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Archive for October, 2013

Oh, how I wish I had the mad financial planning skillz of ceejay, monkey mama...

October 14th, 2013 at 09:21 pm

...lucky robin, creditcardfree, patientsaver and many other awesome SA bloggers. Smile

I'm having mucho trouble tracking my spending. I know it takes just recording expenditures each day or once a week or whatever, but I'm just not doing it. I'm totally frozen. To do SOMETHING financially related, I decided to figure out my net worth again since it's been a month - so here are the figures since mid-September.

Assets
Cash 68,889
Brokerage 48,200.14
403B Retirement 345,766.85
Traditional IRA 56,401.10
Roth IRA 5,002.30
House 200,000.00

Total Assets 724,259.39

Liabilities
Auto loan (2.9%) -5,210.09

Current net worth 719,049.30

Once again, not bad for a net worth, but I have a lot of work to do on my house so a lot of the cash will go towards that. But, I'm just not tackling the house projects. When faced with big projects and decisions, I get very stuck and numb internally and have difficulty taking any action. My mind whirls. Where do I start? I'm afraid to spend money on big projects! What if I end up a bag lady? What if I need the money for something else? I want to retire early and won't be able to if I spend my money on these big projects. It goes on and on…

I'm great at stuffing away cash and I'm comfortable making many small purchases, but I'm not actively MANAGING the in- and out-flow of money in my life or PLANNING exactly what I want to do with it. Seriously, if I had the managing/planning drive of the amazing bloggers mentioned in the title of this entry, I would be ready to retire pretty darn soon. I know I need to develop the skillz, but I'm not making it happen.

Baby steps don't even seem to be working, so I'm going to try micro-steps! For September, some of my recurring monthly expense amounts were:

Phone (landline & DSL): 83.40
Electricity: 36.71 (this was unusually low because I was out of town for some of the billing period in August)
Insurance (auto & homeowner): 116.73
Auto loan payment: 231.46

Those charges should be similar in October, except for the electric bill, which will be higher.

Onward…

phoney baloney

October 5th, 2013 at 06:58 pm

I'm so annoyed - I recently started getting these random text messages about movies on my average intelligence phone that I rarely use. Each incoming text costs me 15 cents. I googled the strange five-digit number and discovered that it was some sort of scam that not only sends texts, but charges your phone account $3.99 for the "service". WTF? So, I looked at my on-line prepaid phone account and noticed that I did indeed have $3.99 deducted from my balance. So, I called and talked my provider into refunding the $3.99 and blocking the number (I can't block from my phone). I hope it works. I'm so annoyed because, of course, I did not sign up for this service. Why would I want to receive random texts about movies? The fact that some people will concoct illegal schemes to earn money is remarkable to me.

While I'm on the subject of cellphones, I'm considering upgrading my phone. I currently have a very prepaid basic phone that I use for infrequent calls and texts, mostly when I'm meeting someone or traveling. I'd like to get a basic smartphone so that I'd have more options to use, like GPS, and be able to text more easily, since many people seem to like to communicate via texting these days. I've been researching airvoice, ting and republic. I am most interested in republic because of their mission to use more available wireless in their cell service, but the reviews are very mixed. Some people have had minimal problems with the service and are happy and others have a zillion complaints. The original phone they offer has now been reduced to $99 and a $19/month unlimited voice/text/data no contract plan. They are releasing a new phone in November which will cost $299 and have a variety of plans available. I love the cheap phone price, but will the technology be annoyingly outdated? Or will anything be better than what I currently have? Smile

Has anyone bought a used unlocked iPhone or other smartphone on-line? The other option is to find a used phone and sign up for ting or airvoice. My brother had an old iPhone 3 that he was going to give me, but it didn't seem to be working when he finally located it in his house and checked it out. Bummer.

I've been reading cheap cellphone threads on MMMustache and other forums, but haven't yet reached a conclusion. If anyone has any suggestions/advice/thoughts, feel free to comment!