<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Home > Archive: May, 2011

Archive for May, 2011

My house has finally disappointed me

May 9th, 2011 at 06:01 am

The inevitable has happened: today I owe more than my house is worth. The fact that it took this long for the down housing market to affect my neighborhood is the only thing that surprises me. Guess I'm fortunate that I don't plan on selling anytime soon.

Like many others, I'm kicking myself for not purchasing my home with at least 20% down. I know that it wouldn't have changed the drop in value, but I'd still be ahead in equity. More importantly, I wouldn't be trapped if I had (or wanted) to move tomorrow.

In spite of the bad mortgage news, my plan is to continue paying down consumer debt. Once completed, I will need to decide what is more important: begin paying down the second mortgage (fixed at 8%) or save up cash to put down for our dream home whenever we are in a better position to do so.

Net worth ver. 1.0

May 5th, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Looking over my blog, I just realized that I've neglected to do a net worth calculation. Uh, yeah ... scratch "neglected", I've been absolutely mortified to punch out a number. Guess I'd better get this over with.

While I'm not sure what the accepted practice for figuring out my net worth is, I'll follow my hunch for now and wait for feedback. Here we go:

Today's net worth

Cash (checking & savings): $2,806.04
Investments: $46,232.44
Property (home & autos): $177,500.00

Consumer debt: $26,462.05
Mortgage debt: $161,227.68

Net worth: $38,848.75


I'm surprised. I seriously thought that the value would be negative. On the other hand, I'm a little bit disappointed that even if my consumer debt was eliminated today, my net worth would barely surpass one year's income. Time to get more motivated.

May madness

May 3rd, 2011 at 11:45 am

New month, new budget ... new expenses. After a banner debt reduction last month (to the tune of $2,000), I knew April would be a hard month to beat. And I was right: May is already looking to hammer me with some snowflake-hungry expenditures.

The worst offender is the last minute spending that I failed to account for in last month's budget. So I'm already down nearly $200! Some of it was necessary (or so I keep telling myself), but it looks like we're going to have to majorly rein in the dining out.

May, on the other hand, is staring me down with the lament of broken necessities in its eyes. The laptop battery is near death. The kitchen faucet's handle is hanging on by the proverbial thread. Worst of all (to my DW, at least) is the inoperable ice maker. So much for making progress on debt this month.

Switching to a different topic, I applied to write for The Content Authority yesterday. Assuming my writing sample passes review, I will have the opportunity to get paid as a ghost writer. Does anyone have any experience writing online for them or other content mills like Textbroker or ecopywriters?

Frustrated at conversations about money

May 2nd, 2011 at 11:01 am

Or, to be precise, frustrated at the lack of financial communication with family and friends. I'm sure everyone here can guess what this will be about.

For the record, I haven't had many (... if any) role models of good financial standing among my friends and family. So, I'm not surprised that I've managed to keep the flame of uncontrolled spending burning brightly since I've reached adulthood. It would have been very hypocritical of me to point fingers.

But I really thought that I would've received a little more support from everyone when my wife and I decided to change gears. Well, okay ... maybe not a ton of support at first (we weren't entirely sure ourselves that anything would change). But it has been almost exactly a year now of paying down debt while adding absolutely nothing to it. And guess what? Still no support.

Perhaps the ridiculous taboo of not discussing personal finance with others is to blame. Maybe it is just pure embarrassment. But to get nothing but blank stares when bringing up the progress we've made is disappointing. Mostly because I know my family and friends are in similar circumstances and could really change things around if they'd only try.

Oh well ... /shrug