Wednesday, February 15, 2012


I was in a fender bender this past weekend. It sucks, but there you have it. No one was hurt, but I have expenses now that I hadn't planned on. Rental car ... deductible ... mental and emotional health (believe me, those last two items are big expenses).

The good thing is that at least I have the money to cover the financial part of it. Four or five years ago it would've really hurt.

Also remarkable is that I'm back to being debt free. I just scheduled the payment for my new computer and the awesome, gorgeous new rug I bought for my living room (on sale for $179 from nearly $800), both of which I put on AmEx. I wasn't thrilled about taking that chunk out of savings, but it was either that or incur interest. Since my savings earn less interest than what is charged for credit, it made more sense to pay it off.

But ... wow, do I ever hate seeing my savings balance go down. Hate it. Just wait till it's time for me to plan (and pay for!) my vacation. By then I will have saved more money, and there's an "extra" paycheck coming in May. I will be able to afford for it, but I will hate spending the money. At some point I've got to stop getting twitchy when it comes time to pay for things.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Monthly Update: February 2012

I can't remember the last time I did a monthly update, and to tell you the truth, I don't feel like looking it up. (I know, I know. I'm lazy.) And this isn't going to be a huge post. But I did realize I hadn't checked in in a while and thought enough had happened that warranted an update.

First, I finally bought a new laptop. I'm typing on The Precious now, actually. I decided on another Mac, and I'm very happy with it. I purchased it with my AmEx because of the cash rewards and for the warranty protection, but I have more than enough in savings to pay off the balance. I will be meeting with my financial advisor sometime this month and will ask what he suggests -- whether I should pay it all off in one fell swoop, or whether it would make more sense to pay it off in installments. I'm leaning toward to the former.

Second, for the first time ever, I filed my tax returns electronically. Yeah, yeah ... what took me so long. Well, cheapness is one reason. TurboTax ain't free. And the one year that I tried to use the FreeFile thing, there was a technical glitch and I couldn't access the forms necessary for my freelance income. And last year, I had to file on paper because of the home buyer credit. Anyway, back to my point: I filed electronically and it was a breeze. Like ... I'm embarrassed for having avoided it for so long and laboring over my returns.

I'm getting back a decent refund, one that's slightly more than I expected. And the refund for my state taxes is much more than I expected. I do love itemized deductions. I'll be using some of it to help pay for my Paris trip, which I am still planning. The rest will camp out in savings, which brings me to this ...

Third, The savings are slowly getting back on track. Mind you, I'm about to eat into it to pay off The Precious, but I still feel encouraged.

Other developments include the purchase of an area rug for the living room. I ordered through Gilt Group. It was deeply discounted (regularly $795; paid $193, which included shipping). It's pretty darn perfect. Today I finally came up with some ideas for the odd space in my living room, but I want things to settle down before I start buying things to bring my idea to life. That's the good thing about owning, I've discovered. I can take my time.

OK. I think that's it for me. Peace.