The year of increasing the emergency fund

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partgypsy1
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Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund

Postby partgypsy1 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:29 pm

Hubby worked Sat, Sun, and this Monday. He is both doing new restaurant, and training at different bar, to pick up extra shifts, especially if lucrative shifts do not materialize at current place.
Talking about finally trying to get porch/sunroom project moving again. The idea is to get a couple quotes this week, so then get paperwork ready for all the various permits, etc needed.
I feel a little nervous about it because a sunroom remodel will be probably closer to 20K than 10K, hence wiping out all of the house fund plus another 5K. But as long as it stays around the figure, I feel it will be worth it for the increased quality of life, and convenience of not having to move. There is no sure thing, I'm thinking it will make us happier, won't know till it actually happens :o
Hardest part for me is the waiting. Once we decide, I want to be moving, but it will be a slow process, particularly as all the application itself after the initial meeting is 6-8 weeks.

partgypsy1
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Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund

Postby partgypsy1 » Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:38 am

Well the month is not yet over, but I started reviewing, and although we earned more this month, we also spent more this month. We did some things right, like going to a thrift store for new clothes, but all of us especially Hubby went out to eat/drink more. I also store-bought a few items of clothing for myself when I was getting the kids their sport sandals (they kind of expensive but are very hard wearing, and the kids practically live in them during the warm months. Their last pairs are still good, but they have outgrown them). It was also my mother's birthday, and I made 2 monetary donations and also spent a bit at the kids' annual school carnival (fundraiser). That and a semi-annual auto insurance bill (375), we went over budget by about that same amount.
It seems I overspent in gifts and also household/clothing items, while hubby overspends in beer and eating/drinking out. Since there is no "right" answer what should be spent, I am considering us maybe getting an "allowance" for personal purchases, so there is no blame game.
We didn't do this before, because we didn't agree what should be included. He thought if I bought any household items, that should come out of my budget, while I thought beer, him taking cash out, as well if he bought impulse items for the kids at the grocery store should be taken out of his budget.
But maybe if we can revisit, we can each spend, but we have a limit. This could help us be more conscious of non-essential spending, but it could be a bit of a minefield, especially as most beer purchases are rolled into grocery bills, so it would take him extra work to tally and keep track.

partgypsy1
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Re: people not getting ahead-rant

Postby partgypsy1 » Wed May 01, 2013 9:07 am

Reading the article of 401K reminds me of my sister. There are some people who are never going to get ahead, and of that a subset have given up on on the idea of even saving for retirement, that it's "impossible".
My sister had a job for 2-3? years and surprisingly after nagging her she did start contributing to their 401K. She also needed to have work done on her teeth. But since fall I could tell she was really disliking her job (managment issues). We had a gold coin we co-owned. Before I sold it, she said she was going to use the money for her dental problem. Well, after she received the money ($700) in a week she quit her job (with no other job proscpects, anything). She also cashed out whatever she had in her 401K (less than a thousand) as she said, well it's just getting eaten up by fees and hasn't really gone up, plus I need the money). She is in her mid 40's, her highest degree is from HS, and has literally nothing saved. Not for emergencies, not for medical, not to replace her aging vehicle, and certainly not for retirement. Ironically a few years ago she was almost obsessed with buying property to live in (condo, townhouse, house) but was frustrated/angry that she couldn't qualify for a loan. I patiently explained that if that is a goal for her, to start saving for a downpayment. I also tried to explain that owning a property has a lot more carrying costs than renting, but she only wanted to compare rent with mortgage, and also felt she could magically afford a mortgage higher than rent she could pay, because she would be more "motivated."
I don't know how many people are like her, but it's like she has given up even the appearance of being financially prudent or saving for retirement, which is completely abstract to her.
I do think having employees being automatically enrolled in a 401K would help, but it wouldn't prevent these people from cashing out their 401K (with huge penalties) whenever they quit a job.

partgypsy1
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Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund

Postby partgypsy1 » Thu May 02, 2013 2:50 pm

by strange coincidence I ended up talking to sister and found out she had not yet cashed it out, but didn't want to transfer it because she thought she had to make minimum $100 a month payment to any IRA. I gave her the contact number to Vanguard, they answered her questions, and she is going to send her retirement money to Vanguard. So I am happy :)

partgypsy1
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Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund

Postby partgypsy1 » Mon May 06, 2013 12:50 pm

Ew one of those monthly accountings don't want to share.

