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5 year financial/ personal plan

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lucyandroger

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Messages
1,557
Hi everyone,

SO and I have been planning to get married in the fall of this year but the months seem to be flying by and we realized we needed to sit down and prioritize our financial and personal goals as a couple. The next 5 years are going to be really exciting and important for us.

So here''s our list of goals for the next 5 years:

Pay off student loans

Buy a house
Get married
Have a baby
Save for retirement (we already contribute the max to our 401ks)

We''re just wondering if we should wait on marriage and put that money towards one of our other goals first (besides having a baby!
) I just can''t get past spending money on flowers and cake when we could be putting it towards a home. I think we can accomplish all of these things in the next 5 years. We just have to prioritize what to work on first...or maybe put funds toward each thing every month...

How did you guys make these important decisions? What are your goals for the next five years?
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
32,396
Date: 3/3/2009 1:22:53 PM
Author:lucyandroger
Hi everyone,

SO and I have been planning to get married in the fall of this year but the months seem to be flying by and we realized we needed to sit down and prioritize our financial and personal goals as a couple. The next 5 years are going to be really exciting and important for us.

So here''s our list of goals for the next 5 years:

Pay off student loans

Buy a house
Get married
Have a baby
Save for retirement (we already contribute the max to our 401ks)

We''re just wondering if we should wait on marriage and put that money towards one of our other goals first (besides having a baby!
) I just can''t get past spending money on flowers and cake when we could be putting it towards a home. I think we can accomplish all of these things in the next 5 years. We just have to prioritize what to work on first...or maybe put funds toward each thing every month...

How did you guys make these important decisions? What are your goals for the next five years?
to hit the lottery !!
 

tlh

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 31, 2008
Messages
4,511
I think if you want to get married, you don''t have to necessarily have the party. Marriage is more than just the celebration. So if you were wanting to have an economical yet, wonderful wedding, you could get married in mexico- all included for a few grand... which includes the honeymoon too.

Just a thought.
 

steph72276

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Messages
4,212
If I were you, I would get married, then rent a while while I paid off student loans and any other debt, then saved for a house down-payment.

eta: I would pick up a copy of Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover....lots of good advice about paying off debt/saving/budget/retirement, etc. I think it is an excellent read for those getting married and wished I would have read it when we got married 6 years ago, we would have saved a ton more doing a monthly budget etc. earlier!
 

Phoenix

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 5, 2006
Messages
9,349
Having insomnia here in Singapore, so I'll play (that coupled with the fact that I've always been a planner
):

Our goals for the next 5-10 years, not in any order of priority are:

- adopt a child or 2
- sell our place in London, as soon as prices pick up
- pay off the mortgage on our place in Melbourne, Down Under, so that it'll become our holiday/ early retirement home
- pay off the mortgage on our home in Singapore or alternatively sell it at a substantial profit (we're already made a paper profit, even in this downturn, of 50%, so if we can sell it for 100% or more than what we paid for 3 years ago within the next 5-6 years, we'll definitely do it)
- for me, personally, either well on my way to getting my PhD or being CEO/ CFO or partner in a firm (completely different career directions I know
)
- for hubby, country manager of his current company in Singapore or General Counsel worldwide (the last goal is more like 7-10 years time from now, realistically speaking)
- built up enough equity in our investments/ assets to allow us to take fairly early retirement in 12 but more realistically 15 years' time, but still continue to be able live in the lifestyle to which we've become accustomed
- AND, here's the grand finale: a 5 or preferably 6 ct emerald cut diamond from Cartier!!
before the next five years but not after (that'd be toooo long a wait, he he
)

I believe these goals are fairly achievable, if we work hard, stay on track, do not make stupid investment mistakes but we'll need to brave enough to take risks, calculated risks.

As for the OP's Q: I think paying off your student loans as first priority is an excellent idea. I'd personally save up to buying a home towards the end of this year or even next year (more likely next year) when prices will bottom out. Then, I'd get married and have a baby. I don't know enough about retirement plans in the US to make comments, but watching Suze Orman makes me believe that you should start saving for your retirement plans, and contribute to the max, as soon as you start working (mainly because your employer also contribute).
 

