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Archive for June, 2008

It's official getting 5% raise July 1st.

June 23rd, 2008 at 06:46 pm

I just check with HR today, I'm getting 5% raise, or about $150 net extra per month. With all the prices of gas and food keep going up, it's just a wash to me. Do I even treat this a raise, or save it instead.

Rambling on about our finances

June 15th, 2008 at 10:10 pm

I realized I'm not the smartest person in the world when it comes to personal finances. But I know enough about what I "don't spend what you don't have" so not to incur debts way above my means. Of course, this concept did not come easy to understand especially at a young age, but it has been embedded to my brain, I use it as my moral common sense. The fact is, most of us rarely receive a "good financial advice". We act in impulse many times that gets us into trouble. When we do talked about personal finances, we mostly asked either a friend or a coworker. Their good but they are not the "expert" that we really need. Could this be why Americans are heavily in debt because we don't talked about personal finances at the very young age. Perhaps we learned from our own parents who were good providers but knows very little the intricacy of investments or the concept of diversification in creating a wealth of portfolios. My parents certainly qualify, as one that only knows typical savings, or CDs. That's it. But they were common sense people. They knew when not to get in trouble when it comes to debt, or the concept of "spending less than what you make". So why so many Americans are now in trouble; home being foreclosed. Is it because they were sold into buying thinking the market was simply going up and up and never to comeback down. Like millions of Americans who are now trapped in Interest Only Loan, they are now faced with the reality of "foreclosure" because they can't afford the higher rate.

My next door neighbor foreclosed on their house one half year ago. It was sold for "less than" what we paid on our house originally back in 2003. It's almost the same square footage and bedrooms. Yes, we are upside down about $40K according to Zillow.com It is scary to think that we'd lose value on our home, when three years ago, our house was worth was well over $400K. Compared to many homes in our area, our paper lose is minimal when others are faced with $100 to $200K lose in equity. Thank god we didn't use our home like an ATM machine.

Because our loan does not reset til December 2010, we feel TIME is on our side for the housing market to bounce back. At least, that's what we're hoping for. If not, we can still afford our house with our good income. In less than three years, we will paid off our Van. We should clear $700 a month extra adding that amount to our savings rate. We don't have any credit card debt now which puts icing on the cake. We don't intend to use it at all either. Our savings rate on the disposable income is $1000 a month on average, exclude our retirement savings aside. But I know we can do more by cutting back more on discretionary spending.

I'm sorry for rumbling on. It's already late. Ah! i have to work again tomorrow. At least I feel better nowSmile

Thanks for listeningSmile

$1025 towards EF

June 13th, 2008 at 02:22 pm

We have reached a milestone in our EF balance savings. We have over $10K as of today Friday the 13th. I just hope nothing bads to happen on our savings goal. Gosh!

Wow! Another few months 12K EF achieved!

It feels good knowing we'd accumulated this much so far. With the cost of fuel and food prices rising coupled with inflation fears we feel good nonetheless about our personal economy.

Anyway, I'm getting my 5% raise next month which is excellent. That's an extra $2400 a year or $200 a month increase. After tax, I'll get $150 net.

Our originally plan was to make extra car payment of $200 to reduce interest cost. We currently paying $700 a month and still owe $17,992.00 @ 5.49%. I guess we got into this mindset of saving aggressively very quickly (after convincing my wife) we couldn't afford it NOT to. Beside we also felt, saving on the interest alone can't create "euhporic excitment" but savings thousands of dollars can. So why stop the "money train"Smile

Can't stand to see my 'Old Boss' again

June 11th, 2008 at 08:49 am

This goes back about 8 years ago, when i worked for this state agency as a public finance analyst. From the 'get go' she never accepted me as part of her 'team'. I think the fact she wanted someone else didn't sit well. I worked on deals worth anywhere 30 to 300 million per bond deals. I don't even received "thank you" or "good job Lee" from her. While I get some 'accolades' from the other managers and even from outside agents like Lehman Brother or Merrill Lynch for doing a good job...I'd never heard her say 'nice things' about me not even a smile. All I get is a look. You know that look, like someone you hate 'look. I get that all the time. And sometimes to just to pissed me off further, she would give shitty assignments that any technician can do "auditing", or rearranged our bond files. I'm not against this work I'm not good doing auditing work and its not even part of my job description. I do it just to make her happy. Otherwise me and her would get the "talk" like "Oh Lee your are not being a team player". So i would just try to brush it off like whatever. Then she complains how come I don't get enough "billing time" for our clients". Then my reply: "what are you talking about...you got me doing auditing working 16 hours a day and on weekends That's why!" At the same time, my other work 'piles up' for days. Then I get behind and try to catch up by working more OT and on weekends at Starbucks. I could never appeased her whatsoever. Sometimes she would make comments like why did you leave your old job, or why are you here" or "you're not working hard enough". Many times she would asked me to reply on an email request that I have no clue or I'm not even part of. Sometimes, she'll tell me "your supposed to be on this meeting" when i know I'm not cuz it's not even my deal or in outlook calendar. If its not my deal or in my calendar i don't attend. Long story short, i quit after 12 months of hell.

But guess what, I now see her working in the same company as I am. Few times, we passed each other in the hallway, its very awkward to say the least. So I don't pretend to see her and try not to make any eye contact. But you know...the animosity is still there. My coworkers tells me you should bury the hatch it...sure if I don't see her. But occassionally I see her which is what triggers the whole thing.

Car Maintenance (Ouch!)

June 7th, 2008 at 07:02 pm

Spent major $$ this week on our 06 Honda Odyssey @ 44K miles. Replaced tranny oil, radiator fluids, new set of tires/with alignment, and air filter total cost $910.00. Our budget was $1800.00. Remaining $890.00 for our San Diego trip next month. That hurts the pocket whenever you shell with that kind of money for maintenance even with the budget in mindFrown OUCH!