Have you paid off your debt? Managed to save for your dream home? Had an awesome investment pan out? Share your personal finance success stories here.

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Postby heallen » Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:44 pm

Ok.. so I got my first job last year out of college, and I'm getting $25,000 per year. After looking over my finances precisely a year later, I have managed to increase my net worth by about $6000! That's almost 1/4 of my income!!!

Yay! :D

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Postby sandi_k » Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:27 pm

Wha-hoo! Congratulations!


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Postby DebtFreeCrusader » Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:07 pm

wow how'd you do that
When you're good to others, you're best to yourself - B. Franklin

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How'd I do this?

Postby heallen » Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:16 pm

A $25,000 dollar salary is $2083 a month.

1. I live in a part of the US where rents are not too much for a small apartment -- I paid $665 a month for my 1 bedroom 1 bath, including utilities. This leaves me about $1400 for the rest of the stuff in a month.

2. I am paying back 2 student loans for my undergraduate degree, originally totaling about $20,000 dollars. I put at least $250 dollars a month, but typically more, towards them which reduces the principal on the loan by about 150-200 dollars each month. This leaves me about $1150 for the rest of the stuff a month. But I will increase my net worth by doing this by 2400 dollars in one year.

3. I add $200 to a Roth IRA every month. This leaves me about $950 for the rest of the stuff. This will also increase my net worth by 2400 dollars in one year, leading to a total increase of 4800 dollars, assuming I don't lose much.

4. I fill up my car with gas about twice a month - $20-30 per tank. This leaves me about $850 for the month. My parents still own the car so I don't pay insurance; they do. That will change eventually.

5. I play an instrument, so I get the occasional gig money from a wedding or a church or a party, adding up to the occasional (Read: ~3 times a year) small windfall of $100-200.

6. I pay for food and other expenses at about $400 a month. This leaves me about $450 for the month.

7. I pay for my cell phone bill which averages out to about $50 dollars a month, leaving me <$400 to save and spend where I deem necessary. For example, this year I took a flight to Chicago to see my college roommate, and stayed with her for a week. I was also able to go to the beach for a weekend in late spring. I was able to go rafting on a weekend. I can buy clothes, or deal with emergencies as necessary from the rest of the money.

So, I was as surprised as you are about how much I actually managed to save. I don't think this coming year is going to be quite as efficient because my rent/utilities are going up since I am moving to a better/safer place, but I know I can afford it. Maybe it's because I don't have a family or kids to support, but so far, I think I'm doing alright for myself.

Thanks for the encouragement!!!!

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Postby mam219 » Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:14 am

Hmm. I think you are forgetting about taxes. I make 26K a year, right around where you are, and my take home is about $765 every two weeks, thats about $1,550 a month. No the $2,083 you claim. Congrats but after you see your first few paychecks, you will notice you might not be as rich as you thought you were. Keep plugging away.

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Postby heallen » Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:12 pm

My taxes are a strange beast. While it is a "salary" for me, it is actually a grad. student stipend, and so I don't get taxes deducted from every paycheck.
Nor do I get Social Security deducted either, and so I am technically not contributing to that either. It's very interesting -- the school pays me, but I am not considered an employee, otherwise they would have to give me other benefits. So, I get a stipend that is my responsibility.

I have to pay taxes myself at the end of the year, whatever is owed (and it's less than usual, because it falls under all kinds of exemptions). So while I technically don't make $2083.33 every month, I think of taxes as a once yearly bill, as opposed to coming off of every paycheck.

Plus, the statistics I posted earlier were after I had already spent a year doing this when I definitely knew what my budget was and how I spent it.

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