I have a question...

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2003
I have a question...
1
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 3:50pm
hello all. i have to admit, the only debt i have is my house and that is more or less 'acceptable' debt. however, i read this board a lot because people seem to have done a good job of learning from past mistakes and they are pretty responsible today and hopefully will be in the future. so what i would like to do is tell you a little about myself and then ask my question, and see if you have any 'advice.'

i am female and will be 33 next week. never been married, no kids but one dog (who can get expensive!). i own my house and have two cars: honda accord and bmw convertible (both paid off). i have a master's degree and i work in public relations, which is a job i enjoy but certainly is not the greatest-paying job. right now with bonus i earn about $45k a year.

i guess my biggest financial question is, how do i enjoy today and still save for the future? i mean, in the present, i want to be able to go out to dinner if i want to. want to get a cup of Starbucks if i want to. want to keep buying Propel water if i want to. want to take a modest vacation every so often if i want to. i'm not trying to be extravigant.

but yet, it's just hit me that i have next to no savings. i have a 401(k) that is all right ($22k) but my IRA -- what little is in it ($2k) -- keeps losing value. i'll never forget that one conversation i recently had with my sig. other, where i 'revealed' to him that i have $3k in my savings account and he asked, 'that's it?' that hurt, but i guess it is true. i can't figure out how i could have so little when i am as good with money as i am. maybe i'm not as good as i think. however, being a single homeowner who has a dog and two cars, i would say that most of my $ goes/has gone to those. but i just wonder how i could ever afford to do more. i already feel like i can't cut any more corners; believe me, i've analyzed the heck out of my budget (i do have one and follow it religiously).

anybody have any thoughts about this? am i a failure?? :) i guess i just don't know how to save save save plus have a little bit of fun in the present and keep meeting current financial obligations (401, etc.) too. confused!! thank you -- fzz, ohio

Avatar for cl_phocid
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 7:06pm
"i guess my biggest financial question is, how do i enjoy today and still save for the future? i mean, in the present, i want to be able to go out to dinner if i want to. want to get a cup of Starbucks if i want to. want to keep buying Propel water if i want to. want to take a modest vacation every so often if i want to. i'm not trying to be extravigant."

All of the things that you list *are* the things that you can cut back on today, in order to save for tomorrow. Every $20 dinner, every $2.50 latte, every $1.89 bottle of water cuts into tomorrow. It's that simple. None of us are advocating giving these things up, but I know I couldn't keep doing Starbucks every morning for coffee and a scone at $5 a day, that's $1825 a year. So I cut back to 2 days a week - usually one weekday and one weekend morning.

I know a woman in her late fifties who is now retired and travels all over the world *a lot* - and she brought her lunch to work *every* day for 20 years - she didn't spend it frivolously, and she's now reaping the rewards of her frugal decisions. Little things DO make a difference if we truly save the money we're not spending.

HTH

Danni

All my best,
Danni