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Archive for January, 2010

arguing with hubby

February 1st, 2010 at 12:03 am

It's been a fight-tastic weekend. Hubby and I haven't talked all day. We are arguing over our wills. He doesn't want to pay a lawyer to do it because he thinks it's a racket and a scam, but I say we need help making sure our stuff is in order. we have kids now, we need to make sure they are take care of. We need to have a clause that sets up a trust for the kids in the event that we both die. We can't do that ourselves.

It's not something I can do without him, or I would have. I'm just so tired of arguing with him over this kind of adult stuff. He has no problem dropping $2,000 on a ski trip, but try to spend that on a will and it's a fight.

Wealth watchers?

January 28th, 2010 at 05:28 pm

I have never heard of this book or system before. It's like Weight Watcher only for your money. It sounds like it could be effective, although time consuming.

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/LearnToBu...

You have to see this

January 25th, 2010 at 10:46 pm

OK. So, you know I am from New Orleans, and we are going to our first superbowl ever. I don't care about football, but I care about the Saints. It's such a HUGE deal that they are playing in the game for the first time ever.

Anyway, one of my best friends recorded an original song and video for the occasion, called "Who Gonna Win Dat Superbowl" and it's hilarious. Please watch if you have time:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BKILbsBtvI

Decluttering is saving me money

January 24th, 2010 at 03:06 am

Huh. Weird. I realized today that this process of clearing things out, going through every drawer and throwing or giving things away is making me spend less money. I guess all of that stuff I'm not using that I spent money on and have now given away is at the front of my mind when I am out at the store. It's making the idea buying more stuff that will just get lost in drawers and such less appealing.

Now that I have cable TV, I have also started watching the shows Clean House and Hoarders. Boy, talk about problems resulting from living in a culture of consumerism and unlimited shopping opportunities. Those shows also make me want to clean up and clear out!

23 towels?????

January 22nd, 2010 at 10:06 pm

I'm on a serious decluttering kick. I think I'm up to 225 purge points.

So, I decided to tackle the linen closet. I took all of the towels out and realized I have 23 of them crammed onto two tiny shelved. I had no idea I had so many, and this doesn't even count the babies' towels. Geesh.

I think I can do with half that or less.
How many towels do you have hanging around? Am I the only one who thinks this is tooo many?

2010 is a blur

January 21st, 2010 at 08:04 pm

I can't believe January is almost over. It's been such a busy blur!

It's been a long time coming, but I think I am ready to post my new goals:

2010:

$10,000 to savings
$4620 to Bean's college funds
$4620 to Squid's college funds
$4,000 to my IRA
$600 more to new car fund

Other goals:
To pay for these major costs out of cash flow, not savings
New gas cooktop
New kitchen counters
New car (preferrably a hybrid)

**Non-money goals**
Lose 10 more pounds
Can 24 quarts from the garden
Plan European and Mexico vacations for 2010-2011

Phew. Not as ambitious as the last few years, but let's face it. Our income has dropped a lot since the Wall Street meltdown, because our sidework has all but disappeared. This has put a dent in our stockpiling goals, but we are still doing the best we can. These new goals are still a bit of a stretch and will require a significant monthly commitment. Let's hope we can make it!

more purging...

January 13th, 2010 at 02:35 am

points from previous purge: 208.5
from today's drawer cleaning

2 more items to sell = 6 points
10 more to give away= 15 points

229.5 total

My Elvis bathroom: in honor of the king's b-day

January 8th, 2010 at 11:06 pm

Thanks for reminding me, Ima! This is my half bath:





There's much more on the wall you can't see, but y'all get the idea.

208.5 purge points, and just getting started

January 7th, 2010 at 07:31 pm

Hubby and I went through our closets and dressers today, getting rid of clothes we don't wear, don't love, or that don't fit anymore.

36 items to consignment store=108 points
67 items to thrift store= 100.5

I'm amazed we even had that much stuff to give away.

We still have more areas of the house to tackle. It's kind of fun assigning a point value...

What's up with purging and points?

January 6th, 2010 at 08:42 pm

I noticed a lot of folks blogging about points when they are getting rid of stuff. Can someone explain to me what's going on? Did I miss something?

2010 will be expensive, plus some goals for the year

January 6th, 2010 at 03:42 am

Hubby and I have been talking, and it seems like 2010 is shaping up to be an expensive year.

We need to buy a new car. We have a crappy 1998 Chrysler we inherited from my dad.(We call it dad's last laugh). The repairs are getting bigger and more frequent, and it's to the point that I feel nervous driving my children around in it because it's only a matter of time before it just quits.

We have a few options for buying a car. We could use our tax refund (usually 10k) plus pay the rest out of savings. (If the car lasts until we get the refund...). We could pay 10k out of savings and finance the rest. We need to really talk about it, what kind of car we want, what to test drive, and how to pay for it. I think we will do new, because we drive cars until they die, so it'd be nice to start with something solid. We also want a hybrid, an electric car, or a Fit, and they are harder to find used.

We need a new cooktop. Two of the four burners on our original 1957 cooktop no longer work and making dinner is now becoming difficult, slow and frustrating. We have talked about new countertops as well, as we have the original 1957 counters and they are not in good shape. They are significantly damaged in several spots and stained all over. Replacing them was on our to-do list when we bought the house. And, what better time than when you have to install a new cooktop anyway? For a cooktop, converting from electric to gas, and for quartz (read:indestructible) countertops, we figure the kitchen will cost us a total of $5k max.

We need to add insulation to the attic, at a bare minimum. I do want to look at having insulation blown in to the exterior walls as well. I haven't researched this as far as cost or if it's a good idea. This would help us meet our green goals and help us save money on heating and cooling.

So that's big stuff. Other than the car, I want to pay for everything out of cashflow, not savings.

As far as my financial goals for 2010:
I don't have the total numbers calculated, but my goals is to put $10,000 in savings, fund the 529s to the tune of $4,000, plus at least $4,000 more into the extra college savings account. I'd also like to put $3,000 to $5,000 into my IRA, and keep adding to the new car fund.

I am on my way to meeting my goal of getting a base level of freelance income, thanks to the gig I just got at my former job. That'll be about $8000 this year if it all works out.

In addition to earning more, I'd like to work on the spending side of our balance sheet, and spend less. We've managed to save in the past without serious cutting, but I think we can do so much better, and probably without any tangible decline in our quality of life. So, if it doesn't feed us, house us or make us happier, it's out.

As far as my personal goals... Number one on the list is to be ORGANIZED and ELIMINATE CLUTTER.

Despite what seem like constant trips to the goodwill drop off, we still have way too much stuff. With two kids under 2, I just don't have time to clean and clear constantly. My solution? Get rid of all but the necessary items so there's less to clean!! We are going to try to go minimalist this year, and add some storage WITH DOORS, so things look clean even when they aren't, and get rid of anything we don't love or that isn't useful.

Number 2 for me is to be healthy and try to do 3, 30-minute workouts a week. To save money, I am just going to DVR workouts from the FitTV station. They look kind of cool.

My hope is that this will lead to 10 pounds of weight loss by the end of the year. I'm not fat, technically. I'm just 20 pound heavier than I was when I got married 8 years ago--and before I had two kids. Luckily I'm tall, so I tend to look lighter than I really am (in clothes...), but I know what I look like under those clothes, and I want that to look better!

I lost 8 pounds this year, despite just having had a baby. I have the gestational diabetes diet to thank for that (silver lining??)

So, 2010 is a tall order, but I'm feeling optimistic.