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More wacky personal finance video.
More mobile blogging.
More DC social media.
And where Friday’s Fiscal Tickle continues each week.
Stop by anytime.
You’re always welcome at the new digs!
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.
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:
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:
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!
photo by Lois Raimondo, Washington Post, 2/10/08
What a blast!
It was published today, in the Washington Post’s business section — with our happy mugs below the fold (& as the second photo in the online slideshow).
Talking with Post reporter Nancy Trejos was a comfortable, positive experience. She expressed a lot of interest in different facets of family finance, especially in the face of a slowing economy & home sales.
Thanks Shashi Bellamkonda for connecting Nancy, Sean, & me.
The history of sin stocks shows consistent or even strong performance in downturned stock markets.
I grow more and more willing to embrace imperfection & inconsistency, especially when it relates to my own character (& the stock market). 🙂 But heck, I don’t know if my moral code – whatever the heck it is – can bank on humanity’s weakness.
And that type of hesitancy can make those more willing some big bucks.
Where do you stand on investing in people’s vices?
“Mrs. Foster, you & your husband should save at least $5million for retirement…at least!”
That’s my psychological (& literal) piggy bank passing out from that advice. Most all financial planners I met with last year suggested $5million be our retirement savings target (east coast).
What the SAM HECK do we need to save that amount for?! I’ll calm my drama-momma attitude … & attempt to answer with some calm. Feel free adding ideas to this list:
With above factored in the equation — leaving $1k/mo for health care costs during retirement — our current retirement savings quest is $2.5million. It makes financial planners smirk but, although hefty it’s an aggressive goal that doesn’t leave my mental or literal piggy bank in shock.
FreeMoneyFinance writes on the $5million topic with an active discussion thread;
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.
An Allegheny Power customer in the thick of it, Jimmy Gardner reports at East Coast Blogging.
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.
–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.
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!
The goddess of all things financially independent on how her portfolio continues to thrive despite current market pukeville.
So it’s time to take ownership & aim big.
I remember once being fearless in the face of challenges and dreams — going after them was the fun rush of life. Then on the financial front – I learned how much it costs to retire, to retire with decent health care protection, to raise children and their education, to run one’s own business, and more …. my momentum to achieve sobered-up.
Why is that? Maybe it’s just looking at too much at once -vs- one step at a time. Maybe it’s taking one’s self too seriously. Maybe dreams were too high with resources & energy too low. Is it even possible to have dreams too high?
…a mix of all likely but here’s the sitch: family members need our help. They’d never, ever ask for financial support. But bottom line, their situations are precarious & their means too small to evoke stability on their own. My judgment could be off but after reviewing all up, down, and sideways my husband and I agree taking action helps more than fretting.
And results just don’t fall from the sky. So can we realistically help? yes. Can we preserve our basic needs & personal savings plan too? yes. So is it time for a plan?
Yes and here it is:
$1million by 2012 (that’s $1million in overall paper value vs net).
So here it is:
Summary of Intent:
We are millionaires by 2012. By that year, we will have built our financial wealth to at least $1million through dedicated & united partnership to include: multiple income streams, property ownership in secondary cities, tax control, & wealth protection. Our love of life motivates this intent – and our family, whom we most dearly want to help.
It’s posted at our desks.
…along with the plan, the numbers, the benchmarks, a list of mentors (…need to contact them), & somewhere deep down is something that feels like resolve.