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Archive for December, 2009

Best way to enter Stock Market ?

December 30th, 2009 at 04:51 am

So will be debt-free by next April - all going well !

Have started playing around with my debt-free budget. Next April I'm going to have two new sources of income:

1. The money that used to be my debt repayments.
2. The money that I'll have saved on rent as I'll be sharing as opposed to living alone.

I'm thinking about splitting this new income roughly equally among 3 areas:

Opportunity/Emergency Fund, Retirement and the Stock Market.

As regards the Stock Market, I don't know an awful lot about it so don't want to get into stock-picking etc...

There's an Irish company that offers low-cost index-linked funds - some that interest me include European, US, Clean Technology and Chinese Index-linked Funds. The only fees are an Annual Management Charge of 1 or 1.5% depending on the Fund.

I saw Warren Buffett on Youtube recommending Index-linked funds to the average guy on the street.

Great - who better to listen to ? :-)

THEN.. I heard Suze Orman saying ETFs are a better way to go than Index-linked Funds. I think ETFs may be cheaper.

THEN.. I'm interested to a lesser extent in Funds that invest directly in areas that sound good to me like Water, Renewable Energy etc etc.. But I realise there's a risk in investing based on morals as opposed to how good or bad the underlying companies are commercially..

That's why I'm leaning towards Index-linked Funds or ETFs...

Just can't decide which - any suggestions ? :-)


Met Net Worth Unofficial Goal Surprise !

December 22nd, 2009 at 01:08 pm

Inspired by Ceejay74, I tallied up my December 09 Net Worth.

Now I wasn't going to bother doing a December Net Worth and leave it to January as I've been stupid with my money at times this month and have had to take 776 back out of my savings to keep me from going overdrawn.

But I did it anyway... and it's up !! 10880 in fact ! So I've broken the 10,000 barrier for the first time in my life ! :-)

My retirement savings and shares in my employer's company were both up very significantly... I presume there must be a stock market bounce going on at the moment.

I've settled on depreciating my car by 100 euro a month so in 4 yrs it will be at zero (but still being driven by me hopefully !).

When I totted it up, I couldn't help feeling "Well, it would be 11,500 if I didn't take that 776 out "... but I'm still very happy - thanks to the stock market tho... which I realise could be down next month.. Ah well... Cest la Vie !

By the way, my unofficial Net Worth Goal is to increase it by 10,000 every year until I'm 40. So 20,000 by December 2010, 30,000 by December 2011.. etc etc

It's unofficial cause I've kinda given up on having financial goals - I like the idea of just doing the right things financially and lifestyle-wise and not punishing myself for small trip-ups... as long as I'm heading in the right direction... but it IS useful to have a target to aim for... God - I can be really contradictory !! lol

Accommodation Decision

December 17th, 2009 at 03:32 pm

Currently renting a 2 bed apt for 500 a month. Living alone. The extra bedroom is for storage/guests etc.

Lease runs out in March 2010.

Landlord is willing to give me a new 12 month lease from January 2010 for 450 a month.

However, if I was to share a house with other people, I can rent a room in a house for 200 a month.... some are even advertised for 185 a month.

I'm still hoping, despite this month being a self-inflicted financial disaster, to be debt-free by next April.

My goal from next April will be to build a 10,000 euro Opportunity/Emergency Fund. Now if I was to share a house then I could contribute 250 to 300 euro MORE to this goal every month. Which is a lot of money.

Now sharing has it's own advantages/disadvantages. Advantages include it's probably more social etc. Disadvantage is you might not get on with every one in the house. I also might find it hard to get quiet time to work on the screenplays I want to work on... I am distracted easily..

So what do you think ?

Why I shouldn't Drink...

December 14th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Work-party last Friday ... got really drunk... You see I am untypically Irish in that I don't drink regularly... but that means I have no tolerance to Alcohol... so when I DO drink, it goes straight to my head and I get drunk really easily.

Last Saturday - hangover from hell. Didn't spend a lot Friday night though.

Last night was the Screening of the 3 min Short Film I helped make. Got pretty drunk by the end of the night - believe it or not ended up in a Lapdance bar.

Now I didn't actually get a Lapdance but I did chat to a georgeous Latvian woman... It's quite funny thinking about it now, but she (doing her job) was so entertaining, engaging, attentive and not at all bothered that I didn't want to see her naked, that I just found myself giving her money every 10 minutes... until my pocket was empty... and then I used my Debit Card to give her more !!


Now... she didn't actually ask for money.. but I was like a baby gazelle trapped in the gaze of this amazing actually nice person seductress !!

Ah well, I hope she puts it to good use...

Believe it or not, I don't feel sore about giving her the money.. because she did make me feel on top of the world with her great conversation and rapport... I've just realised that my feminine side is probably more developed than in most men... I mean, what MAN has a great time in a Lap Dance bar without seeing anyone naked !! lol

Is this debt ?

December 6th, 2009 at 01:01 am

Ok sorry if the answer to this is obvious:

If you want to get a new TV and you don't have the cash upfront and you have 2 choices:

1. Save the money for a year and buy the TV with cash.

2. Get the TV now on 12 months interest-free credit.

Is Option 2 considered to be debt ? I mean yes it's a monthly payment for 12 months and yes you OWE that money to the store.

But from a strictly personal financial budgetary point of view isn't Option 1 exactly the same as Option 2.

Both ways involve setting aside 1/12th of the Cost of the TV for 12 months. Only Option 2 allows you to get the TV now.

Now I would consider an interest-free loan for a big ticket item like a car to be debt. But for a relatively small ticket item like a TV ?? I'm not sure... The monthly payment wouldn't be a budget-breaker.

Emmm....Any opinions ?

Dental Tourism anyone ?

December 2nd, 2009 at 03:13 pm

Received unexpected dividends today of 65 euro from the shares I own in my Employer company.

Went to Dentist for a check-up and needed two fillings - 80 euro.

Net loss of 15 euro - not bad I suppose.

Anyway Dentist said I need 4 crowns at 950 euro each (they were 750 each at my last check-up). So 4 * 950 = 3800 euro = 5700 US Dollars.

Now Ireland has a reputation for expensive Dentists. I've heard of people getting Dental work done a lot cheaper in Eastern Europe e.g. Bulgaria. I think Asia, e.g. Thailand, is even cheaper again.

I think Bulgaria would be as good quality Dentist-wise as Ireland. I don't know how good the standard of Dentist-training is in Thailand or how well regulated they are.

So I'm considering taking a weeks or 10 days holiday to somewhere exotic to get my Dental work done and make a holiday out of it too !! And all for less than what I would pay in Ireland.

Has anyone done this or can anyone recommend any particular countries ?

So here's to the birth of my latest Savings fund - Dental Vacation !