About You #10


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Hello, My name is Beowulf

It’s Friday. I’ll spare you the Rebecca Black music video, even though I really want to commiserate with someone because now it’s going to be stuck in my head. Fridays rank #2, only slightly behind Saturday. There’s just something about the anticipation for the weekend that makes every Friday great — even if Sally drops a potted plant off the kitchen table or throws a first aid kit in the toilet. Not that either has ever happened. It’s been a looooonnnng week.

As far as what we’ve been up to lately, here’s what we’ve recently written over at DailyFinance:

We’re actually going to be practicing what we preach from the $20 hotel trick article when we head to Vegas next weekend for a mini-getaway with family. We’ll let you know how it goes.

If you’re a Breaking Bad fan, Johnny, along with come of his coworkers, launched a Walter White bobble-head into space. If you haven’t seen the video, you can check it out below. It’s pretty sweet, if I do say so myself.

And now, onto the meat and potatoes. We want to hear from you!

The Questions

  1. What’s the best movie you’ve seen this year?
  2. On a scale of 1-10, how are you feeling about your 2014 budgeting so far?
  3. How did you become interested(ish) in personal finance?
  4. Choose one: Reading Rainbow or Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood
  5. What topic(s) would you like to see covered on OFB?

We’ll kick things off.

Johnny

1. Gravity or The LEGO Movie. In fact, if they remade Gravity with LEGOs, I’d go see that, too.

2. 7. The budget is there, but we’ve had some majors lapses in expense tracking. But thanks to our trusty net worth tracking, we know we’re still mostly on track with our savings goal for this year.

3. When I opened my first lemonade stand as a kid. I loved earning, counting, and saving my money. But it took a Dave Ramsey book to realize that I also enjoyed researching and discussing the topic.

4. So hard. So so so hard. This might be our hardest yet. My LeVar Burton admiration is well-documented. But Mr. Rogers was my dog. I wanted to have a cardigan sweater so bad. I can’t decide. Don’t make me decide. Please.

5. 10 Ways to Make Bank off Your Cat. Something like that would interest me.

Joanna

1. The Fault in Our Stars. Loved the book. Loved the movie. Cried. The end.

2. 7.5. I would like us to be at about a 9, so we’re a point and a half off. We didn’t know I was going to quit my job this year, but we’ve still done pretty well with hitting our savings goals each month. There’s plenty of room for improvement, and I hope the second half of the year is the time for that.

3. Johnny started it all for me. Seeing how excited he was about budgeting made me excited, too. Sorta. But then seeing our savings growing and our debt vanishing pushed me over the edge into the world of personal finance geekdom.

4. As a bookworm, I have to say Reading Rainbow. I liked Mr. Rogers’ in theory, but he could never hold my attention quite like LeVar. Fred needed a cool earring, a better theme song, and some charisma.

5. Welp, Johnny and I have a few fun topics we’re gonna discuss in the next couple of weeks, which I’m excited about. I don’t want to spoil it, though. Stay tuned!

And now, it’s your turn. As Sally says these days, “Go, go, go!”

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31 Comments

  • Reply Brian July 18, 2014 at 7:43 am

    1.What’s the best movie you’ve seen this year? I have only seen one “new” movie this year and that was the X-men movie… so I guess I am going with X-men

    2.On a scale of 1-10, how are you feeling about your 2014 budgeting so far? N/A we don’t have a real budget

    3.How did you become interested(ish) in personal finance? I saw my dad/grandpa looking in the finance section of the paper when I was like 13 and got interested. So I asked them about it and they started to teach me how they invest.

    4.Choose one: Reading Rainbow or Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood I”ll go with Reading Rainbow. My Rogers was ok, but I was more of a Captain Kangaroo guy.

    5.What topic(s) would you like to see covered on OFB? I enjoy your frual trip reports, so keep those coming.

    • Reply Brian July 18, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      correction… I was talking my wife and she reminded me that was have seen TWO movies this year.

      The other movie we say was Chef and it was FANTASTIC… even better than the X-Men. So everyone go see Chef.

    • Reply Joanna July 21, 2014 at 12:37 am

      I haven’t seen any of those movies, but I’ll be adding them to my mental “to-watch” list.

      Very cool that you had your dad and grandpa to look up to in learning how to invest. Talk about a valuable life lesson.

