Monday, June 19, 2006

The "To Spend" list

The other day I wrote about what we would consider "Set for life", in the post Material Wants.

Well, obviously those are long term things; after all, they are in the set for life category. There are also a bunch of short to medium term things (the next few months to a year) that we need and want.

So since we moved into our new house in February, Mel and I have been making "To Buy" and "To Spend" lists. By that I mean lists of stuff we need, or want, to buy or spend money on once we have the bills paid and a cushion saved.

Actually in some cases the purchase will come before or during the cushioning process

The lists are getting kind of long actually... it's amazing what you need around the house, and in your daily life; that you put off when you arent earning. Some of it was addressed right away with the big costco/wal-mart spend-o-rama with the first pa check, but that was all little stuff; this is big stuff.

Anyway theres roughly three categories, the "we need this as soon as possible"
, the "this can wait but we still need it" and the "We'd LIKE this, but its not absolutely necessary" list. Mels entries on the list are highlighted, but basically we worked this one up together.

Immediate needs:

1. Pay debts and back bills: a few thousand incurred over the course of our brokeness; including all those things that werent critical or overdue that we put off.

2. Car maintenance: our AC is out, we're having power seat issues, I need to replace the front shocks, rear brake pads, and all four tires... not desperately but its getting to be important. The only problem is, teh maintenance is getting to be expensive enough that rather than rebuild this one as a project car (as I'd planned), it may make more sense just to go buy a newer model in better condition instead.

3. Insurance: We need renters insuarance on the new place, and to up the coverage on the car (as soon as I do the maintenance and it's worth bothering with anyway).

4. Legal fees etc: We've got custody issues to work through.

5. Buy shelving, bookcases, cabinets, drawers, and closet organizers: We have a lot of random stuff in our house, much of which is sitting in semiorganized piles, because we dont have enough shelf/cabinet space. IKEA is our friend

Mel: plus we need a new gun cabinet/safe/ammo locker and some new furniture for the kids room, since they are outgrowing their junior beds quite quickly.

6. Seating and Tables in the house: We're living on folding chairs and tables at the moment. We've got a decent couch, but we could use a second one, and some arm chairs. We don't have nearly enough chairs; and basically no table space.

Mel: We definitely need another couch with other couples as friends. Plus a real dining room table and chairs would free up all of our "good" lounging chairs.

7. New mattress: The mattress we've had for a while is pretty crap. We've both got cranky backs; a new high quality mattress is definitely in order.

8. Appliances: We need four things at this point; a stand mixer, a carpet steamer, a good vacuum, and a chest freezer. Trust me, we need to maximize our Costco savings and ice storage. The fridge that came with the place is way too small. Also I want to hunt this fall, and if I bring home some meat, what are we going to do with it?

Mel: plus a chest freezer would allow me to make certain things in big batches, like ungodly amounts of turkey stock and cookie dough.

9. Clothes: I've worn out most of the clothes that fit me well, as I've gained weight since the last time I did any real clothes shopping. For all you women out there, the last major clothes shopping I did was two years ago. And I did some minor clothes shopping a year ago. I haven't purchased more than a dozen articles of clothing other than socks and t-shirts since. I've also worn through a couple good pairs of shoes, so I need to replace those. Mel on the other hand has never HAD much clothing, and the shopping spree I gave her for christmas barely made a dent.

10. CCW renewal for me, and first CCW for Mel: Pursuant to the crap about my drivers license, my CCW was suspended. In order to reinstate it I'm going to have to take the new class. Mel has never HAD a CCW, but wants hers as soon as possible.

Mel: with that comes the need to buy 4 or 5 carrying purses and some new clothes, in order to conceal of course. Oh and holsters and other accessories as well.

Need, but can wait a while:

1. A new car/truck/SUV for Mel: Mels '76 pickup has ben relegated to airport truck duty for her father, so she needs a replacement. At first she wanted a 4 door pickup, then an SUV, now she things she wants a sports wagon because SUV's and pickups are too big and unweildy and none of them have five speeds anymore; but we need the hauling and towing capacity a truck type vehicle will give us so it's all up in the air. Another post on this topic to come shortly.

Mel: the pickup was never mine to begin with, it was on loan from my family. I've never had a vehicle that wasn't in need of extensive work, and with the kids in tow I need something seriously trustworthy, with plenty of room. Plus I do a lot of driving through mountain passes, and need something that can perform on 10% grades, and I want a standard dammit.

2. Upgrade or replace my car: The Kids have really been trashing my bimmer. I'm kind of irritated at this point, because the car was PRISTINE before they got a hold of it, and its now a bit of a wreck inside. Anyway, I've been putting off the upgrades on the car for a while, waiting for my turn to come up on the waiting list for the new motor I want. Well I've got to make a decision now whether I'm going to spend the money I was planning on the project car, or just buy a newer model in better condition, and tweak it. Again, another post on this topic to come shortly.

Mel: oh yes, like he would mind getting himself an M5.

