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Archive for July, 2008

Are you ready?

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I’m scared silly of dentists. This is why when today I grudgingly went to see the dentist, it was 3 years after my last dentist visit. Yup, that’s right Three Whole Years! Apparently my gums are receding and apparently if I didn’t take care of them right away, I might have to face root canal in the future!! And because my work gives me crappy dental plan that only covers $1500 a year and pays only 80% of the cost, I had to fork out $300 out of my own pockets. Yup, I paid to be tortured which involved two people holding me down and prying open my mouth and sticking all sorts of contraptions inside it and scraping things that should not be scraped with all sorts of gadgets. I wanted to gouge out their eyes instead with them so badly , but I was helpless and held down. And I had to pay for it.

Arrrrgggh.

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In my last post, I wrote down some of my goals for the next 3 years. I realize there might be some challenges I come across in achieving them. Here are some of the scenarios.

  1. Finish graduate school (This one will actually be achieved next year). I have two more semesters to go. I am very happy about the fact that I did not have to take out student loans for grad school. Everything has been paid for by my scholarships, employer and me. I should be getting scholarship for the coming academic year Fall 2008 – Spring 2009 as well. After which, I will have my Master’s degree! I have already handed in my invoice to my employer for the Fall of 2008 and they have submitted it to the corresponding department. If everything is fine and I am still at the current job for Spring 2009 semester, they should pay for my last semester as well. But just in case of any challenges coming up, I should be able to cover my tuition for my last semester in grad school. At this point, I am going for it and not letting anything come between me and my degree!
  2. Be Debt Free (I am able to be debt free right now if need be, but I also want to have EF available to me)
  3. Continue contributing to 401K (Doing so right now. It’s not doing too well, but that’s a completely different story)
  4. Understand better 401K and Investing (I am reading books but will actively try and learn more) I would appreciate any suggestions on resources.
  5. Have 10K of emergency fund (Working on it)
  6. For the next 3 years, try my best to save $1,500 a month to accumulate $54,000.00 (Haven’t started on it yet, but will right away)

My goals #3, #5 and #6 depend on the condition that I have a constant job. With today’s market, jobs are not really stable.

Pros:

I am in Grad school in my field

I have my resume pretty much up to date

Cons:

I haven been working at the same place for 6 years

Because I have been working at the same place for so long, I feel that I am doing the same thing over and over again and not really learning new things (thank god for grad school)

It feels really uncomfortable and scary thinking about having to go work in a new place

I feel that I have been boxed into doing things/working in one way and it’s going to be a challenge for me to do new things, work in a new environment etc. (Of course this could be just in my head)

What can I do about it?

Be proactive and get myself ready for a new work environment if need be.

Learn one new thing everyday however little it is pertaining to my field of work.

Work on building my self-confidence.

Start looking to see if there are better positions out there.

Think positive, believe in myself and know that I can do whatever I set my mind to do.

Be frugal and save any amount of money that I can.

So these are some of the things that I plant to do. Please let me know if I am missing anything, or if you have any suggestions.

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Am I a smart woman?

I am in the midst of reading “Smart Women Finish Rich” by David Bach. I have to say I am quite enjoying the way this book is written. So in keeping up with the book, I thought that I would jot down my “Values” here. David says Values are quite different from “Goals”. Goals would be things like:

  • Paying off debt
  • Saving x amount of money
  • Buying a house etc

From what I got out of the book, values are stuff that are important to you in non-monetary way but achieved through money. For example, in my case I could build up my values this way:

  • What is important about money to me?

Security

  • What is important about Security to me?

Freedom From Financial Worries

  • What is important about Freedom From Financial Worries to me?

Being able to take a break from working in order to enjoy time with family and loved ones. Visit family often, perhaps start my own family.

That was Step 2 of the book. These are my values for now. They might change down the line, but for now these are the most important values that I strive towards.

In Step 3 of the book, one of the tasks is to jot down up to 10 Goals you want to achieve in the next 3 years. Mine are:

  • Finish graduate school without any amount of student loan (Doable and almost done)
  • Be debt free ($3,800 to go!)
  • Continue contributing to 401K (I do 15%. 12% on my own. 3% employer. I DO however NEED to understand more about investing and other nitty-gritty such as re-distribution vs re-allocation etc. )
  • Understand better how 401K and other investment works.
  • Have 10K of emergency fund to be kept in a high interest account as a buffer. Not to be touched unless in emergency (Almost 50% achieved)
  • For the next 3 years, try my best to save $1,500 a month to accumulate $54,000.00 + Interest for down payment on a house (Start working on it NOW)

So these are my goals, and being that, I also need to have contingency plans which I will think about and will write a post about sometime soon.

What are YOUR goals for the next 3 years?

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Things to do today

  • Buy 1 yellow onion (only 1)
  • Buy 1 sprig cillantro
  • Cook a la moi spaghetti sauce
  • Freeze some 80% of above cooked spaghetti sauce for future consumption
  • Have spaghetti for dinner
  • Do a load or two of laundry (maybe)
  • Set aside breakfast and lunch for tomorrow

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Is it worth it?

Saved approximately $1.50 on 3 coffees (M,W,T) = $4.50

Saved approximately $6 on 3 lunches (M,W,T) = $18

Total saved so far this week = $22.50

Is it worth it? How much difference can saving $22.50 in 3 days possibly make? I suppose I will find out.

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