Friday, November 13, 2009

2009 updates - part 2?

Other finance issues in 2009:

1. I horribly horribly missed my savings goal for the year. For the past 3 years my goal has been to save $5,000 for an emergency fund. Every time I get a consequential amount into the account I spend it! Then I lie to myself and say that i will replenish the savings account, but when i'm flush with cash, I don't.

The only thing that holds me back from spending savings $ and motivates me to save is when i think about my goal for next year. I want to save a few thousand dollars for investing. Maybe the appeal is that "investing" is something you do, whereas "saving" really means doing nothing and leaving the money there.

2. I failed at another goal. I intended to keep no balances on my 2 credit cards....and i did for 4-5 months. Then I lost all discipline. I will have no balance by the end of the year. I just have to not go crazy over budget for xmas gifts. I intend on buying for my BF's parents and brothers only as my family doesn't celebrate xmas.

3. I meant to refinance at the beginning of the year because of all the newspaper headlines touting record breaking interest rates. Got a few GFEs then lost interest. I don't really understand points or any of the other terms. I just know I'm not sure that I want to keep the condo more than 5 years from now.

4. I got a car. That meant $44 for a license, $355 for registration, $250 in parking tickets, and $40 monthly for the Gecko. I do like driving it, tho. In response to my nicer newer car, BF wants to sell his, which sets off all sorts of committment-phobia for me!

5. I moved out of my condo and became a renter AND landlord. My job is stable, but all the headlines about recession and yucky-ness was scaring me. So I was thinking of ways to spend less and try and save more. I wasn't sure live-in BF would want to move....and I imagined a very embarrassing conversation about my financial mismanagement causing him to be kicked out of a home. But luckily, he was sick of the neighborhood and wanted to move. We live in a very posh/affluent/desired neighborhood and every store/restaurant around us was really expensive and stuffy. So it was not a great fit for our tastes.

First I looked for a tenant. Some guy is moving to DC to start a federal job? Sounds perfect. A bunch of emails later, he's on board. His rent covers the mortgage, HOA fee, AND then some. Sweet deal! Then not even 2 hours after handing over the key, landlord-ly duties kick in! Tenant immediately lost his keys and need duplicates. Sheesh, c'mon! I haven't heard from him since and have 3 months of rent checks in hand so it's all good.

But, I had ONE week to find a place to live! Uh-oh, panic button time. I knew which up-and-coming neighborhood my BF wanted, but we have a dog and that complicates matters 100 times. (oh my god, i didn't write about the dog yet? hehe - that's the next post then.)

So BF and I went to look at a basement apartment and were disgusted. Due to my flexible work schedule and his long work hours, I checked out 2 prospective apartments by myself. My main objective was to save money. We didn't want to live with roommates because it's awkward when you're a couple plus we have a Satan dog that would attack & devour roommates. Individual apartments were too costly. The 3rd place I checked out was PERFECT. I filled out an application on the spot. Plus, I like my mom and pop landlord duo. I don't have pleasant experiences with property management companies and staff.

In the right neighborhood? Yes.
Private? Yes, no roommates.
Adequate space for couple not looking to suffocate each other? Yes. 700 sq feet and 1 bedroom instead of studio.
Price? $1100
Allows dogs? Yes.

So we're now in a renovated basement apartment with a full kitchen and W/D. There is even a yard for the dog now. It's much better in many ways to high-rise living. I rented out my condo partially furnished, so we did have to get $250 worth of Craigslist furniture (futon, bed, delivery). I thought getting the big furniture pieces (ie: king sized bed, sofa, tv, bookshelves) out of the condo would have been a hassle with UHaul expenses to boot.

In terms of rent...we are saving $687 dollars a month. I am getting an extra $400 a month from my tenant (after mortgage and HOA, but not property tax expenses). So could I say that the move benefits me $1,087 dollars a month?

6. Got a 10% raise at work in January 09, then was told I'm not eligible for bureaucratic reasons for another raise until Dec. 2010. Are you f*cking kidding me?

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