Q&A Thursday for October 18th

Have I mentioned how much I love me some Q&A Thursday? I love getting your questions. It’s like having you in my office and giving you actual advice, but without the driving.

Here’s what we got this week:

Q1. How do you keep your financial goals in focus when it seems like all you ever do is not do much at all?

A. Ok, I’m not sure what this refers to exactly so I’m going to make some inferences here that you can contact me about later if I’m wrong. I assume this is about frustration with lack of funds to meet financial goals. Most people are living by just scraping by on their measly paychecks so the idea of having financial goals is difficult. And in that situation your financial goal is clear: maximize what you have. This is where frugality is your way of life and you are proud of it. You don’t have to make your own laundry detergent, but you know all the deals for laundry detergent and when to get it. This in itself is a huge financial goal. You’ll get to a point where you’re earning more and goals like emergency funds and retirement will be more realistic, but for now, cut yourself a break. Living small is a huge financial goal and as long as you are fulfilling the bottom half of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: food, water, shelter, clothing, sleep, safety and friendship, you’re doing great.

Q2. I heard you got a new iPhone. How can you justify a purchase like this when you live on such a small paycheck?

A. I can’t tell if this question is someone being snide at my purchasing choices or if you are genuinely interested to know how I bought an iPhone. I’m making a lot of assumptions today and assuming your question is meant in the spirit of the latter. As I have said, we all spend differently and no one is right or wrong or better or worse.

And this is easy: I knew I was going to eligible for a new phone in October. My Blackberry has been failing me and Andy loves his iPhone, so I started saving. I saved $10 a month for 10 months and was able to purchase an iPhone 4S with no problem.

Q3. When are you going to write about student loans?

A. I know, I’ve been seriously neglecting this area. And the truth is that it’s because I don’t have any personal experience with it. Yet. As I get closer to grad school I’ll have more info. But if you have questions, you can always submit them to Q&A Thursday as happened a few weeks ago with a question about how to find out your student loan balance.

Q4. When should I get my tax info ready?

A. ASAP, but if you need extra help, sign up for my 2013 Resolution workshop! I’ll have a whole section about it.

As always, submit your question here to have it appear on the blog!

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This entry was posted in budgeting, goals, purchases, saving, Student Loans, taxes. Bookmark the permalink.

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