BeachRunner

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Messages
1,493
You are in the same situation as myself. FI and I are looking into getting married in the USVI, parent''s only. Small and intimate. Plus,we don''t have the money to spend to feed everyone and throw a party (as much as we would like to). I have another 3 years left in student loans, and the word "baby" has not even crossed our minds yet. Once we settle down in a town we like, and save, then we''ll buy a house and go from there.

ETA: I saw somewhere (I do believe it was HGTV), the average first time home buyer''s age was 32. Don''t stress over it too much!
 

BeachRunner

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 30, 2008
Messages
1,493
Date: 3/3/2009 1:30:25 PM
Author: Dancing Fire
Date: 3/3/2009 1:22:53 PM

Author:lucyandroger

Hi everyone,


SO and I have been planning to get married in the fall of this year but the months seem to be flying by and we realized we needed to sit down and prioritize our financial and personal goals as a couple. The next 5 years are going to be really exciting and important for us.


So here''s our list of goals for the next 5 years:


Pay off student loans


Buy a house

Get married

Have a baby

Save for retirement (we already contribute the max to our 401ks)


We''re just wondering if we should wait on marriage and put that money towards one of our other goals first (besides having a baby!
) I just can''t get past spending money on flowers and cake when we could be putting it towards a home. I think we can accomplish all of these things in the next 5 years. We just have to prioritize what to work on first...or maybe put funds toward each thing every month...


How did you guys make these important decisions? What are your goals for the next five years?
to hit the lottery !!
Or this!!


But, I don''t even play.
 

hoofbeats95

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2008
Messages
1,442
Date: 3/3/2009 1:43:51 PM
Author: Phoenix
Having insomnia here in Singapore, so I''ll play (that coupled with the fact that I''ve always been a planner
):

Our goals for the next 5-10 years, not in any order of priority are:

- adopt a child or 2
- sell our place in London, as soon as prices pick up
- pay off the mortgage on our place in Melbourne, Down Under, so that it''ll become our holiday/ early retirement home
- pay off the mortgage on our home in Singapore or alternatively sell it at a substantial profit (we''re already made a paper profit, even in this downturn, of 50%, so if we can sell it for 100% or more than what we paid for 3 years ago within the next 5-6 years, we''ll definitely do it)
- for me, personally, either well on my way to getting my PhD or being CEO/ CFO or partner in a firm (completely different career directions I know
)
- for hubby, country manager of his current company in Singapore or General Counsel worldwide (the last goal is more like 7-10 years time from now, realistically speaking)
- built up enough equity in our investments/ assets to allow us to take fairly early retirement in 12 but more realistically 15 years'' time, but still continue to be able live in the lifestyle to which we''ve become accustomed
- AND, here''s the grand finale: a 5 or preferably 6 ct emerald cut diamond from Cartier!!
before the next five years but not after (that''d be toooo long a wait, he he
)

I believe these goals are fairly achievable, if we work hard, stay on track, do not make stupid investment mistakes but we''ll need to brave enough to take risks, calculated risks.

As for the OP''s Q: I think paying off your student loans as first priority is an excellent idea. I''d personally save up to buying a home towards the end of this year or even next year (more likely next year) when prices will bottom out. Then, I''d get married and have a baby. I don''t know enough about retirement plans in the US to make comments, but watching Suze Orman makes me believe that you should start saving for your retirement plans, and contribute to the max, as soon as you start working (mainly because your employer also contribute).
Pardon me - but what kind of jobs do you two have? Three houses? Wow. I about fell off my office chair. . .
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
lucyandroger--Congrats on finding each other!
I definitely would not wait to get married if I were in your situation. I would marry, and have a simple yet elegant reception for my nearest and dearest. You do not have to spend a lot of money to get married, after all.

As for us, our financial plans are pretty simple. We have a mortgage and some student loans left, so we plan on paying more than we owe on those until they''re paid off. Other than that, we made timelines for how much we plan to save and invest for different reasons. Forgive me, but they aren''t really of the five-year sort:
- Our own long-term savings fund
- Emergency savings (we have a year, we want more saved)
- Short-term savings (vacations, ering upgrades
)
- Retirement funds
- Children''s college funds (we have a savings schedule planned for when we have kids, we''ll be using our state''s 529 plans)
- Children''s long-term savings funds (for when they fly the coop--wedding, first home, that sort of thing. We won''t start these until we have kids, of course.)