  • Reply Megyn July 18, 2014 at 9:18 am

    1. I really dislike going to movies or watching them. I generally don’t have the attention span. However, I did just go see Obvious Child and loved it. I loved that it was a female-empowered romcom instead of the usual girl gets saved/wooed by man.

    2. 6ish. I just wish my hubby could actually get more on bored and start taking responsibility for our finances, even partially. I mean the guy doesn’t even know how to log into our bank account. I so pretty well managing, but I’d like to have a partner in the process instead of always being the bad guy and having to say no.

    3. I’m a saver through and through. My dad made us do home summer school, and when we went on trips, we had a daily food budget. I loved being in charge of who spent what…and always winning at spending the least.

    4. This is a toughie. Mr. Rogers had the sweetness and morals. I loved the train and the village. And the fact that this guy was just so freaking nice to everyone. Then there’s the sultry Levar. I have to say he was probably one of my first crushes. I liked that the stories were animated because I hated to read. So I’m going to say tie.

    5. I’d love suggestions on how to get a spouse involved. It’s been almost 9 years of marriage, and all that he has budged is to even talk about it and be somewhat respectful of the budget I created. Now with two wild boys, I need some damn help. If you can help me get this guy to even a novice financial level, I would be forever indebted.

    • Reply Joanna July 21, 2014 at 12:39 am

      Ha, Megyn, you and I are one and the same. I have to really want to see a movie to have the attention span for it. I am mostly a TV-show watcher.

      And I love’d your description… “Sultry LeVar.” Even though you said “tie,” he sounded like the winner to me! :)

      And we’ll plan to post more about marriage finances soon!

  • Reply Wade July 18, 2014 at 9:26 am

    The Walter White videos are awesome. Breaking Bad is still my favorite TV series. I miss it.

    1. The Hobbit – I am a movie loser. Clearly I need to get out more

    2. 2014 budget is decent. My salary from my new job is quite a bit less, but less hours and less stress.

    3. Recently, finding out how much in fees I was paying on our investments really forced me to dig in more. We were saving, but paying way too much in fees to the broker we have since dumped.

    4. Mr. Rogers – Our youngest watches Daniel The Tiger who I think is Mr. Rogers re-incarnated?

    5. You guys do a great job with variety. My post today has a music theme. Music is just good. Being outside listening to a favorite tune in the summer. Gold.

    • Reply Joanna July 21, 2014 at 12:42 am

      Mr. Rogers reincarnated!! Hahaha nooooo. That’s Sally’s favorite show, and I will never be able to watch that show the same again!

  • Reply Heather July 18, 2014 at 9:36 am

    1. I don’t see many new movies, but I really liked Chef. I also thought Dallas Buyers Club was really good (not really new, but I wait till things come to our TV before I see them!).

    2. I’d say I’m feeling about an 8. Things are good – the debt is paid off and I will very soon have rebuilt by 10k emergency fund. Yay! But, I recently moved in with my boyfriend, so I’ve had to rejig the budget to reflect the new living situation, and it is going to take some time to see how it all works. Especially the grocery budget. He eats so much more than me!!!

    3. I became interested when I finally decided I just couldn’t live with my debt any longer – about two years ago. I began reading blogs for inspiration. Now I read them to figure out what comes next – retirement planning etc.

    4. Reading Rainbow absolutely. I still love that theme music. I heard there is a kickstarter campaign to bring it back! Go Gordie!

    5. I never know how to answer this question…I know, super helpful :) Keep doing what you’re doing!

    • Reply Joanna July 21, 2014 at 12:45 am

      Glad your budget is going so well! Boys can really throw a wrench in the grocery budget! Johnny’s nightly midnight “snacks’ (more like meals) are going to eat us out of house and home!

  • Reply Retired by 40 July 18, 2014 at 9:45 am

    1. Best Movie This Year: Frozen, only because the kiddo is obsessed. Seriously, I just needed an hour of peace :-)

    2. Budgeting is a 6. On some things, we’re way ahead of last year as far as keeping to the budget, but I’ve neglected to budget for a couple of twice yearly expenses that have seriously derailed the budget

    3. When I found out I was preggo. Bringing a kid into the world really opens your eyes. I wanted to travel with her, but we couldn’t because we were too deep in debt. I didn’t want to be stressed about making payments either. Then, I realized that if we saved aggressively, we could retire by 40….hence the blog.

