Tuesday, April 8, 2008

beating the blues

Sometimes, I just feel really behind.

I'm about to enter my late twenties, and my net worth hasn't cracked $20k. I don't have enough extra cash to fund a Roth IRA like I want to. I'm still living like a college student with a futon and no kitchen table. I am carrying debt--student loans--for the first time in my life, and I am not even finished with the first semester of graduate school. I am careful with my money, but I underprice myself in salary. I sold myself off very cheaply at my first job, and I feel like that's made it harder for me to grow my salary ever since. Despite my frugal ways, I don't feel like I have enough money stashed away--moving twice in one year really ate up a lot. I don't think I'll ever have enough money to buy real estate in New York.

I'm trying to look on the bright side as well. I have no consumer debt and my net worth is at least positive. I finally have my own apartment, and the peace of mind that provides has a high value to me. I have income streams that are independent of my day job, and I'm a hard worker--if I were to get laid off tomorrow, I'd be willing to pull espresso shots or run a drive thru to bring cash in. I really like my day job, and that's more than a lot of people can say.

I don't know what I want, really, except a sense of stability. I want to not be afraid that the rug is going to be yanked out from underneath me, but so far, I haven't been able to put a dollar figure on that.

5 comments:

  1. i know how you feel, im about to turn 24 in september and i just feel like i'm stuck in a financial rut... i just got a raise but that doesn't mean i'm gonna be any richer any time soon.

    sigh...

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  2. It sounds like you're in a liminal state right now, with being in grad school. Surely completing your grad studies will impact your earning potential?

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  3. I feel you. I'm not sure when I'll feel that way either. Having a large emergency fund will help, but right now if I lose my job I'm totally screwed.

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  4. @michelle:

    I wish/hope.

    The thing is, I really don't need a master's degree to move up in publishing. It's very much an apprenticeship industry, and I'm getting a fantastic real-world education at my job now. But a master's degree was a personal goal of mine, and it made sense to do it in a field I enjoy.

    Whether it will translate directly into higher earnings...well, that remains to be seen. My immediate coworkers with master's degrees do NOT earn more than I do, at least not based on that as the sole criteria. Sometimes I wonder if this degree is a waste of money, which makes me feel more anxious about it.

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  5. have u checked out this blog? i dont know, his situation puts things in perspective sometimes...

    www.debtkid.com

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Thanks for commenting!