October Mortgage Update: Perspectives on $500

This month (September):
Balance: $74,178.15
Years left: 5.9167
P =$916.47, I = $297.93, Escrow = 613.58

This month (October):
Balance: $73,085.37
Years left: 5.75
P =$920.78, I = $293.62, Escrow = 613.58

One month’s prepayment savings: $0.68

$500 this month on new carseats.  DC1’s old ones expired just as DC2 outgrew hir infant seat.

$500 for plane tickets to include the family on a conference trip this month, though we spent that in August (and it was more like $600).

$500 to each kid’s 529.  $500 tuition at the community college after financial aid (for the non-new-mom daughter of the relative), but the relative paid for it out of the 529 we set up earlier, so we didn’t write a check this time around.   He can do that because of the three years in the past that we put in $500 for each of the girls.  We used to pay an additional $500 into the mortgage each month, but no more.

This time last year, $500/month here or there didn’t seem like a big deal.  Now it does.  Last year, if it was under $500 we could do it without thinking about it.  Last year we had a few extra $500s each month from DH’s take-home pay.  This year we have to think about things like eating out.  Maybe.

I still don’t have a handle on our spending.  We spend about what I take home.  I’d rather spend less than what I currently take home or make more money each month.  But the things we spend money on are either important or very enjoyable, and thus difficult to cut out.  Eventually we’ll figure things out.

Does $500 seem like a lot or a little to you these days?  What level of spending is small enough to not have to worry about, or is there such a level?

long lost link love

We both spent way too much time this week reading through hundreds of pages of Yo, Is this Racist?  That prompted a response from one of us to this poignant post on stirrup queens, not so much for the act itself (which was obviously racist), but for the clueless racist comments in the comments section.  (#2 notes, this one is funny)

Isis discusses privilege and what we wish for our children.  I agree.

Squeezed between feminism talks about her experiences slouching towards feminism.  It, combined with a realization about a couple of my senior (white, female) colleagues, is helping to illuminate what the younger black studies guy in my department has been trying to explain to me about the failures and backlash of second wave feminism and… I should probably talk about this in another post.  (#2 says, Intersectionality or GTFO)

Historiann introduces ask a slave. 

Perhaps if folks tried to relate more with people whose experiences were different from their own, they’d become better people.  Just sayin’.  From the little professor.

excelsior bev tells us about her unfavorite things.

the only good use for kale (though #1 likes kale chips)

He’s just got to go.

The toast provides evidence that oscar wilde and walt whitman totally did it.

this otter has mad juggling skillz

zomg we found the perfect journal

What now suggests sucking less.

We were in this week’s carnival of personal finance.  It’s extra cranky this week.  Also figured out why people are so down on link loves from it.  Well, we only link to things we think are worth reading and I don’t think we do quid pro quo links, or if we are, we’re doing it wrong because we’re not getting the quid part in return.

Google, Show me the way!

Q: whatto do with grampy 2 years old

A:  You allow him to grow up so that he can father your future parent.  Otherwise you will cause a rift in the space-time continuum.  Nobody wants that.  (The literature on this is pretty clear:  Do not go back in time to shoot your grandfather as a child!)

Q:  what are some odd things that contain gluten

A:  Worcestshire sauce.

Q:  am i the only person who doesn’t like mr. money mustache

A:  No!

Q:  sanitary dish rag or scrub brush

A:  The brush is the one with bristles.  The rag is a cloth.

Q:  what should u do if u wasted your food

A:  Compost it.

Q:  does a person get paid to write a guest article for a blog

A:  No, usually when the person gets paid to write the article the person is called a “contributor” or “staff writer.”  Guest articles are either free or you pay to get them posted.

Q:  what is mr moneynmustaches real,name

A:  Pete

Q:  do they pay for grad school

A:  Some of them do, some of them don’t.

Q:  how to pay off credit card fast with.minimum wage job

A:  Work lots of hours and put all your earnings towards the credit card.

Q:  why banking the unbanked

A:  There’s some thought that banking the unbanked will help them both save more and spend more because they won’t be wasting so much money on check cashing fees.  This, in turn, would help them to become less likely to need government services.  That’s the idea, anyway.

A sad update on the relatives

The babies were set to be delivered at 37 weeks, to be induced if necessary.  The smaller twin had had several scares and had forced at least one extended hospital stay.

Just before 35 weeks, she went into labor.  They rushed to the nearest big hospital, and then to the big city hospital two hours away.  The smaller twin had died.  They stopped the labor and recommended she try to keep the babies gestating a little longer.  A few days later she went into labor again and 18 hours later they were born.  The larger twin was 5lb 4oz and other than standard preemie stuff (not wanting to be touched, lungs not fully developed) was doing fine at birth.  They held a funeral service at the hospital and another back home for the smaller twin.

The other baby is now off the ventilator and feeding tube and is cuddly and should be coming home soon.

Do you ever comment on blog posts without reading the whole thing through?

Just curious…

Prepayment discounts

When I started this post a couple years ago, it was going to be talking about how awesome pre-payment discounts were.

I was going to talk about how you get 5-10% off just by paying everything in advance, but the real benefit was that you didn’t have to remember to write a check every month.  An additional benefit (for some people) was that you tended to feel a little poorer when you paid out one lump sum and that helps moderate spending.

Since then, I’ve discovered the main danger of pre-payment.

DC2’s daycare, which DC1 went to for many years, suddenly and without warning disintegrated.  A former worker emptied out the bank account prior to the electric bill or payroll being paid out.  The management handled it terribly, waiting until the lack of funds became dire and unfixable.  All but 3 daycare workers quit.  Mass exodus from the students.

We prepaid $8000 for the year.  We’re out around $4500.  The director swears she’ll get us the money back once the bank refills the account (since they weren’t supposed to let that person take the money out), but it looks exceedingly less likely that that’s going to happen.  It looks more likely that the school is going to declare bankruptcy, and people with unfilled orders come last in the repaying of debts in bankruptcy cases.

Was that worth saving 5%?  No.  We’re wishing we’d just paid monthly.  But in May when we signed up, everything still looked fine.  The school has been around for a couple of decades.  We had no reason to believe that something like this could happen, and could happen so suddenly and without warning.  We thought that if we left the school it would be because we didn’t like a teacher or something (unlikely, because they have great training and we’ve always been able to work with the director in the past), and it would at least be our choice.

We’re still prepaying DC1’s private school.  That’s a non-profit and they can fund-raise through donations.  I guess since they survived the last drama, we didn’t learn any lessons there.  Also we sort of think of that prepayment as a donation itself.

So…. bottom line, think really hard about what you would lose if the company went out of business before you take advantage of a pre-payment discount.

Have you ever been burned by pre-paying?

like a Lincoln log, but with love

We’re not sure if we’re going to survive the semester.  The blog queue is empty!  But #2 has on her calendar to craft delicious posts for you for the upcoming week. So that’s something to look forward to!

There are many posts out there making fun of the ridiculous Jonathan Franzen post because he is a hilarious buffoon of cranky white male privilege (he has everything, so it’s hard to feel sorry for him), but this one is the funniest.  We also have not had sex with Franzen.

Less is enough with the sometimes phone tips.

Dean Dad talks about what skills are important for the first job compared to later career jobs.

Penn State fines women for not disclosing their sexual habits.

Tressie MC discusses the very real danger of not signaling that you don’t fit a negative stereotype.

The non-consumer advocate asks why people are such jerks when someone rich tries to bring attention to hunger.


I like the title of this post from stirrup queens.

I’m not sure I would want to see these musicals.

I dunno, is that enough links for you?