Making Better Choices

As you may have read in another post on my blog, I’ve been trying to make wiser financial decisions recently.  When I was younger it was one thing to spend most of my money and just have fun, but that’s not the best long-term strategy.  I’ve recently become more interested in investing and finding ways to use my money that can help me make more money rather than spending it on stuff that has no return.  I read in a book that you should spend your money on assets rather than liabilities.  An asset is basically something that provides value to you in the future.  An investment property, for example, is an asset.  You buy it, but then you can rent it out to someone who pays you rent.  Compare that to something like an expensive pair of shoes which costs you money and then you don’t get anything back from them.  Well, you get to wear them, but you know what I mean.  So I’ve been looking at things that may be able to provide a return for me.

I’ve started putting 5% of my paycheck into a 401(k).  My company matches 2.5%, too, so it’s really like I’m putting 7.5% of my paycheck in there, which is pretty cool.  It’s like getting an immediate 50% return.

I’m also interested in how the wold economies interact and have found currencies interesting.  However, I don’t really want to get too deep into that because I’ve been told that some of the brokers are “shady,” to put it mildly.  But I was reading about something called binary options that appear to have a fixed risk/reward ratio and may not be quite as iffy.  I may have to give them a closer look.  I don’t have much of a tolerance for risk so I don’t think I’ll be investing much in that but it may be a good, very small minority of my investment portfolio.

It’s funny how the more you start paying attention to how you’re spending your earnings, the more you start to notice how other people spend theirs.  For example, one of my friends goes out to eat 3 or 4 nights a week.  I used to do that sometimes, but when I think about it now, each night is like $30-50 depending on where you go, and 3 or 4 times a week makes that between $90 and $200 a week just spent on eating out.   I can’t do that.  I mean, I could, but I don’t want to.  Besides, I don’t mind cooking at home, anyway.