Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

I just opened up a new savings account on my main account. It's the escrow account for the siding where I deposited the check from the insurance company, and it's labeled as such. Knowing that I'm going to be paying more than the settlement amount, I want to be able to do some advance planning to get to the point where I can afford it when it comes time to pay da man.

I'm fairly lucky in that I have a job that pays me well enough that I can afford to sock away some money to pay for some expensive home repairs given enough time to plan it. That doesn't come without a price, as I've had to dig my way out of debt and bad credit through a struggle that's taken years, through not having consumer credit cards or revolving loans for years, through doing my own work rather than paying someone else to do it, through denying certain things that I would have liked to have but could do without. And I don't have loads and loads of cash to play with-- I still have to plan and budget and deny myself things that would be fun.

Okay, after taxes, health insurance, all that gooey stuff that comes out of a check, I get to take home a little over half of my salary. 3/8 of that goes for mortgage payments, taxes, and insurance. 1/4 I divert into savings right away. The rest goes for bills, duty costs (gas, food, pet food, etc.) and discretionary spending. To save up for the siding, I'm going to have to bump up the money going into savings by some amount that's going to reduce my "rest of" money, and that's already kinda tight.

Now I'm not anywhere near the poverty line. And I don't have a wife or kids to pay for. I don't have a car payment that I'm trying to make every month. I don't have credit cards that I'm trying to pay off.

How on earth does someone who isn't so lucky do it?

I can justify putting money into the house renovations because it directly increases the home's value. It's a legitimate investment, aside from the personal healing that comes with it, and it's bringing me closer to being able to chase down creative dreams like making movies.

Okay, so based on some quickie estimates, I'm planning on a $10k budget for the siding. There's $2500 in the escrow account right now, so I have to kick in another $7500. If I save $1k/month, that's 7.5 months from now, without taking out a loan.

Yeah, I just said if I can save a thousand dollars a month.

Methinks I'll be taking out yet another loan.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 28th, 2007 09:21 pm (UTC)
If it makes you feel any better, I'll let you know how much of a loan I want to take out for the DAVE school.

I won't say it publicly. All I'll say here is that $10k is only a fraction of my total number.

Yes. Lots "YIKES!" on my part.
Sep. 28th, 2007 09:28 pm (UTC)
I have a pretty good idea of the number, and YIKES is a sound strategy.

Then again, that's also a reasonable investment on your part.

I'm pinching pennies because I just took out a $19k home improvement loan to cover a previous home improvement loan and the new porch, and this is a totally new project. Taking out yet another loan isn't my idea of a good time, as there is still a lot more stuff to do (like a garage), and I really need to do a refi like next year, but the siding has to be done first.

It's like one of those goddamn puzzles.
Sep. 28th, 2007 09:43 pm (UTC)
Back in 1999, GG and I were living on an excruciatingly tight budget. We didn't make that much, and child care was costing us $1,000.00 / month. So imagine my sticker shock when I went to get the mini-van registered for the first time. When all was said and done, we had one hundred dollars to last a family of four for over a week.

I was horrified, angry, and few other emotions all at once. This was what getting a degree earned us? Living hand-to-mouth?

I called my friend Penmaster to gripe. He just said "Remember, this too will pass."

"Bite me," I replied. He laughed.

Thing is, he was right. We got lucky that week, and stayed within our limits. We got paid, and inched a tiny bit forward. Eventually things got much better.

Here's the weird part: When I think back to that incident, I don't really remember the anger, or the fear. I remember GG and I laughing over a couple of jokes we made about the situation, and how we ended up having a really nice week at home.

So, I guess I'm saying "This too shall pass."

(And yes, I know, "Bite me.") :)

Sep. 28th, 2007 09:32 pm (UTC)
Ooh! And I forgot to add in a couple of things:

1. I'm selling the Nintendo Wii (the kids NEVER touch it)

2. I'm selling four of my RC airplanes.

2. I'm selling some other stuff (misc. games, models, etc.,).


To pay for an iMac for me.

And this is after getting a significant raise this week.

Yes, we could just buy one, but I don't want to impact our savings or checking account that much. I want to shed stuff I don't need for something I genuinely do.

This all brings me back to your original question. How do we pay for this stuff? By focusing on our needs at the time, and skimping on stuff we don't consider important.

Pay the bills? Yep.
Pay off the car? Yep.
Feed the kids? Of course.
Go for a $40.00 dinner out? Sure?
Go for a $200.00 dinner out? My ass.

We just try to be cheap where it counts (clothes, which go out of style and wear out) and spend where we need (computers for our work projects, cars, medical, and savings for those rainy days).

Yeah, GG and I made some movies, but we didn't travel near as much as we would have liked. We don't have a lake home, or a really expensive car, or even a newer home. We shop at Target and SAM's Club for clothes, and our big indulgences have been video games, DVDs, and relatively cheap stay-at-home entertainment.

Of course, this willful cheapness spilled over into movie making, too. Yeah, we could have spent more on all of our projects, but I'm awfully glad we didn't.

In short, keep your spending tight, and focus on getting the important things (your siding, your home, and your nest) in order. The fun stuff will follow later.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

April 2012


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow