Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Star*Bucks
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:36 am

benecia wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:07 am
You've made amazing progress since you started this journal, really well done. Question, when you get to your number do you think you'll be able to stop or will the challenge of making your goals reality and the thrill of seeing the your NW increase keep you going?
I’ve been thinking about this a whole lot. It’s a difficult question to answer. I wanted to retire by 40 but since that’s only a few months away I’m extending my goal to 2020 which would be 2 years beyond the original goal I set for myself.

This is in fact the most money I’ve made in my life so the thought of giving it up eventually is scary. I gave myself the freedom to choose at the time I hit the 460k if I want to keep my job but travel a whole lot more & see if I really like it & can see myself doing it full time; then I’ll quit. I would have so much free time to fill that I would try to find fun ways to earn extra money online or otherwise. If backpacking doesn’t really fit me then I’m not against staying at work part time while finding other things, maybe spending more time on me, finding a girlfriend, money earning hobby etc.

Also I have a business with no clients at the moment. If I were to acquire a good contract and money was rolling in I’d probably stay working longer so that I can take excess money to help my family pay off the stupid debts (student loans mainly) and give them a hand up either by giving them positions in the company or by gifting the IRS maximum of 14k per person annually.

Can’t really say I’m “living life” right now, I’m mainly working and existing in order to reach the finish line quickly. Maybe in a few years time I will have met a girl and started a family which would change things a bit but is also highly unlikely since I’m not dating at the moment. The monthly update and NW increases have been a big motivation and I can’t imagine giving it up. I guess this will be a wait and see situation.

Star*Bucks
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:52 am

thrifty++ wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:31 pm
Great that you are almost at 300k.
You could probably actually be financially independent now if you moved to low cost of living location or took a frugal extreme approach to things.
In any event your target number of $460k is not that far away now and must be on the horizon for you.
Hey Thrifty, you are correct! My initial goal was to backpack the inexpensive parts of the world starting in SE Asia and my budget would be 1k monthly; so 4% of 300k is 12k annually or 1k per month, so I’m there! The problem is there would be no buffer for emergencies. At my goal of 460k I’d have just over 500 monthly emergency fund which hopefully will just compound and stay in my account. That way I can visit the more expensive countries eventually and not blow out my budget.

So in other words if no emergencies happen I’d be living on less than 3% SWR. I’m a very risk averse person and I’m making the money now so I want the safety net. I’m 2 years away from the goal and things can always change. I’m just happy I found this site and forum for direction, otherwise I’d still be into consumerism and chasing girls with big butts and eventually working into my old days to pay off all that stupidity.

Thanks for reading my journal Thrifty...

thrifty++
Posts: 764
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 3:46 pm

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by thrifty++ » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:51 pm

You still could chase girl with big butts while being ERE focused. But if they are ERE girls they might be girls with skinny butts from all the non car usage and preparation of their own food!

Have you thought about a mini retirement rather than complete retirement since you are now unsure whether you want to completely unplug? You basically already have FU money and leverage as a result. Have you thought about doing something like asking for 6 months off? You would have a good sense of whether long term backpacking is what you like after doing that.

Star*Bucks
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:35 am

thrifty++ wrote:
Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:51 pm
You still could chase girl with big butts while being ERE focused. But if they are ERE girls they might be girls with skinny butts from all the non car usage and preparation of their own food!

Have you thought about a mini retirement rather than complete retirement since you are now unsure whether you want to completely unplug? You basically already have FU money and leverage as a result. Have you thought about doing something like asking for 6 months off? You would have a good sense of whether long term backpacking is what you like after doing that.
Actually Thrifty there are plenty of beautiful Big Booty ERE girls but in our current society they are better known as gold diggers; just marrying someone who is already rich and just like that no more money worries lol.

I don't have enough money to pull off a mini retirement. I don't even have a 1 year emergency fund yet. I spend in my current situation approximately 20k annually and half of that goes to home ownership costs. My current cash stash is only at 18k and I subtract 5500 from that because I will be putting that in an IRA come January. All the other money (Net Worth) I've accumulated is not (easily) accessible. As I get closer to my number I will begin to sell off everything I own with the final things being my home and car.

