Thursday, May 7, 2009

Linkfest!

MoneyBeagle says before working towards your goals, know what they are. This is so true. I haven't defined my goals very well lately. I'm scattered all over the place--I want to earn more money, I want to pay off my student loans five minutes after I graduate, I want to be rich (how vague is that!), I want financial security (even more vague!), I want to never worry about money again (vague, vague, vaguer!). I'm working on developing some goals I can actually commit to.

Hmm. I'm also an underbuyer. I definitely say things like "I'll get this another time" or "Not buying this shows I'm not a consumerist sucker!" However, I seem to have gotten to a pretty good balance of not running out of things like toilet paper or hair products.

Hoo-whee! Seems like everyone's moving into studios with their boyfriends! I told Peanut that I love him but I don't think I could do that. He says we could. I don't want to try and find out. But it does make me feel a little dumb that we're not staying in my cheap-cheap-cheap apartment because I feel like it's not big enough (it's a true one bedroom, and we could probably get rid of some furniture (and *cough* books) and make it work. On the other hand, for just $100-200 more we could have SPACE! And maybe even an extra ROOM!

Well, more power to y'all who are doing it. I think I'll be pound-foolish in that case.

Ha ha--I never admitted that I did all the math wrong for our new budget, did I? Yeah. Well, I did. And I kept checking and checking and checking to see how that worked, but I was looking at my subtraction, not my addition. Somehow I gave us an extra $400 per month when adding our salaries together. Oops! We'll be taking another look at it at some point. We have the biggies worked out: rent, student loan payments, food. I'll have more room to have a small clothing budget and be able to contribute a bit more to retirement. Maybe I'll post it, maybe I won't.

Trent says you only need to earn $40,000 to be happy. I'm not really so far away from that, and I wonder if it applies in my own situation (living in the most expensive city in the country). I actually think my own number is a little higher than that, but not all that much. Perhaps that should be one of my goals as above--have a job within x years making x amount of money.

Update on my ethical dilemma: I exchanged the jeans, but not for the trouser jeans, which they no longer had in my size. Instead, I snagged a black pencil skirt (rowr) and a black ruffly v-neck top. I'm also now keeping a pair of black pants at work in case of future disasters.

Five tips to spend less at the grocery store over at Cheap Healthy Good. Great all around. I added getting a membership at a Costco or Sam's club if it will help you save money on certain things, like frozen chicken, granola bars, or whatever you go through like it's going out of style.

Mighty Bargain Hunter speaks out against the anti-credit-card feelings going around, and I think these are some great points. I also benefit from credit card rewards but don't pay any interest or any other fees, and I'm big on personal responsibility (understanding your rights AND responsibilities by reading contracts before you sign them, spending only what you can afford to pay back, paying back your debts in their entirety). I definitely support the part of the legislation that requires their practices to be disclosed in a way that any literate person can understand.

Mrs. Micah talks about how doing what you love won't make you rich. I'm not so sure I agree. Her case studies include jobs that are typically low-wage, as mine are. What about someone who WANTS to be a lawyer? Or a stock broker? Or some other high-earning profession? Believe it or not, jobs with high salaries ARE sometimes what someone loves to do. That they're paid well is just a bonus. On the other hand, if you happen to have a dream job with a lower income (like I do, in book publishing) that's fine. Just remember that riches aren't just dollars and cents. I'm making enough to support myself (which not everyone can claim--that makes me rich). I'm doing a job that I enjoy (not everyone can claim that either, regardless of what they're getting paid--that makes me rich). I'm doing a job that keeps me stocked in more free reading material than I can ever hope to keep up with--that makes me SUPER rich.

I've thought being a "transumer" is a good idea for a long time, but for certain things. It makes sense to me to share things that are rarely used, like lawn equipment or certain cooking gear. I prefer getting books from the library unless I want to read them over and over and over again (rare). When I owned a car I wouldn't have wanted to share it with anyone, though. Now that I'm not so closely tied to a vehicle, I wouldn't mind being a Zipcar member or something, but find it too expensive for what it is, and find that my need for a car is pretty rare anyway.

At WiseBread, I like this list of 24 tips from a couple married for 24 years, and how to recycle clothes, shoes, electronics and more.

I also pull my credit report every four months as well using annualcreditreport.com. The three reporting agencies aren't identical, but if I don't see anything that worries me, I just look at the one and let it lie. If I saw something I didn't recognize, I would pull all three (even if I had to pay for one or two) and figure out what was going on.

Happy Thursday, everyone. I still have a job so today is a good one.

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