Monday, April 12, 2010

week three: financial security

welcome to week three, the week of financial security. you may have noticed that this is a late addition to my original line-up, but it seemed important enough to slot in early (bumping personal style to week six).

getting your financial ducks in a row can not only help you reach your goals, but it can also reveal a lot about your values and how well your actions align with what you say you value. i am definitely expecting another eye opening week. let's break it down... (note that this week's list is more goal based than resolution based)

- determine where my money is really going
- review all spending including places where i don't spend but should
- note times when i decide to save not spend (passing on a smoothie or a pair of shoes)
- think about home ownership

- identify and review all income sources
- identify additional potential sources
- think about barter

- review savings including 401k
- implement plan to save 30% of income per month
- deposit "saved" or refunded money into dedicated savings account

management / prioritization
- create and implement a realistic budget (current and ideal)
- set up and use online bill-pay
-  identify and implement simple savings opportunities (downgrading cable for example)

declutter challenge: files (including digital) and in-apartment storage

food challenge: black beans

i also wanted to note that i have a number of nagging tasks associated with money management at least a few of which i hope to tackle this week:
- 401k rollovers
- fix sprint data plan
- fix computers (dell and lenovo -- before the warranty runs out and it costs a whole lot more)
- will

related reading
your money or your life
the courage to be rich
personal finance for dummies
suze orman's 2009 action plan
how to survive without a salary
we the savers blog

to quote zyzzyva editor howard junker:* onward!

* howard junker is well known in literary circles for personally reading every submission to the zyzzyva slush pile. his rejection form letter is always the same with the above encouragement scrawled in his own hand across the top.

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