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Archive for June, 2013

Media costs

June 30th, 2013 at 06:13 pm

A couple of days ago I bought 1Gb of data on my little Karma unit. It took me about 4 weeks to use the first 1Gb. Thus far, my cobbled together, pay as you go stuff:

Dumb phone - 16$/month (bought phone for $30 in 2009)

Internet wireless (Karma) - $14/month (bought unit for $80 last month)

Netflix - $8.75/month, and I try to finish my DVD by Sunday/Wednesday to get me about 8 DVDs a month.

Email - $20/month. I might work on moving it to get that a bit cheaper, plus after a few years one gets a thick level of spam and old commitments. You move your email, decide on your most important accounts and let the rest go. Smile

I like the pay as you go - it keeps me aware of what I'm doing and I can manipulate things a bit.

net worth June 2013

June 30th, 2013 at 05:44 pm

Kitchen remodel was fun, but its time to face the music on the 6 month net worth check.

$329,092 IRA/403B
$162,373 Vanguard taxable
$49,205 stock
$14,253 I-bonds
$30,263 ING
$2,288 immediate cash

$157,500 condo
-$120,996 mortgage

$623,978 total

5K drop? I'll take it.

June 2013 ($623,978 total, $258,382 taxable)
Dec 2012 ($628,818 total, $290,180)
June 2012 ($617,902 total, $362,619)
Dec 2011 ($592,163 total, $356,567)
June 2011 ($596,791 total, $376,359)
Dec 2010 ($575,346 total, $356,542)
June 2010 ($553,023 total, $369,589)
Dec 2009 ($551,300 total, $385,771)
June 2009 ($512,054 total, $379,475)
Dec 2008 ($498,148 total, $386,021)
June 2008 ($524,261 total, $387,481)
Dec 2007 ($328,688 total, $192,747)
June 2007 ($176,422 total, $48,205)
Dec 2006 ($132,062 total, $40,329)
June 2006 ($120,261 total, $65,148)
Dec 2005 ($67,778 total, $23,740)
June 2005 ($46,115 total, $11,293)
Dec 2004 ($38,338 total, $7,558)
June 2004 ($29,050 total, $4,533)

sometimes the surprises are pleasant

June 19th, 2013 at 09:33 pm

First off, I'm taking it relatively slow on the backsplash. Got what I want to do, am planning it meticulously, did my jury stick measurements, got the tile samples (which really look GREAT and will be the icing on the cake) to do the grout study.

But the pleasant surprise was a tiny-ish refund to the tune of $174. It came from the bank - apparently they have you pay just a hair too much to provide a little extra cushion for the escrow. After about 6 months, everybody gets into a rhythm, and the cushion gets refunded and my mortgage payment dropped by about $10/payment. Helpful.

Things are settling down fiscally, so I'm getting back in the groove, in a couple of different ways. I've reactivated my tip box at work, so I'm showing that some love. FYI, I have a little decorative box at work - the "tip box" - that I throw change, small bills in. When there's an office collection, I pull from my tip box, but in general every month I deposit what's in there.

6 weeks ago I was 175 lb naked and now I'm 170. Gym bug has not caught on yet, I'm just walking and always taking the stairs up and down. Since the gym is next door to work and a branch is two blocks from my house, it does require a lot of avoidance. Smile

Looking at my net worth it has dropped a bit to the high 500K. If I hadn't bought the condo and hadn't remodeled the kitchen I would have been 70K up. You can't think that way, though. Money is a means not an end. I'm enjoying the end point and I know I will for a good long time.

everyday superpowers

June 9th, 2013 at 02:21 pm

This came up in a conversation about fruit. Yeah - somehow my conversations get wide ranging. My friend remarked that a pineapple that she got from her friend fresh from Hawaii was not nearly as good as one she got from her own cheapo fruit stand.

"I know. Its really who picks it out that counts," I said. "I'm pretty good at picking produce out myself."

The friend looked at me and said, "that is a superpower, you know."

In addition to the produce picking out which helps the food budget, but I also have another financial superpower: in writing or in email, I get what I want.

It's only in writing, not at all verbally. When red-flagged by the IRS in 1989, I wrote the letter supporting my case. The IRS backed off. When Capital One tried to bill me twice/month and dinged me for only paying once, I faxed my case and won.

It got me thinking - what other everyday superpowers does everybody have?

cruised past $300

June 7th, 2013 at 07:44 pm

In found money. I've been tracking it since 7/14/2009 as a lark; it took me nearly 4 years to pick it up. Here is the breakdown...

5,193 pennies. Rolled up, almost 104 penny rolls.
295 nickels. Rolled up, over 7 nickel rolls. Its a little bit of a surprise how few nickels I find. I think its because you just don't get a ton in change and that they are nearly as large as a quarter.
978 dimes. Rolled up, almost 20 dime rolls. Yowsa!
301 quarters. Rolled up, over 7 quarter rolls. Since I find nearly as many nickels as quarters, I think the nickel is about the same profile as a quarter, just not as exciting to pick up.
60.61$ worth of dollars and odd foreign coins. I'm finding that I tend to find bills close to cars and often after wind and rain. I found a 1/4 scrap of a $100 bill on the street across my condo; broke my heart that I couldn't count it. (Now if it was over 1/2, I could cash it and count it.)

Pennies especially, I put them in tip jars around town as I use the services. Kind of catch and release for coin rescue.