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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:27 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
Got our new couch and love it. And was able to sell old couch for $100. Worn out. Hoping for a quiet, productive weekend.
Alot of heartache about sister.
Really wants to buy a house, but to tell the truth, can barely keep on top of a just above minimum wage job. Is freaking out about lack of security both with her job and her housing situation. It makes me feel really bad. In the real world, rather than obsessing on a house (that she cannot afford) should focus all her energies on positioning herself to make more income, in a job she doesn't actively hate. But those efforts seem beyond her. The most she seems to be able to do, is hold onto a just above minimum wage job for 1 to 2 years, and then lose it usually due to being perpetually late. She is really smart, creative, but is terribly disorganized and struggles with regular day to day activities. I suspect she has an underlying undiagnosed disorder, but she is intensly resistant to seeking help for any of that.
The more time goes on, the more I doubt she will ever be truly self-sufficient. Homelessness is scary, so I know why she is freaking out, because if it wasn't for my mother, that is what she would be facing. But it makes me concerned for what will happen when my mother is no longer around. I know if my sister was facing the streets, I would give her a place to live. But I also know that would place a huge strain on my marriage :cry:


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:25 am 

Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2011 5:47 pm
Posts: 86
Location: Ontario, Canada
I have a sister too who can barely keep a minimum wage job. I can't see her ever buying a house because she can't save anything. But she is smart and could do more if she was willing to make sacrifices. However, her choices leave her where she is. I'm not going to feel guilty about not helping her at this point. I don't think you should either.

There may come a point in the future where she is willing to start making those sacrifices and I could consider trying to help then. But not now.

_________________
Kate


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:13 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
Monthly wrap up
Jan ingo 4479 outgo 3392 (+1087)
Feb ingo 5500 outgo 5228(+272)
Mar ingo 6537 outgo 4800 (+1737)
Apr ingo 4474, outgo 4908 (-434)
May ingo 4273 outgo 4112(+161)
June ingo 3761 outgo 4024 (-263)
July ingo3779 ingo 4295 (-516)
Aug ingo 5875 outgo 5014 (+861)
Sep ingo 4033 outgo 4459 (-425)
September was another in-the-negative month, and this does NOT include the 1400 expense of couch+ottoman! Some pricey expenses this month were 250 for youngest birthday (entertainment, food, party favors) 255 dentist bill,160 computer monitor, 160 paint, 122 clothing primarily for kids, 100 gift, 100 fancy (birthday) dinner.


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:23 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
WDW tentative budget, not including gas. To explain why our budget for 4 people at WDW for almost a week is only around 1K, Our FIL is treating us to 6 nights at a WDW resort, the regular meal plan for 4 people (1 snack, 1 counter meal, 1 sit down meal) and 4 days in the parks (no park hopper). If you are curious, FIL is paying 2K for those expenses, which may be more or less than you expect. If we are able to keep to our budget, it means a 5 day 6 night WDW trip is possible for a family of 4 for a little over 3K (or, you can consider this a 8 day/night vacation, with 6 nights at WDW for that price, since we will be staying at nice places along the way with sightseeing).

Day 1 (travel day) $190: ($50 food on road, $140 hotel)
Day 2(travel+arrivalat WDW) $25: (25 food in transit).
Day 3 first full day $65: 45 food (30 for breakfast, $15 tip sit down) $20 drinks Epcot
Day 4 $50: free/relax day (30 breakfast, $20 pizza (using 2 sit down meals on day 7)
Day 5 $45: (30 for breakfast, $15 tip sit down)
Day 6 $285: ($45 food, Mickey's party =240)
Day 7 $50 (30 breakfast, $20 tip nicer sit down)
Day 8 travel day $180 ($40 food on road, $140 hotel)
Day 9 travel +arrival home $30 ($ 30 food on road)
(eta $4 per day housekeeping=$32)
250 (each kid gets $25 plus piggybank money. Each adult $100 mad money, drinks, souvenirs)=1212 (rev)
Potential upside, we may not spend as much on food as budgeted. The main meal we will be fending for ourselves is probably breakfast. But if we all order full breakfasts it will be close to that.
Potential pitfalls. We may decide to do additional activities or gasp shop on our free day, or on 1st day of travel (will be in a tourist destination). Other than first day didn't budget for drinks. I can imagine wanting to get a beer or wine with the meal, which can add up fast.
Last time we went we spent $200 on souvenirs, without even trying. I initially had $50 per adult for the trip, upped it to $100 per adult. Shopping, drinking and unplanned activities are the biggest unknowns for increased spending. We'll see how it goes.


Last edited by partgypsy1 on Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:19 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:49 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
Retirement investing.
Someone I know who is very comfortably off retirement-wise (he started early and very consistenly contributed throughout the ups and downs) when I asked for advice said among other things, "the first one hundred thousand is the hardest. Then it gets easier".
So it stuck in my head at that time and so mentally calculated with what I was contributing and a 7% return, when I should hit that (I think it was supposed to be 2009). Needless to say, the recession happened and I didn't reach that goal at that time. At the time I reframed my goal, telling myself it is how much I contribute per year (something I can control) versus the balance (not completely under my control, and expected to flucuate). Anyways a couple months ago I reached that goal.

I decided I should still mentally celebrate reaching this goal. And may the next one hundred thousand be easier!

"Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs, therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity." Isocrates


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:58 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 3:29 pm
Posts: 167
Congrats! That's awesome. And thanks for the advice from your friend. It took me around 8 years to get to the $100k mark and it felt difficult. I really hope it gets easier and quicker to the next $100k.


