Thursday, January 29, 2009

God has a strange, twisted, sense of humor

So, this payday on Friday will be my first with the base pay reduction. I've done some of the math, and know enough that we need to tighten up even more. We've been doing basic stuff, but now it needs to be more concentrated. Between our taxes and Husband's bonus (yes, he still gets one-it's performance based), we should be able to get rid of two pieces of credit card debt, which will help. We've just got to suck it up until the late March/early April time frame, and it may get a little easier.

Why the title then? Um, well, the house that I gushed about a couple of posts ago? The one that Husband actually likes and can see himself in?

They dropped the price another $18k.

I so want this.

If I were making the same amount, I would be up for trying to find a way to (a) sell our house and (b) find other sources for the rest of the down payment so we don't have to pay PMI. If we could accomplish that, we could get a whole lot more house for about the same payment as we have now.

But I'm not making the same amount. It also took our neighbor over six months to sell her house. She bought at the top of the market, and from what I can tell, took about a $30k loss on the deal. Still, if we could get what she ultimately did, we may be in business.

It will probably be a moot point in a week or so anyway; this house won't be around much longer at this price. The timing is all wrong. However, when I talked to Husband about it today, he did point out that since when has our timing ever been right, or more to the point, have we ever paid attention to it?

Part of me is almost antsy in the anticipation of trying to make this work-in five years it could be one of the best things that we could have done. However, the fear of what could happen if something goes very wrong also makes me twitchy. One of loses our job, some major health incident where one of us can't work, and we're gone.

Sigh. As Bill Cosby said, God has a sense of humor. At this point, I think it is a pretty wicked version.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Right around $400/use...

...on my treadmill. You know, the one that I bought last fall with aspirations of smaller sizes and no more excuses? Yes, that one. For some reason, it finally clicked that maybe a little physical activity would get rid of some of this funky cloud that has been floating over my head for a while. And, if it would help to allow me to begin to include myself in family photos again, all the better.

Well, I have to say, those expert people may be on to something. I've been attempting, not always successfully, but still trying, to do something at least a couple of nights a week. That "something" is either the treadmill or our Wii Fit that Husband got me for Christmas (best.present.ever that wasn't jewelry). I was so damn sore from the Wii last week that I decided that maybe something a bit more gentle with sustained heart rate would be a bit better, hence the treadmill the past couple of days. So far so good. I've slept better, and I have to admit, I've always loved a good workout. You would never be able to tell from looking at me now, but at one point, I was an honest to God athlete. Honest! I've also found that I tend to be a bit more focused at work the next day-I don't know if it is because even though I'm not getting a full eight hours every night, what I AM getting is better quality, or that I've burned off some of those toxic hormones. Regardless, this is one habit that I may enjoy picking up. Now I just have to dump the chocolate chips straight out of the bag habit....

The silly thing that seems to be motivating me (other than the absolutely heinous family Christmas picture?) is that there is pretty good TV on at around 9PM, so I can do double duty-wind down and watch whatever I want on basic cable. Husband even found a nice 19" LCD TV with an integrated DVD player to mount in front of the treadmill, and hooked up some spare speakers. I don't think a realtor would count my little space in the unfinished part of the basement an exercise room, but it seems to be working. The cats get up on their perches and offer commentary as well, so I don't feel too isolated down there. Drac even walked with me for a while!

So, if I look at it from a purely financial point of view, if I keep my act together for at least a couple of months, I might be able to whittle down my per use cost to the double digits. Yep, that's me-fiscally responsible!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Seeing ghosts

Well, despite my doom and gloom about the financial situation, Husband and I went and looked at a house on Sunday. The listing had come up on an ongoing search that I have running on a realty site. I had found it interesting because I had literally watched it being built, since it was on my way to work. Son had a birthday party in the same town, so we dropped him off, and I mentioned that since we were in the neighborhood, maybe we could drive by.

Husband saw the house, and liked it enough to pull into the cul-de-sac to look a little closer. He noticed the open house sign, and made a point for us to make the time on Sunday to go and take a look. (Knock me over with a feather.) Which was probably a mistake.

In short, we loved it. Everything about it was what we wanted. A dedicated office away from bedrooms, a decent sized kitchen with double ovens, a master suite, and decent sized kids rooms. Oh, and an actual laundry room-with storage. I can't tell you how much I want this place.

The only reason that we could even consider this home is because it's a foreclosure. From what we got out of the listing agent, the current list price is at least $150k less than what it was built for, which would explain some of the nicer finishes, etc. Since it's only a couple of years old, there really isn't too much wear and tear, just some stains on the carpets (probably a small dog), and some grout that could use a little attention. The thing that made me remember that a family had lived here, that they had probably seen this as their dream home, was something really small. I opened up the pantry (!! more love), and saw a single, petrified marshmallow on one of the shelves. A fictional family came to mind-kids who wanted marshmallows, hot chocolate, that type of thing. Shoes in the storage seat in the mudroom.

I guess that it just got me a little. Some family may have lost everything, and there I stood, picturing myself in their place. Almost seemed presumptuous.

We aren't in any position to do this right now. Even with my pay cut, we could probably swing it, but if anything, and I mean anything, were to go wrong on the financial side, we would end up in the same position. We also need to fix our credit, and oh, there is that little issue of selling our current house. Regardless, I still feel the ghosts when I look at the foreclosure lists. We'll see what the future brings-I just don't want to end up being one of the ghosts.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How did Twain put it?

Oh yea, something along the lines that reports of my death are highly exaggerated. Or something like that.

Anyway, long time, no see. I've been out there lurking, but that is about all that I've had the time to do. This job is sincerely kicking my butt. I've gone from relative anonymity to having direct reports and meetings with muckity muck VPs who want strategy!numbers to manage to! Just keep the vision of a deer and headlights in your mind, and you've got where I've been lately.

Oh, and the real fun has just begun! Today was black Wednesday-8% of the workforce at my particular site were laid off today. Company wide it came out to about 6%, but still not a happy day. Oh, and now I'm even more irked about the whole more responsibility but no title or pay grade change. Since everyone needs to feel the pain, I had was told that my base pay will be reduced by 10% for the foreseeable future. I make plenty, sure, and we have survived on far less, but it is still unsettling. Yes, I still have a job, and it could be so much worse; just ask those people today who were told that their last day would be Friday. We'll need to adjust some things, put some others off. The house hunt, the one that I have been tenderizing Husband for (and one that he actually seems to have warmed up to), is probably on hold, at least for another year. BabyA is entertaining thoughts of escape from her crib (at 16 freakin' months! Son never even thought about it). We both are driving cars that are 8 years old and have over 130k on them, but prayer at the alter of regular oil changes and rotations seem to have helped. Let's hope it holds up for just a while longer.

I've got to go to bed now-I'm beyond deprived,and if BabyA gives me another 5AM performance, 'm giong to need all the help I can get. G'night!