First World Problems: what does a 23-year-old do to protect future but enjoy a few luxuries? Less snarky inside, promise...
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (13 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
First, I'd like to preface this by stating that I realize how fortunate I am to be in this situation. Yes, I have received some amazing gifts from my family--namely, free college tuition for wherever I went to school.
I am just looking for some objective advice about my financial state and future. It can be awkward to talk about money with my friends and family.
So, about me...
-no kids, no SO
-been working with same company since graduating Feb 2010 (13 months)
-recognized as high performer, on management track if I want to stay at current company
So, my financial breakdown...
$0, except credit card 'debt' which I pay off monthly (don't carry a balance)
$3200/month, after taxes, healthcare insurance, 7% 401k contribution (company matches up to 6%), etc.
I work some freelance-type jobs and average $35/hr for, on average, 10 hours per month for the past 3 months
$1-2k in my checking account
Investments / Savings
Brokerage account: $22k (+/- $1k, depending on market)
Actively trade in my account and have locked in $3k in profit since I started investing/working a year ago, so I expect to continue to grow this, started with a base of $0
401k: $7k, also have pension (rare, I know) but not sure when it starts vesting or whatever the term is, I believe it's 'defined contribution'
Major Physical Assets
Vehicle, 100k miles, early 2000 SUV
MBP (honestly, the second most valuable thing I own)
Major (In)tangible Assets
Graduated with degree in computer engineering from top 20 school, 'employable'
No major health problems, most are sports-related from exercising
$600/month for rent
No personal cellphone bill
$150/month on healthcare related expenses
$600/month on entertainment, food, groceries, coffee, dry cleaning, gas, etc. (basically, everything else)
When I first starting working and had little money, I felt very vulnerable despite having tons of people I could turn to if needed. So now that I've built of a financial base for myself I have been wondering--'How am I doing?'
At some point, I would LOVE to get a used sports car (cayman, 911, m3, z4m, etc). I have literally been fascinated by sports cars since I can remember--even counting them on a family vacation to Hawaii when I was younger. At this point, I have VERY little interest in settling down (owning a home, or stuff I can't take with me)--in fact, I'll probably move several more times in the next 3 years. Do I have enough money saved up to consider this kind of purchase? I know the following comment could derail this entire thread, BUT I have considered leasing a car if that's a reasonable option (fixed/no maintenance costs, may only have it for a few years, may want to upgrade or change to latest and greatest, may want to get rid of it entirely).
I also cringe at the thought of taking money out of my investment/brokerage account. I have only done it once so far to fund a 'lavish' trip to Las Vegas. Fortunately, I couldn't managed to spend more than $1.5k in a weekend. So, the damage was minimal and I'm back to growing the principle. Would taking money out to fund a luxury purchase be a decision my 30-year-old self would regret?
Finally, I have this fear in the back of my mind that I will never be able to enjoy the money I make. One of my parents died young (at 50 years old) and I can't help but think I plan too much for the future. That's probably a ridiculous statement. BUT, I'm really not that frugal...see Las Vegas trip and frequent trips to Whole Foods, bars, nice restaurants.
Maybe I just think I'm so much better off than I am...~$30k isn't really much money to have to your name.
I guess I have been told I will be 'successful', but I feel like I can only disappoint people if I make a poor financial decision. Sometimes, I feel like I have everything to lose. Yes, these are 'first world/rich people/whatever' problems, but they are very real to me and I want to make the best decisions for my future while enjoying the here-and-now.
(And let's assume that 'therapy' is already an acceptable answer ;o) )