Home > Archive: January, 2020

Archive for January, 2020

stop growing older...

January 28th, 2020 at 01:20 am

My DK1 turned 10 this weekend. I posted a photo on FB and called it my lost decade. I can't remember what happened. LOL. But truthfully I don't know what happened. I swear I was just carrying the baby carrier and walking the dog and suddenly my 10 year old was running away to her party and I was standing on the sidelines hoping to be invited to play. It's breathlessly stunning. I'm sure some of the other bloggers reading are blinking back tears like I am going what happened? I see more grey in my DH's hair last night as well. I'm very grey but I don't feel a decade older. I desperately want life to slow down but I feel like it's only moving faster. The first year I felt like every day was in slow motion and I was moving through a sleep deprived trance. I don't know what happened except I have photos to prove it. But now I blink and the school year is half gone and I have a kid in double digits.

Anyway I just wanted to share something important to me and my feelings. I wonder how much longer will she humor me and have a party? How much longer till she says give me cash to buy what I want. I swear I could feel her thinking about it. How much longer do I have until she's done? Some of throwing the party was to chat with other parents and just enjoy her having fun. Part of it is me not ready to let go. To do the "sleepover", fancy dinner for 3-4 others, movie out, a grown up party if you can call it that. She's been invited out for stuff like that and I guess I'm not ready.

I watch also as she peruses the adult menu as we go out to eat. Her shoe size is almost an adult and she's so tall. Soon she won't be a "child" but teen and then adult.

I know it's coming because I watch the money I've been saving for her grow but it's seemed surreal. It was meant to grow but I hadn't thought about it growing as she was growing.

There was this movie called "10 things I hate about you," and the dad tells the main character a senior in high school "you don't need me. I've been benched for years. Your sister still lets me play a few innings. But when you go away I won't even be able to watch the game."

I sort of felt like that watching the birthday party. Next post about how much I've been spending this month....oh the shame.

I won my small claims

January 10th, 2020 at 09:34 pm

I forgot to post this about a month ago. We ended up at small claims court with the private school my DK2 went to. She had been bullied at school and we had been constantly talked with the principal/owner and teachers. They had refused to return our money and finally in June with 2 months, the other child bite my DK2 and scratched her on the face. I pulled her out and kept her home with me asap. I couldn't let her go back. We had prepaid the tuition for a year so we "lost" out on $2500 for 2 months July and August. I had asked the boy and her be separated classrooms and they refused. I had multiple emails since december asking for solutions.

Turns out I did everything right and they breached the contract by not coming up with a reasonable solution. So they are being forced to refund us our money. We had offered many options but school refused to do any of the suggestions. I think a lot had to do with the boy being the son of one of school's teachers. Whatever.

I have to admit it was a good day. I sat there and didn't explode when the principal/owner called my child a bully, on the spectrum, problem child, unaware of social etiquette. It was horrible. I did not use the word bully at all in the court and I said there were these situation x, y, z. And I had photos and proof by both email and letter from other child apologizing for incidents. I honestly didn't hold the child/parents responsible I never talked with them. I held the school for not doing anything.

It's been almost a month and they haven't paid me. I'm not surprised. The principal/owner was so pissed she was spitting nails. I can also now after getting my money post about her losing in court on social media my review of the school. I'm just waiting.

It just came up because her month grace period to pay me is almost up. I have to admit I savor the win because it means I didn't overreact, nor did I do something completely irrational. Nor did I do anything that was helicopter parenting.

What to do with money? I think DK 1 and 2 deserve extra money saved for them.

Right now

DK1 $36k College
$20k taxable
$1k cash in bank savings accounts

Dk2 $27k college
$19k taxable
$1k cash in bank savings accounts

Gosh if I had that much saved for me when I was growing up I can't imagine how much further ahead I'd be right now. LOL.

Anyway though it isn't the $2600 but rather how much the school/owner pissed me off. She told me kids will be kids. That there is nothing that could be done. That it's expecting too much. That I'm being completely unreasonable. That I signed a contract and she never gave back money to anyone. I'd have to just suck it up. And then to later sit there and call my child names in court and talk about her being the problem. To claim she's special needs and that she had been a problem from day 1. Not true and we had progress reports scanned in showing she was a model child and good socially. To suddenly misbehaving and instigating all the incidents.

Really? My kid asked to for her jacket hood to be pulled so she fell at recess backwards? She asked to be teased? She asked to be scratched on the face? She asked for glitter to be poured on her lunch? She asked for her hand to be bitten? She asked to be pushed down on the playground? I get the little boy was 4 turning 5 and younger than her by a few months. But then he shouldn't have been in kindergarten he should still have been in Pre-K where he belonged based on the state age requirements for school.

I'm hoping this principal just pays me in the next week and I don't have to figure out how to collect my money. I'd rather not waste my time. But out of principal I will...

credit card rewards 2019

January 9th, 2020 at 07:04 pm

So I was trying to calculate all our CC rewards.

Discover $61.34 cash
Costco LAL $326.46
Costco DH $74.49
Chase Sapphire $300 Travel Cash Back
Chase Rewards $2115
Alaska $2550 (35000 * 5 + 30000 miles redeemed at a valuation of 1 cent per mile which is low. These were all redeemed at a higher cost. Plus the $500 on companion fare for card for hawaii ticket).

