Calculating my Net Worth

money-print-c10055084.jpegI decided today that I was going to calculate my net worth because I had never done so. I was surprisingly astonished when I received a net worth of $37,337! This took into consideration myself and my husband’s information, but I was really expecting to be in the red!

To explain our financial situation a little deeper, I am still in my early 20s and my husband is in his early 30s. We both make a decent income for the area of the country we live in. In fact, we earn almost twice more than the median average household income for our state. We own our own house, have a first and second mortgage, both have Roth IRAs, I have a 401K, and we’ve got a nice chunk of savings kept in a high yield savings account at ING. We both work full time as managers in our respective fields, I work in finance, and he works in the food industry.

I was pretty shocked to see the number come up that was displayed. We’ve had a little bit of a financial crisis lately, with a tree falling on our house, tearing a hole in our roof, and totaling one of our vehicles. We’re going to have that extra expense of the deductible on our home owner’s insurance and we’re going to have to buy a new vehicle in a year or so. Luckily a family member sold us her car for something we could afford so we don’t have a car payment right now.

Throughout my life I have lived frugally. It all stemmed from the lessons my mother has taught me. I remember working my first job training horses, where my Grandpa would give me $50 or so when he sold the horse because I helped out. I always saved that money, and was glad I did. We don’t buy fancy cars or spend money on expensive clothes or electronics. We live well below our means, and to tell you the truth, I love it. I love being as close to debt free as I can. Hopefully in 10 years or so we will be completely debt free. I think one of the keys to long term wealth is not generating more debt than you can handle. For instance, don’t go out and buy a new plasma TV if yours works fine. You don’t have to have the nicest things to “keep up with the Joneses”.

I am going to try to “bank on myself”, where next time I need a loan, say for a car, I’ve got that money saved up so I don’t have to get a loan. I’m going to set up a pre authorized transfer of at least $350 a month (same as a car payment) so that I can pay cash for the vehicle of my choice when the time comes, or at least have a good amount to put down on a vehicle so my loan amount isn’t outrageous.

This was a really interesting exercise and I strongly encourage you to do it as well. You may be as surprised as me to find out your real net worth!

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Frugal Anti Virus: Best or Bust?

dv539009.jpgWe have had to reformat our computer three times in the past six months or so due to getting a virus.  I am so tired of doing it because it’s such a pain!  While I would love to go out and buy an iMac, that isn’t exactly in the cards for me right now because I’m trying to save as much money as I can due to the possibility of losing my job. I can’t help but wonder where we keep getting viruses from, and if I’m not partly to blame. Sometimes free things can be bad.

We get our anti virus free from our internet provider.  I was assuming since it was provided through the internet provider it would be a good anti virus program.  It is CA Anti Virus, and from everything I’ve read online, it seems to be a good program.  So where does the problem lie: in the program, or is it something I’m doing?  I have no idea, but you betcha I’m going to be very careful of all the sites I visit from now on.

I don’t know if there’s something I’m not updating or if there’s some site I’m visiting that keeps giving me a virus, but mainly I’m on the computer checking my email or blogs.  That’s pretty much it.  I can’t help but feel like my frugality is not doing me a darn bit of good here, but all I can believe is that the program is working correctly and maybe I’m just not updating it when I should be.  Or I’m not updating my version of Windows when I should.  Those are the only things I can come up with.

Am I being too frugal? Should I go buy a better anti virus program?  What could I be doing wrong?


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Why an Emergency Fund is Nice

So. On Monday Mr. Money wanted to take my car to work because he needed to haul something for a catering.  I took his car to work, and a few miles away from the branch, the radio turns off.  Fine, I think, I can live without the radio.  I drive about a mile further and the gauges go out.  Well, I hope I don’t get pulled over, I think.  The car starts shaking back and forth and I think Ohhhh crap.

The car dies in the middle of the left hand turn lane.  I start freaking out because all these people are honking at me (despite my emergency flashers being on) so I call Mr. Money (with my almost dead cell phone) and tell him that THE CAR DIED AND I’M SCARED and he says he will come help.  I get out of the car and look at it, as if that will do anything to get it started again.

After two more lights and more honking, a nice gentleman yells out his window, asking me if I’m okay. I tell him the car died, and he offers to push me to the side of the road.  I take up his offer, he pushes me to the side of the road, and I wait in the scorching heat for my husband.  He shows up a little while later, tries to jump the car, and no dice.  We call our favorite mechanic to come tow us and fix the car.  The alternator was bad, got replaced, and the damage was $400.  Thankfully, the car was fixed the same day so I got a ride to the mechanic’s after work and picked up the car.

Yesterday I got home from work and went into the backyard to check on the garden.  I was looking at the green beans when I heard an airplane landing in our side yard.  I went to check it out and realized that it was our air conditioning unit.  Awesome.  I come inside, turn off the A/C, and then realize that I just may melt because the heat index is over 100.

Mr. Money came home from work, went out to look at the unit, and realized that the fan is missing a blade.  He calls to get someone to come take a look at it and they tell him that if it’s just the fan, it’s probably going to be around $300.  If it’s not that, it’s going to be more.  Plus the $80 service call fee.  Awesome.  Did I mention that our air conditioning unit is ancient?  I’m crossing my fingers that it is easily (and inexpensively) fixable.  We’ll find out tonight.

I was talking to my mom and she said that be prepared, because bad things happen in threes.  Gee, thanks mom.

At least we have an emergency fund? (Until it gets sucked dry)

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