Month: August 2015

Why am I keeping this?

From my stuff’s perspective, Friday was a very scary day.

On Friday night, Hubs and I decided to go for a bike ride. We store our bikes in a storage unit on site at our apartment. When we got into the storage unit area, 4 of the 6 lockers had their locks cut, including ours. 3 of the 4 cut lock units were cleaned out.

Thankfully, our unit was untouched. A little investigation revealed that Management screwed up and our lock was cut by mistake. This was not an act of a lazy thief who saw our old bikes and didn’t bother moving them to steal what was behind them. We ‘locked’ our unit with a zip tie and made an emergency trip to Target for a new lock.

Crisis averted.

While our stuff was now safe, my mind kept turning over the idea of stuff. What did we have in there? If it was cleaned out, what would I miss? If this stuff is in a storage locker, do we really need to hold on to it? Let’s dive a little deeper.

What’s in the Storage Locker?

The storage locker is quite generous in size. My gut tells me that its about 4′ x 6′ and it’s full.

Current contents:

  • 2 adult bikes
  • 1 microwave (Living a microwave free life for 2 years! woot!)
  • 80% of our wedding gifts.
  • Fine China, given to me by my mother, given to her by her mother.
  • Christmas tree and gift wrap
  • Easter basket and eggs for the annual Easter Egg hunt 🙂
  • 1 bookshelf
  • A heap of empty boxes.
  • Other things that I can’t remember and I don’t want to dig in the unit to figure out what else is there.

All of that fills a 4′ x 6′ unit to the top. We have to store our bikes vertically and that’s a tight squeeze.  All of this stuff is not good enough to be in our everyday home.

What would I miss?

On our still stressed drive to Target to get a new lock, a few things kept rolling through my head. 1) If all it takes is a bolt cutter to steal my stuff, what’s the point of the storage unit? More importantly, 2) If everything was gone, what would I miss?

The answer: Not much.

I quick mental scan of the contents of the locker showed me that for all 24 square feet, I only cared about my mother’s china and my glorious unopened KitchenAid Stand Mixer.

The rest of it, meh. So long as my renter’s insurance kicked in, I could get a new bike (read: I want a better bike that fits my current biking needs), and while I love my wedding gifts, they are easily replaceable. Sadly, I don’t even really know what’s all in there. I know we’ve got a rice cooker, toaster and popcorn maker, but beyond that… *shoulder shrugs*… other helpful kitchen stuff that I don’t have room for in my itty bitty apartment kitchen?

So…

Why am I keeping all this?

If I’m not using it and I won’t miss it, why am I keeping it?  On the flip side, if it was stolen and I would miss it, why aren’t I using it now?

The answers/excuses for a few things are easy:

  • The bikes are too bulky to keep in our apartment. We are starting to bike more and this is simply where we keep them.
  • The Christmas and Easter stuff is seasonal. When it’s that season, it comes out.
  • The toaster and rice cooker are replacements waiting in the wings. Our current rice cooker is on suicide watch, so I’m happy to have a back up in place.
  • The bookshelf doesn’t fit in our current apartment layout, but it’s a nice bookshelf. We’ll use it again when we have a different arrangement.
  • The microwave is a release valve in case one of us snaps and suddenly demands food that’s hot on the outside and frozen on the inside.  (*whispers “hot pockets”*)

What about the stuff I don’t care about?

Why am I keeping boxes? We’ve lived in our apartment for nearly 5 years. We knew this wasn’t going to be a short stay when we arrived and don’t plan to leave any time soon. What’s with the boxes?! I don’t have a good answer.

What about the unopened wedding gifts with no anticipated use date? Am I just a hoarder? Probably. I’m sure I may find a use for them someday, but is that reason enough to keep them? One of them is a 12″x 12″ skillet that I’m sure my Momma would love at the cabin. Am I being selfish by keeping these items to myself even if I’m not using them?

What about the stuff I love?

Why am I not using the Stand Mixer or the China? I don’t have a good reason. The reasons I have are that my kitchen is tiny and I don’t want to break anything.  These don’t feel like good reasons to keep something and never use it.

Of all the wedding gifts I received, the Stand Mixer is my favorite. At my parents’ house, I loved to bake with the mixer all the time. Now that my kitchen is itty bitty, the mess of baking is a hassle. Even more practically, I don’t want to make cookies by myself. That sounds horribly fat and lonely.

It appears I have more questions than answers. I don’t have a solution for this extra stuff now, but maybe I will someday. As traumatic as the “omg! were we robbed?” moment was, I’m thankful to have the opportunity to evaluate my stuff.