We''re pretty simple in terms of what material goods we want. We just want to be independent (e.g. debt-free) and happy. Anything beyond that is icing on the cake.
 

Haven

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 15, 2007
Messages
13,166
Date: 3/3/2009 1:43:51 PM
Author: Phoenix
[ . . . ]
- AND, here''s the grand finale: a 5 or preferably 6 ct emerald cut diamond from Cartier!!
before the next five years but not after (that''d be toooo long a wait, he he
)
[ . . . ]
Phoenix,
I sure hope PS is still around when THAT puppy makes it into your hands!
 

basil

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Messages
1,526
It depends on what your student loan interest rate is...mine is like 2% so it''s not worth paying extra than the minimum because I can make similar interest putting my money in a ING savings account. So if your student loan interest rate is low, it may be worth putting more money into saving for a house (where your interest rate will likely be higher) than paying the student loan down more quickly. But it depends on your rate.
 

Dancing Fire

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 3, 2004
Messages
32,396
Date: 3/3/2009 2:54:59 PM
Author: hoofbeats95

Date: 3/3/2009 1:43:51 PM
Author: Phoenix
Having insomnia here in Singapore, so I''ll play (that coupled with the fact that I''ve always been a planner
):

Our goals for the next 5-10 years, not in any order of priority are:

- adopt a child or 2
- sell our place in London, as soon as prices pick up
- pay off the mortgage on our place in Melbourne, Down Under, so that it''ll become our holiday/ early retirement home
- pay off the mortgage on our home in Singapore or alternatively sell it at a substantial profit (we''re already made a paper profit, even in this downturn, of 50%, so if we can sell it for 100% or more than what we paid for 3 years ago within the next 5-6 years, we''ll definitely do it)
- for me, personally, either well on my way to getting my PhD or being CEO/ CFO or partner in a firm (completely different career directions I know
)
- for hubby, country manager of his current company in Singapore or General Counsel worldwide (the last goal is more like 7-10 years time from now, realistically speaking)
- built up enough equity in our investments/ assets to allow us to take fairly early retirement in 12 but more realistically 15 years'' time, but still continue to be able live in the lifestyle to which we''ve become accustomed
- AND, here''s the grand finale: a 5 or preferably 6 ct emerald cut diamond from Cartier!!
before the next five years but not after (that''d be toooo long a wait, he he
)

I believe these goals are fairly achievable, if we work hard, stay on track, do not make stupid investment mistakes but we''ll need to brave enough to take risks, calculated risks.

As for the OP''s Q: I think paying off your student loans as first priority is an excellent idea. I''d personally save up to buying a home towards the end of this year or even next year (more likely next year) when prices will bottom out. Then, I''d get married and have a baby. I don''t know enough about retirement plans in the US to make comments, but watching Suze Orman makes me believe that you should start saving for your retirement plans, and contribute to the max, as soon as you start working (mainly because your employer also contribute).
Pardon me - but what kind of jobs do you two have? Three houses? Wow. I about fell off my office chair. . .
who cares, Phoenix had already promised to adopt me.
 

Rhea

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 20, 2007
Messages
6,294
Save for a house and holidays.

We don''t currently have any debt, student loans, or car to pay off. I do have a pension plan, but having a house is higher on my list right now.
 

lucyandroger

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Messages
1,557
Thanks everyone for playing...

Yeah, I know that we could have a cheaper wedding and the marriage is not just about the celebration...in fact, compared to most wedding budgets, we''re planning a pretty inexpensive wedding.

SO and I are lucky enough to have well-paying jobs so lack of money is not the real issue. It''s more a prioritizing thing. We''re finally making some money after being in school so long and we have to decide how to spend/ save it.

I think we''re going to have to have a long discussion with a lot of numbers crunching.

Anyway, I was just interested in how others prioritized things in their own lives...
 

JSM

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 17, 2008
Messages
802
Date: 3/3/2009 1:22:53 PM
Author:lucyandroger
Hi everyone,


SO and I have been planning to get married in the fall of this year but the months seem to be flying by and we realized we needed to sit down and prioritize our financial and personal goals as a couple. The next 5 years are going to be really exciting and important for us.


