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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:22 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
I like your new plan of working with what you have. :)
Having the internet and seeing what other people are doing can sometimes be detrimental to our "I want" brain. Good for you for remembering the past. It was nice, back then, huh? hee hee.


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:45 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
It was. I'm in my 40's but want to say in a crotchety voice, "things were simpler back then." We got dropped off at our grandparents for a week. We just did things like watch tv and eat ice cream, take the dog for a walk, make couch forts, read comics, but i don't know it was really fun (plus my grandmother made great food and allowed us sugary cereal : )
And most summers going up to Wisconsin, to stay at a cabin. I don't even think the cabin had hot water (or took forever to heat) but no matter; since we swam in a lake every day our parents allowed us the luxury of skipping baths (we only had to take one bath, at the end of the trip).
Trips to the Michigan dunes; when we got older trips to Six flags.
And lots of little things, like swimming at the public pool, miniature golf.
Maybe because I was from the Midwest, but I don't really even remember people talking about Disneyworld. Things are different now (benchmark of what a good vacation is).


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:43 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
Jan 2013 summary ingo 4512 ingo, outgo 4465 (+47)

2013.6 recurring, 743 grocery, 532 restaurant,
126 gas, Medical 10, Clothes 43, house 690 (590 Ikea run, 100 to couch balance)
Misce 298.

We did well on miscellaneous, not so great on eating out. We had high recurring because of a number of once a year bills, such as annual safety deposit fee, escrow difference, insurance rider, and school fundraiser came due.

Bad news, the work bonus expecting, came to 155 after taxes (less than they usually give) and I already received it in Dec. Less than normally received. However good news, bonus included a discretionary day off. I will probably use it when my Dad is visiting in March.
Good news, we will get a good sum in taxes. Originally we were going to use this amount for attic for attic remodel. Since that is off the table for now, will use to pay off sofa bill, and put money in kids' college savings.
Husband will also receive 1K. Long story; the money is originally from his deceased grandparents. With some of the house proceeds Hubby's Dad bought a truck. He is now selling the truck and wanted to share the proceeds with the 3 kids so we should expect 1K.


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:54 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
Well got the 1K, but with a restriction; the value is in silver coins. Hubby's Dad is not optimistic about current state of economic affairs and feels we should have some "metal" :?: . Since we can't use it in the traditional sense, after talking to hubby, decided to keep in safe deposit box for now, earmarked so each daughter will get half the coins, to be given to them when they reach 18. Hopefully they will at least retain their value during that time. Most likely they will use it for college costs, but if they want to use it for something else (like vehicle) it will be up to them. Hubby's mom will also take him out clothes shopping, which I'm glad :)

Sister sounds incredibly burnt out on job. I wouldn't be surprised if she ends up quitting soon. She keeps toying with idea of going back to school. At this point, since she seems to dislike the kind of jobs she can get with her particular work experience and lack of a college degree maybe it would behoove her to get a certificate or something, so she doesn't have to rely on customer-service jobs which she hates. Whatever she decides, will try to keep out of the drama.


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:27 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
Well, husband now officially out of a job. He's actually been working at this particular restaurant for 8 years, so it is both shocking (hubby is a guy who doesn't like change) and nonsurprising (the workplace there seems - hm dysfunctional is a word that comes to mind). The restaurant has gone through two ownership changes and multiple chef/staff changes. Mixed feelings. I actually wanted him to leave this workplace, but, not in the way it happened. He actually was offered a job at (what I think was a better job situation) in fall, but decided to be loyal and stick out where he was. But hindsight is 20/20. If he wants another bartender job I'm sure he could find something pretty quickly (he actually got a job interview for the following day, but canceled it; he couldn't get his "game face" on). But he is questioning what he wants to do, in a more general sense. I want to be supportive, and in general feel that things will work out, and that some kind of change may actually be good for him. I just hope that he doesn't take too long to figure out what his next step is. Still, because of this, it puts out March trip up in the air. We have enough of a cushion I think we can still afford it as long as we keep it around 500. But I'll wait a week and see how I feel then.


