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May Financial Update: Feeling the Pinch of Home Ownership

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This past month has been wonderful emotionally and a bit stressful financially. When I walk out my door in the morning, I am assaulted by a cacophony of birds and the smell of a pine forest. It feels like I am on a camping trip and just got out of my tent in the morning. I think to myself, “time to build a camp fire.” I love our new house. I love our land. I love our community. I am very, very happy. I have a different feeling when I sit down to puzzle through our family ledger. There Read more […]

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March Financial Update: Spending Frozen!

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We continued our spending freeze in February because January’s freeze didn’t seem so difficult, and our spending was solid ice all month long! I’m pretty proud of what we accomplished. We had two big expenditures that were predicted, and other than that we had no unexpected spending, not even takeout. How did the Spending Freeze Go? The first big expense was our house deposit and associated purchase fees, to the tune of over $30,000. This huge expense motivated us to keep our spending frozen. (adsbygoogle Read more […]

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February Financial Update: Results from our Spending Freeze

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We weren’t perfect with our spending freeze, but the exercise was valuable and did buffer the cold draft blowing our cash away. One nasty surprise for us, however, was when we found out that Mr. Stapler’s former employer screwed up our W2 forms. Although the employer paid to have an accounting firm prepare amended tax returns, we nonetheless had to pay more in taxes. I’m not going to mince words: That really sucked! The rules of my self-imposed spending freeze were that we could only buy items Read more […]

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January 2015 Update: Frugal Holiday Failure

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That’s right: December was not a frugal month for the Stapler household. I slid down the slippery slope of consumerism and finally hit the bottom with a big purchase. It started innocently enough, when I bought cute little boxes for my nieces’ and nephews’ ornaments. At $2.50 a pop, it seemed innocuous enough. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Then I put the ornaments in there, and decided I needed to give them more. So I put $10 iTunes gift cards in there too. I Read more […]

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December Net Worth Update: Surviving!

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These days, I go to bed face-first. My head literally hits the pillow before the rest of me. I used to have a cat that did that, we called it the “flop,” and now I know that our cat must have been exhausted. Because that’s why I’ve been flopping into bed with a faceplant. It should come as no surprise, then, that the big news for November is that Baby Stapler has arrived! We are in love and completely exhausted. Baby’s debut did not take away from my Black Friday shopping. Mr. Stapler braved Read more […]

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November Net Worth Check-in: October was a good month :)

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The good news: Shortly after posting our October update, we made a $2,000 payment to a student loan! Such an awesome feeling. I really hope we can annihilate the next loan before the end of the year. Our emergency fund ($3500) and maternity leave savings ($1500) would wipe out the loan, and I am sooooo tempted to just dump them in there. But I like having our savings security blanket. If we still have the same amount of savings in our accounts in late December, though, I might just do it! (adsbygoogle Read more […]

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October Financial Update: Student Loan Paydown and Net Worth Increase!

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  September was another eventful month in several respects. Mr. Stapler had to travel for two weeks, and I traveled to FinCon14 for almost a week. Mr. Stapler is done with work travel until after Baby Stapler arrives, and I’m done with travel for … well … the foreseeable future. I wouldn’t feel comfortable going too far away now that I’m 8 months pregnant, and once Baby arrives I don’t expect to be going anywhere for a while. In the meantime, we are back to rolling the debt snowball! Read more […]

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September Financial Update: Over $1,800 in Extra Income and Increased our Net Worth by $4,500

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August was an eventful month. Mr. Stapler changing jobs sent me into a flurry of financial planning activity, from evaluating health insurance options, determining our retirement needs, sorting through what we need to save for my maternity leave, and of course revamping our budget. Then we got to go on a much-needed family vacation, which was the perfect end to the summer. In Blog news … did you notice anything new? That’s right, Stapler Confessions is a Plutus Award Finalist in two categories! Read more […]

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August Financial Update

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Remember when I was down in the dumps about our slow debt payoff progress? Remember when I set some money-making and money-saving goals for myself? I do. And I acted on some of them — to varying degrees of success. Budget Cuts: Change our cell phone service to Republic Wireless: SUCCESS! Savings: $55/month. I’m inches from making the switch myself, which would save us another $55 per month.  Minimize commuting expenses by parking on the street. SUCCESS! It took a bit of legwork, but Read more […]

July 2014 Financial and Mid-Year Goal Updates

2014 is halfway over. What kind of progress have we made in 6 months? The goals I set for 2014 are:Earn as much in 2014 as my prior job’s annual salary. Uh-oh. Not even close -- I've only made 33% of my 2013 income so far this year. Hopefully it will get better, but I will be going without two months of paychecks while I'm on maternity leave. So, I better get on it! Pay off two student loans ($24,000). So far, the loan in our crosshairs is only down by $2,000. We plan to make another payment Read more [...]