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Saver's remorse?

September 26th, 2006 at 12:27 am

I'm waiting for my Emigrant Direct account to be set up. In the meantime, I'm wondering if this sort of saving for a large ticket item is prudent at this juncture. It was one thing when potential childcare opportunities were sporatic but now I've got one set in stone and some of the sporatic are potentially more regular.

I'm wondering if I shouldn't either make it part of my Emergency Fund, the money I'm setting aside in Emigrant. Or if I should just use it to pay off debt. Basically, I'm looking at a guarenteed $100/mo (although don't know about the tax ramifications yet) plus potential for extra. Since it's guarenteed, I have a hard time saying I'm using it for something frivolous, like a bed.

Or perhaps...I should change it from Bed Fund to Necessity Fund. A good bed is a necessity but so are tires. I can stash the excess money away and just use it for whatever Necessity comes up. Like for example, I need two new tires. I was going to pull the money out of my Emergency Fund, but it's not really an Emergency more of a Necessity. At some point too, I imagine my car will give up the ghost. Once it does, I will only have my Emergency Fund to use for a downpayment. But if I have money in a Necessity fund, that could make things a little brighter.

For some reason I just feel with the sudden influx of extra money, that I'm being irresponsible to save for a Bed. But just for a general, all purpose 'larger items that are bound to come up' it seems to make more sense in my HeadSpace.

I think I need to think more on this.

I suppose the stupid mantra that's behind this all is a signature line I saw on the creditboards a while ago that states 'a penny saved is a penny not going towards paying off debt'. I realize the importance of some savings, which is why I'm working on building my EF, but in my head, anything more than that is frivilous.

But on the other hand, I like to have backups for my backups. For example, I know that I spend a little bit of money so I created a 'Personal' category in my budget and if I don't spend it all it goes into my savings when the next check arrives. But on top of that, I also try to give myself a cushion in my checking account of another $20. No reason, just mainly so it doesn't turn out that I get down to a whole $0.10 in my bank before the next check arrives.

I like the idea of an EF but I'm worried about potentially spending it for non-emergencies that seem like emergencies at the time.

Anyway.

I'm back!

September 25th, 2006 at 03:38 pm

The weekend was absolutely fantastic. I felt like I should help out a little more (do dishes, alternate holding kids during meal prep so the moms could actually cook, keep an eye on some while the others were being tended to, there were 4 kids total the oldest is 3) so I did and then got gently scolded for doing so because apparently I was on vacation too. Smile

They went crabbing on Saturday and I went off for a hike nearby. It was more difficult than I expected, not bad, but I was lazy and didn't change my shoes but I probably should have. It was nice though to hike down to a secluded beach and just watch the waves and walk along it for a bit.

All the kids wound up going down before the parents left for dinner. That wasn't the original plan but they were so wiped out that it just happened that way. So I watched a movie and knitted for a while.

Spent a little on breakfast and lunch on Sunday, we all went out together for breakfast and then I got lunch on the way home. I had to leave earlier than I'd originally planned because my part time job started that afternoon.

The job itself, went great. I wound up being with the toddlers because there weren't any infants. It's apparently pretty hit and miss sometimes. But the kids I did get to work with were great. And a couple of the moms were really happy as it appeared some of them really took to me. Score! They're going to pay me weekly but don't know yet if I'm going to be cash (ie no taxes involved), Independant Contractor (I take care of all the taxes involved), or a regular W2 type paid employee. It's so little money, I'm good with whatever. Obviously, I'd prefer cash but whatever works for them. Shoot at this rate even as an Independant Contractor I wouldn't have to file as it won't be $600 this year.

My brother also paid me $60 towards his debt, so that means $143 has been sent off to CC2 this morning via their website. He's planning on another $60 at least next paycheck.

I was going to make a deposit today but then realized I really should wait until tomorrow. I'm working tonight as well, childcare for some night classes, and will just have to go to the bank again tomorrow. Might as well just make it one trip.

Picked up parttime job!

September 22nd, 2006 at 11:46 pm

Just got off the phone with the gal I interviewed for about a week and a half ago. It's a pretty simple job, infant childcare for a church, two hours on a Sunday afternoon. Pays $100/mo. I don't even have to change diapers, just make sure everything's bleached before the kids get there, keep the kids occupied during the service, and make sure the right kid goes home with the right parent. I think I can handle that.

The only question I have is where to put that money. I'd said any extra babysitting money would go to the bed fund, but this is regular work even though it's extra work. I think what I'm going to do is this... put all extra income money into my Bed Fund account up to $100/mo. Once I've deposited $100 whatever else comes in will go to emergency fund savings. After all, if I start saving now, and put in $100/mo, I'll have $1100 just in deposits by the time Sept '07 rolls around. And I'd decided I only was going to save $1000 max for my new bed related purchases.

I don't know how they are going to pay me, if it'll be once a week or once a month. I'm also starting an 8 week, $20/night, 1 night a week child care job on Monday. That one I know is paid weekly, and I might not be needed all 8 weeks.

It's kinda nice trying to figure out what to do with the extra money. I know if I don't plan specifically what to do with it, it'll just get spent and I need to avoid that.

Once EF and Bed Fund are at their goal levels, any and all extra will go towards debt.

