Six Month Assessment

How have I actually done?

$4500 less than my (minimum) goal of $24k, so about  1 month off.  About 20% off of my goal (bad!!). What did I get for that?

Big contributing purchases:

– flooring installation ($3500) (80% of it)
– NAS ($2000)

– burning man tix
– vietnam trip ($1000ish?)
– movies and video games (not sure, oops)

– plane tix for Edisto

I probably could’ve gone lighter on the the movies and video games.  I’m disappointed I didn’t hit the minimum, but I’m also not that far off.  Need to stay more focused for the second half of the year!

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Paid!

Paid my mortgage.  Transferred $800 to EJ.

I just rescheduled my $58 cleaning, so now there’s about $200 total for food in the account, bringing the total to $280.  That feels a little safer.  Probably $300 even if I only spend $30 on gas, which is possible.

I get paid tomorrow

Which I guess makes tonight either really hard or really easy.  Since I brought food home from work and didn’t spend any money… there’s no more spending, so I guess on the money front, that’s easy.  I just have to stay home and not blow a bunch of money on anything dumb.  I’ve been having a rough few weeks.  The girl I was dating broke up with me, and I really liked her a lot.  Dating seems like it takes a lot of effort and sacrifice.

During times like these, it’s easy to generalize and think you just suck as a boyfriend.  But it’s also easy to give yourself a break and say that you just haven’t met the right person.  I’ve been doing a lot of exercise to try and keep my mind off being sad, but it doesn’t work as well as… just getting out of the condo and being around other people, which I need to do more.  I just wish I knew how to make it up to her.  Budgeting and projecting is a lot easier than making amends with someone who dumped you.

When I get paid, I’ll have $84 in my wallet and I guess roughly $150 in the bank.  So that’s $234 for food until July 15.  That should be doable.  $2000 more into savings, which means I’ll have $6000 cash and about $27k in investments outside of retirement.  So that’s about 2 months of living expenses in cash and 9 months of living expenses in investments.  That’s not so bad.  At the mid July, $8850 in cash.  $10850 by August.  Should be plenty for Burning Man.

Greece is having debt problems, and the stock market dropped about 2% overall today.  Considering the way the financial system is connected, I should expect my home value to drop along w/ my stocks, so it won’t be at all surprising if my net worth drops rapidly with the US / world market.  I shouldn’t panic when it happens.  Would I have a “safe” place to put the money anyway?  I could stick it into a bank account and then try to buy real estate at a lower cost if I believed it would drop significantly.  But without the same kinds of ridiculous lending… I’m not educated to know a reason why housing would drop disproportionately vs. stocks.

Fixed Cost Review

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The $58 for cleaning is a luxury.  Above represents $2467 of spending, almost exactly 1/3 of where my monthly income goes.  I pretty much never spend this little, because there are plane tickets, property taxes, (bad) Amazon purchases, etc.  But it’s good to have something to aspire to!  As long as I stay below $3000, I’m doing pretty well… not that I’ve been able to do that recently, but I think June is going to come in around $3843, with most of the bad behavior being around buying steam games, eating at restaurants, and purchasing plane tickets for the family vacation.

What could be sacrificed without killing me?

Netflix,

Phone,

Github,

Cleaning

Comcast (-$30)

Gas (-$50)

Not sure I can cut on spending, as $500 represents everything else… but I’ll drop to $400 anyway.

Total “waste”: $352.  14%.  Really not bad!  I do need to set a definite time to review July.  I don’t really hold myself accountable enough.

One of my favorite Ikea furnitures

I may have mentioned before that I really like Ikea lamps… and if I had a bigger place, I’d probably indulge in that sin more than I do now (I have only about 5… so relatively I’m restrained).  Here’s another piece I really like:

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/44361109/

I use it for all my eating / computer / stuff holding needs.  It serves as a speaker stand, a bedside table, a foot rest, etc.  So far, it also hasn’t mechanically failed.  They’re light and easy to move.  They’re relatively small and easy to move out of the way.  They have that bottom area for storing random remotes and stuff even while you’re using the top at the same time!  They’re easy to build, and they only cost $15.  Love it.  Have used it way, way more than my $200 kitchen table.

Same Sex Marriage

Gay Marriage, Homo Marriage, marriage, whatever you want to call it.  Not really the focus of this blog, but since it’s historic, I thought I’d comment on it.

This is a blog about being happy.  In service of that, it talks about saving and investing.  It talks about some psychology.  Safe to say, it is fiscally conservative.  It doesn’t believe taxes are a great thing.

It encourages saving money so that you’re able to do the big things you want in your life.  Generally, I’m libertarian, and I think people should be able to get married to who they want, so I’m happy about this ruling.  And maybe I’m happier about this ruling because of its broader implications about how sexual orientation is treated than the implications to marriage itself.

Another thought I have is that this applies to <5% of the population and was made an election issue, not because it was important, but because it was divisive.  So… I think it’s important, that’s why I’m mentioning it.  And I’m glad it happened.  But I also fear that it distracts from some larger injustices that impact many more people… but that won’t receive nearly as much media coverage, during an election or otherwise (e.g. the way the government manipulates money… which impacts everyone).