Monthly Archives: June 2011

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Spencer, Percy, and GordonSeriously, ever feel like you’re in a tailspin?

I’m not sure if I’m just getting into one now or if I’m just about to pull out — things are that ticky-tocky…

Plain and simple — the spending is a bit out of control right now but it’s not frivolous (for the most part) so it kind of makes me feel like we’re suddenly in a hole we may not be able to dig out of as fast as I’ve grown accustomed to.

That’s disheartening.

Here’s the spending report for May:

  • $570.90 : Business Expenses
  • $498.72 : Mortgage
  • $462.00 : Day Care Deposit
  • $450.95 : Hockey Jerseys
  • $317.33 : Curtains
  • $258.95 : Gas
  • $239.45 : Allstate Insurance
  • $178.09 : Electricity
  • $127.80 : Cable/Internet
  • $120.00 : Cash
  • $108.41 : Water/Sewer
  • $98.78 : Birthday Presents
  • $95.84 : Natural Gas
  • $40.77 : Barbeque Sauce
  • $26.98 : Henrik Sedin T-Shirt
  • $22.47 : Finance Charges
  • $5.00 : Car Wash
  • $0.25 : Hartford Parking Authority

All together, that’s $3622.69.

Essentially the same as last month but the breakdown is vastly different. See, in April, I spent over $2k on stupid stuff. This month, I didn’t.

It makes me feel as if I’m treading water. It sucks.

The business expenses were high this past month because a lot of things came due all at one — and I pre-paid a few things. Short term pain, really.

The mortgage is a constant.

Day care is new. And it’s going to be a killer. Now that we have two kids in day care, I’m stepping up to the plate and helping pay for it. Previously this was all on my wife’s plate (her finances aren’t included on PIAC which is why you pretty much never see food expenditures listed here — it’s all her). Of course, this was only a deposit to hold a spot for Henrik — the actual bills are far more painful.

Hockey jerseys… Ugh. It’s an on-going battle.

We finally put curtains (eight months after the fact) in our remodeled family, living, and computer rooms. It’s amazing how window treatments can change the feel of a room. It’s also amazing what a rip-off they are.

The next few lines are just the usual utility bills.

Duncan‘s second birthday was in May, so that explains the presents.

The BBQ sauce purchase was from one of my favorite restaurants, Famous Dave’s. Number two, actually. We didn’t actually go to the restaurant — I ordered the sauce online. Totally worth it.

The Vancouver Canucks made it to the Stanley Cup final (and lost), so I bought a t-shirt with Henrik‘s name on it.

Finance charges have returned, obviously, with the balances I’m carrying.

I washed the car one — mostly cause Duncan asked me to.

And 25 cents for parking is a deal.

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So, last, last Friday, I got into a fender bender.

The details aren’t terribly important (I feel that I got screwed) but I decided not to get the insurance company involved and just have the repairs done on my own dime to put it all behind me.

On Monday, we dropped the car off at a local body shop.

On Thursday, it was ready and looking good as new.

Total damage was $1200-something…

I stopped in to pick it up, pulled out my wallet, and then they said, “Oh, we don’t take charge cards…”

Say what?

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So today when driving back to work after lunch, some dude in front of me decided to pull a last second u-turn downtown.

Guess what?

I hit him.

I swore at him.

I pulled over.

Turns out he was a really nice guy, thankfully.

Terrible driver but a nice guy.

We did the whole police report thing — he admitted it was totally his fault and then guess what happened?

Yep — I got the ticket.

Seriously, I’ve lost all confidence in law enforcement. The responding officer was pleasant enough but totally ignored what both us said happened.

Looking to do the bare minimum required in this non-event fender-bender, the officer just took the easy route — the car in the back is always at fault. That was me.

Um, hello? Last time I checked, u-turns aren’t allowed…

For real, I think the officer would have given me the ticket if this dude were a wrong way driver on the highway… I only wish I could be so lazy at my own job…

So now I don’t know what to do…

The car I hit (a HUGE contractor’s truck) wasn’t damaged at all and as far as the police report is concerned, he wasn’t in the wrong either.

My car, though, has some mega bumber damage to the point that I can’t turn left without the tire rubbing against the wheel well.

Do I get the insurance company involved when the police report is (wrongfully) stacked against me or do I just plunk down the thousand dollars that I’m just guessing it’ll cost to fix to the point that I can turn left again?

Not exactly how I wanted to start the month…

Oh, and it’s amazing that you can still pretty much get anywhere by turning right… I learned that tonight on the way home…

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I’m starting to feel like a broken record with these net worth updates

I truly feel like I’m sinking but the bottom line just keeps increasing — this past month was no exception.

I mean, I realize it’s a pretty nice position to be in, you know, to feel like you’re bleeding money but somehow still finish with more than you started with.

Woe is me, right? I know, I know…

Boo-hoo, your net worth only went up 1800 bucks…

It’s an emotional thing rather than a math thing. I don’t feel like I’m making any progress — and that part sucks.

The math part is pretty cool. It doesn’t outweigh the emotional part though… For me, anyway…

So I’m back on the credit card roller coaster after nearly 3 years away from the peaks and valleys — and it’s killing my mood…

And, yet, I’m still making more than I’m spending.

It’s confusing.

Eitherway, I’m buckling down now and focusing on getting my debt level down. Savings will suffer a bit but it’s the credit card balance that’s making me feel like crap.

Here are the details on this month’s numbers:

Cash:
Just maintaining a constant balance here between $1500 and $2500. The $1500 mark to avoid a fee and the $2500 mark just cause if I go over that, I can safely afford an extra payment to the fine folks over at Visa and Mastercard.

Savings:
Already started cutting back on my contributions here. Basically, I’m only saving about $40 per week now plus $90 per week to cover my local property taxes which come due in July.

Gov’t Bonds:
I guess I could call this my “new” emergency fund. Should times get tough — like where I’m suddenly losing money each month — this is where I’ll need to draw from.

401k:
See, my mood is so low that I’ve even thought about stoping my contributions here. My employer no longer offers a match — and hasn’t for two years now — so it’s really tempting sometimes to shift my focus elsewhere. I’ve been contributing 15% of my paycheck for years now — maybe I should scale it back a bit to get out of this slump?

Home:
Whatever. Home values are pretty stable around here. Even if they weren’t, I’m not considering a move so it doesn’t really matter what the value is.

Auto 1, Auto 2, and Auto 3:
As expected, the value of a two-seat convertable jumps just as the weather warms up.

Credit Cards:
Well, I made some progress here. Not nearly enough — and you’ll see why once I publish my spending report in the next day or so.

I swear, I’m paying my balance down at a rapid pace — I just keep buying more stuff and negating 75% of my progress. Stupid. That’s why it blows my mind that my net worth keepings increasing — apparently I *can* afford to spend like crazy…

In all honestly, I’m treading water and I hate it. Oh, how I long to financially be back in the same position I was exactly one year ago with nearly $20k in my pocket and zero credit card debt…

I’ll get there…

Mortgage:
Just another minimum payment. I can’t believe that it’s been over a year since the the re-fi and I haven’t made a single extra payment.

Sometimes it makes me mad, especially after all of the progress I made on the mortgage balance prior to refinancing, but it’s the right thing to do (not overpay) when your monthly payment is insanely low like mine is right now — and for the next 29 years. (Don’t worry — I’ll have wiped it out by then…)

Can You Dig It?

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