April ingo 4324 outgo 4922 (-598)
Over average spending was in recurring 2019 (2 donations, high gas bill, semi annual auto insurance) grocery 1058, restaurant 654, clothes 168, miscellaneous 569

No big emergencies, just spending a lot. Doesn't help if hubby is working alot during, if we end up spending that difference (and more) by eating out or buying lots of convenience foods.

No blame game, but work on this moving forward.
Last edited by partgypsy1 on Mon May 20, 2013 8:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

partgypsy1
Posts: 445
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
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Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund

Postby partgypsy1 » Mon May 06, 2013 12:58 pm

2013 JAN ingo=4512, outgo=4466 (+46)
FEB ingo 8662, outgo=5679 (+2983)
MAR ingo = 5463.17 outgo=4835.02 (+628)
APR ingo=4324 outgo 4922 (-598)

Groceries/restaurants totals
Jan 743/249 =992
Feb 983/396=1379
Mar 896/547=1443
Apr 1058/654=1712
2013 average 920/510=1430
2012 average 1018/361=1379
2011 average 864/274=1138

kaitlyn142
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Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund

Postby kaitlyn142 » Tue May 07, 2013 8:22 pm

Gypsy, you don't even want to know what my spending totals look like this month. lol.

I will say we noticed our dining out/prepared food costs were going up, so we went back to making a concerted effort to menu plan and do crockpot meals when we know we're going to be tired/out late at night. Frozen chicken breast + salsa + crockpot = easiest tacos at night ever.

partgypsy1
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Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund

Postby partgypsy1 » Wed May 08, 2013 12:23 pm

I can totally tell we are spending more by the way we are eating. In the past week we have had menus like:
fresh fried fish with homemade coleslaw, baby potatoes and rolls, and salad.
Turkey italian sausage with sauteed onions and red peppers, baked beans.
The other day steak tacos with all the fixings (salsa, cheese, beans and rice, guacamole, queso dip, 3 different hot sauces, chips)
Tonight roast chicken with homemade mashed potatoes and stuffing.

And and he makes desserts with the meals(banana pudding, apple crisp, strawberries with angelfood cake and whipped cream).

He IS a good cook but I don't need to eat like this every day, and it is expensive to have a different meal every day, versus eating leftovers.

partgypsy1
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Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund

Postby partgypsy1 » Tue May 14, 2013 8:31 am

Well, hubby finally being booked for bartending shifts. We will check back at end of month to check on progress.

We are also getting more overdue medical appointments done. Since our FSA is already used up, this will mean a number of $150-$200 doctor's bills that will be coming next month or so.

partgypsy1
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Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund

Postby partgypsy1 » Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:04 am

May summary:
ingo=4736.18, outgo 4710.3
Hubby made about 700? more this month, awesome!
We did end up spending more than we should, on eating out, and taking cash out (still need to plug that hole). We also spent money buying a year membership to an educational museum (will come in handy this summer), and some household stuff (biggest item being a new vacumn cleaner).

Hubby finally got around to cleaning and organizing the back porch. It was so peaceful out there that I was able to work on art while kids were otherwise occupied. For nice months I realize this can be the place I can work on art (lightbulb!). It is actually better than the corner that I picked. For one we never did get any lighting for that corner, it is a clutter collector, and it is next to the entrace to both a bathroom and the kitchen, so definitely not the place to get away and focus.
I know the porch won't work when it gets too cold/hot out, but for now it can work, and maybe on the off months can find a different solution.
but over all, feel more optimistic than I have in awhile.

partgypsy1
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Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund

Postby partgypsy1 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:21 pm

Well, Hubby is making more, but are spending more. Purchased a 6 person tent for our family of 2, sleeping pads.
We also bought a few miscellaneous items, like 2 hot dog forks, a nice camping kettle, and a metal tea infuser we are going to test out as a coffee steeper.
Also ended up getting the kids new goggles, swimsuits, and a rashguard for the kid who didn't have one. I was going to try to go one more year out of the suits they had, but they were either riding up in one case, or sagging down in the second case...
And oh yeah, for father's day an $80 inflatable boat to go boating with, so we are at $500 for gear!!! We will see if this ends up paying it for itself or we have become yuppies.
The other thing I did, was buy a stone. I used to have a real problem buying gemstones, and this is the first time I "broke down" for a long time. I have a short list of stones I want, and it is on the list. So not financially wise in any sense, but it is what it is.

