Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Busy with New Project, Vacation Planning, and House Buying Process

These past few weeks have gone by extremely fast. I started a new fast paced project which is taking up a lot more time. I'm very lucky if I get home by 7 pm and I feel somewhat lucky if I get to leave by 7 pm. When I work this much (I get in at 8:30, plus my commute is between 30 min-60 min each way), I don't have much energy after work for anything, except watching TV. I can't even keep up with all the blogs I read. C and I are also working hard on planning our vacation. I'm looking at how I get enough miles to book another flight segment on points. I can do it, but it'll take some time. In the midst of that, C and I are also looking into getting a home loan for a potential home purchase. I'm still not sure if we're going to move forward with the house purchase right at this moment, but we're getting closer to buying a place sometime this year.

In the midst of all this busyness, I realized that C and I spent an atrociously embarrassing amount of money on groceries last month. On our last credit card statement, we spent about $500 for the two of us! This month, we're going to try to spend less than $100, which I think should be do-able since our fridge and freezer are full of food.

Friday, May 16, 2008

It's Been A Busy Week

This past week I started on a new client engagement. The hours aren't too bad, but it's taking me some time to get used to working regular hours and commuting for about 1.5 hours/day. In addition to that, C and I are seriously considering buying our first home. We've both been saving for our house down payment for some time and we have a decent amount amassed. We're also going to get some parental help for the down payment. We thought that we were going to get the help, but it has been confirmed. I'm so grateful for the help that we get from our family - not only monetary, but also emotionally.

On a side note, would you pay $2K up front in the form of half a point if you knew that it would save you $3K over 15 years?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Money Confession: I Spend Whatever I Want

While this is probably true of most people you know, this is probably not something you would expect from a personal finance blogger. I sometime feel guilty about the fact that I spend whatever I want, but I have a secret. I have trained myself to be mostly content with what I have, so I don’t want a lot.

One idea that I have seen again and again is how people really value experiences, not things. I used to be the opposite. I used to think that I would much rather get a really cute sweater than go to a concert. But then I realized that of course I would rather get a cute sweater than go to a concert since I don’t like music that much! It wasn’t that concept that was wrong, but it was my points of comparison. Now I’ve realized that rather than spending money on a cute sweater, I would be much happier to spend that money on the experience of a nice vacation. I have trained my brain to not even want to cute sweater very much since I am pretty content with my closet.

Of course it helps to stay out of stores too. I have most of the clothes that I need to be happy, but one place where I have the desire to spend is on home furnishings. We have very few items in our home that was purchased new. Most of our items were hand me downs from family and friends with a few items purchased from craigslist. I would love to have a semi matching living room set or even a bed with a headboard. I realized that I’ve never owned a bed with a headboard or any kind of frame beyond the basic metal ones that come with the bed in my whole life. But when I go to the store and think about spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on new furniture, my mind talks me out of it since it know that I would much rather spend my money on a lifetime adventure.