|Updated 2/8/09||Change from Previous Month||Updated 7/1/08||Change from Previous Update|
|Total Net Worth||$151,362.09||$1,747.55||$110,872.13||$40,489.96|
|Net Worth Comprised of|
|House Down Payment||$58,634.87||$58,634.87||$57,401.89||$1,232.98|
|Future Car Savings||$10,286.27||$271.10||5,458.48||$4,827.79|
|Future Investment Savings||$0.12||-$36,193.68||$5,458.48||-$5,458.36|
|Emergency Fund/Money Market:||$12,416.42||$582.82||$11,435.17||$981.25|
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
On the positive side this means I have time to give you all an update on how it went with my financial adviser, Bob. The appointment went great, I've already met with Bob about 4 other times exluding the inital time visit where I interviewed him. In our appointments we've discussed everything financial under the sun from my tax advantages with a Roth 401k to which banks to put my house down payments and car fund, he's very patient with me which I love since I'm new to the finacial advisor business and am some what secptiacal every time he gives me advise so I quiz him to death about everything. This quizing and his patients have helped me to feel pretty comfortable with Bob. When I arrived for my appointment we spent a little over an hour reviwing the proposal he'd given me on my last visit about how he wanted to invest my investment money and how he'd mitigate my tax exposure with capital gains. After tons of research I'd already decided this was the direction I wanted to go but I still quizzed him with every question I still had and confirmed with myself that I was still in agreement. I then wrote the largest check I've ever written ($37,000) and handed it to him, signed a million papers and left his office feeling wonderful because I'd taken action and was now an investor --- not just a saver.
So far I have to say that this investing business is awsome...
January 27th I handed over my check for $37,000 to be put in a managed account. In less than two weeks my balance has increased to $37,416.97 which is about the same amount of interst I earned on all this money in a year. Don't worry I'm not getting too excited, I know that the actual dollor value of my investments will fluxate and most likely in the next year and maybe even sometime in the future my balance may even dip below my inital investment. But I'm in it for the long haul and have no intention of withdrawing any of this money for at least 30 more years.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
I got two job offers back in August but decided against both of them. One job I didn’t accept because the reputation of the company wasn’t very good around town and the second because for some unknown reason I just wasn’t ready to leave my current company. Before turning down the second offer I did a lot of soul searching and decided that even thought I hated my current assignment I wanted to stay put with my current company. Going on the job search really helped me because it allowed me to feel more empowered, I wasn’t being forced into a role I hated and the project from hell…believe it or not I was choosing it because I did have other options.
Looking back with the economic melt down that’s occurred I even more glad I didn’t take either of the two job offers, both of them were with smaller companies and neither has fared well in the current economy. Not that my current company has not been effective, we have been hit pretty hard and there’s been lay offs that amount to almost 20% of our workforce through out the
I did achieve my goal for last year of receiving a promotion, I was promoted in September. Yay!
I think my goal for this year will be to just stay gainfully employed.
I finally…found a financial adviser and finally acted. I kept dragging my feet for some reason but I decided in October on a guy that my favorite banker, Charlie, recommended and he helped me first with rebalancing my 401k – prior to meeting my adviser, Bob, I had my entire 401k in a target date fund. It was really hard for me to put my trust in someone else to help me make the right decisions. I’m still very shaking on investing, I know how to read morning star and look for decent picks but its still hard for me to just do it which is why I didn’t sign up to put my Roth IRA in his hands until December of this year so starting in 2009 my Roth IRA will be diversified…yay! I’m also very excited about my next step with Bob which is this Tuesday I’m going to his office to write a big $37,000 check to start an actively managed account that’s outside of my maxed out retirement accounts. I’ll have to let you know how it goes.
My one regret with hiring a financial advisor is that I think I pay Bob too much. I pay my advisor a yearly retainer plus now I’m going to be paying him 1.5% to actively manage my non-retirement accounts which will amount to about $1,400. I think I have over paid for his help and will continue to pay more than I should but I’ve decided that I’m okay with that because I finally acted and isn’t it better to pay a little more to gain more than it is to just let everything sit and gain nothing.
My net worth has increased to just shy of $150,000. A lot of that increase is from my regular monthly saving and my bonuses. Don’t get me wrong I was hit by the stock market down turn but fortunately compared to many I’ve only lost about $13,000 because of my fear of investing I kept all but my retirement accounts in the bank. I’ll have to sit down and do a comparison net worth update soon.