partgypsy1
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Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund

Postby partgypsy1 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:26 am

Well nothing much new. Instead of 10% to retirement fund (with additional 5% match) Changing to make it 9% to retirement fund and 2% to Roth.
I like the idea of an investment fund that we can access before full retirement age, especially one that is tax-free. There won't be much money in there, but doing this consistently for next 15 years will hopefully give us a little more financial flexibility when we hit our our late 50's, early 60's. We'll just see if we notice the additional hit in my paycheck.
Other than 100 a month going to emergency fund, that's what we are doing.
The next 10 years will have a lot of additional expenses, between eventually replacing a vehicle, replacing the roof, potential braces for both kids, and a wanted but not needed porch to sunroom remodel. I'm not really sure how we will cover all these future expenses. Basically, there is no way around that money will be tight until we pay off the mortgage 13 years from now. But I will try this plan until one of us says "uncle." :)

partgypsy1
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Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund

Postby partgypsy1 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:47 am

More bad news from my side of the family. Sister still hasn't gotten a job (but has been interviewing). Wasn't watching things and was hit with a bunch of overdraft fees from her bank. I asked if she could at least get the gardening job. She actually could have taken it, but decided it was too physically taxing for her (plus it only pays $10 an hour). Arrgh.

Little brother will need to go back to court because the ex, I guess, is bored? This person who lost custody of both her children because of her behavior, and has not paid a cent in child support since she has lost, is now suing to gain custody. Not that she will win, but the additional expenses and time is a big headache for him. He tries to be nice but it just emboldens her to be even worse. I will be so glad when both of his kids are adults so we no longer have to deal with her.

Worry about financial problems for me and my extended family is (for me) one of the biggest inhibitors for happy carefree creative thought. Because of all this, just not the same person I was in my 20's and 30's. I really work to not let it get to me, but it is always there. I fear not only will I have my 2 children to support, at some point I may need to at least provide a home for either my sister or mother, since they seem to have no self-protective skills to take care of themselves. Either option (the prospect of having to take care/house them or refuse and watch them suffer) depresses me.

partgypsy1
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
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Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund

Postby partgypsy1 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:30 am

June ingo =4670 outgo=4860 (-190).

Big expenses was groceries 1203, though restaurant not as bad (225). We spend 565 on camping gear (tent 2 pads, blow up boat, teakettle, telescoping forks, infuser for coffee, rechargable batteries).
Other expenses were 300 for a gemstone, 235 for bike repair, and 165 medical.
I plan on having the stone set, so that will be another chunk of money in the next month. I used to have a longer list of gemstones, pieces of jewelry on my "bucket list" but I pared it way down. This is basically the number one thing on my mental list. It is basically a reproduction of my engagement ring, which was lost.
Husband and I still not doing well with communicating. Even just saying the word "groceries" is enough to cause a fight, so I've been avoiding talking money with him, just to keep the peace. Not the best summer we've had. I guess I want to express to him, that if we are more savvy in the food spending, we have more freedom in OTHER areas to spend. But we can't get to that point.

partgypsy1
Posts: 445
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
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Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund

Postby partgypsy1 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:44 am

2013 JAN ingo=4512, outgo=4466 (+46)
FEB ingo 8662, outgo=5679 (+2983)
MAR ingo = 5463 outgo=48352 (+628)
APR ingo=4324 outgo 4922 (-598)
MAY ingo =4736, outgo =4710 = (+26)
JUN ingo =4670 outgo=4860 (-190)

Groceries/restaurants totals
Jan 743/249 =992
Feb 983/396=1379
Mar 896/547=1443
Apr 1058/654=1712
May 901/ 400=1301
June 1203/226=1429

We are doing miscellaneous different because we are now splitting some things (like travel/house) out of misc when it used to be lumped in. With that said, we do seem to be doing better with miscellaneous.


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