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Today is the day I celebrate for the end of Nov.

November 29th, 2006 at 01:29 am

I know, I know, we still have 2 more days left to go for Nov. But being here in Japan means that I am actually living a day ahead.

As I am typing this entry, it is around 10am on Nov. 29th. Just today and tomorrow until I close my budget for the month.

Hence, the good news!!

1. My total expenditure for Nov. will be under $1000!! This includes personal taxes, rent, food, parties, bills, insurance, eat-outs, all in all!! EVERYTHING!!

2. Compare my net expense to my net income, I have saved 60% of my salary this month!! wooohooooooooooooooooooooooo

3. Not to mention that I do rent my own place, and live in one of the most expensive cities in the world - TOKYO, JAPAN.

4. I have even managed to buy two small presents for myself this month, a really interesting book about life, and a colorful budget book for year 2007 with cute stickers and designs.

5. As for my $10/day daily budget? I did it! On some days I spent more than I had to, but on some days I saved a bunch. In fact, I still have a total of $30 dollars left to spend for today and tomorrow and still remain just under the grand $1000 expense for the month.

I can't say how happy and confident I feel to take control over my finances. I think my self-confidence has increased simply because I was able to walk the talk.

It is an amazing feeling, and a strong one too, being able to feel the sense of purpose and direction in life.

Well, new goals for Dec:

I've already drafted my budget, and I will also continue to read/listen to some books/audio books.

1. 7 habits of highly effective people
2. the millionaire mind - Thomas Stanley.
3. 21 secrets of self-made millionaire by Brian Tracy.

Happy saving everyone!!! I hope this will encourage some of you, and I did it because of all you guys here!! I come to this site, and I read, and I am more aware of my finances than ever before!!

To all of you! Thank you!

Over Spending Day

November 6th, 2006 at 02:50 pm

Okay. So I must admit, living on 1000 yen a day (or 10 dollars) is harder than what I had imagined.

Today, I just had to buy a book, and the book itself was about $12. After that, I spent $2 dollars on 3 Japanese rice balls as my late night snack.

So what exactly did I buy? Well, I saw this really cool sketch book at this local book shop a few days ago, and I have been thinking about it ever since.

I waited for exactly 4 days before I decided to buy it. 4 days!!! I guess it is hard to control impulsive buying.

Next time I really want something, I'm gonna make myself wait for a week before I jump the gun. I hope that'll work out well.

*Fingers crossed*

Help! Definition of Assets and Debts

November 3rd, 2006 at 01:07 am

So today is my day off and I plan to stay home, which means today is a no-spend day! Yay!! Anyway, I usually try to study about real estates or personal finance everyday for at least 10mins, and about 2-3 hours on my days off if I have time.

But let's get to the point of today's entry.

I was listening to Robert Kiyosaki's audio tape series on YOU CAN CHOOSE TO BE RICH, and I came across an interesting distinction between good vs. bad assets.

According to Robert (and his Rich Dad), a bad asset is when an asset fails to generate a positive cash flow. That is, if I buy a boat for personal use, the boat becomes a bad asset since it doesn't generate income for me.

However, if I use the same boat for commerical purposes like holding my own boat tours and charging customers, then that same boat becomes a good asset.

Robert then goes to name the bad assets 'do assets' (or could be 'due assets' - I'm not sure from the audio chapter).

Hence my questions of the day:

1. Are there such things as Do/Due Assets? If so, what are they exactly, and are they determined solely by positive cash flow? How would a banker versus an investor view this?

2. With Debts, we know the diffrence between good vs. bad debts. A good debt is one that builds your equity over time, and a bad debt is one that diminishes your overall net worth. Having a car loan is generally considered as a bad debt while having a mortgage is generally considered as a good debt.

(Note here that I used 'generally' since a mortgage can also become a bad debt if it results in poor rate of returns on equity and produces a negative cash flow. In that case, one is probably better off selling THAT property and closing the mortgage (bad debt) all together so re-investments can be made elsewhere.

Can assets be broken down into good vs. bad assets the same way as debts (good debts and bad debts?

3. Does this mean that I can make two different networth statements based on the two definitions of assets? Would those then yield different insights? What would an accountant say? What would you do?

