My Wife Turned In Her Resignation Letter

Yesterday, my wife turned in her letter of resignation. She will be working until Friday, March 20th.

After that, she will be getting ready to have our first baby, and after the baby is born, she will be staying at home to take care of the baby.

We have been preparing financially for this for quite some time, but it’s still a big and a scary step!

Here are some of the financial preparations we’ve made in the meantime:

  • Talked about it a LONG time ago – We had talked about this even before we got married, and were in agreement that once we started our family, Mrs. Beagle would stay at home. Her job is not that high paying, and this made it easier, because the cost of child care would have made the net take home pay almost nothing.
  • Talked about it again and again – After we found out we were pregnant, and then along the way with the economic downturn, we’ve talked about it again. Even though things aren’t as rosy as they were, we still feel comfortable with the decision.
  • Paid down debt – We’ve focused on paying down debt since getting married in September 2007, and even before. We paid off a car loan, and have paid over one-third of outstanding student loans in a year and a half. It would have been nice to been a little further along (the goal had been for 60% of the student loans to be gone, but we’ll be about 15% short), but we’re still in good shape.
  • Bumped up savings – I’ve leveled out some of our monthly expenses, and also bumped up some savings just so we have a good cushion and have savings for long term purchases, such as home repairs, auto repairs, and replacement automobiles.
  • Saved for baby needs – We had started putting aside money for things that we needed even before trying to get pregnant. So, when it came time for baby furniture, we had some money stashed away. Our parents are generously throwing us showers, so hopefully the cost of actually equipping the baby with everything won’t be too shocking, but I have some money allocated from our upcoming tax refund just in case

One thing I still need to spend some time on is saving for the college education of our baby. We’ve decided that we will start saving once the baby is born, and this will carry through for future babies that we might have as well. I know that we’ll be putting money aside for this purpose, but I need to get my ducks in a row as far as knowing the best 529 plan and how to get started.

Even with that, I think we’re in good shape and we’re looking forward to this next (and many upcoming) chapter.

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So Far So Good With The Upcoming Addition To The Family

I haven’t given any updates on Mrs. Beagle and of course Baby Beagle, so I thought I’d give a quick update!

Things are looking great! All of the doctor visits have gone well. We’ve had a couple of ultrasounds to date and things have looked normal for everything. Mrs. Beagle is gaining the right amount of weight and getting the right size, according to the staff at the office.

The question everybody asks is ‘do we know what we’re having’.

The answer: Yes. A baby. Just one (confirmed that from the ultrasounds!)

But outside of that, no, we have elected not to be told the gender of the baby beforehand. My wife and I actually both agree on this, though it makes others crazy!

The way I look at it is this: These days there are very few surprises. Television and the Internet have made it so you can know just about anything at any time. For the most part, that’s great, but it often takes away the surprise of something that you didn’t see coming. Well, we both want that ’surprise’ and so we won’t know until the baby is born!

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It’s A Holiday Weekend…And That Means It’s Time To Buy Paint!

It’s President’s Day weekend, and that means that it’s time to take advantage of Home Depot’s Behr paint sale.
Through the 16th, you can purchase paint at Home Depot, and receive $5 off every gallon, or $20 every five gallon bucket, via a mail-in rebate.
We’ve used this for a couple of years in a row, and it’s worked out well. In fact, two years ago in May is when we were close to purchasing our house, and we took advantage of the sale. We hadn’t yet closed, but we knew approximately how many gallons we would need, so we purchased it unmixed, and took it back a few weeks later to get it mixed. I think we got a $65 rebate a few weeks later, so it was definitely worth it!
We purchased three gallons of paint, two for the nursery and one which is the color of our hallways, so that I can hopefully do some touch up work and also paint the stairways to the basement.
This year, they made it so that you can submit the rebate online, simply by entering your rebate information and your receipt information. They look up the purchase to verify eligability. Saves time and a stamp!
I’ve found that Home Depot usually runs this around most holidays, so if you miss out this time, mark your calendar for a future holiday if you have any painting on the horizon.

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Net Worth Update – February 2009

The numbers came in for the last month and unfortunately, we weren’t able to keep up the momentum that we had built last month, where we gained almost 10%. Oh, well. I guess in this market, we’re going to expect some ups and downs. Probably a lot more downs than ups until things get better in the economy.
Anyways, our numbers look like this:

  • Assets fell 1.0% in value. The biggest reason for this was that our home value reported further falls, and a down stock market. It actually could have been worse (see below)
  • Debt fell 0.49% for the month. We did pretty good here, and I’m proud to say that we’ve knocked off over $20,000 in debt from February 2008.
  • Overall, our net worth slipped by about 2.3%.

It doesn’t look that bad, but it really should have been worse. We got a significant boost by the fact that I became vested in my company 401(k) matches.
I was officially hired in by my company in May 2007. They are quite generous with their 401(k) match, as they match 100% up to the first 6% of salary. However, the vesting schedule was as follows:

  • You are 40% vested after two years of service
  • You add 20% more after year three, four and five, at which point you’re 100% vested.

By that math, I shouldn’t have been at all vested until this May, and not fully vested until 2012. So, did I somehow invent time travel? No. Did I find a way to interrupt the space-time continuum? No.
Unfortunately, it was nothing so glamerous.
In addition the schedule above, there was a stipulation that if the division I worked for was sold, that full vesting takes place. Well, last year my company ownership transferred, so we became fully vested at once.
So, I had previously held off reporting the non-vested portion of my 401(k) plan, but now I added it in. This is a nice one-time boost, and it will also help moving forward, as all future contributions (up to 6%) will be matched and vested.

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