Hola! My Financial Journal is to sort out my thoughts as I purchase my first home. Any and all advice is welcome. I promise to cool down for five minutes before responding to any criticism.
I'm 24, female, and living in the suburbs of Washington D.C. Its expensive here.
I recently bought a condo. I signed the contract in May of 2007 and question everyday whether I'm making the right decision. I am. Its currently under construction. Closing has been delayed multiple times and I have spent a small fortune on temporary housing. It sucks, but I am doing the best I can. My four month lease runs out on March 31. We are expected to close in April or May so I will just have to tough it out and do the 5 hour commute from my parents' each day until I can move in. Its actually only an hour each way, but with D.C. traffic... yeah. I may be able to adjust my hours some. I've been approved for an 80/15/5 loan.
I went to undergrad on a full scholarship thus graduating debt free. So then I had the bright idea to go to a subpar out of state school to get my Masters in a bs major. Realizing that the work was not at all challenging and that the degree would be no help in landing a job in my chosen field, I dropped out in my second semester. By that point I had racked up over $20K in student loans. Ouch. I hate this debt with a passion.
I do not have a 401K for which I really have no excuse. I do have a Roth IRA with around $12K (market fluctuations) at Vanguard. Most of the money is in a Target Retirement fund with a little in Emerging Markets. I know that seems overly aggressive, but I'm a financial analyst and I need to have a little leeway with my investments. I need to add more to my Target fund to get the EM to a lower percentage of my portfolio. I'm debating making a 2007 contribution. My parents match whatever I put in the Roth. This may be the last year of that super sweet deal. I'm not eligible for a 401K until mid-summer (new job). I will definitely take advantage of at least the employer match.
After reading my post, one may not believe it, but I am actually pretty thrifty. I grew up poor. I have a wonderful stepdad who made things a lot easier for us, but I've never been able to let go of certain habits. In the 22 months since I've started working full-time, I've paid off $10K in student loans and $16K in car loans. I do not have any credit card debt. I've never carried a balance. Never been late on a payment or on a loan.
My next post will detail the specifics of my financial situation.