In Naked With Cash, seven anonymous Consumerism Commentary readers publicly track and analyze their finances on a monthly basis. For almost a decade, I tracked my own finances on Consumerism Commentary; now I’m sharing the benefits of public accountability with the participants. I’ve partnered with financial planners who will offer some guidance along the way. Read this introduction to learn more about the series.
Anonymous S is a 24-year-old engineer earning $67,000 a year plus bonus. He also builds websites on the side for an hourly fee of $20 to $35. Read his bio here. Anonymous S is on Team Roger, with Certified Financial Planner Roger Wohlner.
Keep reading to see how Anonymous S progressed throughout the month of September. This month, our special theme is estate planning. (You can read August’s update here.) Following his own analysis, Anonymous S will be able to read feedback from Roger.
Roger Wohlner, CFP appears courtesy of The Chicago Financial Planner.
Anonymous S analysis and comments
September was kind of boring financially. Money came in and went out, but overall the situation was pretty uneventful. My credit card spending was up due to prepaying over $900 for a hotel reservation that I’ll get reimbursed for.
I was able to add $800 to my taxable investment portfolio this month, but combined with a market upswing, it really increased from last month. I’m hoping to be able to add even more this month, and I’m also cashing out the remainder of my 1.18% APY I-Bonds to put into my riskier stock-based portfolio. (Don’t worry, I still have a healthy amount in savings bonds earning more than 4%).
I’ve been working on a side project recently that I hope to turn into profit soon, as well as doing some odd jobs in web development. I’m hoping that these could turn into recurring revenue soon.
Topics that are starting to come up now among my friends are promotions and new jobs. Many of my friends started jobs right out of school, and as a result now have more than two years experience. Since I spent an extra semester at school and spent more time than average finding my current job, it sometimes feels like I’m behind them in certain ways. However, my 9-to-6 schedule sure beats their 7am-to-8pm (and I get to walk home for lunch with my girlfriend).
This month’s theme for Naked With Cash is estate planning. At this point in my life, with no dependents or much equity, I haven’t given it much thought. I definitely will in the future, but right now doesn’t seem like an appropriate time to start worrying about that.
Overall, life is pretty good, but NYC is great at humbling you in every way.
Feedback from Roger Wohlner, CFP
Kudos! It looks like things are well on track following your move to New York City. September was a good month for a lot of investors. However, for someone your age what happens month to month is pretty irrelevant. From what I can tell, you have a proper long-term perspective when it comes to your investments.
I agree with you as far as estate planning. All I would say here is to ensure that whoever would be responsible for dealing with your situation in the event of an untimely death as access to what they need to wrap up your affairs. Also I would make sure that you have proper medical directives in place in case of an foreseen serious medical situation.
Feedback from Luke Landes
The pressure to keep up with your friends can be frustrating when you’re not seeing the same kind of success they are. You seem to be handling it well, though. Not everyone follows the same path, and you might find that you have some advantages they might not. For example, your side project sounds promising. If this is something you can turn into a business, it can far exceed the incremental raises and promotions your friends are concerned about. If you’re willing, I’d love to hear more about your side project.
Even though I’m outlining some advantages you may end up having over your friends, it’s not a competition. You’re living your life the way you want to, and it’s giving you some freedoms (like lunch with your girlfriend) that make you happy. That’s what’s important.
Published or updated October 28, 2013.