I have found myself becoming more and more obsessed with the financial world over the last year. It started with a simple conversation with one of my friends who is a financial analyst for a big bank. We were having a slumber party in his living room (yeah we may be in our 20’s, but we will never be too old for slumber parties!) when he started telling me about the Roth IRA and how it could greatly benefit me. We talked for a good hour or two about other investment strategies (actually he talked, I listened). This conversation kickstarted my quasi-stalkerish obsession with finances. I love reading helpful strategies to make my money work harder. I don’t mess with the convoluted financial gameplans, I like it to keep it simple. Here is what I am doing to secure financial freedom over the next few decades.

Investing 8% in to my TSP (government equivalent of a 401K)
Maxing contributions to my ROTH IRA each year
Putting $2k in the bank each month for my future house fund
Doubling my school loan repayments every month
Selling cocaine to little kids that think it is powdered sugar

One of the above may or may not be a “white” lie…haha no pun intended. But seriously, I’m 23 and I feel like I’ve got a good jump start to the rest of my life. Fortunately I have a steady job with a cool title , make okay money $60k/yr, and live dirt cheap. Every dollar I earn I make sure that it is working it’s @$$ off and finding some friends to come back and play in my online savings account.

Peace up, A-town down,
D Ninja

It’s been too long

Well I took a little break from the blogging world for a little bit. I initially got in to this blog with dollar signs in my eyes, probably not unlike many bloggers. It’s too much work posting when you feel like you have to. I’m moving forward and am going to make a good faith effort at posting more frequently, not because I think its gonna make me independently wealthy, but because I just like the idea of blogging. I believe I am currently averaging approximately one viewer a day, which I don’t think is half bad considering I haven’t even visited my own page in over a six months. Essentially I’m saying I suck at life….my bad 🙂

Options are a good thing (Part 2)

This is is the second part of my “Options are a good thing” series. You can find the first part here . I love having options in every aspect of my life. I like picking what credit card I’m going to use.. I like networking with successful people. I like being able to pick what church I go to. I like options.

I have recently found myself juggling with what I want to be doing with the rest of my life. I like the job I have now, I can definitely make a career out of it, but something inside of me wants to accomplish more. I don’t know if it’s because I’m 22 and I feel like I can conquer the world or maybe it’s just depressing to think I could have the same job for the next 40 years. I have this habit of exploring alternative career paths, but then second guessing myself and wondering if I can find something better than the job I already have. There is only one way to figure out I guess. I’m going to increase my potential career paths.

Option 1) I will be getting my real estate license sometime in the next six months. I don’t know if I’m ever actually going to make a career out of selling houses, but it wont hurt to have the possibility.

Option 2) Volunteer at a financial advisors office. I don’t come home exhausted from work, mainly because I work from home 🙂 so I have considered exploring jobs in the financial sector. I don’t want to get a paid job because then my responsibilities and my commitment to the company both increase. However, if I spend just a couple hours a week (one shift) volunteering in a financial advisors’ office I can get a feel for the work he does and probably pick up some pretty valuable tidbits of the financial game. I plan to get this started in the next couple weeks.

Option 3) Continue to passively browse craigslist and monster for different job postings. I have found it is much nicer to be looking for jobs when I don’t actually NEED a job. There is no pressure when I send my resume in. If i don’t get invited for an interview it’s no sweat off my back. It allows me to apply for jobs that I really want and not just any 9-5 position. I have my resume on monster and occasionally get solicited to apply for jobs, sometimes I do, most of the time I don’t. I LOVE being able to casually look for jobs, it’s one of my favorite things to do.

Have you explored all your options? Are you aware of what the rental or housing market is like in your area? Go browse craigslist right now and see if you can find some better places for cheaper rent. Call the cable company and see if they can give you any discounts on service. Casually browse jobs that you would love to do and send in your resume. Having options never hurts. Don’t find yourself applying for jobs after you’ve been fired or you’ve quit, that’s when things get stressful. Formulate back up plans. Do something.

Be proactive in bettering your life,

The Power of Patience

I thought I was about to get in my first fight tonight. I was at the airport standing in line to get some food, when an older man (mid 40’s) stormed in cursing at the lady working behind the counter “I told you I wanted F***ing cheese on my sandwich” he yelled. The lady behind the counter was apologetic for the mix up and headed to the back to sort it out. Meanwhile, another woman, who had missed the incident, just stepped in to line. The disgruntled man moved across the counter and moved in front of the lady. She politely told the man that the line started behind her. He then looked and her and started cussing her out for accusing him of cutting. I had enough so I looked at the man and said “Don’t talk to women like that. You need to chill out they’re working on your order right now.” With quick wit he responded “Shut up.” I left the restaurant proud of myself for standing up for the innocent, but angry that this guy had no patience and was a huge jerk.

My words of wisdom:
Practice patience today. When driving on the freeway let merging traffic in to your lane. If you’ve been placed on hold for 30 minutes don’t yell at the person that finally gets to your call (it’s not like they chose to put you on hold). If you feel like your work isn’t valued, work harder and I promise good things will come of it.

Normally my blogs are more financially involved. And even though I didn’t preach about the something like the power of compound interest, I do believe patience is directly correlated to financial success. After all, Buffet didn’t become a billionaire overnight!

Do you live an impatient life? Are you willing to work hard now so you can reap the benefits later? Do you live frugal so you will be able to live extravagantly? If someone doesn’t put cheese on your sandwich will you curse him or her out?

Take a deep breath and enjoy life,

The importance of discipline.

If you haven’t read my previous article about discipline, I recommend you do as the following is part 2.

I’m frustrated. I’m frustrated that people don’t care about their finances. I’m frustrated that people choose to live in ignorance. I’m frustrated that people ignore great advice. I assume most of my readers have chosen to take action and address at least some aspects of their financial life. This blog probably wont reach the people that need to read it, and on the off chance that it does, they probably won’t do anything about it.

One year out of college I find myself frustrated with my peers’ lack of motivation to “get the ball rolling” in the financial sense.

“I don’t make enough money to be saving right now.”

“Investing is too confusing.”

“There’s always tomorrow.”

You’re right you probably don’t make a lot of money now, investing can be confusing, and tomorrow will probably come, but making excuses will get you nowhere…fast. If your expenses outweigh your income then you’re in need of some serious discipline. For everyone else, get motivated….today! Make this commitment “I (insert name here) am going to be proactive in my journey to financial freedom starting now.”

Do you know what compound interest is?
Do you know how much you contribute to your savings…hopefully it’s something.
Where does every dollar you spend go?
What is the difference between a Roth IRA and a 401K?
Why are online savings accounts better than a regular savings account?

If you can’t answer those questions you are in need of some financial discipline. Spend 20 minutes a day surfing financial blogs and getting educated on how to make your money work harder for you. I wish I could impact those around me and make a difference in their financial life. I wish I could just open an online savings account for them, or that I could sign them up for their companies 401k plan….Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works. YOU are the only person that controls your life. TODAY is the best day to make that change, not tomorrow. BE proactive about your finances. ADMIT that you lack discipline in your spending and COMMIT to changing.

Note: I want it to be clear that “being rich” is not imporant to me, nor should it be to you. I simply wish people had motivation to make the best of their financial situation. I watch people wish they had more money, but choose to remain ignorant about how to make their dollar work for them. It would be like watching an overweight person say they want to loose weight while they are stuffing their face with chocolate cake.

Go forth and do BIG things,