I think Robert has a point when he talked about his 'do debts'. I mean, it make sense for a banker to count all of your personal properties as assets. For example, the boat and the car. You can sell them for money, though, in a depreciating way rather than an appreciating way (ie. house). The boat and the car are still assets since you can still get money out of them.

But to Robert, they are 'do debts' since they do not generat passive income for the owner and should be left out of the assets column of the overall net worth if one desires a clear financial picture.

I think I should draft up two net worth statements. hahaha.

Anyway, any thoughts?

A Balance btw being Frugal and enjoying Life

November 1st, 2006 at 12:51 am

Thank you guys for the recipes!!! I think beans, fish and tofu are great and also fairly inexpensive in Japan. A can of beans is roughly aroun a dollar, and i can usually buy a small slice of salmon (about the size of a standard deck of cards) for again a dollar or so.

In terms of sarah's suggestion, yes, $10 a day also includes transportation. I walk to work everyday except on sundays where I have to take the train. I do not have a car in Tokyo.

Clothing isn't included, but I probably should create a category for that under variable monthly expense or something. I rarely buy clothes, and if I do, I usually pick some work related clothes.

********

$10 a day isnt a lot of money. I must say that I've lived on $15 a day before and I've found it do-able, but not extremely enjoyable.

I guess the balance between saving a lot of money and enjoying life is based on our perception of what is fun.

Yesterday, a co-worker of mine at work called me the Frugal Queen. She said, in front of another male coworker, that he should ask me for advice on how to save money.

I guess I took that as an insult rather than a compliment since the female co-worker proceeded to say how much of a spender she is and how she is enjoying life in Tokyo by living it up.

I felt offended mostly because they viewed me as being cheap. And being cheap roughly translates into a boring lifestyle and what not. However, this is totally false!!

I budget and I travel around Japan, and I look for relatively good hotel deals. I spend more time shopping and making sure that I get my money's worth. Is that being cheap or simply being effective with my cash?

Why are people driven by such diverse views when it comes to money!! The female co-worker in this story is unmarried, in her mid-40's, she rents instead of owning an apartment, and probably has little savings in her bank based on what I can observe. She eats out everyday and never cooks. In Tokyo, the cheapest meal you can buy at relatively low quality is around $5. A decent lunch is around $8.

Yet, why do I feel bad when she made that comment? Why do I care when I know that I'll be much better off in the long run than her? Is it because short-term fun and enjoyment is easier to see than long-term success?

I don't know...all I know is, I will reach my goal, and they can call me the Cheap Queen of Tokyo if that's what it takes to be financially free.

The End of my Rant.


Living on a $10 daily budget

October 31st, 2006 at 12:53 pm

So....I am currently living on a $10 daily budget, that is, after I have substracted my fixed monthly expenses such as rent, cell phone bill, taxes, health insurance, and the alike.

My goal is to live within a 10 dollar daily budget for food and other misc. items. But is it possible? I guess I'll have to track my spendings and find out. I also have to mention here that I live with my girlfriend, and I often buy food for the two of us with my $10.

So, two people, and 10 dollars....okay..hmm...

I cook almost everyday. Usually I would spend about 97 cents on lettuce and about $1.50 on uncooked pork.

Today I managed to spend a total of $2.00 on food. I bought a whole lettuce and 3-coffee jello-thingie. That is roughly 200 yen in Japan. Which means, I am under budget today!! YAY!! How exciting!!

However, does anyone here have any good recipes? Something simple and easy? And healthy?


SHOW me the MONEY

October 31st, 2006 at 01:10 am

Hello Everyone,

Let me introduce myself. I am a lez and I currently live in Tokyo, Japan. I am 24 years old and I hope to save enough money for a down payment on a house in USA.

For all you kind people out there, I would like to hear some advice and encouragements on how I can reach my goal.

I currently have zero debt, and a positive networth of $15,000. I try to save at least 40% of my monthly income but it can be extremely tough since I live in Tokyo. Tokyo is very expensive.

I cook a lot, so any cooking tips or frugal shopping tips would be much appreciated.

I am always hoping to learn more about owning a house and about creative spendings and savings.

I hope to buy a house in 2008 and I want to rent out a room or so as mortgage helpers.

Thank you everyone for taking the time to read my blog, I am looking forward to hear from you!!

Real blog, real people, real financial dreams!! Go team go!!


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