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Financial and other tidbits

April 22nd, 2013 at 09:13 pm

Let's see how many I can think of before I get too sleepy... Smile

We had a hard week on our spending money finances last week, so we decided to divvy up the last $300 of our tax refund, just to give our pockets a boost. We had it set aside for computer repair, but that ended up being very inexpensive. Now I feel like a millionaire! Wink I've been letting loose a tiny bit more, but I haven't blown it all, so maybe there is hope that I'm conditioning myself to not be a spender.

Still waiting for several AS freelance checks; I've kind of lost count. But, they'll come eventually. Still waiting for one more $100 credit card bonus too. That should hit this week and I'll be able to order a check. After our vacation I'm going to cancel a ton. Then we'll see if there are any good new deals or if we should just take it easy for a while. Oh! And I got my first $5 Amazon credit for Swagbucks. Only took me a year or so. Wink

One of my co-workers asked if I knew any great copy editors, so of course I recommended AS. I figured whatever side projects she had, they wouldn't be entire books like the grueling freelance projects AS usually takes. She already gave her one assignment, a few hours' work at $30 per hour. And, she and I are having lunch tomorrow to talk about some possible projects for me, too! I wouldn't mind having some little one-offs to raise a bit of money for our goals. Even though we're ahead of where we need to be for our original timeline, it wouldn't hurt to still attack it and try to get even further.

AS and I both, concurrently but over separate things, had a bit of a freakout yesterday about staying in the condo for 3+ more years. For me, it's our younger kid's propensity to dump out every shelf, toybox and drawer she can get her hands on, so our small space is constantly cluttered no matter how much we tidy. (I decided to start leading her through the motions of cleaning and will try to do that frequently, so she starts to get the hang of it.)

For AS it's the fact that we've gotten one or two noise complaints from the neighbors below us. We think it's from the kids dropping things on the floor. This condo sells you on the pretty parquet wood floors, then you read the association rules which say you have to cover at least 75% of it with carpet. Well, we haven't done that, but between furniture and area rugs probably 50-60% is covered. Still, the girls find ways to drop and drag noisy things all the time. We haven't had a noise complaint in a few months, but we still wince every time anything happens. It tends to make one feel very closed-in and helpless in one's own home.

The weather is not helping (it's been snowing since 3pm today). Nor is the cat, who wakes us up early each morning scrabbling at the doorknob to get in, then tromping on our heads purring thunderously if we do let him in. Nor are the kids, who both require near-constant supervision and/or interaction when we are home. Nor is the fact we haven't had a proper vacation together since January 2012.

So we talked about ways to cut down on toys so SL has fewer things to dump out, and cut down on furniture so it doesn't feel as crowded in here. Take more of kids' stuff into their room so the common spaces don't feel dominated by them. But of course these are just Band-Aids for the bigger problem. Lipstick on a pig, as I put it to AS this morning. I know that, but if we really want to move and be happy, we need to A) make sure we've given it our best shot to get to England before we resign ourselves to Minnesota and B) save up money and let our properties appreciate as much as possible so we don't fall way back financially, and so we can afford to get a place we want to stay in for a long time, if not forever, whichever country we end up settling in.

So, we're going to try and spring-clean and make little improvements to make this place more livable, and we're going to try and get out more so we don't feel stuck in here. But mainly we just need to stick to the plan as long as possible so we're in a good position and not moving out of desperation.

Actually, letting our feelings kind of overwhelm us for a couple hours actually burned them off a bit. We both feel a bit calmer. We have a lot to look forward to, but we have a little bit of work to do to bring some equilibrium back into our present-day lives. It needs recalibrating every once in a while, a pattern some of you have no doubt detected on my blog over the years. Smile

To end on a cheerier note after that vent, two friends posted on my League of Ordinary Savers page on Facebook to say that they had upped their retirement contributions several points because of me! That was so very gratifying. No matter what else happens with that project/hobby/whatever, I've actually improved some friends' futures!

3 Responses to “Financial and other tidbits”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Glad to hear you inspired more people to save for retirement!

  2. snafu Says:

    CJ, watch what you wish for as you will get it! When our DKs were small we lived in a large house which included a playroom and the result was stuffed animals, toys and books that overtook bedrms, playroom, courtyard/entry . Toys went into bins stored on their closet shelf - only one bin per child per day or changed out each week . We did our best to control books, games and painful when you step on them Leggo.

    Would it help to use a 'foam' type carpet that they use at playschool? The segments snap together like a giant crossword puzzle?

  3. snafu Says:

    Addendum creditcardfree discussion on savings earnings: you are correct, you can't co mingle retirement plans with longer term savings for other projects/spending plans.

    All the MFs and ETFs list the top 10 holdings and it helps to ask yourself...'if money was no problem, would you buy that stock or that company's bond?'

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