roofing team called, BB told them that he would need to ask me about their offer. Before hanging up the phone the roofer suggested just hiring him to do a few windows at a time if cost was an issue. Then BB calls me asking if we can get our windows fixed because he feels so bad. I feel bad too- but windows were not in our short term plan. I went and tried to run numbers to see if we could even get the guy $400- but that would mean upcoming christmas would put us in CC debt.So I had to tell BB no. I feel so bad.

Our other friend is a realtor. He has had 4 closings in a row fall through due to financing issues and he has watched his savings account drain- drain- drain over the last few months. He is down to $400 and had a mini breakdown in front of BB today because of it. He doesnt know how he is going to pay his own mortgage this month. I feel so bad. I heard about it and tried to think if there was anything I could hire him to do for us around the house- (the realtor has a construction background)...but we are pretty done with our projects. And besides- this realtor has a very grand house and my $3-400 I offer him would not make a dent in his mortgage. I feel bad.

I just feel bad.

Lets grade the money management skills here

October 23rd, 2009 at 07:17 pm

A family member of mine has been trying to change her image from a high maintance, consumer-ish type girl to a smart, financially savvy woman.

She has been trying to project this image for about 2 years. I could never really tell if she was trying to project this around me- or to me- because those are my values - or if she really understands the concepts behind what she says she wants. I know the family knows I am a hard ass about saving money, thats kind of my reputation. But she has been quick to say she bought this on sale, or that at a discount store...and I have never really known if she was "fronting" to earn respect, or if she has genuinely changed.

She has done some pretty big doozys over the last few years in regards to mis-handling, being immature about money- and once labeled- it's very difficult to change peoples perceptions.

Anyways- recently she was put to the test. Her car was totalled in a wreck and she was forced to get a new one. I watched this whole thing go down intently. This was a big test for her. Would she be smart or blow it? Does she really want to be frugal or just be trendy? Let's judge:

She was given her brand new car in high school and has driven it for almost 10 years now. (thrifty!)

She has wanted a replacement car for a few years now but has always said it is stupid to get a new car when the one you have works fine. (thrifty!)

She went to a car show a few months ago "to see what kind of car she would want when the time comes for a new car." (thrifty!)

She insists her fiance start driving her car to and from work an hour away "because her car has better gas milage", while she used his brand new truck to go back and forth to her own work. (thrifty? spoiled? I cant tell.)

Her fiance totals the car going to work and goes to the hospital for minor injuries. The car is towed to an impound lot. Once out of the hospital they go directly to a dealership to look at new cars. She skips informing her insurance company of the wreck- she skips finding out about her coverage options- if she can get a rental car or money for the car. (bad)...and a few days later it is determined the car has no value, and she does not have rental car insurance either.

She does not come home with a new car that night. (thrifty!)

She has narrowed her choice down to a certain American brand and model. The dealership tells her there are no '09's left and she can only buy a '10 model. She refuses to believe them. (thrifty!)

It actually turns out to be true. An internet search reveals that cash for clunkers has cleared out the inventory. A family member finds her one '09 with 3k miles on it for 10k below an '10 price. She turns her nose up at it and says "she does not want to buy someone elses car." (BAD!)

She finds out that her car that has been sitting in impound for 3 days is charging her by the day. She is furious no one told her. (just funny)and has it towed to the house.

She negotiates a deal for a fully loaded brand new '10 for $38,000.00 -no money down- 0% financing for 3 years. (good credit=thrifty...)

She earns $45k a year, her fiance $50k a year, and they both live at her parents house under the agreement that it is the best way for her to save money for a house and their wedding next year. Her fiance contributes $800 a month to the wedding fund- and she was paying $600 a month on her student loans, arguing that her student loans make it impossible for her to save money herself for a house or wedding.

It is unclear where the rest of her money goes. It is unclear how much money they have saved for the wedding or a house. She has no other bills besides car insurance and clothes.

Recently it was determined that she cannot pay both student loans and her new car payment so her father is currently paying her student loans. I dont know if this is a long term or temperary arrangement. (bad)

Overall- what do we grade her at? Maybe a C+? She seemed to have good intentions- but when it came down to doing the responsible, smart thing (buying a used car)- she just couldnt do it.

working and thinking...

October 19th, 2009 at 03:35 pm

At my job, I have been given the fredom to take initiative and help market an MBA program we are offering. The MBA program is 1 year long and students attend classes 2 Saturdays a month- completing the rest of the work online. Each class is 1 month long (12 classes in total). It is offered here in Savannah, as well as in Atlanta.

