Home > Archive: December, 2006

Archive for December, 2006

Money Poverty and Material Prosperity?

December 29th, 2006 at 06:19 am

It seems in the U. S. that even people living in poverty have material goods that are not affordable to rest of the world. Americans seem to have lot of stuff. I came across an

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article on
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MSN Money. It's somewhat amusing that Americans in general may be living paycheck-to-paycheck or incurring credit card debt, but we have all the conveniences.

I compared myself against the stats:
Refrigerator: 99.20%. I got one!

Stove: 98.30%. I got one!

Color TV: 98.20%. I got one!

Auto: 85.70%. I got one!

Microwave: 98.20%. I got one!

VCR: 86.9%. Does a DVD player count?

Washer: 80%. I got one!

Dryer: 77.10%. Mine is a stacking unit with the washer.

Stereo system: 72.55%. Yes, I have a 5.1 system!

Computer: 59.30%. Laptop it is!

Uh, Gift Cards?

December 26th, 2006 at 06:03 am

Merry Christmas! So what did you get for Christmas?

Nowadays, I don't really expect gifts from my parents. Since I'm making enough money to buy myself presents, all I want is good home cook meal when I visit my parents twice a year. Humorously, this year, I got some gift cards as Christmas presents, and they're not even the stores I shop at! A $100 gift card is $100-equivalent, it'd be hard for me to just throw them away. Thank goodness there is

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eBay, I'm going to sell these useless gift cards and get some cash back!

Also, on
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MSN Money, there is an
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article about
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Trade In Those Unwanted Gift Cards for additional tips.

Holiday Census Bureau!

December 20th, 2006 at 10:53 am

I was reading an e-mail newsletter from

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DailyCandy NYC. It compiled a bunch of fun stats about the holidays.

Number of calories in
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FDA-mandated fruitcake serving size of four ounces: 500

Average number of pounds gained between Thanksgiving and New Year’s: 1 (It just feels like 10.)

Number of movies and TV shows in production in
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New York in December: 133

Number of personal dramas in production over the holidays: 8

Average amount spent on holiday party outfit (including salon appointments): $272

Average time spent in outfit before eggnog spills, cigarette burns, etc.: 57 minutes

Number of sprigs of mistletoe in NYC holiday decorations: 1,045,232

Number of kisses from someone you actually like under said mistletoe: 0

Ratio of men to women in NYC: 1:1.11 (It just seems like 1:3 whenever there’s mistletoe around.)

Number of holiday cards sent through NYC postal system: 244,154,645

Projected number of gifts to be exchanged in New York City over the holiday season: 27,942,705

Average number of presents to be regifted: 2

Average number of gifts bought and then kept for self: 4

Can You Live on $150k (Per Year)?

December 14th, 2006 at 10:58 pm

While checking personal

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e-mail before leaving work today, I jumped to
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CNN Money to see if there is any funny news. And behold, there is a story about a family of 6 getting by on $150,000 a year. Before you say "these people are money foolish" or "things cost a lot nowadays", you can read the
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full story here.

I have to admit, depending on cost of living, a 6-figure income may not be much. For example, in the
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New York City metro, where $1,000-$1,500 for rent is typical, making $60,000 is getting-by. Making $100,000 is comfortable, but definitely not something people would say "you're set". It seems like $100,000 used to be the status of economic success, but $200,000 is the new $100,000 now.

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Tell me your thoughts! Do you find it hard to believe a family with a six-figure income would have a hard time making ends meet? Or have you experienced that yourself?

November Cash Flow!

December 14th, 2006 at 05:42 am

Uh oh, it's middle of December already and I am just posting my November cash flow. Why have I been slacking? Well, first, I'm finally done with holiday shopping today, both online and offline! Second, work has been hectic. There're samples needed for a public relations (PR) event in Asia-Pacific region, yet circumstances
keep coming up to delay it and I'm the one needs to resolve it. I was truly in a panic mode yesterday.

Incoming (all figures are after-tax):

$3,668 salary
$800 housing
$374 misc
Total: $4,841

$466 car payment, gas, tolls, parking
$101 triple play - cable, broadband, phone
$40 cell phone
$142 utilities
$2,145 housing
$211 student loan payment
$140 cash withdrawal
$125 charitable donation
$13 clothing
$237 dining out
$71 groceries
$7 household
* $635 insurance premium
$173 leisure - black Friday shopping
$20 gift - pet toy
$12 post office - stamps, packages
* $337 travel - plane tickets to Chicago (
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$91 misc - bars, clubs, dry clean
Total: $4,966

Difference: ($125)

:: Three months after starting a new job, my income and expenses are gradually stabilizing into more predictable numbers.

:: This month, November that is, the income is within 10% of
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previous month.

:: From expenses categories, it seems like about $300 on food (groceries and dining out) and I also eat out a lot more than cooking. Approximately half of the cash withdrawal went to eating out? It's hard to track when everyone just put in cash.

:: The one-time insurance premium would not be present for December, and the one-time trip cost would not be present, that's about $970 toward positive cashflow.

Although November ended slightly negative, December is looking good!