Star*Bucks
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:56 pm

November 2017 Update:


Current Assets:
Cash $24,763
401k $152,289
IRA $26,699
Roth IRA $6,630
HSA $13,564
Home $70,000
Car $13,300

Current Debts:
Credit Card -$140


Prior Months Net Worth $296,723
Current Net Worth $307,105

Net Worth Increase of $10,382

Prior Months SWR 6.09%
Current SWR 5.86%

Very happy to see my NW go over 300k & my SWR go down to the 5’s! I can’t take all the credit because the stock market did especially well and the boost can be attributed partly to that. Also I went on a spending spree on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. As frugal as I am I made sure to get the best deals I could on items I’ve been wanting for a very long time. I’ll list them below:

Image

Seems like a lot to spend but I’ve been putting a lot of this stuff off for some time. For example the Vacuum; I’ve never owned a decent vacuum and most times had no vacuum at all. This vacuum has a great warranty is highly reviewed and was about 40% off.
The 4 iPhones are for a family plan we are switching from Sprint to T-Mobile because they have the best deal on phone plans and the phones. The $550 I paid covered the taxes and activation of all 4 lines, now for the next 2 years we will pay $30 per month per phone ($120) plus $160 per month for the phone service plan so it will end up being $280 per month split between my brother and I. Since Netflix is free with T-Mobile I’ll be saving $10 a month so the difference in what I pay per month will only go up by $30. The promo T-Mobile had on the phones was buy one get one free but in actuality it’s buy one get a $700 visa gift card. So in a few weeks I’ll have 2 $700 Visa Gift Cards which I plan on applying directly towards the T-Mobile bill. I love my new iPhone 8 Plus. My old iPhone 6 which I had for 3 years was painfully slow. Once the phones have been paid off I will be saving $30 per month compared to what I was paying to Sprint.

I haven’t had a TV in my living room for about 2 years and I found this deal, I jumped on it! When I went to visit my family for Thanksgiving I asked my brother if they used the BlueRay player I gave them & he said no since they stream everything. So I brought back my BlueRay player and my small BlueRay movie collection and watched the movie 300 on the new TV & I’m very impressed with the picture quality. Can’t wait to enjoy some movie nights at the house. Too much overtime at work at the moment to enjoy any of this stuff though.

On that note my last paycheck that I just received is the largest check I’ve ever earned; barring any check where I’ve cashed out vacation etc. I worked nearly 60 hours of overtime and there was a holiday as well. So what I did was pay down my credit card from all the Black Friday shopping & with this check I’ll be able to pay my upcoming property tax bill. Hopefully the checks received in December will also have plenty of overtime but this time there will be no shopping spree and the majority of money can go directly into my Emergency Fund.


Goals for December :
-Keep working all overtime possible
-Find a way to fit exercise in

Star*Bucks
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:53 am

December 2017 Update:


Current Assets:
Cash $28,044
401k $154,207
IRA $27,230
Roth IRA $6,885
HSA $13,642
Home $70,000
Car $13,300

Current Debts:
Credit Card -$146


Prior Months Net Worth $307,105
Current Net Worth $313,162

Net Worth Increase of $6,057

Prior Months SWR 5.86%
Current SWR 5.75%


It was a good month but I was expecting so much more. It’s end of year so all my dividends with LT & ST Cap Gains were paid but didn’t really effect my NW as I would have hoped. I’ve worked tons of overtime in November & December and it looks like all the projects will be accomplished and that overtime will be minimized or completely ended in January. Seems like things always work out for me in the end because the company I had worked part time for a year back contacted me and said they need me to help out. Of course I accepted and now I can continue to stay busy earning money (and having no life) to reach my goal. I start with them on January 3rd and can’t wait to see two paychecks coming in again.

Other than that it’s been the same ol’ same ol’ over here. I paid my property taxes at the beginning of December and ate out a lot (fast food) due to working so much OT not having time to cook healthy cheap meals. Here’s to doing better in 2018 :)



Goals for January:
-Keep working all overtime possible
-Find a way to fit exercise in

Star*Bucks
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:03 am

Q4 Progress

October + $3,627
November + $10,382
December + $6,057


Total Q4 Progress $20,066
Total 2017 Progress $68,122

Historical Annual Progress
2014’s NW Increase - $24,786
2015’s NW Increase - $43,912
2016’s NW Increase - $76,342
2017’s NW Increase - $68,122

Current SWR 5.75%

Things didn’t go as well as planned for 2017, my goal was 80k NW increase with a hope to hit 100k NW increase in the year. I fell very short of that and in fact didn’t even match the year priors NW increase. I did give 5k to my sister to help her pay for her new vehicle and I had a large tax bill as well, but those are just excuses.

