The Financial Oracle

Young and inspired striving for financial freedom and all the perks that come with it, all while still having fun before I die and leave all of my hard earned money to my unborn children.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Goals for 2007

This may be the last post until 2007, so let me first wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Now for my goals for next year:

1. Save $2,500 into my emergency savings account by mid May (MyMoneyBlog goal).
2. Decrease credit card debt by 50%.
3. Increase net worth to $100,000. I don't know how possible this is based on our current income and mortgage payment, but I'm going to give it a shot.
4. Continue to fund emergency fund throughout the year.
5. Start a retirement account for my wife and have her contribute 10% of her income.
6. Open an account to save for "fun" stuff.

This will be updated throughout the year with my progress!


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Trying Not to Stress Out

Ok, so I'm pretty new to the blogging scene, but I've enjoyed reading a lot of interesting personal finance blogs. That is indeed why I started my own. There are many good things about keeping a personal finance blog: it keeps me honest about my saving and spending habits, I'm certainly more organized with my finances, and it's motivational. If you've read my blog before, you'll know I just bought a house with my wife a little more that a month ago. We love it, and it's probably the best financial decision we've ever made. A lot of new (and not regular) expenses come with it though, and earlier this week I found myself stressing about it a lot more than I should be. Every time we go to buy something for the house (blinds, a computer desk, Christmas decorations) I worry that I'm not going to have any money to save this month. I was stressing out so much about it that I started feeling depressed, and almost sick to my stomach.

I've been feeling like this for a couple weeks now, until yesterday when I seemed to snap out of it. I realized that, among all the saving and investing and preparing for the future, you have to give in a little bit, especially when just getting into a new house. The whole idea is to bend and not break, and bending a little bit here and there is healthy, in my opinion, as long as you still pursue your goals of being financially independent. Did we NEED the blinds, desk and Christmas stuff? Of course not. Not like you need food and water to survive, but I particularly didn't like being without blinds so anybody could see right into my living room from the street, and using the floor as a desk for the computer wasn't working out very well, and it's tough to stay organized when the floor is your filing system.

I guess my point is, in the midst of all of the personal finance blogs out there and all the information I've come across in the past couple months, don't forget to live life now, while still preparing for your future.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Move is Complete

Finally! We're in our new house and starting to get settled. We have a lot more work to do, but for the past couple of days we've just been enjoying our home and relaxing a bit. The downstairs bathroom needs to be completely redone, and right now it's still torn apart, and the living room and foyer still need to be painted. Things will be a little slow until after Christmas because there are a lot of uncommon expenses that come with the holidays, but after my wife's birthday (New Year's Eve), things will start to get back to normal.


Friday, December 01, 2006

November Net Worth Update

November was a pretty good month overall, mainly due to the market being up. My 401k is at a 10.0% year-to-date return and I'll be extremely happy if I can hold onto that through December. There are no inputs for change vs. last month because I started with an estimate in certain categories (life insurance, credit card balance and car balances) so the change wouldn't be completely accurate. My life insurance is probably a little higher than what I have recorded, and the balance on the two cars is now within $10 (give or take) of what the actual payoff is. Things have been crazy this month with the acquisition of our new house and getting it ready to move into, and my wife handles the car payments, so I tried to get those numbers as close as possible. The credit card balance probably went up a tad, but $10,000 was only an estimate to begin with. Once we're moved (this weekend), things will be a little more in order.

Another thing that some people do when calculating their net worth is to add in the value of their personal "stuff," like electronics, furniture, collectibles, etc. Although technically this would contribute to one's net worth, I do not feel like it should be included. However, just for fun, here are some estimates on my (our) personal assets that are not included in my net worth:

TV: $2,500 (Brand new)
Furniture: $750 (Some if it is pretty old. This is a low estimate and includes living, dining and bedroom furniture.)
Kitchen appliances: $1500 (New refrigerator and stove)
Computer, DVD's: $500
Golf Clubs: $500

As you can see, I could skew my assets to include an additional $5,750. I think that's pretty significant, but, in my own opinion, should not be factored in when calculating net worth.