I deposited money into my savings account!

I deposit money into my savings account! (PalomaCruz.com)For the first time in nearly two years, I actually deposited money into my savings account!

Two years ago I unexpectedly quit my job. I did that without any real idea of what I would do next. I didn’t plan it. I didn’t think about the next step. I didn’t pause. I didn’t overthink it. I just quit.

It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve done something that impulsive. I used to do things like that all the time, but never on that scale. Little things, medium things, but not life altering things.

I quit my job and then it never quite sunk in. I never got that “oh my God, what did I do?” moment. I never had the moment of panic.

It helped that I had no debt and a healthy savings account.

One day I sat down and figure out how long I could go without making any money. Then I started to take freelancing work. And at first it seemed like no one wanted to hire me. And the money kept going out and no money was coming in. And I started to get worried … for a week or so. Then the work started to roll in.

Last year I had the great experience of having the first month where I didn’t have to take money out of my savings to pay my bills. And then a few months later I lost a contract and had to do it again for two months. And I worried again, for two months. And then the worked really rolled in.

And … drum roll … I put money in my savings account this month!

I know that to you this is a boring thing. But to me this is major. It’s a wonderful feeling. And I’m determined to celebrate my victories where I find them.

What great thing happened to you this week?

More proof that God hates me

I spent the day yesterday making a road trip to visit my niece at her university. This is supposed to be a nice thing,  I think.  Regardless of the family drama,  it was a nice visit.  My niece is glowing,  she’s so happy at her new school.  It was great to see;  I’m so proud of her.

Did I mention that I volunteered to drive me car? On the way back a rock hit and cracked my windshield.  It has to be replaced, there’s too much damage for a repair. The cost won’t be covered by my insurance.

No good deed goes unpunished.

{Written on my mobile device. More details to follow in another post.}

I’m not spending my money!

2013.09 Piggy Bank 6921656694_9f907fb3ce_zA year ago my nephew received lots of money for his birthday. He couldn’t have been less impressed with it; money wasn’t real to him. He didn’t understand what you did with it, didn’t understand that it was useful. He handed it over to his mother without a moment’s hesitation.

Less than a month later, for Christmas, he was thrilled to get money in a few envelopes. “Wallet cash” is what he called it, i.e. cash he got to keep in his wallet instead of handing over to his mother to go into his college fund. This was money he got to spend.

What happened in that one month is that the newly-minted six-year-old discovered that you took money to the game store and exchanged it for games. “I sold my twenty for a game,” was how he put it the first time he paid for something himself.

A few weeks ago my sister was driving him back from the game store, where they’d gone to pick up a gift for a friend’s birthday. The store manager told them about a new game coming out in October. This was a game he was very interested in buying. The manager had told them that she expected the game to sell out, so she recommended they place an advance order. And so the kiddo spent the car ride home trying to convince his mother of the absolute need to pre-order the game.

“I’ll make you a deal,” my sister offered him, after hearing his arguments in favor of buying this $50 game. “If you pay half, I’ll pay for the other half.” She thought this was a very good deal. And since she knew that his stash of “wallet cash” equaled more than $80, she knew he could afford it.

“Wait… pay for it, with my money?” he asked her, horrified. He paused. “I gotta think about this,” he told her, seriously.

Then he was quiet for a while.

“I’ve got it!” he exclaimed excitedly after a while. “I’ll ask for the game as a present for my birthday. It’s just a month later. That way I get the game and I don’t have to pay for it.” He was very proud of his solution.

My sister was dumbstruck.
I was just impressed that the six-year-old was willing to wait an extra month for the game instead of parting with $25.

This is the kid who has declared he’s going to grow up to be a millionaire. Listening to him haggle so he could keep his money, I am beginning to believe him.

Photo courtesy of Tax Credits via http://www.flickr.com/photos/76657755@N04/6921656694.


Do your homework, then buy the car

2013.07 Used Car Lot 4498853087_6de97996c1_b

Something I should have done before I bought my car, “Get a Free Vehicle History Report Before You Buy a Car.” I’m not having trouble with it, but I still should have done my homework. I didn’t. I also didn’t buy the economical car I had planned on buying, but that’s a conversation/post for another day.

It’s not a surprise, not something that I woke up and discovered one day, but I am not very practical. Except I am very practical. Except when I’m not practical at all.

When I approached buying the car I did a lot of research on the type of car I wanted. I decided I wanted something practical, something that would be a “good” decision, a “good deal.” What I bought was a pretty car with all the extras that drives fast. It’s a great ride, just not as practical as I wanted to be.

This is the same attitude I have about everything. I do lots and lots of homework, then I rush into a final decision.

At some point I will learn patience. But I’m not going to hold my breath on that.

Photo courtesy of JOHN LLOYD via http://www.flickr.com/photos/32109282@N00/4498853087/.

Home Buying rules

houses for sale signMint has a good post with some guidelines on things to do and to avoid when buying a house. “The Ten Commandments of Home Buying” covers a few things that are important to note. The things that resonated with me:

  • Don’t bite off more mortgage than you can chew.
  • Carry few or no other debts.
  • Keep a big buffer.
  • Have an emergency fund.
  • Have good life, disability, and health insurance.
  • Bring a 20% down payment.

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that buying a house is in my long-term plans. Articles like this make my radar. And they make me sad, because I know, really know, that my house isn’t going to become reality this year… or any time soon.

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