How do you see your finances in a year?

future robot stitchingI love the last pages of Money Mag & Fortune. They’re always something short and fun, which is perfect for my A.D.H.D. ;) And also great for blog post ideas! Which is where today’s Q comes from (September’s ed. of Money).

They polled their readers asking ’em how they think their investments will be lookin’ a year from now, as well as their j-o-b.

Here were the results:

44% – Those who think their investments will be DOWN, and their jobs SHAKIER
33% – Those who think their investments will go DOWN and their jobs get MORE SECURE
12% – Those who think their investments will go UP, but their jobs get SHAKIER.
11% – And finally, those who foresee their Investments going UP, and their jobs MORE SECURE too.

Personally? I totally 100,000 million % *know* my investments will go UP up UPPPP. The more I put in, the better the odds! And my job? Shakier SHAKIER shakier, haha… but only because I plan on going solo by then ;) More hours and more stress, but it’ll all be for me ME me! Actually, it’ll all be for you too since I’ll be blogging/tweeting/building more fun things for everyone, but that’s not the point.

The point is that by looking ahead and actually DOING something about all this (rather than just guessing what the world will bring us), you can control what most of the outcomes will be. Half of those people think their finances are going to hell in a hand basket – that’s crazy. There is SO MUCH you can do in 12 months that can put you on a more positive track! I feel like they’re just giving up… or maybe I’m just reading too much into it ;)

I find it pretty interesting regardless. Do you guys find it more promising down the road? Do you have a plan in the works to increase your odds of succeeding? I hope so. Or else my last 942 posts here went out the door…

(Robot stitching by krupp)

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  1. L August 20, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    It’s early or I may be just crazy – but aren’t the 2nd & 4th options the same?

  2. Rebecca August 20, 2010 at 9:11 AM

    the 33% and the 11% are the same scenario – maybe the 33% should be investments go down and jobs more secure?

  3. Molly On Money August 20, 2010 at 9:20 AM

    By next year I’ll be doing something different. I don’t know what.
    I quit my job a few months back (not the smartest $ move) but it’s inspired me to make significant changes in how I spend money. When my income comes back online we won’t be spending it- that I know!
    And becoming a chicken farmer for the summer did not make me my first millions. A girl can dream though!

  4. Techbud August 20, 2010 at 9:26 AM

    Certainly have a personal plan. Difficult to predict how things will be out in the world with some of the recent reports of high unemployment, foreclosures, etc. But sticking to my plan my family will be okay.

  5. Everyday Tips August 20, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    I think part of the reason people are negative is because their local economy may be in the dumpster, which probably affects their entire economic view.

    I hope to be making more money myself, but my husband, not so sure. His job is very dependent on what companies are willing to spend, and right now, they aren’t spending.

    Regarding investments, who knows. There is so much uncertainty out there right now that I can’t even begin to predict what will happen over the next year. I just try to protect my money the best I can.

  6. tom August 20, 2010 at 9:59 AM

    With the Mrs. working full-time, I only see our financial situation improving. Which means a bigger E-fund, maxing out 401(k), and finally taking that vacation we desperately need!

  7. J. Money August 20, 2010 at 10:05 AM

    Oops! Sorry, had the %s jacked up a bit – all corrected now :)

    @Molly On Money – Wowww good for you though! If ur ever in the mood to keep a journal on it all, I’d love to post it up here ;) Would be interesting to see what that’s like on a daily level (losing the income as well as the chicken farming ;))

    I have faith you’ll come out stronger!

    @Techbud – Oh yeah, can be scary out but u stick to the plan and it should success!
    @EverydayTips – Well my fingers are crossed for u guys! Do ur best to protect ur money and keep looking for new opportunities :)
    @Tom – Sweet!!! That is wonderful news. J. Money is proud!!

  8. Kevin I August 20, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    Dude that quote and robot together has to be in reference to one of my favorite songs of all time: “The Future Soon” by Jonathan Coulton

  9. michelle August 20, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    all i know for sure is that my savings will have increased. there’s too much crazy at work to determine what will happen in the future. i hope i’ll be in a different job in a year, but that’s what i said last year (and the year before)

  10. The Skinny On August 20, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    You glossed over an interesting (and exciting) point. By going out on your own, your ‘job’ may be shakier, but security isn’t the only thing that matters – even in a down economy.

    Security may not be enough to justify a boring-or-worse job. Entrepreneurship is frightening as hell, but there’s comfort in knowing that your success/failure is ultimately up to you.

    Good for you, J. Money! And good luck.