So here''s our list of goals for the next 5 years:


Pay off student loans


Buy a house

Get married

Have a baby

Save for retirement (we already contribute the max to our 401ks)


We''re just wondering if we should wait on marriage and put that money towards one of our other goals first (besides having a baby!
) I just can''t get past spending money on flowers and cake when we could be putting it towards a home. I think we can accomplish all of these things in the next 5 years. We just have to prioritize what to work on first...or maybe put funds toward each thing every month...


How did you guys make these important decisions? What are your goals for the next five years?
Those are our priorities almost to a T!

We are getting married in a month (AAAAHHHHHHH!), but eloping to save on costs. There are a lot of uncertainties right now, but we''re certain that we can make it through together.

Time will never be perfect, but we''re doing it anyway!

After the wedding, we plan to move (I''ll finish my MS), find jobs, find a place to rent, and start hard on my student loans. Hopefully that means in 5 years babies and a home will be on our to do list.

Best of luck!
 

elrohwen

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
5,525
Ours are kind of similar to yours:

get married
buy a home
buy a new car (with cash if possible) because mine is already 8 years old ... getting up there!
continue saving the max for retirement

Personally, I don't see the need to save for a house before marriage, especially if it would push marriage out a few years (as it would for me; saving up $60-80k for a downpayment is going to take a few years!). I'd rather buy a house with someone I'm married to and I don't see any reason why we can't be married and then save for the house. I guess there will always be something to save for, might as well get the wedding out of the way because it costs less than most other things. But that's just what works for us! I think if I waited until I had a house, I'd be even less likely to spend money on a wedding becaue I would want to put any money towards cars, a new kitchen, kids, etc.

ETA: I forgot that FI has student loans that we need to continue paying down. The interest rate is really low, so I don't think there's anything to do other than continue to make the payments every month.

Also, I'd like to make sure we have an emergency fund of at least 3 months salary before we start saving for the house (Haven, that's awesome that you guys have a year!). It bugs me that we can't both live off of one salary (mostly because of his car payment and his student loans) but I hope we can get to that point in the next 5 years as well.
 

MonkeyPie

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
6,059
Next five years:

-Pay off all credit card, loan, and car debt.
-Rent for a year or two while saving up for a house or land on which to build a house.
-Have a baby.

Sadly, the baby comes last. We need to get our own place before we can even consider it...and that is at least two years away. It makes me sad because I''m already 27 and my hubby will be 30 soon...
 

mrscushion

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 15, 2008
Messages
3,309
Our 5-year goals:

Get married
Graduate from respective master''s programs and find decent jobs thereafter
Build up emergency savings fund
Build up retirement fund
Have first child (towards the end of the five years)

Fortunately, both of us are free of credit card debt or student loans. FI just has a mortgage at the moment.
 

Phoenix

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 5, 2006
Messages
9,349
Date: 3/3/2009 2:54:59 PM
Author: hoofbeats95





Date: 3/3/2009 1:43:51 PM
Author: Phoenix
Having insomnia here in Singapore, so I'll play (that coupled with the fact that I've always been a planner
):

Our goals for the next 5-10 years, not in any order of priority are:

- adopt a child or 2
- sell our place in London, as soon as prices pick up
- pay off the mortgage on our place in Melbourne, Down Under, so that it'll become our holiday/ early retirement home
- pay off the mortgage on our home in Singapore or alternatively sell it at a substantial profit (we're already made a paper profit, even in this downturn, of 50%, so if we can sell it for 100% or more than what we paid for 3 years ago within the next 5-6 years, we'll definitely do it)
- for me, personally, either well on my way to getting my PhD or being CEO/ CFO or partner in a firm (completely different career directions I know
)
- for hubby, country manager of his current company in Singapore or General Counsel worldwide (the last goal is more like 7-10 years time from now, realistically speaking)
- built up enough equity in our investments/ assets to allow us to take fairly early retirement in 12 but more realistically 15 years' time, but still continue to be able live in the lifestyle to which we've become accustomed
- AND, here's the grand finale: a 5 or preferably 6 ct emerald cut diamond from Cartier!!
before the next five years but not after (that'd be toooo long a wait, he he
)

I believe these goals are fairly achievable, if we work hard, stay on track, do not make stupid investment mistakes but we'll need to brave enough to take risks, calculated risks.

