Thoughtful Thursday: What Next?

One of the problems with being under-employed, besides the obvious problem of ‘not having a regular, full-time job’, is that you frequently wonder what’s next in your life. Do I look for another job? Do I go back to school for a master’s degree? Do I try to get into a professional program like medicine or pharmacy? The confusion is sometimes overwhelming.

Of course, there are other bloggers who engage in these sorts of soul-searching, and here’s a few of the blogs that have made me think lately:

What Next? by J.D. An excellent article about what to do when you’ve become financially sound and moved past the stage of your life where you are simply trying to apply the basics of finance advice (spend less than you earn, invest regularly, concentrate on the long term and use tax-advantaged retirement vehicles) and wonder, what do I do now? He notes that there isn’t much main-stream literature out there for this stage of your life, and is setting out to learn all he can (and share what he learns with us).

My Thoughts: Once you’ve gotten the basics of saving and investing down well enough that you no longer worry about your financial future, there are many possibilities for how you spend the rest of your life. These range from the traditional model of retirement (years of rest and relaxation) to philanthropic goals and giving to our children. With such a wide-range of possible goals, it’s hard to find appropriate advice on what is best for you. Good luck to J.D. in his quest to find out what’s next.

It’s Not My Fault… by Studenomics Considers a question that frequently arises when talking about finances and fiscal responsibility: are we responsible for our financial decisions, even if our parents didn’t teach how to budget and use money properly?

My Thoughts: Certainly your parents have an immense influence on your life, including your finances. But, ultimately, you are your own person, and can go above and beyond what your parents taught you, and learn and act for yourself. The sooner you can accept this fact, the easier it will be to take control of your own life.

I Will Not Be Able to Afford My Student Loans
by Stephanie She’s facing larger than expected payments on her student loans, and is modifying her plans for her post-college life as a result.

My Thoughts:
I really feel for Stephanie; currently, my only outstanding debt is my student loans, and making the necessary payments to pay down the debt is a persistent worry. The only plus is that Stephanie realized her financial situation before she found herself unable to meet all her needs; she is already making plans to accommodate her situation. Good luck, Stephanie!

How are we not frugal by Clever Dude One of the rarest of PF blog topics, an admission of how he is not always the most frugal person in his life. Includes such examples as keeping his thermostat at 72, eating out regularly, and getting his and his wife’s work clothes dry cleaned frequently.

My Thoughts: It’s always nice to get proof that PF bloggers are real people, too. Everyone has ways in which they’re not fully thrifty; the key is to limit your indulgences, and be sure to stay on track with the rest of your savings.

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