Any ideas? The department already spent it's advertising budget on direct mailers- so I am trying to think of cheap or free marketing.

I have been calling some of the larger retail businesses to set up a 5 min instore presentation to the workers during one of their regularly scheduled meetings...but not having any luck.

I was thinking of trying the police department but dont really know the infrastructure of who to ask, or how to ask.

Really, I am just trying to raise awareness of the program. The 1 year MBA is brand new, and holding classes 2 Saturdays a month was designed for working professionals.

...any ideas of how to best tell the community about it?

Stock Market musings

October 16th, 2009 at 01:29 pm

The stock market is doing well. Phew! I survived the crash and didnt wind up homeless. This was my first experience with a stock market dip and I learned somethings about myself:

1. I get more sorrow/stress from losing than I gain/feel from increases.

2. I would have pulled out the day after the stock market dropped way way down if it were not for this blog and everyone telling me it will come back.

3. That alot can happen in less than a year. If I have 30 years till retirement- I really dont need to be concerned right now.

4.That my parents money is very important to me. Being responsible with it is a way I honor their memory.

5. That when the news, people and everything is predicting hard hard times to come, and a recession or impending depression- my fears of whatthat means are not nearly as bad as the reality.

6. Karma. People who are irresponsible with money and keep up with the Jones's with money they dont have really do get what they have coming to them. No need for jealousy- let reality play out.

7. Diversity is really the way to cover your butt. Even though stocks are doing great right now- I know I need to get more in bonds to maintain a healthy diversity.

I myself have recovered significantly. I am going to rebalance my holdings so I am a in a little bit of a safer position. Today I am moving 30% of my stocks into bonds as a way to safeguard my heart in the event of another decline. Hopefully it will work out.

I hate to sound like an ultraconsumer but...

October 13th, 2009 at 02:24 pm

...why cant somebody invent a floor to ceiling refrigerator???!

Dont laugh, I have thought this through. I hope someone on this board likes my idea and runs with it (and it is only fair I get a discount on it).

refrigerators are lovely. They do wonderful things and American kitchens all have them.

But they are fat. They are big, bulky and jut into the middle of the kitchen.

Why has a floor to ceiling one not been invented? Take the extra 2-3 inches that juts out of the front and add it to the top. I know they make counter-depth ones now- but they dont seem to add the loss inches to the top! So you are left with a shorter/thinner fridge that is aestetically pleasing but holds less items.

Now to answer your questions:
"But one can reach so high up beyond the 6 ft they make fridges now-it is all wasted space." -No its not!! They make cabinets that go above refridgerators and nobody can reach those! People can store excess items such as frozen meat/water bottles/whatever up there. Besides that, why do they make extra long cabinets that go up to the ceiling if no one can reach?- Because humans are resourcesful and will never turn away storage space! I dont mind getting out a stool- I do mind a huge refridgerator that takes up 5-6 inches of floor space beyond the counters. They can even add in a little stool that pulls out for people to step on to reach the upper limits of the fridge.

"But Gamecock- people dont need so much storage space." inlaws have 4 (4!!) refrigerator/or freezers in their home. People need the extra space.

If it gets built- people will buy it.

I WANT it!

not much to report

October 12th, 2009 at 07:15 pm

BB and I are slowly evolving into a more comfortable place.

He is still in the market for a job since retiring from baseball. I say "in the market" because "looking" is the wrong word. He gave up after one solid day of craigslist looking. He has pinned all his hopes on an MLB job that was told to him in confidentiality that will open up once a whole long line of firings/rehirings happens that if 1 friend off BB's is hired for then he promises to hire BB. Sounds like a long shot. A super long shot.
Nothing like putting all your eggs in one basket there BB.

And we know nothing until the season ends in late October.

I have given up with the whole BB looking for a job thing. He's like a stone. Always has an answer for why he wont get hired/shouldnt apply for any job but this one that might/might not open up in a month.
Talking/writing about it gets me angry.

In the meantime BB has settled into being a very good house-husband. He runs all my errands for me and does an ok job keeping the house clean. And he is not costing a lot of money either. I must say having him around to take care of house stuff/chores has been great.

When I am not thinking of the goals, responcibilities and money aspect of everything- I am very comfortable having him home unemployed. It has been nice having dinner cooked and all that.

But I do hope to hear one way or another about this MLB job soon.

I am ready to be a real 2 income family for a little bit.

choosing retirement stocks

September 30th, 2009 at 08:38 pm

Well I have had a retirement 401k account for 2 weeks now. I have lost .27 so far.

