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 article
on 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!
December 26th, 2006 at 06:03 am
Merry Christmas! So what did you get for Christmas? eBay
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
, I'm going to sell these useless gift cards and get some cash back!
Also, on MSN Money
, there is an article
about Trade In Those Unwanted Gift Cards
for additional tips.
December 20th, 2006 at 10:53 am
I was reading an e-mail newsletter from DailyCandy NYC
. It compiled a bunch of fun stats about the holidays.
Number of calories in 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 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
December 14th, 2006 at 10:58 pm
While checking personal e-mail
before leaving work today, I jumped to 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 full story here
I have to admit, depending on cost of living, a 6-figure income may not be much. For example, in the 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.
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?
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):
$466 car payment, gas, tolls, parking
$101 triple play - cable, broadband, phone
$40 cell phone
$211 student loan payment
$140 cash withdrawal
$125 charitable donation
$237 dining out
* $635 insurance premium
$173 leisure - black Friday shopping
$20 gift - pet toy
$12 post office - stamps, packages
* $337 travel - plane tickets to Chicago (MDW)
$91 misc - bars, clubs, dry clean
:: 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 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!