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Archive for October, 2011

A Bit of This and That

October 30th, 2011 at 08:14 pm

October is pretty much over. We still have not sold the car despite dropping the price even more. No one has even inquired. There have only been two scams: ďpay me x and weíll sell itĒ and ďmy agent will pick it up, give me your paypal infoĒ. Ah, no thanks. Itís been suggested to post it on some craigslists that are a bit farther away. Maybe weíll get a real bite, but Iím skeptical.

I paid the ER bill, and am waiting on the follow up appointment bills. It only halved our savings account, which isnít too bad. Way better than I expected.

I applied to two part-time jobs today. My husband is talking of applying, but I canít sit around and wait for him. Most tell me that Iím crazy to apply for a part-time job on top of my full time job because my full time job is so ďmuchĒ of a job. Weíll see. Even if I do it only seasonally, every penny will help. I might apply to two more tonight.

I am going to do NaNoWriMo again this year. Iím not sure if Iím going to finish so I think my monthly goal will be to write a bit every week. My story idea isnít fleshed out at all, but I have kind of a premise. As long as it provides words and constant movement in the story, Iím ok with that.

Iím honestly not looking forward to November. Itís going to be a long tiring month with many trials. I wish I would have been able to go on that vacation so I could go into this relaxed and ready to get stuff done. I just hope it speeds by.

Smashing good times

October 20th, 2011 at 01:31 am

Itís been awhile. Between 2 week long colds, that kidney stone, a computer going on the fritz, partially taking over a coworkerís position, and switching rooms, weíve been pretty much ďrecoveringĒ all month so far. This post will probably be random.

It looks like we wonít be hitting our deductible this year (yay), but it looks like weíll probably wipe out most of our savings (boo). Thatís what itís for, but I just wish I had the opportunity to save back up.

Weíve posted Car 2, at a price under KBB. No calls. I think there are 3 factors: 1) itís too high of a price if we want to sell it quickly. 2) itís rear wheel drive with a mid-west winter coming on. And 3) itís a pricey used car with everyone in this area freaking out about jobs/income. Weíre dropping the price slowly every few weeks hoping weíll get a nibble, but short of begging a dealership of buying it (at an insanely low price and trying to be talked into trading in) thereís not much we can do yet.

Weíve flip flopped rooms with my brother. Iíve spent most of this month slowly cleaning, priming, priming, painting, painting, painting, Öand finally moving. Still need to do a lot of staining/polying of windows/doors/decorative wooden ledges, but itís getting there. Itís a nice change of scenery and doesnít feel as temporary as my previous set of rooms. Plus weíve spent very little on it as most of the supplies had already been purchased or found around the house.

Instead of writing 5 cards and meeting up with a friend, Iíll have reconnected with 5 friends, and send one card. Funny how life switched that up on me. Iím counting it as a successful month, even though it was reversed.

It seems like the federal direct loans really restructured their website. Iím loving it so far as I can finally apply payments the way Iíve always wanted to, but I havenít used it yet since weíre in deferment. I will probably re-number all the student loans in January because it isnít even grouped the same anymore. This will help with my snowball method and to target those that have a higher interest. (Whenever I have money towards debt repayment, that is.)

Weíre still debating our options for our future, and weíre not sure if heís going to continue schooling. Honestly, itís feeling like a gamble. A lot of money/time/debt for a potential for a payoff. Will it actually payoff? We donít know; a lot can change in 4 years. Will it be worth it? Thatís debatable. Weíll see. He has until December to pick a route as the University application is due then or shortly thereafter.

My next yearís dental insurance numbers came in today. I love dental insurance. Itís simple, easy to manage (from the HR perspective since I run it at work), and it rarely goes up much. This time it is only a $3.56 per month increase. I can handle that. Iím just terrified of the health insurance number for which Iím still waiting. That one Iím expecting $50 to $100/month increase.

I shocked the coworkers in the weekly meeting today. I just happened to remind them that, hey, itís the end of the year, and guess what, that means all the end of the year stuff. I hope theyíre ready for a long sprint. Iím not procrastinating until December. I have enough that they arenít involved in that goes into work in December/January. Iíd like to reach February without keeling over.

Since my yearís goals have been shot, Iím going to make a few mini-end-of-year goals:
1) Sell Car 2 or get Car Loan 2 under 11k. Very doable if I can swing the January payment before the end of the year.
2) Finish staining and/or polying our room
3) Declutter/sell/toss books and craft supplies
4) Finish a craft for a Christmas gift

That should be easy enough and costs very little. :-) Speaking of Christmas gifts, Iím thinking I can stick to my $50 budget I weaseled in for this year. I can make or use some of the stuff Iíve been stocking up earlier this year for gifts.

Ok, time to end this long rambling post.

