Love Lockdown

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Happy Valentines Day Everyone. Though it was yesterday, I feel compelled to continue to wish everyone both love and joy as they continue to pay for the activities that they were are a part of. Valentines Day is one of the biggest “unnecessary spending” holidays out there. Guys trying to impress gals. Gals trying to impress Guys. All accomplished on rented money. Did you use your credit card yesterday? If so, I hope you continue to love your significant other longer and harder than you are going to hate those interest payments.

 

I signed with a financial planner and her firm this week. A decision I am still questioning as whether or not it was the right thing for me do believe that building wealth will take a team of qualified persons with knowledge and expertise beyond my means. In the movie Baby Momma, Tina Feys boss (Steve Martin) complements her )and himself ) for a job well done and an idea well thought of and says: “That’s why I’m a genius…for hiring people like you!”. Rich Dad Robert Kiyosaki remembers his lesson on the importance of building a team and promotes them today in any avenue that he can. He partnered with his accountant Sharon Lechter to co-author his mega selling series Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

The company I went with has a long history and what seemed to be a dedicated field of international employees all hungry for success. My problem is that I have been my own money coach for such a long time that I am admittedly fearful of relinquishing control, of relinquishing my money into someone else’s hands. And for a fee nonetheless. But the benefits of a Team can be extraordinary.

For me, I had to realize that I no longer found the time to make those financial decisions that would bring me in the most bang for my buck. While I continued to save and invest, I didn’t have time to research stocks and companies. I lost track of the holdings in my Roth IRA and blindly committed my money.

At Miss New Money we (I) believe  that money travels in an Olympic row boat with an Olympian Team to crew. I’m just the sponsor. It constantly needs to be moving, rowing, working, earning me more money.  New Money. Investing without understanding was as if I pushed the boat out into the water and hoped the currents would be kind; that my boat wouldn’t crash.

I’m still nervous. But only time will tell.

Thirty Day Full Price Cleanse

Day 17: actually went retail shopping this week and I used coupons for the items that I purchased. I saved $75. I also walked away from quite a few items. Just because things are on sale or you have a coupon, doesn’t mean you have to buy. Putting two and two together, I actually saved much more by the stores selling ugly things! Thanks!

Total Savings to-date: $151.67

Confessions of a Finanshionista: Action Plan

Well it has been over a month since my last post (a thousand apologies). And while I was away I was being bad. Very bad.

A few weeks ago I received a very substantial refund from my University/Loan originator. Usually I take out more than what would cover basic tuition. Ya know, for books and such. Well lets just say I didn’t have thaaaaaaaaaaat many books to buy so I was left with a surplus.

I started to rationalize my purchases (purchases that I would not have been making otherwise) as necessary objects.: a new winter coat, winter boots, professional pants and shirts, and of course accessories to match. I also rationalized home purchases: a new theme for the bathroom with matching yellow towels (man towels are expensive!), new sheets and list goes on. Even a new mattress!

To make a long story short, I lost my freakin’ mind! Budget? Ha! Spending in moderation? Ha! Everything that I knew was wrong felt oh so right. I was able to buy anything and not worry about it. “Yes, I would like a bottle of champagne with diner!” Ok I didn’t take it that far but I did eat out at last twice a day. It wasn’t until I looked at my bank statement of transactions and realized that there were about 20 debits for every 1 credit.

Basic math can predict that with a spending record such as that, the funds were sure to eventually dry up. And what happens then? A huge onset of B.R.O.K.E! Buyers Remorse Over K-rappy Expenses!!! (that one was a bit of a stretch) I needed to take a step back and really evaluate why it was that I was being so bad.

At my age, zero spending is unrealistic. Miss New Money is all about making practical choices now to both further your quest towards a fabulous (and fun!) lifestyle but by incorporating realistic spending habits that will ultimately set you free financially. As I realized the errors of my ways, I took the appropriate steps towards correction:  Saving, Investing and Re-organizing (Yes, SIR!) I moved some of my money into my accounts that were ultimately going to afford me the freedoms to spend in the fashion I want to, also known as my money making accounts: my savings accounts, my Roth IRA (retirement), my TD Ameritrade Brokerage Account and my newly funded Money Market Account. In addition, I eliminated the accounts that where costing me money, my money taking accounts: my nasty Credit Cards.

