Net Worth Review: September 2009

Here is a snapshot of our net worth for the last month.

Basically, things were moving in the right direction with the exception of Property.  Let’s just say that the housing market sucks and leave it at that.  Looking at prices around the neighborhood, I’d say it’s gone from ‘maybe’ to ‘certainly’ that we’re underwater; in other words, we would not get what we currently owe.

Luckily, there are two things that make that easier to swallow.  First, we’re not planning on moving anytime soon, and second, the thought has never crossed our mind to do anything but continue paying and wait for things to improve.  We love our house, we haven’t had a devastating job loss, and we’re not societal deadweights that think it’s OK to abandon a house because it’s worth less than what you could get for it.

Anyways, on a more positive note, we saw gains elsewhere that are very encouraging.

Actually, our net worth excluding our house is nearly at a record high, as is our retirement.  The fact that these two are approaching this milestone at the same time is pretty much expected, since retirement is the biggest chunk of our net worth at this time.

That shows that we’re doing some things right: We’re investing, we’re paying off debt, and we’re saving.  That sounds pretty good to me.

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September 2009 Goals

Here are some personal and fiinancial goals for the month.

  1. Continue to work out – I’m in my fourth week of getting up five days a week (before work) and exercising on the treadmill.  I need exercise.  I love exercise.  I love working out on the treadmill, but working out in the afternoon / evenings wasn’t getting it done because there was never opportunity to get into a groove.  Just too much going on.  So, I had to overcome the fact that I hated getting up in the mornings to workout and actually do it.  After about the second week, I stopped hating the alarm going off, so I think I may be over the hump.  
  2. Recover from wisdom tooth surgery – OK, so I haven’t had it yet, but it’s scheduled for later in the month.  
  3. Figure out what to do with my MY money – I just had a birthday and my parents gave me a little bit of cash, with the stipulation that I spend it on myself and something I enjoy.  I think sometimes I get so caught up in saving money or applying any extra money to a particular ‘goal’ that I forget what it’s like to go out and do something nice for myself.  So, I am putting the money aside and thinking of what to buy with it.  
  4. Sell a car / buy a car – With Baby Beagle, the two cars we have aren’t ideal.  My parents have agreed to sell us a slightly larger vehicle, so now I have to get that in motion.  Get my car ready to sell (mostly cleaning), sell it, and then go through the purchase of the car with my parents, as well as all the plate transfers.  I would love to have this all done by the end of the month.
  5. Do good in my fantasy sports leagues – I’m currently in a dead heat for first place in my baseball league.  I should, barring anything crazy happening, finish in the top two (first would be nice as I am the defending champ), which will net at least $100 in winnings, so I just need to monitor that.  In addition, some of my buddies and I had our fantasy football draft last night, and I’m hoping to get things going on the right foot there, as well. 
  6. Get caught up on insurance co-pays – We are still getting bills for things associated with the birth of Baby Beagle, which took place back in May.  Every time I think that we’re done, it seems another bill finds our mailbox.  For most of the summer, it seems not a day would go by that we wouldn’t get either an Explanation of Benefit statement or a bill.  We only have one bill outstanding, which I need to call on to get an understanding of what it’s for (since I thought we had already paid up), so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we can cross off everything to do with paying for the delivery from the list.

None of this seems outrageous, so I’m hopeful I can get everything done.

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Welcome To Money Beagle 2.0

I’ve been taking a break but I’m back. I’ve decided to move my blog to Blogger. You can still find me at the same address (http://www.moneybeagle.com) but I’m now hosted here. I’ve moved over most of my articles, but I think that the links are different.

In any case, I’ll be posting a little bit more about my absence and my decision to move the blog here in a bit. Meanwhile, please be patient with me as I tweak things around. Thanks!

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No Kung Fu For You (OK, Really For Me)

Wow, I wish I had an extra $130 per month. But it’s disciplined spending and a dose of reality that makes me keep a level head and not blow $130 per month.
My wife and I were walking around our local downtown area a week or so ago when I walked by a new place and stopped. It was a martial arts academy, and it reminded me a lot of a martial arts academy that I had participated in for a few months years ago.
Back a number of years ago, I can’t even remember, but I’d say probably 10 or so, a friend of mine brought to my attention a martial arts academy that he wanted to try. I was looking for something fun so I tried it out and I loved it!
The academy featured kung fu as it’s main discipline. It was taught not so much from the perspective of physical combat as it was for self-defense, self-discipline, and to achieve grater peace. Taking part in mediation practices along with the physical training was highly encouraged, especially for those who were working at higher levels.
I never got to the higher levels. As much as I loved it, there were a few drawbacks at the time. It was pretty far away from where I lived. It was probably 30-40 minutes away, which made getting to class as often as I liked difficult. It was also expensive. After the initial sign-up deal, the prices went up to a pretty steep price per month. I don’t remember exactly but it was probably $90.
But back to my story.
Walking by, the logo and the name looked familiar, though it was quite a few miles away from where I practiced.
I ventured in just to see what was happening, and after a minute of conversation, the person I was talking to indicated that it was familiar to me for a reason: It was a second location of where I used to practice!
How awesome. I instantly had thoughts of picking up where I left off. I don’t do as much physical training as I should, and I really enjoyed what I was doing back then. Now, I wouldn’t have the location issue, as the current location is only about three miles from where I live. Getting there and back would be a cinch.
However, there are two things that would simply make this prohibitive. First, is cost. It’s now $130 per month. If I were to use it, I would certainly get benefits of going. And paying that much, I’d definitely be motivated to go and to get as much out of it as I could. But, that price tag is way too rich for our budget. We simply don’t have the wiggle room in our budget with everything else.
The second factor in the way is time. My wife stays at home, but our life is certainly much more busy now that we have a newborn. He’s eight weeks old now and our evenings and weekends are pretty full as it is. As it is, from the time that I get home until bedtime, or from wake until sleep on the weekends, I’m not even sure where all the time goes. I think it would be completely selfish to take the four or five hours a week that I’d be pulling out to go do that.
I think the way I have to approach it is this:
Maybe someday I can do that. It’d be a ways away according to any budget I can come up with, but one can hope, right? But in the mean time, this should serve as motivation to use the workout tools I have. We have a treadmill right in our basement. We have sidewalks around our neighborhood. I have a perfectly good bike in my garage. I could probably take 2 hours a week to engage in these activities, and do them for free. Admittedly, I don’t do much of those now, so I should at least start somewhere.
This is definitely motivation. It’s a bummer that I won’t be able to pick up my martial arts, but that’s simply a luxury item that there isn’t room for, neither from a time nor a budget perspective.

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