Positive Peer Pressure

16 04 2008

Note: I sincerely apologize for the lack of posts over the last week.  It has been a very hectic week for Mary, Myself, and My family.

For the first time in my adult life I experienced positive peer pressure, and it made me glad to have the friends I have.  The other night I called one of my former roommates, who is a very good friend of mine and I caught him in the middle of a beer pong game with a fraternity brother of ours.  We all graduated at the same time, all with double degrees, all with finance as one of them.  We spoke about how things are going in life and our conversation came around to finances. 

My former roommate told me that he decided to splurge his tax refund on a new set of golf clubs to celebrate his year in the workforce and a recent promotion.  The conversation went something like this, I will use R for the roomate and G for my other friend (They have me I’m on speakerphone… mid beer pong game):

Me – Nice!  Congratulations…that’s a pretty big purchase!

R – I know, but I’ve already funded my 401(k) and started funding a Roth IRA for the year and I wanted to splurge on something nice as a reward.  Are you and Mary funding your 401(k)’s?

Me- Unfortunately we don’t get 401(k)’s until we have been at the company for a year because of high turnover in our industry.

R & G- THAT SUCKS!

Me- I know, BUT we have both fully funded our Roth IRA’s for 2007.

G- Very good.  So you’ve each got your 4 grand sacked away… that’s impressive.

Me- Thanks.  Have you been funding yours?

G- Absolutely, and I’m saving all the rest of my money for an engagement Ring…

Towards the end of our conversation we all agreed to peer pressure another friend into making sure he is saving and on a good track.

Maybe it’s just my circle of friends, but I’m starting to think that we might be getting it!  We have seen family members want to retire but not be able to, we have seen friends and family get in way over their heads in debt, and we don’t want it to happen to us!  The credit crunch/recession/whatever you want to call it may end up being a good thing for our generation because we are seeing first hand what can happen when your priorities are not in line, and we are learning from it!  We are learning from other people’s mistakes and enriching our own lives because of it. 

I am very proud of my friends for having their priorities in line by not getting caught up with excess, splurging when everthing else is taken care of, and still making time for fun by enjoying a good game of beer pong on a weeknight.  Way to go guys!

On second thought I may have gotten ahead of myself, I need to call them back and make sure they have emergency funds as well… I will update.

Update:  I checked back with R.  And I am pleased to say that he has quite a few separate funds set up.  He says that he has an Oh Shit fund (read: emergency fund), 401(k), Roth IRA, and a mid-life crisis fund (which apparently could double as a house down payment fund as well).  Wow…good job R!

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2 responses

17 04 2008
Philip

Good to see you are back.

Getting that sort of positive feedback would be nice, usually I just hear things along the line of what they will get to buy with tax refunds and stimulus checks, nothing about saving anything from others.

17 04 2008
danielb

Yeah, that’s what I was amazed about! Usually I hear people talk about what they want to buy, but this is the type of pressure that needs to continue! I actually want to do this because all the cool kids are doing it!

…Who am I kidding, I’ve never been the cool kid, I write a blog about personal finance, everything about that screams dork… But hey, my wife digs it.

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