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Archive for November, 2009

Bought more "me" stuff

November 20th, 2009 at 01:42 am

Sigh. As if this month I hadn't already spent so much stocking up on favorite lotions, cosmetics, etc thanks to all those Friends and Family sales.

Today I was surfing the web during my lunch break (yes, I know, bad me) and ended up buying a new MP3 player. My old one has been acting up, and though it will work ok after I hit it enough times (ha ha), it isn't able to play my audiobooks. So I decided I'd replace it someday...didn't know it would be this quickly.

Anyway, it only dinged my wallet $20 or so, which is why I bought it. But, it is another ME purchase. Which brings me about $200 total over my usual alotted amount for "Me" shopping per month. Ugh.

With so many Black Friday deals on the horizon, I'm wondering if this is just the beginning of more spending...

Update on personal finances

November 18th, 2009 at 01:49 pm

Boy, housebuying experience last year really jump-started me into being serious about finances. Before house I was really on cruise control, just saving nearly half my paycheck and blithely paying the bills.

Now, there really is a place for every dollar, and for every dollar it's own place. I have to set aside appx $2000 each month for combined mortgags, taxes, insurance and association fees.

$500 is set aside each month to pay bills and such, though that number is flexible. I used to put nearly all leftover money into my brokerage, but now that I am a "slave to the house" I feel the need to have money at hand in case of house emergencies. And yes, I've discovered house accidents (overflowing toilet was the latest) do happen. So I try to keep a minimum $1000 in the local bank.

I also started making regular contributions to my Roth IRA. I'd taken out $10,000 to go towards homebuying, and the automatic contributions(something I probably should have started long ago)started because I wanted to "repay" my Roth IRA.

For whatever money is leftover, I was putting it towards rebuilding my emergency fund. I'm happy to say that I've reached my goal of saving $15K (or about 6 months expenses). Now, any leftover money goes into my brokerage. It's not too much, but I do feel confident that over time I'll have more money that can go towards investments.

Yikes, it has been awhile

November 17th, 2009 at 05:55 pm

...not that I imagine anyone lost any sleep over my hiatus from blogging (myself included).

Seeing the year 2007 from my last entries sort of takes my breath away. The biggest change is that I became a homeowner! Though that experience was horrific and I never want to go through it again, I did learn a whole bunch of lessons about finances and homebuying that maybe someday I'll be brave enough to write about.

Work is the biggest part of my life right now. I was promoted and my boss's words after "congratulations" were somewhere along the lines of "good luck, you're going to need it." I'm sure most people are familiar with the challenges of a promotion...yet another topic I'm sure I'll blab about some point in the future.

Financially, I'm doing ok, or at least I'm not worrying too much over paying the bills. Again, there's so much to cover. I guess I'm really just brainstorming here (and eating up space). My latest "weird" financial habit has actually been keeping a Wishlist of items. Yes, on a daily basis, I jot down in my little notebook a running list of items that I have been wishing for. This is a bit of a stall tactic that I employ, and it actually works. The thing is to write a new list each time, and then to see what items keep showing up, and which drop off the list over time. My current list is just 3 items as follows:

coffee maker
toaster
leather jacket

Now the interesting thing is that my list was much MUCH longer just a month ago. Items such as flannel sheets, cashmere sweater, gloves, sunglasses, silver necklace (and more items) have disappeared. Why? Not because I bought them, but because they were just passing whims. I quote the sunglasses as an example. One weekend in September I was shopping at the outlets and was tempted to buy a pair of Ray Bans. But I paused because I wanted to go online to compare prices. I never got around to doing so, and now they're totally off the wish list.

Try keeping a Wishlist running for a few weeks. It really is interesting to pare down your list of "wants" to a few items. Then you can really focus on looking for good deals on just those few items.