The American Dollar
One industrious American family's focus on a financial goal of freedom. Through worldly personal finance education, here is our story.
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Our Story: Both my wife and I are 27 years old and have gone through financial hell and back. Now we are on track to financial freedom, however we are not financial advisors or professionals, just everyday people. Share our journey from a negative networth and email us if you have questions or comments! :)


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

To the Mattresses!! (an update)

Working a full week of overtime is getting a bit hectic. Today I came home just exhausted and was so happy to get a great home cooked meal. Monday night we went to Babys R Us to get a mattress and we were deciding on a Sealy Premium or the brand with the sheeps on them. After finding the mattress that "felt" better, not necessarily softer or harder but firmer for a baby/toddler, we went with the Sealy for 89.99 and used our 15% discount card. We took it home and ripped off the mattress and placed it in our crib! Its amazing how things are coming together and we have only about 12 weeks til our baby girl is here with us! Needless to say, I need to do more work on tweaking the budget and finances this week. Also I have a huge test I need to study for my college class. Final exams are next week, so I need to get started... I'll be so happy when this week is over!

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Finding the deal for our Baby's Crib and everything else!

After searching for the past couple weeks, we have finally found the perfect crib we want. Its from the retail conglomerate BABIES R US which has priced this crib at about $600. My wife is a bit of a skeptic when I say that if there is a store out there, there has to be a deal or coupon or discount that its giving. So off I go in search of a discount on the web/newspaper and I go to the normal sites,, coupon section, and even the actual online store. After a few hit and misses Im usually back onto Ebay! Step 1: the big break (discount) and of course I read all the restrictions because I dont want to go to the outlet/store and them not honor my purchase.

Step 2: Find discount gift cards on Ebay. Apparently Ebay has become such a saturated site for people wanting discounts. Its funny to me that people are willing to pay $26 for a $25 gift card...?? That to me is stupid and thats a whole other story. Anyway, I always do an advance search for what prices people have gotten for that particular gift card/item. Then I work out a percentage like if I see a $100 gift card and best consistent deal wins at $80 WITH SHIPPING, thats 80% total. I'll put my highest bid at 80% of the value. This will differ in every auction depending on if the person is reputable, has good feedback, doesnt look like a scam, etc... I might raise it up and pay 82 or 83% of the price. Again I love crunching the numbers, because at the end of the day you want a 15% discount off of a 20% discount of an item. So you pay basically $320 for a $500 item; definately worth it. With so much competition and people doing the same thing, sometimes if an auction gets too high and you KNOW its not a bargain anymore, MOVE ON... theres always another auction and always another deal.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Fixing the wrong HMO plan

I got my 2007 health care plan in the mail today from my benefits office. I went with a different health care provider this time. Mostly because the last time I messed it up and went with a plan that I thought would be accepted where my wife goes to get her regular baby tummy checkups. Out of the 5 providers we got to select from my health care plan, 1 of them was NOT on the list. Guess which one? Right, the one I selected. I dont think Im going to get it wrong this time but I called the hospitals that we go to and her PCP first before I selected this time. Even though we did go with an HMO, all our doctors that we NEED to see are in the network so it works out perfectly. This will go into effect for the upcoming year so I have to live with my bad health care choice at the moment. My wife says shes not cancelling her plan with her job until we get the "right" coverage. Understandable.

On another note, Im so glad that I have to work only 2 more days! Honestly I cant wait to get this week over. If you ask me, Monday was tiring enough. I have to post these auctions on ebay and get my act together for tomorrow.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Our Beloved Eureka: R.I.P.

While going through our Sunday chores, a few unexpected situations arose. First in the middle of vacuuming the home as usual, my wife noticed that the hose from the vacuum hardly had suction at all. I said maybe its an electrical short and we should unplug the hose and just vacuum normally. A few moments later, kaput! The whole thing just turned off. Needless to say at first I thought it was something fixable in the electric or maybe a fan went out, but to my dismay, we considered it GONE :( The good thing is it lasted us about 4 years and we havent had any problems, making it a positive experience with the Eureka whirlwind. Of course there is an upset, where we had to drag our butts to Target and purchase another. After some research and our handy consumer reports, we decided to give Dirt Devil another try (our first one crapped out on us after 1 years usage). This time it was the Dirt Devil VIBE at $79.99, upright and bagless, just the way we like it. Now because its not your $200+ vacuum cleaner or Roomba craze, we expect it to last us about 1-2 years. However still it was the most expensive purchase this weekend.

On a side note, we finished painting the doors white to the rooms and put the cute baby animal border in the baby's room. How exciting! Its all coming together and next weekend we expect to get the furniture from Babys R Us. Although its still about 3 months away from her birth, we want to be as prepared as possible.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006


YEAH ITS FRIDAY! PAYDAY! The day everyone looks forward to that says you deserve something for your "work" during this period of time. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and also a time to reflect on how I'm going to be spending said accomplishments. Since I've been working overtime for the past 2 weeks, its been quite an opener to our bank account. Needless to say its the only thing keeping me from tearing my hair out and just completely losing it. OK it sounds like I'm at my wits end but honestly, its really not as bad as I make it. I get unlimited cups of coffee and I can adjust my own lighting to fit my mood! (great perks, huh? lol)

This weekend we are going to treat ourselves to some fresh paint on the new interior doors that a friend help put in last weekend. We have saved enough money with this paycheck for baby stuff so that my wife can be happy about buying whatever is on our daughter's list. Call me a conventionalist, but all I care about is that our baby have a nice room thats warm and theres food on the table.

That said, its time to get back to work. I need to sign up for more overtime.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Running around like a headless chicken!

COMPLETING ALL of the "new guy" meetings at work and out doing company tasks has got me busy busy busy. Im basically running around like a chicken with its head cut off (can you believe some people at work havent heard of that saying?!?) Anyway, I hardly have time eat a quick sandwich in a sack let alone write a coherent blog post. Alas I have been slacking enough and must get back on track.

Moneywise, we are doing semi-ok. I say "semi" because we have lost all concept of the budget and have been using the debit card (not credit card) to pay for things. We suggested that for the month of November we would try to "wing it" because other than restaurant and grocery money we dont really do much with our money after bills and the savings are completed. Occassionally I've noticed that my wife has given a couple gifts to friends here and there. Also, yesterday she went to a funeral for a friend who lost her husband; such a tragedy that he was so young too. But she pitched in to buy some flowers which I thought was nice. I argued that all she put in was $10 to the group pot? Just spend the $50 and get your friend the nice bouquet, I said. My wife keeps me level headed at these times and says no, that would be overkill. Maybe its good to have that balance. Otherwise the real estate tax and home owners insurance due both this month didnt hit us too hard, since we have been saving all year. This month, I made whats called a HOME FUND, which consists of me trying to save for the 2007 RE tax and HOI before 06 is over. This along with 2 other goals are posted before the year ends. (other goals to come, bc this is getting lengthy and I'm a bit tired, but its good to be back

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Emergency Fund
2007 Roth Contributions
$8,000 Total

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