Monday, January 22, 2007

Money Makeover, Newbie Style

I always get prematurely psyched when I see the headline for articles like this one from Money magazine: 5 Families Get Money Makeovers. "Oh, goody," I think, rubbing my palms together. "I'm going to make over my financial profile!" *Click!*

But then the disappointment sets in. None of the scenarios in the article apply to me -- even remotely. I'm not recently divorced, recently married and seeking a mortgage, married with kids, ready to retire, or, well, even in my 30s. I realize I'm probably not in Money magazine's demographic (yep, just checked here: median age 46). Maybe I'm more of a SmartMoney kind of gal. They do have a kick-ass website I enjoy. Oh, actually, nope. Their readers' median age is 46, too. Or, hang on, there's this cool new mag: Young Money. Eh, a little too college-centric for me.

Granted, though, there are a bunch of websites that more accurately target the 20s-to-mid-30s demographic (look to the right of my site for my favorite PF links). I appreciate them thoroughly. But, still, it's a little tough to know where to begin, especially when you're barely making enough to scrape by, as I very vividly remember.

And when you don't have a whole lot, the best you can do is save what you can, contribute as much as possible to your 401(k), and pray that your health/muffler/rent-stabilized apartment holds out until you can establish a respectable net worth or at least get your head above water.

So now I'm forced to do my own impromptu (read: silly) money makeover. Here are some budget cuts I should be making:

- Any more than one drink at the Flatiron Lounge (a.k.a. The Perfect Fancy Bar)
- Any more than two beers at d.b.a. (a.k.a. The Perfect Beer Bar)
- Dinners out -- On second thought, even I don't want to eat my own cooking -- oh, who am I fooling: the ready-made organic burritos sitting in my freezer -- any more than I have to. Let's make that...
- Dinners out involving copious amounts of wine (defining "copious" as more than one bottle of low-to-mid-price wine)
- Clothing costs (Oh, wait; I hate to shop. Never mind.)
- MP3s (Oh, wait; I have no iPod and am not music-savvy in any way, shape, or form. Never mind.)

And, um, that's pretty much it. So, Newbie, are you telling me that if I didn't drink I'd be a millionaire? Apparently! Let's hear it for money makeovers! And let's give a big thumbs-down to booze! Wait, come back, booze. I didn't mean it. Ike's sorry, baby.... Let's make up. Seriously. Don't go..... You'll come back for me! I know you will!

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