Yellow's Green

The Adventures of Money Blog.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Full-Time Mothering

According to this article, my work is worth $138,095 a year.
Now if I could only use that to pay for J's college. (ha!)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Oh, and you get what you pay for

I did get to talk to someone on the free finance day... but I didn't get too much help. I think my questions were to specific and their advice was too general.

The call ended with, "Well, I have other people to answer questions for, so, thanks for calling!" and I just let it go.

Had I been paying for service, I would not have let that happen. But, had I been paying for service, I doubt I would have been brushed past so quickly either.

It was worth giving a call, though, 'cause you never know.

We're Getting Closer!

But we're not there yet.

This weekend, there was an open house for a nearby home that has been on the market for a long while now. We stopped by on a whim and got very excited. It was a fantastic house with lots of options for doing the kinds of things we'd like to do. We started dreaming and getting excited the way we do.

So yesterday, we met with a relative who is a mortgage banker, to find out what we could do. By this time, our excitement had tempered into the realization that this particular house was likely beyond our means, but we'd like to figure out exactly what is within our means.

We are much more encouraged than our last round of house-dreaming. We are not there yet... we'll have to get to the earning point where we could have about $1500/month to pay mortgage costs. Now we have a much better idea of what our savings/earnings goals are.

This is good.

Friday, January 26, 2007

"Free Retirement Checkup"

I attempting to call 888-919-2345 to get free financial advice from the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) as I type. I have the phone on speaker, sitting next to me, as it goes through the wait-and-hold recording. I've tried to get through twice today, and so far, no luck.

I know about the day of free advice from reading Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, the one I won a subscription to.

I do have a list of questions that I would like to ask an expert about. As our brokers have broken our trust (what we discussed doing with them and what they actually did were not the same) we don't really want to ask them these questions, especially since they involve "how do we move our IRAs our of their control and into our own control?"

So, I hope I get through today.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

2006 Spendings

Here's a look at more spending totals for 2006:

Birth & New Baby Stuff: (as stated in the last post)

Travel: (3 roadtrips, 2 flight trips)

Out of Pocket Medical: (my Meds, and several co-pays for well baby and sick baby visits)

Education: (which should eventually get refunded through Erik's job)

Toward Student Loan: (I have to figure out why the interest I paid and the statement they gave me have such wildly different amounts for what I payed in interest and can claim on taxes)

All things Car Related: (Gas, repairs, insuance, etc.)
-> $1365

"Fun & Flexible" Spendings:
Gifts/Donations (from Erik, Me, and Both of us...)

Clothes (Me, refreshing my entire wardrobe with going-out-of business deals)

Books (Almost entirely computer programming books)




I'm ok with these numbers. We did well last year.

Hopefully I'll remember to post a savings report soon. For now, I need to go care for the fussy baby.
I've neglected blogland for over a month now, but it is not for lack of financial adventure. Nothing big, but I've been busy working on other internet projects.

Just to post something related to the post a month ago...

I've always been called lucky. Many members of my family quit playing games with me for this reason. I'm not a sore loser, and I am a gracious winner, I play fair... I just have good luck. I once won a game of Monopoly while spending the first half of the game in jail. I only owned one Monopoly - I had to deal for it, giving free parking to the giver - and everyone landed on the highest paying spot to me (I think it was St. James) EVERY time around the board. It was crazy. I also roll sixes too frequently in Risk. I love it!

Anyway, by chance I won yet another drawing from another blog (Parent Hacks) I like to read (another maintained by a Portlander too). This time, it was a random drawing, and it was for submitting a comment on what you think no parent should waste their money on. I commented that I couldn't really say, as I couldn't think of anything we've purchased that's been a waste of money. We used the "wait 'till you need it to buy it" philosophy, and it's done us proud. In fact, we spent a grand total of $841.25 on Jasper related expenses in 2006. That INCLUDES a birthing class, furniture, and the birth itself. (Thank heavens we won that insurance battle!)

We won a baby monitor - something we haven't purchased, but it would be nice to have while I leave the baby downstairs napping while I go up to the kitchen for lunch. And it's a nice monitor, too. Sells for around $200... that's almost 1/4 of what we spent all last year. Niiiiice.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas Prize

"It's a grand prize... 'frah-gee-lay' it must be Italian!"

It wasn't a "grand" prize, and it's not a leg lamp, but I did win something.
J.D. at Get Rich Slowly posted a fine article all about saving money for the holidays. He asked readers to submit their best holiday money saving ideas.

I commented on how our family is writing a chapter of our history. We'll pick different topics, and each of us will submit a little something on it. This year, we're all writing about how we met our spouse.

I love when we do this, especially a year (or years) later when I look at writings I'd forgotten about. One year, we exchanged our favorite recipes and wrote a food-related memory. In re-reading those, I'm getting hungry for my sister-in-laws cooking. She had so many good-looking recipes!

J.D. and his wife liked my idea, and awarded me with a one year subscription to Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine. Hurray!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Know the difference between Dollars and Cents

Not everyone does. Seriously. In fact, read this out loud:


Did you say "point zero zero two dollars" or "point zero zero two cent"?

Now listen up:

100x makes a big difference.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Read Sale Advertisements

My MIL is frugal shopper extraordinaire. She scours the advertisements to keep her eyes out for coupons and special deals. Thanks to her, we now have a pantry full of cake mix. And it cost a whoppin: $0!

One ad showed Safeway was having a baking sale, where if you bought ten of a particular list of items, you'd get $10 off. Elsewhere, she saw that cake mix - which was one of the special items - was on sale 10 for $10.

So, we multi-tasked and went on our morning walk IN Safeway, and helped them give away their cake mix. "It would be irresponsible to just leave them there," MIL said. Certainly!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Even Lower!

I received a letter in the mail this week informing me that since I've made 36 consecutive on-time loan payments, they're lowering my interest rate by 1%. Hurray!

When I looked closer, though, they had only applied it to one of the two loans in consolidation, and the smaller one at that. So, I picked up the phone and I asked them why.

The customer service girl was very friendly, couldn't find a reason why, and is sending a claim to the interest rate billing department to have the discount applied to the full loan.

As if a 2.625% rate wasn't low enough. Try 1.625% on for size!
Nothing but minimum payments will be coming from us - we can always earn more interest in savings than we'll have to pay toward this loan. (It will still be almost 10 years before it's paid off, though.)