More Reasons to Love Your Birthday

Your family and friends aren’t the only ones that are willing to send gifts your way on your big day, many companies do too! Nowadays they’ll do anything to lure you into their stores and make you shop.

Below is a list of companies and the deals/discounts they offer on your birthday (many which last for the whole month of your birthday). This is not a comprehensive list but what I’ve received this month for my birthday.

Companies in alphabetical order:

Anthropologie – sign up for their loyalty program and get 15% off your next purchase (mine came with a cute Zodiac card wallet in the mail

American Eagle –¬† 15% off your purchase for the week before and after your birthday

Bloomingdale’s – 10% off your entire purchase, some brand exclusions apply

Container Store – receive a free Happy Birthday tote bag

Dave & Buster’s – free $10 game play sent to your registered email

Delta Airlines – if you’re a SkyMiles member, you can get a bonus 1500 and $100 e-certificate towards your next vacation Continue reading

What is financial freedom?

I was reminded of a lunchtime conversation I had with my coworkers regarding financial freedom. Both coworkers agreed that it meant not needing to work to live the life they wanted. What they did not agree with is what the term “life they wanted” meant. One wanted to live a modest life where he could pursue his hobbies while the other wanted to travel and live more luxuriously. This meant she should have the option to fly back to her home country whenever she wanted, travel for vacation when she wanted, and buy what she wanted. If she didn’t have that then she wouldn’t consider it as financial freedom. We’ve heard the phrase financial freedom thrown around and the meaning is essentially different depending on who you ask and their goals.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while. For me, financial freedom means that I don’t have to work to live a modest life. This means every month I will be able to afford to pay for my basic necessities such as for housing, utilities, food, maintenance and some fun money. But the problem is this type of living is boring and if traveling, shopping and hobbies are added then the total amount of money that is required will be much greater. Even with this in mind, for me financial freedom is still being able to cover basic necessities without worry because it’s a peace of mind. Everything else is extra and really is extra. Even if I do reach financial freedom to not work though, I already plan on continuing to work. Work in this sense is not limited to working at a company as an employee but perhaps being a landlord or running my own side business. It’s the freedom to choose how to spend my time and how I prefer to earn that extra cash. In this sense, financial freedom for me is the freedom to choose. If I were to suddenly quit my job then I would not have to worry since my basic needs are covered. I will be free to stay at home or at least take my time to find a job that I really enjoy, regardless of whether or not that involves working for someone else.

What is your definition of financial freedom?

Tracy’s Financial Goals for 2011

For my first post I’d like to list some items I’d like to strive for this. year.

  1. Track my expenses in a meaningful way РI want to see where my money goes and see how my spending for specific categories change on a month by month basis as well as on a yearly basis. I hope this will show me where I can cut down on expenses and also allow me to see more clearly  how any cuts in spending will affect my monthly cashflow.
  2. Learn more about my 401k – I don’t think I can max out my contributions but I’d like to spend some time learning more about it such as what the max yearly contribution is, calculate how much more I’d need to contribute to max out my contribution amount, what is happening with my contributions, and figure out my portfolio makeup (in terms of stocks, companies, etc). Also, perhaps I can start attempting to learn how this money can be withdrawn after or before my retirement age. I currently have only a general idea on these topics and don’t feel confident in any of that knowledge. My goal is to change that.
  3. Buy life insurance – Sometime last year I was a victim (lightly put) of a hard sell for a life insurance policy by my bank. I had gone in for a money order to only leave one hour later with a large envelope listing out how much my policy will net me (well, not me … ). I had stubbornly refused and even felt bad because the guy who was pitching the sale to me was very nice about it and had tried to connect with me. He even claimed that he was one day older than me. I must say claim because I could hardly tell if he was. He did look my age but more than likely he was just trying to charm me into signing up (it almost worked – he wasn’t exactly bad looking either). Anyway, after that event I began having a strong desire to get life insurance but I had to refuse at the time because I was totally unprepared. Yet a year later, after ignoring his calls for a few weeks (I felt really bad! I did!), the envelope is still unread and I’m still just as clueless about life insurance.
  4. Start a finance blog – CHECK!