Thursday, January 10, 2008

2008 Resolutions and Goals

Now that I am publishing this list, I have no choice but to follow it. I began creating this list around Thanksgiving and now that we’re 10 days into 2008, I can honestly say that so far I have been doing a pretty good job keeping up with it. The reason for the two sub-headings is that the first are things that I want to change from last year and the second are brand new challenges for me to overcome in the course of the next 12 months.


1) Read 1 book/month- Many of you might think, 1 book, that does not seem like very much but given the fact that I am always on the go, I have to set the bar low. When I do have a free moment, I prefer to lie on the couch and sleep or else flip channels. These are bad habits, but I vow to follow through with this and read more than the 6 books I read in the past year.

2) Work out 5 times a week- So far, so good. This is one resolution that I am telling everyone so that if I stop following it, I will look like a fool!

3) Eat healthier- Enjoying cooking has helped me progressively eat better however I need to rid myself of the many chocolate chip cookie packages in the fridge. But herein lies the problem; I hate wasting food so I cannot just throw the cookies away but at the same time, I really shouldn’t be eating them. I also need to stop eating the candy out of the candy jar at work.

4) Better track my finances- I am a spreadsheet junkie. I love seeing my cash inflow and outflow so on top of owning quicken, and using Mint, I have tons and tons of excel files. When I told my roommate of this resolution, he looked at me strangely and asked me something to the effect of, “don’t you already obsess over that?” BUT this year, I will keep better track than last year!


1) Create a blog- I am publishing this, right? It’s a good first step.

2) Begin courses so I can sit for the CPA- My company covers the cost so I would be foolish not to take advantage of it. My undergraduate degree was in finance and I am now working in accounting so these classes would not only help me to earn that valuable title but it would also help me in my day-to-day work.

3) Take other certification tests- There are many other licenses which I can get that I would not have to take many classes to be eligible to take the test. There is one certification in particular that I recently began studying for so this is the year to get it done!

4) Fully fund my 2008 Roth- I just recently funded my 2007 Roth and I am now trying to save in large chunks so I can fund my 2008 relatively soon. Instead of waiting until January 2009, I am trying to fund this by June 2008 at the latest.

5) Purchase a condo/townhouse- Alright, this is a lofty goal. This falls more in the range of October 2008- March 2009. Still, the sooner I can buy the better. The real estate market is down right now and I really want to take advantage of it. And I know the pride I will get from purchasing my own place will make me feel like a king. This is not something to rush into but I anticipate the day when I am handed the keys to my new place. Now, that will be a huge rush!

As I think of new challenges for the year, I will be sure to post them. What obstacles/new challenges are you hoping to overcome and face during the year 2008?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What Drives Me To Save

When I was young, I often asked for the newest and greatest toy but despite being the youngest child in my family, I rarely was spoiled. In fact, I grew up on hand-me-downs which back then, I openly detested. As I look back on those days I cannot help but laugh at what I wanted thinking it was what I “needed.” My parents were not afraid to tell me no which I now greatly admire them for. My father always told me that one day, when I am in their boat, I will understand. Well, I am not quite there (I have no kids) nevertheless, it has helped me build a framework for a successful future. It truly has helped me put into perspective the things that I should really be spending my money on. And now when I do see something I want, I focus on finding a way towards saving for that goal.


Technology- I am always itching for the newest and best. In the past year, I have done a great job at limiting my purchases though. To date, I have only bought a new Ipod and have so far resisted temptations to buy a blackberry (which would obviously increase my cell plan) and GPS for my car. I am currently saving so that by the end of 2008 or early 2009, I can buy a flat-screen LCD TV. And when I see my friends with these awesome toys, I start to crack but fight against it knowing that the valuables that I have are not broken nor do they need to be replaced…yet.

Sports- I am a sports fanatic through and through. Fortunately, the temptation is quelled due to that I am now living in a city different than where I am from and thus, not a fan of the sports teams here in DC. Nevertheless, anytime my team comes to town, I always am looking for tickets. Again, I have been doing a pretty good job so far since I moved to DC about 7 months ago on not spending very much. In fact, I have been to a Capitals, Redskins, Georgetown basketball and Nationals game for a grand total of $5!! For this I am quite proud. It was due to a combination of luck, haggling and also getting hooked up.

Cooking- This one not only saves me money but brings me great satisfaction. Not to mention, it helps me to eat healthier and it impresses the ladies!

Traveling- Growing up, I was privileged to be able to travel and see many different places but there are still a lot of places left for me to go. Specifically, I really want to go to all over Asia as well as South America. Sadly, these are quite pricey trips so I need to keep saving so I can afford these adventures. If I am lucky, maybe work will take me there.

What interests drive your saving/spending habits?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Plunge!

So I did it. I took the plunge. I have finally decided to form a blog and open myself up for judgment as I offer my insight into the world of personal finance. For years I have been reading other people’s blogs which has helped guide me to become the financier that I am today- now it is my turn to give back. The friends of mine that used to ridicule me for my obsession with PF (and sometimes still do) now regularly seek my help on what financial choices to make. Let me preface my posts by saying that I am in no way offering financial advice or telling you that the decisions I make are the best for everyone. This is merely a forum to discuss the money choices that myself and others have made.

With that said, let me give you a little background. I am a recent college graduate from an academically well-respected, dominating sports school. I now currently live in the DC Metro area. I have a good job within the accounting industry that offers me a competitive salary, great benefits, and most importantly an awesome group of people to work with. Having grown up always interested in the business world, I am opening myself up to learning about the foundations of all kinds of businesses and the problems within them. Nevertheless, it does not provide me the opportunity to learn more about wealth management which is why reading blogs is so much fun for me. I am frugal and make financial choices with a lot of consideration but I am not overly obsessed. Still, some like to call me a money junkie.