Hi! My name is Ken and I created this personal finance blog as an outlet of my ideas on how I would organize my own finances, not that it’s a total mess but there are still areas where it needs major improvements. I am an accountant by trade and working as an accounting manager in a company based in the Los Angeles area.
Ironically, I’m not the one who’s handling the finances at home, it’s my wife – the Chief Financial Officer of the family. And yes, I could always use a little break from all the numbers and accounting stuff from work and of course I do provide major inputs in the financial decision making process of the family. They said that experience is the best teacher and I hope I would be able to share my financial experiences, both the good and the bad, on this blog. Just because I majored in accounting does not mean that I am immune with financial mistakes. In fact, it is quite the contrary. Although most of the mistakes were made during the early years of my adult life, there are still a couple of financial blunders that I have made just recently. I hope that you can learn from me as much as I can learn from you. As one man said:
“A smart man learns from his own mistakes while a wise man learns from other people’s mistakes.”
Majority of the content on this blog are about sprucing up on the following areas of our own personal finances:
Although I have finished school already, my wife is continuing hers to obtain a bachelor of science degree. While I was going to school, I made mistakes and learn a lot about trying to juggle going to school full-time and working full-time. I’ve learned various ways on how I can save money, where to get free money for college, and learning the opportunity costs associated by not graduating early. I surely hope that these tips are now being applied on my wife’s college education.
I own a house where my parents live but when I got married, my wife and I moved to an apartment close to where I work. The moved help us in a lot ways as it allows us: to live on our own, to not deal with the daily stress of the traffic, and to save money on the cost of transportation. On a normal day, it takes me an hour and a half to travel a 25-mile route from the house. But now, it is just a 10-minute walk and moving closer to work also allows us to maintain and share only one car. Our plan is to buy our own house in a couple of years and we’re hoping that it would be as soon as she secures employment after graduation. Of course, we’re also hoping that the economy has gone back up and the real estate price has gone even lower.
Managing debt is a top priority for us because it affects all kinds of our finances starting with our budget and how much we can contribute to our retirement. In addition, since we are buying a house, maintaining a good credit and ensuring that we are not deeply in debt are a must in order to get good rates on mortgages and car loans. Two of my biggest loan that I’m trying to cut down are: Student loan for $28,000 and vacant lot loan for $14,500.
My first goal is to finish off the vacant lot loan and it will be paid in in two more years as I’ve been paying $650 per month. Since student loan has a very low interest rate, I am only paying the minimum since I’d like to pay-off the higher interest rate first.
It is never too early to think about retirement so saving for it should never be taken for granted. I continue to educate myself with all the retirement options available both from work and on the individual retirement accounts. When the stock market crashes, I knew then that I would need to pad up my savings in order to reach my retirement goals.