Apologies for the really long absence, but with the Easter holiday, going home to Wallkill several times in the past month, and a crazy period at work, I haven’t had much time to update anything worth substance.
In the past week, there have been several fantastic personal finance-related stories in both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
No, none of these have anything to do with income taxes. Do make sure you file by April 15th, though, or else the big bad taxman just may come after you.
If you have the time this weekend, definitely peruse these not-so-long stories. I’ll give a quick summary and my thoughts on each one after the jump.
I’m continuing to make great gains in my net worth — since a small blip in November 2009, I’m continuing on the right path. My net worth increased another approximately 27 percent in the last month.
On to the numbers …
I read a really interesting article recently on Kiplinger.com about 10 easy ways, or “tricks”, to make yourself save a portion of your hard-earned money. While saving is a fundamentally important pillar for any worthwhile personal finance plan — and this week is America Saves Week — I think it’s important to go back over some of the easy ways those who have trouble with discipline can ensure they are stashing away part of their money for savings.
I focus quite a bit on doing more with a little bit of money, but what if you actually came across a large sum of cash? An inheritance, lottery winnings, etc.
I read somewhere that lottery winners are increasingly finding themselves filing for bankruptcy — it’s because they don’t plan on just how they’re going to use that lump sum. If you so happen to be lucky enough (of course, lucky is relative, especially if you received an inheritance after a loved one passed away) to come across a financial windfall, would you know what to do?
When it comes to our generation, Generation Y, most people have their own opinions already formed about us: the vanguard in tech savvy, lazy, spoiled, shining lights in a dim world, etc.
No matter what anyone wants to say about us, we’re nothing if not complex. This week, there were several articles that examined our attitudes and patterns regarding money management and completing college. Just like our parents, we are affected by the same macroeconomic issues facing everyone today — we’re just handling it in different ways.
Paying for college is hard. Believe me — I know. I have about $18,500 left to pay off from my four years at Seton Hall, and I’m unbelievably lucky that’s all I have left to pay. The school cost, at that time, $35,000/year. I can’t even imagine how much it is now.
Unfortunately, most jobs now require you to have a college degree in order to even be considered. Add all of the overqualified people applying for jobs because they have been laid off, and college seems like the rule rather than the exception.
Colleges, though, are also businesses. They are in it to make a profit, and the rising costs of tuition, room, board, and other fees further complicates matters.
It wasn’t always this way, but stories show that in today’s economic climate it is becoming more and more difficult to finish college — and the ultimate losers in this battle are the ones who are unable to finish what they start.
So today is my 25th birthday. It’s hard to believe I’ve been alive for a quarter of a century already (makes me seem much older than I probably am …). If you sat me down just a couple of years ago and told me I’d be living in Jersey City, be an editor of a business trade magazine, traveled around the country for that editorial position, and writing this blog, I would have never believed you.
Since now is as good a time as any, I sat down and thought about my current financial situation, my goals, and how I wanted to progress. With each year, some things become more clear to me. I realized during this period of contemplation that my long-term goals — purchase/rent a place of my own, pay off all college loans in full, and become financially independent — are essentially the same. I can clarify them a bit more now.