Panda Path to Fiscal Fitness in NYC

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Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 1:33 pm
Location: AL // Migrating to NY

Panda Path to Fiscal Fitness in NYC

Postby theredpanda » Sat Sep 01, 2007 12:01 pm

So my goals before my twenty-second birthday next July 30th are to:

- apply for a team lead position at the Target near my town OR get a job with the company I want to work for and am interning with (MSNBC)
- graduate with a major in Comm Studies and a minor in Poli Sci OR finish my major with an on-line class to graduate in December
- get an apartment in New York and begin saving for a fully-funded emergency savings OR save up enough for an apartment AND an emergency fund to move to New York in July
- pay off my credit card
- begin paying off a debt to my parents
- open a retirement fund on my birthday

As to why it's kind of either or:

My name's Kristina and I'm currently twenty one (and one month). I go to school at a little university in northern Alabama, and have recently been awarded an internship with my most favorite television program evar. I get by okay - I have a $1000 emergency fund, and I have enough to eat and go places and pay rent and bills. However, I have a habit of not eating very well and not keeping track of my spending, so I could be doing a whole lot better in terms of my fiscal and financial health. My parents are very hands off about finances - I was never taught much about responsible spending and savings, they gave me a credit card before I left and promised to pay the bill, and I didn't make much effort to learn on my own until now.

I owe my parents $3000 for the loan, and we're using $3000 of the bonds my grandmother gave me when I was wee to cover the rest. I also owe $2990 on a credit card due to teenage stupidity.

So my net worth I guess would be:
-- $2990 in CC Debt (12.25%)
-- $3000 in Family Debt (0%)
+ $3005.23 in Savings
+ $1986.60 in Checking (will be moved to savings)
-- 998.17

That is my net worth at this very moment. I had planned to have my CC Debt paid off by the end of the year - I get a scholarship refund, and I can usually swing about $300 in payments if I eat very very cheap and don't go anywhere. But the internship in NYC has kind of thrown that plan for a loop. I'm hoping I can work hard enough to get some kind of job with the company after the internship is up so that I can move to NYC in January and finish my major to graduate with a degree in December. If this is the case, I plane to have the credit card debt paid off in June so I can begin making payments to my family in July.

However! If I don't get a job, and I return home, I plan on making small payments on my CC while I'm away ($175 a month or more depending on how well I budget) so that when I get back, I can return to my old job, make a big payment with the money I have left, use the other half of my scholarship to finish paying it off, and recoup my losses by working a lot. I was also up for a promotion before I got the internship, and I've been given the impression that if there are positions open, I won't have a problem moving up quickly. My rent and utilities here run me less than $500 a month, since I don't have cable. I can earn about $1000, and the promotion would give me an extra $100 or so. I plan on having at a minimum $1700 left when I return (return of the security deposit on my NY room and $1000 from my scholarship I won't touch unless I have to) with $700 less on my credit card. Hopefully I can budget well in New York City to pay off another $1000!

So mostly this journal will be about me trying to learn to budget while in the big city. I'm hoping I can maybe get a weekend job at a grocery store or something to earn a little extra money for my credit card and to get a discount on things to save a little extra. The internship is unpaid, so I'll be living on whatever money I have in my account when I leave.

I've never been to New York for more than a couple of days at a time. So if anyone can give me a heads up on what groceries and whatnot might run me monthly - or help me figure out if I can survive a month without a bus pass - I'd really appreciate it! Of course I'll take any advice I could get. ;)

It's definitely disappointing to have to push back my plans to be debt-free, but the experience is well worth it to me, and aside from the massive professional gains, will help me finally get into an environment where I can really buckle down and learn how to be frugal and live a well-budgeted life.
- Kristina -

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Malcolm the Enforcer
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:41 pm
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Postby Malcolm the Enforcer » Sat Sep 01, 2007 6:57 pm

Hey there Kristina! I really hope you can stay diciplined and pay off that debt. One tip is to write down all the money that you are going to allot to different things and really try to stick to that. That has worked for me so far. It's good that you have got yourself onto this forum to write out your plan, rather then just going along with no plan. And also, the people here can encourage you when it starts to get tough! (which hopefully it won't be!)

Have you read the topic on the debt snowball on the Get Rich Slowly webpage? An interesting concept that you may want to give some thought to.

Some reading I would recommend is Think and Grow Rich, by Napolean Hill. A good book for learning to efficiently and effectively pursue and achomplish your goals.

Best of luck.

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