Barlotti in Boston II

Where are you and where are you going?
Barlotti
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

Aug net worth and July spending

Post by Barlotti » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:03 am

condo 188,000
checking 5220
403b 77450
Roth 25980
brokerage 12522
pension 7,000
high yield savings 0
ASSETS 316172
investments 122952

mortgage 137,129
heloan 13,025
credit card 1100
cc2 4214
LIABILITIES 155468

NET WORTH 160704
My net worth has increased by about 3270.

Last month, I had $15,227 more to save toward my yearly savings goal. This month, I'm saving $290 in my 403b. I have $14,937 more to save! I've decided to start paying down my mortgage, whole hog. To that end, I transferred $3000 out of my brokerage account.

SPENDING
mortgage 1003
dining 465
condo fee 335
household 296
auto 289
entertainment 197
utilities 150
misc 93
gifts 61
groceries 52
cash 51
financial services 14
vacation travel 14
health fitness 10
charity donations 10

Total spending 3045
I spent way too much in entertainment and miscellaneous, and too much eating out. I needed to service my car this month, which is why auto spending is high. Household spending is high because I made a couple trips to IKEA to replace bulky dining room table and chairs, which I gave away.

Barlotti
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

Taking stock on the 2 year anniversary of Barlotti in Boston II

Post by Barlotti » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:12 am

I realized that it's the 2 year anniversary of Barlotti in Boston II, and that this time last year, I took stock of my progress.

Here is what I wrote in August 2014:
"My net worth was $62,423 and is now $114,147! (increase of $51,724)
My Roth balance was $9,638 and is now $18,685! (increase of $9,002)
My 403b balance was $20,092 and is now $53,061! (increase of $32, 969)
My nonretirement investment was $6,420 and is now $9,685! (increase of $3,265)
My pension was not vested, but is now! (increase of at least $3,292)"

Here is what I write in August 2015:
My net worth was $114,147 and is now $160,704! (increase of $46,557)
My Roth balance was $18,685 and is now $25,980! (increase of $7,295)
My 403b balance was $53,061 and is now $77,450! (increase of $24,389)
My nonretirement investment and emergency fund was $9,685 and is now $12,522 (increase of $2,837)

In August 2015, I have $151,367 in debt, including my mortgages. They break down as follows.
I have about $5,314 in 0% APR credit card debt (bad me)
In August 2014, my mortgages were $141,822 (primary) and $14,415 (Heloan). The are now $133,028 and $13,025, respectively.

In August 2014, I was in a dead heat to downsize. This really took. I L-O-V-E living with less. Mentally, I'm clearer. Spiritually, I'm more at peace. Physically, my allergies have improved. I'm going through another spate of minimizing, and it's much easier this time. There's less stuff to get rid of, and I don't have the same emotional hang ups. I look at some thing, and it's easier to evaluate why it's there. I feel like I know myself better. Very interesting.

For my future self, here's a list of some of the stuff I've gotten rid of this year: a sofa, a china cabinet, a buffet, a dining room table and chairs, mirrors, decorative vases, pillows, crafting supplies, oriental rugs, books, window treatments (curtain rods and blinds), shoes (an impractical and very expensive pair, and two pair that don't fit from my mother), my down comforter (because it's too heavy and difficult to move around), costume jewelry I don't wear, old correspondence I never look at, old journals I never read, sundry purchases from a rummage sale (others I kept), office supplies (the pens just accumulate without effort), stationary, a fan.

I did replace some of the furniture I got rid of with lighter, easier-to-move furniture. And I came across my parents' photos, which I decided to frame. All-in-all, it's great. Cleaning is MUCH easier, I know where everything is, it's easier to focus.

Barlotti
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

Death to the mortgage and internet inspiration

Post by Barlotti » Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:12 am

I decided last month that I would start paying down my mortgage aggressively, and I've been playing with the idea of going mortgage free. It would take about five years. The idea of shaving $600 off my monthly housing expenses is... lovely!

At the beginning of August, I increased my monthly mortgage payment to $3K per month. To manage this, I really need to reign in my spending. I struggle saving at ERE rates, and I find it helpful to look for inspiration on the internet. This month, I rediscovered Jeff Yeager (the "Ultimate Cheapskate"). Taking Jeff's advice, I'm going to take a fiscal fast over the next week. The idea is to not spend ANY money. I see it as an opportunity to consume the food that's been sitting around in my pantry.

Also, I revisited the Economides ("America's Cheapest Family"). The Economides parents raised five kids on an average annual income of about $30K. They buy their cars with cash and paid off the mortgage on their first home in nine years. Here's what I realized watching the Economides: I don't really live a "credit free life" even though I like to think so. In reality, I am indebted to the company store every month. Each month, I live primarily off one credit card, and when I get my paycheck, I generally (but not always) pay off that card's balance in full.

Updates:
August 22, 10:30 am -- Fiscal fast update: I didn't spend any money yesterday, although I was tempted to accompany a friend to a play in Click and Clack's "fair city". Instead, I spent the evening cleaning my keyboard and mouse, thoroughly. They were looking really gross, and a friend who saw them advised me to shell out bucks to replace them. I couldn't deny that my keyboard and mouse looked like breeding ground for a virulent bug, but I couldn't agree to buy a new keyboard and mouse. Last night, I decided to disassemble both, and man oh man, what filth! Under the keys, there was a layer of finest cat hair and underneath that, unidentifiable reddish-brown grime. I shop-vac'd the keyboard a few times, then went to work with a toothbrush and Q-tips to dislodge the unidentifiable substance, and shop-vac'd again. I scrubbed each of the keys with toothbrush and paper towel. As for the mouse, I thought a surface cleaning might do, but when I spied cat hair in the cracks, I decided to disassemble it, and egad! More cat hair! It's a wonder the thing worked! I picked the cat hair off the scroll wheel and had a heck of a time re-assembling the mechanism, which is delicate. But now I know how the scroll wheel works. There's a small laser that points at the scroll wheel, which has radial grating, and on the other side there's a sensor that registers the laser light that passes through the radial grating.

I'll need to spend cash today. I'm going to lunch at friends' and I said I'd bring dessert, and I'm going to buy that dessert. I think what I'll do is buy some grapes at $1.50 per pound, and bring a block of cheese that I bought for $1.99 last weekend.