I was checking the account because I was getting a head start on my monthly net worth stats. I was having trouble opening the website and asked a coworker (CPA) to help me. He saw my pie chart of all my stocks that I chose and cautioned me they were all very very safe. I guess I am in mostly mutual funds.

I must tell you I had no method to my madness when setting up the account. I was presented with a list of 3 catagories (agressive/moderate/cautious) consisting of about 15 stocks to choose from for each catagory. I decided to go moderate and chose 8 different stocks and alloted somewhere between 10-15% to each stock.

I never really looked up the stock- what it did- or anything. I knew I wanted variety so I got some foreign stuff in there.

Now my co-worker warns me I am being very cautious. In this market I am ok with that. I dislike losses more than I like gains. I still think another big stock crash is coming...a loss of .27 is okay by me.

We'll see how I do next month.


September 24th, 2009 at 05:00 pm

My company took away the facilitator job oppertunity. My boss's boss told my boss it was a conflict of scheduling because she wanted me available on Saturdays (news to me) for when our program gets really busy. The facilitator job is on Saturdays.

I am sooooo disapointed. I am sooooo annoyed. My boss is annoyed too because that means he has to do the job- only he wont get paid.

So I told him to keep me in mind if we could work it out and he asked me to keep in mind anyone I know with a masters degree who would be willing to do it.

grrrrr....$1200 a month income taken away from me so I am available to work Saturdays with no extra pay.

Masters degree came in handy today

September 23rd, 2009 at 09:55 pm

Whoohooo! My Masters degree is worth something!

The job I currently have requires a bachelors degree. My collegues all have bachelors degrees. Although I was the first person hired for the new "team" that the company was creating, my higher degree was not necessary for the job. Though I do believe my masters degree gave me the edge over the 300! other applicants.

And I really enjoy my job. Even if I am overqulaified.

But! My company has recently had an opening for a "class facilitator" position that requires a masters degree.

The facilitator position is only 20 hours a month, but it pays nearly double my hourly wage! I jumped on it and my boss gave it to me!


how much money should you have before buying a horse?

September 22nd, 2009 at 04:43 pm

In response to Whitestripe's entry , I am posting my own recent thought process in a different area.

My friends have all bought horses this year. Seems odd given the economy- but that made these "golden" oppertunities.

One friend paid $225,000 for 2 horses. The owner was divorcing and was behind on her horse bills- so she sold her 2 imported horses at a "bargain basement" price. My friend snatched the 2 up even though she was planning to first sell her current horse before buying a horse (not 2). So now she has 3 horses. And she is suffering. The bills have gotten much higher than she was expecting and she cannot sell her original horse (horse went lame at about the time the 2 new horses were shipped in).

My other friend got a horse from a racing farm that was "going out of business" and foreclosing. The owner told the barn staff to "get rid of the horses". In order to save the horses from the slaughterhouse- the barn staff spread the word that the horses are free and need to be gone within a few weeks. My friend heard about it and picked herself up a horse for free. Forget that she didnt need another horse- cant ride this horse- and a thoroughbred was not what she wanted for her next horse.

I want a horse. I love horses. But I cant afford it. They are expensive! I talked with another friend of mine who wants a horse but has resisted the impulse so far- and I concluded I would want $15,000 in the bank before I got a horse. The money would be set aside for "horse emergencies" and that amount would cover a few years of basic basics for a horse in the event that I lost my job- and I couldnt afford the horse. My friends- they do not plan for the cushions.
I know my thoroughbred friend lives paycheck to paycheck. I know my other friend relies on her boyfriend to pay for her horses. I cant help but shake my head at how risky they are being...but they get to wake up and ride a horse everyday. As my friend put it "if I worried about the consequenses of every purchase I made, I would never buy anything."

BB is going back to school

September 15th, 2009 at 07:33 pm

I set up an admissions appointment to get BB started in school again. He left college with 1 semester to go to play baseball. His MLB team promised in the contract that they will give him $14,000 towards completing his degree if he returns to school within 2 years of finishing playing baseball.

So it has been 8 years since he left school, we no longer live where he was working on his I dont know how long it will take him to complete his degree.

I am now working at a private university that provides my immediate family 100% tuition reimbursement after 1 year of work.

We are hoping the MLB team's $14000 will cover the 1st year and my employee reimbursement will cover the rest for him.

