So I've started reading books about investing (well okay, just one book so far but there's several more in The Stack already), and already I'm seeing several positive steps that I am taking. In fact, the first chapter contains a list of things you should do before starting to invest, and I am doing all of them! I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I am better prepared than I thought. I have also learned that there are several things on my side when it comes to investing. my age (relatively low) of course helps, but ironically so does my not-that-high salary: it's low enough that I can contribute to a Roth, which will work out brilliantly for me in terms of taxes and I'm in a relatively low tax bracket now. I am learning about asset allocation and diversification, as well as the difference between kinds of stocks, kinds of bonds, annuities, T-bills, all sorts of stuff. I am even learning about taxes. By the time I am done, I will be so smart that I will be able to wisely invest and grow money. Now, I just need to get some money.
 This is, of course, the only time that I have not made just-barely-too-much-for-the-awesome-thing, which is how my salary is actually worded in my contract.
 And herein lies the problem with that not-that-high salary. Damn.