Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Baby Steps

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Baby Steps

    Nothing significant to say, but today I had a somewhat exciting realization. I opened up my bank accounts, and saw that I had breached a small milestone -- my retirement accounts are now above $100k in value! Plus, I have nearly reached $250k in total net worth. It's no million by any means, but for a 27-y/o, it's definitely a good stepping stone into the future.

    Seeing these figures made me consider how far I've come in such a relatively short time. I started as a Junior in college with no debt, but just $3k in savings. I had been pulled into an advisor's office with a few friends, where he taught us the basics of personal finances & saving/investing. It is now 7 years later (almost to the day, actually), and the progress really is astounding to me. I can't say the path that everyone else has taken, but I do know that for me it has all been a long series of small, consistent steps in the (mostly) right direction.

    Sadly, no secrets on how I've gotten here, which most of you can attest to. A stable, decent-paying job has helped alot, but just as much, it has been keeping my expenses low, paying off & avoiding debt as much as practical, saving/investing consistently & to the greatest reasonable extent, and so on..... The only "luck" has been in receiving certain opportunities with my job that gave me some chances to earn extra income for a period of time.

    I still have a LONG way to go, but I can rest assured that "slow & steady" really does win the race. Baby steps, people -- baby steps.
    "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

    #2
    Quite the accomplishment; congrats! I wish I had gotten pulled into someone's office when I was younger to learn the ins and outs of finances. I knew nothing and finally took it upon myself to get educated about it. While it's certainly nothing in the long run, in my first year of actually saving (I just turned 29) I'm over 10k in retirement accounts while paying off all my student loans. Like you said, baby steps!

    Comment


      #3
      AMAZING job for your age. YOu have a lot of life in front of you and already sit pretty money wise. Keep up the excellent work, it's surely paying off
      Personal Finance Blog | Dojo's PF Musings

      Comment


        #4
        Congratulations! Acting on the right information at the right time certainly pays dividends. I hope your friends are following the same path.
        Click here to download your FREE report:'The Absolute Beginner's Guide To Money Management'

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by kork13 View Post
          a long series of small, consistent steps in the (mostly) right direction.
          Very well said. This really is the key. There is no secret, no magic bullet.

          Your post very much made me think about another issue that often gets related to saving money and that is weight loss. The similarities between the two are significant. In order to lose weight and keep it off, you can't just go on some crash diet for a few weeks just as you can't build wealth by having a "no spend day" now and then. It needs to be a long-term, lifetime change in your behavior. That doesn't mean you can't splurge occasionally and buy a new pair of shoes or have a slice of cheesecake. What matters is what you do day in and day out over months and years, not what you do on a special occasion or once in a while.

          Congrats!
          Steve

          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

          Comment


            #6
            This is really awesome. Good for you for being consistent! Does the advisor know how you are doing? Have you thanked him/her?

            Comment


              #7
              Kudos for reaching such an awesome milestone. All those small, steady, repetitive steps are imperative but you added awareness of the need to establish savings and retirement plans. I wondered what role Air Force training plays

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks all for the congrats... The more I think about where I am right now, the more I realize I have so much to be grateful for... Although my course hasn't been anything special, circumstances have still allowed me to do well for myself, so it's humbling to know I've had life go smoothly enough for me to find some measure of success & security.

                Originally posted by scfr View Post
                Does the advisor know how you are doing? Have you thanked him/her?
                No, I haven't seen or heard from him since I graduated college, and honestly I wouldn't have the first idea of how to catch up with him. Not sure about what the others who were in the room have done, but I expect at least some of them have done decently for themselves... He was a good teacher, and all of us learned a lot from him. The ironic part is that, as a Senior, he & I actually butted heads on multiple occasions for various reasons. Nothing serious, of course, but enough to create some tension. But in spite of that, I'll always respect and appreciate his influence -- I put him right next to my parents as far as the level of influence on my financial life & education.

                Originally posted by snafu View Post
                I wondered what role Air Force training plays
                Sadly, I can't say there's much influence at all in that respect, besides the steady paycheck & periodic rank promotions. There is a deep-seated culture of living for the moment in the military... Everyone has either a sports car, luxury sedan, or huge truck; killer electronics are a given; debt is a foregone conclusion, it's just a question of "how much"; saving/investing money is an unattainable pipe-dream; "saving for retirement" means sending peanuts into the TSP but otherwise surviving until you hit your 20 years to retire with a pension. There is a small push in the military to educate service members and advocate for smarter money management, but it's impact is minimal.
                I think the biggest threat faced by service members is the fact that most of us join the military straight out of high school or college with no financial background, then suddenly we have a steady decent-paying job & lenders everywhere want us to sign loan documents, because they all know our income stream is secure.
                With all of that said, the "advisor" who taught my friends and I was a (now-retired) military officer at a military academy... So there is hope for service members on an individual level -- I just fear for the broader military population.
                Last edited by kork13; 10-26-2013, 10:52 PM.
                "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

                Comment


                  #9
                  Congrats on the accomplishment Kork. You're well on your way to a healthy financial life.

                  Your advisor story reminds me of an old-timer at work that relentlessly badgered me to sign-up for the 401k when I first started many years ago. I knew a bit about finances and that I should put some money in but hey, I was 20 and had better things to spend my money on (yeah right). So to shut him up I started putting in just 3% and upped it from there. Although he's since retired, I still thank that man for being such a pain in the a#% because without him who knows when I would have "gotten around" to having the money to put away. I'm not rich by any means, but at least I have something for retirement that I'm quite sure I wouldn't had it not been for him.

                  Since then, I've become that PIA and (slightly ) browbeat the newer and younger employees into the same thing. I don't get all in their business, but I make sure they understand the 401k and IRA's the best I can and that they NEED to start investing. If I come off as a pain, so be it, hopefully they'll be thanking me in 20 years or so and possibly doing the same with someone else.

                  With that, maybe you could take some of the newer recruits aside and give them a little "advisory" talking to and maybe some of them will turn out with a financial position as good as you.
                  The easiest thing of all is to deceive one's self; for what a man wishes, he generally believes to be true.
                  - Demosthenes

                  Comment


                    #10
                    congrats. Keep at it!
                    Brian

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Wow that's great news, what a motivation. I'm in my late 20's and am only just a beginner. Could you recommend some good books on finance that explain some of the things you have learned?

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X