Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tube's day - 2 for 1!

The trailer for "Babies", coming out in April. The goat at the end makes me laugh! It won't embed, so you'll have to follow the link: I totally want to see this when it comes out. Trailer for "Life". It is a BBC mini series follow up to Planet Earth that will air on the Discovery Channel starting Sunday at 8pm. I am really excited about this too!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Knock on the door

Sheriff's deputy pre-empts Moneyday. Someone reported our trailer had two flat tires so they thought it was abandoned. We are in unincorporated Washington County, which I just learned has the rule that any vehicle on the street musy be locally owned and operable. We look like we fail on both counts because we haven't been able to get tags or transfer the title yet. More on that in a minute, but he was satisfied we did in fact own it locally and would look past the tags since we are in process of taking care of that. But the tires are a legit issue. He said he was coming back to check in 24 hours, and if the tires were still looking flat/the trailer not looking movable, he'd have to tag it to have it towed off. Ugh. So Bob will get to deal with that tonight/tomorrow morning. Hopefully the leak is slow enough he can pump up the tires occasionally and wait to actually fix it until the tags are current and he can tow it to Les Schwab's.

Back to the tags... We couldn't do the title transfer even though we have a bill of sale because the widow we bought it from's name was not on the old title, her deceased husband's was. So we have to write her a letter signed certified mail/return receipt explaining the issue, asking her to fill out the paperwork DMV gave us to send, and wait. If she responds by filling it out, great! If she receives it and does nothing, 30 days after she was certified to receive it, we can take it to a deliberator in Salem to decide if we own it or not. If the USPS doesn't find her, same deal as if she does not respond. Ugh. So, we need to get the letter off ASAP and hope it all gets resolved before we move. Yeah.

BTW, it is kinda scary to have the sheriff knock on your door while your husband is working. Your first thought is, "Did something happen?" But no, thankfully it is just a whiny neighbor making life a little more difficult.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Moneyday - Wealth or Affluence?

I read again in the Tightwad Gazette today, and came across yet another great article. It compared being wealthy to being affluent. I had never really thought about the distinction before, but it makes total sense. It also makes me feel good about the direction the Story family is going right now. Update on that at the end of the post, but back to the two words...

What do they mean? Wealth is the actual ownership of things of actual value, things like a large bank balance, gold, real estate, etc.; and a very sound financial footing. Affluence is the appearance of having money/richness manifested in clothes, cars, houses, etc. without necessarily having a sound footing underneath it all. If you are on the edge of your budget but wear designer clothes, are paying a large mortgage on a large house, and have everything you want (except maybe enough retirement money or the means to send your kids to college), you are affluent. If you have a cottage owned outright, a 10-yr-old well maintained rig, and 100k in the bank, you would be more wealthy than the previous person, though you don't look like it. Now, some people both have money and look like money, in which case they would be both wealthy and affluent. But my big lightbulb moment from the article is that you can have the substance without they style, or the style without the substance. Even moderately poor people can put up a show of being well off, and even rich people can be frugal and blend in with the crowd though they don't have to.

How does this apply to me and make me feel good? Well, we are moving in March/April. A local move (no panicking!), but a housing downsize. I don't know just where or when yet, but we knew it was time. We realized that if we continued to rent here, a nice place, we'd always be renters, and never be able to afford to have more kids without relying on the economy swinging up. Since the economy is still a bit feeble, and healthcare may just get really expensive soon if pre-existing conditions are protected, and all that jazz, and I prefer homebirth and midwives over other options but most insurance companies don't get that it is cheaper to cover those births yet, AND we don't want to rent someone else's house for the rest of our lives, it makes sense to downsize and save up money. So for the next several years or so, we will be living simply and cheaply, saving to afford kids and land. My hope is that by the time Jonathan is 15, we will own land outright somewhere. I don't know how it all will work out, how long it will actually take, or what kind of home we will end up with down the road, but I am excited that we are making choices that lead us to a goal and show good stewardship of the blessings that come our way. :)