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Monday miscellany

January 25th, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Had to look up the spelling of that word! Sad because I'm an editor, but some words you just don't come across often enough to cement their spelling in your mind.

***

We have a few jobs opening up at my company, and I sent the descriptions to a friend of mine. He wrote back that he didn't think he had the right experience. I'd read his resume and thought it was mighty close to the job description, even if he didn't have some of the things listed under "preferred." I know it's a competitive job market, but it never hurts to throw your hat in the ring! I sent him a gentle dressing-down via e-mail, and he's going to apply for it after all. Some of my friends are just too humble and honest for their own good!

***

I've been thinking more about retirement planning. Even though I don't feel that should be the main focus of my money right now, I would like to have a ballpark plan that I could start implementing once we're free of credit-card debt at least. I've no idea how to find a planner with international tax expertise, so I'm just going to start poking around various company's Web sites (Ameriprise, for example) and see if I can find mention of that somewhere. If that doesn't work, I guess I'll just look for places with fee-based consultations and start calling them to ask if they have anyone who qualifies.

Today I was thinking about how we indulge in quite a few luxuries compared with my frugal online friends (though we still live pretty thriftily compared to many real-life friends). If we cut our lifestyle down to the bone and still maintained three incomes, we could be out of debt probably in 5-7 years and have a nest egg for a modest early retirement in probably another 10 years (I'd be 50-52, NT would be 51-53 and AS would be 45-47). It's interesting to idly contemplate, but I'm comfortable with our choice of moderation. We're very controlled in our spending but still get to enjoy travel and high-quality food and some tech gadgets, and a few other luxuries and conveniences. We won't be getting out of debt anytime soon, but I believe we'll continue to make steady progress and get there eventaully. Same with our retirement. I think we'll be able to retire in our 60s if we want to, but probably not before if we want a similar or higher-level lifestyle to what we have now.

There are some risks to this strategy, because there's nothing to guarantee we'll all always be able to work, that we won't get hit with some unforeseen expense, etc. But in a way, that makes me want even more to make sure we're enjoying ourselves some now, because who knows if we'll have a more pressing need to cut back in the future?

I feel very fortunate that we're recovering fairly gracefully from the potential huge financial disaster that we were facing a few years ago. I think in a few years, we'll have made enough progress that little to no evidence will remain in our financials of how bad off we were at one point.

***

I did some airfare searches today. I don't want to reserve seats for our trips to visit family until the baby is safe in my arms, and I know it's healthy enough for travel--and I want to wait to make sure we're not going to have unexpected large expenses after the birth. But I'd like to get a rough idea of what it's going to cost.

We decided we can have the baby on our laps for the Virginia trip, but for the trip to England we'll want to reserve a seat so we can put it in a carseat occasionally--international plane trips are already uncomfortable and grueling enough without having to hold a baby the whole way.

At first when I was doing searches on the aggregator-type sites like Orbitz.com, they were indicating that I'd be charged full price for the infant seat. So I went directly to the Web site of the lowest-priced airline--IcelandAir--and searched for the fare there. Turns out the baby's seat will only cost about $150 with tax--whew! Far better than over $1000.

Looks like we'll easily get our Va. tickets for $1000 or less, but so far UK tickets are bringing us over $3000. I'm hoping it's because I'm searching so far in advance. I'd love to keep it to $3K or less.

***

Last night we were sucked into ordering Domino's Pizza. I don't know if you U.S.-based bloggers have seen their intriguing new ads, where they basically own up to the fact that many people think their pizza tastes like crap. They claim to have improved the crust and sauce considerably. So we tried ordering online and were delighted that the site gave us a name of a person who was supposedly beginning to prepare our order.

An hour and 20 minutes later, after many attempts to call them I finally got through. Turns out they had to take on all the business for another location which had been flooded (with water), and they were also taking in massive amounts of orders because of the football game, so they hadn't even started cooking our pizzas and didn't expect to deliver them for another 1-2 hours.

