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A Nightmare Indeed

May 27th, 2006 · 5 Comments · 9to5, Potpourri

I’ve been increasingly worried about money lately. It seems no matter how much I try to cut the fat, I never end up accumulating savings at a decent rate, and then something happens that requires me to dip into those paltry savings and I start from scratch again. B thinks it’s just the wedding and honeymoon that have thrown us off, but I’m still waiting to see.

I’m a bit confused and a bit consoled by the numbers I came up with last night while planning out a preliminary (and conservative) budget. According to my numbers, barring any unforeseen emergencies, I should have several thousand in debt paid off by the end of the year, with an equally impressive amount in savings.

I’m convinced that the key to all this is to simply keep a real-time tab on every single purchase, no matter how trivial. That may sound basic and given, but it’s not only difficult around here, sometimes it’s downright controversial. I think B sees it as draconian, as if it’s some sort of punishment for sins we haven’t commited. I just wish she didn’t see it that way. I wish I could make her as excited as I am about the implications of truly excising our unnecessary purchasing. If we can realize the small but impressive results I’ve estimated for the next six months alone, just imagine where we could end up after a few more years of working my job. With the right discipline, I could easily and permanently be self-employed within five years.

Last night I dreamt that I precariously decided to quit my position at Promising Startup, Inc. and become an assistant chef or something at Vince Vaughn’s house. Talk about nightmares. It’s just my head forcing me to see what kind of an idiot I’d be if I left this job.

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5 Comments so far ↓

  • jenn (lasher)

    d00d! i literally JUST did this. I gave my notice @ IBM on Wed and am going to change careers totally. Go check out my latest journal entry. Granted, you now have a “family” to think of vs just you… but still. Obviously, something is in the air these days. lol

  • Josh Davis

    Realtime tab sounds good. It’s both the daily accumulation of sub $100 squanders in addition to the big stuff that chips it away.

    It is draconian, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. When you’de dealing with debt resolution and wealth accumulation, it takes tight controls. Otherwise, it leaks quickly away.

    The other option is to A) Limit how much debt you can accumulate and B) have savings autmatically pulled from pay and generally difficult to access (ie, no ATM or check access).

    I commend you on your efforts. It’s tough and takes alot of self control. Once you get paid off, just don’t ever let anything go on card that you’re not willing to pay off that cycle.

  • Zohreh

    I read a book last week called “Young, Fabulous, and Broke”. I was a little hesitant but I found it to be very appropos for people starting a career and trying to take off.

    Orman, S. “Young, Fabulous, and Broke”.

  • Rachel

    You know… one of the biggest thing that helped me was to get Quicken. And I really did record every penny that I spent. I had no idea that I was literally spending 3% of my income at Starbucks… wtf. Needless to say the number of lattes I ordered after that decreased significantly. Those $4 here and there really added up and I just didn’t know how much until I looked at it in a nice pie chart.

    I actually fell out of practice of recording every penny, but the lessons from the first time are there. (Though I should probably start recording again, I am sure I have some new squander I don’t realize yet.)

  • Jim Reverend

    Jess and I have recently started a similar practice (though for entirely different reasons). It is a bit draconian… but… neither of us feels put off by it when we accept the good that it will bring.

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