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Financial Update

June 27th, 2008 at 08:08 pm

I am not sure if I will enjoy doing a net worth update as of 6/30. I am afraid I won't have much to show. But I guess we shall see...

I guess we have a general idea of what our vacation plans will be for next year. Though who knows, anything can happen. My dad told me he was hoping to spend next year visiting family, though I guess I may tag along on some of those. We have talked of flying to Denver for a weekend so the kids could meet my Grandma. Maybe pop in on my sister in NC for a weekend (the airfare is generally cheap, but I don't know these days). My parents would probably foot the bill if I tag along though. Would just be me for NC. But yes, the kids for Denver.

Now that the kids are of booster seat size, air travel is back on the table. We have just had the most horrid experience trying to rent decent car seats on vacation. We traveled with both kids when they were just 1, and at that point vowed never again. I don't know how it went in Florida for dh and the kids last October. But, ugh. He was a brave soul to try that again. LOL.

So anyway, there is discussion of family stuff, and I have no idea what dh's parents have in mind. But we are thinking 4-5 days at Family Camp/Yosemite again, next year. & we have also talked about getting season passes to the amusement park by our home town. I guess it's somewhat nostalgic for us (we spent so much time there as kids/teens) and is in fact where dh and I met, as we both worked there many years. So, they have added a water park and parking is included in the season passes. For today they sell 4 season passes for $260. I am SOLD. We spend so much time in the area that we can make a few half day trips and avoid the large expenses like food. The place is a 5-minute drive from my parent's house, so we can even drop off all the valuables there and go enjoy our time without locker rentals and such. The water park is a REALLY nice touch. Plus if we are willing to pay $320 instead (or just $60 more), we get season passes to another great park in the area. Probably well worth it.

I think that about eats up our $1200 vacation budget, but I think is perfect. We leave plenty of wiggle room in the budget for "daycaytions" as is, which is generally more our speed.

Which reminds me, with all the fires, the air quality here is really horrid around here for now. I am afraid we will be locked indoors all weekend. Kind of a bummer because the weather has been rather pleasant. !! It's just TAUNTING me. This is the mildest June we I can recollect since moving here about 6 years ago. We've barely turned on our air. We left it on around 86 degrees for the cat when we were camping, but I don't think the air turned on at all. Our house has settle at a nice 80 degrees. No air conditioning needed.

But yes, dreading July/August. It's going to be a shock. Likewise, I hope this does not mean horrid hot weather prolongs into September. That is what I am afraid of.

We have been experimenting with changing our water sprinkler set up and have cut the watering time about in half (if not more). I think it is only working because of the mild weather. We may have to go back to watering every day come July. But our gardener set it to go off twice a day, year round. HE tweaks it each season, but I am pretty certain it always goes off at least once every day. So now that we are switched to metered water, we are experimenting with it.

I know, it's terrible. We should have done this before. We are from drought country, so the water habits of people here appall me. We conserve much water inside the house. But never having had a lawn before, we just did what the gardener said. I think we can get by with much less water most of the year. & anyway, we can cut it way back in the backyard. The front yard is another story. We get very mixed messages. Don't use any chemicals (They flow to the lake) but we'll fine you if your yard isn't sparkling green, even in the 110-degree summers. YEah, whatevah! We do what we can in the front, I think we might just let the backyard go. I'd love to rip it out and just put in tanbark and a play structure. Maybe some astro turf like a friend of mine did. This watering thing is ridiculous. All for some ideal that is completely unattainable in the climate. The rest of the year is fine, so no one resorts to desert landscaping. But I am sorely tempted. I know it's probably not "allowed" in the front yard, but we have changes in mind for our backyard. Also considering a garden and some fruit trees, etc.


Financially speaking...

**Paid off balance transfer #2. Woohoo.

I am keeping this card open until my free FICO score checks dry up. I think I only have one more month. So will just close the card.

LEaves one transfer open. IT's earning 5.7% and will through the end of the year. Big Grin

**Paid the July bills (all but one or 2) and wrote the last check to preschool, for BM. Plus they were on vacation - unpaid - for a week. & so on and so on.


IT will be more exciting next month when I pay $280 (instead of $630, for 2). IT's a "short" month. I will celebrate even more then.

Anyway, beyond that, I had enough cash to pay all the bills for June, which was good, because it was a pretty spendy month.

I expect July to be rather spendy with birthdays and such, but then again, I look forward to plumping up the kids' savings with the gifts they will no doubt receive.

**I was kind of waiting to see how the month panned out because it has been so "unusual" in a sense to see if I had any leftover for a donation.

I think I will earmark $100 of my MLM supply/going out of business sale - for the food bank. If I make more I will probably put the rest in our savings.

I told dh he could buy and sell more Wiis if he's like, to buy a Wii. I caved. Was just feeling nice I guess.

I guess I shouldn't get too excited. Dh's car is in the shop today and mine will probably go Monday. I should probably get those bills before I get too generous.

I also need to keep in mind that BM will need some school supplies and uniforms as well. I think Grandma has a lot of that covered (phew) but we'll see. I wanted to earmark $200/month to our car/house savings, now that he is out of pricey preschool. But I may need to earmark the first month for supplies. We'll see...

**I can't remember if I posted this, but with my stimulus check, my short-term savings is out of the red (pulled into the red by my 4/15 tax bill. Funny how that worked out). AND my mid-term saving fund surpassed $3k. My mid-term goal is $5k for the year and I am rather confident on that. I just wish I had more to add. Going forward, $5k annually is probably plenty. I just wish $10k cash would fall out of the sky and make up for the last few years where we have saved very little. Just a lot more catching up to do...

But yeah, dh bought his receiver and we bought a lot of camping supplies this month, etc. We went on a rather luxurious date (for us) and it was just kind of spendy. We were no doubt helped greatly by all the gas reimbursements dh's parents kept raining on him. I think $200 between all of them. Funny enough, they have BM and we are meeting them mid way to pick him up on Sunday. So yeah, I wouldn't count on more gas cash, but who knows. They must think we get TERRIBLE gas mileage. (His mom have him $60 to drive 120 miles - LOL. & his dad slipped him $40 for driving 220 miles. I guess with his "super car" (40 mpg) we are coming out way ahead. My dad slipped me $80 for Yosemite (to be fair we paid for his entire vacation otherwise) which was actually about right. IF it had been dh's parents they would have slipped us $200 for gas or something - LOL.

I had worried that we could not justify so much driving to see family. Now I am thinking we need to do it more... Wink

2 Responses to “Financial Update”

  1. fern Says:

    That's an interesting rule that they want you to have an attractive green lawn and you get 110 degree temps? I would challenge that rule; i can't believe they' encourage you NOT to conserve water. Maybe it was written into the homeowners association rules 30 years ago when conditions were different. And i would look into drought-tolerant plants. I hate it when other people dictate what i can do.

  2. monkeymama Says:

    No - the HOA was just formed a few years back - they are just insane. I just got another note about not letting fertilizer drain into the street. I am not exactly sure how to accomplish this since the lawns are mostly on a slope... Big Grin

    We just fertilize once a year after summer. I think we all give up in the summer and they don't have much teeth then.

    But yeah, I honestly don't think they would let us get rid of the lawn. But it's small and we can "desert-ize" everything else.

    Dh just read an article how Sacramento is like the worst city when it comes to conserving water. But yeah, the difference is night and day from back home. Doesn't surprise me in the least.

    Hey they are introducing metered water in 2008!!!! 2008?!? It's not even mandatory for another couple of years. We signed up because our flat bill was insane and we are paying much less now. Phew. BAck home we've always had metered water. I don't understand why you wouldn't. Wink

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