Morydd's finance blog entries.

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Kate
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Postby Kate » Sat Dec 22, 2007 4:46 pm

Congratulations! Kids certainly do change the priorities, lol.

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morydd
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Postby morydd » Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:26 pm

Okay, so I've set up my new savings goals. The are as follows:

Replace Car -- I've set a goal of $5000 for this. Our current car has about 170k miles on it, most of those city driving. The AC doesn't work, the horn doesn't work and the driver's window doesn't go down. If we weren't going to be transporting a newborn this summer, we would make the car last a bit longer, but as it is we've had to push this forward. We'll probably end up using a loan because, as much as I'd like to avoid that, I also don't see the point of getting a car that's not going to last us several years.

Maternity Leave-- I've set a goal of $3000 for this because my wife doesn't get much paid time off, I'd like her to be able to stay home for at least 4 weeks and hopefully a bit longer (either a couple more weeks off, or part-time for a few weeks). I, on the other hand, have a butt-load of vacation/sick time so I'll stay home for a few weeks, then spread my vacation time across the rest of the year to help deal with appointments and hopefully reduce some of the day care load.

After those are funded, and we get an idea what daycare and such are going to cost us, We work on our previous goals. I'd like to do a minimum of $1k each for a 529 and a Roth for my wife this year and we want to buy a house soon. On the up side, my wife got a bonus at work this year, which was unexpected, so that'll all go directly into savings.
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Father of Aiden Thomas Dec 10, 2004-Dec 15, 2004 and Dean Paul June 12, 2008

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morydd
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Postby morydd » Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:36 am

We're making huge progress already this year. It looks like we may have the $5k for the car my wife's Feb pay check. Which gives us 3 months to save for time off work and baby supplies.

I just opened an Electric Orange checking account, so I'm going to start transitioning some of the bills to that account to take advantage of the interest rates. My goal is that anything that's automated will go on that, and the day-to-day spending will be done with the "regular" checking account. I'm still trying to work out the best method to deal with budgeting. That's my project for tomorrow I think.
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Father of Aiden Thomas Dec 10, 2004-Dec 15, 2004 and Dean Paul June 12, 2008

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morydd
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Postby morydd » Thu Jan 17, 2008 7:06 am

I still haven't worked out a budget. The biggest problem has been, doing it manually, I don't have enough money. When I add up all my numbers, I show that we're about $200-$500/month short. So, clearly, something's wrong with my numbers.

For proof... in MS money, I've taken to entering bills in the register as soon as I have the money available to pay them. I've just entered all of the first half of February's bills into the register, and I'm showing an ending balance of $250. However, I haven't recorded either of the two paychecks that will be coming in on the 1st of February. (Plus 3 smaller paychecks that will be in by then as well: about another $200). The only bills still to be entered for February total about $1200. Which is less than half of the biggest of those paychecks. Now, day-to-day expenses aren't figured in this number, nor are most of the savings deductions. But, even so. We're going to come out of January almost a full paycheck ahead. (my bi-weekly paycheck). Also, not added into the mix is that I've got a $500 buffer recorded in the register, and $300 place-holder for a Wii so that we know the money is available if we stumble across one. So that puts the bank balance another $800 ahead of what I'm showing in my register.

So, why are my darn numbers so far off? Hmmm. More exploration is in order.
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Father of Aiden Thomas Dec 10, 2004-Dec 15, 2004 and Dean Paul June 12, 2008

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Mia
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Postby Mia » Fri Jan 18, 2008 1:55 am

Huge congrats on the new baby! Isn't life just beautiful?

I hope you get those MS Money and bank balance #'s figured out, haven't a clue how to help you :?

I too just opened an Orange Checking account, but without any clear idea of what to use it for. At first I was thinking of giving it to my husband for management of his 'allowance', but I'm liking the idea of using it for automated and billpay payments. Just hate the idea of transferring all that information and starting over. Good luck with yours!

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morydd
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Postby morydd » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:58 pm

I just did my big transfer for February. (Wife gets paid on the 1st, so we transfer about half of her take-home to savings right away.) With the savings goals I started last year totaled up we topped $10,000 in savings progress this month! Not bad considering 5 years ago we were putting ramen on credit cards. We have no consumer debt at all right now (that'll change soon though when we replace the car. :( )
It looks like we'll be able to finish the car-savings this month, leaving us 3 months to save for extra time off for my wife when the baby is born. We're shooting for $3000, which I think will cover us for at least a full month, hopefully two. Everything, budget-wise, is obviously going to change when the baby arrives as we'll be dealing with things like diapers and day care. So we'll see how long it takes us to get back on track with savings after that. It's nice to know that right now we're operating on a fairly large buffer. I'd still like to cut some spending along the way and I've got a lot of non-finance habits that need some serious attention, but this give me added motivation.
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Father of Aiden Thomas Dec 10, 2004-Dec 15, 2004 and Dean Paul June 12, 2008

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morydd
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Big News

