Sunday, September 23, 2007

Optimism and Pessimism About Finances

It is easy to be optimistic about your financial situation when you are looking at projections of future finances. Well, as long as that is a positive picture. It's quite different when you aren't earning money and spending heavily in reality. At the moment I am pessimistic on our finances. Snork Maiden is naturally more optimistic than me, we balance each other. But that can lead to disagreement on what to do. This will apply also to retirement planning or trying to be a long-term investor in the face of market volatility. You may believe that in the long-term the stock market goes up, but it is hard to maintain that belief in the face of immediate contrary evidence.

Anyway, yesterday we did buy a solid wood table and six chairs for $A599 ($US500). We thought this was a good deal. So now we have something to sleep on and something to sit, eat, work at. We bought another couple of small electrical items and planned other purchases. We also looked around used car dealer lots. I really don't want to get a car until we get a clear picture of our ongoing finances but seems there are some decent deals to be had. Used Australian cars (Ford and GM Holden) are much cheaper than Japanese ones. We also looked in bicycle shops. I tried out a secondhand mountain bike that was a priced at $A95 and was a great deal. I didn't buy though.

All in we probably will end up spending around $A5000 (almost not worth converting these numbers to USD anymore given the strength of the AUD, but that is $US4350) on setting-up house expenditures. We will spend several hundreds on car hire, luckily we didn't have to pay rent at this furnished apartment for the two weeks we were here (would be $A1050). If you want to know how much it costs to move country then you need to add in the $US7-8K we spent on shipping, the $US2,400 on plane tickets, $1-2k on SM's visa expenses and more things I am sure. We should get back around $A5.5k(plane ticket + $A4k) from SM's employer. Either an "emergency fund" or a good credit line could handle such a move. But someone in significant debt couldn't do it.

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