August 22, 9:30 pm -- Fiscal fast update: Lunch was nice. My friends bought a house in beautiful Sudbury, MA and had a baby. We enjoyed the grapes after lunch. And I spent $2 more on bleach, on sale, at K-mart. I needed it. To clean my garbage can, and also to bleach my whites. Back on the fiscal fast bandwagon tomorrow!

Managing food and avoiding waste is something I've long neglected, and I'm not very good at it. I feel like I spend a lot of time thinking about what I'm going to eat, when, and how. If I want any variety at all, I need to eat a lot. I'm a small person. I don't really need SO much food unless I'm running 10 miles a day. I've tried freezing food in the past, and it never really works out, because the food tastes awful after freezing. It's hard to manage home cooking as a singleton.

Tonight, I'm cleaning the canister vac that my friends gave me.

August 23, 2:43 pm I woke up a bit late this morning and ate from food in the pantry, including toasted triscuits with cheese. I've been puttering around the house picking up cat hair, sorting laundry and considering. I'm thinking of cutting my home internet service. I live within a half mile of the public library for crying out loud.

So I'm going to take the leap and terminate my internet service. I think I'll spend less times mindlessly surfing the internet, and spend more time reading literature and stuff.

August 24, 2:26 pm Well, it's a workday, and I haven't spent any money today. Buying coffee on my way to work is part of my routine, but this morning, I threw a couple teabags into my purse. I've been drinking tea all day, and feel fantastic.

August 25, 8:34 pm I didn't spend any money today! But I talked to a friend yesterday who's getting married in India on Sept. 16, and I very much want to go. I think the trip would cost less than $2K.

August 26, 7:03 pm I used cash today :(. I played guinea pig for one of the scientists that I work with, and once I was done with the tests, which involved standing on memory foam with motion sensors attached to my head via what looked to be a 15 year old ski hat embroidered with a midwestern football mascot, I was famished. I went immediately to the cafeteria and bought an ice cream cone, and a bag of baked lays, sour cream and onions variety. After having eaten at home for several days, the food tasted mildly crappy, but it prevented me from inhaling two hamburgers and a basket of fries at a much pricier joint down the street.

This evening, I decided to check out my public library. As with many other places in my truly racially diverse, and highly affordable city, it was lovely, but faded. The library is built of granite with heavy oak double doors from another time. The entry was grand, but it didn't look neat. There were stains on the stone steps and duct tape patching the carpet. Then, I found the jewel, past the dvds, movies, and audiobooks and down an inconspicuous windowed hallway, there was a breathtaking wood-paneled reading hall with stained glass windows and oriental rugs. At one end, there was a towering, hand-carved wood mantelpiece, and in an adjoining wing, there was a tall hall with three levels on each side, trimmed with balustrade, and accessible by narrow stairwells. The whole thing was made of, or clad in, carved wood. I fell in love, and proceeded to explore the rest of the library, and noted the racial diversity characteristic of my city, which makes me proud. I welled up seeing a group of presumably civic-minded people talking animatedly in the history room. And then, I heard something unexpected.
"Waaa, waaa, waaaaa, wah! wah!"
"Excuse me. Excuse me. Please would you stop that?"
"Waaa, waaa, waaaa..."
"Excuse me."
"She can't hear you."
I turned, and saw a large whale of a woman in a stained thin cotton tank top and boxers, bopping along to a youtube video at a computer. She seemed mentally ill. And then on the walk home, I first heard and then saw three young women who oozed hostility, sex, anger... poverty. I felt a little downhearted even though I don't usually mind the homeless people and recovering drug addicts in my city's center, which is about a half mile from my charming brick building. They're doing their best just like the college students, and the commuters headed off to surrounding wealthier communities. But today, I looked at the litter in the otherwise nice green space that constitutes my walk to and from the "T", and I wished the homeless people, recovering drug addicts, and mentally ill G-O-N-E from my neighborhood. I felt like a bad person.

On another note, I finished the stale Triscuits today. Stale Triscuits are delicious toasted. In addition, I opened box 2 of 3 of expired tomato and red pepper soup. I'll have some for breakfast and maybe for lunch, and box 2 will be done. Incidentally, as I was discarding the Triscuits box, I realized that the liner bag is QUALITY. I cleaned it up and plan to use it several times for food storage and even as a cleaning glove.

August 27, 2015 I inadvertently spent $1.89 today on an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians. Many months ago, I purchased a season tv pass, and it kicked in. Today is the last day of my fiscal fast. I think it went pretty well. I spent less than $10 and I "ate down" some old food in my pantry. I think you can get in the habit of NOT spending just as you can get in the habit of spending. I'm looking forward to buying some fresh veg at the farmer's market this weekend, but all-in-all, I like NOT spending.

May I say, I can't wait to get my paycheck so I can fill up my cash budget envelopes. I think the trick will be to subdivide the monthly amount into weekly amounts and then to not go over each week's limit. It's easier to go without for a day or two, than to go without for two weeks.

August 28, 2015 So I cheated a little, and spent $12 last night on a salad and orange juice. After a week of eating out of the pantry, I wanted greens and something acidic very badly, but didn't have the gumption to go to the grocery store.

I'm at home today because I'm taking 3 day weekends throughout August. Very briefly around noon, I wanted to run out for Mexican food, but I reminded myself that I have a lot of food at home still and ended up eating in. My lunch was delicious, and I feel very satisfied and healthy. Much more so than had I run out for Mexican food.

I'd like to continue with my "fiscal fast" behavior long enough to develop some habits. For example, I'm driving less and I've stopped drinking coffee. Instead, I've been drinking tea, which is easier to make. Also, I haven't had a cigarette in weeks.
Last edited by Barlotti on Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Barlotti
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

Fiscal fasting -- an update

Post by Barlotti » Sat Aug 29, 2015 7:27 pm

August 29, 7:29
It's difficult to spend money after the fiscal fast.

I'm still eating "old" food. I'm getting a little bored with my food. Instead of eating what I want, I'm eating what's available. I'm not a great cook (although I'm not a bad cook), and I think becoming a better cook would make mealtimes nicer.

I don't want to spend money, but I'm starting to feel a little deprived, and I'm not sure how to "fix" that. At this point, I know from experience that it's possible to change myself. I used to take great pleasure in shopping. I used to take great pleasure in owning "stuff". Neither of those things is true anymore.

