Things Missing

No, I haven’t been robbed and I didn’t lose anything.

I wanted to discuss the changes that happened with Money Beagle over the past few months.  Specifically, I’ll center it around the things that are missing from what was once there, and I’ll discuss a little bit more:

  • The old format – I was on a domain using WordPress and hosted at Dreamhost.  When Dreamhost wanted to extend my rates at about 500% of the cost of the first year, I looked at what I had made in revenue (not much) against the annual cost (a lot more than I was bringing in).  I also looked at how much I was actually using the things that DreamHost offered (not many) and how much I projected my revenue growth over the next year (probably not much).  I decided I wanted to move my blog to a free site, and felt that Blogger was just fine for the amount of posting and the features I used.  I probably should have started with a free site, but that’s a lesson learned.
  • Daily posts – I used to have a rule of trying to do a daily post.  I would find myself not enjoying blogging.  Here’s the thing.  I love blogging about certain things, but I realized that inspiration isn’t probably going to hit me every day. So, I was doing filler and such that I really wasn’t enjoying.  I guess I’d rather write a few posts that I really like per month versus writing 20 or 30 a month with only a few that I’m proud of.  Most likely, that showed through and may have had something to do with the fact that I didn’t get a lot of great hits from my round-ups or carnivals.  I promise now, though, I’m going to be more writing about things that I care about and am excited to write about.  I may not write often, but when I do, hopefully it’s more insightful than what I had been doing.
  • Blogroll – I had a pretty big blogroll going.  I will actually add that back as I do read a lot of PF blogs every day.  I will most likely start from scratch.  Now that I’m writing more personal stuff and writing more for me, I will be adding blogs that relate to that.  Blogs that focus so much on subscriber traffic that they feel the need to post updates about it constantly (sorry, The Simple Dollar) won’t be added, but my guess is that they won’t miss my paltry little link anyways.  Also, blogs that talk about your own experiences, those will be my blogroll.  So, if you talk about your 401(k) or about your frugality turning to debt reduction, that’s what I want to see!  If you are regurgitating the same ’10 reasons why you should open a 401(k)’ or ’25 things to cut back on to save money’, eh I’ve read it before and that’s not what I want to send my (few) readers to because let’s face it, everybody else already links to those blogs as it is.
  • Comments – I’m afraid I couldn’t bring the comments from my DreamHost blog with me.  So while I brought over most of the articles (minus round-ups), I lost all of the great comments.  But I still have them in my heart, I promise! 🙂
  • Twitter – Again, I did the Twitter thing because it seemed that was what everybody was doing and thought it’d be a great way to direct readers to my blog.  And I thought it was the most useless thing I’ve ever done.  I just didn’t get it, and I’m sure it had to do with the fact that I didn’t have the motivation to invest hours and hours into Twittering, which is I’m sure how many have actually gotten it to work.   I have Facebook for my friends and family.  I have this blog for my personal finance stories.  Twitter just didn’t have a good place that I felt was worth the time, so I tried it and got rid of it. 

I guess what it boils down to is that I’m going for quality, not quantity.  I also wanted to look at my balance.  I realized, especially after Baby Beagle came along, that I didn’t want to spend hours per week Twittering and carnival hosting and carnival participating and commenting on 500 other blog posts to build up my traffic by a few people here and there so that I could enthusiastically report that I hit a thousand subscribers.  Some can do that and are great it, and I say fantastic.  But it just wasn’t me.

I want to keep blogging, I love blogging, but I realized that I wanted to set realistic expectations so that I can get the most out of blogging and actually enjoy it like I know I can.  I can’t promise that Money Beagle the most high quality personal finance out there.  In fact, I’m pretty sure it won’t be.  But, I can promise I’ll be writing stuff that I believe in, that affects and happens to me personally, and I promise that when I write, from now on, there’s no fluff. 

I hope you stick with me and my little blog as I re-discover my place in the blog sphere.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

This Ought To Be Fun

A few posts back, I talked about my wisdom tooth surgery and how they had to do a bone graft to replace bone taken out of my jaw as well as the hole where the tooth was that they removed.  Apparently, a big enough hole wouldn’t have healed well (if at all) by itself, and could have led to problems with my jaw throughout life.

Yes, it’s as fun as it sounds, plus it still gets sore.  I guess the level of grafting that they had to do, it will probably take another two or three months to fully heal.  It isn’t impacting my eating or any activities, but I still don’t eat foods where you have to pull with your teeth/jaw really hard, and if I do use my jaw a lot, I’ll be pretty sore by the end of the day.

But, the really fun part came with the bill.  Apparently, the $900 figure they printed out wasn’t exactly accurate.  I logged online to my insurance website and saw that the claim had been filed in the amount of $2,400.  Yikes!

I really hope that, like so many procedures, the agreed upon amount is a fraction of what the billed cost was.  That would make my 10% co-pay even worse.

