1 Million Dollars

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Third Guest Post

My third guest post is up at Trendy Cheapo http://www.trendycheapo.com/budgetliving/phd-student-saving-half-income/ and for once, my guest post had nothing to do with real estate!  The author of Trendy Cheapo is a fellow blogger in the Save 50 group and my post is about my efforts at achieving that goal.  I am not even close but getting there will be an amazing journey.  So, head over and let me know what you think of my progress so far!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Save money on the internet and saving time as well!!!!

Today I was talking to my roommate on how I convinced my mother to join ebates, a cashback website, for her online purchases, when I realized that I should check if petsmart had free delivery and was on ebates.  We normally get discounted gift cards from cardpool and then buy our food and litter from persmart.  But why am I taking my very limited time and going to petsmart if I don't have to?

I found out that petsmart has free shipping on orders over $49, plus there is an online sale going on which will save me 10% today.  So I ordered the cat food and litter to be delivered to my house with the petsmart giftcard which I had purchased at 90% of face value.  So I spent $60.88 at pet smart, on a giftcard that only cost $55, plus ebates will give me back $3.04 so really I spent about $52 for a purchase "worth" $61.  So, I saved $9 for less work than driving to the store, plus I did not have to waste our time.  Because it would have taken much longer to drive and shop than order online.  Don't you love when money savings are a time savings as well.  Most times I either need to spend a lot of time or money to do what I want, here I saved both.  What a good start to weekend!

Is anyone else found a money saving trick this weekend?

The links is this article are my referral links, if this is the first time you have heard of these websites and decide to try them out, I'd love if you used my links.

Monday, June 16, 2014

How are you spending your summer?

Summers are great times for students, it is a time of great opportunity.  Right now I am looking around at undergraduate students who are spending 10 weeks working a lab (being paid!) through the CLIMB UP program here at UB (http://www.buffalo.edu/climb/climb-up.html) which will help them decide if they want to go to graduate school.  Unfortunately, this kind of summer opportunity was never one I could take advantage of because I had to work to pay for college.  This meant that because my work was not alright with taking a summer away, I never took advantage of such a great program.  My husband did and it was one of the reasons he got into a PhD program and I only was able to get into a Master's program.

So, what if you don't want to get into graduate school or can't afford to take a summer off from work?  Well, you still have opportunities during the summer.  The last summer before my husband and I left for buffalo we knew money was going to be tight.  We had to pay for moving, save for an emergency fund, and save for closing costs because this was the Summer of 2009 and the government was giving tax credits for purchasing a house and in buffalo it is cheaper to buy then to rent.  So, we worked.  My husband picked up a second job as a referee because loves hockey.  I picked up as many hours as I could at work.  Summers are great for earning money.  As a student I was always, go, go, go.  But the summer takes away all those class hours, all that studying.  Even if you add in a lot of fun times, there is a serious amount of time you can spend working. 

Your work can be something related to your hobby like my husband's refereeing, or just picking up extra hours from your school year job like I did or it can be a small internship.

Internships can be great but many are unpaid.  So how do you find one which is paid?  Tap your network.  Ask professors if they know anyone who needs extra help during the summer, talk with people at you career center, cold call companies that you would like to work for and ask if they have any summer opportunities for students, any of these may work.  Even if all you are doing is making coffee and stuffing envelopes, you can spend the summer making more connections for your future career or your next summer's wage.

Maybe you are sitting there and saying, but the summer has already started, what can I do NOW?  Hit the pavement, start dropping applications off.  Yes, most employers have hired their summer work force but often this is when they drop the ones that are not working out.  Connect with your friends, see if their jobs need anyone.  Ask your parents if they know anyone who needs help.  But this is not the time to be picky.  If you are good with dogs and someone needs a dog walking in afternoon, TAKE IT!  This is your time to be a freelancer, find opportunities for yourself.  Does someone need a tween driven somewhere, grab that opportunity.  Make everyone in the neighborhood know, you are there to help.  Someone is cleaning out their basement for a yard sale, can you help for a share of profits?  You may not make much at first but in this connections matter and by the end of the summer you so busy you won't know what to do with yourself.

But don't forget to have fun this summer.  By the time you finish college, summer break will be a thing of the past, so take advantage of it. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Updated Millionaire Plan June 2014

In May we decided to start funding my Roth IRA and to do so need to connect our bank accounts to Fidelity, and because of some technically problems that did not occur in May.  We did deposit $71.97 from our FIA credit card (https://www.fidelity.com/cash-management/american-express-cards) but nothing else.  But thanks to the market we still have had some nice gains. We now have $19587 in our retirement accounts.

We do plan to add the $625 that we missed in the month of May but because my husband is changing jobs in a few months we are holding on to the money for now.  Sadly we are still short of our minigoal of 6 months expenses including COBRA by $1413 (total minigoal is $21,000) but I bet we will make our goal by our August update.  After that our next minigoal will be $25,000, my gross annual income which will allow us to diversify outside of target date funds and therefore will lower our expense ratios.

I dislike paying extra if I don't have to and in eight to nine month, I won't have to.  I am still a fan of target date funds for new or inexperienced (or even lazy) investors but I have spent the entire time I have been building up our retirement funds learning about investing using index funds and have a pretty good idea on what I want to do.  That said, because of my husband new job, things may change in what we chose to invest in based on their retirement offerings.  I never want to stagnate, I always want to keep learning and being open.  Part of being a student is learning how to learn and my schools have done a great job at teaching me that.