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Archive for September, 2009: Apprentice Bliss Hunter's Personal Finance Blo
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Archive for September, 2009

Battling Anxiety/Lack of Belief/Procrastination - all the fun stuff ! :-)

September 13th, 2009 at 05:22 pm

So my 7 weekend film-making course starts next weekend ! Yay !

Financially - I have the fee for the course all saved up... so I'm good to go...

Over the 7 weeks, we will learn the basics of making a film, we will then make our own 3 minute film and it will be publicly screened (nerve-wracking !) in a city in Ireland.

During the first weekend, we will learn about script-writing. All the participants will write a 3 minute script. The second weekend, we will get feedback on the scripts and suggestions for improvements.... then we'll all (the participants) get together and pick one script.

I really really really want my script to be chosen !! As will all the participants. I have four ideas written down roughly. I have never written a script before.

I rang the film centre and they recommended a book (which my library is considering buying - it doesn't have it in stock - how frugal of me !)... and some scriptwriting software....

I'm feeling overwhelmed by the physical task of writing the four scripts as I don't know what I doing from a technical viewpoint. I mean I have good ideas but very little knowledge about HOW to write a script...

I'm kinda perfectionist that way and would rather, self-defeatingly, not do it than make a half-assed attempt at one...

but I'm gonna barrel through that inertia over the next 5 days (until next Friday) and bring 4 scripts with me to the course...

coz... I wanna feel like I'm giving it my best shot...

Wish me luck !

Net Worth getting close to goal !

September 9th, 2009 at 12:54 am

Goal of 10,000 by end of 2009.

At 8,999 at moment. Although when computing that my retirement fund was higher than expected... maybe it was a computer glitch - it being late over here....

Anyways... am confident of breaking the 10,000 mark this year... maybe even end of October/early November...

Nailing down the Percentages..

September 6th, 2009 at 11:37 pm

So will be debt-free by the end of this year..

And I've already started playing around with a draft debt-free budget... and have one that I am happy with...

But then I thought... well if I leave my current job that budget will be redundant...if I move to a foreign country I'll have to make a new budget etc etc..

Basically I spend quite a lot of time, e.g. while out running, computing different budgets in my head... etc... and I'm getting a bit tired of it..

I would like to work out a budget based on percentages... A budget that I can take anywhere and will fit all scenarios...

3 long-term areas I want to cover.

1. Retirement.

Note - Irish Government gives tax relief for retirement contributions up to 20% of Net Salary for 30 to 39 yr olds. (I'm 30).

So the obvious target is 20% - maximise tax relief.

2. Future Accommodation Savings.

I have no plans to become a home-owner at the moment. I'm not bothered by the prospect of renting all my life - unlikely as that may be. But I've decided to put money away every month to pay for my future accommoation either as:

A. A deposit for a home.

B. I never buy and the monthly payments just build up into a big fund that I can use to pay rent when I retire.

I'll be investing this money in high-interest savings accounts as opposed to the stock market as I don't know when/if I'll need to access it...

How much to save for Accommodation Savings, I was thinking IDEALLY the same as retirement - 20%. So when I retire, I will have money there to pay for my accommodation and a pension to pay for my lifestyle.

3. Invest long-term in the Stock Market via ETFs...

My employer has a scheme where one can get 8% of their annual salary in company shares tax-free. I'm thinking about having a goal of investing 10% of my income in the Stock Market for long-term savings..

So that's it... 50% of salary gone to long-term savings... the other 50% has to cover everything else - rent now, food, all expenses, car expenses, short and medium term saving, vacations...everything...

Then I thought 50% is a bit restrictive/miserly.. and then thought about 40%:

Retirement: 15
Accommodation : 15
Stock Market: 10

The only aspect of the 40% option I don't like is that I wouldn't be maximising my retirement contribution tax relief... but on the other hand, I don't want to live 35 yrs of unnecessary deprivation until I retire !!

Ooomphh... I know this is not terribly exciting but I would really like to settle on a percentage-based plan and then just forget about it and get on with other aspects of my life...

Any ideas/suggestions ?

Thanks in advance !

Cutting some fat

September 2nd, 2009 at 12:53 pm

My cell phone bill in August was 50 euro - about 30 euro higher than normal and I don't really know why... so I'm gonna investigate some options and see if I can get a better price plan - I should be able to get a plan to cover my needs for about 20 a month.... up until now I've just been topping up as required but I think I need to get a fixed price plan in place and then incorporate that into my budget.

TV... I seldom watch TV... maybe 1 or 2 hours a week.... if there is something worth watching on... I work evenings so don't get to see primetime TV...
I currently pay 16 a month for TV... maybe I can lose this ? And then I won't have to pay the annual 160 euro TV License fee either...