Monday, May 30, 2011

My Vehicle

Not much to post after Memorial day weekend. The good news is we didn't spend a lot of money, only $100 all weekend! We spent 2 days at the beach house in Galveston TX with family so they took care of meals. Since I don't have much to talk about, here is a post about my car, I only owe 10k! I'm paying a little extra monthly so should have this paid off in a year or so.

The Sports Sedan:

"This is a well-represented category, and the stench of insecurity is nearly as thick as the cologne marinade. It’s populated by guys who think velocity equals virility. Nevermind that they haven’t the slightest idea how to really handle their rides beyond flooring it and going straight. So, with shirts open and gold chains resting on a nest of chest hair, they flaunt what they think they've got and cruise for chicks. And they do get noticed. Women everywhere point and smile at them. If the guys weren’t cranking Boston’s Greatest Hits so loudly, they’d realize the ladies were actually laughing" - courtesy of AskMen...

Well that's what I drive, a sports sedan and yes it has 4 doors. Below is a picture, I don't want to get too specific about make or mode but just know I look really good in it ;)



Does anyone know why Sirius XM is coming through for free??? I cancelled it 2 years ago and last week, one of my favorite stations, Margaritaville just started working again!

HS

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Garage Sale

This past weekend we had a community garage sale. For the last couple of months I've been looking for stuff all over the house to sell. I probably had close to 400 items and sold half of that. Believe it or not I hate stuff so I tried to get rid of everything. Below is a picture of some of the items I had out there:



I got up on Saturday at 6 AM and organized most of the stuff. I cooked breakfast at 7 AM and started putting the stuff out on the street around 7:30. It looked like it was going to rain but I decided to setup anyway. At 8 AM people started coming and looking for stuff. The first item to go was the pots and pans you see on the picture. I had some old Kitchenaid cookware and people went crazy for it. They were a hard anodized set that I bought back in 2006 and I priced it at $2 to $3 for each piece.

Next thing people go crazy for is clothes! I prized everything at $1.00, jeans and dress shirts probably lasted 30 minutes. Golf shirts and purses were also very popular. Another item that went quick was toiletries. I had some stuff like Old Spice body spray that I never used priced at $25 cents and had a couple of people fighting for it. I also tried to get rid of all our DVD movies for $2 a piece but only sold half the box. Books did not sell, maybe I should list all books on half.com.

I also had a 'free' box with old ugly hangers and some used folders from the wife's students. I didn't want to throw this away but also didn't want to sell it. I was surprised to see a box of junk go so quick, it was probably out there for 5 minutes before it was gone... funny how free works on some people.

The garage sale was a success. I spent 3 hours out there and came out with $260 dollars! The clothes that didn't sell went to the donation bin and the other stuff went back to storage for next garage sale. Most of the stuff has some value but people don't seem to want to pay for it. Nexy year I'm going to price it 25 cents and see if it sells. If I still can't get rid of it I will probably post if here for free and YOU just pay for shipping :)

HS

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

We're In Debt!

OK I'll admit, all of the sudden freaking out a bit... we are back in debt and things are not looking so good. This morning I pulled all the numbers and I don't like what I see:

Citi Forward: $5660
Citi Thank You: $2100
Discover Card: $4,700

I don't even want to add it up on here.... I'm afraid it will be over 10K.

I'm stressed out, I can't sleep, I fear losing my job and everything I have. Anxiety has set in but I have to remind myself that we've been here before. Look at the start of this blog and our balances were much higher.

I'm also afraid to tell the wife... I think she thinks we have around $4,000 to $5,000 in credit card debt but I refuse to talk about it or bring it up.

Things that need to be cut out:

Ebay and Paypal: I admit, I'm an Ebay addict. I can find stuff cheap on Ebay and I want it, hard to explain but I'm going to cut this out. I think I've spent close to $1,000 on Ebay for stuff I really don't need over the last 6 months.

Partying: Need to stop going out with friends and to cut back on drinking. Sounds easy but as soon as I don't go out for a couple of weeks I feel like I'm missing out on life... I need to understand that I'm turning 32 this year and normal 32 year olds don't go out til 5 AM on the weekends and ring up $150 bar tabs!

