mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


In a comment a recent post, a poster commented that maybe I should splurge a little more and stop being so cheap.

The funny thing is, I actually have let myself buy a couple "nice" things that I normally wouldn't buy. I recently bought a North Face fleece and a North Face Denali jacket, even though most of my wardrobe is usually from the clearance section of Old Navy. Spending $80 on a jacket was hard for me, since my last one was $20, but it is a really nice jacket, and I kind of feel a little better wearing it. And it was half of what it normally costs, since it was a discontinued color.

I also just bought a new iPod. I currently have a refurbed brown Zune. I love the hardware - it's got a great display and a good interface - but the software is horrible. When I sync it, it will randomly delete songs off the player, and I can't get them back on. I've actually found myself dreading when I acquire new music, because I don't know if I'm going to be able to easily get it onto my device. So I bought one of the refurbed black previous-generation iPod Classic 80 gigs from the Apple Store online for $160, plus $60 for AppleCare (because I know the battery will need to be replaced in the next three years). But this won't set me back all that much - I looked on eBay, and used Zunes actually go for ~$100 (and I have a bunch of accessories, including the travel kit, with mine) - not bad, since I paid $95 shipped and used it for a year. I also have an old 20 gig 4th-gen iPod that I use as a removable hard drive, and since the new iPod will take the place of both of those, that can go on eBay and fetch $50 or so.

I've been splurging in smaller ways as well. I haven't been as frugal when grocery shopping - I can't remember the last time I brought coupons with me, and I've bought stuff I've wanted even when it wasn't on sale. I've been stopping at Starbucks more than usual, too.

The reason that I've let myself go financially is that I've worked a shitload of overtime in the last month or so - my last paycheck had over 50 hours of OT on it. The next one won't have as much, but I do have a few projects at work that will probably make me put in a decent amount more. So I'm doing OK money-wise.

But I also have financial goals that are much bigger than a new iPod. When I bought Casa De Mad, I could only put 10% down, which means I'm paying PMI - Private Mortgage Insurance - which means I'm spending $80 a month on something that doesn't get me anything. (Annoyingly, if I'd bought my house in 2007 instead of 2006, it would have been tax-deductible). So I'd like to get that paid off, and that's going to take around $20,000, which means I should be putting as much money as possible to that. I also would like to have enough in savings to have a cushion for small surprise expenses (I do have an emergency fund - about 3 months salary - parked in a hard-to-get-to internet bank - if I ever get laid off or the like). I also have some other expenses coming up - I need dental work (but have been putting off a dentist visit), new glasses, and some work on my house - I'm getting angry letters from my homeowner's association about the condition of my soffits.

So I've had my fun, but I really need to get back to throwing every available dollar back into savings if I want to meet my financial goals.


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