I've been reading a lot of Personal Finance blogs lately. There's a whole genre of blogs out there run by people who share their financial plights and successes with the world. Some are struggling to get out of debt and blogging about how to save a few bucks here and there. Some are making millions and explaining how the average Joe or Jane can do the same.
I started at Give Me Back My Five Bucks, run by krystalatwork. She's a young Vancouver woman who buried her debt in a hurry and is now ambitiously saving up emergency funds, travel funds, condo down payments and whatnot. She links to lots of other Canadian and American PF blogs.
One that appears chock full of great links is Quest For Four Pillars run by Mr. Cheap.
Articles at Millionaire Mommy Next Door (closed) made me question the conventional wisdom that home-buying is the best investment.
So, yeah, there's a lot out there. And a lot of these bloggers show their stats for all to see. I applaud them, though I'm not quite prepared to do that here.
While I'm proud to say that my RRSP is usually maxed out ... and that my spending habits are generally sensible and sustainable ... and that I'm doing what I can to save, like putting 10% of my gross income into the employee share purchase plan -- the one that matches 25% in the first year, 33% in the second, and I think 50% beyond that.
But in reality, we know that people are often more comfortable talking about their sex lives than about their bank accounts. I'm happy to share some generalities, but I'm not about to post my income stats here. I'm not comfortable sharing my salary with the world. Likewise, I don't want to know how much my coworkers are making. I just don't wanna know. If they're making more, I don't wanna know. If I'm making more, I don't wanna know. I know how I'm doing, and I'm curious what the industry average might be, but I don't want to tempt any hard feelings on the part of me or anyone I work with.
Having said that ... a tiny tiny bit of PF blogging from BigAss. I've read that knowing where you're starting is key to knowing how to get where you want to go. You dig?
So, I ordered up credit reports from Equifax and TransUnion. I messed up the paperwork on one, so it didn't come through ... but the other one arrived, and was 100% beautiful. No missed payments, no red flags, nothing to complain about. I have credit, and I use it wisely. I have no outstanding debts. I make my payments on time. I'm a good consumer.
Next, I went ahead and calculated my net worth. Well, not in excruciating detail -- I haven't added up the value of my physical 'assets' ... that box of Generation-1 TransFormers in mom and dad's garage is probably worth something astonishing, but I didn't factor it in. I also have not included the value of any insurance policies or pension plans. I'm frankly not certain where all that info is, nor do I understand whether it should be counted in my Net Worth calculations. I'm looking at more readily calculable stuff.
A nifty web site called Net Worth IQ lets you punch in the numbers and keep track of it all. I've been keeping track, loosely, for a few months, and here's my 'badge':
At least I *think* it's supposed to stick it up there. Anyway. If that doesn't work, you can see it here.
So, that's it. I'm not a Personal Finance Blogger. I may write stuff here 'n there, but I'm not going to strip my bank accounts naked the whole time. Would you? Let's hear your thoughts...
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