Friday, February 13, 2009

Portrait: St. Petersburg Florida

Mine is a plain story, barely even a "story." I've had ups and downs financially, with other people and circumstances to thank for the ups. After finally paying off stupid credit card debt but maintaining a great credit score, I bought a house in Florida in Oct. 2007 for a ridiculously good price. Florida taxes and insurance, however, bulk up my monthly mortgage payment. I have a good job - celebrating five years this month at a business newspaper. But I can't help but be slightly afraid given the state of print news these days.

My husband and I, both in our 30s, got married in May 2008 and paid for almost the entire wedding ourselves, so it was a very low-key event. About a month before the wedding, a great-uncle died and left me a decent sum of money (he never had children). So that helped with the wedding costs and I'll admit I splurged a little more than intended.
Soon after, we got termites in the house, so that had to be remedied.

Then came new floors to get rid of dingy carpet. Finding ways to economically upgrade our home made us feel better.

My husband makes less money than I do but his job is also somewhat stable - who can say for sure their job is stable these days?

However his father owns a successful company out of state and sends us money once in a while - never requested. He even gave us a generous wedding gift which allowed us to take a honeymoon, something we weren't sure we could do.

I hate saying that I splurged this money away this year. We still have a good chunk in savings. But what do we do? Keep it in savings? Pay off one of the cars? What's the SMART choice in today's market?

Our most recent news is I'm pregnant with our first child, which is miraculous since I miscarried just this past December. So far so good with this one so fingers are crossed.

So now we have another room to remodel and we can do it, but I fear a little for the future. Should I spend the money to remodel the room, only to find out later I'm out of a job and struggling to pay the mortgage because I paid off a car to have less debt? Such questions abound.

Thanks for letting me share. Like I said, I have no doom and gloom. I've always been a middle-class person and enjoyed that spot in the world. I guess these are middle-class problems, too.

St. Petersburg, Florida