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:21 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
Sorry to hear about your husband's job. Maybe he can work at another bar until he figures out what is best for him. He might as well apply now since it takes a while for jobs to come into fruition.


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:50 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
Hubby very demoralized, the manager really did a number on him, going from 180 of feeling good about his job, an asset, to be made to feel like a complete loser. He knows better, but it's really affected him to the point he's doubting himself. In addition to canceling the interview he had, He's supposed to meet with a couple friends, one of whom owns a restaurant and who offered for him to train so he could sub there. But even that he said he was thinking of skipping that part. To which I said why? And he got defensive. Don't really understand what's going on with him right now. In general I don't feel bad about what happens, because I think he needs a change and so it can almost only be for the better. But he is acting so strange. Hopefully his friends will cheer him up.


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
Dad called last night very happy and excited to do the Charleston trip. I tried to tell him about hubby's situation, but just not listening, and didn't want to be a killjoy. So, went ahead and made non-refundable reservations. I just don't know how many of these trips my Dad will be able to make before he can't drive long distances on his own, so I do want to have this time together, and have him see his grandkids. It will mean that we pull the kids out of school for 2 days, not great, but hopefully they will be able to make up the work.


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:51 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
Still haven't figured things out financially. We decided to go ahead to put $500 each towards the kid's collegs savings account from the tax fund. This month, also planning on paying off a chunk of the couch fund, and the balance of the credit card (not including the payment for the hotel rooms from the tax refund. However since we won't have hubby's money coming in, I can't get my head around cash flow. Also, the way it went down, hubby doesn't think he can collect unemployment (after being told he basically didn't have a job he used the Q word), but I think he should apply.
We spent about 2K in travel last year. Other high areas we spend are in miscellaneous, which is a combination of cash spending, gifts, Christmas, and hobbies/art/office materials (I think around 700 a month?). The other big areas are of course grocery and restaurant (don't have numbers but maybe around 900 and 300 a month). Hubby feels that we shouldn't worry and shouldn't "change our life". But unless we make cuts to grocery/restaurants/cash spending, we will have to start taking significant amounts of money from efund to cover the gap. I both don't want to "stress" him, but I also want to be realistic. It is a hard line to follow. One thing I'm thinking about, is spending some time with him showing him the numbers, and the averages in different categories over the last year. I think that will give him a better idea of understanding what we have to play with.


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:02 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
Well, husband and I realize we need to go back to school. Youngest daughter has been really acting out at home, and whatever we are doing is ineffective or possibly making it worse. I got a couple parenting books from the library (haven't cracked those since the kids were babies) and we may also ask for advice from the people we meet for her academic assistance. It makes me feel like a failure of a parent, but we agreed, even if it means starting over how we interact with her, got to make a change.
We are also going to have a family meeting to reinforce rules of the house.
Husband agreed to learn more about family finances.
Found out that the manager who fired hubby, has gotten fired. Quite shocking. It may even be related to them asking why husband got fired, and her not having a good answer. But husband will try to see if he can learn more what happened.
Husband wants to wait a "week or two" to decide what he is going to do, whether he wants to go back to bartending or do something different. I am ok with that amount of time, but not much more, because the job process can take awhile.
Got called for Federal district jury duty again (which of course in addition to all the job and home stuff going on, also falls when I bought the nonrefundable hotel tickets in SC.) I'm going to see if they will let me post pone 1 more time.


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:35 am 

Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:38 am
Posts: 187
Sorry about your trouble with your daughter. There's a great book called "How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk", in case you haven't run across it yet. The library might have it. It has some GREAT ideas for dealing with kids - actually for dealing with anybody.


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:59 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
Thanks for the ref. It was on my list of books I was looking for at the library, and it may be one of the ones we picked up. If not, will do it later.
We tried this thing, were I went on a "date" with oldest, and hubby hung out with youngest. And it was really nice. So we are going to make this a regular practice, so I don't get burned out being with youngest all the time, and youngest has positive relationship with Dad. Youngest also asked for more activities or lessons. But we will need to wait until our financil situation shakes out.