Which I was totally sympathetic about, having worked pizza delivery and knowing what it's like getting overwhelmed with orders and/or unusual weather conditions. (I went ahead and canceled the order since it was already getting pretty late and we weren't willing to wait potentially 2 hours to eat.) But it did show their online order-tracking system to be a complete useless lie. If the app doesn't have the capability to indicate a 3-hour wait for pizza, it shouldn't be there assuring you that "Troy" or whoever has already started cooking your food!

We were already primed for cheap pizza delivery, so we ordered some Pizza Hut, which was servicable and came within half an hour. We'd still like to try the "new improved" Domino's sometime, but next time we're calling, so we can get an idea of how long the order is going to take.

We're eating out on Tuesday, too! We've been going kinda nuts (relatively) on eating out/ordering in lately, but it hasn't affected our budget at all because it comes out of our discretionary spending money. It just means we have less money for other little luxuries. We're already planning where we want to eat for Valentine's Day and our birthdays (early March for me and AS; late March for NT).

***

This concludes my test of the emergency rambling system. I have to get ready to go to the dentist now.

10 Responses to “Monday miscellany”

  1. Suzanne Says:

    I'm new to this site...do you live in England?

  2. momcents Says:


    The husband hails from over the pond!

  3. Suzanne Says:

    Ah, I see. So probably lots of trips back and forth.

  4. momcents Says:


    ceejay, as an editor can you please give input to an ongoing dialogue that I am having with my 11-year old. What is the plural of platypus? I say platypi and she says platypuses. What say you?

  5. wowitsawonderfullife Says:

    Ceejay, if you get the bulk head seat they have a little platform like a layette that clamps against the wall. Then you could avoid buying a seat and the baby can sleep. Check out the airlines to see if it's still available as it was some time ago when I used that service. Good luck

  6. ceejay74 Says:

    Welcome to the site, Suzanne! Do you have your own blog? I can't tell because it's not linking to your name right now.

    momcents, I had to check the dictionary on that one myself, because I know I was always told growing up that "us" ending words should be changed to "i," but I also know that's not always the case for various reasons (for instance if the word doesn't come directly from Latin).

    Webster's lists both "platypuses" and "platypi" as acceptable plurals. At my job our rule of thumb is to always go with the first-listed spelling or form of a word per Webster's, which in this case would be "platypuses," but "platypi" is in there too, so it's certainly not incorrect.

    wowitsawonderfullife, I'll be sure to check with whatever airline we end up using, to see if that's an option! AS mentioned seeing something similar on an international flight, so it's probably still happening with some airlines.

  7. frugaltexan75 Says:

    Wow, you waited to call Domino's a lot longer than I probably would've waited. Hopefully the next time you order from them, you'll find out that it tastes better. (I've never disliked their pizza - but do prefer Pizza Hut's.)

    Hey, another editor type question (maybe). How do you spell the word taxi (ing) - when the plane has come in for a landing and it is rolling up to the gate, or ... taxi??? I was texting my mom as the plane was coming in when I got back from my trip, and couldn't decide how to spell that word. Anyway, just curious. Smile

  8. ceejay74 Says:

    Yeah, taxi and taxiing are the correct spellings for what the plane does when it comes in. Smile

  9. Suzanne Says:

    No, I don't have a blog here yet. Trying to find some time to do it.

    We don't have a lot of debt (just the mortgage), but my struggle is that my income has been cut in half over the last few years. I went part-time when I became a mom. Also, a couple of job changes later and a bad economy have contributed. Luckily my husband's job has been stable. So, basically I am looking for ways to spend less to balance out my lower income.

  10. Broken Arrow Says:

    Ah, the infamy and villainy that is the word miscellany.

    Be merry and light, not dreary nor contrary.

    Not very many make this query with such scrutiny, Ms. Mary.

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