3. A new pocket gun for me: Mel wants mighty mouse (the Kel Tec P3AT), so I'm going to buy an S&W 340pd to act as my pocket gun; and maybe buy the KelTec PF9 as well when it becomes available. We also need A replacement CCW piece for the G36, and the equivalent for Mel: I've posted a couple times on this, but I really do need a compact concealed piece. I have my Kahr K9, but I'd much rather trust to a .45; I'm just not sure which one to get yet. Mel has never had a CCW piece yet, and though she loves her SP101, I'd like to get her into a nice concealable auto as well, in .40, .357 SIG or .45 ideally, but 9mm would be acceptable if she doesnt like the feel of any of the others (she has no problem with the recoil of a 1911 in .45). Importantly it needs a decent capacity, simple action, and night sights. Maybe a Glock, an XD, or a SIG. Mel likes not having to deal with a safety or a hammer. We'll see, because she's very picky about feel in her hand (as she should be).

4. A shotgun for Mel and a replacement for my stolen long guns: Mel just cant handle my 12ga very well. She's got short arms, and she's recoil sensitive; so we're going to find her a 20ga pump. I had two AR-15s and my M14 stolen a few months ago, along with a bunch of accessories, and I need to replace those as well. I just don't feel right without having a couple defensive rifles around.

5. Laser vision correction: Both Mel and I are REALLY wanting laser vision correction

6. Firearms training: Again this will be a refresh for me, and a new experience for Mel; but I want her to learn from good instructrors how to defend herself with a gun. We're thinking about Gunsite (which I've taken) and Frontsight, both of which are convenient to the house.

7. A lawnmower: Our lawn is currently D E D dead, but we're going to reseed later, and we'll need a lawnmower and a spreader. Also we need to fix the in ground sprinkler system.

Mel: I will never understand the this area's great love for having lawns in the middle of the desert. I'd much rather put in some ground cover (myoporum or dew plant or something of the like) but as long as we're renting the landlord wants a lawn.

8. Inflatable swimming pool: This is a Mel thing. She's afraid of having a real pool, but she still wants something for the kids to splash around in. I wouldn't ever buy one of those cheapo plastic pools; but now they have some pretty decent inflatable pools made of the nylon/rubber inflatable raft material. They look like a decent solution and only cost a couple hundred bucks. Personally, I'd rather just get a decent aboveground pool and deck, and that way we could avoid the landscaping hassles; but Mel has a phobia of real pools because of a near drowning as a baby.

Mel: Plus a big enough pool is good exercise for the two of us and we get to chill out in the middle of summer.

9. A new office suite: I need a bunch of new stuff for my home office, from furniture, up to and including a new desktop PC. My current PC is three years old, and has hit the limit of everything but it's storage (I've got 500 gigs in there).

10. A patio setup: We just grabbed a charcoal grill, but we want to grill A LOT, and use our outdoor space. We've got this huge gorgeous yard, and no way of taking advantage of it (other than for the kids). For this we really need a patio set (tables and chairs), a gas grill, and a BBQ smoker. Ok we dont NEEED the smoker, but it's not all that much and its something we want to do a lot of.

Want, sorta need, but not really need:

1. Various and sundry tools: I have all the basic tools I need for home maintenance, but I really want a table saw, drill press, router etc... really what I consider the basic carpentry and handyman tools. I like to build and fix things, and at the moment I can't really do that. I want my workshop back damnit.

2. A poker table: We've got this rumpus room area, and we want to put a poker table in it. The room isnt quite big enough for a pool table, but a poker table is perfect, and with a cover on it is jsut a generally good table for a game room anyway. Oh and of course we need the chairs for it.

3. A new TV and home theater: We're ready to upgrade to an HDTV, and the stopgap stereo I bought a year ago is dying. I'll put that stereo into the bedroom, and the good new multimedia center in the living room with the big HDTV. I may build a media-pc as well.

4. A home gym: I like to work out, but I never go to my gym. I dont much like the place, but it was across the street from our old house. Now that its a couple miles away, I don't particularly want to go there. Mel has a real problem working out in front of other people. She's dead set on a home gym, and I'd love to have one. We want a REAL home gym though (a rack system with free weights, and cable accessories), so that a guy of my size and mass can get a good workout. Included in that we want a recumbent bike, and maybe a treadmill.

5. Bicycles: Mel and I want bikes to ride together, and maybe those little trailers for the kids.

6. A hot tub: This is the big near term luxury item. We can probably pick up a decent used one for a couple grand, or even get one of those portable inflatable models; but Mel and I very much want a hot tub. We've both got iffy backs, and I've got the bad knees; plus of course the home gym thing, and just wanting to excercise more in general... yeah a hot tub is definitely on the list.

7. A new sewing machine, serger, and other craft stuff: For some reason fashion is against Mel, and doesn't believe in good-looking sundresses. Plus a sewing machine would be handy for other crafts (like quilts) and clothes and costumes for the kids. Really we jsut want a lot of craft stuff in general.

8. Good backyard play equipment: Once fall comes the kids will spend most of their time outside, and nothing is better exercise than a private playground. The only problem is the sheer amount of space a climber, slide, and swingset would take up, but I'm sure Chris is up to the challenge of building one.

9. Recreational vehicles, i.e. ATVs, a boat, and maybe an RV or Camp Trailer: We obviously don't have the space for it right now, but we want to do some serious playing on the weekend and a trans-continental U.S. trip in somewhere in our future.

10.Motorcycles: like the RV they would be great for a U.S. trip but also just for weekending and for all of those fun state routes I currently travel on with the car. They're already fun in the bimmer, and the route to my mom's is already a pretty popular biker's road.

Please note, I didn't put the motorcycles and ATV's on the list, she did. Have I mentioned how much I love my wife?