Do you listen to Sirius XM? In the mornings I listen to the morning mashup, and every Friday one of the guys says, “Cha-Ching! Hopefully it’s a payday for you!” It’s kitschy and funny, and rarely does it line up with when I get paid (15th and last day of each month). Today, it happened to line up, and I smiled thinking about the fact that it was pay day. I smiled because everyone loves to see their checking accounts go up, but I also smiled for another reason.
Since I graduated from college and lived with a friend who reads a lot of personal finance books, I have taken a serious interest in all things personal finance and investing. I’m no expert, but I have read a lot of books and heard a lot of tips on ways to save and make money. My favorite personal financier is Suze Orman, author of Young, Fabulous, and Broke among other great books. She demands a 6 to 8 month savings plan, meaning that if you lose your job you will be able to live for 6 to 8 months without any outside income. This is something I have been working hard on since the day I started saving three and a half years ago.
While this is a bit liberal as far as long-term savings plans are concerned, I find it to be a good goal to shoot for or number to maintain. Since reading her book, and others, as a college grad in 2007 with no savings, investments, or retirement plans, I have really made strides in my financial situation. If you ever watch her show you’ll see her grade people on their financial situations, and I believe that she would grade me fairly well.
That being said, I think it’s something that took a lot of research to begin to understand. The place where I am is what makes me smile on payday, because I know where that money will go; I also know that I am in control of it and that it isn’t controlling me. I still have some goals to continue to strive for in the world of personal finance.
a. I want to setup and live by a budget each month so that I know I’m not overspending in one category versus another.
b. I want to max out my Roth IRA each year.
I know different people are in different places in their financial journey, but if you’re looking to read up on high yield online savings accounts, Roth IRAs, the importance of using your 401k or 403b, pay-off-your-debt plans, I have a few books I would recommend aside from Suze Orman’s.
This book talks a lot about savings and the basics of all of the above. I would highly recommend this one.
If you’re looking to reduce and eliminate debt, he has a great plan he calls the snowball effect.
I haven’t actually read all of this book, but I read this guys blogs and tips, and he has SOME good ideas on ways to earn money. It’s also been VERY well received by the twenty-somethings.
This one is very similar to the Automatic Millionaire, but for women. I skimmed through this and read the parts that weren’t redundant, but I like that it emphasizes the importance of women being in control and aware of their financial situation.
I kept a personal finance blog for a while, and when I started this blog I intended to put little financial tips here and there. I haven’t done that yet, so I don’t know if people would take me seriously if I did it every once in a while going forward. I’ll see how it plays into the blog from here on out, but I did want to share that little secret interest of mine with you all. If you’re interested in the basics of investing, I have some book recommendations for that as well. I won’t post them to overwhelm with book recommendations, but if you’re interested let me know and I’ll send you some names.
Oh, and another exciting thing from payday: I received my first check with my salary bump from earning my master’s degree included! That was fun.
So, I’m interested to know: Are you interested in personal finance? What are your goals going forward in the realm of money? Do you have a high-yield savings account? Would you want to hear little tidbits and things I’ve learned and am learning going forward?
I’m just interested to hear from people on their views!