Do you have a stand mixer? What do you use it for? Inspire me!

July 2015 Recap & Net Worth

What a whirlwind…

I had a feeling that July was going to be crazy and boy did it live up to the expectation. What did I have going on? Everything!

1. All in the family! July has always been reunion month and this month did not disappoint. Over the same 10 days, I had family in town from all over the world. Oof. It was a lot of driving due to the fact that I live close to NO ONE, but it was a wonderful time nonetheless.

2. Do the Hustle! I did not get a lot of sleep in July, especially on weekends. I’ve been nurturing my hustle game, but unfortunately for my sleep schedule, this involved getting up at 3am three Saturdays in July. I am so happy that other people will pay me to do what I am most passionate about, but I wish it was more sleep friendly!

3. Shine like the top of the Chrysler Building! Work surprised me with a quick trip to NYC at the end of July. I had never been to NYC before and it lived up to the hype. I spent all my time in Midtown Manhattan and my brain is still struggling to grasp how big that city actually is. I only had time to explore a tiny fraction of Manhattan and was amazed by how many iconic things I saw. I’ll see you again New York.

[flashback]

July 2014: I owed $29,167 on my student loans.  I decided to stop saving to buy my car and dumped all my extra money on my debt.

July 2013: I took the Bar Exam and survived!

July 2015: The 3 Paycheck Life

July was a better than average month. I was able to save a lot in July, but that was mostly because I got 3 paychecks this month. Yea, money! Unfortunately for the numbers, I/we didn’t knock it out of the park this month because Hubs decided not to save any money. He normally contributes to the House Fund, but we had an expensive July.

July was expensive in a normal way, like his car tabs expired and we paid 6 months of car insurance. A lot of the spending was planned and saved for, but we decided not to use any of the saved money. Hubs also had a 3 paycheck month, so he cash flowed the expenses and kept our buffer. We’ll keep the buffer for a month when extra expenses don’t line up as beautifully with extra paychecks.

On to the numbers…

July 2015 Net Worth

Assets!

Retirement: $19,460 (+1,764)  Three paychecks in July means 3 contributions for both my 401k and Roth IRA. Three contributions and a market increase for the month means it was a big month! My increase this month was more than $1000 than last month!! 

Taxable: $8,485 I’m back to playing the waiting game with this account. There won’t be any official updates until December. I’m hoping December brings a big fat dividend that will bring this account up for the year. But I’ll have to wait until then to find out. 

Auto Value: $13,000 (-95) After the $650 adjustment last month, I’m really not too jazzed about tracking the value of my car. All of the other numbers I track are finite. They are dollars in an account. The value of my car is an estimate. When I do go to sell it, the amount I get will depend on so many factors beyond how I or KBB value the car. To counteract my feelings of meh, I’ve decided to take a more aggressive depreciation schedule. 

House Fund: $8,244 (+2,355) With three paychecks comes great House Fund progress. Interestingly, this was only $14 more than last month. I guess that’s what happens when Hubs doesn’t contribute. Can I post $10,000 next month? I hope, I hope, I hope!

Round Two Progress: (What is Round Two? check here!)

  • Baby Saver: $2125 
  • Middle Saver: $7953 (Loan value: $5828) ✔
  • Thing 1: $16,453 (Loan value: $8500) >in progress<
    • Yee! $8244 down, $8209 to go!
  • Things 2: $24,953 (Loan value: $8500)
  • Big Momma: $45,330 (Loan value: $20,377)

HSA: $4,848 (+425) A bigger than expected month! I got my bill for my doctor’s visit but haven’t paid it yet. That’s expected to wipe out any gains next month. I’m happy to see it up for the month!

Car Fund: $451 (+75) Yay Car Fund! 

Liabilities!

Student Loan: $0! I’m keeping this here until it feels silly to list it. It still feels awesome, so here it is! I don’t owe FedLoan Servicing anything 🙂

Car Loan: $10,596 (-374) Minimum payment as promised. It’ll be pretty cool to have this in the 4 digits, and it’s getting closer. It’ll be a birthday present to me.

Overall:

  • Net worth: $43,892. Up $4,898 from last month. 

Excellent Progress this month! Two things: 1) I flew past $40,000! I’m almost to $45,000!! 2) Holy crap! Almost a $5000 increase this month! That’s huge!

July lived up to the hype and I made some major strides with my net worth!

  • Net worth increase: $140/day
    • I’m back into $140+/day, but barely!

How was your July? Tell me, tell me!