Monday, September 15, 2014

Introducing My New Blog:

Hey guys!

I started a new blog called Feisty Finance!  Feisty Finance is a personal finance blog for feisty and ambitious women.

Go check it out, as I'll be adding all of my new posts there from now on.  Make sure to bookmark the page, subscribe to receive my posts, and leave a comment or two and let me know what you'd like me to write about.

See you on the flip side!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

If you could ask a lawyer anything...

{photo via}

I'm working on something exciting, but it's still in stealth mode at the moment.  In the meantime, I wanted to ask you: 

If you could ask a lawyer anything, what would it be?  

Since some of you are entrepreneurs, are you interested in learning about starting up your business or protecting your intellectual property rights?

Since some of you may be bloggers, are you worried about people stealing your work or receiving a cease and desist letter to remove content from your site?  

Leave your question(s) as a comment below.  Any and all questions/ comments are welcome (and please limit the snarky comments.... ;) ). 

I can't wait to read your responses!  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September Net Worth Update: $-108,203.69 [Up $2k!]

Hello my lovely readers!

I hope Labor Day treated you well.  I had a lovely long weekend with my boyfriend, full of enriching experiences.  It's so wonderful to unplug and get closer to nature and your loved ones.  We stayed at a retreat center, did yoga, ate good food we made, chased sunsets, drank prosecco in a hot tub under the stars, took photos, and basked in the sun.  It felt very indulgent (and yet it didn't cost us much)!

Here's my September net worth update, for all the world to see!  :)

Cash $14,789.63$12,550.18$2,239.45
Total Assets$51,378.26$48,073.02$3,305.24
Student Loans$156,900.60$156,751.56$149.04
Credit Cards$2,681.35$1,629.23$1,052.12
Total Liabilities$159,581.95$158,380.79$1,201.16
Total Net Worth-$108,203.69-$110,307.77$2,104.08
Student LoansAmount OwedAmount Paid OffInterest RateMonthly PaymentPayoff Date/ $ Paid Toward Loans
Federal Loans$118,694.66$5,000.005.75%$1,093.65
Private Loan 1$11,344.155.00%$0.003/7/2014
Private Loan 2$9,750.073.01%$81.18
Private Loan 3$11,368.913.21%$84.77
Total $156,900.60$31,354.72$1,399.57$36,953.00

We're up $2k this month, which I'm happy about.  This month my plan is to ramp up my 401k contributions to reduce the amount of taxes I'll owe for 2014...  Let's see how much we can stash away in there this month!

Debt repayment has been slowing down, as I'm trying to focus on increasing investments and making sure I have a healthy emergency fund.  Once those are covered, I'll jump back in to paying down debt at full force.  My dilemma is that the lower balance private loans have low interest rates and the higher balance has a higher interest rate but is a federal loan with tons of repayment options.  Paying down the high balance loan will feel like drops in a bucket, so I'm also assessing what the best tactic is for me going forward.  I also want to invest more, so there's a lot to consider.  Over the next month I'll try to come up with a new and improved debt repayment/ personal finance strategy.

How was your Labor Day weekend?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Enter to win $10,000

Hey guys!

Ramit Sethi is offering a chance to win $10,000.00 cash over at his blog to celebrate I Will Teach You To Be Rich's 10 year anniversary.

Submit your entry here.*

Good luck and let me know if you win!

{*Submitting through this link will also give me additional entries.}

Monday, August 18, 2014

August Net Worth Update: $-110,307.77 [Up $5k!]

For all the worries I was having last month about my job, thankfully it has turned out alright.

I'm also grateful that August has been a kickass month in terms of income, as the payments for all my hard work freelancing from the past few months have been coming in.  So nice to receive checks in the mail for a change (much prefer that kind of mail over bills).  Yay multiple streams of income!!!!!  :D

Here is my August breakdown.  Check it out!

