I, too, have Decided to Eliminate my Debt Ceiling

Why not, right?

My unwritten debt ceiling was the $100k mark (in 2009) and since my latest round of credit card expenditures have all but shattered that, well, I’ve been fretting.

Not to the point that it’s kept me up at night but, well, let’s just say it’s often at the forefront of my thoughts.

To alleviate the issue, I’d been debating raising my unwritten debt ceiling to $125k to, I dunno, fake myself out.

But I’m not that stupid. That idea was obviously nothing more than a thinly veiled cop out.

So now I’m going to follow the US Government’s lead and just drop the whole idea entirely.

What, me worry?

Spend, spend, spend!!!

Posted on July 18th, 2011 at 8:19 pm by Brainy Smurf
Current Events, Finance | No Comments »

Trusting a Hunch…

Grainy Zapruder Frame -- See the grassy knoll?
This afternoon we headed over to a local “Extravaganza”.

Seriously, that’s what it was called.

It was one of those municipal events where they sell fried dough, cotton candy, and over priced inflatible somethings to benefit the Parks and Recreation department or something.

This one had a full blown carnival with a dozen or so rides and even some miniature horses for the kids to ride.

But the one thing that caught Duncan’s eye was the fire department’s ladder truck — ladder fully extended and spouting water from the top.

He wasn’t dressed for running through the water but we took his shirt off and set him free anyway.

As we did so, I surveyed the scene and pinpointed one kid.

He was a little too old to be frolicking in the mist and, well, he obviously had no regard for anyone around him. You know the type…basically, he was a threat.

It was one of those things where I “knew” it was going to happen — I even said as much outloud — but I wasn’t about prevent my kid from having a good time because of one moron in the crowd.

I’m not the over protective type.

But it’s not like you can take a preventative stance these days either and go up to someone else’s kid and say, “Hey, quit being an idiot and watch where you’re going…” without having their even bigger idiot parent getting all up in your face about it…

So, instead, my kid got bowled over.

Go ahead, it’s okay to watch it a few times. Frame-by-frame, even…

That’s the beginning of my reaction at the tail end of the video.

Had I kept the camera rolling, you’d have heard my expletive laden description of how I really felt about what I’d just witnessed.

No worries — I didn’t say it loud or anything but the camera microphone most definitely would have picked it up.

Of the nine or ten adjectives and one noun that I uttered, well, “little” was the *only* word that could be considered safe for this website…

To the kid’s credit, he wasn’t without remorse.

Immediately after it happened, he stopped in his tracks and just stood there looking at Duncan (who was laying in a puddle on the pavement with his hands over his face and feet in the air) as my wife ran into the fray to make sure he was okay.

As my wife picked him up, I could plainly see that the kid felt bad. He had that sort of posture that kids get when they want to say “Sorry” but don’t know how or when exactly to do it. I mean, it’s not like he did it on purpose…

I also watched him look over his shoulder to see if his parents were calling him over — which they weren’t because, well, I’m sure you guessed it, they weren’t the type that supervise their kids.

Might explain why their kids are morons.

Anyway, once the kid realized that he’d “dodged” a bullet, well, back he went to running around with total disregard.

Seriously, he’s way too old to be afraid to open his eyes when running through a glorified sprinkler. Is it just me?

I dunno, a helmet and shoulder pads shouldn’t be required for running through the hose…

Not being the overprotective type, once Duncan’d composed himself, we sent him right back out there.

As you can see, Duncan’s okay.

And in a weird sort of way, I’m pretty proud that he could take a hit like that.

I’d still be laying on the ground.

Posted on July 16th, 2011 at 3:32 pm by Brainy Smurf
Rants, Smurfling | 1 Comment »

When I’m 64…

Are those guys related?Four years ago today, I wrote a post about it being my dad’s 60th birthday and how he was able to retire early — well in advance of the big six-O.

He’d have turned 64 today…

If he’d made it to 64.

See, my Dad died last November.

He wasn’t sick.

He wasn’t reckless.

And he wasn’t old, either… but he still died before collecting a single social security check.

Now I know that I won’t be receiving a social security check anyway — the money just won’t be there — but now there’s another thing for me to think about.

Time.