Unfortunately, I think this year I won’t have such a significant increase in net worth primarily because I’ll most likely be taking about a 15-20% pay cut this year because I probably won’t be receiving any bonuses with the way the economy is looking. The only good thing about that is that I don’t need the bonuses to live. My bonuses always were stuck straight into savings with maybe a little shaved on the top for a small indulgence.
I’d like to have a net worth goal this year of $175,000 but since the current stock situation will distort my net worth goal in comparison to my savings, especially since I’m going to start investing in the stock market a little more. I think I’d rather have a savings goal for 2009– this just means its going to be harder for me to track but its achievement is 100% in my control. I’m planning this year to again max out my retirement contributions and contribute $21,500 in retirement vehicles, add $3,000 to my new car fund, and contribute at least $2,500 towards my investments – I will increase my investment contributions if I actually receive bonuses this year but I’m doubtful. So in total for 2009 I want to save $27,000.
Mr. Be-Mine and I are still going strong, its been nearly two wonderful years. Wow – I can’t believe its only been that long, it feels like he’s always been a big part of my life. In fact, I think he might be the one. Since this is a financial blog, and you don’t want all the gushy girly stuff I’ll stop there.
My brother and I are getting ready to run the ING Half Marathon this March. Opted for the half marathon this year instead of the Marathon because I still don’t have a lot of time due to work and didn’t want to try and squeeze in a super heavy work out schedule, just want to have a fitness goal hard enough to keep me motivated to work out and run every day. One financial thing I’ve been meaning to actually ponder is whether its better to register for these races early like I do to get a price break or if its better to pay full price but save 6+ months of interest on your money. Hmm…sounds like a future post.
I’m still volunteering every week at the Food Bank and donating every month. These are the types of organization that need the help even more now. I even have Mr. Be-Mine going with me to volunteer each week. And one the rare occasions I can’t go because I’m out of town for work, he still goes with out me - that’s my kind of guy.
I’m still living with Fashionista. Our lease is about to expire so we have to renew it before February 9th in order to stay put. The one nice thing about the current economy is that our rent did not increase like we expected it to after a year. In fact we’re planning to go next weekend to talk to our apartment management company about maybe lowering it some, just to see what happens but we’re both okay with staying put even if they don’t lower rent.
I think that’s about it for updates, let me know if you’re curious about anything else. I’m looking forward to the next post already.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
I'm going to blog just for my personal enjoyment and I'm only going to blog when I have the time and when I have something to share. So who knows when my next post will be, maybe some time this week maybe sometime next month, but I can assure you that This Future Millionaire will still be on track financaily and she still wants to share plenty with readers so keep checking back every so often or subscribe to my reader so that you can be sure to find when my next post pops up.
Until then...Happy Personal Finance Thought!
Hey Guys. I'm back from my much needed vacation. I have to say a week of being waited on hand and foot by the cruise line staff sure does help one relax and rejuvenate. I'm happy to say I'm almost back to my normal self before I started working on the Project from hell in April.
Lets see some updates in my life that unfortunately due to the job and life I've not been able to post about. I've had several contacts through the grapevine about potential jobs, I've not really hit the real job market because for one thing I started getting cold feet about changing jobs, I really do love my current company its just that I don't love the current assignment. My second reason is I'm a little worried about changing jobs, going into the unknown. I've only ever really worked for one company (sure I have a variety of miscellaneous , but I'm talking career jobs I've only worked for one company) so who knows what other companies might hold out there. I'm also a little nervous because I've not yet received that promotion and I it has to do with politics, so I'm afraid if I change companies now that I might be further delayed in obtaining a promotion. Lets see the list goes on and on. But despite that I've talked to a few close confidants with in the industry to seek there opinion about what I should do and that's lead to several contacts about potential jobs, none of which I've followed up upon too closely. Well the other day (two weeks ago) out the blue I received a call from a rather small GC that wanted to talk to me about an estimating job. I was curious to know how they received my name and it appears that I have a pretty good reputation with in the business. So yay for that! Anyway I have an interview with them towards the end of next week. So we'll see how it goes, I have a ton of reservations about working for a small GC, changing companies etc etc etc etc but I feel I owe it to myself to check them out so I'm going to at least talk to them, I figure they have to sell me at this point not the other way around.
