Archive for the ‘video fun’ Category

friday fiscal tickle: new video series gets weekly & wacky
June 7, 2008


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Note from the wacky:
Sharing my family’s high, low, & zany moments in personal finance (…via short-winded video) remains a passion at Housewifery’s blog. Those quirky cuts will continue.

I’m also learning more slowly but surely about larger financial events & concerns along the way. I’d like to learn more about financial scenes beyond my own backyard. And hopefully not take it all too seriously despite the world’s often sober fiscal reality.

Thus comes Housewifery’s new weekly series: the Friday Fiscal Tickle. For a smirky digest on world financial events, take a peek each week. By all means, your thoughts & eye rolls are welcome anytime.

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1.5 minute video: my video application to Utterz to join their ambassador team
May 24, 2008

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Mobile post sent by JillFoster using Utterzreply-count Replies.

30 second video: protect your emergency cash like a chess match queen
May 22, 2008

New shoes, new iMac, & old cash worries:
It’s fun spending cash reserved for emergencies.

Even more than fun – it’s bloody easy!

It’s easy to break discipline & access those dollars meant to protect from rainy days. But since that approach has made my family more vulnerable financially, it’s time to rethink. The short-term benefits of a change are clear.

Emergency cash reserves & chess: create the pawns

After 7.5 years of marriage, these prove true:

  • if we have only one stash of cash, we’ll spend it. It matters not if it’s reserved for emergencies. We’ll spend it on non-urgent desires. Do these desires help us be more effective sometimes? You bet. But occasionally our compulsion runs rampant.
  • it’s time to view emergency reserves like a chess queen and find ways to protect her.
  • thus it’s time to create the ‘chess pawns’ in our personal finance life.

The Pawns are the soul of the game. -Francois Philidor

For the past few months, I’ve tested a new strategy. And it’s producing positive results for Sean and me. The goals are two-fold: truly learn to reserve emergency funds for unforeseen, urgent cases; and next, create a system to enable that habit.

Here’s what we did:

  • set-up (10) online sub-savings accounts via ING Direct, in addition to our main emergency cash reserves account. These are metaphorically ‘chess pawns’ protecting the emergency cash ‘queen’. In the past, we dipped into cash reserves for these reasons; so we decided to designate sub-accounts to ideally prevent future dipping.
  • each month, monies direct to these sub-accounts i.e. medical/dental; clothes/dry cleaning; annual visit to parents; pet care; computer/tech; family gifts; books/education; condo; Alaskan trip for parents by 2012; relocation expenses.
  • each pay cycle, 12% auto-deposits into emergency cash savings with app. 3% funneling to the sub-account buckets. And so far for one business quarter, the emergency bucket has stabilized and steadily increased since we use those other sub-accounts for spending choices. Hooray!
  • Note: at least so far, we don’t necessarily spend monies each month that were allocated to those sub-accounts. Yet if for example my husband needs Ruby on Rails books for his coding library, he has accessible, dedicated funds for that decision.

Pawns, marriage partners, & the psycho-summary:
It’s just another way to budget. But the tangible existence of these ‘pawn’ sub-accounts has helped us stay on track with building emergency cash. And it’s helped to clarify spending priorities.

It’s working too from a psychological perspective aka it’s less stressful in the guilt department. In the past, I’d mentally beat up on my husband and me for dipping into emergency reserves for play or even basic needs like new shoes (…to replace that broken heel). Footnote: guilt drains marital trust and fun for sure!

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Fraud is the new … green?! charging customers for bulbs they didn’t buy
January 14, 2008

It could’ve been a winning green initiative: educating customers on energy-efficient CFL light bulbs.

Yet instead, a Maryland power company‘s approach has left a green campaign wanting — and their customers screaming mail fraud.

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An Allegheny Power customer in the thick of it, Jimmy Gardner reports at East Coast Blogging.

2007 goals met & missed (plus recalling family mantra for ‘tell the truth!’)
January 7, 2008

[blip.tv ?posts_id=588693&dest=21480]

I heard that as a kid growing up from Oklahoma relatives – said when it was really time to tell the truth! I love it. And for whatever reason, it surmounts my agnosticism & paraphrases the need for honesty to this day.

In that spirit…:

Life balance goals met & missed (2006 vs 2007)

Come to Jesus 2006:

-on dining out: spent $11k (what's that phrase…'ignorance is bliss'?!)

