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Archive for April, 2008

My first personal finance blog!

April 30th, 2008 at 06:44 pm

Wow, I just happened to stumble across this site this morning searching for new ideas on how to save money on a tight income. A pretty neat idea.

Anyways I guess I should get started. I'm using this at a way for me to keep on track with my savings goal of someday retiring early (I don't want to work forever).

So here are my facts.
I'm 22 years old.
I just graduated from college a year ago. After all my grants and scholarships I was left with roughly $17,500 in student loans. My current balance on my student loans $15,487 (paying on it since October 2007).

I have 4 credit cards with a combined balance of roughly $650.00 (I really try to pay off my balance each month).

I still live at home unfortunately. I don't mind really because it's ALOT cheaper than living on my own, Northern Virginia is EXPENSIVE! Pay $150.00 in rent a month (I know that's nothing, my parents decide to give me a break considering that I'm paying $200.00 a month for my student loans).

I pay for my cell phone which is $65.00 a month

My car insurance is $500 every six months.
No car payment I paid that off my junior year in college, woo hoo.

Unfortunately I recently left my full-time job at a bank, in search for something more in my field of study. Unfortunately the job market is really slow. Luckily I still have my part-time job working retail with flexible hours, that will allow me to do my job search while still earning some kind of income.
My take-home pay dropped from $2000 a month to roughly $500 a month. A big difference.
I really want to continue saving.

This is my savings situation.
I have 3 savings account at 3 different institutions.
My savings #1 (my online savings that earns the higher interest) : $10,813 (this is the money I DO NOT touch, the money I set aside for my future, or... my emergency fund in case something happens I know I have this month to cover my student loans. [note: when I had my full-time job at the bank I was saving about 40% of that income, this is where most of this money came from]
My savings #2 (my oldest savings account, for everyday things) : $1,569 I'm trying to build this back up again, I took a big chunk of this out when I paid off all my credit card bills from college. This is the month that I'm allowed to touch if I need to cover some bills at the end of the month.
My savings #3 (my newest savings account, not quite sure what I'm going to use this for yet, just knew that I needed another account): $879

I have a 401K plan my with my part-time job, which I contribute 15% of my gross pay (pre-tax every two weeks) with a 4% company match. I just started this in January the balance is $378.

Another 5% of my gross pay from my part-time job goes towards an account set aside for employee stock purchase.

So with just $500 a month... how will I stretch it out so that I can still save after roughly $400 in monthly bills? Maybe I can pick up more hours at my part-time job between job searching to earn a little bit more. I figure it out and give bi-weekly updates on how I'm doing.