Dear Community,

Our tech team has launched updates to The Nest today. As a result of these updates, members of the Nest Community will need to change their password in order to continue participating in the community. In addition, The Nest community member's avatars will be replaced with generic default avatars. If you wish to revert to your original avatar, you will need to re-upload it via The Nest.

If you have questions about this, please email

Thank you.

Note: This only affects The Nest's community members and will not affect members on The Bump or The Knot.

dragonstarjk member


Last Active
  • Re: Reintro: I'm back!

    Thanks!  We've been to 9 stadiums so far--Denver, Kansas City, St Louis, Phoenix, San Diego, Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Francisco, and Seattle.  We try to do at least one per year but we've skipped a couple of years to take other trips.  Sometimes we add them on as part of something else; for example, we detoured to Seattle to see a game on our way to a family reunion in southern Washington.  We try to plan it for when the Angels are there, but the timing doesn't always work out that way. H just likes to see all the different stadiums.
  • Reintro: I'm back!

    Hey MMers!  I disappeared for awhile because the site changed, and I didn't feel like figure it out.  I think I was last here in spring or early summer.  Anyways, I realized I really miss this community and I needed to come back!  Here's a little update on me:

    Work: difficult right now.  I'm dissatisfied with my position; I've been given a lot of additional roles and have begun to feel undercompensated.  I've also been passed over for some other opportunities due to office politics and restructuring.  It's very frustrating.  I've started looking at other financial institutions to see what's out there.  The silver lining is that our company just announced a huge acquisition that will double the footprint.  I feel like that opens up potential opportunities down the road, as the additional states we will be located in are places that DH and I would consider moving.


    We took our planned trip to Glacier NP/Banff/Jasper in late July.  It was absolutely spectacular!  Everybody should put the Canadian Rockies on their bucket list.  I've seen a lot of mountains in the US and they just don't compare. 

    We have a lot of trips we'd like to take that I am budgeting for.  Our 10th anniversary is 2 1/2 years out so I have a very detailed 2 1/2 year budget--my H thinks I'm crazy because I've been obsessing over it, but its the only way I can make sure we can afford it all.  Here's what we have in the works:

    4-day Caribbean cruise in February 2017--this is already booked.   We wanted a warm weather getaway; in hindsight, I wish I would have chosen California or Arizona, as I think traveling would have been easier.  It's going to be 2 days travel both directions to get to Florida.  It will still be fun though.

    Short trip to Washington state for DH's nephew's wedding-May 2017

    Possible 4 or 5 day trip to Minneapolis for a baseball game some time in the summer of 2017--this isn't planned but we're hoping to fit it in.  We like to do a baseball trip once a year.

    Winter trip in 2018--I'm thinking about spring traiing in Arizona--we're Angels fans.  This is a maybe.

    Washington DC June 2018--This trip will be to celebrate my college graduation.

    Disneyland late summer 2018--I promised my niece I would take her to Disneyland.  It would be me and my siblings and niece.

    10th anniversary May 2019-British Isles cruise


    No huge changes to our budget since I last visited.  I paid my car off and that payment was promptly absorbed by other things.  We finally got rid of our landline, which is saving about $46/month.  We started a Home Chef subscription a couple of months ago, and even though it is a splurge and expensive, it has been totally worth it.  Neither of us has the time or energy to meal plan.  It's so nice to have 3 meals per week already planned and shopped for.


    H is itching to retire early.  He's really fed up with his work but he doesn't want to start over somewhere else.  He would like to retire at 55 (six years).  I think it's doable but we have to start making a plan NOW.  He hasn't planned very well before we met so his retirement savings is not good.  The only reason I think we could make it work is because of our age difference--I will still be in the workforce another 15 years after that, and that's if I retire at 55 as well--which is my goal.   Also, our house will be paid off in 9 years.  I think we might try to get that paid off in 6 now that he's looking at that as a retirement goal.  Once the mortgage is paid off and his student loan, he could take a job making $25-28K per year and maintain his current spending habits without a problem.  It's crazy to think about really....  Also, I will in theory be making more in six years, although that's never guaranteed.  But the earnings potential in banking is pretty huge.  It would be a huge leap and we are not considering it lightly by any means.


    Mortgage--$72K; we may try to accelerate the payments on this (see above)

    H student loan--$8K?  I have no idea.  I told him he needs to look up what the balance is ASAP.

    Front porch loan--$18K.  We haven't been in a hurry to pay this.  I know we should, since we're paying 4.5% interest on it, but we're just not.  We are comfortable with having the amount of debt that we have, and using the rest of our budget for travel, and other splurges.

    Anyways, I think that's most of what we've been up to MM-wise.  I can't wait to get back into the swing of things with all of you!

  • Re: woes of friends/family!

    brij2006 said:

    I won't even go there with my family!  You all would be appalled. 

     I do have this co-worker who's married, who has a combined income higher than ours, and doesn't understand how we can possibly afford to travel 'all the time'.  We take at least one trip a year, but lately we've been trying to make it two per year.  Nothing super extravagant.

    Well.....our mortgage is $800 less per month than theirs, we don't pay $100+/month for fancy smartphones, we don't pay $100+ a month for TV, and I don't get my hair and nails done all the time like she does.  It's easy to figure out!

    This is us.  We went to Hawaii a couple of months ago.  A friend made some comment how we went to Hawaii and splurged for a convertible. "Must be nice."  Um, we don't have new cars, we never eat out, don't have cable, and we bought a foreclosure that needed a ton of work and still has a 1970's kitchen
    Their priorities are eating out, having brand new cars, and living in an extravagant house.  Ours are to travel.  I told her that she doesn't judge me and I won't judge her.  

    We've also had FIL make a comment because of the "toy" car we bought a few months ago.  It's a Mustang, so people automatically assume it was crazy expensive.  Our response to him was that we paid less for that car than he did for his pickup truck. We'll also sell it in a year or 2 and pocket the money, but he doesn't know that.  
    Right there with ya! Sure yellow formica is ugly - but Amsterdam during tulip season will be beautiful and we'd rather travel right now  :)
    Love this!  Two years ago when we splurged and spent $10K on our 5-year anniversary trip to Hawaii, my coworker was completely baffled that we didn't use that money to build our front porch that we've always wanted (we finally built it last summer).  I told her, if something happens to H and I next week, sure I'd have a nice porch, but I wouldn't have two weeks of the most amazing memories that we share together from that trip to Hawaii!  It's an easy tradeoff!
  • Re: AW: Booked a cruise!

    Awesome! What ship are you going on?
    Enchantment of the Seas--a smaller ship which we are fine with!
  • Re: AW: Closing on a rental investment house this afternoon!

    Congrats!  I am super impressed that you were able to purchase a property for $38K that rents for $1200/month!  No way I could ever find that here!

    H and I do want to get into some rental investments at some point--I told him I'd like seriously start looking once I reach my 40's (so about six years from now).