My university does not offer sports management- the degree BB was working on-so enrolling into a new program will set him back further as well. At this point I kind of cringe thinking so few of his classes will transfer over. Right now we dont even have his unofficial transcripts to go off of, but he admissions rep is going to pull them for us and should have them in a few days. One less thing for us to worry about.

In addition BB must only go into the online degrees, since he retired from playing baseball this year- he is hunting for a full time job in baseball and the only thing we know at this point is he will not be here in Savannah. (No baseball jobs here.) I am worried because BB has limited computer skills and online classes are hard. I recently edited a class format for an online MBA degree and there are essay assignments due 5 or 6 nights a week. I worry that if BB is living in another state (away from me) then his schooling priority might start to fall by the wayside. But he says he is excited to get started.

At least we have options to hopefully make this degree no cost to us. My job has perks and I am grateful to be able to take advantage of them!

Since we are a private university, the admissions reps have quotas to fill and a lot of pressure is placed on them to get enrollments. This helps them provide excellent customer service, but it was nice also knowing I was helping make someones job a little more secure by enrolling with them.

Costs of friendship

September 14th, 2009 at 09:38 pm

A friend of mine recently: got engaged, moved to a new state to live with fiance, quit one job, got a new job, started school for a Masters degree and bought a horse. All within a month (except the getting engaged part).

Bad idea. She is completely overwhelmed and miserable.

I am going to fly up to her next month and try to put some fun back in her life.

I dont have the immediate money to do this. And if I was living paycheck to paycheck I wouldnt do this.
But I do have the money to do this. It's just assigned to "savings". Although this is not an "emergency" "retirement" or any other issue I have that money stashed away for- I think this is one of those times that you just have to be thankful you can afford to do this for a friend and recognize that although this kinks up your financial plans- the benefits to her outweight the hassle and inconveinence to you. So I will buy a plane ticket tonight. I am considering myself lucky that this was my unexpected cost...much more fun to me than a broken applience or medical bill.

Baseball payday

September 4th, 2009 at 01:03 pm

Wanna hear about crazy baseball?

A friend of mine was in the big leagues for a week 2 years ago. He appeared in 1 game for 2 innings (Though he did well).
The next year he is with a new team and injurs himself in spring training. He spends that year rehabbing, before ultimately deciding to get surgery.
His MLB team is kind of shady about awarding him workmans comp, so he decides to sue the team. (This is a HUGE no-no if you ever want to play baseball again.)
He just went to court and the results: He is given $50k in back pay, and for the rest of his life, any year he is not earning over $80k (in any job in any industry)- the MLB team must pay him to make up for the deficit.
Sometimes I cannot comprehend how much money MLB teams actually have.

My freind has a money tree and now I want one.

September 1st, 2009 at 09:11 pm

A good friend of mine thinks she is broke. She feels broke because she cannot find a job and had to move in with her mother. She does not have enough money left over at the end of every month and is constantly left shutting down all lifestyle activities until her next check arrives in the mail.

She inherited 7 million dollars a few years ago.

She did not blow through 7 million dollars. She inherited it in the form of a trust fund that gives her large lump sums twice a year and a fixed allowance every month.

So twice a year she blows her large lump sum on something that she has been wanting, and every month she blows through her allowance and is left with no money in the bank at the end.

Good money management skills she never learned.

And without getting into pondering why she never learned to manage her money or ponder why she STILL does not mange her money..I think I found out that she has an actual money tree.

It's the end of the month. So yes my freind called me whining that she only has $10 to last her the whole weekend, and that she hates living with her mom but cant afford to get an apartment. And once again I tried to figure out how a girl with 7 million dollars does not even have enough money to fill up her car with gas.

It seems that with the current economic crisis, her trustees have cut her monthly allowance nearly in half in order to preserve the money to make it last for both her and her young daughters lifetime. So my friend who is terrible with money to begin with, has not handled the paycut very well.

But while listening, I was caught up in a vision of a tree made of money. And every month the tree would produce little fruits that were harvested and given to my freind. She consumes the fruits of the investments which is interest...but she can never get at the main trunk of the tree which is made up of the principal. (And to listen to her complain- you betcha she has really tried to get her hands on that tunk!)

Anyways- my friend has a money tree! One of the most saught after but elusive mythical objects of all time. And my friend has one.

And of course she doesnt even know it. I was envisioning her money tree as she was complaining about what was happening to her. I was picturing the tree all green and healthy with a halo around it.