As for the OP's Q: I think paying off your student loans as first priority is an excellent idea. I'd personally save up to buying a home towards the end of this year or even next year (more likely next year) when prices will bottom out. Then, I'd get married and have a baby. I don't know enough about retirement plans in the US to make comments, but watching Suze Orman makes me believe that you should start saving for your retirement plans, and contribute to the max, as soon as you start working (mainly because your employer also contribute).
Pardon me - but what kind of jobs do you two have? Three houses? Wow. I about fell off my office chair. . .
Hubby is a General Counsel and I am a Chartered Accountant (I last worked as a Director at one of the Big 4). Have been working and saving for many many years (I used to save 70-80% of my income). But in all honesty, what we have has come from astute investments, mostly. Well, our portfoliio has dropped by about 1/3 in value on paper but we're still fine, hopefully [fingers crossed].

There are a lot a lot more weathy people where we live/ in our social circle, but everyone has worked extremely hard for what they have. We're not rich by any means at all, still have three d$%% mortgages! Just don't have rich parents to fall back on, so have had to plan our retirement many many moons ago.

I used to say to people that my worst fear in life was being poor. I've been poor, very very poor (no food for two whole days) and believe me, being poor was no fun!


That's why it's extremely important to plan ahead and not spend beyond your means. I always plan: 5, 10, 15 years, even 30-40 years ahead. I had a goal for us for when we reached our 40's and we achieved it fairly easily
.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on which viewpoint you take), I recently discovered the joy of diamonds (some 2-3 yrs ago). Hubby keeps me in check though
.
 

Phoenix

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 5, 2006
Messages
9,349
Date: 3/3/2009 5:47:28 PM
Author: Dancing Fire

Date: 3/3/2009 2:54:59 PM
Author: hoofbeats95


Date: 3/3/2009 1:43:51 PM
Author: Phoenix
Having insomnia here in Singapore, so I''ll play (that coupled with the fact that I''ve always been a planner
):

Our goals for the next 5-10 years, not in any order of priority are:

- adopt a child or 2
- sell our place in London, as soon as prices pick up
- pay off the mortgage on our place in Melbourne, Down Under, so that it''ll become our holiday/ early retirement home
- pay off the mortgage on our home in Singapore or alternatively sell it at a substantial profit (we''re already made a paper profit, even in this downturn, of 50%, so if we can sell it for 100% or more than what we paid for 3 years ago within the next 5-6 years, we''ll definitely do it)
- for me, personally, either well on my way to getting my PhD or being CEO/ CFO or partner in a firm (completely different career directions I know
)
- for hubby, country manager of his current company in Singapore or General Counsel worldwide (the last goal is more like 7-10 years time from now, realistically speaking)
- built up enough equity in our investments/ assets to allow us to take fairly early retirement in 12 but more realistically 15 years'' time, but still continue to be able live in the lifestyle to which we''ve become accustomed
- AND, here''s the grand finale: a 5 or preferably 6 ct emerald cut diamond from Cartier!!
before the next five years but not after (that''d be toooo long a wait, he he
)

I believe these goals are fairly achievable, if we work hard, stay on track, do not make stupid investment mistakes but we''ll need to brave enough to take risks, calculated risks.

As for the OP''s Q: I think paying off your student loans as first priority is an excellent idea. I''d personally save up to buying a home towards the end of this year or even next year (more likely next year) when prices will bottom out. Then, I''d get married and have a baby. I don''t know enough about retirement plans in the US to make comments, but watching Suze Orman makes me believe that you should start saving for your retirement plans, and contribute to the max, as soon as you start working (mainly because your employer also contribute).
Pardon me - but what kind of jobs do you two have? Three houses? Wow. I about fell off my office chair. . .
who cares, Phoenix had already promised to adopt me.
I don''t know how to quote part of a reply, so have to quote the whole thing!


DF, I think that it is you that''ll have to adopt me. You''re much smarter than I am and am sure have a lot more moohlahs than I do, he he!!
 