I still needed to do more.  This relapse into commercial and retail spending made me realize that I still had work to do in terms of discipline. So I am going where no finanshionista has gone before. Introducing the “Thirty Day Full Price Cleanse” *insert dramatic music here*

For thirty days starting last week I will only purchase items that are either A) on sale, B) have a coupon associated with it (coupons are cool–just breathe), all while C) not using my credit cards. Now C shouldn’t be too hard, seeing as how I am now 100% CC DEBT FREE!!! Each week I will tabulate my savings and invest that into a money making account.

I challenge you all to do the same and see if you have what it takes to make smarter choices right now to recognize the benefits both now and for your future.

Keep reading…

Splurge or Save??

Nine West Gordon, Boutique 9

Stunning, T-Strap sling back pump on hidden platform sole with leather bottom. 4 1/2″ heel

As of yet, this is the first very expensive shoe that I am even contemplating on buying.

Influences

Ok, so the purpose of these posts is to be completely honest as to what is compelling you to purchase the item. Therefore, I have to admit, that when I first saw these shoes and fell in love it was fresh off the Sex and the City premiere. What also did not help was that a review posted on Zappos was from a woman who wore these shoes to the premier and got tons of attention. I love attention. Especially if it’s on my clothing.

Why this item?

At first glance, I thought the shoe to be unique, eye popping and very fashionable. I love the t-strap and the old flapper feeling the shoe exudes. In addition, I do not have any purple shoes and I’ve become much more welcoming to this color. Did I mention it was unique? And I love have different items, clothes and accessories that others do not.

And you need this because…

I can be honest: I do not need these shoes. This is purely an extreme want.

What are my Options?

Charging the cost of these shoes is not an option so I will essentially be paying with cash. Now, instead of buying these shoes I could:

(1) Transfer the money to my TD Ameritrade Investment Account. There I could buy about twelve shares of a speculative stock, stocks that are priced relatively low and are of high risk, I have been eying. Due to the nature of the stock, it could really pay off in the future. If the stock reaches its estimated target price I would gain about $6.00 in profit per share. SO, I could turn 140 bucks into $212. That’s a 51% return, found by taking the difference between the original and future price and dividing it by the original price. But the stock has is classified correctly for a reason, it’s all speculative.

(2) Add to my Emergency Fund. Your emergency fund is something that should consists of at least three months of living expenses. I have my fund in an online savings account with Amtrust Bank. Unfortunately I have been tapping into my reserve depleting it down to $600. Adding $140 would help boost my fund and increase my interest payments from the bank once again making money off of the starting $140.

(3) Pay down credit cards. Because I am sitting on about $2K in credit card debt, paying off $140 isn’t the most enticing or pressing issue. However, its a step in the right direction nonetheless. I am not being charged finance costs, because I am still on a promotional offer, so I wouldn’t be saving anything there.

(4) Add to my Roth IRA. I have an individual retirement account (IRA) with Vanguard. Currently it has about $1,900. I have been adding to it monthly since Summer 2005. This money would round it off to a nice $2,000. If I’m not going to sped it today, why not save it for tomorrow?

Splurge or Save?

Save. I’ve decided NOT to purchase the shoes. There will be others. Better ones. Things I have to tell myself to help the healing process. Also, I need an accounting and statistics textbook that just so happen to total up to the same amount of the shoes. It was fate.

Being a financially fit woman or attaining financial fabulousity is all about checks and balances. When faced with an item that you feel ‘speaks to you’ it is often quite difficult to make a rational decision. Taking the time to compare what else that money could be spent on also gives you the opportunity to get back on track with your financial goals and removes buyers remorse.

Do you have an item that you’re considering splurging on? Email me at somoney@missnewmoney.com with all of the details. Don’t forget to include a picture!

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