Postby morydd » Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:20 pm

Today, I found out they're closing the theater where I work. Which means after 8 years, I'll be looking for new work this fall. I've been talking about looking for work for quite some time, so now it's time to actually do it. I do know I've got till at least Sept. 1, and probably till the end of Sept. After that I'll be getting a severance package for about 3 months after that. There's a lot to do between now and then, but we'll see how things go.
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Father of Aiden Thomas Dec 10, 2004-Dec 15, 2004 and Dean Paul June 12, 2008

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morydd
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Postby morydd » Thu Mar 06, 2008 12:19 pm

The HR manager told me we're getting bonuses. Neato.
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Father of Aiden Thomas Dec 10, 2004-Dec 15, 2004 and Dean Paul June 12, 2008

sdkramer
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Postby sdkramer » Thu Mar 06, 2008 5:52 pm

Yay for bonuses. How's mommy doin?

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morydd
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Postby morydd » Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:26 pm

So far so good. We set up a webpage for the baby http://peanut.morydd.net
And, thanks to the bonus, It looks like we're going to be able to give her another couple weeks off work.
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Father of Aiden Thomas Dec 10, 2004-Dec 15, 2004 and Dean Paul June 12, 2008

consultantjournal
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Postby consultantjournal » Thu Mar 06, 2008 10:35 pm

Have you done an analysis to make sure that it makes sense for both of you to work f/t? I mean, once you consider daycare, disposable diapers, business attire, etc?
Andrea Coutu
Consultant Journal
www.consultantjournal.com

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morydd
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Postby morydd » Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:32 am

We've actually put a lot of thought into the work situation especially considering that my job ceases to exist in September. I get a decent (in my mind) severence package, but I honestly and truly have no idea what I'm going to do beyond that point. While there is part of me that loves the concept of staying home with the baby, neither my wife nor I has a personality type that lends well to _not_ having a job, and I do not have the right personality to be my own boss. (I've considered web design and photography, but I don't like talking on the phone to people I know, there's not much chance of me getting anything like a decent customer base.) I've got a lot of thinking and planning to do over the next few months.
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Father of Aiden Thomas Dec 10, 2004-Dec 15, 2004 and Dean Paul June 12, 2008

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morydd
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Postby morydd » Sun Apr 06, 2008 8:53 am

Yesterday, we had a great day of shopping. Now this may seem odd for a personal finance post, but really it was.

We were out in the burbs for a conference for my wife's work. I volunteered to man the registration table, so I didn't have to pay. Networking and 2 meals for each of us: $12.
My mother had given my wife a couple of giftcards (christmas and birthday) for stores we don't shop at (and aren't really near us). Hobby Lobby and Nordstrom. My wife would shop at Hobby Lobby as she crochets quite a bit, but there aren't any near us. So we looked up where one was near the confrence, and made a trip there afterwards. There was a MicroCenter next door, so (in the least financially responsible part of our day) we picked up a new wireless router that was on sale and some blank CD's. After that we went to Hobby Lobby and loaded up with what we thought was a bit over $50 worth of yarn and supplies. Got to the cash register and when they rang it up, the total was just over $40! So we had to go back and get some more yarn to finish off the gift card. We ended up spending about $2 in cash. She now has enough yarn to make a blanket, and a few hats/booties/mittens/etc. Then we went to Nordstrom. We had a $200 gift card there, but it's just not the type of stuff we normally buy. Having been to 3 other Nordstroms the only thing my wife had found that looked like something we'd use was a $200 diaper bag! Lucky for us, we found a Nordstrom Rack store with a large collection of baby clothes. So we ended up going through the rack pulling any outfit we liked, then took our cart to the side to narrow it down to the amount we had avaiable. We figured we'd be putting several outfits back. As we added up, it turned out that we put 1 outfit back, and we put it back because we decided we didn't like it. We also bought two umbrellas because our old ones were broken. Total minus gift card $11 for 14 outfits plus two umbrellas! Also, since traffic wasn't bad, and we found what we were looking for at the stores quickly, we weren't exhausted either.

All in all 14 outfits, at least one blanket, a wireless router, some CD's new umbreallas, and an enjoyable day for less than $100 out of pocket seems like a very good day to me. If you have to go shopping (which I tend to avoid) it should work this way every time.
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Father of Aiden Thomas Dec 10, 2004-Dec 15, 2004 and Dean Paul June 12, 2008

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morydd
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Car Shopping

Postby morydd » Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:22 am

I posted an entry on my "regular" blog about car shopping. It wasn't as bad as I feared.
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Father of Aiden Thomas Dec 10, 2004-Dec 15, 2004 and Dean Paul June 12, 2008

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morydd
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Postby morydd » Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:12 pm

It's no surprise, but the baby is messing with all of our careful plans. We were scheduled to have a c-section on May 28, but the amniocentisis showed that the lungs weren't developed, so we had another amnio today. Again, the lungs aren't ready. Unfortunately, we've used a large chunk of our paid time off already, so we'll have figure out new finance plans. I really need to come up with some secondary income sources.
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Father of Aiden Thomas Dec 10, 2004-Dec 15, 2004 and Dean Paul June 12, 2008


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