After 12 years of owing the man, I am proud to say I will finally be out of debt in March. To accomplish this, I set myself a strict budget and severely cut my costs. No cell phone, I use a MagicJack to avoid phone bills. I walk to work to avoid car insurance, repairs, and gas. Paper bag lunches and buying in bulk to survive. This allowed me to make $560.00 per month payments toward my debt. I never consolidated my debt, negotiated to reduce my debt, defaulted (except for a few late payments years ago), or declared bankruptcy. Every penny of my debt I paid back with hard honest work. I am a strong believer in being responsible for my own actions. And now getting out of debt, I value money more than ever and hold a strict rule living within your means. I never go to the casino or buy lottery tickets. I hate to gamble. Habits are hard to break. After I get out of debt, why stop there? If my lifestyle doesn't change significantly, there is no reason why I couldn't invest $500.00 per month. Trading online is something I always wanted to do since 1996. For the first time in my life I will finally be able to begin to do it. I expect losses in the beginning, as from what I read, the learning curve is harsh. Even if I do manage to get efficient enough to turn a profit, I plan on only making a very tiny bit. I have come up with a general plan I feel would realistically be reasonable as a new student of the online trading world. My plan: In June open up a $1300.00 brokerage cash account. After comparing many brokerages, I have concluded that OptionsHouse would best suit my needs. The trading platform is all browser based and simplified. I noticed nobody reviewed it, so while getting my feet wet, I can give back to this community with a review of it sometime down the road. When making a trade, I will always operate with a 30% buffer. Hopefully, this 30% buffer will be enough to fund my learning curve. With the initial $1300.00, I will only trade with $1000.00, leaving me with $300.00 to cover losses from my trades so that I can continue to make $1000.00 trades. If my trading equity ever gets near $1000.00, I will stop trading until I put more capital into the account. Each month after June I will transfer an additional $500.00 into the account. Of course by doing this, my trading limit will increase each month, and my 30% buffer will increase as well. Allowing me access to more stocks or higher priced stocks as time goes on. I never plan on trading stocks valued below $2.00, mainly because the fees will become too expensive for me. My very first trade I plan on being 500 shares slightly above $2.00 in a slow moving stock. If it increases by 2 cents, I should be able to make a 4 dollar profit (before taxes). I will try to limit my losses to around 2 cents per share - which would be a $16.00 loss. I will take all day on this one trade if I have to. I am in no hurry. I will ease myself into this. One day trade per week I think I can handle. I won't make myself any promises until I get the feel for it. I may dabble in short-term trading at some point. I do know for certain that I do not want to ever try long-term trading. My ultimate goal is to eventually get to a level where I continuously turn a 0.5% profit per month. But that is a pipedream. The journey will be the experience. Weather I make money or lose money, for me personally, It will be worth it. With my work scedule, I will be available during the morning hours EST, so I have a good opportunity here. I am excited for June to get here! Thanks for this site. I am leaning alot. I will be a fly on the wall for teh most part. But if I have an important question I will not hesitate to tap into your experience wisdom and knowledge. P.S. Buzzed is just an internet persona. I don't do drugs or drink. Nice to meet you all. Any tips, advice, criticisms, and life lessons are welcomed.