Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Money, money, money

I'm watching a heartbreaking Oprah about people who have been hit so hard by the recession they are homeless. Some are living in shelters, some in tent cities and one couple is even living in their office. One woman who has been out of work for 2 years said, "Oh if only to have that paycheck back! The things I would have done differently." Recently there have been lay-offs at my company and I have friends who have been laid off as well. This all has gotten me thinking about what I can do to protect myself. I've tried to be better lately with utilities for one thing. I notoriously leave my lights on all over my apartment and have been better at turning them off. For a while I was looking at a gym membership-ridiculous because my company has a gym, as does my apartment building, so I have totally nixed that idea. I just really think it is time for us all to take a good, hard look at what we can cut back on. And to save that money! Put it in a savings account. Heck, I'd even say put it in the stock market. If it's going to stay in for over 5 years it has to go up at some point!

I think some people in their twenties are really thrifty with their cash. These are the people who are in their twenties and have jobs waitressing or working retail. The people who are bad at it are those who have salary jobs and have "extra" cash to spend. I know of plenty young adults who spend money on designer jeans and dinners and drinks out. Now I'm not against these things. I have designer jeans-4 pairs which is plenty. I know others in their twenties who have 10 or more pairs. Who needs that many jeans? And drinks. That's a killer in your twenties. Especially in L.A. I am not a big drinker, but I have friends who go out for drinks multiple times a week. Even if it's happy hour it's at least $20 on drinks, let alone food. These are just a couple of things I think we all really need to think about.

My dad always talked about how guys will graduate, get a good job, and then buy a new car. Do they need a new car? No. But they feel they've earned it. Right now, I would kill for a new car, but I know it's one expense I don't need to pay. I have a fully paid off car. Why would I add new expenses. Basically just think before you spend. Even saving an extra $5 a week is an extra $260 a year.

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