I finally got all the payments for the condo renovation and rental preparation settled. Renovation, furnishing, agent’s commission etc all combined to take out close to $30,000 from my pocket. Net worth end of June is around $598,000 and it will, hopefully, only go up from here out.
I think I am settling into some complacency with regards to my finances and letting some things slip through the crack here and there. There is quite a bit of overspending on cabbing and snacking. While I was all gung ho and obsessed about saving money and retiring early, I had little problem spending below my budget. Knowing somehow that quitting my job and staying at home will not happen in the next ten years seemed to have turned on a little voice that says it is okay to spend more; I am not going to retire tomorrow after all.
I find myself pulled in two ways. One part of me refuses to up my budget; there is some pride and sense of virtue (false?) involved, that I had actually been frugal. The other part insists that it would be stupid to deny myself when I can very well afford to do what I am doing. And neither side wants to compromise with a half-way budget.
So anyway, I am fudging along, and everyday is a struggle between the frugal and the spendthrift me. I dislike the idea of no-spend days, but it feels like I have somehow taken up the challenge unwittingly. A candy bar…..no spend day…..so tired, cab this morning……no, no, no spend day……chips look good….no spend day…..
Another thing that slipped through the crack – paying my bills. I used to pay my bills immediately upon receiving them, but recently, I have been procrastinating and putting them aside…..for a little bit while I got distracted over something else. The little bit stayed little until it got bigger recently, and I missed a credit card bill, and ended up paying $75 for a bill that was originally $25.
I am pissed with myself, no doubt about it, but I also decided to get my small utility bills off my credit cards. That bill I missed was my mobile phone bill, but put on a card to get me some small rebates/discounts. If I had missed paying the telco, there would have been a few reminders before a late charge would be imposed, and no 24% APR to pay either. But I thought I was smarter, and here I am, paying in late charges to the CC company more than the discounts I had gotten back from them. That hurts my pride!
Oh, and I got my tax assessment for 2011. Despite income being about the same, my taxes were almost $1000 less….all thanks to property related deductions. My effective income tax rate for 2011 was only about 5%. I guess Eduardo Saverin made his decisions for a reason.
The next two months should be reasonably good for finances. No major spending anticipated. I should be looking at a mini raise (mini because of my poor performance for the latter half of 2011) in August and a trip to Hamburg in September. Maybe a trip to Korea in August. Business trips are good for the pocket.