Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Playing Catch Up

I have a couple of posts that I've been saving up, but things have been hectic with job-switching over the last few weeks. Now that my income has changed, I'd like to re-evalute my budget and get started using all the advice I've received so far. Stay tuned for that one. For now, I'll ask for some more advice. This time for a good friend of mine. If I don't get any responses here (though I am hopeful!) I may try asking Single Ma. She seems to be full of good info. Without further ado...

My friend, we'll call her 'A', is 37. Currently she works full time making about 400$ a week. I know she puts 15% into a 401k and she also takes 100$ a month and puts it into an account at the credit union (which just sits). At the end of the year she takes the credit union $$ and puts it into an IRA.
She owns her home with a mortage payment of 1200$ a month. She has very little debt (I believe she said under 1000$) which is on credit cards shes pays down every month. She told me she also has an emergency fund, but I didnt get the $ amount on that.

She and I have talked before about different things she could do with her money, and ways she could get it to work for her, but since I'm certainly no expert, I was wondering if someone could give me any ideas for her.

Thanks much!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Everyday, I stare blanky at my computer screen and think...
"You should do something with your life today.."

My next thought is always..."It's too nice out!"

Graduation is only a couple of months away!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Weekend Confesssional

So, I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but just in case you weren't all aware, I have a problem. I am absolutely addicted to buying sh-- I don't need. I posted previously about needing to track my spending and when I left work Friday (after giving myself a pep talk) I had resolved not to spend more than $30 this weekend. I ended up spending $80. Under normal circumstances, this would be "fine", but it just so happens that I've been spending this way for the past week and I have some bills that I'm behind on. I originally intended to take the money I got paid Friday and deposit it into my account to cover the payment that I had scheduled. Yeah, that didn't happen. That leaves me with $150 in cash, $15 in the bank, and 2 bills totaling $355 that should've been paid already. I suck at life...

My financial irresponsibilty manages to rear its ugly head again and I'm left feeling ashamed and disappointed in myself. I know better than this. WTF am I doing? It's probably quite obvious now why I am still in debt. I have the opportunity to take care of my business and I flake out. So, now that I've purged, I have to spend this week trying to get back up and handle this. On that note, a post from lifehacker on how to trick yourself out of not buying stuff!

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Deluxe Apartment in the Sky

So, I somehow managed to get interviewed and offered a position at the company I interned with during the last week. As much as I don't want to sound like my decision to accept was solely based on money, I can't lie. It was. They offered to pay me 10k more than I'm currently making. I would be silly not to take the job. Because of the recent turn of events in my personal life, I'm now looking at having to be totally financially and emotionally independent. This, of course, is a huge stretch for me, and just another reason for me to accept this position. I need the extra $$ now more than ever.

I feel really guilty about leaving my current job. I'm scheduled to meet with my boss tomorrow morning and let her know. Hopefully she will be understanding. She knows that I've been house hunting...maybe she won't be surprised at all.

I am going to try and get one of those little status bars to track my debt/savings amounts. Really this is just for my benefit. It will be helpful to have a visual representation instead of just figures in my head.

I don't want to forget to thank those ladies for all the advice on my last post. I am going to come back to that issue later on this week. Hopefully I can plan on putting some of your ideas into action!

Monday, May 01, 2006

A Conflict of Interest

Am I trying to save too aggressively?

I've talked a little about my outstanding debt in some other posts. I still have a ways to go on paying that down. Unfortunately, in the past I have had MANY opportunities to use refunds (school/tax) to significantly reduce my debt, but instead I used the money in ways I shouldn't have. Now that tax season is over and refunds are long spent, I'm trying to figure out what my next step should be. Right now I sort of feel like I'm 'blindly saving'. I'm putting some money away, but I'm not very educated on what it's doing, so I know it's probably not working for me.

Anyway, I have about 6000$ in debt (yes, it increased a bit) which I'm slowly paying down through a debt management program. I'm not entirely sure if is the best way to handle it, but I know that had I not joined it, I wouldn't be paying at all. Right now I send them 275$ a month ( that's probably why its not doing much) and putting 6% of my pay in 403b, which my employer matches half. I also have two accounts through sharebuilder - which I really don't know much about at all. My dad opened the accounts for me in 2002 and I just started to use them. One account is and IRA and the other account is just a couple of stocks. I try to put 50$ into each every month. Again, because I have no idea what these account do or how they work, I'm hesitant to use them. Today, I decided to open an HSBC online savings acct (4.50% APY) but I'm not even sure what to with it.

So I guess, here are my questions:

I don't have alot of money right now in general. I want to save every month in addition to my 403b, but I'm not sure what is a good amount to save and what type of accounts to put that money in. I want to save for the long term (30-40 years), the semi-long term (5-15), and of course short term (next year or two).

Am I trying to do to much right now?
Where do I put my money? What type of accounts would work best for me right now?

Perhaps I should be emailing Suze?