Saturday, October 17, 2009

Day #30: The Kentucky edition

My Honda Fit performed well beyond my standards. I drove down from Toledo to Lexington, Kentucky, average speed of 70-75 and I figured I would get 33MPG. Not so! I was able to have 39MPG most of the drive, and on one stretch with light traffic (so I could use my cruise for a loooong time) I got 42.1MPG. Crazy!

Niki lives in a very nice house in suburbia with two roommates, whom are not here this weekend (one offered her bed for me to use, how generous, considering she's never met me!)

We went to Baker's 360 which is an upscale club on the 15th floor of a building. It was quite....loud. There was a sushi bar, and I bought yellowtail nigiri; it was delicious!

Now Niki and I are in a coffee shop downtown. We just had lunch - a ton of mediterranean food that was delicious! After such, I'm not sure what we're going to do.. maybe go to a cupcake buffet at 5:30, maybe to dress up for the club, maybe I'll just play piano (one of her roommates is a piano teacher) until 2 in the morning like I did this morning.

Whatever we do, I'm sure it will be a unique blast!

«Laura»

Friday, October 16, 2009

Day #29: The super tired edition

I went to an amazing They Might Be Giants show in Cleveland last night, and man am I exhausted. Decided to sleep an extra hour and worked from 9:30-1 instead of the usual half day.

Then I get to go to Kentucky! I'm excited! Niki has wireless internet in her home, so I will be bringing my laptop for posting. I had too much work to do and couldn't get my posts for Friday and Saturday done.  Oh well, no time like the present.

I'll let you know how the drive down went!!

«Laura»

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day #28: Forget it!

This coming weekend, I will not have access to my computer, nor the internet. That means:

No compulsively checking Mint or ING.
No using Facebook (Don't use it much regularly anyway)
No watching Hulu (What?? I have to wait to Sunday night to watch the Office??? Nooooooo...)
No reading blogs (I read most of my blogs at the cubicle during lunch)


Why will I not have access to my computer and the internet?

I'm heading to Lexington, Kentucky to see my friend Niki!  She's very cool and cute!

I'm sure I'll be taking photos and writing lyrics. I'm a musician and photographer! I forget that. I really shouldn't.  Anyway, here I go, see you later, internet!

«Laura»

P.S. This weekend's blog posts are already written and will be scheduled and released on time. No worries! : )

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day #27: The Automatic Millionaire, Chapter 2

Chapter two talks about his trademarked "Latte Factor", the acknowledgement that small daily spending drains your wallet. Another way to think about it is the saying, "If you watch your pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves".

I do my best to watch both the pennies and the dollars. I've been loosening the belt a bit, being okay with an occasional hot chocolate and a cheap 6 inch sub from Subway for dinner while I'm at Barnes and Noble, writing away. More than 90% of the time, I pack my lunch rather than buy it. And if I'm eating out, I either eat half of it and save it for the next day's lunch or order something cheap, like a cup of soup. I don't go out to eat to taste certain foods, I go out to be nourished and spend time with friends.

I'm not going to complete the exercises in this chapter because I have my budget set up well that I'm within the limits I want, and I have lived it for nearly a year. I know my "Latte Factor" and it's either a part of my frugal want or it's not a transaction.

I'm looking forward to getting this medical debt off my back, but what I really ought to do is STOP THINKING ABOUT FINANCIAL STUFF!

Yeah. I yelled. I'm in Barnes and Noble and I'm writing about finance, which is good, but I really should write a song. Play piano. Or flute. Something! That's my gift! I'm just getting worked up about things that won't be affecting me for the next 40 years.

I have my 401(k) and my Roth IRA set up. I have a budget that works and most, if not all, of my expenses are automatic. I don't have to worry about a darn thing.

Perhaps I should shift my focus to composing or minimalism or fasting or Bible study.

Here I come, piano. I've missed you!

«Laura»

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day #26: The Automatic Millionaire, Chapter 1

Chapter 1 builds upon the exercises done in the introduction.  The author, David Bach, gets into more detail about the McIntyres. They have no debt and have retirement accounts - even a rental property that is paid for!  He then wants the reader to talk about their retirement wants and the time to achieving the goal. His category "Y/N" is defined as "retirement wants that you want in retirement (Y) or you don't care (N)". This seems a bit ambiguous to me - does the "No" answer mean "I don't care WHEN I get this want" or "IF I get this want".  I'm going to answer the Y/N column as "I don't care WHEN I get my want."

Actually, maybe this way:

R = I want this in retirement
B = I want this BEFORE retirement
X = I don't care if it is before or during retirement



The Automatic Millionaire Goal Developer
Actionable Goal
Y/N
How close? 10 = Achieved, 1 = Not Begun
Save money in my 401(K) and Roth IRA - enough to live off of dividends/percentage of portfolio
R
2
Continue creating passive income streams through blogging, composing, etc
B
2
Enjoy spending money on things that are important to me and not spending money on things that I don't care about
B
5
Give 10% of my income (or retirement withdrawals) to the church
B
5
Sign up for frequent flier programs or a credit card that gives back miles
X
1
Have a vacation fund for this type of travel (not include the "Travel" goal)
B
1
New Zealand!
B
1
Europe!
X
1
Israel!
X
1
Get a Master's degree (perhaps PhD) in Music
B
1
Exercise interests in music, writing, cooking, vegetarianism, minimalism, reading, investing
B
3
Buy/build a  house that suits my creative needs
B
1
Have some sort of self-sufficient house (solar or wind power) if I can handle or hire for the upkeep
X
1


That's interesting. Most of my goals are before I retire. Two thoughts come to mind.

1) Does that mean that I'll still want to do the same things in retirement that I want to do now or in my 40s?

or

2) Does that mean I cannot see that far into the future to be realistic?


Hmmm. Maybe I need to re-evaluate my goals toward retirement.  Or not.

«Laura»

Monday, October 12, 2009

Day #25: Worried?

I'm not worried today. But I worry unnecessarily other days. I worry about the future, mostly. Financial plans are great to have, but I obsess.  I'm checking Mint and ING daily, wanting to make sure I can afford to live the way I want to - be able to pay for my car and knock out my medical debt as soon as possible.

In my debt basket, I owe around $15,000 on my car (including interest) and $5,000 in medical debt. Luckily, I have five years to pay the car loan off, and I hope that I can get rid of the medical debt in the next 6 or 7 months.

In my savings account, I used $4,000 of the $10,000 for a down payment of my car.  My first goal is to get rid of the medical debt, and after that, I will build my savings fund back to its original state.

But I still worry.  And once the debt is gone and the savings is back, I'll still worry. I'll have more goals and want to learn more things which will cost time and perhaps money.

However, worrying about uncontrollable things is silly. I should just plan, do my best, watch what I spend money on and enjoy the day instead thinking about my daily spending.

«Laura»

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Day #24: The Barnes and Noble realization

When I'm at Barnes and Noble, I write at least one post. When I'm attempting to write elsewhere, it feels like an effort and I try to find any way to distract myself. Looks like I'll have to frequent the bookstore more often!

I'm heading there tomorrow after work. Right now, I'm heading for a nap. Darn lazy Sunday.

«Laura»