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Archive for October, 2012

Perception and expectation is everything.

October 5th, 2012 at 09:31 pm

I can't forget a segment on TV about struggles of the poor, where the reporter was interviewing the woman who sometimes had to walk 25 minutes to her job because she did not have money for gas. (She had a house, btw, with a yard all around it!)

I wanted to yell at her that it would be a freaking dream commute for millions of New Yorkers, and in my office it is a privilege of expats who get rental subsidies on top of their huge salaries. They live close enough to walk or bike (for many it takes 40 min). They could take a bus or taxi, but most days they don't. They walk.

The walking portion of my commute is 30 minutes (15 minutes to the train and 15 minutes from the train to work), than reverse. Twice a day. Rain or shine, slush or heat wave. And I don't even think it is a hardship. I'm happy enough to live near a reliable train and not having to transfer.

And for many lower income people in this country a yard is a "must". A second bathroom is a "must", a dishwasher and a washing machine are a "must".

And to so many here who make six figures, it is still a luxury.
After I moved to a luxury building (still no personal yard, of course) I am still marveling from time to time about how nice it is to have a dishwasher, and our building has a nice laundry room, but no one, not even 1 million dollar apartments have personal washer/dryer (but those have 2 bath).

It is just amazing sometimes that some people who make over six figures can accept things that most who make 30K some place else won't accept. It is simply the matter of what one expects as a minimum convenience they are entitled to have. And expectation dictates a lot of our choices and our lifestyle.

To me, symbols of hardship are: lack of financial security, time off, lack of access to quality medical care, child care.... not walking to work in the rain or having a small house.

Bad day all around

October 2nd, 2012 at 08:52 pm

It started at night. We went to sleep after one, as usual, but baby woke up at 2 and cried until I let him sleep in bed with us. I barely got any sleep until 2 because I sleep very light when baby is in bed and woke up many times. Than at 7, I realized that my mom, who took a day off to stay with LO was running late and there was a good chance I will miss a train to work.
I made it on time after all, but completely tired.

I made a major mistake at work last week that came to fruition today (not due to sleeplessness, but not knowing new "set in stone" policy regarding something), probably my biggest mistake to my knowledge.
I'm lucky that my boss is rather good-natured, but there is a lot of issues that will have to be worked out and in the meantime my boss will have to postpone his travel and miss a conference.

My mom forgot the keys to my apartment again, so I had to leave her mine and now don't know how I will get into the apartment until my DH returns after 8 (he will drive LO to MIL house for one day he is going on travel).

And lastly - my stocks are down and 2 of my AAPL stock options look very dangerous right now. (Not the biggest problem by far, but adding to a bad day)

I'm really stressed out today.

Occasionally, you can outearn your stupidity - September results

October 2nd, 2012 at 02:43 pm

This month was crazy:

Miscellaneous – allocated $100, spent $460 – (iphone $360, cleaning lady $100)

Eating out – allocated $350, spent $701, this month it was hard to get to the grocery store

Baby – big overspending is this category – allocated $300, spent $717 (big Thomas and Friends railway table and set, storage bench, baby bookshelf, some colder weather clothing, books and toys.

DH personal money overspent by $83 – kindle, itunes and something else

Clothing. – Allocated 100, spent 476 (but since I got $200 gift to use however I like, I consider only $176 overspend

Household – allocated 150, spend 275 – I got a lamp and a meat grinder attachment.

Gifts – allocated 200, spend $430 – we gave $300 to my MIL to help with the data plan (we gifted her our old iphone, and since she was not be getting a data plan if not for this gift, we decided it would be a nice thing to do). I’m not counting the resale value of the phone (about $280) toward the gift. $100 for a wedding gift – my husband attended alone that's why so cheap, and $30 in tips to doormen in our building.

Household supplies – allocated 100, spent 211, I don’t remember what happened here.

Groceries and lunches at work came just under $900. (due to eating out a lot)

With few other things here and there, the total overspend is……… a whooping $1,865 Frown

However, there was some extra income:
Birthday gift $200
Travel money $970
Apple option, FB stock and P stock speculation profit (realized) $558 (we made $873, but we owe taxes on that, so after 36% tax it will be about 558)
Overtime money, taxed already, $864

Total after-tax extra income: $2,592

So after all said and done, we are still $727 ahead.

However, next month will be tough – no travel (max 2 days and that is it), DHs overtime opportunity ended, and my AAPL stock options are looking extremely risky right now. It is likely we will loose money. And we have my moms and LOs birthdays coming up. And our 5 year anniversary. But we must do better and stay within our budget.