The great recession affected me profoundly. I keep looking for security, and although I'm moving towards it, I don't feel any more secure. I reach one short term goal, and start looking toward the next. I may also be mildly depressed. I feel that I'm "not likeable" in the workplace, and it depresses me because I think there's a race component. I'm not given the benefit of the doubt. If I'm assertive, I'm "not likeable", if I'm not assertive, "I'm spineless", if I'm optimistic, "I'm naïve", if I share personal information, "I make things too personal", if I don't share personal information, "I don't know how to connect". I really believe that some of my issues in the workplace have to do with me being a small Asian woman. There's a positive interpretation of every way I've tried to be, but people don't give me that benefit of the doubt. Also, people feel OK treating me as invisible or like I don't count. This makes me angry and sad, because I used to think there was something wrong with me, but there isn't. I'm not a troglodyte. I have friends. There are many people who think I'm an interesting and affable person. Also, I'm competent.

It is what it is. People need to be more aware of racial bias.

August 30, 9:48 I had an interesting day and some of what I felt yesterday is not what I feel today. The stuff about racial bias holds. I think most people, including me, are racially prejudiced in ways that call for constant examination and counteracting. I should be mindful of my privilege. You should be mindful of your privilege. At the end of the day, it boils down to humility, empathy, compassion.

I'm happy to report that I don't feel the least bit deprived after going grocery shopping, and making myself a delicious dinner. I never liked Korean food growing up. I grew up in Idaho, for chrissakes, and my mother adopted the dishes of her neighbors -- potato casserole, barbecue chicken, pasta salad. Yet now as an adult, Korean food makes me feel SO GOOD. Tonight, I made kimchi chigae with spam, which my mom makes with a small measure of distaste. My mother associates it with budaechigae, which was kimchi chigae made with what was thrown away in U.S. military camps ("budae" being the koreanization of "boot"). My mother thinks of spam as garbage. Coming from a relatively affluent merchant family, my mother would never have eaten budaechigae. My father, on the other hand, thinks of spam as delicious meat, even if it's half eaten. Having grown up dirt poor and hungry, budaechigae was, for him, a rare treat and not garbage, as my mother sees it.

When I think about my father's life -- war, poverty, moving to a new country -- I am astounded at the difference between his life and mine. In addition, I am astounded by the opportunities I've had that my grandmothers didn't. My paternal grandmother was illiterate. Her father abandoned her, and for most of her childhood, she was locked in a room with a rough hewn floor on which she rubbed her feet until they bled. In abject poverty, she raised six children who became professors, novelist, poet on rice and bean sprouts cooked in salt water. During the war, she begged food to feed her hungry children, and when she found a dead rat in the kimchi, she plucked it out and made light of it to her children. My maternal grandmother was one of three surviving children out of thirteen. She lied about having gone to middle school so she could work in Manchuria under the Japanese, and this lie prevented her from going out with a supervisor who asked her out. Instead, my grandmother married a father-less welder and realizing a growth opportunity in the post-war economy, she opened a successful hardware store. My maternal grandmother wanted so badly to go to middle school, but her parents couldn't afford to send both her and her brother.

I have so much material comfort in my life, and I take for granted a fine education that my maternal grandmother would have given her right hand for. I have this PhD from MIT, and you know what? I learned A LOT there. My thinking was made more rigorous. I was exposed to great ideas and great minds. When I think about the past, the hard-scrabble lives of those who came before me, I want to make use of every single opportunity I've had, every single privilege their hard work afforded me. I want to do some good for other people, using the education I've received.

It's true that I put myself through college and got to and through MIT while my family-of-origin was dealing with some difficult abuse and infidelity issues. There are some sequelae to surviving violence and poverty. My self sufficiency does not diminish the gifts my parents, my grandparents, my ancestors gave me. They survived colonialism and war and gave me this wonderful life in a safe and peaceful country.

Gratitude is liberating and empowering. Hey, ERE should be a breeze!

August 31, 6:51 pm I am so glad I put a pot of rice to cook before I left for work this morning, because I was famished when I got home. Instead of buying food, as one is tempted to do when famished, I came home to a warm pot of rice. I put some kimchi chigae to boil with the remaining 75 cent tofu, and had a small bowl of rice with the despised bean salad, which isn't bad as bon chon (Korean for side dish). I also had geem (Korean for green seaweed laver) with rice. There's still a half pot of rice, which I'll eat with the despised bean salad and geem for breakfast tomorrow.

I need to learn how to make kimchi, because it's $11 for large jar at the Chinese supermarket down the street. It probably costs a couple dollars to make kimchi at home. I live half-way between two Chinese supermarkets. One has everything under the sun, including Buddhist altars and very expensive Chinese pottery, and the other has really fresh produce and seafood. An Indian supermarket opened up in my city's center and I'd like to check it out soon.

This weekend, I picked up a wood side table to hide my cat's litter box. I plan on stapling fabric to the sides to contain that oh-so-fresh cat urine odor. The cost of the side table? A drive to Boston's North End. If you've never been to the North End, parking sucks, and the streets are very narrow. I nearly broke my neck backing off of the lilliputian stoop, but what does it matter? I got myself a nice table to conceal the litter box.
Last edited by Barlotti on Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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jennypenny
Posts: 5436
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: Fiscal fasting -- an update

Post by jennypenny » Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:40 pm

Barlotti wrote:When I think about my father's life -- war, poverty, moving to a new country -- I am astounded at the difference between his life and mine.
I was thinking about this over the weekend while I was going through some old family stuff. We (on the forum) talk about travel and geographic arbitrage, but it's always in the context of which places are best and how much of a bankroll we would need to live comfortably. Our grandparents left their countries for new ones with no education and no money (and no parents in one case in my family) and succeeded despite all of that. I think my biggest fear is that even with all of the prepping and learning and ERE-ing I do, I'll never come close to having the fortitude of my grandparents and great-grandparents.

I have so much material comfort in my life, and I take for granted a fine education that my maternal grandmother would have given her right hand for. I have this PhD from MIT, and you know what? I learned A LOT there. My thinking was made more rigorous. I was exposed to great ideas and great minds. When I think about the past, the hard-scrabble lives of those who came before me, I want to make use of every single opportunity I've had, every single privilege their hard work afforded me. I want to do some good for other people, using the education I've received.
It's good to be grateful and appreciate the opportunities you've had, but you can't go through life thinking you owe someone or something for the life you live now. Be grateful for, but not beholden to, your family's past.


