Saturday, November 19, 2011

Linkfest

A Practical Wedding is the only "wedding" blog I still read after being married for more than a year. That's because it has transitioned into something far more important than a simple wedding day blog - it's important as a forum for discussing what it means to be married in today's world, as a woman, as a wife, as an adult. This article from last week has been read and "kept unread" in my Google Reader pretty much every day since it was first posted - an excellent example of the power of setting goals and what that does for your life. While I am nowhere near as, well, practical about actually writing down where I'd like to see my life go in terms of larger life goals and milestones, this blog sort of serves that purpose with the monthly goal setting and general themes of where I'd like to see my life head. Peanut and I had some goals in mind when we got married, he quit his job, and we moved across the country to set ourselves up in the lifestyle we wanted to be in before having children. If we hadn't thought ahead, we might still be living in a tiny one-bedroom apartment working 70-hour weeks.

Still - now we're here, closing on a house and thriving in new jobs. What's next? It might be time for us to start thinking of that, or of thinking both broader and deeper.

What amount of money will you haggle over? My comment on that post details the great deal I got last week - I saved $30 by waiting 10 minutes for a manager to determine that she couldn't match the online deal but could order the shoes for me and have them delivered to my door. They arrived just three days later, and that was worth it to me.

This is a great round-up of what to do during open enrollment. My open enrollment period started six weeks late this year, because my employer was negotiating pricing on our health insurance premiums. Even after such a delay, they are increasing by 12% - so I'm really glad we're switching over to Peanut's high deductible plan, for which his employer covers premiums 100%. Still, there are other things we'll be taking a closer look at:
  • Retirement contributions. Because we switched jobs, we haven't been able to contribute. We're now out of the trial period and are both able to start taking advantage of employer matches. (We already each maxed out a Roth for the year).
  • Heath savings account. We'll take advantage of this to cover the high deductible insurance plan, and to cover dental work for which we are no longer insured.
  • Reviewing life and disability insurance. I recently read Insurance for Dummies, and was ASTOUNDED when I realized how terribly underinsured we are.

I plan to meet with an insurance agent during our open enrollment period to review homeowner's insurance as well as do an audit of our existing car insurance and employer-offered life, health and disability options. I can manage on my own, but it'd be nice to have a professional check-in for once.

The must-read list of personal finance books. 

Krystal talks about the cost of hobbies over at GMBMFB. Last year my hobbies were pricey! But then we moved, and I no longer have dance classes, costumes, makeup, or accessories to buy. 

My family has put a $3 limit on gifts for each other this Christmas. That means getting creative, so things like this homemade sugar scrub sound just right!

4 comments:

  1. I think it was you who introduced me to APW when I got engaged, and I still read it too! It really is a great forum about marriage and being a wife. Thanks for bringing it to my attention previously.

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  2. A $3 limit sounds interesting because then everyone needs to get super creative! Let us know how everything turns out :)

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  3. Thanks for mentioning the article from Money Q&A. I appreciate it.

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  4. A $3 limit?? That does require creative thinking! I'm used to a $10 limit; there are a lot of options under the $10 range. I don't know what I'd get for less than $3 ...

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Thanks for commenting!