It's been fifteen months since I've been fully employed. When I first started working, I thought that I would be a pro at managing my finances. I didn't understand how people piled on debt (except for student loans, car loans and a mortgage). I thought adulting was easy, that every paycheck was enough to build ones fortune while living the life one wanted. Boy, was I wrong. Although I did take a student loan, and used my credit card to pay part of my tuition, I am still not as badly "in debt" as many people of my age tend to be. But the idea of owing money to someone and not being able to enjoy 100% of my paycheck every month just makes me uneasy. 

In less than 2 months I will be graduating from Graduate School, and next year, I will have to start repaying my loans. I don't want to wait until then to tackle the problem. As such, I have recently been thinking a lot about my personal finances and how I can do better. I came to the conclusion that in order to do better, I had to learn about my finances and my options. Every month I make it a point to repay my debt (slowly but surely uh?), while paying myself forward first: I save and I invest. The later though is quite new to me, and because I never took a business/finance class, I don't know much about investing, besides the fact that you buy shares in companies and are in this for a long haul.  I started reading about the subject online, but I will admit, the information out there doesn't seem enough. It's as if the blogs and websites talking about personal finance are holding "the secret" back from the general public. You read tag lines such as "How I paid off 40,000 dollars in one year" and you dive in, hopeful that you will learn something new. But you don't, or is that just me feeling this way?
So what can I do but try and educate myself on the subjects as much as possible? I even bought myself a new notebook to track my budget by hand (although I do use apps on my phone), write down any piece of advice that I think would serve me right, make notes on my progress, as well as my financial goals (short term vs long term). I just started and I feel very excited about the thought of doing something about this personal financial situation. I hope as I journal about it, I will get better and learn more about the right way for me to address this problem. I also went ahead and subscribed to the Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine (of which I've only read good things). Still waiting on the first issue to arrive, but in the meantime I read their website daily for some insight. I also subscribed to the Rockstar Finance newsletter, and ordered a couple of books to get me started. Being pro-active on the matter makes me feel more confident and hopeful, that this whole ordeal will soon be history.
Today I just wanted to share the books I have so far ordered to get me started. If you have personal favorites that you'd like to share, please do in the comments section! 

If you do keep a financial journal, I would love to read what goes in it, and maybe see some spreadsheets? More importantly, I'd love to read about how you tackle your personal finances and/or debt.

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