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Archive for August, 2012

Another Expenditure

August 27th, 2012 at 02:21 pm

We bought a stove this past weekend. A nice glass top stove. Not the nicest, and not the cheapest. It set us back about $750, taxes included.

To start the story at the beginning, our glass topped stove broke about two years ago. The oven still worked, and three of the four burners on the stove worked, but the biggest burner, the one that could work at two sizes, was cracked, so we couldn't use it. We'd used a three burner stove since.

Well I tried to "fix" it last week, only making it worse. We had the money in our EF, so we bought a new one. It has some nice features that our old one didn't. "Turbo Boil" (gets hotter to boil, say spaghetti water, faster), a warming spot (a fifth burner that is super low heat to keep things warm when they're done), and a probe for constantly measuring internal temperatures of meat. Things that we have done fine without, but are nice.

Most importantly - we didn't go in debt! We cash flowed the purchase. Sure, our EF took a hit, and that money is gone, never to be seen again. But, we have no more debt than we did a week ago, and we have a new stove!

I should add that the oven on the old unit was starting to go bad. Things were taking longer to bake. Sure, we probably could have changed the element, but that whole three burner thing was getting old.

My Retirement Fund

August 17th, 2012 at 09:50 am

My retirement fund is at six digits. Today. And, just barely. I was close the last time the markets boomed, but didn't quite get there.

A year ago, I reported on this blog that for every dollar I had invested in retirement, I owed 20 cents in credit card debt. Today, for every dollar I have invested in retirement, I owe 6 cents in credit card debt. Six years ago, that was a one to one ratio.

On the personal side, my youngest daughter sprained her ankle a couple of days ago. I took her to a playground while DW was at an appointment. It isn't a very nice playground, and the traffic compacted track around the merry-go-round has tree roots growing in it. She tripped on one of the tree roots. So, it just goes to show that there is a reason for the extreme and expensive safety measures at the modern play grounds.

August Debt Update

August 10th, 2012 at 06:07 am

August 2012 Debt
Mort 1 $102,359
Mort 2 $66,080
CC1 $2,384
CC2 $1,522
CC3 $387
CC4 $1,508
Van Loan $0

Difference from June = $10,139. Thank you Adoption Credit!

My current focus is to retire CC4 before December 31, when it shoots up to 22.99% APR. I'll have to make average monthly payments of $377 to make that happen.


August 6th, 2012 at 06:45 am

We cancelled our TV satellite service about two years ago. We cancelled it because we could no longer afford to pay a monthly TV bill and reduce debt.

We're in a much better financial state than we were two years ago. We can now afford to pay a monthly TV bill, and continue to make substantial steps toward reducing debt. The question is - should we?

We have found life without TV to be not only acceptable, but in many ways preferable. The kids no longer fight about what's on the TV. The TV is not constantly on, rotting our brains. We have an extra $60 per month to allocate somewhere else. Most of what's on TV is crap anyway.

We are missing the Olympics. And I miss the Big 10 network and NCAA tournament coverage most of all (Go MSU!). And sometimes, if used properly, it can give you a parenting break. (The same old DVDs get tiring after a while).

So, we're considering whether or not we should re-up with our satellite TV service. And, getting the cheapest, most basic service is not appealing to me Like I said, the Big 10 network is part of the deal.

What do you all think?

Adoption Credit

August 2nd, 2012 at 10:53 am


I've been inactive for quite some time, but I wanted to let you all know that our 13K federal adoption tax credit arrived in the mail this week, with interest. We deposited it, and the check cleared yesterday. Today we paid bills! $2,500 went to pay off our new front porch, $2,000 went to one of the credit cards, $5,000 paid off our van, $2,200 went to family members for Mort 2, and the rest went to our EF. Sure feels good!

Some of you may be tempted to critique how the money was spent. Please don't. (ie, more should have gone toward high interest credit cards) This was a balance of my wishes, DW's wishes, and sending money to family members with whom we have loans. Trust me, I know that paying off higher interest accounts makes more purely financial sense, but we feel an obligation to accelerate progress on family loans.