    The Skinny On

  11. Jenna August 20, 2010 at 1:01 PM

    Although I don’t know that I believe my mutual fund returns will be that great a year from now, I get a 50% match on up to 6% contribution from my employer, so from THAT standpoint, yes, my 401k will be in a better place next year than this year. :-)

    Also, on @Molly on Money’s point, my boyfriend was laid off in January and it has completely changed his perspective on what he wants to do with his life and it has really made us look hard at our expenses, and we’ve learned to live modestly. He’s decided to go back to school, but I know that once we do have that 2nd income back in the picture in a couple years, we will continue to live below our means and use that money to pay back those student loans ASAP, build additional savings, and then be able to use the extra to work on those travel goals we have!

  12. Young Mogul August 20, 2010 at 6:29 PM

    I definitely believe my job and money will be UP, UP, UP by this time next year. I’m one of those people who has an unwavering confidence in myself and believes, not matter what, that MY life is what I make it–not the government or the economy.

    By this time next year, I plan to have a more fulfilling job that provides a higher salary. I’m not worried about what the economy is doing because I know that this is not the first recession America has ever seen and it certainly won’t be the last. This is why I live frugally and save more than I spend, in preparation for the lean economic years.

  13. J. Money August 20, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    @Kevin I – YES! You are right! The artist behind that photo/stitching is a huge fan of Jonathan Coulton apparently :) I’d never heard of the song until I checked it out, but here’s what she says on her Flickr Page:

    “so about a week ago I was walking home from work, listening to Jonathan Coulton, and realized that I just HAD to stitch this, pronto.

    so then when I took the train up to Seattle and back a couple of days later, and was thinking that I could get some stitching done on the train, I figured I could whip out a quick little project like this (my current WIP being a bit too unwieldy for travel).

    anyway, it’s a song about a dude who builds an evil robot army. how could I not?

    take a listen

    @michelle – you are bad :) i hereby offer you a challenge: apply to 1 job this weekend! You can do it.
    @The Skinny On – Thanks! Don’t pat me on the back just yet though ;) We’ve still got a ways…
    @Jenna – YES!!! Living below your means is totally freakin’ great as your money comes in more and more over time! Takes a while to get GOOD at it, but then you’re banking it left and right. And you can still spend/use it anytime you want too! :)
    @Young Mogul – You’re getting all motivational up in here! I dig it. So true too – 100% up to YOU and what you set out to accomplish. Doesn’t mean you’ll skate by and get whatever you want, but the more you keep WANTING and shooting for, the more chances you have to succeed :) Keep it up!

  14. Penny Frugalista August 21, 2010 at 11:57 PM

    I’m with option 3 — I think our investments will go up, but my job will be shakier (based on the inudstry I’m in). I think the economy is still touch-and-go for the next year, and we’re stil in the middle of the ‘correction’ period before everything levels off for real. I’m not quite on the ‘double-dip recession’ bandwagon, but correction, yes.

  15. J. Money August 22, 2010 at 4:41 PM

    It’ll be interesting to see where we are 2 years from now too w/ this Economy. I wonder if everyone will have forgotten and gone back to there spendy ways or not? The great thing about this craziness is that so many people are SAVING more now :) Let’s just hope it continues that way.

  16. Katelyn August 24, 2010 at 12:50 PM

    Definitely improving. My birthday’s on Monday, so that’s an easy marker. Last year at this time I was $4200 under in credit card debt, had three nagging and delinquent student loan accounts, owed my parents $10k, had $1k in savings, no job, no car, and was about to foolishly move out of state (with no job there, either, haha). A year later, I have no credit card debt, two loans paid off, a fully paid-for dependable car, a nice e-fund, a steady well-paying job, and a feasible plan to pay my parents back in six months time. I’m anticipating serious savings by my next birthday, an equal or better job situation, no debt at all (or very little left on the remaining student loan), and a ton more freedom to do what I want when I want (including going back to school). Feels awesome.

  17. brooklyn money August 25, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    Just because you save and invest, certainly doesn’t mean that you will be ahead in a year. There’s no floor. Your investments can go below what you paid for them. So it is possible to save a lot of money and invest it (I probably save and then invest close to $30K a year, but that doesn’t mean my net worth will go up that much, or at all.

  18. J. Money August 25, 2010 at 10:00 PM

    @Katelyn – Yeah, SOUNDS awesome too! Congrats :) That’s a helluva turn around so far! Keep it up!
    @brooklyn money – True true, won’t argue on that one. But you’d also be much better off than never investing at all in that time period. If the $ doesn’t go into savings/investments it’s usually going out the door.

  19. David Wilson August 25, 2010 at 10:19 PM

    Very good advice. A lot of people still don’t realize that by making small, simple changes in their habits, it will affect their financial status in the end.