Buy a Refrigerator – Help the Economy

Jan 27, 2009 @ 04:08 pm by EMS

That was my motto last week.

My wife has wanted a new refrigerator ever since we moved in 2006.  I really don’t see what is wrong with the one we have other than you have to chip some ice out of the bottom once every couple of weeks.  But, being that my wife is usually very frugal and has held out so long about it, I decided to finally give in.

However, if we were going to buy one, I had 3 requests:

  1. I wanted to have the ice/water thing on the front.  I’m tired of actually having to open the door to get ice and/or water. 🙂
  2. Energy Star certification is a must – 2009 is the year we cut our home’s energy costs by at least 15%.  This is a good start.
  3. As with any big purchase in our household, we were going to save up and buy it with cash (or cash equivalent in this case).

So we’ve been saving for a couple of months and this weekend went out shopping.  A local place was having a clearance sell because supposedly they had a pipe break which caused a flood on the show room floor, so of course they had to clear out all stock, yadda, yadda, yadda, everything must go.

We hit up the store on Saturday and found a unit that both of us could agree on for $1,500 (marked down from $1,900).  We even splurged $85 for the 5-year “super warranty”.

The good news is that we apparently did find a good deal.  I haven’t been able to find a similar unit to the one that we purchased for less than $1,800.  I purchased it using my HSBC credit card, so I’ll get 5% back on the purchase price and pay it off immediately.

Delivery is set for this Thursday.  I’ve got the Kill-A-Watt ready to go just to see how much less electricity it will be using compared to the old refrigerator.

December 2008 Net Worth Report (+$1,133)

Jan 07, 2009 @ 09:37 am by EMS
December ended up as a pretty good way to end the year after several negative month-end reports.  We still ended up positive, even accounting for a $1,905 depreciation charge on our two vehicles.
For the year, we ended up down nearly 14%.  This is the first year we’ve ever experienced a net worth decrease.  As anticipated, our investment accounts (retirement and brokerage) ended the year down $32,466.  Fortunately, our positive cash flow was able to keep the total damage from exceeding $30,000.
One thing that I have not accounted for is the value of our home.  I’ve left that number at the value that it was appraised for two years ago, $210,000.  While I’m not doubting that that value has decreased in the past two years, I suspect the decrease is not a huge amount, as we don’t live in a housing-bust area (mainly because it never boomed).  Since I don’t like adjusting the number without real data to go on, and the fact that I really don’t want to pay for an appraisal, I’ve made the decision not to adjust that number unless I have some compelling hard evidence to base it on.
I suspect 2009 will be a better year, and I’ll detail why in a future post.  I’m just glad to get through 2008 with a healthy and happy family.
December 2008 Net Worth

December 2008 Net Worth

2008 Recap

Jan 01, 2009 @ 11:40 am by EMS

First and foremost, happy New Year all!  2008 was certainly an interesting year, and financially speaking, I’m certainly glad to see it in the rear view mirror and looking for a more prosperous 2009.

With each new year, I like to take a look at the previous year’s expenses and compare those with the current year.  Some highlights from this year’s comparisons:

  • 2008 was about $18,000 more expensive than 2007 (That number is probably overstated by 2 to 3 thousand based upon how I handle tax refunds, but it will have to work for now).  Obviously, I’m not happy with that number.
  • One time expenses account for about $8,000 of my total expenses of 2008.  These expenses include the new hot tub, the unexpected wind damage to the house, and the concrete work that I had done in the spring.
  • Gas expenses were up $534 over 2007.
  • I guess I drank a lot more in 2008, as the beer expense almost tripled to $300.
  • Charitable contributions was within $2.50 of what I gave in 2007.  Which is kind of odd.
  • 2008 will (hopefully) be the most expense childcare year ever experienced.  We spent nearly $2,000 more in 2008 in childcare as opposed to 2007.
  • I have to give credit to my wife for keeping the grocery expenses of within $250 of what it was in 2007.  She has been excellent in finding deals and using coupons.
  • One of the biggest surprises was the total dollar amount spent on our dog.  The $463 spent to feed and care for her is more than double what was spent in 2007.  Part of that was the expense to kennel her during vacations and a new medicine that she was put on earlier in the year.
  • Positives?  There really were not any. I obviously can find places to strive for improvement, but there are no categories in which we spent significantly less in 2008 than we did in 2007.

I’ll be providing the final 2008 net worth report, as well as some predictions/goals for 2009 in the coming days.

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