    4. Reading rainbow. I could stay in my room all day with just books and be perfectly content.

    5. I love your frugal travel stuff. It seems like you have reasonable expectations about not getting trips completely for free, but getting pretty deep discounts on them! Plus, more pics of Sally…she adorbs :-)

    • Reply Joanna July 21, 2014 at 12:46 am

      Any movie that offers an hour of peace deserves all kinds of awards!! :)

      And I loved your reason for getting into personal finance… it’s crazy how a kid changes your perspective. Having Sally has made us want to be better, too!

  • Reply Sarah July 18, 2014 at 9:47 am

    1. Gosh, there are so many good ones! I’m going to have to go with Divergent, just because it’s the best movie I’ve seen in the last few months and I can’t remember back to the beginning of the year. Did I see Gravity this year? If so, then Gravity. I don’t know….pass on this one.

    2. 6. We had an unexpected move this year, so that kind of messed everything up. But we’re getting back on track now so hopefully things will smooth out soon and I’ll stop hiding from our spreadsheet.

    3. Right when I started working full-time, my head teller at the bank I worked at got hooked on Dave Ramsey. She started teaching me what she was learning and I immediately started putting things into practice. Our favorite question to customers who were struggling in debt was, “Have you met Dave???”

    4. Mr. Rogers, all the way. Reading Rainbow never really held my attention for whatever reason.

    5. Cheaper alternatives to pest control. I know, weird. Blame it on the sudden infestation of ants in my kitchen this week…..

    • Reply Joanna July 21, 2014 at 12:48 am

      I haven’t seen Divergent, but I read the book, so I’ve gotta see it soon!!

      Moves are always expensive, but we’ve found that they usually end up paying off in the long run. Hope everything gets back to normal soon!

  • Reply Anne July 18, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    1. Red 2. It was just a fun movie and we enjoy the wit of the characters. Gravity was good, but I was anxious for the characters the whole time which isn’t enjoyable for me.

    2. 7. We definitely have some improving to do, while we came in under budget on the wedding as newlyweds figuring out how we’re going to do things is taking longer than I would have thought.

    3. My dad gave me a kids book on money when I was about 7 and had allowance, and I’ve been hooked since.

    4. I can’t choose, they were both such a great part of my childhood. Levar and Mr. R are equally awesome.

    5. Handling finances as a couple (again, newlywed!), and Joanna’s transition to SAHM/freelance. We would like for me to scale back to at least part time when we have kids, so getting your perspective is pretty sweet.

    • Reply Joanna July 21, 2014 at 12:51 am

      I know what you mean, Anne! Gravity had me totally stressed out the whole time, too.

      How cool that your dad started teaching you about money when you were 7! Talk about learning fiscal responsibility from the start!

      We plan to talk more about couple finances soon, so stay tuned!

  • Reply Miranda July 18, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    *Johnny, your voice is WAY deeper than I imagined, so I’m going to have to totally rethink how you sound in my head when I read your posts/comments. Also, the video is awesome!

    1. Dallas Buyer’s Club. Between that and True Detective, I am so glad to see Matthew McConaughey stepping away from the rom coms.
    2. Seven. We aren’t hitting our biggest financial goal for the year (topping off the emergency fund) as fast as we thought we would, but we are still doing well despite some setbacks. Hopefully, we will be there in next couple of months. We just had a very unexpected, but very awesome work opportunity come up, so that’s one for the ‘win’ column. Other than that we need to reign in on spending a bit, but some of that is due to summer being big for birthdays, holidays, and vacations for us. It’s hard to say no to those four year old nieces…
    3. Being tired of debt, living paycheck-to-paycheck, wondering where it all went, and thinking that there had to be a better way. Enter Dave Ramsey.
    4. LeVar Burton is a fantastic human, but I’ve gotta give it to Mr. Fred McFeely Rogers. There are statues dedicated to him, his clothing is in the Smithsonian, and his message is just so timeless and sweet. Reading Rainbow never seared itself into my memories the way that Mr. Rogers did. That being said, LeVar still has plenty of time to solidify himself even further in my heart. I’m interested to see what the Kickstarter will do. Plus he is the sole reason I used to wear my plastic headband over my eyes in elementary school.
    5. I’d love to see more posts like your recent “nomadic workforce” one. I’m always interested to hear about people’s opinions on the ‘culture’ of money/work/budgets/etc.