$5427 in rewards. It's actually higher because discover I use to get gift cards for restaurants and I regift them to people like teachers for starbucks. Hey $45 for $50 is a 5% extra cash back. I also get 2% on costco for executive membership that pays for $120 membership and then a bit more.

I normally do not redeem so much in flight miles and currently have used pretty much all our miles. We also have a bunch of bonvoy points from opening card which I need to use.

I think a more typical year is $3k in rewards. Not bad just for using a CC. Free money.

2019 spending

January 7th, 2020 at 07:25 pm

Okay so it's been bad year for spending.

I was perusing our spending. Big budget categories

$25k traveling - big was the WDW trip that was about $10k. Seriously awesome though and I got a christmas card photo out of it. This year I'm not sure we are going to spend less I'm feeling around $20k I usually predict.

$15k dog. Seriously unexpected. He had surgery for $6k, then all his visits to vet with every other week blood measurements. Then his $500/month medications. He turned 2 in May and yes he's a rescue. I'd have probably been better off with a purebred bought from a breeder. But he's our third rescue and honestly he's a GREAT dog. Last night our husband teased the kids and said our best kid is the DOG. Hahaha. But I must admit that when my kids are pissing me off the dog is sometimes the only person listening to me. He goes on walks while I just think and talk. He lies on the couch and bed with me and kids. He guards the house when my DH travels. I'll admit to being very attached again. Sigh. I did tell my DH because of his disease I bet he won't live as long as we thought. And we'll likely get one more dog.

Home - $27k mortgage interest, $11k property Taxes, $10.5k new driveway, Yard $2k, closets $500. Homes are a money pit. Next year I am thinking we are maybe doing a new shed and I'm going to work on the addition I wanted.

Groceries and Eating out $24k about $1k/month for both. I am trying to rein in eating out but the groceries well what can I say? Our eating out is about about $50-100/meal 2x/week. The real budget buster for eating out is when family/friends visit and we pick up that check. Thanksgiving and Christmas looking at it we spent over $1k during those weeks both times. Then we're spending $100-200/meal plus a week in the summer with my inlaws and two weeks in Hawaii. It runs up our eating out amounts fast.

It was a crazy year.

10 years of finances - thank you

January 3rd, 2020 at 11:26 pm

So I feel like I have grown a lot with many of the people on the board. My life has gotten significantly different and changed and I'm thrilled to have read about your lives as well. It's amazing to see people's lives and know that though we haven't meet I feel like I've been given a front row seats to important events in your lives. Anyone who reads this certainly has been given a front row seat to my life. Anyway thanks CCF. I have read about your girls since 2006ish and I cannot believe you have one ready to graduate college. It brings a tear to my eyes. Disneysteve I recall reading about the planning in his daughters baht mitzvah and now she's a young adult working. It's been quite a ride. Monkeymama had two small monkeys who are rather large now! I've read many of you getting married, moving, divorced, and joys and sadness. Thank you for sharing it with me.

Things have changed a lot for me. 10 years ago I was 8 months pregnant and eagerly awaiting the birth of my first child a girl. DK1 was born end of January but was due end of February. I was about to defend my thesis but had been mommy brained and lazy. I finished my thesis and defended in June of 2010 (yeah me!). Notice my biggest thrill this decade was becoming a mom? Anyway having a child changed my DH and I a lot. We lost 1 income and still haven't gone back to 2 full time incomes 10 years later. We added a second child in 2012, moved cross country, changed careers (both of us to entirely different fields), and didn't work or have income for an entire year! 8/2015-8/2016. OMG!!! If we had we'd likely be further ahead but we wouldn't be as happy as we are now. Something I tell people, we took a sabbatical in the the middle of our life rather than retiring a year early.

Finances 2010
LAL Roth IRA - $21,820
DH Roth IRA - $74,170
DH 401 - $100,378
Total - $196,398

Taxable Assets excluding home - $5k

DH has just finished his MBA which we cash flowed and he had NO LOANS. We spent $85k on this MBA. Our Net Worth was $201k. We took out a loan in 6/2010 to buy a subaru outback. And I think at that time we probably had $200k in home equity. We had maxed out the IRA and 401k since 2006 for $98,500 contributions and had $100k in gains.

Finances 2020
LAL IRA - $146,988 ($78k contributed)
DH IRA - $346,776 ($78k contibuted but some rolled over and paid taxes from old 401k)
DH 401k - $542,361 ($258,500 contributions from 2006)
Total - $1,036,129

Taxable accounts - ~$422k. So about $1.4m not counting home equity. So increase of $1.2M in net worth not counting home equity. Not bad for 9 years of savings and spending $100k that year for living. $60k living, $20k DH's course, and $20k for moving and expenses. It was crazy that we managed to break even 2015 and 2016 with investment income and savings from DH starting a new job.

2020 goal hit $600k in taxable accounts. I think in about 5 years we will hit $1m. I'm still on the fence with buying an investment property. Still looking.

Happy to read about everyone else! Have a wonderful 2020. I am soon celebrating DK1 10th birthday and I don't know where the time went. How can I be 40?

I certainly didn't expect my life to take these turns!