Lunch: I used to be really good about bringing my lunch to work but lately I find myself spending close to $50 a week eating out. I need to set a budget in this area and maybe allow myself $15.00 per week to eat out.

Gas: OUCH... the 4Runner is currently eating around $75 dollars in gas every 8 to 10 days. My car takes around $50 every 7 days... I've started taking the bus to work more often but each bus trip costs $7.50 per day... not sure how to spend less here.

Shopping: I don't need any more clothes, designer watches, sunglasses, golf and tennis or running equipment... I need to stop buying stuff. I have everthing I need. Need to remind the wife she has everything she needs. Most of the stuff we buy are 'wants' not 'needs'.

The plan: I've worked the numbers and I calculated that we can pay off $2,000 per month if I work on the stuff above. I've also started looking around the house and selling stuff we don't need. The only reason I'm going to allow myself to use Ebay is to sell stuff. This week I sold an old wallet my wife had for $25. I plan to keep all the money on PayPal and make a lump sum payment back to the credit card.

I will be accountable, look for numbers and progress on paying down this debt. I want to look back at this post and never find myself in this situation again.

Pray for me... I'm desperate..

HS

Friday, May 13, 2011

O Blogger Where Art Thou?

Anyone notice Blogger going on PTO for close to 24 hours?! I could not access my account to post or check some of the blogs I follow. Hmmm, another reason to dump Google? and maybe move to Wordpress? I'm more of an Apple fan and lately it seems like Google is trying to become Apple... Not very happy with them right now.

Any thoughts? is Wordpress better? is it free like Google's blogger?

UPDATE- Just noticed some comments are missing, I remember posting them but I don't see them now, sorry if you don't see your comment, not sure if Blogger will bring them back.

HS

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

Happy late Mother's Day to all the mom's out there. This is another holiday I don't enjoy when it comes to money but I do love spending time celebrating with family. The wife and I are blessed to still have our mom's around but they both wanted to do something on the same day at the same time. Of course, what's a Hallmark holiday without spending? both mom's wanted some kind of gift so this year we went with gift cards. They each got $50 gift card to Macy's as their Mother's day gift.

My Mom: We went to The Petroleum Club brunch in Houston. This event is for member's only but let's just say I was invited and luckily I didn't have to pay anything other than valet parking tip. The food was great, the desserts OMG! I even found the invitation online:



Her Mom: This one was a bit more pricey. They came over to the house around 11 AM so we had to buy a couple of bottles of champagne to toast, that was around $50. Then my wife took her parents out to brunch to a local restaurant. I don't remember the name but I do remember the total. I think she spent somewhere around $200 with tips. They ordered off the menu and had a few drinks and dessert so that's probably why that bill was a bit high.

Well there you have it, Mother's Day set up back close to $300. Mom's we love you, we hope you had a great time!

HS

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Some Good News

Well today I have some good news. My wife got a new teaching position at a brand new elementary school in the district. She will be teaching Kindergarten all day in her new role. The school still under construction but everything will be brand new, the carpet, the desks, the walls, she is thrilled! She's currently teaching pre-K and she's split between two schools. We get mileage reimbursement checks every month which average about $77 but we are spending way more on gas and adding miles to the car. The new school is 3.4 miles away and she won't be traveling between two locations. I'm hoping this will save us some money and have less stress on her commute.

Wife- you don't know about this blog but I want to congratulate you! I love you!

In other news, I am replacing our AC unit this coming Friday. We have a leak in the coil and I think I should fix this now instead of paying more every month for AC. The good news is that it will only cost $1,500. I plan to charge this on my new Citi Thank You card since they told me I would get 4 points for every dollar spent. The plan is to pay it off next month and get a $50 dollar gift card!

My Job, I got a decent review but my manager said I need to do more. He said I need to be doing his job and try to take over his job- this is how it is in consulting, you are supposed to do the job of the person above you so you can get promoted, if you don't get promoted, it's up or out. They want everyone to manage others and those who can't make it will leave the firm. I am not the manager type but I will try to do more of his job. My focus right now is to get a raise in September and see where it goes from there.

Life is good right now, I can't complain. I am thankful for what we have, thankful for our jobs and I'm optimistic about the future. I see good things ahead and I have a good feeling about our finances, hopefully that means less debt in the future.

HS