My goal for 2018 will be 80k NW increase & to hopefully once and for all get the excess weight off of myself. I’ve been playing the “what if” game in my mind and had the thought what if my main job lays me off. I actually think the company that I work for part time would allow me to work remotely. The pay would probably suck but if I made $1,500 a month I’d do it in a heartbeat & sell all my shit and move to SE Asia. Hopefully this doesn’t happen but in all honesty if it does I wouldn’t mind. I’ve been feeling burned out lately and maybe I can cure that feeling with just a vacation. I’m not setting any other goals or resolutions for 2018 other than saving as much money as possible and losing some fat.

Star*Bucks
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:19 am

January 2018 Update:


Current Assets:
Cash $34,596
401k $158,639
2nd 401k $406
IRA $27,691
Roth IRA $7,119
HSA $14,727
Home $70,000
Car $13,300

Current Debts:
Credit Card -$100


Prior Months Net Worth $313,162
Current Net Worth $326,378

Net Worth Increase of $13,216

Prior Months SWR 5.75%
Current SWR 5.52%


I’ve worked a ridiculous amount of hours between both jobs and I’ve also been very productive outside of work as well. I’m in a dilemma now. I took a state job exam couple months back which I passed; and in the first half of January I had two interviews which both went well and it looks like I may get this job. My dilemma is that I’m making more money the way things are now and I’m very familiar with the routine of both current jobs but these jobs are dead end with horrible benefits but the pay scale is good. The state job on the other hand has excellent benefits lower pay but the main kicker is the retirement. If I take the state job I’d stay at least 5 years to be vested in their pension system, if I stay doing what I’m doing now I could be FIRE in approximately 3 years but if any severe medical issue happens to me I’d much rather have the quality coverage with the state job. So many pros & cons to weight but I’m definitely leaning towards the state job. Plus it would be nice to know that in my older years I’d have my investments, Social Security, and a Pension to rely on.

Paid $280 for my Car Registration this month. I was rear ended by a Large pick up truck. No injuries and luckily my Prius was still drivable but the damage sustained to the Truck made it non operable. The guy just wasn’t paying any attention and plowed right into me at around 30-35 mph. His insurance company accepted liability immediately and now I have to go through the headache of going to the body shop, rental car agency, etc. The silver lining is that January was productive, I got a 5 figure net worth increase which I love seeing, a looming job offer from the state, and I lost 4 pounds! It’s a great start of 2018!!



Goals for February:
-Keep working all overtime possible
-Find a way to fit exercise in

thrifty++
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Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 3:46 pm

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by thrifty++ » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:19 pm

Nice your net worth is really cranking now.

Re the serious medical coverage concerns. Can you not just pay for your insurance yourself? How much would that cost?

Star*Bucks
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:23 am

Hey Thrifty! Yea NW was on a roll but this market downturn really put a dent on the progress from last month. Oh well just keep on trucking.

As far as medical goes I was paying for my own until I switched companies in late 2017. I liked the High Deductible Plan I was on and it allowed me to invest in a HSA, but unfortunately the new company forces us to use their Health Coverage unless we are covered by another company sponsored plan i.e. if I had a wife whose work plan I was on. To be honest I don’t know how legal it is to force your employees onto your plan when they don’t want it.

That’s just one of many reasons I really hope I get the State job.

thrifty++
Posts: 764
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 3:46 pm

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by thrifty++ » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:11 pm

Yeah I find doing net worth tally's depressing when the market turns down. At least you dont have another one until the end of the month and maybe the market will be back up again by then who knows.

Star*Bucks
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:34 am

February 2018 Update:


Current Assets:
Cash $42,228
Former 401k $152,988
Current 401k $118
2nd Job 401k $265
IRA $26,618
Roth IRA $6,567
HSA $14,368
Home $70,000
Car $13,300

Current Debts:
Credit Card -$845


Prior Months Net Worth $326,378
Current Net Worth $325,607

Net Worth Decrease of $771

Prior Months SWR 5.52%
Current SWR 5.528%

This is the second month I’ve gone down in NetWorth since keeping track. I’ve had a lot of expenses and the market pulled back a bit. Here’s hoping next month has a good quarterly dividend payout with lots of overtime at work.

