It has been a busy week around here so far. I sold a couple of pieces of furniture on Craigslist, sorted out some small piles of junk lying around the house, and called in the plumber to finish the remainder of the plumbing work. I figure I am going to be here for a while yet and so may as well take care of business. The new roof leaked badly with the first real rain storm we've had so far this year and that event did absolutely nothing to bolster my wish to continue with homeownership here in the desert. The good news is that house prices here have definitely stabilized with marginal price increases across the board. The bad news is that large numbers of bank REOs are being purchased by out of state investors which leaves me wondering how on earth any of said investors are going to be able to maintain the properties they have bought when they are miles and miles away.
Thought I would post our food expenses for the past 5 years. Exciting stuff!! Compared to 2008, we have spent over $4000 less on food in 2012. In fact, 2012 saw the biggest drop in food spending as compared to the other 4 years. Food expense tracking pays off!! We are on a mission to cut our food spending again in 2013. The spouse has decreed ALL restaurants off limits no matter what and I know that if we stay out of restaurants, we are going to see some good savings right there. There are going to be times when going to restaurants will be unavoidable, unless we want to completely forgo meeting family, etc whenever birthdays or graduations or other events come up. Our extended family likes to meet up for special events in restaurants, what can I say? It is becoming an expensive treat, however, when I consider that 10 of our family members met up at Claim Jumper over the New Year and the tab came to just over $300. Wowsers. And it wasn't even haute cuisine!
In other news, my kids are indeed learning by my financial example and it is gratifying to see that, finally, they are getting it (all except for the lone stand out of course. I still have one kid who is AWFUL with money). Two of my kids are excellent money managers as of this writing. Kid #3 had one foot in and one foot out of the 'money saving circle' but has finally jumped into the circle with both feet by selling off all the stuff that is no longer used/needed/wanted and collecting a sizable pot of money in the process. This kid has downsized living quarters and is managing household bills like a pro. I am really impressed to see the progress that has been made, not just financially but in attitude too. This kid has really matured quickly and I think that is largely as a result of the safety net, as provided by the spouse and I, not looking so 'safe' anymore. As I've already divulged, I have let all of our kids know that we cannot continue to support them, especially as they are all intelligent and highly employable individuals. It took some time to get this message across (years in fact) because my kids have been used to seeing me fold to their demands under the slightest pressure, but (because they hear it plenty and because they see me actually doing what I say I'm going to do with regards to not spending money on crap, staying out of the mall, not giving them money, etc etc) this has become my new normal to them. Mama will no longer be putting tires on vehicles if Baby has been to Las Vegas on a whimsical trip and Mama will no longer be adding to frivolous clothes collections that have already grown too large! My goal was to see my kids become independent of us financially and, by george, I do believe it is happening.
On a quest to bounce back from job and financial loss. One of my biggest dreams in life is to own my home free and clear of any and all bank loans. To no longer be a slave to the lender would be GREAT!