Selling a car

October 2nd, 2011 at 04:30 pm

Well, weíre selling car 2. We posted it on craigslist last night, and once we take it through the car wash today, weíll take a picture and post it on carsoup. It was easier to convince the husband than I expected. Although, it kind of makes sense, weíve been thinking/talking about it since July.

Iím happy with the decision because Iíve never been really thrilled about the purchase of car 2. It was impulsive and so not like me. At the time we could afford the car (since husband was working two part-time jobs) and have plenty to save/payoff debt, but not anymore. I can say that I wonít ever buy a used car ever again as a family/until it dies car. I would, however, be ok buying a used car as a short-term (read: year or two) clunker. And I donít want to buy a car with a car loan EVER AGAIN. Oie the headaches this car has given me.

Unfortunately, it looks like weíll only get a little over $2500 back after we pay off the car loan (depending on the negotiations when they happen). That will go straight to the rest of our deductible for the year and re-building up the EF.

Car 1 has under $8000 on the loan and is zero percent finance. Good gas mileage, good for long trips to visit his family, and good for fitting the nieces in (and their car seats, toys, and groceries). At the moment, weíre not going to sell it, but itís not off the table. We need to sell car 2 first and foremost.

Weíve also been talking about my husbandís future. His schooling is really taking a toll on us and maybe itís not the best time to do this. Weíre not sure what his other career options are though. Right now, his recent experience puts him at low-wage/minimum-wage, part-time, no ladder to climb jobs. While doable (heís done that for quite some time when he was trying to get into his dream job), heís a college graduate and can do so much more.

I recently read something that says our generation is the ďlost generationĒ. I am beginning to think that is so true. I canít tell you the number of my friends who are living with parents and are taking whatever jobs they can get. Itís sad. Iím jealous of 30-something year olds who have relevant experience in their field and have roots/place of their own, and those who are just entering college now who will be the pick of employers when they graduate. We donít have relevant experience, and by time there are jobs open, our degrees and knowledge will be outdated.

Owie Budget

October 1st, 2011 at 05:49 pm

Well, Iím posting my budget. I havenít done this in forever, but itís to the point of Iím going crazy trying to make it work and its unsustainable. I need someone else to agree with me on my thoughts or give me other ideas.


Monthly Take-Home Income: $1220
Total Monthly Expenses: $1220


Monthly Car Expenses Total: $930
Car Loan 1: $248 (0%)
Car Loan 2: $305 (~5%)
Gas: $277
Insurance Savings: $100

Monthly Allowance* Expenses Total: $280
My weekly allowance: $40
Husbandís weekly allowance: $40
Joint allowance: $100
Puppy allowance: $100

Other Monthly Expenses Total: $10
Netflix: $10
Student Loans: deferred

*About allowances-
~Weekly Allowances: the $10/week/each goes towards things we want for ourselves that isnít for a joint reason. For example, lunch out for work functions, needing new socks or clothes, getting a new CD/game, buying a grocery craving.
~Monthly Joint Allowance: it is for groceries, dining out, entertainment/dates, cold medicine, items that are used jointly. $100 is really small, $200 is where we function the best without wasting money or scaling too far back. Thank goodness my parents feed us a lot.
~Puppy allowance: This is for her food, frontline/heartguard, and vet visits. Iím crossing fingers that our expenses for this goes down now that sheís spayed and rid of giardia.


*****
My first thought is we need to increase income. Period.

My second thought is that we are now really, really, really car heavy. We werenít while he was working two part-time jobs which brought in way more than my salaried job due to health insurances coming out of my pay (~$700/mo), but now that he doesnít have either one, it is a heavy burden. Iíd like to sell car 2 because it isnít a car I can comfortably drive. Or we could easily sell my car since itís a used Toyota. Or we could sell both and fix the windshield on my parentís old í94 beater-no suspension left, rusted van. Itís an awful situation and Iím also selfish in the thoughts that I will be the one that has to carpool and be carless all the time. Been there, done that, it sucks. But Iíll suck it up thoughÖ

BecauseÖ If you notice, there is no monthly savings in there for emergencies. My income never fluctuates up. Our EF fund will be gone with the recent trip to ER. If the car gets a flat, itís going to have to go on the credit card, and not be paid offÖ for who knows how long. There is no way to even start paying back the EF, so next year, weíll have nothing if either of us needs to go to the doctor. There is no savings for Christmas. We usually have extra expenses around that time for traveling (ie: driving/gas/food) to visit his family more than presents. We donít do presents in my family or to each other, but I do typically get something for his nieces and nephews. Plus, insurances go up at the end of the year which means my paycheck goes down fast.

SoÖWe need to increase income and decrease car. Am I right? There's not much else to it that I can see...