-on cooking for family: avoided learning how

-on retirement savings: had diddle for a plan

-on spending habits: didn't have a clue

-on tax protection: accrued $7k tax bill (paid for via credit card…gulp)

Come to Jesus 2007:

-on dining out: cut that puppy DOWN & roughly ended year spending app. $1.5k

-on cooking for family: learned! We spent app. $5k on groceries this year. And my husband was fantastic in brainstorming ideas & being patient with sometimes a very smoky home (I'd like to think my self-esteem is pretty strong being 37 and admitting this … or just SILLY)

-on retirement savings: met with financial planners & invested 12% income toward a specific plan (as in we now know 'the number' to save for by retirement age). I disagreed with some planners' suggestion on how much to save for. More on that later.

-on spending habits: set an actual plan and more regularly audited habits via Quicken. Frankly I didn't audit them habitually. I attempted tracking via our spending plan which wasn't comprehensive. It's time for me to buck up and do that download account process per Quicken.

-on tax protection: our pre-tax retirement contributions lowered our taxable income; I also worked from home (resigned from high stress management job & made far less money). That fact as pros & cons but it was a great year for re-gaining sanity, renewing/building communities online and off, & gaining a few clients. And the reduced stress enhanced the marriage (ain't that right honey??). NOTE: That $7k tax bill balance decreased some (see below).

The main goal for 2008 is two-fold: to completely pay-off that '06 puke-vomit-ick-tax-bill (paid for via credit card in '07) and to build six months worth of savings.

QUESTION TO YOU:

What life balance/personal finance goal motivates you for 2008? …Any come-to-Jesus moments of your own last year?

HAPPY NEW YEAR! And thanks for your ideas & motivation throughout last year. Your insight and humor strengthened resolve.

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Get Rich Slowly shares factory worker's story to millionaire retirement. This guy's simple, prudent decisions inspire!

– Playful, honest journey through spending plans at Budgeting Babe;

-Clear, actionable approach for starting 2008 … Chirs Brogan shares (3) words that help him decide or decline next steps.

stock market meets the drakestail & the millionaire mommy next door
November 29, 2007

Good ‘ole Drakestail keeps saying the same phrase throughout the story, most seriously toward the King who owes Drakestail cash.

Quack! Quack! Quack! When shall I get my money back?

That’s how I feel when seeing our investments take dives with the shaky Dow lately. Wise folks emphasize the long view when investing which I intellectually support and understand. But Holy Smokes I’ve really become addicted to torturing myself by looking daily at our accounts’ performance.

And it’s a habit I’VE GOT to break less I go bonkers.

So I laughed out load reading Drakestail over the weekend (…sucker for fairy tales which of note I didn’t become until after age 30). I emotionally, desperately wanted to some how chase the stock market as if it was an actual person – or the would be King being chased by Drakestail – and demand our lost investments back.

Alas the personal finance blogosphere has been AWESOME in rejuvenating and stabilizing my investment outlook. Take the long view sista.

If Drakestail were real and here today, he might say…:

QUACK QUACK QUACK THINK LONG TERM ON YOUR MONEY TRACK!

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The goddess of all things financially independent on how her portfolio continues to thrive despite current market pukeville.

where are you? where am I?
October 4, 2007

It’s been a fantastic whirlwind with out of town family visiting this week.

Housewifery will continue to track zany realities in personal finance (and more!) later this week.

Until then, stay true & stay frugal!

QOTD: mr. c shares 10 seconds on fiscal restraint
September 26, 2007

beckoning budgets & cursing like a turk
September 24, 2007

Yikes it was a tough call — listening to that inner budgetary voice vs the call to wander lust.

For a few weeks, I planned on going with Sean to Istanbul and producing a few live Web shows like Jonny Goldstein does each week.

Yet the truth is, we already savored Hawaii this summer – an opportunity brought about through Sean’s work as well. My expenses for that were out of pocket too, like Istanbul would’ve been.

I’m not sure what tipped the final call not to go…except going to Istanbul felt like it would undermine this year’s financial goals. And the husband doesn’t need the wife going everywhere with ’em, eh?!

Ah but we’ve tested the Web cams for live overseas chats during his trip!

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Get Rich Slowly offers an encouraging post on living debt-free (…a key reason why Istanbul was let go; wow could I sound more pathetic?!);

love songs & google docs: increased efficiency with vendors
September 21, 2007

There’s a great tech group in town who specifically encourages women in the Web industry — DC Web Women. I chair their events committee & regularly sleuth for partners around DC to support our special events.

Rhodeside Grill is a fine new vendor hosting our Back from the Beach party tonight; I updated and approved our contract this week via Google Docs.

Loved it. It streamlined accessibility by having one central place for the document (vs emailing drafts back and forth).

Hmm – converting our personal financial docs to Google’s platform might be an apt next project!

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