Monthly Archives: February 2006

This Is Going To My Head…

I want to welcome each of you who came here from the Money Blogger Podcast! I had a great time doing the interview, and I am envious of the Podcast’s great sound. Thanks Scott, I had an awesome time doing the interview. Keep up the good work.

If you are here for the first time, welcome! There are three sites which make up No Credit Needed:
The Original No Credit Needed Blog
The No Credit Needed Podcast
and
The Brand New No Credit Needed Network.

I hope that you will click around, and check these out. Thanks again for stopping by…

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Focus (Laser Vs. Flashlight)

I took the time to figure out the EXACT amount I will have to save each month, for 8 months, to reach my 20000 dollar goal. I will need to deposit $2434.39 on the first day of each month. I used an excel spreadsheet to calculate the interest, monthly payment, etc. This number will change, a little bit, if the interest moves up or down.

Lately, I have acted like a flashlight, instead of a laser. This will change, as of NOW!

My “financial” focus has been off, and I have been trying to do too many things at one time. When I was trying to get out of debt my goal was clear. Pay down the balance, pay down the balance, pay down the balance. ONE, clear, easy to understand thought. Now that the debt is gone, I need a new, centralized goal. (I have learned, through experience, that I need a singular, achievable goal. I do not do well trying to do many things at once.) So, here is my new goal. It the only goal that I will focus on (financially). I will not try to do “everything” at once. I will do this one thing, and I will do it as fast as I can. Like a laser, I will focus all of my efforts and energies. INTENSITY, BABY!

This is the new goal: 20,000 dollars in my savings account at ING. I hope to have this money saved by 10-10-2006. I will focus on my Roth’s, my ESA’s, etc. AFTER I have this money saved. WHY? Because, I want the security of a large, liquid emergency/savings fund. I have 2 or 3 possible major purchases on the horizon and I want to pay cash instead of using credit.

(My wife and I currently contribute, automatically, 5 percent of our gross into retirement accounts. She has a pension, I have a 403b.)

Each month, we take in “roughly” 5000 dollars a month. Beginning in March, I hope to put-back 2500 dollars, or half of our take-home, into savings. I am excited about having FINALLY figured out my “ultimate” goal for this year. I want to build a solid “cash foundation” before I begin investing.

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Cleanliness Is Next To Godliness

My recent purchase of CLX (Clorox) seems to be doing alright. This article seems to offer up some pretty good news. The stock has hovered around 61 bucks for the last few days, up a dollar and some change from when I bought it. I have decided that I will hold onto my 5 shares of this stock for the next 12 years, until my little girl gets ready for college. I am interested to see what it does and how it does it. Click here to see what CLX is doing right now.

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Balance This

Do you balance your check-book? I think that there are different types of check-book users. The breakdown goes like ths:

The Down-To-The-Raw-Copper Find-Every-Penny Guy: This guy balances his check book, every month, with every statement, down to the last penny. If he is off by even ONE red cent, he will search and search, calculate and recalculate, until his check-book is in perfect, justified order.

The Round-It-Up-A-Dollar Guy: This guy writes down the amount he writes his checks for, but he rounds up to the nearest dollar when subtracting from his balance, knowing that this insures that he will have enough money in his account for his transactions to clear.

The Willy-Nilly Race-It-To-The-Bank Guy: This guy uses his debit card, and doesn’t write his transactions down. He writes checks, and doesn’t write his transactions down. This guy KNOWS that 1:59 PM is still “on time” for making a deposit.

The Online-Banking-Hipster-Nerd Guy: This guy keeps track of all his financial transactions through his online bank, quicken, his PDA, his cellphone, and his Excel spreadsheet. Balance his checkbook? He IS the checkbook!

The I-Am-So-Disorganized-I-Don’t-Have-A-Checkbook Guy. This guy does not have a checking account, a savings account, or any other type of banking account. He uses his mom’s credit card, and pays for money orders to order his Hits From The Eighties Cassettes.

Truth is, I’ve been every one of these guys. When I first got a job, the only place I could cash my check was at my parents’ bank, and then I would just blow the money on teenager stuff. I also had a period where I was obsessed with checking my online banking account, 3 or 4 times a day. Now, I’m pretty much a cross between the “penny” guy and the “online-banking” guy. I like to know where my money is, where it goes, and when it gets there.

Seriously though. One of the signs of financial maturity is that you keep accurate records of your financial transactions. Understanding your financial past will help you to improve your financial future. So, write down your transactions, balance your checkbook, keep up with your receipts, and be smart with your money.

(I actually know a married guy who does not have a bank account. He pays Wal-Mart 3 percent of his check, every month, just so that they can cash his check. I’ve asked him about this, and he if fearful of using a bank, a debit card, a check card, an ATM, anything. From what I gather, somewhere in his past his family hit really, really hard financial times, and he doesn’t like to talk or think about it. It’s really, really sad. He lives in this very strange mode, unable to move forward because of his own fears and ignorance. He is a great guy, but he refuses to educate himself about money.)

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