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Archive for November, 2009

Thoughts on "kids" and money

November 29th, 2009 at 04:45 pm

My "kids" are 26 and 25. The oldest is married and the youngest lives with the married couple in Austin, Tx. I've talked to them about Dave Ramsey and they seem interested so I ordered a copy of Your Total Money Makeover and 2 starter envelope systems, one for each son. I don't know that my daughter in love would use the envelopes but I figure if she falls in love with her husband's system I can get her one, too.

Both young men have had their share of financial problems in their young adult lives. The oldest put himself through college with just a little help now and then from Mom and Dad and now he has a job he likes for the most part and he makes good money. His wife also has a good job but they have money issues too often and admit they blow too much money. The youngest son has struggled with college and jobs but is doing well at the local community college there and is trying to find a decent job. He's gotten a little help from Mom and Dad, too, but has also taken the loan route to help finance his education.

They're both very intelligent, gifted (and handsome!) young men but they had lousy financial role models growing up. Truly. Their Dad and I didn't know how to save, accrued a lot of credit card debt, and just generally sucked at money matters. I so regret raising my sons in that manner and hope they each find a better way to live. I think my mother has had some of these same thoughts about me over the years. Maybe Your Total Money Makeover and the envelope system will get their feet set on the right path, maybe not. I should have done this many years ago but I didn't. Here's hoping it isn't too late but hey, it wasn't too late for me!

The envelope system revisited

November 29th, 2009 at 04:54 am

DH and I talked (again) about going back to the envelope system we used a couple of years ago. He agreed that it really helped us rein in our spending and that carrying a debit card or wad of cash makes overspending just too easy. So tonight we decided to revisit that envelope system and to make it work for us. Honestly, I think we need to go back to revisiting our budget at the end of each month, too. We have a few new expenses (gym membership, a new medication for him, life insurance, etc) but the business is doing well and we need to get a handle on all of this so we save/invest money productively rather than blow it.

And we've decided to start saving/investing my pay, all of it! Gulp! Not that its that much but I'm just sayin'...I think we'll start with saving rather than trying to invest it so that if something happens we have that little cushion. Once we feel a little safer we'll probably feel comfortable investing it. We're both sure we can live off what the business brings in, probably somewhat less than the business brings in but we'll see.

As LuxLiving said in the comment to my previous entry, we've come a long way! But we really do have a long way to go. I hope we're up to meeting the challenge and I'm so excited about trying!

I loves me some end of the month money!

November 29th, 2009 at 12:18 am

November is just about over and after bills are paid and money is put into savings, we have close to $2000 left! Woohooo! We're not sure if we should throw it at savings or earmark it for investment or perhaps do something else with it. It sure is nice to know we're on the right track, though.

Here's hoping we can produce similar results in December! Smile

Good thing I'm not a hair puller....

November 27th, 2009 at 08:00 pm

or I'd be bald! Today was so incredibly busy at work! I clocked out a little after 1 this afternoon and I hurt so bad it's ridiculous. I guess because I spent almost 9 hours basically hunched over making drinks. I got a break and a 30 minute lunch but they didn't help much. At any rate, I think I still have most of my hair and for that I'm thankful. Wink But if I hear one more screaming child, I might crack!

We're going to head out in awhile to do a little shopping. Yeah, the great deals are gone but we aren't after those, anyway. We just like to go out to eat and do some minor shopping in the evening on Black Friday when the crowds are gone or at least greatly diminished. There are still good deals around and those are good enough for us.

Happy Black Friday!?!?

November 27th, 2009 at 09:09 am

I woke up at 2 this morning because I have to clock in at work at 4 AM. Yes, its true, 4 AM! I detest Black Friday and the Christmas season but they're something I have to put up with since I work retail.

To wake up at 2 AM with sufficient sleep behind me I had to be asleep by 6:30 last night. I managed that with the help of 2 Advil PMs and a little night time cold medicine. By 6:15 or so I was sound asleep and this morning I feel refreshed. I'm not thrilled with the why of it all but hey, its one of the evils of my chosen field.

At any rate, I work 4 AM til 1 PM then will spend the afternoon/evening with my sons. We'll probably all go out for dinner and just enjoy each other's company and I'm looking forward to it.

Anyway, happy black friday to you all! Enjoy the deals if you get them but be careful...its nuts out there!

Tell me all you know about Solo(401)k plans...

November 26th, 2009 at 08:49 pm

Or at least share with me what you think the most important aspects are. In lieu of that, URLs for websites with good information on the Solo401(k) would be helpful. I've been reading about them today and the Solo might be a good option for us. It's at least something to consider...

One thing I want to know is this - how does one go about finding an entity to set it up? That still has me a little puzzled.

The last eighteen months in a nutshell & Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26th, 2009 at 03:29 pm

I'm still working retail at the same place and the man person still has his business. It's grown quite a bit and although its a one man operation it pays the bills and then some. We left the envelope system behind some time ago but still have an emergency fund and some extra money saved. However, we still don't have any investments. Honestly, we don't know where or how to start and are afraid of making the wrong move so we've done nothing in that regard. Well, we did do something....

A Primerica rep visited with us last night and hopefully we'll have our financial needs analysis before too long. I've read good and bad about Primerica and although neither of us wants to be a rep/advisor/whatever they're called, their products might be good for us. I think we can do most of it on our own but again, we simply don't know where or how to start.

We need to change that but inertia seems to have us in its clutches. And I think we saved more and just felt better about money when we used the envelope system. Its simply too easy to overspend when we don't use it and we need to give serious consideration to going back to it. We've talked about it and agreed that we should do it but haven't actually done it.

We still don't have health insurance. DH had a heart procedure done recently and we got the bill last week. $47,000! Yep, $47,000 and that's just for the hospital. We haven't received the physician's bill yet. I haven't a clue what we're going to do about this new expense but we'll come up with something. I've already started putting pennies in a jar for it. Ha!

DH got a small life insurance policy on himself. It's only $15,000 but its a start and better than nothing. We're looking into larger policies but with his health history the premiums are outrageous. No insurance on me yet but that's coming soon, I think.

Last week I got a call to clean a house someone had bought and I earned some extra moolah. The job took a little longer than I'd expected but I did it on a day off the regular job and I made about $25 an hour which beats the $8 and 40 some odd cents an hour I make at my regular job. I really do need to concentrate on growing the house cleaning business. I don't know that I could do that only but two cleaning jobs a month would give me an extra $200 to $300 and that's nothing to sneeze at. Every little bit helps...

I'm still working on 2010 goals. I have a few cemented in my mind but most are still up in the air. I'll post about those when they're a little clearer.

In the meantime, have a wonderful Thanksgiving and don't overeat. Oh heck, go ahead and overeat. But get to the gym tomorrow! Wink

Has it really been eighteen months??

November 26th, 2009 at 03:38 am

My last entry was in May of 2008. I really am one of the worst bloggers on the planet, I think! At any rate, its hard to believe its been that long but apparently it has been. Please forgive me...again. If it will help any, you can give me 40 lashings with a wet noodle!

A lot has changed in the last year and a half, mostly for the better. I'll post more about that within the next couple of days. In the meantime, though, how does one go about finding a reputable financial advisor? No, I didn't win the lottery and don't have tons of money but it's past time I started thinking ahead and I'm kind of lost. And if anyone knows how to proceed, it would be you guys. Maybe I don't even need a financial advisor. Perhaps I can figure this out on my own. But I don't know where to start.

Thoughts? Input? Thanks!