Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Welcome to ChickCents!

Welcome to ChickCents, a guide for young women--single, married, co-habbing--who want to get their finances on track. Guys will find help here too, but this is geared towards us girls! Girls who want to know simple ways to manage money and create a secure future, while still affording the occasional Girls Nights out or a latte.

Who's the Chick Behind ChickCents?
My name is Lauren. I'm 25, married and living in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood.

I am the Director of IT for a smallish company that deals with asset management of Cisco products for Fortune 1000 companies. Actually, my first day for that job is Monday. Between the new job and the new year, I want to get my finances on track.

My husband and I split financial duties. He does the monthly bill payment and I do the long term planning. That being said, we do try to share. We both have a financial software background, but unfortunately the business domain didn't fully hit home :-P. That being said, we both do have a decent understanding of what we ought to do. Now I just want to start following it. (Neither of us work in the financial sector anymore.)

What's ChickCents?
This blog will explore common personal finance issues for young women from my perspective. I'm going to create a plan to get my finances under control. I have researched and spoken with many people to gather advice that I will post here. I hope that seeing me go through the steps will encourage others to do so too.

What's Lauren's status?
For our age, I think that we are a little behind what's recommended, but doing okay. We just bought a condo, but paid 0% down. In the past six months we have managed to pay over and almost have 3% paid off. In December we paid off all our credit cards, but have about $4k left on the car. My hubby has 17k in student loans. I was lucky enough to have a scholarship and live close enough to school so I had zero debt when we met.

I had a week between jobs because the e-commerce company I was working for got hit hard with the low Christmas sales. Luckily I saw the signs and was already looking when my team was let go and managed to get a better job for more money. Things could have gone much worse for me! That made us realize that our goals of aggressively paying down the house and other debts left us in a vulnerable spot with very little in savings (about 5k). We bought a dining room table and have decided to keep the 5k cash cushion so now have a new 1.3k in credit card debt.

We paid for much of our wedding and all of our honeymoon, along with all the closing costs on buying the new place and a move to Chicago (and that whole job loss thing)--all within this past year so I'm not too worried about where we are at, but we need to get a better handle on our finances. With this blog I will go over my general rules that I have been trying to follow, learn some new ones, and start preparing myself for my future.

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