Funny- she understands the CONCEPT regarding why her allowance was cut down- she agrees that it does need to happen in order to keep collecting the allowance for her lifetime...but she cant really comprehend her role in this story. Like, that she should adjust her lifestyle to accomodate the changes. Or that if she had saved some of it, she would not be hurting now. Or that if she had planted her fruit in investments of her own- she could have a second money tree for her discrecionary use!

Anyways, I didnt have much to say to her. She just looks for sympathy. She doesnt ever want advice or to learn anything. But I did get amused at the little vision that popped into my head as she described what had happened to her.

And- I do love her. I truly love this girl and think she has a lot to offer. But her money management skills- I shake my head because I have never seen anybody so lazy with their money.

My 1K list

August 26th, 2009 at 05:19 pm

This might be scary..

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 10:03 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 09:37 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.

I tipped 60% but I UNDERTIPPED last night

August 2nd, 2009 at 01:45 pm

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?

new job is great

July 29th, 2009 at 12:48 am

Things here in Savannah are going well. Not much to report other than my new job has been great.

I am being spoiled. My new company is great with 12 paid vacation days a year, a great set of coworkers, and a really supportive organization.

I moved into my (own!) office today, and I was given a blackberry to use. I don't know how to use the blackberry yet, but I am sure I will be addicted soon enough.

My coworkers are all my age. We were all hired together as a special "team" and though none of us has previous experience in this industry- we are excited to start impressing our bosses.

I was sad sad sad to leave my old job- but I think I def made a good move to start this new job.

new job today

July 20th, 2009 at 10:22 pm

Started the new job and love it so far. I really like the job atmosphere and I like the people with whom I will work. I think this next year will be very exciting at work with a lot of ups and downs. I am a bit sensitive so I hope there are more ups than downs! Hopefully I will be very successful here. I am optimistic. Day 1 down and ready for day 2.

Who's sweating it out?

July 13th, 2009 at 11:57 pm

So who is still going with the no air conditioning challenge?

money and friends

July 11th, 2009 at 01:39 pm

Everything here is quiet. It's nice. I am still settled and content with life.

I have a friend from early high school that recently asked me for money. He has asked me before so it does not really bother me- but I think the first time he ever asked me to "invest" in his business plan- it was handled wrong and I think our friendship was forever altered. Maybe not forever...but it's been about 3 years and I am still on guard when I think about him.

The first time he asked he called me up and kind of jumped into this "I have such a good's going to make so much father wants to be involved with me- this is our plan and it's so simple I know it will be a success." speech. He caught me off guard b/c we rarely talk on the phone- I had not heard from him in a few months (not uncommon), and I was like, "ok. Good for you! Starting your own business! Whatever floats your boat!"

He continues to tell me that he and his father have it all worked out, and his father already has so much experience owning businesses that it is a cant miss opportunity.

Then he jumped into the hard sell, "all I need is 15k to get it started. Why don't you be an investor and we will just send you checks every month?" That totally blew my mind and I was stunned really.

I had huge warning bells going off in my mind and wanted to get as far away from the subject as I could. The idea he presented to me...did not appeal to me. I could not see much of a profit margin, and this idea sounded a little too close to a mainstream technique that is already in use...and not really rolling in popularity. He might make a profit- but not enough for me, himself, and his dad to share and realize this as worth the risk or time. Beyond that- his father does have experience owning several small business like a cleaning comp, a laundromat and I guess he was very very successful...but lost EVERYTHING over 10 yrs ago due to tax evasion. Since then the parents have really struggled to live and my friend has been trying to support them from his own full time job.

So I politely told him that I don't feel comfortable investing in a business, and I don't have any liquid cash anyways because I was saving for a house. He didn't argue, just ended the conversation and that was it.

After that I did not hear from him for a YEAR. I was feeling "off" about the whole thing and sent him a friendly email later that week and got no response. I periodically contacted him on myspace or facebook and left him funny or friendly messages and got nothing. He was totally ignoring me. Months later I was headed back to my hometown for a vacation (did I mention he and this business he wanted me to be a part of is over 1200 miles away from me?) and wanted to hang out. Nothing. No response at all. I had always planning to invite him to my wedding but because he was not talking to me I didn't.

Recently-about 7-8 months ago he just sent me an email. It was just a "I don't remember why we were fighting but it's all in the past and I hope things are going well for you." email. I accepted his "apology" and just tried to be normal again.

So catching up with him, I found out: his father had been diagnosed with cancer and had been in treatment for almost a year. Now he is in remission but the whole family is pretty shaken up. The family has a lot of bills and my friend has been 100% focused on his family and keeping things together financially and emotionally for them.