I'm really enjoying your journal.

Barlotti
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

September net worth and August spending

Post by Barlotti » Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:08 pm

@Jennypenny, thank you. I sometimes think that an awareness of the story beyond -- the story of our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents -- brings fortitude. It puts everything into perspective. It's easier to put the day-to-day grievances aside, and focus on what's really important.

When I talk about gratitude toward others, it goes beyond my family. The truth is, my education was paid for with government (that is to say, public) money. I don't feel indebted to anyone specifically, but I want to pay it forward.

condo 188,000
checking 3905
403b 74415
Roth 24676
brokerage 9124
pension 7,000
high yield savings 0
ASSETS 307120
investments 115215

mortgage 133028
heloan 12916
credit card 3214
LIABILITIES 149158

NET WORTH 157962
My net worth has decreased by about 2742. Bummer. On the bright side, I wiped out the balance on one of the 0% APR credit cards, and I decreased my overall debt by $6310. My net worth is suffering from losses in the stock market, but in the down market, I've been buying shares of international mutual funds and a commodities mutual fund.

Last month, I had $14,937 more to save toward my yearly savings goal. This month, I'm saving $290 in my 403b. I have $14,647 more to save! Unless I get a side gig, I'm not going to make my savings goal. In lieu of saving, I'm paying down my mortgage whole hog. This doesn't leave a whole lotta room for saving, but I feel good about paying down my mortgage.

SPENDING
mortgage 4600
condo fee 335
dining 220
groceries 143
auto 166
utilities 73
gifts 39
household 25
laundry 20
my pets 18
insurance 18
entertainment 16
health and fitness 10

Total spending 5683. 2083 not counting the extra paid towards mortgage.

I feel pretty good about my spending last month. This month, I'm going for broke with cash! I withdrew $500 and have apportioned it into envelopes. I'm also going change free. Whatever change I get from a purchase, will go into savings.

Update,
August 31, 10:49 I've spent the evening with Anthony Bourdain in the background, and exploring the frugality/thriftiness blogosphere. And guess what, I'm going to fiscal fast some more! At least until Friday when my freshman year college roomie arrives for a visit. I don't want to "tax" her (heh heh) with my fiscal fasting, but after she leaves, I'll take it up again for at least another week. Now, to planning low or no cost activities for the weekend -- bicycling on the cape? museum or zoo passes from my public library? a day at the beach? Yes, to all!

Sept 1, 7:04 Addicted to rice. That's what I've been thinking tonight. I came home and pulled out some cold rice and devoured it with seasoned geem (green seaweed laver). I wasn't feeling so good after eating lunch out. I know, I know, I said I was fiscal fasting, but I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in awhile and went to lunch! He regaled me with tales of Alan Turing and Charles Augustin de Coulomb. I spent $5 on an egg sandwich and coffee. But returning to rice, I love it more than ever. In fact, I'm cooking more now.

Sept 2, 10:42 So much for the fiscal fast. I bought a 1980s Schwinn Caliente for $42 and in my rush to get to the bike in Wayland, I ate two $1 cheeseburgers, which came with a buttermilk chicken sandwich coupon, which I used half way to Wayland. THIS is what happens when I get hungry and don't feel like I have easy options.

So I'll be cleaning up the Schwinn Caliente, which may be the first bike that fits me. It's tiny! I'm tiny! I had a heckuva time talking the price down from $50. This lady lives in a McMansion abutting a picturesque New England pond, and she couldn't give me a $10 break on the bike. What?!?

At any rate, the bike is cute. It's probably not worth much, but the Schwinns sure do understand how to make an aesthetically pleasing bike.

Sept 3, 9:46 Oh my god, I'm bleeding cash again. Once you start spending, it's too easy. I spent a little over $2 on coffee. And then in anticipation of my friend visiting this weekend, I went to the supermarket and bought $25 in groceries. I have way too much food, but I felt like I needed something besides kimchi, scallions, and rice for my friend. Now I've got 5 lbs of potatoes, 10 ears of corn, eggs, avocados, green peppers, grapes juice. It should be good for breakfast, no?
Last edited by Barlotti on Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Barlotti
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

LIFE without home internet

Post by Barlotti » Tue Sep 15, 2015 1:44 pm

So a couple weeks ago, I mentioned that I was cancelling my home internet, but that only kicked in this last weekend. I feel a little disconnected although I'm actually more connected -- I listen to NPR and read the local newspaper and spend more time at the library. Living without home internet is a good thing. I'm saving $45 a month. That doesn't count the money I'm not spending on Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and GoogleVideos. Instead, I'm going out more, to the library, which is about half a mile from my condo.

Now if I got rid of my car, I would save $70 a month in insurance and $40 a month in gas. I could also cancel my credit report monitoring service, which costs $10 a month, and my gym membership, which costs $10 a month. All added up, I could save $175 a month, and put that towards paying off my 0% APR credit card debt, which costs about $200 a month and my Heloan, which is $150 a month. Once the cc debt and Heloan was paid off, I would have an extra $525 a month, or $6300 a year, which is a chunk o' change.

This is how people save money. They practice until it feels OK, and then they cut costs. It's taken me awhile to get to a point where I feel comfortable living on about $2000 a month and where I feel OK cutting home internet. If I can make the cuts outlined above, once my mortgage is paid off, I could live on $1K a month in the Boston metro area. I think that's pretty good for the Boston metro area.

I think it's good to acknowledge that sound personal finance is a process and that psychology and behavior can change over time. What was once difficult becomes easier with practice. As for me, using cash, freezing my credit cards, and using the "envelopes" app, has really helped. But before that, I weaned myself off retail therapy by substituting shopping with freecycling, and I inured myself to minimalism, which discourages shopping. I'm also learning more about absolute and relative poverty. When you know that people in this ridiculously wealthy country are going without food, it makes you think twice about throwing it away. When you know that 1/5 the world's population is living on less than a $1 a day, it makes you think twice about spending $10 on parking. You know what? If I'm going to spend $10, I want to give it to someone living on less than a $1 a day.

I think the next step for me is to give more away, but it's difficult to do when I still feel insecure. Considering my journey so far, I think it will come in time, when I'm ready.
Last edited by Barlotti on Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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singvestor
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:48 am

Re: Barlotti in Boston II

Post by singvestor » Tue Sep 15, 2015 8:49 pm

Hi Barlotti, just read through your journal and found it quite interesting. Seems we struggle with some similar issues, for example spending lots of money on trips and not being able to reach extreme levels in our savings-rate yet.

