Tag Archives: millionaire

10th Anniversary of Her Every Cent Counts and Exciting News

10 years ago, I wrote my first post on Her Every Cent Counts. Well, I missed the exact anniversary date, but it was on May 29, 2007 when I started writing, noting that my networth at the time was $27,000 and that my income was $35,000 a year.

Over the last 10 years, as I started to save money each year, investing in retirement and taxable accounts, I got this crazy idea that I wanted to save $500,000 before having my first child. Given I had less than $100k to my name when this idea popped into my head, it seemed to be an impossible quest.

I ran my networth numbers on June 1 and discovered that due to growth in my portfolio and other savings, I have achieved my goal of $500,000 in networth (before having kids.) It feels kind of surreal – on one hand, it feels like a huge accomplishment, to have saved $500k before my 34th birthday — on the other, as I confront the realities of unemployment and consider changing careers, I wonder if I should fight through life in a role that isn’t suited for me in order to move on to my next goal of $1M by 40 – or, do I find peace with living a simple life, find a job I can actually be good at, and not touch the $500k (outside of educational funds) so it can blossom into a substantial retirement account to enjoy later in life?

There is no one in my real life to be able to celebrate this moment with — so I’m celebrating it here with you, my anonymous and semi-anonymous readers. Thanks to you, I have kept up savings for the last 10 years – have turned down opportunities to live closer to work and in nicer housing, have generally been more frugal than my income would enable me to be, esp in the last few years, and have been heads down on achieving this arbitrary goal that nonetheless is incredibly rewarding to achieve. With 32 years left to retirement, not touching the $ and it growing an average of 5% YoY gets me to my retirement savings goal of >$2M. The trick, now, is not touching that money, and still managing to make enough to live a decent life.

Happy 10th Anniversary HECC, and to all of you who read my blog regularly or occasionally or are brand-new readers, thank you for inspiring me to be a good saver, and for making it possible to achieve this major life goal.

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Happy Holidays from your Favorite Agnostic Jew!

It’s that time of the year again. Wasn’t it just Chanukah / Christmas 2010? I swear I was just writing my “2010 wrap-up” post yesterday. In any case, it’s somehow almost 2012. I’ve made it through another year. So has the world. Huzzah! 

The past year has been one of incredible growth professionally and personally, a few (ok… one) major mistakes, and new doors opening to great opportunities. I really feel like I’m getting older, not just in terms of how long my feet can handle mini stilettos, but also in how I’m relating to the world.

I went to my 10 year reunion in November — I can’t remember if I wrote about that here or not — and saw a bunch of old classmates who hadn’t changed. They were still living in the same town, for better or worse, and I had been away — for 10 years. It was just a little over 10 years ago when I left home and went to the midwest for college, and then packed my bags to move to San Francisco with a barely-paid internship and absolute terror over what the future might hold, and every possible morsel self doubt one could swallow.  Continue reading

Millionaires, Boobs, Big Houses, and Reality TV

Forget the talent portion, these days reality TV stars can make a career out of being – themselves, without any talent besides perky tits, an itty-bitty waistline, and the ability to convince an television audience that they’re a money-hungry dumb slut. But hey, they’re making way more money than I am and probably having a lot more fun doing it, so who am I to judge?

In our culture, we reward people for being as superficial as possible. The latest news from the world of Reality TV is that Megan Hauserman, the big-breasted bombshell of Beauty & the Geek, Rock of Love 2, Charm School, and I Love Money is starring in her own gold-digging reality series.

In case you’re a millionaire who wants to broadcast your quest for a trophy wife on TV (instead of just hiring a high-priced call girl like a good, normal millionaire), Megan, the accounting major from Florida, wants you. That is, she wants your money. And you. As much as any star on a reality TV dating show could actually want another person who needs reality TV to set them up.

She announced the casting search on her MySpace page earlier this month… are you “Looking for the ultimate TROPHY WIFE?” Not only would your prize come complete with a life’s worth of obnoxious and bank-account draining spending habits, you’ll also win, uh, the right to one hellova pre-nup if you decide to actually seal the deal.

Granted, I’m guilty for watching these TV shows. I can’t get enough of gold diggers and the wealthy, and their drama. It makes me somehow be able to accept and take pride in my middle class status. It also makes me terribly jealous of women who are hot enough to qualify for a television show where they are offered on a silver platter as a Trophy Wife.

Another show all about money, from a bit more normal perspective, is Bravo’s “Real Housewives of…” I’ve caught a few episodes of their various series – Orange County, New York, and Atlanta… and I must say, I’m more jealous of these women than I am of Ms. Trophy Wife Hauserman. Then again, most of them were that hot when they were in their 20s and 30s (most are still that hot, just in the 40+ year old sense… I don’t think you can be a Trophy Wife once you hit a certain age, then you’re just a wife.)