Be Careful what you wish for.

September 15th, 2006 at 05:35 pm

So I started this whole Bed Fund idea right, thinking I'd just throw extra cash at it from things like the occasional babysitting gig or survey. Now look what it's turned into...

Starting Sept 25th I'll be doing child care for two hours on Monday nights, for six weeks potentially, pay is $20/night.

I had an interview this morning for a church that has a paid child care position, two hours a week on Sunday afternoons, ongoing with potential for nights off if they know in advance, pay is $100/mo. They'll get back to me in a couple of weeks but I think I've got it.

Because of the interview and knowing I would have to give references, I contacted one of my friends who I babysit for on occasion and asked if she wouldn't mind being a reference for me. She said no problem and oh by the way, if I want more steady babysitting she and her husband are thinking about having an every week Date Night and if I'm up for it I can sit for them too. They pay me varing amounts of money. Because usually the kids are asleep by the time I get there and I'm just in the house and check in on them on occasion, I just take whatever they give me. Usually it's anywhere between $15 and $30 a night depending on how long they're gone and how much cash they have on hand.

So that's three nights a week now that I might be doing child care. Potentially. I went over to a friend's work after the interview to kill time before work, and she mentioned that our mutual friend had also told her about the Date Night babysitting so we're thinking perhaps we can trade off on it so it's not an every week commitment for one of us. That's fine by me, she really needs the cash more than I do.

If this all comes to pass, I think I'm going to rethink the bed fund. Either stash it all away and once I hit my goal start using it for something else, or change my goal to be max deposit of $100/mo and once I've hit that send the rest of the money to something else (EF or CC) Going to wait and see what actually comes about first.

Ikea catalog

September 12th, 2006 at 04:18 pm

I glanced through my friends Ikea catalog to get a better idea of bed frames. I think I've decided on a platform frame, something where you should only have a mattress and no box spring. They mostly had twin or queen no doubles. I know what trouble my friends have with their queens as far as finding room in their rooms for anything else beside the bed so I was thinking I'd just go for a double but I may end up with a queen after all.

So prices range from $149 - $369 for frames. About what I was thinking really. I don't think I'll be buying the mattress there though, from what I've heard of Ikea mattresses they're like futon mattresses, good in the beginning but not so good as time goes on. I think $400 is probably a safe estimate for a decent mattress isn't it? I've never bought one so I really don't know. But I'm thinking on the high end/worst case senario.

Another thing I hadn't factored into costs is new bedding. I have no sheets for anything that's not a twin. Although my main blanket in the winter is definately large enough to fit on a queen bed.

So I'm thinking perhaps I should up my goal for my bed fund to 1,000 just to be on the safe side. And actually, I think this is totally do-able. I've got 6 weeks (potentially) of babysitting at $20/night and I'm going to be interviewing this week with another church that needs childcare on Sunday afternoons for $100/month. Since we're looking at about 11 months between now and when I'll be buying it, if I get the regular childcare job that'd be $1,100 saved just from that. But once I hit $1,000 I'm not going to put any extra in instead I'll divert it to regular savings or something.

Anyway. Honestly, I didn't see anything in the catalog that totally jumped out at me as 'I must have this one!' but I'm expecting there to be more of a selection by the time their store is in place here. Especially considering it's to be their largest North America store.

More on the bed fund.

September 8th, 2006 at 09:21 pm

I started thinking about this more and have decided to start diverting any extra cash I earn to my currently non-existant bed fund. So not only babysitting money, but any mystery shops, any odd jobs, any paid surveys, any paid to click/read payouts, etc will go into this bed fund. I have about a year to build it soley on that sporatic extra income. I think I can do it. I will continue to put money regularly into EF savings, anything that I sell will go to my EF savings since it was originally something I spent money on. It's the best way I can think of to differenciate between what should go in as an emergency and what should be saved for a needed big ticket item.

Bed fund.

September 5th, 2006 at 05:01 am

I've been saying ever since Ikea has been rumored to be coming to Portland that I'd buy a 'big girl bed' once they are here. Well, after the furor over the store died down at any rate. I am very much in need of a new bed. My twin mattresses were purchased by my grandmother, new and they were the cheapest she could find, almost 20 years ago. My frame broke the last time I rearranged my room. It's ok to sleep on but if I move, chances are it won't go back together once it's taken apart.

I tried looking online to see what options they have but they don't put too much online by way of stock, they just have too much. The one frame they did have didn't look bad and it was only $129. I expect to pay at least $250 for mattresses, although I'm not sure if I'll get a bed/box set or what. Probably depends on the bed.

I want to pay cash for it. I expect it to be about $500 at least. I don't want to pull it out of my emergency fund, I'm already going to be doing that for tires although that's somewhat justifiable.

I haven't figured out exactly how I'm going to save for it. If I end up doing more babysitting, perhaps that money could go towards it. I could open another ING account, or perhaps an Emigrant (sp?) account. Keep it seperate but perhaps earn a little extra while I'm waiting for Summer 2007 to roll around.

I could totally have $500 saved in that time. Hopefully more, in case my estimation is too low. The question just becomes, what money do I set aside for the bed fund? I don't want to take from my regular savings until I've gotten my EF up to goal. Something to think about.