I’m less than 30 years away from 64 myself…

I just hope I can follow in his footsteps and retire early like he did…

As for the second part, well, I really hope I can cut a new path…

Posted on July 15th, 2011 at 7:15 am by Brainy Smurf
Life | No Comments »

Spending Report for June 2011

CrowHoly crow?! I must just love spending money or something cause, wow, am I ever spending it…

Here’s where the money went last month:

  • $1747.74 : Day Care
  • $1283.70 : AutoBody Shop
  • $498.72 : Mortgage
  • $362.99 : Gas
  • $239.45 : Allstate Insurance
  • $200.00 : Hockey Jerseys
  • $188.18 : Business Expenses
  • $158.21 : Electricity
  • $135.00 : Department of Motor Vehicles
  • $127.80 : Cable/Internet
  • $120.00 : Cash
  • $96.36 : Walmart/Target Stuff
  • $48.63 : Natural Gas
  • $38.64 : Finance Charges
  • $21.20 : Cell Phone

Added up, that’s $5266.62.

Seems that I can’t catch a break. Obviously the day care bill is a killer but the car accident certainly didn’t help either.

Take those out of the equation and, well, it’s no so bad.

Unfortunately, though, the day care bill is here to stay…

The kids are worth it, though…

Posted on July 14th, 2011 at 9:46 pm by Brainy Smurf
Finance, Spending Report | No Comments »

Avocados are Gross

Not that I’ve ever actually eaten one, mind you, but when you choose a name like “guacamole” as an alias, well, seriously, how good can they be in either form — whole or squashed into a slimy lumpy paste?

And how dare it be considered a fruit along side things like grapes, apples, oranges, and mangos?

Avocados are more disgusting than radishes, even, and those taste like dirt. Crunchy. White. Dirt.

But this isn’t really about disgusting fruits (or vegetables)… It’s about a flyer I received in the mail this week from Subway.

Take a look at this:

Do you see what I see?

I’ll give you a hint — it’s apparently Trademarked.

No, it’s not the Subway logo. How exciting of a post would that make, I mean, really…

Okay — here’s a closer view:

The only thing that could possibly be worse than an avocado on its own is having to pay a dollar extra to have it added to a sandwich…

No, wait…

Adding radishes in addition to avocado would definitely make it worse…

So, I’m sure you see it now. Fooltong?

Really? On a national chain’s advertisement?

Things like this bother me…

Moreso than radishes…

Posted on July 2nd, 2011 at 1:40 pm by Brainy Smurf
Food, Rants | 8 Comments »

Networth Update: July 2011 (-$370)

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later — a negative month that is…

It wasn’t as bad as I’d expected, though… I mean, I’ve been prediciting this “report” would come for months — just take a look at the last four or five net worth updates

Cash:
Yes, I know. I spend too much.

Savings:
I had to dip into this a bit this month to cover the repair costs for that little accident I was in. Thank god I had the money available!

Gov’t Bonds:
Still sticking with these. You know, some of them are earning over 6% right now? Wish I’d bought more back then…

401k:
Stange month on the markets. It was high at the start of the month, dipped around $6k in the middle, and almost recovered fully by month’s end.

Home:
Not sure what brought the Zillow number (part of my home value calculation) up so much this month but I’ll take it. Hey — I have the highest valued house on my street right now! How about that?

Auto 1, Auto 2, and Auto 3:
Nothing terribly earth shattering here.

Credit Cards:
Sigh… Knocked another $500 off but I was hoping to knock at least $1k per month. The money just wasn’t there.

The good news is that most of it is still at 0% and the balance is falling. I’ve got to pick up the pace here, or formulate a span, or something, though…

Seriously, what happened to my financial goal for 2011?

Auto Loans and Other Loans:
Nothing to report! Woo-hoo!

Mortgage:
It’s now officially been a year since we refinanced the mortgage and since then, I haven’t sent the bank a single penny extra.

After 8 years of over-paying, sometimes even double the amount, it feels weird. Progress is definitely slow and I thought it’d have a larger effect on our overall finances than it has.

That said, it’s *very* comforting to have a sub-$500 mortgage payment for (insert tongue-in-cheek) the previously mentioned highest value home on the street…

Posted on July 2nd, 2011 at 7:00 am by Brainy Smurf
Finance, Net Worth Updates | No Comments »