Wish me luck on the interview.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Thursday, July 3, 2008
It seems counterintuitive that a personal finance writer would advocate the use of credit cards, but that's what I do -- provided that you can use your credit card responsibly and pay it off every month. Just like so much else in this life, credit cards themselves aren't evil. But using them in a way that is detrimental can result in a great deal of trouble. But if you use them the right way, your credit cards can actually save you money.
Choosing the right rewards
First of all, don't just choose any card with any old rewards program. You need to find a rewards program that works well for you -- offering you the rewards that you will actually use. Compare offers and decide what will benefit you the most. Whether you want travel points, cash or consumer goods, you need to pick a rewards program that will provide you with what you need.
Be warned: Too many different cards, with too many different rewards, can dilute the effectiveness of your rewards program. Instead, choose no more than three that you want to work on.
Create a plan for building credit card rewards that can save you money
Any financial planning tool -- including credit cards -- requires, well, a plan. You need to decide how you are going to amass rewards. However, the key here is to only spend money on things you would buy anyway. Here is an example of how I spend my money, and which credit cards I use to pay for them:
- Capital One No Hassle card: All grocery store purchases, gas and recurring bills. Receive miles that I can redeem for airfare or other travel. Last year: Free round trip ticket to New York to visit my husband's family. This year: Free round-trip ticket to Phoenix, AZ to see my grandfather. Planning to use the rest of the points for car rental and for hotel while taking a mini-vacation within the trip to New York.
- Upromise card: All online purchases. Percentage of purchases goes into an account that is in turn invested into a tax-preferred 529 college savings plan for our son.
- Cash back card: Large consumer purchases. Once the reward is $10, a check is sent. Almost every time we make a large purchase (computer, TV, sofa, etc.) we get a check in the mail. That check immediately goes into our emergency fund -- which is a high yield savings account. It's not the only money we put in there, but it gives the fund a periodic boost.
Retirement is our most important goal, but we find that we can work toward our next most important goals (defraying travel costs to see family and helping our son pay for college) without having to spend extra money.
Warnings when using credit cards in this manner
It is important to take heed. Without a plan, you can quickly fall into the trap of not paying off your credit cards each month, and entering the cycle of debt (and the attendant interest). Here are some things to remember when using credit cards to save you money:
- Once you start paying interest, the value of your rewards is eroded and can even be destroyed. So pay off your credit cards each month.
- Make sure that you have the money before you buy something. That way you will be able to pay off the credit card at the end of the month.
- Be aware that going over you limit or paying late can mean being locked out of your rewards. You won't be able to access them until you are back under your limit, or you've made your payment (and paid your late fees).
- Late fees and over the limit fees can erode the value of your rewards.
If you plan carefully and use your credit cards in a constructive manner, you will find that your credit card companies are paying you -- instead of you paying them.
Miranda Marquit edits information on debt consolidation for DestroyDebt.com.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
|Updated 7/1/08||Change from Previous Update||Updated 5/30/08|
|Total Net Worth||$105,413.65||$559.93||$104,853.72|
|Net Worth Comprised of|
|House Down Payment/CD's:||$57,401.89||$157.06||$57,244.83|
|Future Car Savings||$5,458.48||$157.76||$5,300.72|
|Emergency Fund/Money Market:||$11,435.17||$227.89||$11,207.28|
At first I was really concerned that I'd only increase my net worth by less than $560 because that's much less than my typical $2,000. There's two main reasons for this less than normal net worth increase, the first is that my Money Market decreased because I paid for part of my vacation that I'm taking in July the other main reason that my net worth decreased is that despite contributions of over $1700 to my retirement accounts they only increased by $321. I guess the current stock market and economy is finally taking its toll on me.
Monday, June 30, 2008
If you're fortunate enough to keep up with the news give me a shout if you find any good Money Funnies.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Living Almost Large explains all about IRA's.
Penelope @ Our Fourpence Worth gave tips on how to Resist the Urge to Slurge.
Master Your Card's Kristy gave a great test to determine if you're smarter than a 5th Grader when it comes to Credit Cards. (I love that TV show!)
Ashley from Wide Open Wallet shared a great story about a play it forward for coupons. Such a great idea.
Girls Just Wanna have Fund's Ginger shared tips on saving money when Vacationing.
And Seb from Pinching Copper wrote another great letter to Mr. Bernake.