I just felt a bit deceived. Clearly he learned the news about his father and wanted to put into action a plan that they had shared together as a last tribute to his father. Rather than turning to me for support, or to talk- he saw me as a bank and turned to me for money. He was ready to have me invest in a plan without telling me the 3rd partner was not going to be able to participate at all- and he as the primary business man might be too distracted himself to even be able to run the business efficiently.

So I felt I had dodged a really intense bullet. I wish him the best but the whole thing reminded me why you do not loan or invest in a friendship. The whole incident is always on my mind when we talk, but I know he was acting impulsively and emotionally and probably doesn't really only think of me as a contact who might be able to give him easy money.

So last night he IM'd me. He started off with how he earns almost 100k a year to do a job that is so easy and he really wants to challenge himself. Aside from his govt job, He is currently running the businesses his father had re-started after the whole tax incident and earns "about 25k" a year from those businesses. And although he makes 125k a year he is bored and has a "really great idea that he wants to start and his goal is to make a million dollars in 6 years off an initial 50k investment." I saw where this was going instantly and just couldn't believe it was going to start again. I steered the question away from him flat out asking me for the money but he mentioned several times about needing an investor.

I am just annoyed because he kept throwing that he earns so much money (far far more than I currently earn from my job) but has no available cash to pursue his "dream" of starting this business because he gives all his spare money to his parents. It's noble to support your parents, but with his current method of having no organization- only giving them money is kind of throwing good money after bad. I look at this guy who earns very very good money and lives in an apartment, has no outward trappings of wealth and apparently has zero savings. He is living paycheck to paycheck- not because of his lifestyle, but to support his parents lifestyle. And they are not really getting back on their feet either- everyone is limping along. There seems to be no organized budget at all in the family and stretching money does not seem to be anyone's strength. Clearly earning the money is not anyone's problem- I do believe the family has a good work ethic- but a person can never earn enough money if there is no organizing where it goes. I look at small character traits like that and realize that being in business with this family (from 1200 miles away) would drive. me. crazy.

So that was last night. I am curious to see if I ever hear from him again.

just my ramblings

July 5th, 2009 at 12:55 am

Update first: I decided to take the University job. It was the maternity benefits that did it for me. I want the option to have a baby even though I don't want one right now. That, and the title of financial aid director looks better than office manager for future resume needs. So hopefully I LIKE this job that I start in 2 weeks!

Now for whats on my mind currently:
I am finally settling into life with BB being gone. This has been a difficult season being separated from him because now we have the house to take care of. Or while he is gone- I have the house to take care of.

It's been hard, the house is a bigger responsibility than I anticipated, and it's a constant burden- worrying about the house/having to do something regarding the house. I feel like I am getting so far behind in housework/ errands. It has made me very resentful of BB being gone, and I have felt overwhelmed trying to juggle everything. I feel I never have time to relax. I don't know how single parents do anything- I don't even have a kid and I am stretched!

But this weekend I have caught up. I was able to relax this afternoon. I finally feel happy to be alone, finally feel independent, free and empowered living alone. Up till now I felt like I was missing half of me.

I think it's partially the new-found freedom I have now that I feel comfortable to venture out of my house and go on long walks. I have been taking longer and longer walks everyday and it is just my new thing that I love to do.

Yesterday Casey Jones and I walked clear across town, then walked to a dog park, a people park and finally came home. Today we walked down to the river to see the crowds out for the 4th of July. We stopped in every park we passed and just watched the people walk by. It was wonderful.

I feel so relaxed right now. The yard was mowed. Grocery shopping is done, vacuuming done, and tonight I am going to sit down on my front porch and watch all the fireworks going off in the street.

It's been a GREAT 4th of July. I finally am at peace with my life.

2 jobs!!

July 3rd, 2009 at 12:21 am

So I gave my 2 week notice at my current job and my boss was disappointed but understands that a 50% raise is too good to pass up.

Then a few hrs later after talking to his father (family owned/run business) my boss tells me he is willing to match the pay of the University job!! He says he really thinks I am worth it, he sees a lot of potential in me and because I am doing the work for 3 offices- I save the company the salaries of having a staff member in each office, so they have the money to match my University offer.

I totally did not see this coming.

It's been on my mind all day long. I told him I would give him an answer in the morning.

I don't know!! I totally go back and forth.

