Friday, April 27, 2007

Q's 5 obsessions

I've been tagged by the fine folks at Binary Dollar to list at least 5 obsessions. Here they are, in no particular order:

My time and my child - soon to be "children." (6/15/07) I almost need to list 6 obsessions, but to keep it to 5, I combined these two. I am very protective of my personal time, and have actually had a rough time transitioning from having nothing to do but wake up on Saturday and read the paper at the coffee shop to waking up at 6am with my 2.5 year old daughter standing next to my bed poking me. With that being said, she means everything to me, and a second daughter is on the way in June. I get cranky when I have to work more than 50 hours in a week, because any extra time at work is just taken away from my daughter and my wife. My previous job had me working 70 hours a week (I earned $15,000 more, too). My wife once said to me, "I feel like a single mom." Perhaps a little overdramatic, but it was one of those "crossroads" moments. I then realized what was really important, or at least what should have been more important than it was at the time. We rebalanced - I took a less stressful Controller job 1 mile from home, and my wife went to two days a week. It has worked out well, for the most part. Less money, but more free time. It just means I have to invest that much smarter.

Internet news - I could surf the Net all day. Wikipedia, Google News, CNN, ESPN, MSNBC, Fark, and so on and so on. And now I've discovered personal finance blogs. It's a smorgasboard every day, and I love it.

Cars - This, coming from a guy that has a 2001 RAV4 and a 2006 Honda Odyssey. But I can dream, right? I once owned a red 1971 Beetle Convertible..... until it caught on fire on the highway. One melted convertible top later, I was driving something a bit safer. I want a Mercedes G-Wagen, a Mercedes CLS-500, a Porsche Cayenne, an Audi A8..... the list is sick and wrong. I plan on writing more about this, but as far as insidious drains on your net worth, a somewhat distant second to credit card debt is car debt. Then again, every time I see a CLS-500, my heart races. At least my wife respects this and really wants me to get a great car someday.

Food and wine - I am not some gourmand or oenophile - I would consider those folks to be real experts of food and wine - but I love dining out and I do enjoy a great wine. With finances the way they are, I find myself drinking Charles Shaw "Three Buck Chuck" from Trader Joes (Two bucks if you live on the coasts, three bucks if you live in the Midwest). I drink wine with dinner every night. And dining out is the greatest treat for me - the most wonderful gift you could give me.

Our net worth, and hitting my goals - This might rank #1. Like many of you, I track our investments and our net worth monthly. I do not have many friends that are that hands-on with their money (I think most of them have more money than me, so....). I assume my fellow bloggers are this hands on, though. I am truly obsessive about it - I update my list of investments throughout the month as well, trying to project how much we will have added by the end of the month. And on the night of the last day of the month, I do a month end spreadsheet. I print it out, share the results with my wife, and then file it away. Today, I received our Federal Tax Refund via ACH, and went home over lunch and set up an ACH to send it off to Ameritrade, and updated my spreadsheet. I seriously can't get enough of it. Even if the market is taking a nosedive, I still get into it.

We are roadtripping to see my mother-in-law this weekend, so everyone take care of yourselves, and I'll write at you next week. Peace!



The CFO Dad said...

I too, am very hands on with our money. I try not to be obsessed, because I also have a couple of kids and want to focus mostly on them. But it is kinda addicting watching your money grow and figuring out ways to keep as much of it from flowing away from you as possible. Thanks for checking out my blog, I look forward to reading yours.

Juan from said...

Yay! You fixed the comment thingy! Hoozah! I have to agree with you on your 2nd obsession -- I read the news online a million times a day, CNN MSNBC BBC ABC and I go to each one and try to find something new and interesting. Maybe I'm crazy. Good luck with hitting your goals!!!

Q said...


Indeed I did fix it. Thanks for the advice!