- Emergency Fund. Since I am far from having 8 month's of living expenses saved, I will continue to add to this fund (a minimum of $50 per month) but still have to evaluate how much I want to save by the end of 2009. I realize if I had a true emergency, my savings is meager and I want to remedy this as soon as possible.
- Credit card balance. I've been treading water with my credit card balances, not really increasing it, but not really paying off which is ideal. I want my credit cards to be completely paid off by this time next year, I can't start another year with this albatross around my neck. I will pay a minimum of $500 per month on my credit card debt from now until the end of the year. Out of the three credit cards I have, I am focusing on the card with the highest balance because it has the highest interest rate. I know people like Dave Ramsey have a different view on this, but I HATE paying high finance charges and would rather pay down the higher interest card faster than the lower interest cards (one currently has a 0% APR). I know my progress is less apparent this way, but its the way I prefer.
- IRA Starter Fund. I still have the goal of opening a Roth IRA with Vanguard, but don't want to raid my emergency fund to open one up, so I am saving separately for this goal to achieve by the end of 2009.
- 2010 Travel. I want to go on at least one international trip in 2010. So even if its just $5 or $10, I will add to this fund each month.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I think the economy has everyone including myself trying to figure out how to save more while not completely stop spending. I am focusing on basic savings goals, like increasing my emergency fund but I wonder how much money would really make me feel comfortable? One month of living expenses? 6 months? 12 months? It just doesn't seem like enough...
Here's a puzzle. But not a very enjoyable one. Americans need to save more. They also need to spend more because no recovery can take place with consumers on the sidelines. That's the nub of one of the many challenges facing the battered, reeling economy. For some 20 years, Americans said no thanks to thrift. We consumed at a prodigious rate — big houses, powerful vehicles, enticing electronics, and convenient, frequent travel — all made affordable (or at least that's how it seemed) by low interest rates, easy access to credit and fast-rising home equity that we used as an irresistible piggy bank. At the same time, we deposited less and less of our income into real savings accounts. For decades until the early 1990s, personal savings — after-tax income minus expenditures — averaged in the neighborhood of 9 percent. That's when our collective bender kicked in. Socking cash away for a rainy day became an afterthought. In 2005, at the height of the real estate boom, the personal savings rate dipped into negative territory. Clearly that was not sustainable.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
- Complete FAFSA.
- Stay on top of reading/assignments for my class. I need to stay on top of my reading so I don't have to play catch-up when exams or assignments roll around.
- Exercise and stretch at least 2 times a week. I completely fell off the wagon on this goal last month, I will do better this month.
- Go to bed at 11pm every night. I have developed the habit of staying up entirely too late and needing caffine in the morning only to crash in the afternoon, a vicious cycle.
- Choose a weekend in April to go to Florida, price and pay for tickets. I haven't visited my Dad in a while, and it would be nice to experience some warmer weather.
- Stay on top of personal endeavors such as blogging, non profity stuff.
- Start looking for an online writing course. I am leaning toward taking a Media Bistro online writing course, but will look around for others that look helpful.
Here is how I did on my goals for February:
- File taxes.--PASS-- I did my taxes with Turbo Tax and got my federal refund back.
- Apply for one freelance job. --FAIL--I will table this goal for now, because I need to focus my energy on my Accounting class which starts soon.
- Make one new dish.--PASS--I did make a new dish but I still need to do this more often to get out of my baked chicken and rice comfort zone. If anyone has a good soup recipe, pleae let me know, I'd like to make some from scratch because I never have before.
- Go to the gym more often.--FAIL--No excuse, I just need to do better in March.
- Stay on top of my reading for class.--PASS--I did stay on top of reading for the most part, but I still found the class tough, its just hard to grasp microeconomics concepts in eight weeks.