Thursday, June 30, 2011

Always a Bridesmaid

We are off to a wedding this weekend, one of Mr. Sam's good friends.  In honor of wedding season, see this interesting article from CNN on the high cost of being a bridesmaid.  According to CNN it costs, on average, $1695 to be a bridesmaid.  Ouch!  I'm going to call up my bridesmaids and thank them.  Luckily, I was in two of their weddings, so I think that cancels it out.  But I have two single bridesmaids and I feel like I owe them some money.

We're spending $400 for flight, $200 for hotel, $150 for Mr. Sam's rental tux (and he owns a tux, but this is for the wedding) and related costs,  $1500 for his attendance at bachelor party in Las Vegas, $200 gift and $400 in daily spending money on the trip (we are going for 4 days).  Total - $2850.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tenant Problem

If you follow this little blog, you know that we have a few real estate rentals.  With rentals come tenants and in a down market sometimes one can end up with problem tenants.  We may or may not be in this boat and we are trying to figure our way out.

We rented one of our properties to some younger guys.  These are guys with college degrees, decent jobs (first professional job), who have a clean background (i.e. no criminal issues).  But we did rent to three guys (it is a three bedroom home) and these guys have girlfriends and friends and some how the home is often the site for gatherings.

Well one of the neighbors has complained to us via an anonymous letter.  The complaint primarily appears to be related to the number of cars parked at the home at any given time.  On Friday night, Mr. Sam swung by to check, there were three cars in the driveway (the letter mentioned 5 or 6 cars).  The home has a two car garage but the guys are opting not to park in the garage because they've got a boat in the garage that they are working on.  Assuming three cars for the guys, a girlfriend or two at the home it does add up to 5 cars or more. 

The home is in good repair and the lawn is cut and tended (we pay a service, and our home's lawn looks remarkably good considering the long term drought we are in, much better than many other lawns on the block).  We have checked, there are no code issues with the home or police reports (i.e. related to loud parties). 

The guys pay the rent on time and they don't call us (which is what Mr. Sam likes).  At least one of the guys is looking to buy a home so at present they are on a month to month lease, meaning either of us could give 30 days notice.

The problem is we have one neighbor who is annoyed, we are going to own this property for some time so being on good terms with the neighbors is important.  On the other hand, the neighbor opted not to sign the letter so there is no way for us to go back and communicate on this issue.  There are no police or code complaints so that leads me to believe this is not really a problem, but of course a complaint to us could be followed by a complaint to code.

What would you do? 

Monday, June 27, 2011

2011 Goals - July Update

(1) Max out 401k(s) - $15,943 (48%)(goal is $33,000)
(2) Max out IRA(s) - $10,000 (100%)(goal is $10,000, this goal is completed)
(3) Add to e/r fund - $4,885 (49%)(goal is $10,000)
(4) Pay down mortgage - $2490 (50%)(goal is $5,000)
(5) House projects - $1600 (32%) (goal is $5,000)
Total - $34,918 (55%)
Half way through the year, we are generally on target to complete our goals.  We have finished goal number two, we are generally on pace to complete goals one, three and four.  We are behind on goal number five, in fact we just started funding this goal the last month or so. 
How about you, have you done a mid-year review?  Made any adjustments upward or downward regarding your savings, debt payments or other financial goals?


Yes, I've been missing in action around here.  Busy with travel, family and work.