PictureImage courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Well, it has been far too long since I posted here. :P Lets see...May was the last time I updated this blog. Since then, A LOT has happened. Basically, I took out a credit card to help me get out of credit card debt even faster (sounds backwards, right?), became super busy working as an assistant for a fellow in Real Estate, and ended up earning enough money to pay off all my credit cards in the process! 

Boy does it feel good to not have dumb credit cards accruing 20% or greater interest against me! Now technically, I still have $400 to pay down on my car repair credit card (this is a store card exclusive to my mechanic which gives me 5% off on all their services and repairs and 0% APR for six months whenever I spend more than $300 on car repairs). However I still have 4 months interest free on that card and, having set up an auto-pay transfer to bill me $50 a week through my bank, I'll have this paid off in December. :) 

Presently, I am able to tuck away no less than $300/month in savings and I've also jumped headfirst into investing. My first experiment into options trading ended with me losing 50% of my principle, however I've learned a few things about myself since then and I've worked out a plan to make a second attempt on some securities and am in the mean time testing my investing theories with a nifty feature my brokerage offers called PaperTrade, which allows individuals to trade virtually, without risking money (basically it simply provides you with a play account that doesn't actually trade options or shares, but mirrors the real market so you can see how your trades do). As I am able to validate my trading theories I'll begin to launch actual trades with the cash I've been saving up (literally nickel & diming my way along with over $300 in spare change saved up over the past year and a half from pizza delivery). 

My two main concerns for next year are A) Taxes and B) paying down my monstrous Line of Credit (presently sitting at exactly $14,000 of debt after my last payment). I'll be looking to eliminate it entirely through the combined effects of snowballing my extra cash from my credit card payments and transferring as much as a I can to balance transfer credit cards offering 0% APR promotional periods (I've successfully moved $2,450 to one card already!) which will help eliminate my interest payments and keep my total repayments high. Ideally, by this summer I want to have at least all the balance I am paying interest on paid down and out of my hair. This is of paramount importance as I would really like to devote all of my available finances towards investing in the current market environment which is offering savvy investors plenty of buy opportunities despite the higher prices among many blue chips. All the deals are, of course, in the oil industry at the moment. I've been busy going through the major stocks balance sheets, cash flows, and income statements, as well as tracking the opinions of writers on seeking alpha who have researched the stocks in depth. I intend to gradually dollar cost average my way into the oil industry on several of the big names in this field. Presently the stocks that I consider super deals are ExxonMobil (XOM), Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.B), and Oneoke Inc (OKE). I've initiated DRIP stock purchases with both ExxonMobil and Oneoke as they offered excellent low to no fee dividend reinvestment programs, however Royal Dutch Shell simply does not offer a great option for poor investors such as myself, charging $5/transaction through their transfer agent. For me, as I can only allocate about $100 to $50 at a time this is way too much. :P 

This is all just a glimpse into all I've been doing lately. I'll slowly begin to post more information regarding my goals for 2016 and my discoveries and investments over time. I'd like to eventually be able to get into a good regular writing routine, as lately I've been brimming over with all sorts of investing ideas and no outlets to share them through. 

Reading through several of the blogs that have inspired me to document my own journey, I've begun to notice a trend. Both J-Money of BudgetsAreSexy.com and Jason from DividendMantra.com actively track their networth. This is intriguing and does serve a valuable purpose, thus I've decided to begin implementing this as well in my tracking. Of course at this present stage in my life, my networth is negative. :P So not exactly the most attractive figures to share, but I'm excited to continue rolling those negatives back. Last year was primarily spent getting on my feet financially. This year is primarily aimed at destroying the bulk of my high interest credit card debt. 

PicturePhoto by Stuart Miles on freedigitalphotos.net
Dun! Dun! Dun! Another one bites the dust!!! Today I had the extreme pleasure of completely annihilating one of my Lines of Credit. I was forced to draw on it a year and a half ago when my current employment failed to provide enough income to sustain me. Today, I have finally completely repaid the entire balance, unexpectedly realizing that I had enough to do so if I accessed my Short Term Savings account.