All the thought and reading about personal finances is starting to affect my dreams. Last night I dreamed about buying a new car. The car I was test driving with the wife and kids was a black luxury sedan. I don't know what model it was, but I think it was a cross between a Mercedes, Lexus, and BMW. The asking price was around $60,000. The inside of the car was very nice and spacious. I was really enjoying the car. Suddenly, in the dream I came to my senses and said "What am I thinking, we can't afford this car!" Poof! That was the end of the dream.
Archive for October, 2007
I need advice. How do couples discuss money without fighting? Every time I try to discuss finances with my wife it ends up being a fight or just "not the right time".
We've been married for about 8 months now. We have yet to combine our finances. I would prefer having a joint checking account, but we can't seem to get together on it. I would at least like to be able to download information from her accounts into MS Money for tracking and budgeting purposes. She got upset when I mentioned it.
I make about twice as much as she does, but pay almost all the household bills except for her car, her and her kids cell phone bill, and some of the groceries. When we bought our house, I made all the down payment and other purchase payments. I paid for her laptop. I paid for a couple of her children's soccer camps. I'm just feeling used and not like a couple looking towards the future. I have other obligations including child support payments and a child in college to help out.
She mentioned wanting to take the kids to Disney/Universal Studios this spring. Her idea was for her, her two children, and I to go. Apparently taking my 15 year old daughter with us never crossed her mind; of course that's a whole other issue. I just questioned if we could look at the money before planning an expensive trip and she got mad.
Here are a few things I've started to do or thinking about inorder to save money.
Brown bag my lunch to work. Actually its a blue bag with the company logo on it. My estimated savings are $15-$20 a week.
Ordering water to drink when eating out.
I feel bad about this, but I reduced my pledge to the Unted Way for next year by about 50%. I guess charity begins at home, especially when you are in debt.
I'm looking at dropping comp and collision on my car and raising the deductible on my wife's car.
My best bet is probably to try and increase my income without a corresponding increase in expenses. A second, third, or fourth of income would be nice. Unfortunately, my youngest daughter is spending more time with her mother, who will be asking for an increase in child support. My life seems to often be one step forward and two steps back.
One often hears when it comes to personal finances to have "experiences" rather than to accumulate "stuff". I recently had an experience that I don't think anyone really wants to have. After 46 years of nothing but a single speeding ticket, I was arrested and spent about six hours in jail.
I was handcuffed, placed in a patrol car, and transported to the local police station. After sitting on the Group W bench while the paperwork was completed, I was loaded back into the patrol car and driven to the county jail for booking. At the county jail I was "read my rights", patted down, and fingerprinted (no ink involved). Before placing me in a holding cell with 30 other guys, the jailers took my shoes and my belt. "We don't want any hangings."
To make a long story short, as this was my first (alleged) offense and it was a misdemeanor, I was released on my own recognicance after 5-6 hours. The court hearing has been put off until December.
You might ask what this has to do with personal finance. I've learned a few things from this experience.
Two things that you can't put a price on are your health and your freedom.
Anger can be very expensive.
A holding tank levels the socio-economic field
Your career and more importantly your reputation can be ruined with one bad decision