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Back from a long hybernation

December 1st, 2009 at 06:59 pm



Well I'm back to perusing the PF blogs after a long hiatus. We've been so busy with home remodeling, getting new jobs and getting ready for a baby that I've just left all the finances on autopilot.

Well after some long and hard consideration, and realizing that daycare in Denver costs $1500-2000 for an infant, we've decided that I will be staying home after the baby is born. Right now we're thinking it will be a temporary 1-2 yr situation, but considering we want more kids it might hopefully turn into something closer to 5 with me freelancing on the side.

This will cut our income in half, and really test all the budgeting and thrifting habits that I've been trying to learn and follow. But I can't think of a more worthwhile reason - family - to do this for.

So far so good. No going out to eat in ages, I've been inviting all my friends over for lunches and making them myself. No extraneous spending, almost everything baby is coming second hand or through thrift stores and I've been selling anything and everything on craiglist and have an Ebay list too.

Now I have to catch up on everyone's posts for the past few months!

iPhone mania and a free lunch

June 25th, 2009 at 05:01 pm



I would not be overestimating when I say that about 80% of the people on my floor purchased or upgraded to the new iPhones last week. I've put up with weeks of nerd talk about all their great features and how they will change everyone's lives.

Now everyone is busy playing and showing off their new toys. Coworkers are whipping them out in meetings, videotaping semi-funny stuff and sending it to each other, using the Star Wars lightsaber app to run around the cubefarm swinging them around.

No, I don't have one, and no I don't want one! I don't want to pay $200 bucks for it (assuming a contract) plus $100/month(data + text + voice).

Ofcourse new toys are fun, and cool, but cmon! I work with mostly guys in their 30s with lots and lots of toys: $1K+ bikes, 42" flatscreens, new iPhones, and all the top notch gear their little heart desires. They are also making payments, on the toys, on their cars, on their apartments, and most have no savings.

To each his own: we all have our own goals and reasons for doing things that we think will make us happy in the long run. I wish, however, that I had some more like-minded friends at work that I could talk to.

On another note, we had a company picnic yesterday and the weather was gorgeous. I skipped my packed lunch and went out to socialize and get some sunshine.

I'm surprised how a catering company can change a couple grand to feed a couple hundred people shredded meat, canned baked beans, velveta cheese with frozen corn in it, and some chips. Why do people oooh and ahhh over this stuff just cause they get a free lunch? With a little imagination they could have had a local/organic, delicious spread for everyone that would have been gourmet! But I'm just ranting, a free lunch is a free lunch I guess..

$1109 spent on gas commuting to work

June 24th, 2009 at 10:13 pm



This math is very depressing, so is my commute: 32mi each way. At least it's to a job I like..

2.50($/gal) * 1/30 (gal/mi) * 64 (mi) = $5.33

4 (days a week ) * 52 (weeks/ year) = $1109

pros:
the boss is cool and lets me work from home one day a week
my favorite job I've had so far
the scenery is quite beautiful since I don't have to drive through town

cons:
extremely expensive
exhausting, by Friday I'm dreaming of selling our house
wear and tear on my car

There is noone to carpool with and a bus pass would cost around 500 and take twice as long to get there. I just get bummed out thinking about it.

I gave my two weeks notice

January 22nd, 2009 at 05:11 pm



Yes, I know, I must be crazy. But is it ever a good time to realize you're doing something that makes you miserable and no amount of accolades or money is ever going to be worth it in the end?

October 2008
Get laid off from cushy, dream job.
Get hired back as an independent contractor and work from home full time.

December 2008
Get another full-time position, probably out of economical fear, without taking the time to think if this is what I really want. Start to loathe my work and get pretty depressed. Go through some heart-wrenching soul searching and decide on a new and different career path, which at least leverages all my previous experience. Go on honeymoon and relax!

January 2009
Make sure emergency fund is 2 years solid. Scale back all spending to almost nothing. Sell anything and everything on ebay and craiglist. Become total miser, but try to keep a semblance of a social life. Give my two weeks notice, work on two freelance projects, apply for more fitting full-time jobs. Feel free, excited, nervous, hopeful and happy!!

*The disclaimer here is that when DH and I got married in Oct, we made a budget which allowed us to live on one income and save the other. Anything I missed buying with my salary could not even compare to the freedom I felt knowing I could leave a job that made me miserable because of that decision. This month I really got to take advantage of that and I consider myself lucky!

Working at home and saving money

October 28th, 2008 at 09:24 pm



This week is the third week I'm working at home full time. It has been an adjustment and there are definitely pros and cons to the arrangement but looking at my credit card activity, it has been great for my pocketbook.

I'm not making the 40 mile round-trip commute everyday, saving approx $70 a month even with today's lower prices.

I'm not driving past Target, Home Depot and an entire outlet mall on the way home from work, curtailing another $100-200 of spending.

I'm not swinging by the grocery store on the way home, so I've been really good at eating through the pantry and the freezer. Last month our food bill was down another $30-50 bucks a week.

I've been much more productive since I'm well rested after getting more sleep in the mornings. It's amazing how being your own boss focuses your mind. Nobody to blame but yours truly and you are directly answerable to your clients. I also have more time to catch up on home projects, make lunches for my husband, and free time in general.

Distraction have been hard to deal with, but I've set up a private work area that is dedicated to work only. Also because I don't want to end up a loopy, sweats-clad newlywed I've made more of an effort to go out to lunch dates and email and visit my friends. I'm also working on getting out of the house more, for a walk during lunch, or a workout or errands in the afternoon.

I have plans to turn my downstairs bedroom into a proper office with a larger table, shelving, and storage for my printer, scanner, etc. I also need to upgrade my really uncomfortable dining room chair that I am currently using, to something more ergonomic. This will all have to wait until my current roommate moves out. Oh well, a girl can dream...

Tips for the Recently Unemployed

September 23rd, 2008 at 07:30 pm

I really don't want to be a member of this club, but I need all the advice I can get. These are things we should all be doing, regardless of how comfortable we are at our jobs. Nothing like being prepared when the unexpected strikes to make the transition less painful and scary.

From the Huffington Post today:
Tips for the Suddenly Unemployed