Cash $12,550.18$15,265.47-$2,715.29
Total Assets$48,073.02$43,391.02$4,682.00
Student Loans$156,751.56$157,211.06-$459.50
Credit Cards$1,629.23$1,641.77-$12.54
Total Liabilities$158,380.79$158,852.83-$472.04
Total Net Worth-$110,307.77-$115,461.81$5,154.04
Student LoansAmount OwedAmount Paid OffInterest RateMonthly PaymentPayoff Date/ $ Paid Toward Loans
Federal Loans$118,471.64$5,000.005.75%$1,093.65
Private Loan 1$11,344.155.00%$0.003/7/2014
Private Loan 2$9,738.043.01%$81.18
Private Loan 3$11,368.913.21%$84.77
Total $156,751.56$31,354.72$1,399.57$35,553.43

I realize this net worth update is coming late in the month... so that will probably mean less of an improvement between now and September 1st, but that's ok.  Just trying to keep track of progress over the long term.

I also just invested about $7,000.00 cash, which is why my investments have increased so much.  I know there is a whole debate about paying off student loans in full vs. investing, and I've gone back and forth about it myself,  so I think that will be a good topic for a future post.

What are your thoughts on the paying off loans vs. investing money debate?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Strategies to Help Pay Off Debt Faster: Live in the Present Moment

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” 
Thích Nhất Hạnh

My third tip in the series on Strategies to Help Pay Off Debt Faster is to Live in the Present Moment.

Now before you assume that this post is going to be about YOLO, let me explain what I do and do not mean by "living in the present moment."  I do not mean you should live as if it's your last day and go blow your savings in one go.  I do not mean you should stop planning for tomorrow.  I also do not mean you should just adopt an "ignorance is bliss" attitude and let whatever happens happen.  

What I mean by this tip is, try to be more present to yourself, your feelings, your intuition, your work, and the people around you.  When you are present, you are more fully aware, awake, and alive.  When you feel more aware, awake, and alive you are more conscious of your decisions, your actions, and the implications of your decisions and actions.  When you are present, you don't do things mindlessly.  You think, say, and do things with intention and purpose.  Living in the present moment makes you feel more in control over your thoughts, feelings, and actions, all of which can make a great impact on your life in general, including your personal finances.

Some great ways to feel more present that you can use everyday:

  • yoga and meditation
  • writing in a gratitude journal
  • taking moments to focus on feelings derived from the senses rather than thoughts derived from rationality
  • activities that get you in a state of flow, where you lose all sense of time, such as painting, writing, reading, knitting, playing the guitar, etc.
  • writing down what's on your mind so you don't have to keep thinking about it
  • spending time in nature
Now I'd like to hear from you!  What strategies do you use to be more present in your day to day life?  How has being more present in your life helped you?  Please share in the comments below.  

Monday, August 4, 2014

Strategies to Help Pay Off Debt Faster: Aim for Progress, Not Perfection

It's easy to read personal finance blogs and lament that you don't have as good of a situation as some other people do.  There are some bloggers with net worths approaching $1 million, and here I am, with less than 0 net worth.  I'm in the red.  By a lot.

One of the things that I have to remind myself is that progress is my goal, not perfection.  Perfectionism equates stumbling along the way with failure.  Progress is getting back up after you stumble to continue on your path.

I might be able to perfectly balance my budget one month, but the next month will inevitably be off.  I don't like obsessing about my finances, and the whole point of this is not to sit and worry about money day in and day out.  The loans will be paid off.  I work a lot, I don't live extravagantly, and I'm trying to get a hold of my finances.  I'm not trying to do something extreme like pay them off in 1 or 2 years, because I know myself and I know that the immense pressure would be emotionally taxing.  

I remind myself to measure what I'm doing in terms of progress because if I measure it in terms of perfection, I will never reach my goals.  In terms of progress, however, I've come such a long way since a few years ago, since last year, and even since I started this blog about 6 months ago.

Holding myself to an impossible standard of perfection is unsustainable and would only serve to discourage me.  I'm a perfectionist in so many other areas of my life that it can become a hindrance to taking action.  That's why I think progress is the main goal here for me.  I'm in this debt payoff adventure for a while, I might as well do it the best I can rather than aim for perfection and never do anything.  As long as I am being true to myself and making progress, I will be happy.