Phoenix

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 5, 2006
Messages
9,349
Date: 3/3/2009 4:41:54 PM
Author: Haven

Date: 3/3/2009 1:43:51 PM
Author: Phoenix
[ . . . ]
- AND, here''s the grand finale: a 5 or preferably 6 ct emerald cut diamond from Cartier!!
before the next five years but not after (that''d be toooo long a wait, he he
)
[ . . . ]
Phoenix,
I sure hope PS is still around when THAT puppy makes it into your hands!
I sure hope that it will!
I''d love to show off that puppy (if I ever get it) to my fellow PS''ers.

(Btw, pardon the threadjack thus far, how do you do the part-quote of a reply? I may be good financially but not much of a techy (sp?), and that''s an understatement, LOL).
 

Abril

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 1, 2008
Messages
197
Friendly advice, Phoenix. You don''t need to overcompensate. Don''t worry so much about how others perceive you.
 

Phoenix

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Oct 5, 2006
Messages
9,349
Date: 3/4/2009 5:11:04 AM
Author: Abril
Friendly advice, Phoenix. You don't need to overcompensate. Don't worry so much about how others perceive you.
That's sweet of you, sincerely.


Actually, I am not. I am very proud of how far I've come, how far hubby and I have come together. We're actually very straight forward and open people. We say it as it is.


I've also found that by telling people my life story (which I've only shared a fraction of on PS), it's helped to motivate other people IRL. I am happy to have been able to do that. I hope sharing this little tidbit of infor will help the OP and perhaps others too.
 

hoofbeats95

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2008
Messages
1,442
Interesting Phoenix. Saving that much of your salary is amazing. I wish I could talk to you privately about more details. I really need to be educated on how to look that far ahead and how to actually save . . . theory is good. . . but I need real life instruction!
 

Phoenix

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
9,349
Date: 3/4/2009 9:51:14 AM
Author: hoofbeats95
Interesting Phoenix. Saving that much of your salary is amazing. I wish I could talk to you privately about more details. I really need to be educated on how to look that far ahead and how to actually save . . . theory is good. . . but I need real life instruction!
Thank you.

I'd love to help provide more details to you. Just ask me any Q, I'd be happy to answer.

For starters though, here are a few relatively easy things to do (let's call them the "10 GOLDEN RULES"
):

1) Take public transportation if possible (not sure if it's safe where you are, but if it is, do it. You'd be amazed how much money you could save).

2) Rent out a room or two to room mates. Get them to pay your mortgage for you, if you have one. I had a 6 bedroom house in London (not our current place which is an aprt. This house was a steal, bought it during the last recession). I rented out all the spare bedrooms and kept one to myself. If you don't yet own, share with others to lessen the rent.

3) Eat in as much as possible. Only eat out once or twice a month. Do not go to Starbucks!
Make your own lunch if possible (it's much more healthy and it's a lot cheaper).

4) Cut off your credit cards. Not sure if you can do that in the US, as that might affect your FICO score. But the point is, do not use yr credit cards if possible, it's horrendous the interest that some charge you if you don't pay off in full and more importantly, the debt will creep up on you and balloon up even before you know it!

5) Do not go shopping for groceries when you're hungry. You'd end up with more junk food and generally more food you need or will actually eat.

6) Do not go clothes shopping just to kill time or when you're bored. Only go when you really need to buy something and take just enough cash that you'd allow yourself. Do not spend more than what's been pre-allocated. I used to only go shopping for clothes something like every 4-6 months. And I still rarely pay full price for certain brands that I like, most often I'll only buy them marked down by at least 50%.

7) Cut down on yr booze consumption, if applicable. We're actually guilty of this now. It's not good for your health or yr pocket, LOL!

8) Determine how much you really need for food, bills for necessities etc. each month (if you get paid monthly) or every fortnight (if that's how you're paid). Set up an instruction to your bank to do an automatic transfer of the balance every month/ fortnight into your saving account. Do not dip into that, ever, except for real emergencies.

9) I can't believe I am actually saying this, but do not spend money on luxuries like diamonds unless you've saved up enough money and have extra to slurge on/ treat yourself or yr loved one(s).

10) Reward yourself from time to time, once you've achieve certain set goal(s). Do something nice for yrself like buy that one blouse or pair of shoes you've been lusting after (but stay within rule no 6 above - sorry I am a bit of a killjoy!).

