2008 Personal Finance Recap

my 2008 savings is 200% higher than the savings i had at the end of 2007. something that has nothing to do with me getting stingy or cutting back on my major expenses. in fact, i have never traveled so much as i did this year. i did throw father a nice 50th birthday party. i bought some new stuff (etc. laptop, tv). i still ride cabs to and from work and to everywhere else, really.

so how did i make it happen?

the most obvious reason was that i got two salary increases this year- 37% increase on base pay combined and i started getting taxed at 15% rather than 32% (a benefit for people holding selected top management positions in a company identified as regional headquarters).

i kind of think that is the reason mostly, really. and that i did not change my lifestyle when all that happened.

i still have my un-airconditioned, small two-bedroom apartment (though, as a christmas gift to zsolt- i am going to get an airconditioning installed when he comes over so he stops sweating like a pig). i only watch movies on big screen for movies where the screen size matters a lot. i still HATE shopping and still prefers wearing the same, old pair of shoe i like to wear everyday (a couple of weeks back before the corporate christmas party, i found out three pair of shoes i bought in a time i cannot remember still in their box and still haven’t been used!). i only drink $3 coffee when i am waiting for or catching up with friends and not because i like their coffee- their couches are best for just lazing around and killing time.

i also have stopped wanting the latest gadgets and toys. i prefer buying items that has the best price for the kind of functions and features i am looking for. my new laptop- of which i am actually more happy with- costs just a third of the price of that now broken HP DV series.

i did not change my lifestyle when additional cash started coming in. instead, i provide more for doing the things i love like travel with zsolt (which doesn’t happen every day), parties for dad (which doesn’t happen often either), and mother’s visits here (and she prepares terrific meals and maintains a squeaky clean apartment everytime she is here!). and since those do not happen often- not like partying at greenbelt or daily coffee fix at Starbucks or Figaro, or paydate shopping for clothes and shoes you only wear once and forget about it, i get to not only enjoy the travels and the catching up with people i love but i also get to considerably stash some cash away for a more comfortable lifestyle in the future.

and so, not only did i meet my 2008 financial goals for the year, i have exceeded it. and the most wonderful thing about this all is that i never did a cutback on fun. i was able to spend on things that matter to me most. and that i personally think is quite an impressive cash management.

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