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Today's Financial Doings

August 6th, 2013 at 05:56 pm

Purchased some EE Savings Bonds from Treasury Direct after checking WHO Life Expectancy Tables and assuring DH that the statistical odds are that we BOTH will still be here in 20 years. Big Grin (EE Savings Bonds are currently paying interest at the paltry rate of 0.20% but they are guaranteed to double if you hold for 20 years. That doubling translates to 3.50%. Doesn't make much sense to buy if you won't be around in 20 years.)

DH suggested that we go out to lunch which was a nice surprise. We eat out from time to time, but it's infrequent enough that it's a treat. When we do eat out, it's for brunch, lunch, an early bird special, or with some sort of coupon type deal.

We followed lunch with a shopping excursion looking for bargain-priced gifts to bring on our overseas trip next month ... the number of DH's relatives who plan to join the family gatherings when we go to his native country is growing by leaps and bounds, and because gift-giving is a critical part of the culture, we need to buy lots and lots and LOTS of gifts. It was a pretty successful excursion; there are still many more gifts to buy, but we got a really good start.

4 Responses to “Today's Financial Doings”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    What types of gifts are you buying for these relatives?

  2. Wino Says:

    3.5% in a safe investment is pretty much nirvana nowadays. The only risk is something that forces you to cash them in before they mature.

  3. scfr Says:

    CCF - There are a couple relatives where we know exactly what they would like to have (I've already ordered a Macy's gift card with cash boost from Smarty Pig to buy one auntie her favorite perfume, for example). Some we have a general idea of what they like (one is baseball fanatic, one is a wine connoisseur, etc) which gives us some ideas. But with many of the relatives we have no idea what to buy, so for them we are looking for lightweight, easily packable items that either: give off a distinctly "American" vibe or are from a universally-recognizable higher-end brand. And of course we want to stretch our dollars. So far we have: a stack of Dallas Cowboy TShirts that DH bought on final clearance at the end of last year's season, Disney knapsacks ($5 each originally $17), tapestry style place mats with "Americana" scenes ($1 each originally $4), Waterford pillowcases ($10 & $15 originally $89), and Swarovski bracelets ($10 originally $52). We need to add more to the gift stash, but we got a good start. I will probably add a small food item that we will give to everyone, but am still thinking on that. It will be too hot when we travel to bring chocolates (the usual favorite).

    Wino - Yes, the EE Savings Bonds are part of our "cash or cash equivalents" retirement savings. They won't be touched for 20 years unless something goes really horribly wrong with our lives. We have only purchased EE Savings Bonds the last few years, since interest rates went down the tubes. In the past all our Treasuries have been TIPS, Bills, and Notes. 10 years ago I would have turned up my nose at 3.50% ... not anymore.

  4. snafu Says:

    DH & I work in SE Asia where gift giving is serious. When bereft of ideas for easy to pack ideas, I stood in a favorite gift shop and watched what Asians were buying for gifts to take home. I was surprised to see them choose practical, Cnd themed items like beautiful tea towels, hot mats, fabric totes, hand crafted earrings of local stone, small, authentic native crafts like dream catchers, home made knitted slippers, hand made dishwasher scrubbies etc. Gifts for men was nearly always Johnny Walker Black Label Scotch. I asked colleagues I know very well what would be best appreciated for colleagues and the answer was always vitamin tablets much to my surprise.

    I suspect Europeans would prefer more pleasurable items. What food stuffs come in sturdy packaging that invokes America?

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