In January, Consumerism Commentary will begin the Naked With Cash event and series. Several Consumerism Commentary readers will share their financial reports and analyses at the beginning of each month, with insight from financial planners and other experts. To introduce each of the participants to readers, I asked them to share where they’ve been, where they are, and where they’re going, and to describe their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Meet Naked With Cash participant Kathleen. She has prepared this introductory post to give readers a sense of her background before the tracking begins in earnest in January.
Hi! I’m Kathleen, and I write at Frugal Portland. I’m very excited to participate in tracking my finances here!
I’m 31 years old, single, and living in Portland, Oregon. I’m in sales and marketing for a small software company, and I love what I do for a living. I don’t have many responsibilities so I’m focusing on getting my finances in order, and I started blogging about a year ago to hold myself accountable. In that time, I’ve gotten out of credit card debt and started saving toward retirement.
My financial strengths are the ability to set priorities and focus on those. I would also consider working at a place I love (that is almost assuredly not the highest paying job I can get) a financial strength, because in the long run, the amount of money I make matters a lot less than how happy I am in my job, and my life.
My income comes primarily from my day job, though I try to pick up some “side hustles” when they come available — pet-sitting, freelance writing, making salted caramels, and helping small businesses with their social media strategies are all things I’ve done on the side. In 2012, after taxes, I earned just over $33,000, and I’m in a place where I receive no benefits or matching, so I’ve taken it upon myself to save for retirement. This is done through a Traditional IRA.
I love living in Portland, and I love the psychology behind marketing. I have an entrepreneur’s mind, and am constantly starting projects and finding ways to make money working for myself. I believe in simple living, and adjusting my lifestyle to match my income rather than the other way around. I believe that I’m at a turning point in my life, and that things are going to be very different, very soon, and I’m excited about that possibility.
I love cooking for my friends, and I love going over to their houses for dinner as well. I’m in the market for my first condo or house (but probably condo as I have very little in the way of handyperson skills!), and my parents are helping me with the down payment. I think I’ll find something in the next two or three months, and I’m really looking forward to that!
I started reading Consumerism Commentary about a year ago, but really got more involved after the Financial Blogger Conference. Meeting Luke in person helped me connect to his writing.
Thanks for participating in Naked With Cash, Kathleen!
Updated December 27, 2012 and originally published December 20, 2012. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.