@Samantha I budget about $1,000 a month outside rent. (Car insurance, $55, gas $40, internet $40, phone $91, fun money $200, groceries $400, misc home goods $50, shopping $100) Shopping ends up being a catch all for like hair cuts, doctors appointments, some personal purchases ect. Rent is around $830 depending on electricity.
@OllyOlly I actually feel like my only secrets are: 1. Have no student loans 2. Watch a lot of Netflix instead of going out / be generally the type of person who enjoys sitting around the apartment by herself 3. Have no financial emergencies
@HelloTheFuture I saved $9,790.02 in 2012 and $11,867.88 in 2013. I am 25 and live in DC. My salary was between $42k and $49k during that time. AMA. I am about to save no money for the next three years while in school, so no way will I have $300k in assets by 30.
I think college is mostly what you make of it. I had a miserable 2 years, where I made friend with the people on my dorm floor - who were not good friends for me at all. Then I actually got involved in things that interested me (study abroad - student radio) and the second half of school was great. Looking back, I love my school. But before I left, I was dreading it. It was my safety school and I hated everything about it.
Honestly this post just motivated me to sit on hold with Labcore so they could refile an insurance claim (they had typed in my policy number wrong). Hopefully now I won't owe $270 for physical bloodwork. YAY.
"and had to confess, in front of everyone, who we thought the worst candidate was." D:
@chevyvan FYI if you hold an investment for less than a year, your gains are taxed *at your ordinary marginal income rate.* So keep in mind that if you do end up earning money, you will have to shave off some of the gains. If you are between $36k and $89k your marginal federal rate is 25%.( I can't figure out if you pay state taxes as well, anyone?) ~disclaimer I know very little about short term capitol gains, so I would research this more if you are serious~
@moreadventurous Just to clear up things for everyone and "index fund" is a blanket term of a fund that tracks a SPECIFIC index. So you most likely will want multiple index funds. You may have one tracking the S&P500, this exposes you to huge U.S. companies that are the cornerstone of the economy, very conservative investments. But to diversify you may also want an index fund that tracks the MSCI EAFE, which is large companies from developed markets outside of the US. Or you may want in index fund which looks at Small-Cap (small capitalization, meaning the number of shares x market price), to diversify not only regionally, but in terms of company size you are investing in. You could also just go for a whole market index like the Wilshire 5000, but in general you want your portfolio to be exposed to more than one section of the market. (Obviously have one index fund is much superior than a handful of individual stocks, but on a whole, diversity is good.)
@AM You can find things that mimic an index that have no minimum, but you will have to pay a fee to trade them - depending on your broker. I think many popular brokers are between $6-$10 a trade. These will be ETFs. For example, I have some money in IWB, this is an ETF (exchange traded fund), which behaves like an index fund (a bundle of stocks that mirror a market index) but is traded like a stock, and IWB in particular mirrors the Russel 1000. The Russel 1000 is the largest 1,000 US stocks. The expense ratio is 0.15%, which means .15% gets shaved off my return each year. I also have an index ETF for the S&P 500, SPY, which has an expense ratio of 0.09%. I don't have a great portfolio balance right now because I am lazy, but I am sure googling could provide some good baselines. iShares and SPDRs are two brands of ETFs that will pretty much have any index you want to mirror.
@binfluenza A load fund means you are paying an extra fee. I think the idea is that they are great funds worth paying extra for, but they aren't. They have not been proven to out preform no-load funds. At the investment manager I used to work it, everyone always told me never to invest in anything with a load, and try to only find funds with an annual fee less than 1%. Many index funds are considerably lower than that. Always go for no-load and low fee index funds. A great website is morningstar.com, or yahoo finance for research individual funds.