By: Revanche

Boring Financial Milestones

February 10, 2009

MSN Money’s 6 financial milestones before 30 seem a little…. well …. blah. They really don’t light up the fire of my imagination, really.

1. Scale back the credit cards.
2. Own a home — or have a plan.
3. Have skills.
4. Give money away.
5. Know thyself.
6. Know smart people.

It’s not bad advice, it’s just kind of vague and run of the mill.

Then again, who am I to complain in this economy, right? Let’s see what we can do to personalize it a little, instead.

1. I don’t have credit card debt, and have canceled a number of cards that I don’t use. Where possible, the credit lines were transferred to the remaining cards to preserve the illusion of higher credit available. This inadvertently messed up my insurance premium refund, unfortunately, because they credited an account that no longer exists! We’ll see if I can get the insurance company to cut a check.

2. Um, I have a whole hundred dollars put away in lieu of a plan. So a plan might be a good idea. In fact, this will regain line item status on my next budget whenever I land a new job. More concretely, I would like to have my down payment (20% of course) and house maintenance saved, apart from my emergency fund. That’s a lot of cash!

3. Oh, I have skills. They’re good ones, too. But they could use some flair and I do have a plan for that. Girlfriend of mine has the Adobe Creative Suite with extra downloads and she offered one set to me when the new laptop was up and running. It is, now, so it’s time to take her up on that offer and start learning how to Photoshop and maybe even InDesign. And a friend’s friend is a web designer who might be willing to teach me some of his awesome designer skills; that would come in handy in any number of ways. Can you say (watch out, corporate speak!) value-add?

4. I’m guessing that giving money to the landlord, the electric company, the city, and gas companies don’t count, huh. Nor does feeding my family. I could and must do better here. In the past, the NYC medics were recipients of my generosity, as best as I could afford, as well as my extended family. My goal is to comfortably afford to give an average of $50/month. I know it’s not much, but it’s a start and y’know, family to feed and house. Another budgetary line item.

5. Ok, this one is a little tougher than it sounds. For me, anyway. It’s easier to know my goals, my challenges, and my shortcomings than myself as a whole person. It’s been years since I’ve asked myself what I wanted or dreamed, and I’ve only just begun to explore that area this year. Turns out that I’m a bit more complex than my finances: I am not my money, nor am I my family or my job. So what am I?? This could take a while ….

6. Yep, I know all of you smarties, and my high school friends are no mental slouches either. I like being surrounded by smart people, and sometimes even smart people who disagree with me. 😉 This is great advice because I firmly believe that you rise and fall to the levels of the people around you; so you can only rise naturally if you’re learning from wise people in a learning environment. It’s a tough climb, and lonely to boot, otherwise.

Items 3-6 are all actions I can begin now and should continue well past my thirties. I’d love to be well on my way to achieving Item 2 in the next three years, and have a more developed career plan on the table by that time as well.

Let’s not limit this to your thirties: what’s on the horizon for you? What does your five or ten year plan include?

9 Responses to “Boring Financial Milestones”

  1. Miss M says:

    I saw that list several months ago and gave my own thoughts. I think living in LA slows down that process, a lot of people don’t get married, buy a home or any of that before 30. On the other hand most people I grew up with in Virginia were married before they finished college.

  2. I find it impossible to plan further than 5 years. Too many question marks. I just don’t know for sure what I want. So I save as much as possible, because that will help any plan.

    I agree with Miss M. I know very few people (maybe zero??) my age who actually own property in LA area. Not very many are married. But every single one of my close HS friends from the midwest has been married at least 2 years. Woah!

  3. frugalCPA says:

    Turns out that I’m a bit more complex than my finances: I am not my money, nor am I my family or my job.

    Too true. Our inherent complexity makes it difficult to ever really know ourselves. I’m not sure if we can be defined because we’re constantly changing, adapting, learning, growing, etc. Maybe the best we can do is know who we have been and who we want to become?

  4. That was really vague.

    5 years? Umm… I guess the path that I’m on now, but with more savings and getting ready for a home & family.

  5. L.A. Daze says:

    Ummm…I don’t even know about next year. It’s all one giant question mark. I’m not too keen on home ownership, especially in the LA area. Kids? Not in the next 5 years. I would like more savings and absolutely no debt. I don’t want to give away money to charities, I want to give my time.

    I miss the days when I thought everything was possible. I still do at times, until life serves me a reality check.

  6. That article is horrifying. I think I’m just irritated at the stupid person from FB’s post on buying vs renting, but what journalist decided that their priorities should be ours? If we “know ourselves” don’t we know if we want a house or if we want to give money to charity? And “have skills” is laughably vague (I read the article and it really doesn’t go much farther into detail).

    This is why I generally stick to blogs instead of MSN. 🙂

  7. Revanche says:

    Miss M: Location does have a great deal to do with it, though I’m far enough removed to suburbia to see both scenarios.

    SP: Yikes. I find the married by 21 with 2 kids thing a little scary, but I’ve seen it happen hereabouts. Hm, only one friend (our age) owns property and it’s way east of LA. His family’s big into owning real estate, though, and he makes good money in another industry.

    frugalCPA: Agreed, knowing who you’ve been and who you’d like to be is prob’ly about the best we can do.

    FB: LOL, yeah, just keep on saving. Can’t ever hurt, right?

    LA Daze: I guess the caveat is “Anything is possible. Sometimes, given the right circumstances. Just not everything, and not all at once.” That’s less cheerful.

    paranoidasteroid: Nope, that’s why I didn’t bother quoting more from the article, not that much more to give! This was probably a filler article for someone else’s sick day. 🙂

  8. Kelkel says:

    I think there are some things you can plan for no matter how many question marks you have… like a retirement fund or emergency cash. and paying down your credit cards.

    But yeah, buying a house and everything… I can’t plan far enough in advance to know if it’s more “worth it” to buy or rent.

  9. Revanche says:

    kelkel: I think if the purchase is carefully considered and within your means, home buying is still a great idea. Maybe not just yet, but that’s just giving us more time to save.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This website and its content are copyright of A Gai Shan Life  | © A Gai Shan Life 2018. All rights reserved.

Site design by 801red