Unexpected Expense

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Yesterday started like any other day. I woke up, got ready for work, said goodbye to my babies (the dogs), drove to work, parked in the garage and went inside.

An hour later I received some alarming news. A coworker who had parked near me came upstairs, said good morning and informed me that my rear window on my vehicle was shattered. Yes. Shattered.

(Let me pause for a moment to add insult to injury and explain that I just bought this vehicle – a month ago. It’s a 2012 Hyundai Tucson. Although it was used, it only had 6,000 miles on it. It’s practically new.)

Because I’m pregnant and hormonal I immediately started crying upon hearing this and told my manager I needed to go take care of it. I grabbed security on my way down and here’s what I found:

car1 car2 car3

A great way to start my Thursday! Naturally, the parking management company would do nothing and there were no cameras in that area  either. They basically said sorry about your luck and told me I could call the police and file a report if I want. So I did.

The police couldn’t do anything either. There were no signs of forced entry to the vehicle and nothing was missing either. To be honest, we’re not even sure if someone attempted to break in to the vehicle or if the glass was defective.

After reaching a dead end with the management company and the police, Jon and I had no choice but to get it fixed. I was able to find someone who could come to my office within an hour and a half and fix the rear window for $450. This was actually cheaper than going through our insurance and paying the deductible and risking our rate going up.

Anyways, from start to finish, this whole process took about 4 hours – which was 4 hours on my feet, in high heels, 4 months pregnant. Ugh.

I finally got back to my desk just before 1:00 and started checking email. Not two minutes later guess what happened. FIRE ALARM! Mandatory evacuation.

Did I mention that I work on the 12th floor? So there I was, lugging my pregnant butt down 12 flights of stairs, in heels, for the second time that day. By the time I got down there I was hurting all over, sweating and light headed…………just to find out that it was a false alarm!

Let me include in this comical short story that there have been elevator problems all week – only 2 of 6 were working. And now, the entire evacuated building is trying to get back upstairs on 2 elevators. After 20 minutes of waiting in line (standing in high heels for the 5th hour of the day may I remind you), I finally made it back upstairs.

To say that I was frustrated yesterday would be an understatement. I was physically and mentally exhausted come 2:00 in the afternoon. In fact, I fell asleep before 9:00 last night.

The good news is that Jon and I had the money available to pay for the window repair. All in all, it could’ve been a lot worse. Something could’ve been stolen from the vehicle, hell, the vehicle itself it could’ve been stolen, we may not have had the money to get it repaired without charging it on a card, etc. In the end, the whole thing ended up just being an inconvenience.

With no shattered windows, no fire alarm, and the elevators being repaired, today was a much better day!

Have you had any frustrating or unexpected expenses lately??

 

 

 

 

Goals for July

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Okay, so I’m about two weeks late, but in fairness, I didn’t even start this blog until a week ago!

In an effort to keep me (and my husband) accountable, I want to make financial goals for us each month and blog goals for myself, and write about our successes or failures here.

So here are the goals I’ve come up with to accomplish by the end of the month:

  • Become self-hosted. I’m pretty confident I can manage this one as the costs are very minimal.
  • Have 15 blog followers. I am well on my way and hope to exceed this goal this month.
  • Redo our budget. Our budget is super complicated right now and we’ve not been allocating the right amount to certain categories. Basically the whole budget needs to change – how much we’re allocating, the entire layout, etc.
  • Save $700 this month – Between both paychecks I think we should be able to hit this goal if we’re smart.
  • Sell 3 items – I’ve never sold items before, so this is completely new territory for me, but I’ve already sold two items.
  • Decide how much to save before the baby comes and start working at it – This is a must-do because deciding other financial goals relies on us figuring this out. Right now we’re leaning towards savings $2,000 (plus, we’re cash flowing our OB bill ahead of time).

How do you couples out there manage your finances? Is everything in one account? Do you have a joint and separate accounts?

Do you use a zero-based budget? A spreadsheet? Pen and paper?

Week 16

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Since week 12 of my pregnancy I have been taking weekly pictures of myself to better document this journey. I think every woman’s first pregnancy is special and I want to be able to look back on this time and remember what is was like. Since I just start my blog last week, I want to share these pictures with you all each week.

For this first “pregnancy post” I’ll share my pictures from week 12 – 16 and then the new one each week.

Week 16 has been a little difficult for me. I was having abdomen pain for several days and ended up going into the OB to check it out…twice. At first the pain was dull and achy and then it became more stabby, and it’s all located in my lower left abdomen. It turned out to be a good thing that I went the first time around because they said that I have a – close your ears guys – bladder infection. Ladies, you know that’s no fun. A few days after taking antibiotics I wasn’t having pain as often but it was sharper, so I went back in. It may be nothing of worry. They’re running a whole slew of blood tests just to be able to rule everything out. If it all comes back fine, then I might get the answer I was not looking forward to – I’m just pregnant and have to deal with this bullshit pain for the next 5 months. Great.

