Friday Links

From the Web

How to Negotiate Like an Indian: How to Get an $8000 Salary Raise – Ramit is one of my favorite personal finance writers on the net. He epitomizes my belief of focusing on big wins, where you can take actions in precise areas of your life to have a huge impact. A couple hours carefully invested in the right area (such as salary negotiation) can make up for thousands of smaller wins.

From the Archives

Financial Freedom – One of my life goals is to earn/save enough money that I don’t need to work for money. Does that mean I don’t want to work? Of course not. I just want to decouple the money I need to live from the meaning I draw from my work. Material success can enable the pursuit of higher values.

Reader Question: What are Your Biggest Financial Concerns/Obstacles?

I have a special announcement coming out Tuesday related to finances/entrepreneurship/money. If you only check out the blog infrequently, I definitely suggest dropping by that day because the announcement will be time sensitive.

Before that, I’m curious to know what the readers here think about their personal finance situation? What do you feel are the biggest challenges you face with your financial success?

  1. Saving more money.
  2. Figuring out where to put the money once you’ve saved it. (Especially in economic times where many otherwise intelligent people are recommending cash-in-a-pillowcase as an investment strategy)
  3. Earning more money. (either through part-time entrepreneurship or getting more from your job)
  4. Avoiding student loans/debt.
  5. Automating your finances so you don’t need to worry about them.
  6. Entering (or re-entering) the job market, worrying about finding a position.

Please write your thoughts in the comments. I often only tackle monetary issues at an indirect angle (productivity, goal-setting, entrepreneurship) but I believe the important point is to be in control of your financial life so your energies can be devoted onto the things you care about.

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  • David

    I am in a weird situation where I do not have to worry about any of this for one to two years, as I have some money and a strong poverty threshold.

    When I start working for money again, I want to be able to do work that develops me as a person for a cause I care about.

    I guess the last part is investment, as many advisers don’t look trustworthy post-recession. Plus, looking through all the choices yourself, and understanding them (even for a business major like me) could take more time than your main work itself.

  • Konrad Germania

    No. 2 and 3 are the biggest challenges for myself. Saving is easy but really only the first step. Increasing income is next, then comes the sophisticated investor. Konrad

  • Stefanie

    I’ve never been able to save money, but I am going to attempt it now. My husband is the only one working and he makes around $35k/yr. We have a new baby and would like to keep him out of daycare until he is 3, so we will have only one income for at least the next 3 years.

    Avoiding the student loans is not an option for me anymore, as I have already gone as far as a Master’s Degree and owe over $60k. The payments are light because they are based on income and spread out for 25 years.

    I just recently graduated college, so I am yet to enter the job market. With a new baby, it doesn’t seem likely that I will find something that I can do from home (although I am still brainstorming and looking for options), so I am expecting not to begin working for another 3 years or so.

    Even with our current situation, my husband wants to save up for a boat…we had to sell his boat a few years ago and he has since lost some of his “identity” and I feel that it is very important for him to get another one. I am going to write out our budget and make a plan to save. I will begin the “process” immediately by paying our savings account each month like it is a bill. My goal is to have $10k to spend on a boat in the next year. About $4k will come from tax returns, so I will be saving $6 (at least) in the next year….it can be done with some determination.

  • Hauke

    For me automating my finances (#5) is the biggest and most difficult challenge.

  • MM

    Earning more money and where to put your money are definitely two aspects I am interested in.

    Outside of working my job I don’t see how else to go about getting money. I keep thinking of starting a business but I’m lost on an idea.
    Investing my money, outside of a savings account, is like a foreign language to me.

    This sounds very interesting and I’ll stay tuned on Tuesday.

  • Gauhar Kachchhi

    I worry about earning more money. The job market is very weak, inflation is on the rise. The money that has been accumulated over the years is losing value as everything gets more expensive… I am worried that I might never be able to complete a Master’s degree that I so dearly desire coz I might never collect enough money or be financially secure to leave the current job to pursue higher education…

  • Elena

    Yeah, Ramit’s blog is great. I’ve already started using a lot of his advice for 1 and 5, so they’re becoming less important for me now. With 2, at the moment all the money I save is going straight into the Wedding savings account, so that’s not something I need to worry about until next year, after the wedding is over.

    4 and 6 aren’t relevant to me, since I have a job and no debt, which is unlikely to change in the near future. So the biggest challenge for me at the moment is definitely 3 – earning more money. I’m interested in entrepreneurship, and starting to learn more about it, but I still feel pretty clueless.

  • David Safar

    I’d have to go with 3 and 6 as my biggest challenges. I have yet to find a way of acquiring money that resonates with me. I find traditional employment excruciating, but have yet to earn a dime without it. I am good at managing my money once I have it, but acquiring it in the first place is a difficult challenge for me.

  • Wendyy

    I wonder whether I save enough money and what I am ‘allowed’ to do with the savings: should I have the house painted or should I save a bit more to be able to easily afford the paint job.