Thursday, October 30, 2014

Life is Short

My boss' husband had a heart attack on Sunday while he was out running.  It was all of 8 minutes from the time his Fitbit recorded him last moving until the ambulance got there.  He is 52, a runner, coach of the cross country team, seemingly very healthy.  They announced today after numerous meetings with the neurologist this week that they will be donating his organs.  My heart just aches for the entire family.  Hug your kids, tell your spouse you love them cause you just never know.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

50k

I just checked my 401k and the balance is over $50,000.  It is $50,135.91 to be exact.  I started this account just over 3 years ago.  I've been pumping it with money and the market has been kind.  Woohoo!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sick--Ugh!

I have had a terrible cough for the last 5 1/2 weeks.  I finally went to the doctor and I do have bronchitis.  I called in yesterday to make an appointment and got in yesterday afternoon.  It was to a doctor that I had never seen before and she was awesome.  She asked me a whole slew of pertinent questions and took the time to thoroughly examine me.  It as a full 2 hours that I was there as I had to wait about an hour after my appointment time  but I would rather wait for a knowledgeable doctor who cares than the one who gives the usual 5 minute consult.

I have just felt so rundown for so long now.  I can't wait to feel better.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Early Retirement

I want to retire early, like next year.  I would like for both Y and myself to work part time and be able to hang out with our kids more.  Y wants to retire early, like around 55 or 60.

We could sell our house and buy something for around $125,000 that would be owned free and clear.  We could pay off Y's pickup and be debt free.  I think we could make it on two part time incomes.  Ideally, I would like to move to Alaska off grid.  We could buy a dry cabin and Y could plumb it.  It would be cheap living.

I really think I want to do this.  Big risk, big reward!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Why I Save

You may have noticed in the past couple months that I have focused on saving money.  I have increased my retirement contributions to 10% this summer and just upped them again to 12%.  I started a retail investment account and contributed $11,000.  Since today is payday, I just added another $2000 to it also.  Our liquid savings is sitting at $10,000.  The reason that this has been my focus lately is because of my father-in-law.

He turned 61 this year.  They were planning on retiring early this year but things went a different way.  About a year and a half ago, he had routine knee surgery and then back surgery.  Suffice to say that neither surgery was routine and his life hasn't been the same since then. He had massive complications with both.  Then he had a second back surgery.  He was told to get out and walk after that.  He was walking and fell and hit his head.  He was taken to the ER and was in critical care for a week.  He recovered somewhat and returned to work.  He then had two more falls.  The last fall was last June.  He has been out of work since then.  He has disability insurance but they are arguing with worker's comp.  Their income stream has taken a huge hit.

This has been a huge financial derailment for them.  They were planning on retiring but instead have had less income and much greater expense between medical expenses, time off work for my mother-in-law, and travel expenses as they have had to travel to other cities for second opinions.  

This has been an important reminder that things don't always go as planned.  We need to save money when we can because nobody knows what the future holds.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

Manic Monday

I didn't really have another name for this post.  We had a busy weekend.  The kids and I went to a pumpkin patch with a couple of my girlfriends from high school and their kids.  It was fun but a very exhausting day.  Yesterday kind of sucked because I had a headache all day, not a hangover headache but a congestion one that would not go away.  Also my fantasy football team lost big.

We have a very busy week.  Lil Punk has picture retakes this evening.  I am going to a friends Tastefully Simple party tomorrow.  Lil Punk has gymnastics on Wednesday.  To top it off, I have a very busy work week.

On Saturday, Y's BFF and his girlfriend are coming over for dinner with Y's parents.  Y's parents will watch our kids while we go to a haunted hospital.  I can't wait!!  It's going to be so much fun!  The hospital is the old state hospital and it was used as a mental hospital so it is really haunted. I love October and Halloween!!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Increasing our Grocery Budget

I realized yesterday when I added up our monthly spending that I need to increase our grocery budget.  It was at $500 and we cannot make that work with our current habits.  I'm debating increasing it to $550 or $600.  This covers breakfast and dinners for all of us, snacks and lunches at work for Y and myself.  Lil Punk eats at school for lunch and Baby G eats lunch at daycare.  We rarely eat out.  We had two huge splurges of dinner out last month and we spent a total of $100 on dining out.  The previous month we spent around $30 on dining out.

Because we eat at home and take our lunches, I can't make $500 comfortably work.  I say comfortably because I'm not willing to change our diet to eat cheaper options.  I like having fresh fruit, veggies, fish, good cheese, and fresh pasta on occasion.  All of those are more expensive than trying to bare bones it.

I am also a foodie at heart.  When I make a grilled cheese sandwich, I want cheddar and Munster cheeses with fresh tomatoes and poblano peppers on good bread with a pesto spread.  Instead of making a basic taco dip, I want mine loaded with lots of fresh veggies, olives and avocado.  I know it costs more to cook like this but its a splurge that's well worth it in my book.

To top it off, I also like entertaining at our house.  It's fun for me to make a good dinner and to have friends over to share it with.  I want them to come over with their kids and enjoy a good meal with appetizers and drinks.  It's cheaper than going to a crowded restaurant and its way easier with kids.


Maybe I am justifying increasing our grocery budget but I'm okay with it.  Food is expensive!