A Trip Back in Time

on Sunday, December 14, 2008



Ten Commandments of Frugal Living

on Thursday, December 11, 2008

This is a great post that I need to remember and wanted to share. It's also very funny!


Net worth: How do I stack up?

As I was surfing around CNN Money today I found a Net Worth Calculator that I thought was interesting. It states that the median net worth for my age is just about $1,000. The median net worth for age 25-34 is $8,525. This is something I'll keep in mind when laying out goals for next year.


It's been too long

on Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I've been picking up a lot of overtime this week so I haven't had much time to write. During one of my overnight shifts I found this and this. It is a very detailed list of things to do to create and achieve goals. I have a lot of goal setting to work on in the up coming weeks for the new year. I will create a new budget and goals by the end of the month and post them. S and I are also sitting down to have a meeting about goals and finances in the near future (possibly the 20th).


We're in debt and what we should have done differently

on Wednesday, December 3, 2008

We are not ashamed of admitting we are in debt but certainly not proud of it either. We are in the camp that no debt is good debt. We feel at least we got something useful for our student loan debt we don't think it is something to keep around forever just because of low interest rates. In fact, our interest rates aren't all that low so the sooner we pay them off the better.

Let's tackle why we are in debt:
Basically it boils down to we should have waited to get married. We planned on getting married at some point but set a date without fulling thinking through the financial implications of this decision. This did not allow us enough time to save up enough money to pay for the whole thing in cash as we had hoped. We know this was a dumb decision and we are paying for it (literally) now.

The baby has proven to be slightly more expensive than we budgeted due to some medical issues (with myself) and I'm trying to pick up overtime to make up the difference but the wedding and medical bills keep piling up. We are looking for bargains and getting married during the off-season but the total bill will push $10,000. The medical bills... who knows what the final bill will be for those. We can only hope they are not close to the wedding bill.

So what are we doing about it?
The wedding is approaching rather quickly. The major expenses are yet to come when the hall rental payments are due in January and March. We also have the remainder of some of our vendors to pay.
Our goal is to not add anything new to the credit card come January. Yes, we are going to continue to live beyond our means for December. We know this is a horrible decision but feel it is the right one for us at this time. We are cutting our spending as much as possible but because of the lack of e-fund prior to these medical issues being discovered and wedding plans started rolling we are pretty much screwed. I am picking up two overtime shifts this month and get holiday pay for Christmas. I hate picking up overtime and working holidays because it is less time I get to spend at home with O. S will begin working at his seasonal job on December 14 and then we'll have two full-time incomes until January 24 when he goes back to college full-time.

What we should have had in place to avoid this mess:
1) Emergency Fund! - Our goal for this account $10,000. At this point in our lives this is about 3.5 months take home pay.
2) S should have picked up more hours at his part-time job this semester but we felt his grades were more important.
3) We should have bought more O less things and what we did buy we should have tried to get second-hand. I insisted on a new big ticket items that we could have gotten much cheaper I'm sure.
4) A budget we could stick to! Our budget is unrealistic. We need to sit down in the next few weeks and create a better budget we can stick to for the upcoming new year.
and 5) Priorities in order! We shouldn't have been in a rush to get married. If we knew we sat down and had a budget meeting before hand we would never have been in this situation or at least not as deep.


Starting out

on Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Starting out means many different things for us. We are just starting out as parents, newlyweds, bloggers, joining our personal finances and our careers. To do this we are looking to various sources for help.

This past weekend I started to get our personal finance paperwork organized. My parents handed down a working but banged up filing cabinet. (a pocket friendly win right there) While at the store picking up baby supplies for the month we picked up file folders and started to get busy on getting organized.

This was a much bigger task than anticipated. Many thoughts all ran around in my head. I had no idea which papers when in what folder. If I organized it my way would S disagree? Do I put all debt in one folder with subfolders? I just had no idea I would be so overwhelmed. Where did I start... by organizing our huge pile of receipts, bills, pay stubs, O's pictures, bank statements in to separate piles. I got a little information from Life Hacker. This site helped with category organization. I used the Bank: HSBC and Bank: WAMU(now Chase) method. It seemed more organized than to just put "Bank Accounts" and then all the statements in the same folder. Our very first folder in the drawer is labeled EMERGENCY! and this is the folder we'd go to if we had a family emergency. We will get to that more on another day. It is a good idea to have this information in a safe place.

My next problem so to say was how long to keep all these documents. For this I headed over to Organizing Family Records and Documents by Sarah Aguirre from About.com. This website has a ton of information on what to keep permanently, temporarily, and papers to toss. With the advice of this article I was able to toss a bunch.

I'm still not sure if I'm happy the way the cabinet is organized or if I'll end up reorganizing it later on but for now it will work and we will use it.


December Updates

on Monday, December 1, 2008

Today is the first of the month. I've updated my net worth statement this morning. My net worth does not include any of S's accounts, assets or loans. This is because we're not married yet. The April update will include S's accounts as well as mine. I have to admit my net worth has been decreasing as of late. As of Dec 1st, 2008 my net worth is -$10,016.52. Since November 1st my net worth has gone down by $551.78. My net worth is negative because my student loans are $16,500. I also have about $4,500 in credit card debt. I am working hard to pay this off and plan to have the credit card debt paid off by next December. I will post a list of my goals later this month after a meeting with S.