Sunday, September 27, 2009

Starting Salary A Critical Difference

I found it interesting to read about a young accountant's situation on the Bogleheads forum.  He was unhappy with the fact that despite being a top-performer at his company, someone else was making slightly more than him just because that person was there longer.  Some of the comments that emerged mentioned that the school you went to could impact your starting salary.  From here it was pointed out that the starting salary can be a key difference and that it may take a peer with a lower salary several hard-working years to catch up to the peer with the higher starting salary.

DiscoBunny1979 wrote:
"My experience has been that it's really important to obtain the appropriate compensation from the beginning because all pay increases go from that initial salary."

This seems like an important tidbit to keep in mind if you are hunting for a job.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Why You Still Need an IRA

As you may know, I am in the military.  More than once I have had someone tell me that I don't need to be putting money in my Roth IRA each month since I'll have a pension waiting for me after I retire from the military.  Ignoring the fact that I could become disabled or choose to leave the military before the required 20 years to claim retirement, there is another reason why it is important to have your own retirement funds.  Boston Gal has the story of a U.S. Army retired ranger who did not get his retirement pension despite serving over 20 years and being wounded in combat.

Note: The views expressed on this blog are strictly my own and do not represent the opinions of the U.S. Military or any other agency.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Budget Tracking with Google Docs

Many of you may have heard about the recent acquisition of by Intuit, the makers of Quicken.  I really like using to monitor my financial status.  I have yet to really embrace the budgeting aspect of it though.  For budgeting, I use a little more antiquated method... spreadsheets!  I originally created my own custom spreadsheet, first in excel, then in google docs.  Having it available anywhere and being able to quickly update it without launching spreadsheet software is a plus.  I can also easily share my budget with my fiancee.  Recently, I discovered the wonderful library of templates available on google docs when I needed to create an invoice for some freelance work I did.  Out of curiosity, I also checked out the personal finance templates available.  If you are looking for an easy way to create a budget online, I highly recommend you look into the spreadsheet function of google docs and also check out what templates are available in their template library.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

50 Cent on Investing

CNBC has an interesting interview with 50 cent.  Some parts, such as the speculation that the recession will be over in a couple of years or less, were a little worrisome.  There were some bits that made me think though.  For example, when he talked about the fact that Mike Tyson's made over $500 million in his lifetime but now he wakes up in his old bedroom.  It was also nice to hear him say he lives below his means, although I'm not sure how accurate that statement is.  I guess he can live pretty extravagantly and still live below his means.