He Said, She Said: A Big Oops

Last week the following text exchange happened between Mama PoP (Mr PoP’s mom) and me while I was at work.

Mama PoP: Did [Mr PoP] tell you about PayPal?
Mrs PoP: ?
Mama PoP: Our bank says he is using PayPal against our account.
Mrs PoP: That’s weird. I can try and look into it tonight.

The_ScreamLong story short, I checked Mr PoP’s PayPal account at lunch and sure enough it was connected to a checking account that didn’t belong to either of us. (So I presumed was his parents’.) I deleted that account and told Mama PoP I’d get an inventory together of the damage we had done to their checking account since it would take time to go through all the transactions one by one.

It took a few days to get all the info together, but the damage is just shy of $300, and this checking account was connected to that PayPal for over 5 years. Considering there was easily over $2K in spending on the PayPal account (luckily most of that spending came out of our pockets) in that same time period, it could have been much worse.

Plus, it seems as though the checking account information was entered for a legitimate reason way back in 2009, it was just never deleted and became the default payment method when the credit card on file with that account expired. So there’s that. No malicious intent.

Without question, we’re paying the money back, but we’ve definitely had differing reactions to the whole episode.  To get the full story, this edition of He Said She Said is a double header, with Mr & Mrs PoP giving their takes, and then Mama PoP and Papa PoP doing the same from the other side of the table.
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PoP Balance Sheet – May 2014

Welcome to our May 2014 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!

The high income month from selling the Jeep, combined with a solid 2+% gain in the S&P500 last month led to some strong asset growth on our balance sheet, and giving us the biggest net worth increase we’ve seen since January.

But for the month of May:

  • Our total assets went up by $27.5K
  • Our total liabilities went down by $0.1K
  • Net worth rose by $27.6K
  • Total net worth as of the end of May is $743.6K, which represents a 3.9% increase this month.

And for the details…

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PoP Income Statement – May 2014

Welcome to our May 2014 Income Statement!

Mr PoP's watch was due for a repair...

Mr PoP’s watch was due for a repair…

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.

Thanks in large part to selling the Jeep, we had an awesome month on the income side of things, which is awesome.  But on the other hand, it was a pretty expensive month with quite a few good-sized expenses all stacking up on top of one another.  And that is less awesome.

Some of the things we were up to that impacted the bottom line this month included that weekend trip to see Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, spending a weekend repainting the outside of our house (~$300), stocking up on some Vibrams, hanging and going out to eat with a lot of friends (especially Memorial Day weekend!), registering for my first-ever triathlon (time to see what GoGo can do in a race!),  paying for the next couple of years of hosting for this gem of a site, repairing Mr PoP’s watch, and much much more.  It really was a very full month!

The Bottom Line

  • Earnings before principal paydowns and savings allocations of $14,247.

And here are the details…

Continue reading PoP Income Statement – May 2014

Vibram Class Action Suit – A Moral & Financial Dilemma

20140529-185552.jpgUnless you’ve been living under a rock for the last month, you’ve likely heard of the settlement of the class action law suit that was filed against Vibram, maker of the oh-so-classy-looking FiveFingers shoes.

I wear these shoes. I have for about 5 years, and the last couple of years I’ve been running about 2,000 miles per year in them. Needless to say, I like them. So when I saw the headlines about the class action lawsuit and settlement, I knew I needed to read more.

The Gist

At the heart of the lawsuit is the claim that Vibram made “false health claims”, inducing customers to buy FiveFngers shoes and pay more for them than they would have otherwise.

My Take On The Lawsuit

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You Never Know What Something Is Worth Until You Sell It


photo 2-2One of the fundamental principles of investing is that all the numbers we use to track our investments from day to day are estimates. In reality, we never know what a non-cash asset is truly worth until the moment we exchange it for cash. Or, in a slightly more folk-lyrical way, “You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.” (Are you now humming, “They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot”? If so, mission accomplished.)

Our recent adventure in selling the Jeep reinforced that message quite a bit.

What Did We Think The Jeep Was Worth?

Continue reading You Never Know What Something Is Worth Until You Sell It