Hubby will work a shift running food at the restaurant he is training at. He heard that the waitstaff do better than bartenders, including lunch shifts (when kids are in school). He's going to volunteer for any jobs that come up there. Although it doesn't solve the question of "what to do for the rest of his life" I feel more relaxed that there is the possibility of some money coming in the future.
Dad medical problem was not a recurrence of his cancer, so I am relieved.
going to oral surgeon. Dental implant is infected, and screw is loose. I may be one of the few percentiles of people whose dental implant has failed. Haven't learned what this mean procedure-wise or money wise yet.
Have jury duty that is inclusive of the time period supposed to visit with Dad. Wrote them a letter asking to be excused for that long weekend.
So technically, I am going to assume that the Charleston trip is a go. Normally I love to research, but since it may get washed out at the last minute, haven't done so.


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:09 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
Well met with the school group for youngest. A number of the strategies they are trying are moderately successful, but they feel she may have an attention problem. On the up-side, after doing some reading we are basically doing everything wrong at home (using punishment and critiquing instead of encouragment and loving discipline, lack of structure, routine, expectations, etc) so we can only go up from here. This will truly be like going back to school, and it is rather daunting. We really need to change our behavior and up our game. But I feel it has brought husband and I closer, because it puts all the petty crap into perspective.
I realize I often focus on financial stuff, as a replacement for feeling in control generally in my life. I know that I am very sensitive to my environment, so going to shift my focus on trying to hyper manage finances to work on my emotional wellness, and also the home environment.
Loving husband's new work schedule (trying to work lunch shifts versus evening/night shifts). Although he hasn't worked much yet everyone is getting up earlier in the morning, people less frayed, mornings less chaotic, people less "checked out" in the evenings.


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:49 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
As it is shaking down, husband will be doing running shifts, and also doing lunch wait shift when they periodically come up, about 2-3 days a week. The plan is for him to do bartending, but as no slots open, he will fill in until that time. Since these shifts are shorter and he doesn't get tips, we will have about a 400, 500? dollar shortfall each month until the more lucrative shifts open up.

We got a nice income tax refund back. Although I did put 1K into the kid's college fund, the rest will be used to help float us until income stabilized.

Husband is looking at our ingo outgo categories. He actually seems interested in learning more about it. The main thing I am trying to focus on is reducing my spending in miscellaneous, and he on taking cash out and also beer drinking. So no major changes, but trying to be more aware of spending.
Myself since I've already worked on these things, main thing trying to do is plan and cook more meals, so husband feels he has a break, and me just to be more involved with that side of the household.

Been reading books Positive Discipline (thumbs up). Just got the how to listen so kids will talk, to read next. I don't know if any of these things will bring her up academically, but there is less yelling and more calmness/positivity in house. Process/behavior still not automatic with me, I still need to focus to be on track with the way I need to be.


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 Post subject: Re: The year of increasing the emergency fund
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:35 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:37 am
Posts: 446
OK run down for 2013

JAN ingo=4512, outgo=4466
2013=recurr, 743=grocery, 532=restaurant, 126=car, 690=house (ikea and sofa fund) and 298 miscellaneous

FEB ingo=8662, outgo=5679. (Reg income=3800, rest was tax refunds, FSA reimbursement, and also 1K for selling half of gold coin plus miscellaneous jewelry).
1882=recurr, 983=groc, 396=restaurant, 584 entertainment (primarily prepayment for march hotel), 86=car, 636=medical (dentists, checkups, contact lenses), 743 house (700 to sofa fund), and 368=miscellaneous.

Also this month, prepaid children's summer camp, put 300 in vacation fund, and 1000 to children's college funds, and as said before 700 to paying off couch.

So, while have not been able to move grocery and restaurant, have been able to reduce miscellaneous.
I am hoping to get more involved and cook at least 1 dinner a week, so if anyone knows of any good recipes for tasty but budget friendly meals, I'd appreciate it!


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