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:05 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
Early this year and I calculated my rate of return over the past 10 years as being around 2% (that was before the recent bump in the stock market). So who knows what it will average over my lifetime, but suffice to say, the predictions given in many personal finance books and used in those great examples (Bach likes to even quote 15% growth) is not typical of my experience. I have shifted things around a little, but in general have a 65% stocks, 35% bonds and cash mix.


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:35 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:34 pm
Posts: 474
Congrats! What a great benchmark!

As someone who's within striking distance of the $50k mark by the end of the year, I love the idea of a little mental celebration of the milestone. And, I do hope your friend is right. :D

Here's to your first $100k! :clap:


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 2:40 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
Congratulations!! If all goes well, it'll stay above 100k.
I remember when I was waiting and waiting and waiting to reach 100k consistently. I finally made it, and yes, with continued payments, chugging along, automatic investments, the rest will come smoothly and easily and you won't even realize how fast it's growing!


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:09 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2007 8:11 am
Posts: 1088
Location: Sunny Florida
Quote:
Early this year and I calculated my rate of return over the past 10 years as being around 2% (that was before the recent bump in the stock market). So who knows what it will average over my lifetime, but suffice to say


I used to regularly see 8% growth as the standard in much of the finance/investment research/reading that I do (and I do a lot). Lately I have been seeing 6% as the standard and some author/experts are even using 4%, so I don't think your rate of return over the last 10 years is that unusual.

_________________
Sam

http://adventures-of-sam.blogspot.com
(Follow Sam's financial and real estate adventures.)


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:31 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
Thanks all for your comments! Yeah it seemed to take a looong time to get here. Sam, kind of following your lead, where for us better to consistently pay towards retirement and have a small balance on cc, than to pay off cc but slack off on paying ourselves first. I know this month will be a "killer" regarding expenses, but at the same time I cannot complain because I am getting the family vacation I wanted.

Read "smart couples finish rich" by Bach. Good common sense. It is worksheet heavy; may be the most beneficial for couples willing to work through the book together.


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 1:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
Back from vacation, got back last night. We were lucky we missed the worst of the hurricane (it stayed off shore). Husband is not a Disneyworld person, in particular does not like crowds, lots of people so he was not in a good mood at the first part of disney vacation. I chose to not get irritated by this and focused on the good, and regardless by end of trip even he was relaxed and in good mood (as was I). It was a really nice vacation, still recovering (worn out but extremely relaxed). We also got to visit Savannah at the beginning of the trip.
Will be posting some numbers not for critique, but more for educational purposes. Although I tried to conserve money in some ways (such as how we used the dining plan), in other ways we really did not restrict ourselves regarding spending money. We ate out for every single meal, and treated ourselves to some extremely good meals using advanced dining. Also, my husband and I ordered drinks at most of our sit down meals. In addition my husband hung out almost every evening at the resort bar with his brother and brother in law. I felt for once not being in the role of purse minder. I feel we could have done the trip spending even a little less, but for what we did spentd it was definitely worth it to us, in the sense we felt treated and no sense of deprivation. If I were to change anything I would suggest stocking up on "beverages" before hitting the resort to have drinks outside the bar/restaurant environment, and also purchase milk, fruit and cereal and oatmeal to have breakfast in the room at least some mornings (versus food court breakfast every morning).

These numbers may change when I do a more accurate accounting at end of month. This number did not include haircuts we all got before trip, or camera battery that I replaced, or tuneup for car, because would have needed to do those things regardless, even though I timed them to be before the trip. Ditto for skort and sandals purchased before trip.

Gas during trip was $140
Lodgings to and from were $281 (stayed at nice places with indoor pools, and complimentary breakfasts :D )
Food to and from the resort I have receipts for 94.66 but know we had at least 1 fast food not accounted for (+25)= $120
Travel costs while in the park included $238 souvenirs, which includes shirts purchased for neices/nephews beforehand at web Disney store, but does not include cash that children brought from their piggy banks (approximately another $50). The kids were actually so cautious about using their gift cards I had to urge them to use them at the last day at the resort gift shop (I had no such problem).
120 halloween party tickets
547 food, drinks, misc at parks. This includes drinks, restaurant tips, and also food purchased either at food court or parks not covered by dining plan, and stroller rental, and extra day added to park tickets ($48?)
=1446, plus husband had $200 cash. He thinks he used this money for fast food (the missing meal?), gas, stroller rental, housekeeping and drinks so I will round to 1646. Some people may be shocked by this, but considering if we flew our plane tickets alone would be almost 1200, I do not think this is bad.

Again, this does not include the almost exact $2000 that hubby's father paid for: 5 nights of disney (value) hotel, food dining plan, and 4 day park tickets for family of 4.


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:11 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
I'm really happy that everyone enjoyed themselves. Thanks for the update. I can see your smile from here!


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:28 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
Yeah, still on that post-vacation high :)


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:23 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
October - a "scary" month regarding being frugal :shock:
ingo = 4080, outgo =5382. Primary deficit was vacation, and a 380 semi annual auto insurance coming due
Recurring was 1890 (I need to find a way to cut internet/phone expenses)
grocery=865
restaurant=1043 (includes 195 traveling restaurant spending, and resort charge of 376.81, which consisted of drinks, tips and food at the resort and parks)
travel/entertainment =736 (706 of that for the vacation)
gas/car=351 (193 while traveling, included tank right before trip)
clothing= 89
house=78
miscellaneous=329

Balance on credit card AND, low checking balance. Despite the fact the holidays are coming up, will need to rein it in the rest of the year.


Last edited by partgypsy1 on Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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