I'm realizing that I enjoy talking about money. Not bragging about how much I make (ha!) or about the expensive things I buy--but about money, budgeting, spending wisely, etc. In the past year, while I've been on my credit-card-paying-down warpath, I've really enjoyed getting to know myself as a spender, and having some surprisingly open talks with my friends about money and what it means when you're in your mid-twenties.
When I bought a refurbished MacBook over the winter, I could barely even bring myself to actually purchase it. That was the biggest price tag I'd ever rung up--aside from my education, which I'll be paying off for the next decade (sweet, sweet constancy). And when I did click "buy," I turned to my roommate and immediately told her why I did it, and I didn't even mention it to my parents for a few weeks. I'm 24! I bought a computer--to replace my old one, which was a blue iMac built in 1999, for crying out loud. What was my hangup?
Well, maybe that I was charging it, and that my credit card was not as close to being paid off as I'd hoped at that point. Maybe it was that I have scant savings (they'll be beefier after next Friday, when the card is paid off), no investments, no retirement fund.
But I need to give myself credit for my good choices, too. I have a good credit score. I pay my student loans regularly. My credit card balance will read $0 in just over a week. I have a savings plan. A little over a year ago I was interning for Big PR and deferring my student loans. So all things considered, I'm doing pretty well, I think.
I like setting financial goals for myself. I wanted to pay off my credit card this year, and I did that. Next, I need to put at least three months' living expenses in the bank, followed by enough for a down payment on a new (used) car. Maybe my goal for after my 25th birthday will be to start a retirement fund. Baby steps.
What are your financial goals? Even if it's just to buy one less latte a week, I'd really be interested in knowing. That means you, lurkers.