On Thursdays Mean Doing That 1 Thing

I've done so many one things today (called about taxes! found out we're getting money back! sent that money to our IRAs before the 15th! researched patio sets!) because my office has been atypically empty, but I haven't actually done much in the way of work. So my real one thing is to get back to work so that tomorrow isn't stressful.

Posted on April 9, 2015 at 1:15 pm 0

On How Do You Know When to Stop Spending?

I don't check Mint everyday, but at least a few times a week just to keep up with categorizing everything. When my husband and I first got married, we were fortunate enough to be able to set a budget that didn't really cut back on things we were used to doing, so we use our budget to keep us from buying a ton of fancy cheese or going out all the time, but if our normal grocery spending is a little high one month it doesn't have a huge effect on our finances. Mint is also great at keeping track of rolling amounts, and it's had a very real effect on my stress-about-money levels now that I can go to Home Depot and know that it's okay to spend $200 on things, because it's planned for and all the money is already accounted for. I will check it a little more towards the end of the month, and if I see something in the yellow or red (usually lunches or eating out), I'll mention it to my husband so we can both be a little more intentional about our spending.

Posted on April 6, 2015 at 2:20 pm 0

On How Small Is Too Small, When It Comes To Charitable Gifts

The only instance I can think of where giving smaller amounts isn't worth it is for things that might have paypal/transaction fees. I know for Child's Play Charity, the people raising money on livestreams always say to donate at least $5, less than that and the fees are a significant percentage.

Posted on April 2, 2015 at 1:30 pm 0

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: March 2015 Check-in

Savings Emergency fund – goal of $6300 January: $1500 February: $1600 March: $1700 $100/month for the foreseeable future. Normal Travel fund – goal of $infinity January: $150 February: $300 March: $450 $150/month is the goal, looking towards a trip to a family wedding in December, and longer term towards a cruise (the JoCo cruise!!) next year. Japan travel fund – goal of $8000 by September January: $1200 February: $2600 March: $4300 $700/month in here, and making up the rest with bonus money and part of the extra paycheck that comes in May. As I was hoping, I was able to add an extra $1000 in March from my bonus. Debt Student loans January: $17632 February: $17317 March: $17002 $350/month. The goal is to have them gone by the end of 2016, and with stock and stuff vesting this year, that looks possible! I'll be putting the rest of my bonus check here as soon as we figure out how much taxes are going to cost - I'm hoping we don't owe a ton so we can put at least $5000 towards loans.

Posted on April 1, 2015 at 12:17 pm 0

On The Business of Creative Careers: Paul and Storm, Musicians and Impresarios

This is my favorite, because reading about personal finance is my favorite and so are Paul and Storm. And since you already interviewed The Doubleclicks, I'd like to put in a request for an interview with LoadingReadyRun, and then all of my internet favorites will be in one place!

Posted on March 30, 2015 at 4:40 pm 1

On Chores, Then and Now

Even as a 2 adult household, my husband and I put together rotating sets of chore cards. They live on the cork board near the front door, and when we finish one we flip it over. Anything we haven't done for the week we do on Sunday, then we bring out the next week. It's at most 5 things a week, but it ensures stuff like deep cleaning the tub and vacuuming get done at least once a month.

Posted on March 17, 2015 at 11:16 am 2

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: February 2015 Check-in

@Elyse Yeah, that's the annual rate. If you put $500/month towards it, you'll end up paying ~$200 in interest over 8 months (http://www.thecalculatorsite.com/finance/calculators/credit-card-payment-calculators.php). If you did use your savings, you could then repay yourself that $500 each month and not have to pay interest, so I guess it would come down to how much you're willing to pay to keep your savings account intact and how likely you think you are to need that savings within the next 8 months. Even without using savings, $500 will make a sizable dent each month and it sounds like you've got a good plan for dealing with things. And hey, trip to Cancun!

Posted on March 5, 2015 at 6:40 pm 0

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: February 2015 Check-in

Savings Emergency fund – goal of $6300 December: $1400 January: $1500 February: $1600 $100/month for the foreseeable future. Normal Travel fund – goal of $infinity December: $0 January: $150 February: $300 $150/month is the goal, looking towards a trip to a family wedding in December, and longer term towards a cruise next year. Japan travel fund – goal of $8000 by September December: $500 January: $1200 February: $2600 $700/month in here, and making up the rest with bonus money and part of the extra paycheck that comes in May. I was able to add an extra $700 last month from a bonus check, and this month will see another extra $1000 from a bonus. (We really don't get that many bonuses, they just come all at once) Debt Student loans December: $18933 January: $17632 February: $17317 $350/month. The goal is to have them gone by the end of 2016, and with stock and stuff vesting this year, that looks possible! I'm getting a ~7500 bonus in March, which will get split a few ways - $1000 for the laptop that I just bought because my computer died, $1000 towards Japan, $??? towards taxes, because we did a lot of weird stock selling last year to buy our house and we're definitely going to owe money, and the rest towards student loans.

Posted on March 4, 2015 at 10:02 pm 0

On Let’s Throw Some Money at Our Problems: January 2015 Check-in

Savings Emergency fund – goal of $6300 August: $967 September: $1100 December: $1400 January: $1500 $100/month for the foreseeable future. Normal Travel fund – goal of $infinity August: $743 September: $893 December: $0 January: $150 $150/month is the goal, looking towards a possible road trip to see family in the midwest this summer, and longer term towards a cruise next year. Japan travel fund – goal of $8000 by September December: $500 January: $1200 $700/month in here, and making up the rest with bonus money and part of the extra paycheck that comes in May. Soon - today? - I'll be adding another $1000 from a bonus check. Debt Student loans August: $19679 September: $19503 December: $18933 January: $17632 $350/month, and we just sent another $1000 towards it a few days ago. The goal is to have them gone by the end of 2016, and with stock and stuff vesting this year, that looks possible! Everything is pretty much on autopilot now, which is great but kind of boring. The big goals for the year are Japan and student loans, and a March bonus should help both of those out.

Posted on February 4, 2015 at 11:31 am 0

On One Is the Loneliest Number, So Find a Cell Phone Family Plan

My husband and I are both on Net10 prepay. It's $40/month per person, and it uses AT&T's system. We each get 2.5 gigs of data and unlimited everything else, which seems like plenty and we've never run out. The downside is that you have to bring your own phone, but we did the math and we broke even after 6 months (bought new but not the latest model from ebay). It's been 2 years now and we've saved ~$750 by not going with the $150 for both of us verizon plan that seemed pretty standard when we last looked.

Posted on January 22, 2015 at 1:31 pm 0