Thursday, July 17, 2008

Things I'm Thinking

A fairly disjointed listing of some things that have jumped out at me lately from the blogosphere:

Quarterlife Girl talks about needing space in her relationship--not necessarily wanting more space, but needing some more independence. I term this "losing myself" in a relationship, and I find it happens fairly often especially among my girl friends. I'm proud of her for recognizing this and taking charge of her independence--and I wish her all the best in her belly dancing classes!

Trent over at the simple dollar talks about how inconsistent frugality is wasted frugality, which really hit home with me. I am frugal by nature, and driven to be more so at times, but it's easy to do things out of habit without keeping the goal in sight--and this means I wind up making a mistake (like considering blowing my entire tax rebate) that undermines my goals.

WiseBread told me how to buy all my movie tickets for the next six weeks--BOGO tickets at Fandango when paying with a Discover card. We don't go to the movies all that frequently (once a month or so, which is still expensive) but I think the BOGO savings makes up for Fandango's service fees. We might use it to see Hellboy 2 this weekend (I want to see Dark Knight also, but need to wait until I don't have to fight people for a seat).

Mrs. Micah talks about my grandparents' generation's mentality of "Use It Up, Make It Do, Wear It Out or Do Without!" which I LOVE. I hate living in such a diposable society, but being bombarded with advertising for the newest, latest, greatest, best whatever all the time makes it hard to stick with something old, dirty, or a little beat up. I love her laptop monitor slings, and I am going to look around my apartment to see if I have anything that needs to be creatively fixed to give it a new life instead of replacing it.

Tuesday night, my boyfriend and I were at his apartment when a car caught on fire outside. After the excitement of calling the fire department and watching them do their jobs, we saw the owner of the car (who was not home at the time) taking pictures of the damage. She seemed calm, much calmer than I would have been if my beloved little car had ever caught on fire. Similarly, Meg at the World of Wealth has much more perspective on losing her laptop in the airport on the way to Paris than I would have been! Perhaps I'm too attached to some of my belongings...

Another great post from Trent has me rethinking my entire current financial philosopy. Is an emergency fund a psychological negative? At what point do you say enough is enough?! Apparently for me...just about right now. I have enough in the bank for a little more than three months of living if I were unable to bring ANY money in whatsoever--I was aiming for a nice round number like $8,000 or $10,000--but realistically, if I have an emergency situation wherein I am unable to bring in ANY cash (from a part-time job at Starbucks, disability or unemployment payments, etc) for more than three months, I'd have to reevaluate my entire life, and I would probably give up my apartment and couch surf, sell everything I own or even (heaven forbid) move back in with my parents. So three months is good, for now, and I'm not going to save any more than that in my emergency fund at this point. I have other things I want to focus on, and now I get to--what a freeing feeling. I guess in my case, saving for the "worst case scenario" did turn into a bit of a psychological negative--I was so focused on getting to a semi-randomly-picked amount, I forgot the underlying reason for the saving.

I'll be reworking my budget in the coming weeks, but first up on my list is a goal I've had for several years and which Matt from Unclutterer addressed in a post a year ago--corrective lenses are clutter! I have no choice but to wear glasses 98% of the time I am awake (the 2% is times when I wear my contacts or--gasp--nothing when performing). Glasses, contacts, and solution cost money, not to mention the doctor visits--and I don't have vision insurance. So--Lasik surgery, here I come! I'd like to be able to get it done next year, and if I start planning for it right now, I might be able to put aside at least most of the $4,000 cost into my health care reimbursement account for 2009, thus paying for it tax-free. I'm finally free to start saving for it instead of constantly dumping extra money into my emergency fund!

1 comment:

  1. I had lasik several years ago. It was the BEST thing I have ever done. My contact prescription was a
    -10 on one eye and a -12 on the other. Now, I am 20/20 in one eye and 20/30 in the other. You'll be so happy!

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