... there was a little fairy princess named Madame X. Okay, she wasn't really a fairy princess, but she lived a long time ago and far away. And okay, I'm only talking about 16 years ago and a few hundred miles, but sometimes I look back at my younger self and feel as though she is some strange creature out of a story!
I was going through some old notebooks again, and found a page of financial notes, the beginnings of which seem to date to 1992. I was living with my parents at the time, and looking for my first apartment of my own in Boston. Here's what I wrote:
----- rent $850 tops if no T passOn another page of the notebook, I'd written this:
540 exp or 510 if no T pass
$800 if T pass needed
also account for utilities
figure $600 expenses + RENT
bank balance ~4250
target bank balance $11,500
if no bonus
~ adjust for 401k?
DONATE $100/yr to charity.
actual 6/1/93 approx $4,000!
6/95 approx $6,000
-- apt. down payment
10/97 pd off $3,000 student loan
10/97 appr. $5500 savings + [$2000 CD]
4-15-94Obviously I am now a lot better at keeping financial records and at setting realistic goals! But still, it's neat to look back and see that even then, I was managing to slightly increase my net worth. I can't believe I set myself a budget of $850 maximum for an apartment, though: my salary at the time was about $19,000, though at about that time in 1992 I may have just gotten a promotion that brought it up to $30,000. Either way, the apartment I ended up renting only cost me $600 a month and I still found it tough to save.
Bank Balance-- checking 4971.90
401k + pensi0n -- ?
Goal: $10,000 in savings by next April
April 95-- have about 6000 checking and savings comb.
It's also interesting to think about how much my life changed within the first 6 or 7 years after getting out of college. I went from being someone who was unemployed with a couple thousand dollars of credit card debt to someone who was making $19k and had a few thousand dollars in the bank, to someone who was living in NYC, making over $30k and had a few thousand dollars plus some unknown amount in a 401k, to someone who was making about $45,000, had $8,800 in the bank, co-owned her first home, and had paid off her student loans a few years early.
Add another 10 years to the calendar, and I'd become someone who was making just under 6 figures, owned her own condo, had traveled to 7 or 8 more countries, spoke two more languages, had loved and lost and loved again, and had a variety of bank accounts and investments generating a net worth of around $350,000.
It does kind of sound like a fairy tale, doesn't it?