Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all! I'm back home with my parents enjoying some downtime. Hopefully the Holiday Season is treating you fine as well.


Doing some Financial Planning (or Goal Setting for 2006)

It's time to tighten down the spending, smoking, and overall carelessness with regards to my personal situation. I am very knowledgable in financial planning, but I don't practice it professionally or personally. I really need to get on track in regards to personal finance, the smoking thing, and blogging regularly. So here are some of my goals (financial and personal) for 2006:

1) Pay down all of my credit card debt. This amount is just north of $15,000. I really want to take care of this next year and wipe it out. We'll see how this goes. I have a bonus coming soon, and Restricted Stock from my company that I can exercise. This could knock the number down near $10,000, which from there, I think this goal is definitely doable. Paying off all of my cc debt is going to be my main financial goal for the year.

2) Keep track of expenses daily. Not only personally, but for my "house" account with my girlfriend. We are using the spreadsheet method for budgeting and it has worked. However, I would like to actively track our, and most specifically my, spending. This will be one of the only ways for me to monitor and figure out how I will be able to pay off my credit card debt.

3) Set aside $1,500 for an emergency fund. I know I should have 3 to 6 months of expenses as emergency fund, but this amount will have to do while I am focusing on paying off my credit card debt.

4) Begin saving for major purchases. This will be a general fund of which possibilities include, house, engagement ring, etc. Keep in mind this is a secondary goal to paying off credit card debt.

5) Negotiate a promotion and raise with my boss. This will be the best way to increase my income for 2006 and I think I can achieve this in June.

6) Start and maintain 5 niche blogs or websites. I've got some ideas and one is actually under way.

7) Be Healthier. This includes quitting cigarettes (I've spoken about this before) and going to the gym regularly (3 times a week). This goal also includes losing 40-45 pounds, hence the weight loss pie chart (isn't that kinda funny) in my Progress Report.

That's it for now. Perhaps these may be a little ambitious. But they are out there now and the gauntlet has been laid!


Single Guy Money and his Save Money vs. Debt Reduction Debate

A Single Guy and his Money is a newer blog I've found. Billed as a 28 year old single professional male playing the money game, the author, Singleguymoney, has received a slew of comments regarding his most recent Networth update. Among these were some very detailed and intricate comments questioning his large bank balance and large credit card balance. Most people thought he should pay down his cc debt with the large bank balance. In response to these comments regarding his networth he outlined his fear of not having liquid money and a lot of readers continued to "bash" him for this belief. Well, he finally did it...at least part of the way, by paying a significant of the cc debt.

This series of posts and comments were a great read and I highly recommend taking a gander if you have time!


Carnivals and Festivals -- Personal Finance, Debt Reduction, and Frugality

The Carnival of Personal Finance #26 and Carnival of Debt Reduction #13 are up! Also, the very first Festival of Frugality is up! Tons of great info to read, check them out when you have time!

Reporting Progress

A lot of bloggers report their progress to their financial goals. While determining my 2006 short- and long-term goals (still working on), I figured it would be a good idea to include a progress report as well. I have decided to adapt the overall type of reporting that NCN over at No Credit Needed uses. For now over on the right is what I've got. I may end up adding a monthly spending tracker (record my budgeted expenses vs. actual on a daily basis for the monthly). Hopefully, all of this will help me (and my readers) stay on track with regards to my personal finance goals. Any comments, feedback, or suggestions are generously excepted.

Now I've got to get back into posting regularly. (insert frowning emoticon here, although I dislike emoticons!)