Monday, September 22, 2014

Opening Up My Financial Life

Hey everyone.
So as I promised in my last post, I'll be disclosing my own personal financial state, in my quest to become a millionaire. But before I do so, I'd like to say that while I don't endorse everything that Suze Orman says on her t.v. show or in her books, she once said that she believes the three impediments to achieving wealth are fear, anger, and  shame. I wholeheartedly agree.

There were times in my life when I was fearful about when I would make money, or whether I would make money, or generally around the topic of money. There have been times when I have been angry at how little money I had, while jealous at the amount other people have had. And I have definitely been embarrassed about my financial state at various times in my life. However, I have managed to resolve my money anxieties and I realize that I am always able to generate income if and when necessary. I have also managed to resolve my anger around not having the same amount of money as some of my peers. And through opening my financial life up to the public, I hope to resolve my issues regarding shame and money.



Money in general, and debt specifically is such a taboo topic. I am a 31 year old male and I have a total of $90,000.00 of federal and private student loans from my undergraduate education at Duke University. I also have another $122,000.00 in federal and private loans from law school. I owe my mom $5,000.00 for a loan she gave me after I passed the bar exam and I have $1,069.00 in credit card debt. The credit card debt has been mostly from paying monthly healthcare premiums and for a $500.00 plane ticket I had to buy unexpectedly for my grandfather's funeral. So my total debt is $218,069.00.

As of today, September 23, 2014, I have a total of $1,253.99 in my investment account, $1,147.70 of which is in my Roth IRA. I currently own 2 shares of Baidu.com (BIDU) and 3 shares of Lockheed Martin (LMT). Although most financial planning experts advise paying off credit card debt - which I am doing aggressively - I feel a certain sense of security and financial well-being when I know that I am making my money generate money for me. My investments have acted as a kind of make shift savings for me also over the past few working years.

The most money I've ever had in my savings/investment account is $15,000.00 and I had that amount right after Duke. I saved and invested while living at home and working while paying no rent. Over the past decade, I have saved and invested several 4 and 5 figure sums. However, life and more specifically paying for education expenses over the past few years, rent and groceries in New York City, along with sporadic employment prior to late 2012, has dwindled my safety net.

Fortunately, I am beginning to rebuild my savings and investment portfolio and I recently moved into a spacious new one bedroom in Manhattan. My rent is currently $1,100 per month; my professional liability insurance is $90.00 per month; my phone and internet service costs $250.00 per month; my office rent is $500.00 per month (but it's sometimes abated); my health insurance is $354.00 per month; my disability insurance is $180.00 per month; my life insurance is $107 per month; and my student loan payments that I am currently making total $1,000.00 per month. I'm on track to make $55,000.00 this year as a solo practitioner lawyer and  on my quest to be a millionaire by December 31, 2016, I am aiming to have $10,000.00 in liquid assets by December 31, 2014. The road to major goals is paved with smaller, more attainable ones to promote perseverance.

Aside from ridding myself of shame surrounding my financial situation, I want to chronicle my journey toward millionaire status and show people that anyone with a sufficient income ($45,000.00 in major cities and $40,000 in smaller towns) can become rich - myself included. As I journal about my own personal journey, I'll be sure to include money/personal finance/investing lessons, as they pertain to my personal situation. Lastly, please send in any questions or comments about any personal finance topic you'd like to see me discuss. Thanks for reading and good night!


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