So this is going to be my responsible side taking over the blog. I know that this might be a bit “heavy” compared to the stuff I’ve been writing in here historically, but I think it’s important write about because it’ll help me think about the issues at-hand, and hopefully spark some thinking from you, too.
As of late, I have been a lot more cognizant of saving money. Last week, part of an evening was spent looking at my 2008 budget and refining my investment plans. Again, for those that know me, this probably comes as a huge shock. Yes, I still have some spending built into my budget this year, but I also have a pretty aggressive savings/investment plan so that I can weather both personal and national economic downturns.
A great quote I found online:
“The people who survived the Great Depression were the ones who had money to buy when everybody else was selling.”
Sobering stuff; enough so that I have become very determined to survive the rough next couple years.
Lately, I’ve been sweating the economic downtown. I went through the debacle of 2000-2001 with the dot-com blowout and survived it by moving in with my parents in Minneapolis. That’s pretty humbling, and while I do love my parents and do appreciate the help, I’d prefer to never have to do that again.
So I’ve been planning, scrounging, saving, and so on. Figuring out the best ways to start generating income from multiple channels (expect Google Adwords to show up on this site) so that there’s always at least something coming in. I’m going to finally make my VA disability claim over all the long-term issues I have from my injuries in the army. Basically, I’m trying to use these multiple income streams in such a way that I’ll be able to survive an economic downtown.
The big thing lately has been my urge to buy a house vs. rent. Yes, the market is awesome to buy a house now — if you can get credit. (Fortunately, through the VA Home Loan program, that’s not an issue.) At the same time, if the bottom drops out like 1929, do you want to be saddled with a home? And therein lies my quandry — what happened to rent prices on apartments during the Depression? I don’t know, and that’s an important data point. (Does anyone know the answer to the rent question? I’m very curious.)
I think right now, my plan is going to be to get to a healthy five-figure sum in savings by the end of the year (doable), and start looking for a house in November to close on December 1. That way I have thirty days to move my stuff from my apartment to my new domicile, and don’t have to take the financial hit of cutting myself out of my lease early. Obviously, as things progress, I want to ensure that both the financial markets and I are in good enough condition to buy a place.
So, after this year, I should be debt-free other than car payments and student loans. I’m going to make a special point, once the credit accounts are paid down, of paying an extra 50% a month on my car payment to help eradicate that more promptly. (Easily accomplished once the consumer credit is eradicated.)
If anyone has thoughts on other things I can do to help weather the storm, I’d be interested in hearing them.