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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:42 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:57 am
Posts: 377
I do better when my savings are segregated, too. It's just easier to remember how much of my savings are for which goal, how far I have come, and how far I have yet to go. And it's more motivating. If I just looked at the overall total of savings, I would feel more complacent. $10K seems reassuringly big, but when I break that down and see that I have $6K set aside for house repairs (untouchable except in emergencies), $2K in the car fund (target: $13K), $1500 in the hobby fund (target: $8K), and $500 in the xmas fund (target: $1500), I am reminded that I still need to be diligent about putting money away every month.


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:24 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 1075
Panda wrote:
My only concern with using multiple accounts is that I think it tends to cause over-accumulation of cash. So I'm working on deciding what my max cash holding should be.


That is a good point Panda - over accumulation of funds is something we're considering as well. I think we'll probably get to about 25K then start throwing everything at investments.

CecilyC wrote:
I do better when my savings are segregated, too. It's just easier to remember how much of my savings are for which goal, how far I have come, and how far I have yet to go. And it's more motivating.


I agree CecilyC having multiple accounts gives us a clear picture of where we stand on our goals for various funds.

Bought a new Apple Macbook Pro Retina Display cash. It is amazing! My PC Laptop died last month. We got the new Apple in last week. Unfortunately the Apple Store gave us misinformation - they cannot retrieve data on a laptop that is no longer functioning properly (motherboard had died on the PC) under the One-to-One agreement. So I cancelled that and had to get Best Buy to do it for us instead. It was a wash at about $100. Last time we backed up our data was in December of 2011. Lesson learned. Decided to get an external hard drive and start backing up data every month.

All the Baby/Mommy medical bills have come in. We paid those off at the beginning of the month. Ouch. But at least it's over as we've met deductibles and co-insurance for the year.

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~ Eagle


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:41 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
I have a MacBook and the One-to-One courses are awesome. Not sure if you're near an Apple store or not, but I have learned a lot by using them, and for $100/year, it's been totally worth it for me. I've gone to classes on stuff I didn't even think I would use (i.e. Final Cut Pro). You can go to as many or as few as you want, but to me, there is always something to learn. I guess if you've already gotten your money back, so be it, but it is a nice feature for that one on one service and attention.

Enjoy your mac.


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:33 pm
Posts: 1146
Location: Illinois
Eagle,

Just a thought on the data backup. There are plenty of sites that allow you to backup your data for free (depending on how many GB you need to back up) and online. The external hard drive is a good idea, but it doesn't protect you in the event of a fire, tornado, any other disaster that destroys your house and its contents.


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 7:51 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 1075
peachy wrote:
I have a MacBook and the One-to-One courses are awesome. Not sure if you're near an Apple store or not, but I have learned a lot by using them, and for $100/year, it's been totally worth it for me. I've gone to classes on stuff I didn't even think I would use (i.e. Final Cut Pro). You can go to as many or as few as you want, but to me, there is always something to learn. I guess if you've already gotten your money back, so be it, but it is a nice feature for that one on one service and attention.

Enjoy your mac.


I was just ticked off the associate who said they'd been there 4 years gave wrong us information. I think it's a good value actually. I may reconsider it. After all I haven't used a Mac as my primary computer in over 10 years come to think of it. My parents are big Apple fans. And $100 for one year doesn't sound too bad.

Do you have Microsoft Office? We're considering getting the 3 users package to already have a copy when we upgrade the wife's laptop ("lucky" me mine died first). I'm not sure I'll ever buy a PC again.

bpgui wrote:
Just a thought on the data backup. There are plenty of sites that allow you to backup your data for free (depending on how many GB you need to back up) and online. The external hard drive is a good idea, but it doesn't protect you in the event of a fire, tornado, any other disaster that destroys your house and its contents.


Good point bpgui. Any particular site you recommend? What is the average monthly cost for that?

In any case also forgot to mention the 6 month car insurance renewal came in. Yay for bills. But we paid it in full and so got a discount. Time to start saving up for that again.

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~ Eagle


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:17 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:33 pm
Posts: 1146
Location: Illinois
Cost will depend on how much space you use. I'm currently using Microsoft Skydrive with 25 GB storage for free (I think the free amount is now less, but I was grandfathered in. Also, Amazon's cloud drive for music which gives some free space plus unlimited space for things purchased on Amazon.