I paid my 6 Months car insurance of $612. Also paid off all 4 phones on our T-Mobile family plan promotion. We got a total of 4 iPhones with a buy one and get a $700 pre paid card for the second phone purchased, but that can take 8 weeks to process and get to you. Well I got both $700 pre paid cards and put them towards the $2,500 balance of equipment. And since I don’t like high monthly bills I just paid off the last $1,100 on my Visa. That’s probably not an ideal thing to do since paying monthly was a zero interest situation anyways but as I stated I really want monthly bills to be as small as possible.

On another note about my car, it’s still in the shop. The dealership is taking their sweet time with it, although to be fair there was a lot of damage found behind the visible bumper damage 8k to be specific. The rental car I had btw was a piece of junk. I’m positive they got the returned car and immediately rented it to me without washing or cleaning it in any sort of way. The car was filthy, still had the prior renters personal stuff in the glove box, and it smelled like weed inside. I made the rental agent write all that down because the car has no smoking stickers in it and I’ll be damned if they try to blame that shit on me! I’ll never rent a car from Enterprise again! Also the value I placed on my car all these months was incorrect since I was looking up Prius Model 1’s on kbb.com and I have a Model 2. The value is actually closer to $16,700 but I will not update the value on the car in these monthly reports until it dips below the $13,300.

I also purchased a Cuisinart Table Top Griller. It’s similar to a George Foreman grill but I had a Foreman grill years ago and remembered not liking it. It’s been really cold in Sacramento so I didn’t feel like using the BBQ Grill outside so I made burgers in a pan on the stove which left me a big mess to clean on the stove and counter tops, so at that point I decided to get the grill. I did bargain shopping online for a few days and found that Bed Bath & Beyond had the absolute best deal. I paid $79.99 plus tax which included the waffle grates which regularly you have to buy separately for $39.99. I basically got the waffle grates for free because even Walmart sells this griller for $79.99 without the grates. This will hopefully work out to making food at home easier and more fun especially now that I can make paninis on it.

I moved my savings from a 1.15% earning account to a 1.55% earning account and it just took a 3 minute phone call. Gotta stay on top of things like this.

Big pull back in the stock market. I hope it keeps going down! I always regretted not having the money to invest in the stock market/houses during the “Great Recession” Now that I have two fairly well paying stable jobs with very little chance of layoffs; I Hope the recession comes roaring in so I can get invested at low prices and ride the recovery wave up.

Still losing weight mainly because of portion control. I’ve really enjoyed Shopping at Trader Joe’s lately. Very tasty items especially those frozen meals which I usually take to work for lunch.


Goals for March:
-Keep working all overtime possible
-Find a way to fit exercise in

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Frugalchicos
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Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:32 am

Hi there Starbucks,

I recommend buying a crockpot and cooking your own meals. Forget about frozen meals if you want to loose weight in a healthy way. Check out the back of those frozen boxes and you will see they are crazy high in saturated fats and other stuff you can’t even pronounce.

Learning how to cook properly and healthy is the biggest blessing and one of the highest money saver habits. Chica likes this website: skinnytaste.com. Plenty of recipes and easy to make for the most part.

We love Aldi, cheap and straight forward. No need of decor or BS when grocery shopping.

Just and observation.

Cheers,

Chico

Star*Bucks
Posts: 140
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Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:12 am

Frugalchicos wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:32 am
Hi there Starbucks,

I recommend buying a crockpot and cooking your own meals. Forget about frozen meals if you want to loose weight in a healthy way.
I have a CrockPot and was thinking of buying one of the electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot. I’ve heard great things. Yes I think I may start to cook meals again. My hesitation is that when using the crock pot I make too much food and it’s only me. I’m sure I could just freeze the stuff, I’ll give it a shot.

I heard about Aldis couple years ago and I checked to see if any of the stores were located in the Sacramento area but none were, I’ll look into it again. We’ve got Winco here as well which is no frill low cost and open 24 Hours so it’s pretty convenient.

Thanks for the recipe websites I’ll check em out.

