Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Welcome to Smart Easy Money

For most of my adult life, I've had debt. For a long time, my credit card debt hovered between $1500-2000. Then, I went back to college when I was 25, and it took about a year to adjust to living at a lower mean. In the mean time, I used my credit card for meals, CDs, clothing, groceries, vacations, and more. Once I finished college, I have a higher credit card balance, in addition to a student loan. Having never been particularly financially savvy (except for paying my bills on time and paying extra when I could), I just coasted along. During the years between college graduation and early 2007, I travelled abroad several times (almost always charging the tickets), furnished various places I lived, and just used the card during times when I just didn't have the cash on hand. At one point, I had a bunch of money in the bank (a small inheritance, some money I saved on my own, and cash from exercised stock options). But did I pay off my debt? Nope. I retired for a year and travelled abroad for about nine months. I emphatically do not regret for a single moment taking that trip. However, I did incur some additional debt. About 1.5 years later, having saved up several thousand dollars in cash, I left the country again and lived abroad for four months.

Which brings the timeline to early 2007. After returning from living abroad, I knew I wanted to start saving so I could buy my own place. However, with my debt in the low five figures, I knew I needed to get my finances in much better order.

With the help of a friend, we created a very uber-basic spreadsheet detailing my finances. That spreadsheet came to be a sort of "crack" spreadsheet to me. I spent countless hours making projections, adding workbooks, and creating budgets of all sorts.

Now, about nine months later, I've paid down just over 40% of my debt, in addition to starting an IRA, and building a 3+ month emergency/future home fund.

Over the past year, I've learned a great deal about personal finance -- some from other sources, some from my own ingenuity -- and I wanted to create a forum to share that information. I also wanted to create a forum for personal finance information for self-employed people. I am currently self-employed (this may change in the beginning of 2008) and I've found next to no personal finance advice for certain questions of mine.

I don't claim to be an expert on personal finance, yet all I can do is tell you what has and is working for me, and give you my views on personal finance topics.

So, welcome, and I hope you find Smart Easy Money posts useful and informative!

1 comment:

Erica said...

Just wanted to drop by and say hello :) I'm enjoying your blog.