First Impressions Of Jet.Com

Last week, startup internet retailer Jet.com officially opened for business. On Monday there was an article in the Wall Street Journal hyping the discounts that the Journal was able to score on a variety of merchandise. Though the Journal also pointed out that many of these discounts came at the expense of Jet.com itself – since to fulfill the orders Jet was having to go through other retailers, literally buying the items above the price they were then selling them for. This meant Jet was eating the cost difference as well as the shipping charges the other retailer tacked on as well. Luckily Jet seems fairly well funded and can afford to have some loss leaders like this while they develop into what they hope to be: a Costco-Type membership club providing the lowest prices on the internet.

I’m not going to lie. After reading the WSJ article I was intrigued. I hate Costco for what I believe are some truly excellent reasons. I even admit Costco probably does have some good deals on bulk purchases where it *might* make a tiny bit of monetary sense to pay the membership fee and the the extra gas to go out of my way over the course of a year to take advantage of them. But giving Costco money and dealing with the headaches of going there aren’t two things I’m interested in, so that’s not going to happen. However, an online non-Costco membership store sounded intriguing. If nothing else, with the WSJ’s description I figured I’m more than happy to let venture capitalists fund a few loss leaders for me until they either start raising prices or run out of venture capital. So I jotted myself a note to check it out when the site officially opened for business on Tuesday.

By Tuesday, I had also run across another discussion of Jet where someone suggested using the code “GOOGLE” to get the first year of membership free. “Sweet!” So no $50 membership fee in year one.  (The current standard offer without a code is a free 3-month trial membership.)

But then I got to Jet’s site. And I’m confused and disappointed and wondering if I’m alone in feeling this way given all the hype that was built up for the launch.

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We’re Infectious!

The past eight months have been pretty epic in our house. We’re by no means done with our giant DIY kitchen remodel, but we’re really starting to make some serious progress and can make a pinhole of light out at the end of the tunnel.

The plan, after moving the wall, and the current state of the kitchen with the ceiling vaulted and drywall done.

 

After widening the room and vaulting the ceiling, we’ve finally got drywall back on the walls and it’s officially been taped, sanded, and expertly (by a pro!) textured so that the walls look like they were put in that way originally. In fact, the drywall guy did such an amazing job that his texture work looks better than what was originally done 30+ years ago since you can’t make out a single seam after Mr PoP’s efforts filling and sanding the seams, and his efforts texturing the walls using a skip trowel method. In contrast, if you pay attention, you can see seams in the original walls that weren’t properly filled prior to the wall texture application.

Along the way, something a bit unintentional has happened.

We Tried to Minimize Our Impact

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Cabinetry Confession

So I have a confession to make.  Mr PoP and I have been keeping a secret.

Set of upper corner cabinets. The center one was a PITA to make with all those angles but I got it!

Hidden in the last few months of recent income statement posts are about $3,000 worth of expenses that we (okay, I – Mr PoP couldn’t have cared less) weren’t ready to share with the world.  They were just lumped in with “Kitchen Renovation” without giving a whole lot of information on what on earth was costing so much those months.  But now that we’ve got walls and our flooring is due to arrive soon, some readers (and Mama and Papa PoP!) have been starting to wonder what the heck we were planning on putting back into our kitchen.  (As much as we love how big the kitchen feels without anything on the walls, it’s not really conducive to the long term functionality of the space as a kitchen.)  So here goes.

I’m Building All Of Our Cabinetry

Now, I don’t mean that I’m assembling all of our cabinetry.  There are lots of places that you can get RTA (ready-to-assemble) cabinetry out there (IKEA, Cabinets-To-Go, etc) and every time we tell people that I’m building our cabinetry this is where their minds go.

But when I say I’m building our cabinetry, I mean that I started with 24 sheets of plywood, a bunch of poplar 1x2s and 1x3s, and am turning that into cabinetry.

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PoP Balance Sheet – June 2015

Welcome to our June 2015 Balance Sheet!

We use the structure of a monthly income statement and balance sheet in tandem to make sure we are keeping our expenses low and planting our pennies wisely. If you’re not already tracking your finances using these two methods, go to mint.com and get started today! If you have any questions about how we do this just post a comment and we’ll be sure to help!

Well, it officially happened. After over three years of tracking our net worth on this site and having increases every month, this month we had a net worth drop. We knew this day was bound to happen, and I had thought we might be more stressed out when it finally did. But the truth is, our first net worth drop was a “non-event” in the PoP household. And I think that’s probably the best reaction we could have had.

The markets took a little dive last month, our two biggest holdings (VTI and VTIVX) were both down about 2% for the month, which is pretty indicative of our brokerage accounts overall. And now that those accounts hold over $500K.. 2% down swings are big enough that it’s hard to make up for that in deposits! A good problem to have.
Of course, it didn’t help that it was a pretty spendy month of buying things (mostly tile) for the kitchen renovation. But even if I hadn’t ordered the tile already, our net worth still would have dropped. Just less.
So that’s life.

So for the month of June:

  • Our total assets down by $4.5… oh no, wrong way!
  • Our total liabilities went up by $1.3 – again, wrong way!
  • Net worth DROPPED! by $5.8K 
  • Total net worth as of the end of June is $909.6K, which represents a 0.63% decrease this month.

And for the details…

Continue reading PoP Balance Sheet – June 2015

PoP Income Statement – June 2015

Welcome to our June 2015 Income Statement!

A crazy beautiful sunset in the neighborhood one night. The picture doesn’t quite do justice to the intensity of the colors…

 

Mr. PoP and I put these income statements together for two reasons. First, we want to be transparent about our finances because we’re trying to be role models for other people who are trying to plant their own pennies (and end up with dollars someday!). Second, we do this to make sure we’re on track to meet our own long-term goals. If you’re not tracking your income statement and balance sheet, we highly recommend you start using a program like Mint to keep track of it all.

On the surface, June was a month of crazy high spending for us, where we shelled out over $9,000 in personal spending in just 30 days.  But we’re not worried about it this time.

Nearly half of that amount was me ordering tile for the entire house (something we hope to never do again), and then another couple of grand went into the kitchen on top of that, too.  Ya know, for walls, a ceiling, and some other stuff. Nothing important or anything.  =)

Netting out the kitchen stuff, our personal expenses were just $2,754, well below where we’re aiming to be on a monthly basis (excluding the kitchen) this year, despite it not feeling like a particularly austere month.  So that’s a positive.

Here are the numbers…

The Bottom Line

  • Earnings before principal paydowns and savings allocations of $14.  Yup, that’s it.  Big month.  =P

And here are the details…

Continue reading PoP Income Statement – June 2015