Sunday, July 23, 2006

My introduction and welcome

Hello everyone. I finally did it! My first blog. It really feels like i'm just talking/typing to the wall and no one is going to read this or care what i have to say. I'm okay with that. Either case, the main purpose of this blog is to save everything. Yes, savingeverything. SavingEverything is the theme of this blog. I will save everything here that effects me in some way in the real world. I envision this as my open, personal, anonymous journal, and also an open wallet with some thoughts along the way. If I see something that I like online and have an interest, I'll blog it. If I experienced something and want to share it with you, I'll blog it. (Even though it may not apply to you, there is someone who is reading this blog that cares. In addition, remember, this blog is about me, SavingEverything.) Several topics that I may include blog posts are: saving money, making money, ways to get more for the dollar, the housing market, my decision-making process, interest rates, shopping, news, mp3's, stamps, books, beer and wine, vacations, trips, adventures, and pretty much anything. The best part of blogging, as I see it, is a way to enlighten others and also have open communications between you and me through the comments so that I can be enlightened by you. SavingEverything here will allow me to share my experiences and things that I came across, and hopefully, will benefit you the readers. So here begins my new journey into saving everything!

One topic that I am more inclined to discuss is money. Saving money is easy to say than do. I will admit that I try to save when and if I can. When working, I automatically save some money by having a % of my paycheck go directly into my 401k retirement. However, even with 401k savings, it's important to try to save some extra money from your net salary, for either emergencies, big purchases, or just for long-term savings. I live paycheck by paycheck. I think we all live paycheck by paycheck. Without the paycheck, how will you pay for your living costs? Most people probably spend about 67-90% of their gross salary [includes FICA/est fed-state-local taxes/est company health-dental insurance/living costs/utilities (regular cable $50, cell phone, landline, electric, gas, oil, water)/gym]. Note: does not include any deductions for 401k or other plans; and it's my crude estimate. The median is around 75-80%. If you earn more and are careful with your spendings, you would spend around 50-67%. If you earn less and live singly, you spend alot and cannot save as much. If you live with a roommate, you definitely save a few hundred, and it brings your spending down with shared utilities expenses. Either way, living on your own is not easy and way different than college years. I remember when rent in my college years was $310(x2) in a 2-br apartment, plus utilities. During that time, rents in the big cities were still big....at least 4x's it. Well, now, i dont know the rents in my college town. I'd guess it's almost double. But, where i live now, rent is high....and at times, i feel like i'm throwing money away (vs. buying a condo). Other times, i think buying is similarly throwing money away to banks and throwing away savings. I just dont know; buying would definitely make me save more, but the actual dollar amount would be less than renting. Oh well... that's 1 thing that i'm unsure what to do. Then, other times, i think my investments are just bad and also just like throwing money out the window. I have a high risk tolerance, i guess. But, for some reason, if i buy a house, i feel that's a higher risk... especially since it's linked to income. And, who knows, i dont know what's going to happen 2-3 years from now. I may be working somewhere else in a different state. Or, i may be working at the same place. It's the uncertainty, and buying property (to me, more riskier because if I would ever run a problem with income and unable to pay mortgage, i'm in more trouble... plus the fact that the loan is much bigger compared to say, a margin loan in a brokerage account.) OK. Enough for now. I rent, and will continue renting and saving along the way.

A little about me... i'm in my late 20's approaching 30 shortly, single, in northeast, currently work not in the business or computers field, educated, not well-paid, but am happy with work and life. (if i were to buy a property, it would be this new development i've been eyeballing, that is ~1000 sqft, $230-249k (as of july06), plus taxes, condo fees, and a few miles further away from work,. but, that price would make me live very tightly with money, and I'm not sure I would be able to really saveeverything.)

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