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Frugal Failing #2: Just Say No!

October 19th, 2006 at 11:25 pm

My name is Tina, and I am a member of Spouses of Spenders Anonymous. *Hi Tina!*

I have been married to a spender for 1.5 years, although we've been together 4. My spender acknowledges he's a spender and has given me control of our budget, but it feels that is where the progress stops.

My spender likes toys, and my spender says things like "We make good money, we should be able to buy what we want". Sound familiar? I agree to an extent, but as a Spouse of a Spender, I feel it's irresponsible to spend money on new toys instead of aggresively paying off debt from old toys.

My spender and I had serious relationship problems about a year ago that are still very painful for me. Also, in the last 4 months I have lost my job, we bought a house (it was a wise decision, believe me!), I got a better job, and we bought a car. Needless to say, it's been a stressful time time, full of changes, all that good stuff.

At this point, I'm feeling stuck between a rock and a hard place. I desparately want to get our finances in order, partly I suppose b/c I have recently felt the effects of a layoff. On the other hand, b/c of the issues btwn DH and me, I have a hard time telling him no when he wants something. It makes me feel like a schmuck, and I know I'm not a schmuck.

And so here I am, between a rock and a hard place, balancing my budget and Spendy Spouse.

Headline: Deer Causes Budget Hemorrhages!

October 19th, 2006 at 09:32 pm

I've been blindsided by deer!!!

There I was, happily cruising along in my budget software, enjoying the sights of all this month's bills being paid and it's not even the 20th, when I come to a screeching halt at the sight of my balance.

What? I'm $400 down? ACK!!! OMG, WHAT HAPPENED?!?!?!??

I start careening about, grasping for my check book and clutching my mouse like a suicide strap, repeating the mantra "There HAS to be an explaination SOMEWHERE!!!" I pass some familiar looking debt payments, and remember I had overpaid 3 that I didn't intend to. OK, but where's the REST?

I turn the corner in my software, and there it is, standing right in the middle of my register.

Hunting Season.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhh!

DH's visions of deer from the very beginning of the month leapt out of nowhere and smashed a big hole in the side of my budget before I had even made a budget.

"I'll get you, Hunting Season! You just wait and SEE!!!" Trashing my budget like that...

Irony of it all is I don't particularly like venison, not to mention I could have bought 93% lean ground angus at $0.99 per pound and filled way more freezers than Hunting Season will.

Grrrrrrrrrrr.

Net Worth #1

October 12th, 2006 at 09:11 pm

Let me just say up front I don't want to do this. Period. It saddens and embarrasses me, which is odd considering I don't know any of you from Adam's Off Ox. Either way, I've done enough guess-timating in my life to know my Net Worth ain't what it should or could be.

I've perused the How to know if you're wealthy thread, and it also is depressing and frustrating. The formulas are annoying at best, if nothing else because they mostly fail to consider cost of living. The net worth of someone in NY is going to look much better than the net worth of someone in upstate SC.

Let's take 2 folks and make it as simple as possible: assume they have neither debt nor savings, just a job and a house they financed completely.

FROM THE 2000 CENSUS
BROOKLYN NY
32135 MEDIAN SALARY
229200 MEDIAN HOME VALUE
188900 MEDIAN HOME ASKING PRICE
------------------------------------
SALARY + (MHV - MHAP)
72435 simple net worth

UPSTATE SC
33144 MEDIAN SALARY
112500 MEDIAN HOME VALUE
97000 MEDIAN HOME ASKING PRICE
------------------------------------
SALARY + (MHV - MHAP)
48644 simple net worth

By sheer numbers Ms. Brooklyn is doing much better than Ms. SC, even though Ms. Brooklyn can not likely meet her house payment on her salary. Frustrating.

With all that being said, all I know for sure is my net worth is currently negative (big surprise there Dry ), a very obvious Frugal Failing. The good news (if you can call it that), is that this is using a conservative estimate on the value of my house. Going with zillow estimated value, I'm in the black by 10k.

Does that make me feel any better? ummmm, no, not really Frown

Frugal Failing #1

October 11th, 2006 at 11:50 am

Alright, here goes, Frugal Failing #1 is....

FOOD

Several issues here so I'll just get started. BTW, I went mostly organic/non-processed earlier this year, so I am pleased for the most part with what I buy. It's once I get it in the house...

1 - I don't know how to cook for 2 people. Everything I cook could probably very easily feed a normal family of 4. Thing is, DH and I like to eat a lot. Take that both ways, as in we enjoy eating good food and we enjoy eating quantities of food. So, I cook a bunch, and if it's there we'll eat most of it (except for chili, I make enough apparently for 8). What's left goes into a container and in the fridge, or (ack!) into the trash or compost bucket.

2 - Speaking of leftovers: I'm probably earning a C- in this category. If I package it up as a meal I'm pretty likely to eat if for lunch at work or Thursday nights when DH is at pool league. If it's not packaged as a meal, it seems to get lost in the shuffle. At somepoint, it too goes in the trash or compost.

3 - DH earns an F+ for leftovers. He won't eat them unless it's chili or spaghetti sauce, or if I sneak it into something I'm actually cooking. =/

4 - I don't know if this is laziness or legitimate, but either way it bothers me. DH & I both work full time salary, but he's got one of those dream salary jobs where your lunch hour (or two) gets included in the 8 you're supposed to work for the day. *sigh* I mention this b/c it means I get home after he does and really just don't want to cook sometimes. More over, I really don't want to do the dishes when I'm done. This is hard to work around w/ little processed food in the house, so sometimes we just go out. BTW, more on DH can be found (eventually) in 'Personal Rant' in case you're curious.

5 - I can't keep up with produce to save my ever loving life, and am tired of finally going to use something just to have to (you guessed it) compost it.

I know the solutions are relatively simple: make menus, cook ahead, maybe plant a garden. It sounds so easy!!! =( Menus I can probably do. Cooking ahead would be great, but I don't currently have a standalone freezer, so all my great 'got it on sale' meat is in the regular freezer and doesn't leave room for much else.

The garden is a slightly different problem. Just bought this house in July as some know, and the yard is in absolute shambles. There are 5 yrs worth of dead limbs and leaves (compost!) back there, and everything is so over-grown it's hard to tell what is what, and where it is. We put it off until fall b/c we didn't want to get molested by mosquitoes working on it in the summer, but it's such a big project I'm starting to feel overwhelmed.

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

Hello, my name is Tina, and I feel like a Failing Frugie

October 11th, 2006 at 11:28 am

Oh dear....

I'm sure this is normal, especially when just starting to buckle down, but there are certain areas of my life where I feel like a Frugal Failure. There, I've admitted it.

So much so, I've dedicated a whole category in my blog to it, so I can get it off my chest. In all fairness, though, I did create a Frugally Fabulous category too.