I've also used Mozy and dropbox. Both worked well, I only switched to SkyDrive because it had better integration with my phone.

I imagine you'll be able to get by with the free spac, unless you have a ton of pictur, movies, music.


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:46 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
I have Pages, Keynote and Numbers, and they are able to convert to Word/Powerpoint and Excel, so I don't need Microsoft Office. To each their own though. I didn't want to pay for Microsoft when I already have the Apple products. I'm also thinking that if you buy one MS Suite disk, you can put them on multiple Macs. Not positive, though.


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 1075
The Good

We have enjoyed our new MacBook Pro. The wife has surprisingly been interested in messing with the laptop. It seems we discover something new and fun every day. Was able to retrieve the data (3 years worth of pictures since we’ve been married) off the old HP laptop hard drive. Now backing up pictures and data every 2-4 weeks. Broke down and got Microsoft Office for Apple. We ended getting a 3-pack that my sister purchased through her student discount. Was nice not to pay full price. Plus we’ll have an extra one available when we get the Wifey’s Macbook.

We were able to pay off the last medical bills related to the birth of our son. It’s kind of a nice feeling.

Surprise bed and breakfast get away for the Wifey for a couple of days this week. Should be interesting with a little one. Vacation at the end of the month for Labor day. Going to go be with family. Should be fun to get away.

The Bad

Well the Wifey dropped her laptop yesterday. Not good. Screen is now fuzzy and unreadable. For now the solution has been to connect it to an external monitor. She says she can last until January but I’m thinking we’ll probably be getting her an Apple pretty soon.

Lots of bills paid this month. Medical Bills and 6 month Car Insurance bill paid this month. Had to dig into the Medical Exp and Car Insurance fund savings accounts. Went over budget on groceries.

The friend didn’t make his payment on our loan to him this month. Says he’s going to double up at the beginning of next month. We’ll see.

--------------------

Account / End Balance /2012 Goals / % Complete July ’12 / % Complete June ‘12 / % Change
Savings (E Fund) / $7,172.45 / $9,000.00 / 79.69% / 79.69% / 0.00%
Savings (New Laptop) / $1,200.07 - $2,800.00 - 42.86% / 42.86% / 0.00%
Savings (Baby) / $2,354.12 / $2,500.00 / 94.16% / 94.16% / 0.00%
Savings (Car Repairs) / $1,025.03 / $2,200.00 / 46.59% / 46.59% / 0.00%
Savings (Car Insurance) / $64.00 / $400.00 / 16.00% / 100.00% / -84.00%
Savings (Medical Exp) / $725.04 / $2,000.00 / 36.25% / 71.25% / -35.00%
Savings (Son College) / $358.74 / $800.00 / 44.84% / 44.84% / 0.00%
Savings (Int. Travel) / $150.00 / $1,500.00 / 10.00% / 8.33% / 1.67

_________________
~ Eagle


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:07 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1741
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Eagle wrote:
The friend didn’t make his payment on our loan to him this month. Says he’s going to double up at the beginning of next month. We’ll see.


Can you afford to convert the remaining balance of this loan to a gift? That is, just tell the friend, "I appreciate your efforts in trying to pay me back, but we want to let you know you don't have to repay any more. Just focus on getting back on your feet and forget about the money. Consider the rest a gift."

I worry that this "loan" is already poisoning the nature of your relationship with him (and his with you and your wife), as is almost always the case with these ill-conceived "loans" between friends and family.

If you can afford it, just let it go and make it clear you do not want any further repayments. Don't just say you don't "expect" repayment, because that leaves it ambiguous, as though you're OK if he doesn't repay you, but it'd be nice if he did. In such cases, he'll still feel obligated to repay you, and nothing's changed. You need to make it clear that you don't WANT him to repay you. It's a gift. You've helped a friend. Cut back on your charitable giving for a few months until it balances out (that is, consider this gift to your friend your "charitable giving" for the next little while).


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 5:48 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
The loan of 2500 was given in July. I don't know whether the guy has paid the first month's installment, but I think it's a bit too soon to forgive the loan.

