It isn’t what you make, it’s what you keep.

Ah yes, finances. Money makes the world go round – without money, you can’t do anything.
Although money is such an important part of people’s daily lives, most people feel uncomfortable discussing their personal finances because of privacy issues I’m guessing. I’m pretty open about my finances so I don’t mind discussing it on a public website.

Despite being in a commerce course now, my finances are still no better than they were when I started my PEY. Looking at my spreadsheet, in July I owed approx 15.5k in debt. Now, that figure is 16k. So what happened? My debt actually increased? despite my internship and my part-time job?

Well, let’s analyze it. My credit card debt has stayed relatively constant. Back then, I owed about $5000 in credit card debt (how it got there…crazy spending habits I guess?). Now, it’s about $4500. In addition, I have a line of credit now that I didn’t before which is maxed out at $5000. Yikes. I’m in an even worse position than I was before. That’s $9500 of combined credit debt, not even including my car loan (that’s another $6500).

Hmm. So what happened? Well since July, I have done several things besides the usual spending on food, gas, etc to increase my debt. Looking at it, here are key factors:

1) I spent $3000 on tuition for the commerce course that I’m taking now. Ouch.
2) I spent $2200 to pay off part of my car loan.
3) I spent $4000 in capital for my stock account.
4) I paid off my student loan.
5) I bought useless junk off ebay/craiglist (It’s addicting -_-)

Ah. So there’s where all that money went. My income is around $3k/mo and I can expect my debt to grow by at least $600/mo because of food/gas/insurance/etc, which are basic spending necessities every month. Using this trajectory, I’m on track to pay off this debt by the time I turn 22 next May. Let’s hope I can.

Btw, this post is mainly for myself, well alot of my posts are personal but whatever. It’s fun analyzing your own finances. Actually helps when you’re taking an accounting course too. Now, I wish I can grow my stock equity fast enough to purchase some real estate next year. IF I’m really lucky. But I’m not usually lucky.

So looks like I got myself into financial mess again: I used paypal alot to do my online purchasing. But I have it linked to a bank account which I don’t use that often. So everytime I pay through Paypal, it charges my bank account first then my credit card (supposed to be CC first). Everytime my bank receives that and it doesn’t have money to cover it, it charges me a $40 NSF fee. So now I have over $500 of NSF fees I have to pay, even though Paypal already charged my CC for my purchases. *sigh* so much problems to sort out -_-….

edit 2:
Looking at my stock summary for Jan 2009 – Current (Nov 2009): Gross P&L: $4771, which may seem like alot but adjusting for commission = $2156. Not bad…though for 10 months of trading I kind of expected more profit. Then again, I only had $1500 of capital to start with -_-;

edit 3:
Parents had a talk with me about my finances. They were frustrated at my debt not going down. I had to explain how recently it’s been tough financially: last month spent $2400 on stocks, this month spent $300 getting a new cellphone (old one broke) and $560 because of those bank fees in edit #1. They don’t seem to get it, they think I make a lot of money (which I don’t), and they assume that I don’t spend anything each month (which I have to obviously). I wish I could put 100% of my earnings toward my debt, but here’s just a minor list of ‘necessities’ that I have to spend each month:

-Interest on credit cards
-Oil changes (4 times a year)
-Haircuts (every 2 months)
-Hygiene stuff (shampoo, body wash, etc)
-Tech stuff (batteries, printer cartridges, etc)
-Car insurance
-Possibly entertainment related if I go out w/friends

All this is at least $600/mo -_-; I’m gonna try to cut down on my commodities expense (ebay habits) but the rest I see as pretty necessary. So yes, how much can I actually reduce my debt by? Not much. How am I gonna pay this off by the time I turn 22 (my goal)? Probably sell my arm and my leg.