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June 26, 2010 / Suzie

Suzie Doesn’t Buy It

I finished Automatic Wealth for Grads (and Anyone Else Just Starting Out) by Michael Masterson last night. This is a summary of his plan:

  • Save 15% of everything you earn before taxes. That means if your starting salary is $30,000, $4,500 must go into savings and $7,500 to taxes. That means you have $18,000 to spare, or $1,500 a month. Whew!
  • Of the 15% that you are stowing away, try to make 12%-18% on investment.
  • Do so by investing in real estate, the stock market, and yourself, but mainly in real estate.
  • Work harder than 80% of people in your office to get raises. Do so by honing in on what matters most to your boss: the bottom line.
  • Work in a field that makes a lot of money in the first place.
  • Don’t rot your mind with the TV, internet, video games, or anything else fun that defines Gen-Y.

Okay so this book was written in 2006, so the real estate market has seriously changed since then. So much so that I believe Masterson has lost a lot of his thesis. However, what he does say about saving and investing are probably true, though most people are going to be far more conservative about it. The stock market tends to give out 10%, and that’s reasonable to me. Overall the book didn’t impress me that much, but what he has said about saving 15% is probably good advice. Suze Orman next.

Yesterday my grandparents took me shopping and I, once again, didn’t spend any money! Woohoo, only four days left of saving the pennies. It really hasn’t been too hard, though I’ll admit there have been temptations. I wonder if I could stretch this out into the month of July, save for my monthly checks going towards my $5000 graduation fund, Suzie Savings Investment Account (SmartyPig), transportation costs, and regular bills (grocery, phone, etc). That might be a bit too much; I do want to have fun for the 4th of July, but I want to do so in moderation! Maybe I’ll come up with a budget. Oh yes, budgets are good.

– Suz


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