Still, since the claim is in ‘Open’ status I’m having nightmares of them denying the claim altogether or revealing that they will only pay up to a certain amount, or something else crazy like that.  Usually, this insurance company has come through in the past, so I’m hoping that it works out fine, but until that claim status goes from ‘Open’ to something more agreeable, I’m a bit anxious.

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Net Worth Review: October 2009

It’s officially fall.  We never really had all that great of a summer from a ‘warmth’ perspective, so it shouldn’t surprise me that it’s already chilly.  Again, it’s been below normal temperatures, which is sort of the norm for the year.

In any case, here is our net worth chart for October 2009.

Assets

Property – The value of our home was actually reported to go up a little bit this month.  I’ve noticed houses in our neighborhood selling a lot faster than even a few months ago, so I’m hopeful that we’ll at least start seeing some even values for a while, and then hope for some increases in the next year or two.

Autos – My wife’s car actually reported a slight uptick in value this month, for whatever reason.  Mine went down a little bit.  I am hoping to put mine on the market soon, so wish me luck!

Investment Accounts – The stock market went up a little bit, so our investments went up accordingly, which was nice to see!

Cash Accounts – Cash holdings were stable for the month

Retirement Accounts – The market plus regular 401(k) contributions pushed this up.  The total balance for retirement savings is almost at an all time high, which is nice to see.  Although we’re still off from market highs, the regular contributions have helped speed things along when it came to re-building the balance.

Debt

I’m not going to break this down into individual categories, because things have been running on autopilot lately.  We haven’t put any ‘extra’ towards debt, which was pretty much what we expected when we went to a single income.  We’re making progress, but it is definitely not as much fun when you can’t put a little extra.  Still, tax refunds and other windfalls will help in this regard, but they’re going to be the exception and not the norm.

Overall

Though things are running on autopilot, there are some things that I’m very happy about.  The biggest achievement for the month is that if you look at net worth excluding property, our value here is at an all time high!  That mostly has to do with regular contributions to retirement plus paying down debt and not adding any new debt.  Though sometimes it seems like things get a little monotonous, it’s seeing things like this that show we’re making progress!

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Monthly Goals – Review and New Ones for October

Let’s review the goals I set for September and see how I did:

  1. Continue to work out – Mostly accomplished – I was doing great up until my wisdom tooth surgery.  I haven’t gotten back into it yet, just because my recovery has taken a bit longer than expected, but I am gearing up to get back into it full swing next week pending doctor approval.
  2. Recover from wisdom tooth surgery – Mostly accomplished My surgery for extracting teeth was rather complicated, and as an update to my post, I had a further complication last week when a small hole appeared between my sinuses and one of the extraction sites.  The surgeon was fairly confident that this would heal on it’s own.  I’ll find out more next week.  So far it seems to be doing well, and I’m back to eating all but really crunch foods.
  3. Figure out what to do with my MY money – Somewhat accomplished – As I mentioned, I bought a pair of running shoes with money that my parents gave me for my birthday to spend on myself.  I still have some left, but am in no hurry as I don’t want to spend just for the sake of spending, but would rather wait until something truly important comes along.  In any case, the money is earmarked accordingly.
  4. Sell a car / buy a car – Not accomplished – Again, I’ll blame the wisdom teeth. I have a few small things I need to get straightened out, as well as do a thorough cleaning.  I’m moving this to October.
  5. Do good in my fantasy sports leagues – Accomplished – I had dropped from first to fourth in my baseball league, but am now at second.  Either second or third is likely for me, and that will ensure me some prize money.  I also started off 2-1 in my football league, so I can’t complain.  This week might be brutal, though, as I’ve got a double whammy of injuries and bye week players that are leaving me no choice but to field a bunch of scrubs. 
  6. Get caught up on insurance co-pays – Accomplished – Everything is finally caught up with the bills from Baby Beagle’s delivery.  I also had an issue to work out with regard to coverage for Baby Beagle’s immunizations that was straightened out.  Even the oral surgery bills are pretty much finished off, except for one claim that I’m expecting to run through any day.  

October Goals

  1. Get back on the treadmill – By the end of the month I should be fully back into the workout routine unless something really creates a setback with the wisdom teeth removal.
  2. Sell a car / buy a car – I’m moving this one up a month and see no reason that it can’t happen.
  3. Winterize around the house – Some of the windows need re-caulking and I’d like to have the furnace tuned up to make sure everything is running efficiently.  
  4. Donate – I have stuff that needs to be donated that has been with us for way too long.  Getting rid of those piles in the basement and the garage will help get those areas clean, and hopefully help others that can use the items.  
  5. Figure out our Netflix plan – Right now, we’re on the $4.99 minimum plan where you get two movies per month.  We’ve actually now gotten into a habit where we like to watch a movie on Saturday night.  So, this leaves us two or three movies short per month.  I am convinced that our library has a decent enough selection where we could supplement our Netflix rentals with free library rentals, but my wife is skeptical.  We need to go check it out and determine if we can stick to our current Netflix plan or if we will need to bump back up to the next highest plan ($8.99) that would allow us to watch a movie a week.

Happy autumn!

  

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