Above all, set larger goals (say, what you want to achieve in 5-10 yrs time like what the OP has done, or what you want to achieve by a certain age). Break them down into smaller more manageable goals, say what you want to achieve by the end of the year (like I had a goal of saving at least 70% of my income), each quarter, each month etc. You can also set goals like "I want to buy my own home by the time I am 25, 30, 35 or whatever age", "I want to have net assets of at least $xxx by the time I reach yyy age" etc. This makes it something real, tangible and something you'll enjoy saving hard towards. You'd be surprised what you're actually capable of achieving. It's all abt will power.

Oh, another thing, try to buy things like houses, stocks when their prices have dipped low enough. Do not buy when everyone else is buying (that's when prices have already peaked or are close to peaking). How low is a matter of judgement and personal preferences (ie. your "risk appetite" and how much anxiety you can stomach) and varies from person to person. But do not ever worry about buying at the very bottom or selling at the very top, no-one ever does that! You should read the "Around the World" threads on this forum. There's lots of good infor there. Read the financial journals and watch things like Boomberg, CNBC, Suze Orman etc.

Also, you're allowed to make some mistakes, small ones. You do not always win, if you come out top 7-8 out of 10 times, be happy!
AND *always* cut short your losses (this is the subject of another thread).

I've applied the same principles in my professional/ academic life and I've achieved practically most of my goals.

Good luck.

Again, pls feel free to ask me any Q. If you do, I think it'd be courteous to the OP for us to start another thread entirely.

(I apologise to LucyandRoger for the threajack, yet again. I hope this is of some help to you too).
 

Phoenix

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Oct 5, 2006
Messages
9,349
I want to add that for rule no 6, buy secondhand whenever possible (except for shoes, I find that gross personally). When we were living in Hong Kong, I was 30 and was already on a full expat package and hubby was already a practising attorney, when we moved into our newly (rented) aprt, we bought all our furniture secondhand. I remember spending the whole day at this one place, waiting for this guy's room-mate to come back from work so that I could buy their furniture for our entire apartment (I was afraid they would sell it to someone else if I left, LOL). OMG, we saved thousands!! And the furniture was nice, really nice!
 

lucyandroger

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Messages
1,557
Phoenix, Don''t apologize!!!

That''s some really great advice...thanks so much for sharing!!! It is always so helpful to hear how other people achieve the goals that you''re trying to achieve yourself. You must have some really great self-discipline. I must admit that I''m guilty of eating out and grabbing coffee from Starbucks out of convenience. We''ve really cut down on dinners out and only order in once a week now.

I also really like your suggestion of automatically depositing money into savings accounts. When it''s not there, you can''t spend it! I need to sit down and do a budget so I can do that.

Thanks again for the advice...I think a lot of people are going to find it really helpful!
 

fleur-de-lis

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
1,343
Date: 3/4/2009 10:06:34 AM
Author: Phoenix

(I apologise to LucyandRoger for the threajack, yet again. I hope this is of some help to you too).
Phoenix, I also really appreciate your post; it''s always very helpful and centering to read a first-person account from someone who has walked the walk.
 

MichelleCarmen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2003
Messages
15,880
Thanks so much for your info, Phoenix!!!

Right now, our only plan is keep living the current, pretty simple, lifestyle we do regardless of how much money we make. Put all the diffence into savings rather than increasing our unnecessary spending. I'm not sure what else we'll end up deciding to do.
 

hoofbeats95

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 23, 2008
Messages
1,442
Thanks Phoenix! It all makes sense. I need to work harder at saving and maybe a bit on the eating out. But I''m trying to eat healthy so eating out doesn''t really factor into that. I''m uneducated on how to make wise investments. I have a 401K but that''s it. And I''m trying not to freak as it''s dropping. Especially the larger one from my old job. :) Right now we need to plan a wedding and build a house. I''d like to do the house while the economy is bad for better interest rates. But I''d like to get married before starting on that. I can''t wrap my head around how to accomplish this without going broke. I''m 30 and would like to have whatever kids I''m going to have before I''m 35. So I feel a clock ticking so to speak. I will not have kids before we have the house. But I also don''t want to get married, build a house, have a kid . . . bam bam bam. . . with no time to enjoy being married ourselves. That''s too much stress on a relationship. So I''m freaking! Mathematically I haven''t found the solution to do the wedding and the house at the same time.
 
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