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Archive for February, 2010

Goals for March

February 26th, 2010 at 07:27 am

[ ] Get me onto H's Rx insurance ($15 per month savings)
[ ] Try out a digital envelope system (we have no cc problems so we charge everything and pay the balance)
[ ] Get district to pay extra paycheck for H's extracurricular work
[ ] Make sure address is changed for Costco (coupon book)
[ ] Move extra money in no interest checking to savings
[ ] First paycheck going into retirement!!

Save Money: Using Your TV as a Monitor

February 25th, 2010 at 07:43 am

Here is a money saving tech tip for people currently paying for or wanting a game system or DVR. First how hooking your TV to a computer saves you money (Only legal ways listed. Piracy is a crime):

1) Free, low commercial television is available easily online. Hulu.com, cbs.com, and tnt.com are places I regularly go to watch TV. Many of these offer HDTV as an option.

2) Netflix offers their Instant service for free with all but the lowest subscription. This includes even more TV and thousands of movies.

3) Bluray drives for computers cost half that of a standalone system.

4) Some old video games are offered for free for computers (liberatedgames.org) and programmers are constantly offering free flash games.

5) cheap video games are offered by companies such as Steam (down to $2). These are full games and the download is protected and can be transferred to a new computer.

NEXT TIME: How to Hook your Computer to Your TV

Considering a House

February 22nd, 2010 at 10:48 am

So two weeks ago my husband and I began to consider if we could purchase a house. We were tempted by the tax credits and pressured by our parents. I was determined that we would only enter into a mortgage if we could save money with appreciation only matching inflation (I have major housing bubble cold feet). From being a grad student, we currently live in subsidized on campus. Because of the horrible job market for teachers especially in our county, my husband works over an hour away. This all contributed to a spread sheet of items which would determine the max interest we could pay and still be saving more with a home. The considerations included:

Rent Payment
Housing Tax Benefits
Interest Saved by overpaying with Current Downpayment Savings
Renters Insurance
Auto Insurance Decrease
Husband's Decreased Driving

Current Interest Earnings on Downpayment
Utilities Increase
Maintenance Costs
Home Owners Insurance
Property Taxes
Melissa's Increased Driving
Homeowner's Association Fees
Moving Costs
Home Setup Costs
Closing Costs

From all this, I estimated that the most we could afford in interest would be $430 a month (remember subsidized housing) without losing money. Knowing we can get very subsidized loans because my husband is a teacher, we are looking at about $150,000 including downpayment. In our county, that just is not going to happen.

Are there any credits or debits I'm not accounting for?

Hello World

February 21st, 2010 at 10:32 am

Just a first hello world! I am a graduate student who is newly married to an early career teacher. We have been good savers so far with a 6 month Emergency Savings account and $10,000 in our Downpayment Fund. We currently live in Southern California so this is nowhere near enough money for a house. We hope to buy one when I graduate.

I will be writing here some ideas I have about saving and our experiences with trying to meet some lofty savings goals.