Been an odd last couple of days on the financial front. I appreciate that it's perhaps a touch inappropriate to talk finances, especially on a blog. But it's been kind of freaking me out.
The trip to New York was pretty much on budget. Which was good. It's pretty easy to blow a budget at one of those cons, but thanks to space and weight considerations, I managed to stay on target. So that was good.
But once I got back home there were a couple of other considerations. First, we were looking at getting a new vehicle. Well, new to us. The little green car is still running, but she is eight years old. And, we're bored of her. She's a good enough car, but we would like to have something that's a bit more appropriate for driving around town. Especially at the time of year when the potholes are large enough to eat our small car.
One of Cathy's co-workers is going out on maternity leave and is likely not coming back. So, they have to get rid of their truck - a GM Tracker. The price is right and she's in pretty good shape. A bit older than I would like, but she handled well on a test drive and the garage said there was no problems with her.
So now we needed money to buy it. We figured we'd pop into bank, get a line of credit and that would be that. And it was. Except our credit is apparently so good they offered us a much larger line of credit than we asked for with a better interest rate. No strings attached and the only risk is if we went crazy with the money. And despite what you're about to read in this blog post, we're normally pretty good with money. Still, that was kind of weird.
So we should have the sort of new truck within the next week.
Then today we booked the tickets to go to Italy. I've been reading stories about airlines and business in Europe concerned that because of the recession in the US, that travel might be down this summer and there will be fewer people going on vacation. And because of that, there might be more deals to be had to lure people over. All I can say to that is you would never guess it considering how much tickets are right now. And this is before we get our hostels/hotel rooms taken care of.
I always tend to do small freak-outs about this sort of thing. A legacy of my father, I suppose. Dad would always like to say he's not cheap, he just hated to waste money. My family might argue the point, but I get what he was saying. Go ahead and spend money, just don't spend it on really stupid stuff you will regret later. And I don't regret getting another vehicle because a truck is more appropriate to have around town. And I don't regret New York because it was one of the best time in my life. And I'm sure Italy will be as well.
But still, it's always that minor "gah!" that happens when I see lots of money go out the door. Or whenever I go to a bank to do stuff other than deposit and withdrawal money. God help me when we deal with mortgages at some point. It's very grown-up stuff and I guess I still don't entirely feel that way. Then again, perhaps me spending a weekend at a comic book convention might have been a tip-off.
So, do people have any recommendations for Italy? Right now Rome and Venice are a lock. We're looking at Florence and maybe Cinque Terre. Given the amount of time we have in Italy (we arrive on June 30, leave on July 19), I figured four places is about all we have time to visit. We want to take our time there and not to a mad dash across Italy with a bunch of Death Marches.
Still, it ought to be lots of fun.
1. Casino nation (live) - Jackson Browne
2. Wuthering Heights - Kate Bush
3. I will dare - The Replacements
4. Porchlight - Neko Case*
5. U-mass - Pixies