Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New to blogging, new to caring about money

I've always been the kind of person that committs to something and does it big. Previous committments:

1) being cute and popular in high school and college - babysat and worked 3 jobs to maintain a cool style and image. Money spent: thousands. Money saved: nada. Clothing left: entirely worn out (and tube tops really just aren't my style now)

2) maintaining a long distance (and subpar) relationship - worked 2 jobs to pay for approximately 2 plane tickets per month. Traveled to Australia with the not so significant other. Money saved: nada. Money spent: approximately $10,000. Relationship status: flatlined. BUT the trip was awesome (minus the fighting while clinging to a cliff face in the outback fearing for my life. But that's another story)

3) Obtaining a second degree, my bachelor's in nursing - worked zero jobs and relied on school loans. Money saved: haha. Money spent: Approximately $100,000. Yes, you read that right. Apparrantly, I could only study in the nicest of apartments (rent paid courtesy of Sallie Mae) Degree: 3.8 GPA, and a world of opportunities.

And my newest dedication:


The biggest question, and constant worry: how will I achieve this?

Current plan:

work 2 jobs (I'm beginning to suspect I may be a workaholic)

STOP shopping. (SO difficult. It has been the love of my life. Shopping malls, Target, Kmart, Walmart, even the Dollar Tree and Goodwill. There's nothing so exciting to me as shiny packaging, a new treasure, the feeling that I won! That THIS will FINALLY be the LAST thing I need! Until tomorrow.)

Educate myself about personal finance. True to obsessive form I've read 10 books and countless PF blogs in the past month. It's like learning a foreign language.

SAVE and INVEST money saved from not shopping (when I actually do stop shopping).

Pay off Debt! My most trouble debt is, obviously, my school loans. Add to that my car payment, and $1500 in personal loans owed to my father and it seems laughable.

Be frugal without alienating friends and family. (fortunately my live in boyfriend is captain of the cheap ship) Friends...please stop giving me heat for not paying for text messaging. I have a phone. CALL IT.

So, at 28 I graduated school and started with NOTHING except school debt. No retirement, no savings, no knowledge of finance. I often feel like a newborn baby gasping for air. I've been working six months with an annual salary of $50,000 (full time job) and approximately $8,000 (part time job). My salary will vary depending on how much I work in the year. If I'm freaking out about money, I pick up extra shifts (yay nursing!). After six months I've managed to:

pay $2200 in credit card debt

pay $1500 in medical bills (f.u. school health insurance)

pay $1000 to my step-mother (personal loan paid in full)

save $4255 in a high yield online savings account (thank you Suze Orman!)

save $1300 in my company 403B (this 6% contribution was stopped last paycheck, and I'm currently investigating Roth IRAs. I plan to roll over the 403B and increase my investment to 10% to max out the annaul Roth contribution)

I'm hoping this blog will keep me on track to that magical place I've heard of but don't really believe in security!

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