So, I had this big long post written (in my head) when I couldn’t fall asleep last night, but I have since forgotten it. This may be a little disconnected and unrelated at times.
1) Tanner amuses me to no end. Last night, Nikki stole the smasher. For those who don’t know, the smasher is the name we gave to his huge green chew bone. It weighs about 5 pounds (maybe more) and he likes to drop it on things, or smash things with it. Most notably, he likes to smash my toes or more recently, the cat. He has smashed his own toes in the past, which made me laugh. So, last night, Nikki stole it. She does this every so often. She doesn’t really chew on it, so much as carry it around and show off that she has it. She only chews on it enough to upset him. Mostly, she just guards it so that he can’t get it back. So he keeps whining and crying, trying to take it, trying to get us to take it, making a big fool of himself. He is twice her size, at least, but he won’t stand up to her. It is so funny and sad. And no other toy will make him happy. Not even the ghost. (Those of you with children, this may sound familiar. It is always amusing to me how much my dogs and the children I know remind me of each other.)
2) I have noticed, as I have started going to the gym regularly, that I WANT to go to the gym. I feel really really gross when I don’t go, when I don’t move all day. I am starting to take laps around the building at work, or just wander into the kitchen for no reason. I can do this, because of my awesome headset. This morning, I didn’t go, and I should have. But, I am going to go on my way home, since Alann won’t be home until late anyway.
3) I have been failing miserably at my goal to not spend anything this month. We had a baby shower for a lady at work, so I had to get her something. And we needed stuff for the house. We were trying to finish up the last of the remodeling work before we get an appraisal done, and now that it is started, we just need to finish. I think I will return the electric stapler though. Yes, we will use it later, but we can buy it again when we need it (and can pay cash for it). Who knows how long it will be until we put up baseboard.
4) Speaking of the house, we have decided that it won’t be worth it to refinance. We were talking the other day and Alann mentioned that he should get his bachelors next May (09). So, we have about 18 months left in the house (at least). We have no money for closing costs, so they would have to be rolled in. Doing the math, we need to stay in the house for another 5 years just to make up the difference of closing costs. That does not sound like a wise investment move to me. So, now we are looking into just refinancing our second mortgage, which means 2 separate checks every month, but that interest rate is at 10%. Maybe I will check with the CU and see what they can give us. I think I will check with a few lenders, once I am really ready to commit to this. (Read, the end of February.)
5) As for possibly moving in May 09. This is not a for sure thing. (Don’t freak out Shannon!) We haven’t honestly made any kind of plans. Our biggest goal was to get Alann done with his schooling. Once he fell into Urban planning, it became apparent that a masters, while nice, is not entirely necessary right away. So instead of worrying about keeping him in school through a masters degree, we stopped planning at the end of his bachelors. He doesn’t know if he wants to continue with the U, or if he wants to get a job somewhere, if he wants to stay here to work for a while (ya know, Univ contacts get him job) or if he wants to try somewhere else. So things are up in the air. (We don’t even know where we would move if we moved.) As long as he wants to stay in Utah, we will stay where we are. We have no reasons to move yet. We haven’t outgrown our house. We couldn’t afford much more payment anyway, at least without him working. And even if he does get a job and we stay here, if I want to be able to stay home, then we really can’t afford an upgrade. He would make more than I do, but not by a whole lot. I certainly wouldn’t want to put all that raise into a higher house payment when we have no reason for it. And honestly, it makes me kind of sad to think about leaving our little "baby house." (That is a line from Little Women.) But, the math says stay in the house for 5 years to break even on closing costs. We most likely will not be in the same house in 2013.
6) Speaking of breaking even, this notion toys with my mind. At first, I thought “Alright, we are going to save $50 a month!” No, it isn’t a lot. But it means a lot to us. And it gets rid of the second mortgage, which is a 15 year balloon (basically, at the end of 15 yrs, the balloon pops and we owe the remaining principle). We have never planned to be here 15 years, so it doesn’t really matter. But we pay so little a month in principle, that the balloon will be quite nasty if for some unseen reason, it does pop. So that is a relief also. But then, I got to thinking. I took the rough amount of closing costs ($3000) and divided it by $50 (the amount saved a month) and hence, the 5 years to break even (save more than rolling the closing costs into the mortgage cost us). This doesn’t make financial sense to me. Why was I so willing to jump on the “save $50 a month” bandwagon, without thoroughly thinking it through? I may just have an answer for you.
Basically, what this story says is that people are made more sad by loss, than by a 50% larger gain. In other words, “Would you rather earn $50,000 a year while other people make $25,000, or would you rather earn $100,000 a year while other people get $250,000? Assume for the moment that prices of goods and services will stay the same. Surprisingly -- stunningly, in fact -- research shows that the majority of people select the first option; they would rather make twice as much as others even if that meant earning half as much as they could otherwise have.” Sad huh? It’s worth a read I think. So my $50 a month "savings" meant more than my $3000 savings (what I save by not refinancing).