Tuesday, February 26, 2008

not paying off accounts and establishing automatic withdrawals

1. Not paying off accounts

My first year of college I opened a credit card. It had a limit of $500 which I maxed out fairly quick. I would like to think that I made a few payments on it, but cannot be sure. So I saved up $500 to pay it off finally and was going to charge a plane ticket on it immediately. When I called them to pay it off they said they had closed the account, and I figured "to hell with you!". So I went out and spent my saved $500 on a plane ticket without charging it and just kind of forgot about the account. So began my career with payments. As the years went on multiple little accounts cropped up that I didn't pay off; dentist here, old phone bill here, sears card, jcpenny card. I was moving around a lot at the time and creditors could never find me, but when I finally wanted to set up lines of credit for a possible land purchase, and other things, my credit was ruined.
So I set off on my quest of finally repaying all my past debts and I must say when all the collections were finally paid off I had a great sense of peace.

1. Setting up automatic withdrawals

I realize this is not a new or amazing idea, but it is something that is easy to do and doesn't hurt as much as I thought it would. I will admit that I only have this set up for my sharebuilder and ING IRA account. Due to the fact that I work hourly not salary, my paychecks vary, so larger sums are a bit harder to set up at this time but I plan on setting up a more permanent AW in the future for savings. By doing this money is taken out of my account with no effort on my part as long as I remember to count it in my balance. It has allowed me to get in the habit of setting aside money in small yet diversified accounts. It goes along with David Bachs theory of pay yourself first.

So the key things to remember are to keep all payments up to date and on time, and set up regular monthly automatic investments. It is all so basic and easy, now just make it a habit!

10 best, 10 worst

Over my life I have made plenty of financial decisions, this is a list of my ten best and worst choices. Hopefully some of you will be able to learn from my mistakes and growth!

  1. Not paying off accounts on time; if ever early in my life
  2. Not funding my "father sponsored" IRA early on
  3. Having no money set aside monthly into savings
  4. Spending all if not more than I made
  5. Buying items at full price, than selling them for half price
  6. No financial goals established earlier on
  7. Not carrying health insurance
  8. Not buying property when I had the chance
  9. No investments set up early on
  10. Buying stocks I knew nothing about
  1. Establishing automatic withdrawals
  2. Educating myself on all financial matters
  3. Asking for what I was worth at my job interview
  4. Opening up an ING account
  5. Driving vehicles to their death
  6. Saving for future expenses
  7. Grocery shopping wisely
  8. Getting my library card
  9. Quitting smoking
  10. Learning to do repairs myself instead of paying someone else to do the work

I will expand on these topics in my next posts, Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

net worth

ok, it has been a month since I first wrote of my finances, time to take a look at what has happend in the last month


Savings $4201.35
Checking $1800
Roth IRA $364
HSA $1227.33
Stocks/ETFs $897.30
prosper $157.17



Credit Cards ($3563)
Truck ($14803)
Medical bills ($7700)


Net Worth ($17418.85)

change of $1677

The big changes this month in assets was my regular adding to my accounts. liabilities look a little bigger due to me runnning up a card that I have not paid off yet. It will be $1000 less in a few days.

The other problem is that my savings account will also be used to pay off taxs in a few months, and that will mess up my net worth pretty quickly, but I will be able to recover fairly well.