Monday, July 7, 2008


Oh my gosh. It has been so long since we talked.
You secretly missed me, didn't you?
It is okay, I missed you too.

I did not watch any movies this weekend. I am sitting her stunned. I have Cloverfield and plan on watching it today.
My queu is empty so I have to add a whole bunch. I did however run across a movie I saw in the theater that I must mention. 3:10 to Yuma, have you seen this movie? It was Awesome with a capital "Awe". If you have not seen it is definitely a "move to the top of the queue movie" (I am assuming you all have Netflix).

You know how I felt of this book Operation Instructions by Ann Lamont (it sucked). But I had nothing to read and I am a reader. Readers must read, so I went to my bookshelf and looked for a book I haven't read.
Turns out I borrowed a bunch of books from a friend (shout out to Eli) who is a book addict.
I usually like the books she likes and found a book she gave me that I never read. One was by Ann Lamont.
I gave it a whirl...I had to, I need to read. I am going to go to the library this week (this is a new thing for the Gammichia's going to the library for books. Did you know they have books you can read there FOR FREE. Are you kidding me?)
Anyways, it is book called Traveling Mercies. I am about half way through and it is not bad.
She is a bleeding heart liberal (not that there is anything wrong with that) and also a Christian.
It is refreshing to me that people can believe the same thing but come from so many different backgrounds. I am almost 40 and I am still learning about people. This is good.

I am going to write on Websites this week but I decided I wanted to tell you one thing (that has nothing to do with websites) first.
I want to tell you about the Gammichia's money situation.

It is not bad by any stretch of the imagination. But it is not that great.
We can't seem to pull out of our month to month bill paying.

Let me take a step back.
5 years ago...
We were in pretty good shape financially. No debt except our house and school loans.
Our family was getting bigger and our first house (I bought for $176,000) which was a 3/2.5 bath was getting too small.
So we sold our first house (for $305,000) and bought another house. We bought the new house for $280,000 and then gutted it. We ended up putting about $90,000 into it. So we basically bought our new house for $370,000. Now in today's numbers this was a complete steal.

At the same time the whole house thing was going on. I was buying into the practice and I won't tell you how much that was but it was enough.
Now I was hoping that my dad would say, "John, I just love you so much, I have enjoyed practicing with you for the last eight years so much that I want you to have the practice." NOT.
We worked out a fair price that we both could live with and I bought half of the practice.
So although I didn't owe that much when we went to borrow all that money, it was a big convoluted mess. But when the smoked cleared I had only two and a half loans.
So we have a mortgage, an office loan, and a equity line (which we pay interest only).
Our mortgage is normal, our office loan gets paid with quarterly bonuses and we try to pay down our interest only loan.
Its this equity line I want to talk about.
We began 5 years ago with $95,000 of debt in this account. We have been paying it down steadily for 5 years. Oh, we also dip into it when there is a need that is not part of our monthly budget. Like our mini-van pooped out a couple of years ago. We needed $14,000 to buy another one, we went straight to that account.
So it is always a little give and take. When we get a bonus we drop the number down, when we there is a windfall need we go to it. Also I never really worry about our monthly bills because if we spend too much we just dip in "the account". When we get a bonus we pay it all back.
This is not very good stewardship.
This system is in lieu of changing our habits. Changing the way we live to get rid of debt.

We now owe $84,000 in this account. Five years we have paid it down $11,000. Not very good.

So I came home last week and said (more like screamed), "Moratorium on all spending". We had a family meeting and everyone agreed.
This lasted about 4 hours.
I decided I wanted Luke to go to basketball camp-$165
-don't forget we are still paying tuition. Come to find out we pay on a yearly basis not just when they are in school. What a racket.
Hilda needs maternity clothes- $ a lot.
The pool pump pooped out -$299
When I mean pooped out I mean pooped out. It was smoking and not running. I mean if it was smoking and working I may of just left it.
I was having sprinkler problems in my yard-$135 (don't get me started)
I took my kids to a matinee movie (Kung Fu Panda)- $50. Yeah I said $50. Did you know a matinee movie is $8.50 per kid. WHAT?!!
I had a kid come over (who was working in the blazing hot sun for $10 per hour to raise money for a mission trip) and he worked for 3 hours - $30.
I have another kid mowing my yard for $20 a week (let me tell you it is the best $20 I ever spent. He works very hard and I don't have to do it).
Breakfast with grampi (even with coupons) -$45
We had a going away party for our babysitter/friend/children's ministry person at our church--$ don't know (but worth every penny. Love you Debbie).
We went to a fourth of July party that we contributed to.
...and the list goes on.
These are not extravagant things.
But they are not things that are in the fix budget.
They are not things that cost a lot but if you add them all together...guess what?
We start dipping in the rob Peter to pay Paul account.

It just takes a lot of money to run the Gammichia household.
I don't think we live very extravagantly. We live very very comfortably but I am thinking maybe a little too comfortably.
I don't think it is the big purchases, I think it is the one hundred little purchases.
These are the hardest things to cut back on.
The trips to Chick-a-filet.
The regular movie theater instead of waiting for it to come to the dollar theater.
Breakfast with Grampi at Perkins instead of the little country kitchen.
$5 here, $12 here, $21 here.
You know what I mean.
Its like going on a diet.
You don't just have to cut back. Because cutting back is just getting back to not gaining weight. But if you want to lose weight you have to go into the negative.

Oh and I have a $4000 medical insurance deductible. Yeah, I have one of those real inexpensive principle insurance plans but high deductible. Now the 8 ultrasounds come along at $250 a piece.
I blame it all on Hilda, it is so much easier that way.
I will let you know how the diet is going.

I went golfing with my nine year old today. I had two free coupons, YEAH. It was blazing hot.
There are only three water fountains on this nine hole course that we WALKED.
After the third water fountain, he said, "Dad, I have two best friends on the golf course."
I said, "Oh, yeah, who are they?"
He said, "The water fountains and you."
At least I made the list.

See you Wednesday.

9 days until the AGD annual meeting. You are going right?
If you don't come, who will go to my little lecture. I am counting on you.


Debby Sutton said...

Love that my shout out comes when dealing with money!!!! Thank you!

So, how did you like Traveling Mercies? I love it -- especially the part when they are on the freeway and her boy yells at the other driver.

A beauty to realize that we are part of a greater family -- one that doesn't always act like me.

miss you guys - praying for you.


Buckeyedental said...

Dear John

We have been doing the budget thing off and on for several years. We are in on mode now. If you look at our personal expenses 60% of it is the first 4 1) mortgage, 2) Church, 3) investment lot, 4) food (my kids like to eat)the next 40% is everything else and number 5 is only 6% so we have to save by a little here and a little there that will make up a big difference. Prov. 13:11 Prov. 15:16, Prov. 30:25. I love Prov.

Hope to see you at the AGD when is your talk going to be.

Our prays are still with you.
Have a great day.

Kim Shaw


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