Archive for January, 2007

January 2007 net worth

Ladies and gentlemen, I am now worth -$4,439.90!

Assets increased to $14,560.10, while liabilities stayed constant at $19,000. The increase would’ve been even bigger had I not spent like there’s NO TOMORROW during winter break. Still, I am very pleased with my net worth this month.

Less than $5,000 to go and I’ll have a net worth of a big, fat, ZERO. ๐Ÿ˜‰


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Hair, hair, everywhere

English Major, who is contemplating cutting her hair by herself, is a braver soul than I.

I used to trim my bangs when I was younger, but now that I’ve had nice haircuts at a little salon near my school, it’s hard to go back to Supercuts. I get 3 or 4 haircuts a year… usually I get long layers so it doesn’t require constant maintainence. Given all of that, I’m not willing to chance a fiasco with my scissors-wielding self.

I’m going to the salon this afternoon to update my layers. I guess hair is one area where I can’t scrimp on too much.

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Library madness

In fifth grade, our class had to write an essay on our favorite place. Most students wrote the about mall (little consumers we were! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), movie theaters, buffets, etc., etc. I wrote about the library. Worse yet, our teacher called everyone by name and we had to explain why we chose our place – rest assured that talking about the public library as my favorite place did not make me a BEACON OF POPULARITY among my classmates.

I think I said something along the lines of, “uhm, the library has many, er, books. I like to read.” Then I sat down to revel in my new-found coolness – NOT.

But the truth is, I really truly love the library. Even though I have a tiny bit of libertarian streak in me sometimes, I was horrified when a friend suggested we move to a paid subscription service for libraries. Hey, I think I know one of the places I am adding to my giving plan.

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Tasting up

You all already know about my preference for expensive footwear. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Read more about my struggles with “lifestyle inflation” at Money, Matters, and More Musings. Special thanks to Golbguru for the guest-post opportunity!

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After reading so many detailed giving plans from bloggers, I’m chagrined to admit that I don’t have a plan for regular charitable contributions.

One of the difficulties in setting up such a plan is that I’m not quite sure what charities to give to. Well, at least I am certain that I’ll give to my school once I graduate (even though I already owe it 19,000 George Washingtons). One could argue that donating to a school that already has hundreds of millions of dollars in endowment may not be the best use of my charitable dollars. Still, it has done well by me.

There are several political and social causes that I hold close to heart – I will do some research on them and then decide how much I can give. Several bloggers have recommended Kiva.org, so I will check that out as well. A fellow blogger that I enjoy reading, English Major, aims to contribute 5% of her income to charity. I find that extremely admirable. TBH also has a giving plan and will contribute a fair amount of her income to charities.

In addition to giving money, I also want to be involved in a non-profit whose cause I support. Since I expect my job to take most all of my waking hours, I have to be realistic how much time I will have to do non-profit work. I plan to talk to some people at my school and try to participate as an young alum on a committee. Alums have helped me tremendously during my career search, so I’d like to give back if I can.

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My blogging buddies, I need some advice.

I’ve mentioned this blog to a couple of friends, and they want to take a look at it. I don’t think I write anything incendiary here, and I certainly don’t talk smack about people (smack! hehe). And I know that anonymity online is often just an illusion. So I write with the policy that if my identity becomes known, I will still be okay with the content that is already here. While I wouldn’t like acquaintances knowing my networth, I don’t think anything I’ve written here will break up friendships, get me fired or get me disowned (but please DO tell me if you think anything I write here might be out of line).

So I’m considering telling a handful of friends the web address for this blog. On the one hand, it’ll be nice to have close friends read it, on the other hand, there’s no going back once I tell.

I’m wondering if anyone here has devulged their blog existence to friends, and how that has affected your writing. Do you wish you would’ve just kept your blog private? Or are you happy that friends get to access your (um, enlightened) ramblings about money and life?

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to return these boots and, I didn’t BUY ANYTHING else.

Wow, that was quite an accomplishment, especially since there were so many clothes on sale. So that’s $108 back in my checking account. Hopefully it will be enough to tide me over ’til the end of winter break, when this hemorraging of money should cease.

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The parent trap

As 2007 rolls around, it’s another year gone, and we are all another year closer to old age and death, I mean, er, hard-won wisdom and a prosperous retirement. Something to think about: will you have to pay for your parents’ retirement? And maybe you need another glass of bubbly before you can process that question.

I’ve always been quite confident that my parents will be able to retire in comfort on their own. But this New York Times article, Elder Care Costs Deplete Savings of a Generation, gave me pause. It’s a stark title, fit for the stark phenomenon of baby boomers sacrificing their own retirement to care for elderly parents.

Families have always looked after their elderly loved ones. But never has old age lasted so long or been so costly, compromising the retirement of baby boomers who were expecting inheritances rather than the shock of depleted savings.

โ€œThere is a myth out there that families abandon their frail elders,โ€ said Dr. Robert L. Kane, a geriatrician at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. โ€œInstead, across the income spectrum, children are sacrificing to care for their parents to the limit of their means and sometimes beyond.โ€

It must be such a heartbreaking position to be in – to have to decide between the well-being of your parents or your own future and the possibility that you will need to burden your children with your retirement/medical expenses. The enormity of medical expenses is the reason why I think Medicare is a bigger problem than Social Security. After all, you can only spend so much on rent, food and utilities, but the sky is the limit with end-of-life care or new drug therapies.

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