Your description of racial bias is an interesting read for me. I am a Western guy living in Singapore and I am also often reflecting on the topic. It is quite an universal issue it seems.

On a very unrelated note: budaechigae is great! One of the Korean foods other than the bbq which is quite popular here in Singapore. Somehow it has magic hangover-curing properties, don't know why!

Barlotti
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

The 90s rock

Post by Barlotti » Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:29 pm

Hi singvestor, thanks for your nice message. For some reason, I really like knowing that someone on the other side of the planet has read what I've written. The world feels small and connected. I'm sure Al Gore would be proud. He invented the internet you know! (ha ha.) Korean bbq, yum. I don't know where to get some in Boston.

...

I've been watching episodes of Globe Trekker, borrowed from the library. I have this plan, coagulating, to work until I'm 52, buying a rental property along the way, and then to move to India where I will teach science, or write a great novel**. While watching Globe Trekker, I noticed certain warm and fuzzy feelings creeping upon me, which made me pause and reflect on why I was feeling so good.

It was because Globe Trekker was produced in the 90s!!! My subconscious was picking up the 90s vibe (the hair, the clothes, the subdued one-world optimism), and my system was awash in endorphins!! It's possible my style sense is stuck in the 90s. I have NO idea what the zeitgeist of the 00s or the 10s is... That's not true. I have some idea of the zeitgeist of the 00s.

**TM

**************************
Update on cancelling home internet and cooking more at home, 10:30 am 9/18/2015

I have a better idea of what's going on in the world, the U.S., my community and am having an easier time falling asleep at night. Also, my condo is cleaner. I think a lot of people assume they need dedicated home internet service, when they don't. When I need to, I can access the internet on my computer by connecting to my iPhone. If I don't have great reception, I can head out to my car and check my email from there. I can't believe I didn't "quit" home internet earlier.

As for home cooking, I'm happy-as-a-clam. I feel REALLY good. My digestion is better, I have more energy, and I'm saving money. The trick is to cook delicious and savory food, and to set yourself up to eat in. My cooking has gotten better and easier, so I enjoy my food more. Also, I make sure to do things like have a little "easy" food on hand so that I won't splurge on restaurants. Practice makes perfect!

My next experiment will be to go on a car fast. I'm going to go car free for a week and see what it does to my perspective and my life.

7:40 pm 9/22/2015

Well, the car free thing didn't really take, but that's OK. Last night, I needed cat food, and it was dark, so instead of walking 20 min to the supermarket, I hopped in my car and got there in under 5. Here's the thing, I'm a ridiculously slow walker. I was when I was young, and as I grow older, I'm more and more snail-like. Seriously, where does the time go? I set my mind to vacuuming, and three hours later, my 675 square foot condo is vacuumed. I think I need to be more "present".

That's the answer to everything these days. Overworked and tired? Be more present. Problems with your marriage? Be more present. Children have ADD? Be more present. I'm drowning in cat hair, and the solution, obviously, is to be more present. I don't doubt that addressing the cat hair, one clump at a time, is the solution to my cat hair... situation. Last night, I looked at my bed and saw that there were no less than six clumps of cat hair. In my distracted state, I picked up three of them and wandered into the living room where I saw seven clumps of cat hair. I feel like Sisyphus. Every time I touch my cat, I notice an incipient mat. Half the time I'm looking at my cat, he's waging war with his own hair. I wake up in the morning to a ball of freshly yucked up cat hair on my bed, or in the hall, or on the kitchen table. My cat has his own ecosystem. I'm pretty sure that all that hair is feeding various beetles and larvae, which in turn are supporting a healthy population of spiders and centipedes. Such is life with a long hair cat.

3:43 pm 9/28/2015
I binged on fast food this weekend. It had been so long since I'd eaten a quarter pounder, I went a little nuts.

I think some of this fast food bingeing was triggered by my realization, last Thursday, that I'd lost five pounds. It's very possible I've gained the weight back. Alas... Sometimes, you want crap food.

I must remember the long term goal, financial independence and the ability to pursue my dreams with peace-of-mind. Since I cut the home internet, I've been experiencing more boredom and loneliness, which I count as good. Boredom can be the mother of invention and the loneliness... well, perhaps it will spur me to find a good husband.

Barlotti
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

October net worth and September spending

Post by Barlotti » Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:02 pm

Here are the numbers. I actually wrote this up earlier today, but lost it after getting timed out of my account. I can tell you right now that my net worth went down, but so did my debt.

condo 188,000
checking 3495
403b 72187
Roth 23164
brokerage 8807
pension 7,000
high yield savings 0
ASSETS 302653
investments 111158

mortgage 130518
heloan 12604
credit card 2300
LIABILITIES 145422

NET WORTH 157231
My net worth has decreased by about 731. Bummer. On the bright side, I reduced my 0% APR credit card debt by $900, and my mortgage by $2510, and I decreased my overall debt by $3736.

OK, so last month's spending is going to take some time (that I don't have now) to reconstruct, but here's what I recall from having done it before. Aside from my mortgage payments, my spending was $1217, which was approximately $217.00 more than I wanted to spend. I had a college friend visit last month, yah dee yah dee yah. The brief summary, my spending last month was reasonable and largely on target. Yes, I did go over on dining and instant video, but the damage wasn't so bad and for cryin' out loud, I'm only human. I also bought a bike last month. It's still sitting in the back of my car waiting for a tune up. Next month, I'll do better. While I'm not going to beat myself up for being $217 over last month, if I repeated that for 12 months, that would be $2600 out of my pocket! That's a trip to India, by golly!

Enough with the anachronistic expressions and back to the matter at hand. This coming month, I'm going to live off the cash that's been accumulating in a pencil box at home. That's about 400 buckaroos. I can't afford to withdraw much cash from checking this month, having put the money toward 0% APR credit card debt. I want my mortgage down to about $60K so badly. But I MUST fully fund all retirement accounts, and I also want to renovate my kitchen.

I sometimes sweat the small stuff when it comes to saving, which to me includes paying off debt. I hmmm and haw about where to put the money, but at the end of the day, the important thing is to save. I do strongly believe that organizing my savings in the right way, really impacts my sense of well being. How secure do I feel? Do I feel deprived? Do I feel rewarded?

