Friday, June 20, 2008

Our baby girl is sooo special

Two and a half years ago we walked into a mall after I spent two days taking a 10 hour exam and leaving the movie theater after The Incredibles was sold out again. Two hours after entering the mall, we were those crazy people you see walking around the mall with a little puppy in their arms. How did a tiny little black furball capture our heart? We thought she was 'special', in the ahhh look she got dropped on her head too many times kind of way. Turns out what made her 'special' was actually her telling us to 'get with the program and do as she says'...with a Wanda Sykes voice : ) Two and a half years later she's still got it...

video

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tobacco...the root of some evil

We all know what the real root of ALL evil is, but I don't want to get into too much trouble...

Anyway, on the drive home this afternoon there was a lovely Lexus in front of me with a distinguished looking gentlemen smoking a pipe. Since the weather was amazing today, I had the windows down and sunroof open. Which then lead to the wonderful smell of sweet pipe tobacco to enter my car. Then that small patch in my brain that thrives on nicotine kicked in and said YOU MUST HAVE SOME OF THAT RIGHT NOW.

Before I get hate mail, rest assured, I don't smoke. I did on occassion during high school and college, but those days are long gone...thank goodness too because they usually also included a natty light. I had high standards ;-) After becoming a Christian, I have on occassion enjoyed some cigars. But its been years since my last one...thanks to my one 'smoking' friend moving far far away (which I believe was a plot by our wives to seperate us due to our inclination for cigars and breakfast at Bob Evans...and the Baptist church).

Anyone up for a cigar night??

Monday, June 16, 2008

Summer Storms

The one part of summertime coming that I enjoy is the great thunderstorms. Richmond seems to get nice storms...which is probably due to the fact that 85% of the summer is hot, humid and just miserable. Here's what we were treated to as we ate dinner this evening...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Gas

I have a question. Why is there no 'standard' for how much gas you have left in your tank when the little yellow light comes on??

For years, my wife and I have been driving Honda's. Over the years I've just learned to ignore the little yellow light, or at least not panic over potentially running out of gas. In every Honda we've owned (totalling a whopping seven to date) the little light means we've got 2.5-3 gallons of gas left...or ~75-100 miles. No big deal. (As a side, I know it's not good to let the gas light come on all the time, and we don't usually as a habit.)

So imagine my surprise when I pull up to Wawa this afternoon in my Toyota truck to realize that I only had 1/2 a gallon left! Granted the light came on during my trip home from the office (11 miles each way), so I'm thinking it came on when I had about one gallon left. Yikes! Good thing I didn't follow my instinct and just go home...since that would put me at about 13 miles left when I got gas. Good lesson to learn now!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Heat Wave

Not a fan of Summertime in Richmond. We've had a perfectly lovely Spring this year...which came to a screeching halt late last week when the temp decided to hoover around 100.

Needless to say, the backyard has not seen too much progress since I can't get too much work done with it being this hot : (

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

May $ Update

I haven't fully discussed all of the info I want to share on here with my wife yet, so for this month we'll keep it simple. Basically this month we were over budget due to the pond, patio, patio furniture, etc which was spent now knowing George W. would be sending us a check soon to cover it. Even with all that, our networth was up ~3% due to the stock markets continual recovery from the first quarter.

Every month I update an Excel Spreadsheet with our budget and net worth. There are several reasons for this. First being I'm a financial planner and therefore I feel like in order for me to preach at clients the importance of budgeting (or at minimum, keeping track of what you spend) I need to do the same.

Second, my wife is an engineer. I love her dearly, but she has this need to know where our money is at all time and that we are going above and beyond what is necessary so that she can retire earlier rather then later. Plus over the last few years, our marriage has changed from her keeping track of every last penny to relying on me to pay the bills and manage our portfolio. Her job doesn't allow the time required to do this. So the monthly update has been any easy way for us to communicate how we are doing financially.

The net worth evolved from updating the budget simply because I had to easy access to all the information needed. I've found over the years it is a great way to encourage us to continue putting money aside and paying down debt. Plus on those months that I spent a little too much at Lowe's, I was able to show my wife that even though I went well over my budget, our net worth was still increasing! The power of compound interest is awesome to see in real life!!

Why this works for us? I'm the half of the relationship that likes to spend. My wife would be perfectly content hoarding away everything. I'm more then okay with this!! So by looking at our finances each month, we're able to keep ourselves accountable to each other and we now only purchase larger ticket items when we know we have extra income one month, or cut back in a different area. Plus we have the habit of not purchasing anything without the others permission...even down to a trip to the local Krispy Kreme. Yeah, it might sound very extreme to some, but as the spender in the relationship, it's helped us amass what we have and enjoy our money working for us instead of us working for the money.

If anyone is interested in the spreadsheet template to use for yourselves, just drop me an e-mail!

Fishies to come soon



The fish pond is now all set up! Finally!! A few minor details to complete, but nothing too big and it at least looks like a functioning pond now : ) We'll let it run for a week or two and then get some feeder goldfish to see how long they'll make it! Don't worry, we added three plants to the pond after this pic was taken, so they'll hopefully be able to hide from any predators.

I don't think this little guy counts as a predator, but he's been hanging out in our yard a lot lately...