Still, these women are… real people. Their psychology is a bit different than that of say, a normal working person with no means of reaching the upper echelons of society, and they expect a bit more out of their shopping sprees… but even with all that money, they’re still real people. I watched an episode recently where two couples went to Sonoma’s wine country and felt awkward in a ritzy restaurant that served a bagillion mini courses and offered a snobs dream menu. It’s fun to watch the rich feel silly being what rich is supposed to be.

Another reality TV series I couldn’t help but watch lately is Paris Hilton’s: My New BFF. The series ended a few weeks back, but I remember the episodes clearly. And in the end, I still don’t understand what the contestents were competing for, and how this supposed friendship would work. It makes for riviting TV (on the reality TV show spectrum, on MTV) for sure, but why compete to be a best friend? Friendships, like relationships, are supposed to be equal. You can’t compete for a best friend and then expect a relationship to be normal. Paris bought her BFF contestents expensive gifts throughout the competition — they shared lavish days at the spa, gold-plated $1000 sundaes in NY, and shopping sprees where Paris announced “it’s on me, whatever you want.” I doubt that’s how the “friendship” would work once the show concluded.

If anything, the show was interesting because what Paris was really looking for was a business partner. With Nicole Richie out of the picture, who would be her assistant (I mean, partner) in crime? She needs someone who looks cute, takes a good photo, and can help her continue to brand… herself. The show didn’t mention any sort of pay this best friend would be getting, but how would her new bestie afford to be Paris’ friend without some compensation? The show should have really been called Paris Hilton’s: My New VP

I do applaud MTV for their series Exiled, where they take super spoiled teens (who appeared on My Super Sweet Sixteen) and send them to third world countries, where they’re forced to spend a week living in the shoes of people with far less than them. They have to do things even I wouldn’t do – like build houses with cow poop. Ew. It’s a good show in teaching these young, spoiled children about the rest of the world before they’re too old and spoiled to care.

What Does a Multi Millionaire Look Like?

I pose the question as repeats of Patti Stanger’s “Millionaire Matchmaker” plays in the background. Immediately I picture someone dressed extravagantly, lounging in their decadent home, trying to figure out what to do with their time.

But, hello reality check. I seem to work with a few multi millionaires. I should have kind of figured that out (duh me) from the beginning, but I guess I’m a bit slow. Figuring this out doesn’t change my opinion of them at all (as I mentioned a bunch of times before, I really love the people I work with. The more I get to know them, the more I like the bunch!)

It’s just kind of crazy to me. Here I am at 24, feeling guilty for making $57k a year, give or take, and I’m working with people who, by the time they were in their mid-20s, already had, oh, a few hundred million dollars in the bank. At the least, it makes me stop feeling so damn guilty about wanting to make more money.

The cool thing about working for people who were so successful in the past is that you know they’re working for passion. My company is run by a lot of really successful people and I look up to all of them. It’s kind of crazy that I was just a wee little high schooler back when they were all making an internet product that I used frequently. And now, here I am, sitting in the same office as these brilliant folks, giving them my opinion on things.

I’m not quite sure what they all think of me. I really want to do a good job at this company, and to prove myself. I don’t think I’ll personally become a millionaire at this job, heck, I gave up any stock options on my latest contract in order to raise my monthly income by another few hundred dollars. I’m not complaining, really, it’s just that it’s tough for a… copywriter and community manager… to be valued in the same way, say, an IT person would. Which makes total sense — IT skills, esp top-notch IT skills, are worth a fortune. Copywriters are a dime a dozen. I think I’m a pretty good copywriter. I think I’ve found the right type of job for me.

My favorite part of my job is that I actually get to collaborate with people. Being a journalist was so damn lonely. I had to talk to people I didn’t know, which made me super anxious, and then the people I did know had no time to talk or work together to create something new. Now? If we’re all hitting a brick wall in the office in terms of new ideas, we’ll go into a conference room, down some candy and throw out ideas until we come up with something good.

That’s what I love. Being part of that collaborative process. There’s nothing better.

Anyway, I just realized that not only do I work with a bunch of rich people, I work with a bunch of multi-millionaires. I mean, I don’t know how much they all are worth, and that’s really none of my business, but the point I’m getting at is that you’d never know just by meeting these folks. They’re so laid back, t-shirt and jeans types. I hope that if I ever do become successful, on whatever level, I’ll be able to remain as humble and grounded as they are.