My current job is a small family run business with a staff of maybe 10 employees. It has a team environment where everyone helps each other because promoting the business is in everyone's best interest. It is limited though. It has been around 30 yrs and each office contains an office manager (me) and a technician. So there is no room to be promoted- unless I want to be a technician (which they would love for me to do but I could not do it well at this point and know it). But there is room for added responsibility. They are trying to grow the business in client base and getting into presentations, training, and reaching out to connect with the communities. I am busy now but could kind of write my ticket at this point about being a point person down the road. But it's an industry that does not really interest me, dealing with a population that also does not really interest me. Though I like how transparent the business side of it is to learn. Because it's just me there- I see and deal with all aspects of running the business. I appreciate that.

Then the university. Big corporate company. I have several packets of paperwork pertaining to rules and codes. I know it is going to be hierarchy and office politics. Different departments and bureaucracies. And I don't know really what my job will be like. I have never done it before- don't know how my job responsibilities will play out.

But! University is paying me good money (though current company will match it). University is also providing benefits (I currently pay $200 a month for my own benefits...current company cannot provide that)and 2 weeks paid vacation a year- starting this year! (current company provides 1 wk vacation starting 2nd year...though they do let me slip out to run errands or let me go 15 min early when we are not busy.)And University pays for 80 hrs of sick time a year. (current job has a flexible policy, nothing really set in stone.)

And! I am working in finances at the university. An area that has always interested me. Though I will not get to see the whole business process- just my little piece that I do then pass on and around it goes. And I do love students. So it is a population that interests me and I enjoy interacting with.

So it's kind of small homey somewhat rewarding job that is not at all prestigious but has potential to send me to a high position of responsibility quickly....

...or big. corporate, possibly politicky university job that is prestigious and pays better (when you count in the benefits) but might keep me trapped in the same role...forever with lots of ABILITY to move up- but maybe not much ROOM to move up.

Maybe I should see how much the difference in pay would be. If I pay $175 month in benefits- that is $2100.00 a year I currently pay for just me. University is giving me 3 options between $140-180 month that will cover me AND BB. So that might end up being about even but BB gets covered too.

2 weeks paid vacation is REALLY enticing. I have a lot of travel plans come up every year.

Looking at it long term- what job do I see myself at longest- neither. I am horrible but I tend to switch jobs/get burned out around the 1.5-2 yr mark. I'm not an ambitious person. I like my personal life over my working life. I am pretty sure that once I get pregnant within 5 yrs I will try to become a SAHM.

So really this is a short term decision. It's a big decision to make- but really I think I will be equally happy at either job.

New job...check

June 29th, 2009 at 11:56 pm

So I think I got that big University job! Well- they called last week and asked me to fill out papers for a background check and told me that if my check comes out clean then I have the job.

Yaaa!!! (BTW- I FINALLY know why it is important to do well in college when you are not planning to further your education...this place actually wanted a copy of my undergrad and grad transcripts.) -I kind of assumed that degrees were somewhat worthless when a person with C's gets the same degree as someone with A's....but apparently your grades do matter in the real world- thank god I got Bs!

Anyways, the next day I got a VM saying my background check was clean and the University will be mailing me a formal letter of hire.

Its been 1 full week and no letter yet.

I don't feel comfortable giving my 2 wks notice at my current job till I have that letter in hand. I have known for a week now I was leaving and feel so bad because my boss keeps showing me how to do things!

When I first came into the office and had no idea what I was doing I feel that the business really suffered. I don't want my boss to go through that again now that its finally making progress- I want to give him as much notice as I can so he can take his time selecting someone and I can train them if he wants me to.

I wish I would get the letter already!

And they are offering me $1000 a year OVER my asking salary. They are getting a good deal on me but its just a nice gesture of goodwill and generosity to offer me a tad more than I asked for.

This will officially be my highest paying job I have ever had! (except 2007 when I was selling on ebay- I made crazy money before the market fell.) Now I just want the letter!

Bi Polar experiences??

June 29th, 2009 at 01:26 am

I don't know how much I really want to go into what happened yesterday...but I am asking for peoples knowledge of Bi Polar disorder.

As everyone knows, BB and I rent our upstairs unit to a bunch of college kids and the rent pays our mortgage.

Yesterday one of my tenants came into my downstairs unit in a trance like state and then proceeded to do some really scary things. I was home at the time and I am fine, but the incident had me a little panicked and confused.

I actually thought he was on some type of new designer drug, and so I ran outside and screamed for one of the other tenants to come and help me. The police were called and there was quite a bit of activity here.

