The Beginning — My debt

The post is the first in what I hope will be a long line of posts about myself. My future. And how I will accomplish the goals that I have ahead of me.

My name is SS4BC.

I am a 28 year old chemist. I earned my PhD a year ago and have since then found myself mired in student loan debt, took a job in another state where my finances have bloomed out of control, my physical health has suffered.

Today, this all changes. I have goals that I need to meet and an ideal life that I want to lead. The first part of this is discovering who I am, what is important to me, and how the choices that I make effect the goals that I want.

Like most Americans I suffer from two main problems:

1) My finances are out of control.

2) My physical activity in the past 3 years has dramatically suffered, and as a result I have put on 30-35lbs of unnecessary weight.

The goal of this blog is to create goals, solutions, and accountability towards getting to where I want to be.

Let’s start with the finances. As of today, September 6th, 2008 my financial situation looks something like this:

Debt
Student loans: $16,440
Credit Card #1: $15,257
Credit Card #2: $716
Credit Card #3: $163
Credit Card #4: $85
Total: $32,661 –YIKES!

Assets
Mutual Fund: $8,880
Stocks: $3,820
Retirement Account #1: $289
Retirement Account #2: $880
Savings: $13 (pathetic, I know)
Total: $13,882

The past few years since 2001 and recently the past few months have seen a decline in my assets, as all are in higher risk funds because I am young and the intention was that I should have higher risk, higher growth assets now that will grow as I get older. That said, my mutual fund was at $40,000 before 9/11/2001. It fell to about $14,000 after that. It slowly raised over the next three years to be around $20,000. Around this time I got $7,000 in stocks in Bank of America. I took out $5,000 from my mutual funds as a down payment on my car and have twice taken $5,000 out of my mutual fund and my stocks to pay down my credit card debt.

Both times, after paying off my credit card debt, I have gotten into debt 6-12 months later because I live outside my means and I have no emergency fund to fall back on when unexpected expenses arise.

Thus, I have the following money goals:

1. To first figure out how to live within my means – i.e a budget.
2. To create a safety net of $2,000 for emergency expenses that may arise so that I don’t have to use my credit card.
3. To pay down my credit card debt of $16,407 by January 2012.
4. To increase my savings/retirement funds with the money that I spent paying my debt down.

So that is the goals. Tomorrow I will post specific ways that I plan to start achieving these goals.

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2 Responses to The Beginning — My debt

  1. Pingback: Oh How Far I’ve Come… « Small Steps for Big Change

  2. Pingback: What if the Recession never happened? « Small Steps for Big Change

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