Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mental Health Break - In Search For ANY Good News

I'm scared. I'm scared that I may be laid off during possibly the worst financial crisis in the world. I'm scared that if the current "burn rate" (i.e., selloff) in the stock market continues, my 401k will be worthless in 19 days.

Funny Pictures

I know I have time on my side so I shouldn't panic. I also know if I dwell on these things, I'm going to drive myself crazy. So, for the sake of my sanity, I've decided to take a break from looking at my 401k/investment account statements for a while.

But why is it that I have this masochistic desire to look at them anyways? I'm just as stupid as the horror movie character who hears a strange noise and goes searching for the source!

Warning: Scene from Return of The Living Dead. This clip has graphic scenes and strong language.

I'm also considering not watching CNBC anymore despite the fact that I'm addicted to it, especially Fast Money. Giving up CNBC is going to be tough, though, since I have a mad crush on Dylan Ratigan. (Blush.)

Finally, as part of my sanity-preservation effort, I've decided to look for some (any) good news. Here's my list:

  1. The variable interest rate on my private student loans went down from 5.336% to 4.518%, reducing the monthly minimum payment from $504.91 to $488.85.

    Since I'm not strictly following Dave Ramsey's snowball method with respect to my credit card, I'll continue to pay my private student loans $505/month. The fact that I'll be paying more than the minimum on my dreadful student loans makes me happy.

  2. This article points out that for the first time since January 1998, consumers paid off more debt than they took on. I certainly fall into that statistic. As the article points out, paying off debts means households will have healthier finances. (Not to be a Negative Nellie here, but is this reduction due to the fact that many people are no longer qualifying for loans?) Regardless, the fact that my savings is going up and my debt is going down makes me happy. Now only if my net worth will go up....

  3. My Citibank Ultimate Savings Account's interest rate recently went up from 2.25% to 3.5%. Woo hoo!

If anyone else has some silver lining from this economy to share, I can really use some right now!


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FruGal said...

I agree that there's not much point causing yourself stress and panic by looking at your balance for the next few months. It could be back to normal soon and then you will have worried for nothing!

The silver lining I am focussed on at the moment is that falling house prices mean that we may actually be able to afford to buy property in the next year or too, as prices in our area have gone from ridiculously overpriced to only semi-overpriced!

Shtinkykat said...

Thanks for the compliment. :-D

FruGal: That is indeed the silver lining of this current market - housing and stocks prices are correcting to affordability. But even with a 30% decline in the housing market in my area, the (non-foreclsure) homes are still very overpriced rather than extremely overpriced as it was 2 years ago. But I'll take any drop in price! Thanks for encouragement!

Tally Girl said...

This economy has taught me to learn to love peanut butter again (even amid this crazy pb scare). Also to learn to garden. Can't wait for my fresh tomatoes!