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Romance in the air...midmonth financial chat approaching

January 14th, 2008 at 07:45 pm

I've been working on reducing the mountain of toys that surrounds me everyday be selling on Craigslist. I've considered using ebay for some of the stuff, but I can't see a point in paying those fees and all the hassle of shipping when you can list for free and the buyer comes to you!

I've sold a few things already. The kids were so upset to see these things go...they never cared about these things until they saw someone else taking it away.

I'll be using the proceeds to finish framing the art I bought to decorate this house. We've been here about 6 months and have not done much to it at all.

In other news, DH and I will be having our first financial midmonth chat tomorrow evening. Don't you just love romance after 7 years of marriage? I'm excited, but worried that the things I have to suggest won't be well received. Among the bad news, we're not saving as much at the end of each month as we used to and I'm proposing we cut our monthly personal budgets in half (cut $100 to $50 each). In addition, we should disconnect the extra phone we have. I'm always proposing he get a new job with more a more predictable schedule so that we can reduce or even eliminate the amount we spend on our nanny ($1,180/ month), but I can't push too much. Changing jobs is easier said than done.

There are a few other categories we could cut also.

Wish us luck!...and good fortune!

Freezer vs. Fur Coat

September 18th, 2007 at 09:56 am

I started a 403b today. I'm only contributing a small amount each month until the debt is paid.

DH surprised me last night with news of a possible bonus. We might be able to reach our goal of paying off CC2 much sooner than February.

We're still disagreeing about a new freezer (mine is about 20 years old). I'd like to get a smaller chest freezer. I know it would save money in energy costs, but I'm not sure how to calculate how much time it would take to break even. I even volunteered to forgo my monthly personal budget and use money that I earn from Craigslist or other sources. Using personal budget money goes against what we originally intended it for though. The $100 each month is meant to help us control outside spending while major purchases (such as a freezer) are something that we need to agree on. I think he's most concerned about why I want a new freezer so bad while we have so many other needs (like new furniture, etc). I totally get that...I'd much rather have a new living room furniture set. But a new freezer will save us money whereas furniture won't.

This saving money business...frugality, thriftiness, whatever you call it, has become quite a hobby for me. I enjoy reading about it, putting it in action, and seeing a difference. I guess as far as hobbies go, a husband couldn't ask for anything better from a wife. It doesn't cost anything to be thrifty. At least I'm not out shopping every week and overspending like many women...I want a freezer, not a fur coat!!

My DH and My Budget

August 17th, 2007 at 09:31 am

Response to glblguy...very asute of you to pick up on my lingo because as I was typing that entry I kept thinking how ridiculous it was that I was doing everything pertaining to the budget, and DH had little to no participation. DH does participate in that tries to stay within his personal budget most months. But DH does little to go out of his way to help cut down on other expenses like turning off lights, finishing leftovers, being supportive of my cooking rather than eating out, shirking bottled water, eliminating unnecessary bills. Granted the journey will be more difficult without his 100% support, but a small part of me thinks that when he sees some progress he might get on board more.

I've always wanted to get feedback on my budget and the way I keep track of it. I've read a lot on the internet about different methods, but I had to come up with my own. I definately work to cut down on bills like electricity, phone, etc., but I work extra hard to keep track of spending in other categories. I keep track of just about anything spent by recording it in a 3 ring binder. It is so time consuming, but it's helped. Here's what I have set aside for each category...

DH Personal Budget - $100
DW Personal Budget - $100
Household - $175
Groceries - $350
Gas - $200
Doc Visits/Prescriptions - $90
Recreation - $75
Gift - $30
Yearly Expenses - $132
529's - $50

Here are my rules...Our main vice is eating out, so you'll notice there's no budget for that. To curb this problem, if we want to eat out it has to come out of our personal budgets. If DH insists on eating out, it must come out of his budget or I will agree to split the bill with him. If we are over our personal budgets, that amount is subtracted from the following month. The gift, recreation, and yearly expense categories accumulate each month. The remaining gift balance at the end of the year will be applied to Christmas. Yearly expenses are for things like oil changes, inspections, magazine subscriptions, etc. It is most difficult for us to stay within the household budget and I've already increased it by $25 a few months ago. But remember, we just bought a new house. We're frequently under budget with groceries. We do pretty well with our personal budgets...some months are better than others. Any other purchase that is outside one of these budgets has to be discussed and decided upon prior to spending. Again, that works better some months than others. We do not have cell phones nor cable.

Another small triumph...last night I took some chicken out of the fridge to cook for dinner and although it had not reached expiration, it stunk pretty bad. I had to throw it out. Under any other circumstances, we would have gone to get something to eat. I served leftovers instead!

On another note, we have a teleconference set up with our insurance agent to discuss life insurance. How sad is this? I'm 32, DH is older, we have 2 children, just bought a house and we have no life insurance. I'm nervous because the agent is a fast talker (we just bought home insurance from him and have had auto insurance through him since '95). I know I want coverage to pay off the house and to pay for funeral expenses, but I'm not sure what to get beyond that. Any advice?