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Archive for February, 2010

An interesting milestone reached

February 23rd, 2010 at 05:42 pm

For lots it seems that the day to day little victories are what keeps them motivated. That just isn't enough for me. While I am very frugal, and do like to know what I save based on my habits, I enjoy more looking to milestones I cross to know that what I am doing is working for me.

With that, this milestone isn't something I can easily title, so I'll just write it out...
I now have more in liquid and near liquid savings (savings bonds, CDs, cash, checking) than I owe on my current mortgage.
A sorta esoteric milestone, but I look at it this way: If I lost my job now I could easily live off unemployment while I use the liquid funds to pay off the house. I would still have my retirement funds (401k, 457, Roth IRA), some stocks, and a pension coming down the road (ok, the pension will arrive in 18 years, but still, its something).

Some future goals... (and if anyone can tell me what I am doing wrong in making a list here, I would like to know!!!)
[list]
[*]At my 50th b-day (in 2.5 years) I want to have $250K in retirement funds (could happen if the markets don't tank again as I'm at $150K now).
[*]Have the mortgage gone at that 50th b-day (currently I am paying at a rate that it should succumb 2 months before said b-day).
[*]Have my current vehicle survive until that same b-day, then look to buy a new car in the following year.
[*]Hard to quantify, but I want to be in better shape at 50 than I am now. To that end I have shaken up my daily workout regimen adding more abdominal work, and cut down some on the upper body exercises. Additionally I have started to take some workout supplements. It doesn't cost that much, and if I'm not saving money so I can spend it here, where am I going to use the money?
[*]I also want this house to be decluttered by the middle of summer.
[*]Oh, and I am still looking to have someone in my life, sometime not too too far away I hope. To that end I went out to a singles dinner last week, and paid for a nice lunch with a woman I met online over the weekend. I thought it went very well, but the pessimist in me is expecting the worst at this point. Hey, you can't give up, right?
[/list]

Ok, was that too much info? In any case, I like having the goals to work toward. It lets me know why I'm doing what I'm doing.



Oh and here's a photo of a toy train car I made a year ago. Why? Why not, plus I hope to start making more of them again in the future. (hey, should that be another goal???)

Its Baaaaaack!

February 9th, 2010 at 05:51 pm

For those who can't guess, that is the snow is back. Yowza, I got back in to the office for the first day this week, and already we're closed again for tomorrow. As a salaried dude, this sure don't make me sad. The local forecast was for 10+ with the majority of it coming from midnight to 8 AM. For this evening (6-midnight) the forecast was for 1 to 4 inches. Well after two hours (6-8PM) there was already 3 inches on the driveway, and it hasn't slowed down.

The only bad part about this (other than MORE snow shovelling!) is that I had signed up for a singles dinner for Thursday night, and its on the other side of town. This is making me wonder if they'll be able to have it now (and if I can even get there!).

Oh, and btw, the winds are supposed to pick up tomorrow as well. As I've told my relatives up north, we've now become the new snow belt.

Someone on the Washington Post site had the best comment for the start of tonight/tomorrow's storm - "All hands brace for impact!"

Hey, I have power (for the moment anyway)

February 6th, 2010 at 01:21 pm

Well I do have power at the moment though it could change any time. Like a few others here, I was in the center of this storm here on the east coast. They are saying it is going to snow another hour or so, but yikes, there is sure enough out there now. Everywhere around here is reporting at least 2 feet of snow. The little I tried to shovel was so packed, you could make igloo bricks out of it. And with no plowing on the side streets around here, its not like I could go anywhere even if I finished the driveway.

One interesting thing... the experiment with really low temps helped, as I was used to having the house cold, so the lack of heat wasn't that noticable. Last night with no power meant the temps dropped in the house, but it was still 50 when I got up in the morning.

Time to go shovel some more!

Thanks for nothing Disney

February 2nd, 2010 at 05:19 pm

And I really do mean that.

As part of my DRIPs I own some Disney stock, not too much, in the range of $1500 worth. Anyway, about two years ago Disney was buying part of some radio network called Citadel Broadcasting. Instead of just buying what they wanted, there was some type of stock swap involved (supposedly to cut down on stockholder taxes - though I didn't buy that even then). So because of this I became the new owner of 4 shares of Citadel's stock (which I think was $6/share back then). So I looked at this and said do I want to pay a stockbroker to get $24 less whatever commision I would have to pay (probably most of the $24), or just keep the junk. So I kept the 4 shares.

Now it looks like I should of just sold them and got whatever money I could (basically the stockbroker would have made money, not me!) I got a letter today that the company is now going into Chapter 11. At least I didn't lose much money with that fiasco, but couldn't they have figured if the number of shares was below a certain number (say 50?) they would just give the shareholders money instead as it wouldn't be practical?

So as I said, thanks so much for thinking about us small shareholders. Its great to know you really care. :P