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 Anonymous S. Anonymous S is 24 years old, with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in environmental studies, having earned the latter in 2011. He lives in a major East Coast city.
My primary occupation is an engineer. I have been there since April 2012. I make $67,000 a year, with a possibility of 3-7% bonus every year. The company provides a 401(k), matching up to 3% of base salary. They also offer an employee stock purchase plan, with quarterly purchases and a 10% discount. Health care is subsidized. I do not have the option of public transit, and my commute is about 24 miles each way.
I love living in an urban environment, and would love to work in New York City if I could find the perfect job. While the cost of living is higher, I’m willing to pay it while I’m young for the experience. I don’t travel much, except to New York City to see my girlfriend on the weekends. Since these trips are so short, I usually take Amtrak for the convenience ($72 round-trip). However, we alternate cities so I don’t always travel.
On the side, I am a web developer, and earn $20-35 per hr making web sites. This can bring in $1,000 to $3,000 a year.
My parents were a very good influence in my life, and set me up with a pretty good sense of fiscal sense. They also added me as an authorized user on their credit card, which set me up with a pretty good starting credit score. Additionally, they have helped me out immensely in the past, paying for college and making sure that I made good decisions.
I guess I don’t have many financial obstacles except that I tend to act impulsively. For example, I tried to time the market with stocks, and made some bad investments in LendingClub. One obstacle I recently overcame is cooking. Even though I could subsist on Chipotle for every meal ($6.86 after tax for a meal!), cooking is healthier and saves a bit of money. I am usually very pragmatic in my purchases, and it can take me a month to decide what kind of computer to buy. However, at other times, especially if I am looking at potential investments, I can act impulsively. I love online window shopping, especially at places like Woot and Newegg. I also get my money’s worth out of my Amazon Prime membership.
I love the entrepreneurial lifestyle, and would love to work at an early-stage start-up. I’ve been reading Consumerism Commentary for the past several months, since I joined the workforce. I think I read almost all of the personal finance blogs, which has given me a great perspective on the many differing tactics towards money. In addition, this past summer I started the Paleo Diet, which encouraged me to cook my own food. This has helped both my health and my wallet.
Welcome to Consumerism Commentary, Anonymous S, and thanks for participating in Naked With Cash!
Updated December 27, 2012 and originally published December 19, 2012.