huzzah, payday!

lol.  There are some good memes like “When that direct deposit hits.”

$6515.13 in checking.  I didn’t drop the storage unit cost but agreed with my dad that I would only pay for 1 month (which at this point is 100% his stuff, so this is charity).  I’ll remove my payment info from their system after October 1st, and then I’ll be done with it.

Beginning of October costs are $826 + $200 box spring (queen) + property tax?  So by next paycheck it should be like $5500 – $1200 (property tax) + $4400 = $8700 + bm payback from friend  = $9500 – $6100 (mortgage payment) = $3400 which kinda gets me back to square one and also keeps me on the payoff path.  Maybe I should leave it as cash… I’m trying to balance the practical security of cash with the practical impact of paying down the mortgage so it actually happens.


Cascading Furniture costs

2 side tables $1000

sewing table $1000

gentleman’s chest ($2500)

6 drawer chest ($2000)

bed ($1600)

table at end of bed $500

After looking at The Shaker Shoppe, I realize I basically paid less than retail but still a lot.  The furniture needs to be cleaned and the tables need to be refinished.  Burned in the back of the chest was “The Shaker Shop.”  I think it’s probably out of business now.

$8600 furniture + $1257.90 storage + $2364 moving + $294 + $96 movers + ?? (box spring?delivery?)

=$12611.90 + whatever the bed crap.  if i’m lucky i can make the ikea bed slats work.

This is ridiculous.  I’m never doing this again.  The storage + moving is what really killed me.  The bed is also wasteful but only a fraction as bad.

This is what I’ve paid for storage in SJ so far:

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I need to stop doing this…


Foreign Aid

I was talking to a visiting British coworker today about how much less British people must think of American since a man like Trump has become a major presidential candidate.  In the course of the discussion, he mentioned he thought Obama had been a disaster for foreign policy.  I’ve heard this before, and people say it for different reasons.  The coworker thought he was a disaster because Obama didn’t prevent the crisis in Syria that has displaced millions of people to Europe.  My dad thinks Obama has been a disaster because he says countries don’t respect us anymore (my dad probably cares more about killing Isis than helping refugees).  I said I didn’t think this US should be involved policing the world, and my coworker said he thought the world would be a worse place if the US wasn’t spending money on these things.  I point out that we spent money on Iraq and Afghanistan, and it didn’t do much good.

I think this deserves more thought.  Obviously the money that pays for foreign and for the military comes from tax payers, both in the form of income tax and corporate tax.

Income tax is most of that money, and we know most (86.8%) income tax comes from the top 20% of earners.  Including other taxes, the total goes down to 69% paid by the top 20%.

Ok.  So we have people being productive, in America and abroad.  Time has passed, and we’re sufficiently productive that we have excess resources.  Who the people are who control these resources is a combination of effort and luck (genetic / get lottery).  So you want to help some people, eh?  Some questions to ask:

  1.  What’s your goal?  Is the goal to reduce suffering or to increase the total wealth?  Would you rather eliminate the bottom 10% of happiness or increase the happiness of the group as a whole?
  2. Who needs the most help?
  3. Who can be helped most efficiently?
  4. How can people be helped most efficiently?

Yay Monday

Friday is payday.  Money has come out of my checking account for the movers, and the balance is down to $2558.  BOOOOO.  But hopefully I’ll get paid on Friday and bump that back up to $6500 or so.  But that isn’t enough to make the big next mortgage payment, so I’ll need to wait until Oct. 15th to do that.  Waiting isn’t very fun.  Tonight is the next FPU class.  #3: Cash flow planning.  I prepared a bunch of questions / things to think about, but obviously there won’t be enough time to get through it all.  I guess I need to prioritize.

Budgets are to look into the future and to measure how well you did in the past.  Here are some things you can do to learn more about yourself and pressure yourself to succeed:

  1. Review your grocery list and estimate how much you pay for the different types of meals you eat.  How much would you like to be paying?
  2. Review your vacation spending and figure out how much you’ve been spending.  Is there anything you’d change?
  3. Review your electricity use over time.  How much are you using?  What days/hours are the highest?
  4. Review your cell phone plan.  How much do you actually use vs. your limit?  Would a lower plan work just as well?
  5. What are you subscribed to?  Monthly?  Yearly?  Which subscriptions support your long term goals (i.e. our spending is where our heart is)
  6. Add up the spending you could have avoided in the last 3 months.  What are the categories?  What are some specific strategies you can take action on to prevent this spending in the future?
  7. Research shows that people are more successful saving money when there is a real downside to not sticking with the plan.  What minor incentives or punishments could you put in place to help you stick to the budget?  Who will hold you accountable and enforce these?  Set a specific date to review your progress and reset.
  8. Spending often cascades because people are bad at estimating all of the different costs of their decisions over time.  What examples do you see in your life of cascading spending (e.g. you buy a new phone and now you need a new case, charging cable, car attachment, etc.)?  What specific actions can you take on future purchases to avoid this? (e.g. sit down and recognize all of the different potential purchases up front, plan to spread the purchases out every-other-month, etc.)
  9. Where will you keep your emergency fund?  When and where will you transfer savings and debt payoff out of your account?
  10. Add up the total debt you are paying off per month or the total savings you are putting away per month.  Divide this by 30.  When you waste this amount of money, you’re delaying your dreams by one day.  Start measuring your purchasing decisions in time.
  11. What would it take to reach your goal in 1 year?  How much money would you need to pay down per month?  How much would you need to earn?  Would you need to sell things?  How easy would it be to sell those things?  What about 2 years?  Could you make more money through consulting?  Working on the weekend?  To the extent that you think through these issues in detail, you can shorten your payoff period by changing your behavior.
  12. Put all your debt payoff and savings into a spreadsheet.  Sum everything up and chart your progress over time.  Are there certain months where your progress slows?  What are the expenses that are slowing it?  Are there certain months where you don’t have to spend a lot?  What’s happening?
  13. How often are you paid?  What is your total loss per pay period?  Total savings/debt principal?  List out the loss separately and make a pie chart.  What is the biggest category of loss?  Is there anything you can do about it?
  14. How much cushion do you have in your account?  What would be too much?  Why would it be too much?
  15. Project out what you’ll be paying on your debt/savings for the next 6 months.  How will Christmas / Tax Refund impact your plan?  What other things will be going on in your life?  What things will make it harder?  What will make it easier?
  16. How much have you spent on your car?  Per month?  Per year?  Would public transportation make more sense?
  17. What actions do you take at places that could put you over budget?  The grocery store?  The mall?  Can you block these websites on your computer?  Can you list out your groceries exactly before you go?  What other actions can you do to separate yourself from these places, and what activities will you replace them with?  If the budget doesn’t impact your behavior… what’s the point?  So we have to be proactive about finding replacement activities at the same time we stop old behaviors to keep ourselves busy.
  18. A budget is a plan for money.  Do you have a plan for your emotions?  What feelings do you predict that you’ll have?  How can you cope effectively with these feelings (exercise, free meetups (quidditch), etc.).
  19. Research shows people feel best when they see steady progress toward a goal.  What can you do to feel that sense of progress?  A daily chart that adds up your debt payoff or savings.  Color it green for that day when you don’t overspend (+$40) or red when overspending consumed all the money you would’ve saved that day.

Falling Rents?

Beginning to feel like the top of the hill.

Believe it or not, rents may be falling in San Jose and San Francisco