Monthly Plan – September

Before I can achieve anything resembling my overall goal I need to break things down into smaller chunks. Even before I figure out the nitty gritty of the things like net worth statements or cash flow statements I know that I need to set some basic goals for myself. So each month I will set myself a series of goals and at the end of the month I’ll give myself an assessment (the nice thing is the money doesn’t lie).

The Goals:

  • No Credit Card usage.
  • Pay $550 onto my Credit Cards (Thus decreasing my debt a bit)
  • Deposit $125 into my Mutual Funds
  • Figure out where my Locked in Pension funds are and what control over them I have (longer term detail that needs to be addressed)
  • Come up with a quarterly goal.

The goals should not be too challenging and I wanted to start the monthly goals with something that I believe is achievable without killing myself. As I learn more and cut down on the debt I’m sure I’ll be able to put more money into investments but in the here and now for this month I will keep it simple. I can pay my bills, but I want to get past paying the minimums and spending everything else or worse spending more than I made. This is to build my own confidence in my ability to accomplish sections of the larger goal.

Now for the details for later audit at the end of the

Current Credit Card Debt (as of writing this): $9496.97
-This only includes credit cards

Wish me luck and there will be an update on Oct 1st to see how I did.

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Debt

Before I can take make any form of comment against anyone who is in debt I have to acknowledge my own debt and that I’ve got more than enough of. I’m currently 41K in debt as of writing this. But is that the way that we should be living our lives? No, the answer is pretty simple, no one wants to live in debt. When you get into serious debt the debt begins to control your life, you have to pay the minimums on your payments before you do anything else and those of you that have been in this situation know that its not a fun place to be. Then one day you realize that you’re keeping a job you don’t like to maintain your debt (I was at this point a few times in the past)

I have no one but myself to blame for my debts, if I had school debt I’m sure that I would still be using that as my excuse but I don’t. The only person that I have to blame for my debt is myself and I have no illusions about that. For years I essentially kept up with the ‘Joneses’ and lived a lifestyle that was way beyond my means. Did I enjoy it at the time? Yes, but I did realize that I was slowly getting further and further in the hole which meant that I needed to use more credit and incur more debt to maintain that lifestyle; it’s a very vicious cycle that’s hard to break.

Debt in of itself is pretty simple in that it is spending money that you do not have and credit cards allow you to do just that. I know why I’m in debt, I spent money on food and eating out and drinking, where I really should have said no I can’t afford it, for years. Any I think the first step in solving the problem is knowing where it came from so that you can adjust your lifestyle to help stop the vicious cycle. For me in was going out to eat all the time (mostly money that was spent on entertainment) and I kind of knew this until I sat down and started tracking what I spent my money on and I was blown away by the amount I was spending on things I didn’t need.

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Welcome

Hello and welcome to the site, my name is Matt and I’m 29 years old and this site has been created to chronicle my goal and my progress towards it. The goal is pretty straightforward:

To have more than 1 million dollars in liquid assets by the time I hit my 35th birthday.

The thing is I’m currently in debt and my knowledge of investing and making money is very limited, it has to be if I’m still in debt. So this site will be my sounding board for all that I’ve learnt and my progress. I figure that there are a lot of people like me who are in their mid to late 20s with nothing but a big burning hole in their pockets to show for it.

Now that you know my goal I think you should know what I intend to do to achieve it, first off I need to get myself out of that debt hole that I’m in. This won’t be an easy matter since it’s in the magnitude of $41,300 not including money I owe to my parents. To top this off I’ve got only a few assets approximately $1500 in mutual funds and about $500 in stocks of one sort or another plus $35,000 in a locked in pension that I can’t touch. So as you can see the beginnings of my goal are simple I need to get out of this hole. But on top of that I also need to learn a lot more about investing and figuring out how to increase my assets and have some of my money start making money for me. The good thing is that I do have a decently paying job ($75K per year), which will allow me to get a start on this.

This is my journey to start making money and to learn how to invest. I intend to hit my goal of a million in liquid assets (and just so I’m clear liquid assets to me are assets that can be turned into cold hard cash in a matter of days so it won’t include cars and houses or anything like that). Wish me luck!

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2007 – Specific Goal #2

As I mentioned in yesterdays post about Goal #1 I’m setting up a few very specific goals in mind for 2007 and goal # 2 is very much tied to the first one. The common thing to do after one gets married is to go on a honeymoon and I like the idea and we’re going to go on said honeymoon. Now this brings up some very good questions, when are we going on this honeymoon and how are we going to pay for it? The answer to the when drives a great deal of this goal, ideally we’ll be heading out for our honeymoon right after our wedding and the plan is for a two-week honeymoon.

Therefore the specific goal #2 for the year is to have the honeymoon planed and paid for prior to getting married. Unfortunately this still leaves some what-ifs around because the honeymoon location/options aren’t set in the slightest. I’m going to take a wild guess that for two people in Europe (likely France) we could stay for a couple weeks for about $3-4000. Again I’m going to take the higher end of that estimate because I’d rather have a nice worry free honeymoon and to be ready for June I’ll need to set aside an additional $800 per month. Unfortunately this goal will remain somewhat fluid until specifics are settled on.

Now if you’ve read the previous goal and if you follow this site you’ll note that I’m attempting to save $9,000 in just over 5 months on a smaller salary than I had less than a month ago. The reality here is that I’m going to have to get creative, take on side projects, sell stuff or even bartend at night to make this happen and make it happen I will. I want a nice honeymoon, I want to have the wedding paid for without having to rely on others (namely parents) to help out. This is Goal #2 which even I think is a bit ambitious but I’m only getting married once and I intend to accomplish this.

[tags]wedding, honeymoon, saving, goals[/tags]