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Archive for April, 2010

An Investment in...

April 5th, 2010 at 11:55 am

fabric!



I'm going to make a valance for my kitchen window out of one fabric and some placemats out of at least one of the others. Reversible placemats maybe? I have yet to figure it all out. The fabrics only set me back about $8! This has got to be less expensive than buying new from the store and maybe even equal to a thrift store for used.

My sewing machine has been a great tool for us. Do you have a sewing machine you use or another great tool worth its investment?

Calculating into the Wee Hours

April 4th, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Okay, I did go to bed by 11pm...but it felt very late to me. I was working on next years tax estimations! I know. I'm a nerd.

Three quarters of our income next year will non taxable! Love it. We have converted about 2/3rds of our Rollover IRA accounts to Roths to take advantage of a year when our income will be lower for tax purposes.

My calculations involved figuring out how much of the remaining 1/3 our our rollover accounts should be converted this year, if at all. It looks like I should convert half of the remaining balance to benefit us in both tax years. The main benefit of spliting this way is to qualify us for the earned income tax credit in both years.

Of course, everything is just estimated right now, but I have to make the decision based on something!

They NEED an Emergency Fund

April 3rd, 2010 at 06:16 am

The saga of my best friend and her financial situation continues, unfortunately. I share to vent, use her as an example of what not to do, and for those us who have it together to find a some understanding and compassion.

This is the friend with bats in the attic...third time in three years. Technically, they do not have the funds to remove them. However, they have decided to open a credit card to pay for the $2,000 extensive repair. They cut up their cards a few months ago, when the took out a 401K loan to pay off their debt. Right now the friend doesn't know how she will make the payment. Yikes!!

To make matters worse, she called me last night to tell me that they did some van repairs to the tune of $1200. I assume also put on the credit card. There were many things in need of repair, but they only did the critical ones. She said she broke down, flipped out at work. She is beside herself with despair. She does not have the money.

As my title suggests, they have no emergency fund. They never have. They so need one for times like this. I know I have said this before, but I truly believe an emergency fund is the building block to financial freedom. It doesn't even have to be a big one to start with. Dave Ramsey suggests $1000 to start. I'm in agreement. It's a good start to changing the behavior from spending every last penny to saving a little for the unexpected. My friend and her husband need to change their behavior. Fast!

Luckily, I am seeing signs that she is willing to make some changes. She declined to send her daughter to an out of state camp, which would have cost $800. She has put a bug in her husband's ear to get a part time job (she already has one). She also wants them to consider selling their fifth wheel camper which they purchased three years ago for cheap. They actually could make a profit on it! (Side note: even though the camper was cheap, they had to trade in a one year old truck for a larger truck that could handle the load. Ugh!)

The new credit card statement changes have really opened her eyes to the amount of interest they are paying. I was actually a bit shocked that this was new information to her. I obviously take knowledge about compound interest for granted. Oops!

She is sharing her frustrations, but not exactly asking for help. I so would love to get my hands on their financial particulars and work out a plan for them. I really would. I'm sure I would learn quite a bit, too.

April Showers...

April 2nd, 2010 at 10:57 am

are here today to bring me my May flowers!! Unfortunately, some of the rain came with some severe weather, so I'm staying in today instead of shopping.

The cleaning tasks went very well this week. Here's my final update:

[x]clean inside kitchen cabinets
[ ]clean outside kitchen cabinets
[ ]touch up paint kitchen cabinets
[x]dust intake vents
[x]wash out large trash can
[x]wash van (I'll probably go to a car wash)
[x]vacuum van floor & scrub floor mats
[x]hose out the garage floor

My kitchen cabinets are painted white. We bought the house this way. Unfortunately, white cabinets do not stay clean and develop a residue that more grime sticks to. Ugh! I clean them at least twice a year, probably more. It is a chore that does pay off in beauty, but it very hard to get myself going on. Honestly, right now I can't say when I will get to them. I'm that unmotivated.

I earned another $3 from Pinecone Research! It seems since I signed up to have them direct deposit my payment into paypal that I get more surveys. Or maybe it is just coincidence and surveys are just picking up in general. Any thoughts on my theory?

I now have over $10 in my paypal account. Once we get our mid month paycheck, I will include this with our emergency fund contribution. Maybe I'll have another survey or two before then!

I took a quick look at my capris and shorts. I have sizes for current weight and my lower weight from a couple years ago. I kept just one of each of the old size, and tossed the rest in the garage sale pile. I'd much rather be the lighter weight...but it is what it is!

Emergency Fund Milestone

April 1st, 2010 at 05:46 am

I'm adding in some extra funds today to the emergency fund. A majority is some left over from today's paycheck. I'm also adding in interest from our money market account.

Old Balance = $857
New Funds = $206
New Balance = $1063

We have exceeded our first milestone of $1000. Yipee!! I'm excited, but it does feel like the progress on this goal is going slow. Darn. But we will keep plugging away.

Only $5,937 to go. Smile


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