Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Personal in PF

Reading through the comments from my last blog post from my blogging friends made me realize that many of you don't understand where I'm coming from. I know that I've made decisions that have made many of you probably raise your eyebrows.

When we decided to buy a new tractor and take on a loan for over $25,000, I think many of you didn't understand why we would do that. Last winter we had a huge amount of snow. It made us realize that we are easily snowed in here. We needed a reliable way to move the snow and our old tractor had broken down a number of times. Used tractors that were about ten years old were only about ten grand less. We bought new so we know how its been treated and we will have it for the next 20+ years.

One of the reasons that I was willing to buy it is because I see it as a necessity for living in the country. Before we moved, our property taxes were around $4800 annually. Since we moved here three years ago, they have been about $700 annually. After our tax abatement ceases, they will be around $2500 per year. We have already saved $12,300 in property taxes but we need to be more self sufficient out here.

Another way that I'm reminded of how personal finance is very personal is our decision to have another baby. Nobody has kids with the intention of saving money but we wanted another baby to complete our family. Childcare, diapers, clothing, food, school expenses, the list will always go on and we are okay with that.

I understand that I'm not going to get every PF blogger out there. As I look at the decisions I have made, I need to remember to cut others slack.

What PF decision have you made that others didn't get?

17 comments:

  1. Others don't get our long ago decision for me to leave the workforce to be a SAHM when our fret child was born, before my loans were even paid off, never to return. We decided that the quickest route to affluence was living beneath our means, rather than earning more. For us, it worked. Yet, people still question why I am continuing as a SAHM, even though a nanny would be doable, leaving us some of my potential pay. On paper, that is. I can't seem to convince them that I don't want to work only to see my salary go to things like a housekeeper, handyman and convenience food, let alone another person 's salary as childcare provider. Ah well, to each his own.

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    1. First child...not "fret child." Although at times.......

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    2. Being a stay at home mom is a huge decision that only you can make. I honestly need my job for my sanity but to each their own.

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  2. I sometimes get comments about our budget. . . how if people made what we made, they'd retire early, spend less, etc. I get it, it's hard to relate to a situation unlike your own. Also, the COL is just insane where we live, and we've chosen to live in specific ways. Real estate is one of our long-term retirement strategies, so I'm not terribly worried about what we owe on our properties. I recognize that amount makes many people uncomfortable, & I'm totally okay with that. My life doesn't have to look like the life of others.

    That said, even after a housekeeper & child care (after school care, now that we have kids in elementary school), we are still amassing wealth. Like Meg B, but in reverse, I frequently get questions & comments that assume that I'm making a poor choice by working. Trust me when I say that we've run the numbers, and this works best for our family, from a financial perspective as well as a lifestyle choice. Just as I'm sure Meg's choice works for her family.

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    1. Its very easy to look at one's situation and make comments on what you would do differently but its often not that easy.

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  3. Exactly!!! Of course we get differing comments on our personal finance choices, as we all have different priorities. When I was younger, the comments would hurt my feelings. Things like "my time is too valuable to spend pre-making pancakes for the week. I have a life. " Now I realize that my values, the things I and my husband found worthwhile were just different than somebody else's. The road we took got us where WE chose to be. Now the only things that irk me are 1)people complaining about the situation brought about by their choices and 2)the "well, you have it made " comments. (Usually by the same people who questionedcriticized our earlier choices on our path to abundance.
    Oh, and for what it is worth, if we lived in ND, you can bet a new, reluable tractor would have been a priority!

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  4. Just ignore the dopes, the first thing I bought dad when we moved him back to Turtle lake was a large tractor mower and and large snow blower. If they don't live in that country they don't understand. People just like to judge. We all do different things to save money. what I might think is worth while you might think is nuts. Excuse me while I go iron a pillow case.....

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    1. I have never ironed a pillowcase but I don't think you are nuts for doing so :)

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  5. $4800 in property taxes is a lot. Good thing you moved :) I agree that PF is very personal. It's all about personal beliefs and values, and everyone's different. People sometimes judge too quickly. I like holding a little bit of gold and other precious metals in my portfolio. But I've been told by critics that gold isn't a real investment, it's too volatile, it's pure speculation, etc. But to each their own.

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  6. 25k for a tractor....people "complain." 25k for a car...people think that is reasonable. Go figure.

    I doubt that a tractor purchase was a whim, and if you feel it is necessary for your family (especially with a baby), then it is what it is. When we got 3 ft of snow in February...I WISH we had a tractor!!!

    As for baby....I am doubtful that anyone can truly "afford" kids. But you don't go into it for that reason...you go into it because you want your family. We couldn't afford to have twins...let alone when I was pregnant with the second set! But I am totally ok with it.

    On my blog...I have had people tell me that sending my kids to camp is over indulgent. We spent $250/kid on a party one year (they are 11 now, and we have only done 2 parties total). I bought some decorations for Christmas. Heck, we went out to dinner. And someone always tells me how in debt we are and I am irresponsible. Oh well!

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    1. I don't get how sending your kids to camp is over indulgent. That doesn't make any sense to me.

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  7. I don't get too many comments in general, but nobody agreed with my decision to keep contributing to my girls' college plans. And, I'm okay with that because nobody was harsh about it - and it probably wasn't the best decision and the comments did cause me to re-think the whole plan.

    I think a lot of people tend to think that their way is the "right" way, and by extension - everyone else is wrong. But personal finance is so much more than a math equation.

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    1. Comments on this blog have made me rethink some things. I guess it keeps my brain working :)

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  8. ahh, too true. Some people don't get why we paid off our HELOC and the personal loan that we borrowed from Mr PoP's parents, but then others don't get why we're keeping our mortgage around.

    There's always someone out there who's going to disagree with you, but in the end, the only person who knows us best is ourselves.

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    1. Actually, I totally get your decisions. I would have paid off your in-laws, too.

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  9. I get why you bought the tractor. It just still scared the heck out of me because it was a big chunk of money. Granted, $25k is a huge amount of money for anything to me, including a car. My most expensive vehicle was $13,500 when we bought it used. DH is constantly nagging me for a four wheel drive vehicle and I keep saying no because I know it will be a lot of money. Yet, we spent that $14k on getting our stupid driveway repaved, and I love it, but I hate that we spent that much money without giving it proper thought. I hate that I feel responsible for the whole thing, and I hate that I feel like DH is sort of blaming me for depleting most of our savings and leaving us in a position where we feel stress instead of comfort when he already deals with so much stress at work. I hate that for whatever reason it feels like we just can't get back to where we were. Maybe this should be a blog post instead of a comment! I guess I'm just so proud of you for accomplishing what I have felt so frustrated about for being unable to accomplish myself over the past few months. Your progress on that tractor has made me feel sad that I haven't done better, but also hopeful because I know it is possible to meet a goal, and I just need to hang in there. Sorry for the rant. You're right, PF is so very personal.

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  10. Oh honey I get you. Sometimes I think blogging is a gift and other times its a curse. I post our bills and money situation just because I think that it helps others. I think if we all work together and say when we have problems it helps. And other times this just backfires and every cent that I spend is scrutinized. What people seem to forget about me is-we scrape by because we choose to. I stretch every penny as a challenge. We only have one bill left and that is the house payment. I could spend more and be careless but we chose not to. I often have to remind people that we live the way we do not because we have to but because we want to.
    I would have done the same thing that you did. The new tractor was the way to go because you need it and will more than get your money back from it.

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