Apparently- the boy is bi polar and is uncertain whether he needs his medication. I'm not completely clear if he always, sometimes or never takes his medication- but I was told that an 'episode' comes on every 5-6 months and the other 3 roomates kind of band together to watch him and control him. The episode takes 2-3 days to 'come on' (where he acts more and more bizaar) then there is 1-2 days of fledged craziness and then it passes. The boy was not able to be contained yesterday because 2 of the roomates have gone home for summer break and the remaining roomate did what he could but it wasnt enough.

So the cops came and took him to a mental institution until the parents could get down here from Michigan. From what I hear, the boy will have no memory of anything that happened.

So of course my friends who heard about the incident all broke out stories of people they knew who are bi polar and were dangerous. Stories of family members trying to hurt or kill other family members. My friends want me to kick the boy out of the house.

The boy is a good kid. He's responcible, he has a job,(or did- though I doubt Home Depot would be willing to overlook his absence over the last few days) pays his bills, never causes any problems. His episodes are something his 3 roomates are willing to put up with- so I think asking the boy to leave might be undeserved punishment. I would think that if his own roomates are willing to deal with this- I should be willing to deal too. Asking him to move out would just increase his problems and possibly place him alone or with people who are not able to handle his episodes- leading to more problems for him.

I thought bi-polar was only about depression/ sleepy depression and then lots of activity. This boy was kind of tranced out, not talking at all but answering questions in a yes/no format, not really following social norms, forgetful, impulsive, and seemed to forget that clothing is not optional- its required!

I guess I am wondering about how often 'dangerous' traits are found in bi polar people. I just want to be sure he wont get more aggressive the next episode. He was manageable this time around...I don't know. His roommate was very helpful in providing me with knowledge but I worry maybe I got the toned down version to not alarm me or to not be responsible for me kicking him out.

So I think I am looking for words of encouragement. I am looking to hear that there are different levels of bi polar and he doesn't sound like the dangerous type. I want to keep him here- but I dont want him breaking into my unit, or setting the house on fire, or pulling a weapon on anyone.

went out last night

June 20th, 2009 at 02:19 pm

Somehow I only spent $23.00 last night.

We went to 3 places, I bought a round for my 2 girls and me...I am very not feeling well this morning...but rummaging through my purse I only spent $23.00.

That's cool. I had way more fun than $23.00 worth last night! So last night was a success!

Bring on the consequences

June 19th, 2009 at 10:27 pm

I'm going to spend money tonight. I am going to waste money tonight. I am going to regret it all tomorrow.

I have had an unusually tight rein on my spending this month so far, I have spent far far less than I normally do by mid month. Last night I nearly worked myself into tears because I was SOOOO sick of spaghetti but that's all that was in my pantry. (It's cheap and I work under the code of: If I don't buy it I wont want it.)

So to relieve some of my pent up money saving stress, and to make myself feel like I have a life- I invited a few girlfriends to go out dancing with me tonight. I could do it frugally but I am tired of calculating and doing without. I have money in the budget for this but I haven't been spending it. Last night I saw the consequences of saving even my spending money.

Tonight I dance. Tonight I drink. Tonight I buy a round for my friends because I want to enjoy my life more than my fat bank account.

And tomorrow I will be hit with a major emergency and really regret blowing the money tonight. That's the way the money gods work. Their vindictive like that.

Bring it on money gods. Bring it.

I turned on the air today....

June 16th, 2009 at 11:48 pm

And it feels GLORIOUS!!

Seriously I could have held out but I have a friend coming over to watch TV tonight. I don't want her to get uncomfortable.

So good luck to all you stubborn no cold air people.

At the moment we only have:

Househopeful (Deleware)
Koppur (Massachusetts)
Toyguy (Ohio) ((my bet is on this one))
Mom-from-Missouri (Montana..just kidding! Had to go there)
Apprentice (Ireland)
Whitestripe (Australia) ((Where it's WINTER!))
Caoineag (Colorado)

Anyone else?

Shhh...I dont want to talk about it.

June 15th, 2009 at 11:45 pm

I had the job interview today with the University that I applied for before getting my current job. but I don't want to jinx anything. I thought I had it locked up going into the interview but she really didn't give me any clue during the interview that she liked me. She is making decisions next week. I really cant figure out either way if she liked me or not. Surprising because she was super enthusiastic on the phone with me.

I keep reminding myself that I like my current job (because I do-all day up until the interview I was debating not even going), but who am I kidding? I want that extra $10,000 a year. That's an extra $800 a month! I could start funding my retirement account again!

(small voice) I have already created a new budget with my new paycheck. I know! - I probably jinxed it just running the numbers like that.

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