I would hound him for a while and hope he pays two payments next month like he said. If he doesn't follow through, I would just stop speaking to him. That's how girls handle things. Guys..I'm not really sure what they do. They probably remain friends and never talk about the loan again.

Of course, I wouldn't have given the loan in the first place but Eagle is much nicer than I.


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:29 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1175
Quote:
The friend didn’t make his payment on our loan to him this month. Says he’s going to double up at the beginning of next month. We’ll see.

Shocker!


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:42 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:28 am
Posts: 88
Loans to friends and family are often a very bad idea.

I've done them - but only to family members I had extreme trust in, and only with money I could afford to write off.

It worked out, but I think it's better just to make it a gift if you can do it. The guilt/shame/nerves are just not worth it.

If you want to try lending money for profit, p2p lending sites like Lending Club and Prosper are a much better bet.


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:17 am 
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Posts: 1075
Re: Loan to Friend. Thanks all for your perspective. For clarification: The loan was for a car for $2500 in July of 2012. It is set up as a 2 year note. He made his first payment in July early.

I understand the general consensus is loans to friends and family are a bad deal. However, we wanted to help our friend learn some responsibility. While we can afford to write the loan off and give him a "gift" we didn't think this would help him "re-learn" responsibility. We've given him significant gifts in the past. He seemed to be doing okay for the past year (or at least we thought) on his own two feet. His child support ended last year as his daughter turned 18 and he was able to postpone paying heavy fines for taxes he owed. He was living on $500-700 a month while working full-time. I don’t care where you live that is just heart breaking.

Honestly, the issue now is twofold. Tony, the friend, still has outstanding bills associated with unpaid traffic citations. He has to pay these 4 accounts (with a balance of about $170 each) every month on the 20th in order to keep his driver's license. He gets paid twice a month and often needs a floater of a few days (2-4) before he can pay us back.

The second issue is he still has outstanding credit card debt and other tax related responsibilities. The car was meant to help him get to work and possibly find new employment. He was walking to work (3.5 years) or taking public transportation (1.5 years) for the past 5 years.

Regarding it creating stress yes it has created some stress. After discussing things with my wife we’re going to wait until the beginning of 2013 to evaluate what we’re going to do. If he’s late every month here on out we’ll probably just say “Happy New Year!” and cancel the debt. This is the last and final phase (of a 6 year process) of our plan to help Tony out.

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~ Eagle


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:37 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1175
Eagle wrote:
Regarding it creating stress yes it has created some stress. After discussing things with my wife we’re going to wait until the beginning of 2013 to evaluate what we’re going to do. If he’s late every month here on out we’ll probably just say “Happy New Year!” and cancel the debt. This is the last and final phase (of a 6 year process) of our plan to help Tony out.

...until the next time he comes around with a sob story about how he has to walk to work in the rain or how they're gonna put him in jail if he doesn't pay this traffic fine or some other calamity that befalls the most financially unlucky person on this planet.

I have relatives like this. They never learn to handle their own money nor do they want to as long as they can freeload off someone else. What they did learn was to not ask me for money!


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 Post subject: Re: Soaring Higher
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:08 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:28 am
Posts: 88
I can understand wanting to help someone out - and I also understand that transportation can be a big barrier to getting on one's feet.

In fact, this is one of the reasons I am a huge supporter of a charity called Modest Needs, which basically helps people out with the sort of one-time financial storms that can drive someone on the edge into poverty.

However, this guy doesn't sound (based on the info you've provided; obviously I don't know him) like he has generally good decision or risk appreciation skills. He has made alot of decisions in the past with significant and life-altering long term consequences.

What might help him more than money is working with a counselor or coach. I know you are involved in a church community based on some of your posts. Many such groups have free or sliding-fee counseling services that may give your friend the ability to move himself out of this situation. This helped with a family member of mine with similar issues - although I am not a member of a church community, most of my family are and we were able to find him a mentor/life coach that way who helped him to significantly improve his decision making skills.

6 years is a long time to give someone a hand up -at some point they need to grab on and start trying to climb. You and your wife need to decide where your line is with this guy - and stick to it. Don't let him take advantage of your kindness or cause your family financial distress.


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