What’s important is that the baby is healthy….. but I must say, this pain SUCKS!

We were also hoping to find out the sex of the baby this week – so much so that we paid $190 to have an ultrasound done (BAD PF BLOGGER!). As it turns out, that was a flop too! At week 12, they had a good idea of the sex of the baby. Guess what – now they think it’s the opposite. Go figure. And they still weren’t able to confirm 100% what the baby is. So, it’ll have to wait until our next appointment on August 7th. Then, we’re planning on having a reveal party for our friends and family on August 24th.🙂

Okay, so here are my pictures from Week 12 to Week 16!

Week 12 final

Week 13

Week 14

Week 15

Week 16

The Debate: Pay Off Debt or Save?

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baby step

As you may have read on my About page, my husband and I are expecting a baby and we’re due on Christmas Day.

Financially, this has lead us to a dilemma – in preparation for the baby, do we save money or pay off debt?

Since we took Financial Peace University in October 2011, we have been following Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps to Financial Freedom. We are on Baby Step 2 which is called the “Debt Snowball”.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with it, here’s how it works:

  • Take ALL of your debt and write it down from smallest balance to the largest balance, despite the interest rate.
  • Make the minimum monthly payment on everything but the smallest debt.
  • Then, throw as much money as possible at the smallest debt! Generally, you can pay off your first debt in a month or two.
  • Next, apply what you were spending on the first debt, to the second one.

Many would argue that this method is not mathematically correct, and I can’t disagree. What’s important to know about this method is that it’s not about the math. It’s about psychology. It’s about the psychological win of paying off a small debt quickly and gaining momentum to keep going.

In light of this new life change, Dave Ramsey’s program would tell us to stop paying off debt and to save as much as possible before the baby comes.

But, hubby and I are somewhat split on what to do:

My instinct and what seems like a no brainer to me is to pay off debt. Not only would this help us reach our end goal of being debt free, but it will also reduce our monthly expenses in preparation for the baby.

Hubby, however, wants to save money before the baby comes. And I totally get that. And he’s right. We probably DO need to save money. I certainly think there’s value in having a back up.

Now seems like a perfect time to pull out that magical word that people use in marriage – compromise. We should save money AND pay off debt. To ease his anxiety, we should just pay the minimums on our debt until X amount is saved up. THEN we can start go back to paying off debt which will ease my anxiety.

I guess the question then becomes – how much should we be saving?

Some would argue to save as much as possible to prepare for the new expenses. But the way I look at it is that we can’t live off of savings once the babies born. No matter how much we save up, we’re going to hit a point where we’re going to have to learn to live off of what we make. So for me, saving that much is pointless.

What I DO think we need to save for are the one-time irregular expenses – the potential medical bill, income changes during maternity leave, money to prepare the baby’s room, etc.

On the other hand, we’re first time parents and I have NO IDEA WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!

Are any of you parents? Did you save or pay off debt before the baby? What do you recommend?

State of the Union

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A few days ago, I logged into my Sallie Mae account, like I do every month, to check my balance. $7477.89. I feel like I’m not getting anywhere with these big loans of mine. So out of curiosity I looked to see what the original balance on the loan was – $5984.00. Let me repeat that – $5984.00. So let me get this straight. I’ve been paying on this loan for over two years and I still owe $1500 more than I even took out to begin with? DAMN DEFERMENTS!

I suppose that was the straw that broke the camel’s back and let me to creating this blog in the first place. So here I am. Time to lay it all on the line.

Below you’ll see a snapshot of our debt – what we started with when we got married, what we’ve added since then, and the current balance of all of them.

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For the sake of full disclosure I should add that my new vehicle is not listed there, nor is our house. While I do agree that they’re both very real debts, the mortgage is last on our list to pay off. As far as my car goes, we just got it last month. It will be paid off, but the student loans are much more important at this point. Those suckers gotta go!

Unfortunately the $1800 debt owed to Zach is for my brother. He gave me money to buy a car….oh about six years ago…and I still owe him that much. Do I still have the car? No, of course not. I need to make that one a priority – As Dave Ramsey would say, “Thanksgiving dinner tastes different when you owe your family member money.”

The other debt that I wanted to point out is the Rainbow. It’s a fantastic product that is horribly over-priced. A salesman came to the house and well, once she sold Jon on it, it was pretty much over!

So, the other side of the “Finance” section of this blog is extra income. In order to speed up the process of paying off my debt, I plan on ramping up our income. This blog will be one way to do that. I’m also considering VA work, and I’m trying to sell items too.

However, I have to give my goals some more thought before publishing them. I don’t want to be overzealous.

So there it is – all of our debt laid out on the table!

Have you been brave enough to publicly disclose your debt??

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