Right now, perhaps peculiarly, my number one goal is to save. It's easy to forego travel and home internet because I want to SAVE so badly. I honestly don't know whether this is a phase, an artifact of losing my job during the great recession and not being able to find another one for SO long. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and in this case, what didn't kill me converted me to ERE.

I borrowed an American Splendor anthology from the library last night, and this is the plain truth, I LOVE Harvey Pekar. He was frugal. He had a humdrum job that allowed him to focus his energies elsewhere, and most appreciably, on making art from his humdrum life in humdrum Cleveland. I think Harvey Pekar was completely, unironically, admirable.

Dave
Posts: 273
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:42 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: October net worth and September spending

Post by Dave » Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:59 pm

Barlotti wrote:I want my mortgage down to about $60K so badly. But I MUST fully fund all retirement accounts, and I also want to renovate my kitchen.

I sometimes sweat the small stuff when it comes to saving, which to me includes paying off debt. I hmmm and haw about where to put the money, but at the end of the day, the important thing is to save. I do strongly believe that organizing my savings in the right way, really impacts my sense of well being. How secure do I feel? Do I feel deprived? Do I feel rewarded?

Right now, perhaps peculiarly, my number one goal is to save. It's easy to forego travel and home internet because I want to SAVE so badly. I honestly don't know whether this is a phase, an artifact of losing my job during the great recession and not being able to find another one for SO long. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and in this case, what didn't kill me converted me to ERE.
Hi Barlotti, I have really enjoyed your journal, thank you for sharing!

You seem to put a lot of energy into thinking about exactly how to use your money - how much to debt, investments, renovations, etc. Here is a rhetorical question for you: Do you think organizing your finances exactly "in the right way" should strongly impact your sense of well being? I don't know the answer to that, just a thought. I just wanted to let you know that from the outside, it looks like you have made a lot of progress and are doing a great job, regardless of the specifics!

Barlotti
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

Re: Barlotti in Boston II

Post by Barlotti » Wed Sep 30, 2015 3:57 pm

Hi Dave, that's an interesting question. But not to worry. My sense of well being is plenty fine. I was referring to how the psychological construct for living on $12K or $24K a year influences whether a person feels deprivation or abundance while saving.

Who da heck am I kidding? I'm just OCD. For whatever reason, personal finance fuels my OCD-ness in a way I find supremely satisfying.

Update: October 5, 1:11 pm
It's remarkable how quickly I can bleed money if I don't pay attention. A couple dinners out, a couple lunches out, and I've spent $100 in the first few days of the month. I must staunch the bleeding!

Yesterday, I went grocery shopping for loss leaders, using a few coupons, and I got over 57% off my groceries. I spent $20 on what would normally have cost $46. I bought a lot of processed foods (boxed au gratin potatoes, black bean soup, and Marie Callendar pot pies), but that's OK. Sometimes, these prepared foods keep me from eating out. I also bought sausage, which I count as "better" quality food. I'll probably go shopping for loss leader veggies sometime this week.

As you know, I've been thinking of remodeling my kitchen for a long time, and I've waivered between doing it myself, and paying more money for a professional job. I'm getting quotes on a professional job now.

I don't mind living in my condo "as is", but I would feel better if my condo were in rentable condition because I would feel like I had more geographical flexibility. Even though it's half torn up, I could sell my condo very quickly, without loss, "as is". But if I fixed it up, I could sell it at a profit. I'm overwhelmed and paralyzed by indecision.

There's a smaller unit in my building that just listed for $50K over what I paid for mine. If it sells at asking price, I may go ahead and pay for a professional job, 'cause I'll feel better about paying more for the remodel.

Update: October 12, 12:59 pm
I had a marvelously full weekend. On Friday, I went to a poetry reading with ma poetry wuhkshop. Saturday, I went to a fantastic show called "An Evening with Meow Meow", and Sunday I went to a Vipassana meditation event. The long and short, I spent alotta money, even though all the events were technically free for me. When you go out, there's always, "how 'bout dinner beforehand?" and the suggested donation box. You may have gotten up at 4:30 am to try and fit in a call to London before driving into Boston and didn't manage to eat breakfast at home or pack a lunch.

So I guess I'll put a lid on the spending for the rest of the month, but there's this friend in New Hampshire I've been meaning to visit for ever so long (that friend having had a kid) and next Sunday would be ideal for a visit (since other people are going). And I've signed up for a multiday Vipassana course the last weekend of October. All of this will require gas, and possibly some eating out, and possibly some donating.

I've always had this impression that having an active social life should not cost any more than having a slow social life. You can plan ahead. You can carefully explain to friends that you are trying to save. As Yul Brynner in a certain movie might say, et CETrah, et CETrah. But in reality, I definitely spend more when I'm being more social, and spend less when I'm being less social. This is probably one of the reasons why getting married helps the pocketbook. Not only do you benefit from economies of scale, ya get human contact without leaving the house.

Back to Vipassana. I'm really looking forward to the refresher course at the end of the month. I love the state-of-consciousness after Vipassana. It seems different from "normal" states-of-consciousness. I know that meditation connotes different things to different people, but to the camp that thinks meditation is dangerous or cult-ish, find a mindfulness practice instead!! It's kind of the same thing.

Update: October 13, 1:00 pm
If I could figure out wordpress, I would probably start my own blog. But I can't figure it out, and so I continue to use the ERE forum as an outlet for my compulsive writing habit. Question: how many Ph.D.s does it take to figure out wordpress?

More than moi.

It recently occurred to me that I've neglected to keep up with the latest and greatest in PERSONAL personal finance blogging when a friend pointed out the Frugalwoods. "They live in Cambridge", she said. So I visited the site, and a feeling of mean greenness came over me. That is to say, I was JEALOUS. So, although I recognize the J word and understand it's meaning, I don't often feel it. It's just not in my nature. My general take on life is that it's too short to spend time ruminating on what someone has that I don't. Besides, I have so much (heh heh). You can only imagine my surprise at turning into a green monster while reading Frugalwoods.

Why was I so jealous? It was definitely related to the Frugalwoods owning a house in Cambridge. I think I told myself a long time ago that I could not afford a house in Cambridge. And here are the Frugalwoods, in a house in Cambridge, with really cute furniture, and a monch-able dog, and on course to "retire" after 5 years of saving. "This is not right!" I thought, "they must make an obscene amount of money!"