    • Reply Joanna July 21, 2014 at 12:55 am

      Good ol’ Dave Ramsey… he’s come to the rescue of so many of us.

      And your argument for Mr. Roger’s is VERY compelling. You almost have me changing my answer. Almost.

  • Reply Tarynkay July 18, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    1) I just watched Frozen while babysitting the neighbor girls. It was surprisingly good and a much more positive message for little girls than the princess movies of my youth. I have not been to the movie theater in 2014 yet, so I can’t speak to anything more current.

    2) 6 I think. I started making a little bit of money, but we just spent it all (I think mostly on food, honestly) instead of paying down student loan debt like we planned. But it is still somehow a pretty good year financially so far, so it’s not all terrible.

    3) As a small child, I used to help my grandma wash out and hang up used ziplock baggies (she had a special little clothesline for this in her kitchen) so pretty much forever. But while I was always very aware of things like the exorbitant cost of brand new tin foil, while pretty much unaware of smarter/easier personal finance topics like Roth IRAs and refinancing mortgages. It has only been the past couple of years since I have been staying home with my son that I have become interested in the wider world of PF.

    4) Um, LeVar Burton is on Reading Rainbow, so obviously RR wins.

    5) I’d love to hear more about Joanna’s transition to SAHMing.

    • Reply Joanna July 23, 2014 at 12:51 am

      I have a great aunt who I remember watching as a little kid as she would wash disposable plastic cups and utensils. It’s funny how those things stick with you!

      And way to go on choosing LeVar. You made the right choice!

  • Reply Kelly July 18, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    1. Neighbors, I haven’t laughed that hard at a movie in a long time! So good! I want to see Chef soon cause I’ve heard that is really good too!

    2. About a 6-7, changed my part time job to a much higher paying job so I’m hoping to have my debt paid off by October 31st. But I did also start my own Handmade business on Etsy and it took a little bit to invest in material so hopefully I start selling some items to make up for that investment.

    3.Just watching my parents have a really good lifestyle with my mom staying home and never really having to worry about money too much (at least in front of us). I want to be able to give my kids that lifestyle since it was nice to not have to stress about activities or paying for college. I also want to learn some good life skills on saving, budgeting etc. to teach my kids also so they don’t just get spoiled 😉

    4.I think tie on those… but Mr. rogers did have that weird cat that just mewed yet he seemed really good at having conversations with it. Creeped me out haha.

    5. SAHM topics and maybe on how to get that retirement fund working right so we aren’t working ’til we are 60. A girl can dream right?!?

    • Reply Joanna July 23, 2014 at 12:54 am

      After all these people have mentioned Chef, I’m super interested in seeing it, too! And I didn’t see Neighbors, but I LOLed ever time the preview for it was shown on TV.

      Major kudos on having your debt paid off so soon! Way to go!

  • Reply Michelle July 18, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    What’s the best movie you’ve seen this year? I don’t think I’ve seen any 2014 releases yet. My favorite movie in the past 12 months is still “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”

    On a scale of 1-10, how are you feeling about your 2014 budgeting so far? 6 I could do better :)

    How did you become interested(ish) in personal finance? I was always broke and got tired of it.

    Choose one: Reading Rainbow or Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood-Mr Roger’s Neighborhood

    What topic(s) would you like to see covered on OFB? I think you should write about whatever makes you happy!

    • Reply Joanna July 23, 2014 at 12:56 am

      That’s what turned me to budgeting, too…. I hate budgeting, but the control I feel from it makes it all worth it! It’s nice knowing how much money we’ve got in the bank!

  • Reply Talia July 19, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    1. Frozen. I don’t know if it was released this year or not.
    2. 4, we haven’t went into further debt or went over our budget horrible. But we have not been consistent.
    3. When my husband and I first got married, I became very financially aware. We were getting paid on a Friday and all our money was gone by Monday. So I knew we had to do something.
    4. I honestly don’t know about what either are. But if your looking for an educational show for Sally; Word World has been great for my husbands niece.
    5. I would love to see more about investing, budget meal recipes, and more about saving with a baby.