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Frugalchicos
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Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:10 am

The electric pressure cookers are cool but will get the same results than with a crock pot, just much faster (30mns max for any recipe).
Did you get to try a Latino supermarket? They usually have great product and pretty cheap. I bet you have plenty of them in Sacramento

Star*Bucks
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:19 pm

March 2018 Update:


Current Assets:
Cash $46,204
Former 401k $151,295
Current 401k $150
2nd Job 401k $805
IRA $26,943
Roth IRA $6,714
HSA $14,016
Home $70,000
Car $13,300

Current Debts:
Credit Card -$112


Prior Months Net Worth $325,607
Current Net Worth $329,315

Net Worth Increase of $3,708

Prior Months SWR 5.528%
Current SWR 5.465%

Let me start by saying that at the end of February I was well below my spending in regards to my grocery budget. So I had the bright idea of “Sand Bagging” basically spending what was left of my February grocery budget and filling up the fridge/freezer so I could attempt to have as close to a zero grocery budget as possible for March. As karma has always done to me ended up my fridge completely died on me. I tried to find a fix but the computer board which is what went bad isn’t produced by LG any longer and I couldn’t even find a used one. I guess I should be happy the fridge lasted 10.5 years. I went straight to Costco and got my Membership and I was able to purchase a GE fridge for $1130 after tax and it included delivery, install, and removal of my old fridge. That’s over $300 cheaper than the competition for the exact same model not to mention the other guys charge for haul away. I was able to salvage a lot of the items in my freezer by basically taking a lot of the items and putting them in my work refrigerators for several days. I just had to toss everything in the fridge side.

Stocks slid a bit for me. I’ve pretty much made up my mind that if my shares make it back up anywhere close to where they were at last month I will sell and just stay in cash until the economy crashes. I can’t stand by and watch my money dwindle away and the crash will be upon us soon. (In my opinion)


Goals for April:
-Do my Income Taxes & Pay the IRS
-Do my parents Taxes
-Pay my Property Taxes
-Put in a request for a Long Overdue Vacation

Star*Bucks
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:27 am
Location: California

Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Star*Bucks » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:21 pm

Q1 2018 + 4 Year Anniversary on ERE:



Q1 Progress

January + $13,216
February - $771
March + $3,708


Total Q1 Progress $16,153


Current SWR 5.465%

The quarterly progress is lower than what I wanted but keeping in mind my 401k has lost 10k in value and I had to buy a new fridge etc I guess it’s not bad. April will not be a good month either due to income taxes (State & Fed) & property taxes both being due. I predict the best NW increase months will be May to November as all the major bills are taken care of outside of these months.

I started this ERE journal in March of 2014. It’s hard to pin point exactly what my Net Worth was at that time because for the first few months I kept adjusting it. It’s safe to say I was below 100k Net Worth and in 4 years time I was able to get my Net Worth up to 329k and be completely Debt Free. Here’s hoping the journey will be complete within 2 more years because I’m getting burned out.

thrifty++
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Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by thrifty++ » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:03 pm

Wow thats a cracker of a net worth and amazing what happens over time.

If you are feeling burnt out have you thought about using the leverage of your FU money to take a sabattical? Like even 3 months to do a little bit of travelling and some R&R - maybe just one place and hang out there for a while. Ask your work for the time off?

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:59 pm

We are super close in terms of progress/net worth and more importantly goals (ie travel the world on a low <$1500/month budget).

Trying to time the market like that is a fools game. It should be obvious if you analyze the statement itself.

If you had real conviction that the stock market was going to crash, you should sell now and eat the loss. Read into anchoring, as well as sunken cost fallacy.

Aside from the many many reasons investment psychology has shown that we are our own worst enemies when it comes to investing, and make mostly highly irrational decisions at precisely the wrong time.......

For that reason I would wager your risk tolerance is not what you thought it was before you accumulated a small fortune.

Why not keep 25% in CD's earning 2%, 25% in a very broad stock ETF, 25% in Medium term bonds, and 25% in commodities/reits etc?

That way you capture growth if this crash never materializes, and if it does you can over-re-balance.

Usually the handful of worst days in a year, and handful of best will make up the bulk of the market moves for the year. If you cash out, knowing precisely when to get back in will be another chance to screw things up.

Just some friendly advice from a stranger on the internet, take it with a grain of salt.

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Viktor K
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Re: Star*Bucks ERE Journal

Post by Viktor K » Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:43 am

Missed the mention of a George Foreman and making paninis a month back - now my mouth is watering! I used to have one of those and would slap a couple pieces of bread, slice of cheese, some lunch meat and let it go = delicious!

As for the freezer, feels bad. I wonder if stocking it full gave it that jolt it needed to up and die as it kicked on to accommodate the increase in air temperature. It sucks that that carried such a high price tag to replace. Whenever stuff like that happens here, there's some guy down the block that will come in, take away the broken piece for a night, and come back the next day to get it all working. We had something go out in the furnished TV for our apartment, and that cost <$30 to fix. Hopefully you've front loaded all your bad luck for April now and the rest of the month goes smoothly.

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