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! :)


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Living the fast paced life..

It seems that the fast paced life or what I thought the fast paced life was like, is over. I can imagine almost a year ago working on our debt, working 2 jobs, fighting time to be with my wife, trying to find time to spend a day just relaxing or hanging with friends drinking a few bottles, etc. is over. Now I dont have to worry about any of that, because Im almost sad to say, but I'm bored out of my mind. Its not like taking care of a baby isnt "work" because believe me, its exhausting. However, for the past 6 weeks, things have kinda slowed down for the both my wife and I. We have adapted to the almost slow paced lifestyle. To a person that has worked in a high stress environment with blackberries and emailing coworkers, needing up to date news on all events, plans, doing spreadsheets and running errands til your so tired you can barely stand or keep your eyes open, its a shock. It doesnt hit you the first few weeks, because your body thinks its a vacation or your too high stressed about the newborn that you think every waking moment about her. Now we have the routine down and loving every moment... til she wakes up again. But it gets boring because you want to use this time to do things like organize the garage, clean the shed, work on the yard, build that shelf, etc. however the baby IS going to need your attention some time. Even though I miss the fast paced lifestyle and change is a good thing, I still miss it. Im so embarassed to even go as far as saying I miss my job.
No updates on the finances, because things have been stagnant. I know... shocking!

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Up all night...

What a unpleasant night... my wife was up for the majority of it, God bless her. I think the worst part of the whole newborn phase is when you cant determine what the problem is all the time. Im sure our little girl was willing to tell us but her undeveloped voicebox couldnt handle the words. During the first week, we switched to soy milk and that helped our baby almost immediately, but last night was an all nighter... Basically if she has a dry diaper, been fed, and burped long enough that you think her back must hurt from all the patting, what then? We tried bouncing and walking around but sometimes she is still fidgety. Normally we can handle this during the daytime but at night, sometimes we get a bit fidgety. Right now, shes asleep... what a good girl!

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Balancing Life

Yesterday we celebrated our baby girl being 1 month old! Since its a big "to do" in our family, we invited our relatives out to a nice dinner. We went during the daytime to pick out an outfit at Kohls and take a trip to Target to get some more formula/diapers. It was her first time out of the house besides to the doctors office and back, so she was VERY good! After a month, most noticable difference is her emotions and facial expressions. My life pretty much revolves around my daughter. She wakes up, I wake up (mommy too!). She needs to be fed, we feed her. There are a few times during the day when shes napping that we are able to put the pieces of life back together. Since we are both at home and not working, we kinda split domestic chores basically whatever needs to be done, we do it. Sometimes I still have to ask what day it is, just to seem like we are progressing towards... something. When do kids start having play dates? Since none of my friends have kids or are close to being pregnant or moving to of their parents place even, where can we go? Does she even need to have the interaction at such a young age? Oh well she seems content now.

The more I think about what I'm goinig to put on this blog, it gets farther and farther from what I originally intended when I started it, which was to focus on maximizing savings with our income, minus debt and so forth... OK for those of us that love to keep track of finances and love to budget and get on the financial ball, we have started a 529 college savings account with a modest $150. Granted shes only 1 month, but we believe she has her heart set on an ivy league school. :) but who knows. Next our budgeting has paid off and we have ended up with about $300 extra in monthly allowances outside of grocery for March, which have not been allocated. Baby stuff really isnt that big of a chunk like we expected. Already we have stored 4 boxes of newborn and 1 year pampers (she wears both) and about 2 cases of ready to eat formula ( good for about 2-3 weeks). Thats pretty much it, plus she has enough outfits til shes about 6 months-1 year. Her great grandmother has already got her a jacket, which I advised we should see how big she is in the winter time, however I know her intentions meant well. What 1 month old needs a 1 year olds parka given in May? Ok thinking financial thoughts: 10k emergency fund, thinking of bumping it to 20k. I want so bad to start a car fund but can I do it and still pay the house down??? Its tricky but those couple items have been looming on the horizon needing to be researched and the numbers put on paper. And speaking about horizon, this weather needs to clear up so we can get her back outside in the nice 80 degree fresh air!

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Happy Healthy Baby Girl!

We are so blessed to have a happy healthy baby girl gracing our presence. 8 pounds and 7 ounces of cuteness and love from head to toe. Not to mention the sleepless nights, daily bottle washing, eating meals with one hand, what day is it again?, "what time did she eat", 4 ounces or was it 3 ounces she ate, did her belly button fall off yet, why is she spitting up, whens the last time we changed her, does she have gas or is she irritable, miss fussy pants; these are the times we cherish the most. We work really really hard at making sure shes comfortable 24/7. My mother in law came and stayed 1 week, that was a the most beautiful week, despite the whole mother in law theory. Since we are both at home, it seems that the only time we get to ourselves is at night when we sleep. I have taken the night shift and she is sleeping from 10-6am, so when she wakes up I sleep til about 12noon to 1pm. We do take turns going to the grocery store and getting formula during the daytime. Being she is about 3 weeks old, shes adapted SOME sleep schedule to where she is about 3-4 hours between feedings. I've noticed only during the wee hours of the night, she has a tendency to be WIDE AWAKE. Sometimes its during the day too when we change her or talk to her about politics or tv or whats going on in her world, which isnt much now. Also I have to mention when she smiles or giggles in her sleep, its the most breath taking/ hilarious thing Ive ever seen. I dont know what shes dreaming about but it must be good.

Ok financially, we have held up our budget to a tee if not better. Now Ive allocated to have about $500 over each month for those unknown items. Since this is the first month of true make or break time for the budget, we are doing very well so far. I also didnt expect a couple paychecks from my work for the leave time and that in itself will be a nice cushion in the savings. We hit $10,000 on our emergency fund for savings which I dont know if that will be enough of a barrier for a one income family. I may want to bump it up to $15 for now before we start taking a look at saving for another vehicle because all we have right now is 2 compacts. Ive obviously not had enough time to update the networth sheets or the blog yet, but I'm sure when I get a free hand I will. (which is God knows when!)

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Emergency Fund
2007 Roth Contributions
$8,000 Total

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