So I did a rough calculation based on various figures disclosed in the blog, and I realized that they probably make about $100K each and figured that they would have about $400K saved up (outside retirement accounts) after five years of intense saving.

And as I realized that what they are doing is eminently do-able by me and many others (except perhaps finding a $460K 4 bedroom house in Cambridge!!!), the green monster went away.

P.S. I'm still green with respect to finding and marrying a likeminded frugal man.

Update: October 20, 12:17 pm
I've had a good week, including one RAD run-in with Jordan Knight of The New Kids on the Block. What a ridiculously cute and sweet man. Jordan, I love you.

Other than that, I've been trying to eat better and get more exercise. This past weekend, I went wandering in Whitney and Thayer Woods in Cohasset. The forest was filed with yellows, oranges, reds, and greens, and walking through it was other wordly. I was in a meditative state and really groovin' to the sensory experience. The sounds of leaves hitting the forest floor, the changing hues as a cloud passed over the sun, the feel of a breeze on my cheeks, the feel of cloth against my skin. With such beauty nearby, why would I spend moolah on travel and entertainment?

This is the joy of meditation. You learn to love being in a flow state. You learn to love being attendant to what is at hand. Meditation is very ERE.

On the way home from the woods, having a heightened awareness of my body, I recognized the start of a mild headache and saw that it might be tied to a vague soreness running up and down my gastrointestinal track. "Coffee and dehydration" I thought. I went home, drank plenty of water, and settled down to a nap.

You know more than your mind allows you to know. If you train the monkey mind, this lovely human faculty of self-awareness burbles to the surface and grows and you know yourself and others better. There's really no good way to explain it. The best way is to just experience it yourself.

I would like to describe two experiences I had during and shortly after meditating for 10 days. First, during the retreat, about 4 or 5 days in, the wild animals joined us in the exercise yard. Although we'd all been in the exercise yard, silent, for days prior, it was only on day 4 or 5 that the wild animals started feeling comfortable with us. They came to graze and perch and watch, and we all watched back. Second, upon returning from the retreat, I saw my mom and could see the redness trickle into her cheeks. Time slowed down, and I could see the capillaries under translucent skin and I thought, "she's so happy to see me."

Barlotti
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

November net worth

Post by Barlotti » Mon Nov 02, 2015 10:45 pm

It's testament to my love of ere journal that I am now typing this out on my smartphone.

Condo 188000
Checking 1800
403b 77795
Roth 25302
Brokerage 9274
Pension 7000
ASSETS 309171

Mortgage 126981
Heloan 12604
Credit card debt 1600
LIABILITIES 141185

Net worth 167986
This is a 10750 increase from last month. It makes me feel warm and glowey.
I don't know what I spent last month. My personal finance software has been acting up. And I don't have the interest in sorting out the numbers manually. That's peculiar for me. I have plenty of cash this month and have made good progress toward paying off debt. That's good enough for me.

Barlotti
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

December net worth

Post by Barlotti » Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:13 pm

Condo 188000
Checking 12963
403b 77730
Roth 25434
Brokerage 0
Pension 8300
ASSETS 312427

Mortgage 126481
Heloan 12281
Credit card debt 1600
LIABILITIES 140362

Net worth 172065

This is a 4079 increase from last month. That's nice. I broke $170K!! (I'm doing a quiet dance of joy at my desk.) Part of the gain is due to me realizing that my Pension is worth at least my employer's summed contributions to my 403b.

Since last month, I made an offer on a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo-in-the-woods. My best and final was turned down, but it's possible the seller will have a change-of-heart. Thus, the largish sum sitting in my checking account. I figure that I can rent out my condo-by-the-T (Boston's subway system), AND rent out a room in the condo-in-the-woods. There are so many professionals who need a place to stay for a few months, and who wants to shell out $4K a month for corporate housing?!? Madness I tell you, madness.

Dave
Posts: 273
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:42 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Barlotti in Boston II

Post by Dave » Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:46 pm

Barlotti wrote: I would like to describe two experiences I had during and shortly after meditating for 10 days. First, during the retreat, about 4 or 5 days in, the wild animals joined us in the exercise yard. Although we'd all been in the exercise yard, silent, for days prior, it was only on day 4 or 5 that the wild animals started feeling comfortable with us. They came to graze and perch and watch, and we all watched back. Second, upon returning from the retreat, I saw my mom and could see the redness trickle into her cheeks. Time slowed down, and I could see the capillaries under translucent skin and I thought, "she's so happy to see me."
Have you done many vipassana retreats? Do you have any advice and/or suggestions for someone considering doing one?

Barlotti
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

Answer to Vipassana questions

Post by Barlotti » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:31 am

Dave wrote:Have you done many vipassana retreats? Do you have any advice and/or suggestions for someone considering doing one?
Hi Dave, my only advice is, do it before you have kids! It's hard to unplug when you have kids. Also, sign up for the courses early because some of them fill up quickly. I've done two courses: one ten-day and one three-day. The three-day courses are open only to "old students".

Hello peeps, while I'm online answering Dave's question, thought I would freeform muse, cause I'm feeling muse-ish.

This past Thanksgiving, I visited a friend's condo in Cambridge, and I'm pretty sure it's worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $500K. The condo was plenty charming, but come on! It's a one bedroom! There is something odd about the Boston real estate market. I keep hearing stories of properties selling $100K over asking price and 300 sq ft microapartments in the seaport district renting for $3K a month. Where are all these monied people coming from?
Last edited by Barlotti on Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

Dave
Posts: 273
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:42 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Barlotti in Boston II

Post by Dave » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:37 am

Noted! The current "plan" is to wait at least another 5 years before having kids, but life is full of uncertainty ;). So hopefully I am able to get some retreats in before then. Okay, that sounds good, thanks for the ideas.

Barlotti
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

Gratitude

Post by Barlotti » Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:38 pm

@Dave, yes indeed, life is full of uncertainty. I hardly know what's going to happen in the next ten minutes, let alone the next five years.

I recently read a gratitude list on a friend's blog, and thought I'd give it a try here. Gratitude is very ERE.