    • Reply Joanna July 23, 2014 at 12:59 am

      Being financially aware is the first step to financial success! Keep on keepin’ on, Talia! And I’ll have to look into Word World! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Liz Marshall July 19, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    1. You may find this hard to believe but I have not seen one movie all year. I fall asleep when I sit down to watch a movie. Sad, but true! Ha!

    2. Hmm, I’m feeling like a 2 on this one. We had twins at the end of last year and it’s put a hurting on the budget. Mostly childcare for three small kids has been the biggest problem. Right now, we pay about 75% of my take home pay in childcare (and we’ve got a more “affordable” option than others in our area. But, the good news is it has improved over the past couple months, so we’re working on turning things around! This is only for a short season and will work itself out eventually.

    3. I am 28, married, three kids under the age of three. I am sad to say that I have just recently become interested in personal finance. Growing up, my parents were always stressed about finances and did it all separately. In fact, they’re now in their fifties and still don’t share finances! Crazy. I knew when I got married, I wanted no secrets so we bank together. However, money issues stress me out and I let my husband pay all the bills (though we both work FT). I just wanted him to tell me if we hd enough for me to get a latte at Starbucks and a pedicure every now then. Since we have expanded our family in a very short amount of time, I’ve realized I have got to be more responsible. If something happened to my husband, I would be in trouble. So, in the past year, I’ve started becoming more interested, reading, getting info from my HR department and listening to Dave Ramsey podcasts. Also having friends who just took FPU has sparked my interest.

    4. Meh, neither.

    5. I am a new reader and LOVE this blog, so keep up he good work. I would like to hear more from you all on saving on everyday baby expenses, what you are currently doing for meal planning and prep (how has that changed since Joanna started staying home?).

    • Reply Joanna July 23, 2014 at 1:10 am

      I don’t know why you would be tired… it wouldn’t have anything to do with having twin babies, would it?! 😉

      I love your attitude, Liz!! You guys are still plenty young to get your financial ducks in a row. There are times when it feels like it’s hard to make progress, but the important thing is just sticking to our budgeting guns. It sounds like you’re on the right track!

  • Reply megan July 21, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    1. Pompeii… I love historical stories with a little love story added in.

    2. I’m feeling a 3 on my finances so far. Things are starting to come along, just slowly. I know I can’t pay off all my debt in a year but as long as I stay motivated I will get there soon enough.

    3. In high school I took a PF class and fell in love. It is something that you can control, fix and destroy so easily. We always need to be focusing on our PF.

    4. Mr. Rodgers. Always loved his shoes and fabulous sweaters.

    5. I’d love to hear about you guys working as freelancers more and Joanna’s transition out of the workforce. Love your blog and your little munchkin.

    • Reply Joanna July 23, 2014 at 1:12 am

      Yup. Staying motivated is key. And touché. Mr Rogers did always have pretty incredible cardigans and shoes. I’ll definitely agree with you on that one.

      I’ll have to give Pompeii a try! I’m a sucker for historical love stories :).

  • Reply Brandi July 21, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    What’s the best movie you’ve seen this year?
    I actually don’t like movies as a general rule, except for kids movies! It is hard for me to sit still that long. I will say that I am looking forward to the remake of Annie this December. We are intensely on our journey to debt freedom, so I have to rely on Netflix. I am looking forward to seeing the Lego movie!

    On a scale of 1-10, how are you feeling about your 2014 budgeting so far?
    I would rate my budgeting at a 7. I think there are still a lot of things we can cut. I want to lock things down more so we are DONE QUICKER!!!

    How did you become interested(ish) in personal finance?
    I started with Dave Ramsey’s total money makeover. Then I started googling blogs. I also really like to listen to the Dough Roller’s podcast. Now I am a junkie for anything that doesn’t get too technical and seems like a common sense approach. And of course, I blog about every day money/household management!

    Choose one: Reading Rainbow or Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood
    I have always been a reader, so Mr. Rogers was pure entertainment. Plus I loved the Land of Make Believe…

    What topic(s) would you like to see covered on OFB?
    I like to read about your family and how you manage money. Also, if you haven’t already posted it, I would like to learn about your goals now that you are financially free. You talked about saving for your son’s college which is AWESOME.

    • Reply Joanna July 23, 2014 at 1:15 am

      We’re the same way! Netflix or bust! Even though we’ve paid off our debt, we rarely spend a dime on movies other than our Netflix subscription.

      It sounds like you guys are on the right path. Keep up the good work!

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