1. My current condo, hopefully my Boston pied-a-terre for the rest of my humble life.
2. My job, which even if painful at times, is pretty fun and sustains me.
3. My family and friends, who even if painful at times, are pretty fun and sustain me.
4. My cat, who even if painful at times, is pretty fun and sustains me.
5. My body, which is less inflamed since the epic decluttering of '14 and '15 and is in relatively good health.
7. My employer's cafeteria, which serves ginormous portions of chicken cordon bleu smothered in gravy.
8. My future condo, which will be made possible by my avid consumption of personal finance blogs.
9. Toothpicks.
10. The general safety and stability and liberality of the political system in which I live.
11. Humanism and Enlightenment thought.
12. The Korean War. My impression is that it was a proxy war visited upon the poor and besieged people of the Korean peninsula, but had it not happened, I might still be poor and besieged. If I existed. Talk to Emmett Brown.
13. Mother Teresa of Calcutta. I don't know, I think Mother Teresa rocked. She was a staunch character.
14. Grey Gardens. Little Edie's outfits, Big Edie singing in bed, THE CATS, the off-camera but still palpable Maysles. It's better than opera.
15. Opera. In particular, any production staged by Franco Zeffirelli, for example, Turandot by Puccini at the Met.
16. My weird and wacky sense-of-humor, which seems to appeal to Harvard and MIT professors, engineers, and writers.
17. My weird and wacky sense-of-humor, which is offputting to died-in-the-wool sticks-in-the-mud.
18. My tiny feet, which look more and more like muffins as I get older.

Barlotti
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

January net worth

Post by Barlotti » Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:12 pm

Condo 188000
Checking 28240
403b 73545
Roth 19601
Brokerage 0
Pension 8300
ASSETS 317686

Mortgage 125727
Heloan 12025
Credit card debt 1380
LIABILITIES 139132

Net worth 178554

This is a 6489 increase from last month. That's nice.

Since my last entry, I put offers on two different condos. One offer refused, another offer withdrawn after the inspection. I withdrew some principle from my Roth. I've also gotten more serious about my kitchen and bathroom remodels as I may need to rent out my current condo come spring.

It's 2016 and it's a good time to think about goals. I think it's pretty simple. Max out my 403b, buy another condo, get a new job.

Barlotti
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

Feb net worth

Post by Barlotti » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:23 pm

Condo 188000
Checking 28649
403b 74659
Roth 19542
Brokerage 0
Pension 8562
ASSETS 319412

Mortgage 125348
Heloan 11860
Credit card debt 2000
LIABILITIES 139208

Net worth 180204. This is a 1650 increase from last month.

I got all upset last night because some jerk made some racially insensitive comments. Then I remembered there are a lot of a-holes in the world, too many to count, and if I get upset with every one of 'em, I'll be pretty miserable.

I haven't been as "into" journaling as I have been in the past. That's fine. I was spending A LOT of time thinking about money. I'm more on autopilot now.

User avatar
singvestor
Posts: 83
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:48 am

Re: Barlotti in Boston II

Post by singvestor » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:52 pm

Random question: is your credit card debt a balance or only the current monthly bill?

Barlotti
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

March net worth

Post by Barlotti » Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:42 pm

Hi Singvestor,
That's my total cc debt.

Here are the numbers for March
Condo 188000
Checking 42204
403b 75923
Roth 19570
Brokerage 0
Pension 8708
ASSETS 334405

Mortgage 122848
Heloan 11694
Credit card debt 6500
LIABILITIES 141042

Net worth 193363. This is a 13,159 increase from last month. My parents gave me $20K (over last two months) to help with a new condo purchase. I feel OK accepting money from them. I can use all the help I can get, getting ahead. I put myself through school and am willing to help them in the future.

Truth is, my net worth will go down soon. I'm remodeling my kitchen and bath.

Pay bills. Check. Update ERE journal. Check. Run errands. See you later!

leeholsen
Posts: 327
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:38 pm

Re: Barlotti in Boston II

Post by leeholsen » Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:31 pm

Can you put off remodeling you kitchen and bath a few months and pay off your credit card balance or do you have to do that now ?

reason I ask is by using a simple calculator, http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/man ... lator.aspx; looks like your paying nearly $100 monthly in interest alone. might be more worth paying it off and holding off on the remodel if it saves you $300 in interest. this is the way I got to viewing credit cards as pure evil, every time I got a decent balance; I'd focus on the money I was handing them in interest rather than the payment. they're worse than casinos imo, at least with a casino, you get free drinks.

Barlotti
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

Re: Barlotti in Boston II

Post by Barlotti » Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:35 pm

Hi Lee,
So about $1000 of cc debt is 0% APR until next January. I'm on schedule to zero out that balance by next January. Another $1100 of cc debt was incurred on a work trip. My employer will pay for that. The rest of the cc debt, will be paid off to avoid finance charges. The numbers in my net worth calculation are just a snapshot taken today.

***********************
I went shopping today because I don't have enough clothes that fit me. My only pair of jeans tore up the inseam, my only black skirt developed some unsightly snags, my only winter skirt is getting tight, I've outgrown three to four tops, three pairs of shoes were stolen in the Mojave desert, most of my makeup was stolen in the Mojave desert, my feet have gotten fat, I can't tolerate heels anymore.

I'll spend about $600 updating my wardrobe, replacing shoes, replacing makeup. I've bought a couple dresses (appropriate year round), several tops, several skirts, a few pairs of pants, and five pairs shoes. I bought almost all of it marked down by 70% to 80%.

A $600 outlay ain't bad in my book. A friend recently told me she spent $7000 updating her work wardrobe. Granted, her clothes are beautiful, but I would have a hard time spending $7000 on clothes.

Barlotti
Posts: 156
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:58 am

April 2016 net worth

Post by Barlotti » Sat Apr 02, 2016 12:30 pm

Here are the numbers for April
Condo 188000
Checking 22595
403b 81418
Roth 19889
Brokerage 0
Pension 8853
ASSETS 320775

Mortgage 122079
Heloan 11694
Credit card debt 6100
LIABILITIES 139873

NET WORTH 180902. My net worth has decreased since last month because I've been spending money on my kitchen remodel. I look at my Assets, and I find myself asking, how can I increase that quickly? The answer, my friends, is residential real estate. I would like so much to buy a house, but they're so expensive. I saw a cute one in West Roxbury for $500K. I'm not ready for that kind of mortgage yet. Better, I think, to buy another condo, rent out my current condo, and in a few years, maybe I could liquidate one of my condos and buy a house.

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