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 Post subject: Panda's Ponderings
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:31 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Posts: 160
Location: Texas
Hello all! I just recently found GRS and am really impressed with the community here.

Brief intro about me - 30yo, unmarried but living w/bf (as of 2 weeks ago), new homeowner (also as of 2 weeks ago), no kids. I've always been mostly pretty careful/smart about money, but not necessarily with any particularly formal plan and not necessarily with really stupid mis-steps along the way. I've been maxing out a Roth IRA since I was 19 and stepped up my 401k contributions steadily through my first several raises to where I've been fully funding that for the last 5 years as well.

Snapshot looks like a net worth of ~62k (235k in assets, 173k in liabilities). Liabilities include my mortgage and a car loan @2.9%. I carry no CC debt.

In general I'm very much interested in really formalizing my money plans this year as well as starting to work out how/to what extent my bf and I are going to combine finances.

I'm still working on exact goals, but the outline for 2010 looks like this:

1) Fully fund IRA/401k.
2) Re-build emergency fund of $8k.
3) Pay extra towards car loan.
4) Work w/bf to see if he can open/fund IRA.


Last edited by Panda on Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: great start out in life!
PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:04 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:20 am
Posts: 49
I wish I had this info (maturity) at 19. LOL. I'm 37 and starting from scratch again. Its ok... at least I do have 15K in my 401K. And only 6K in CC debt to go.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:11 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Posts: 160
Location: Texas
Mostly it was just info.... my Dad was really wonderful about giving me pretty excellent and very firm guidance while I was in college. (Still gives excellent advice even now.)


I made a few changes in my money plans this year in order to make some of these things happen. I had money that I was auto-investing into my investment accounts above and beyond my 401k and IRA, so I stopped those add'l payments to reassign them towards paying off the auto loan. Also reset the budget for 2010 and ran my final reports on how I spent my money in 2009. Not that i was surprised, but bf and I have GOT to get our dining out spending under control. Unreal how much we spent in 2009.


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 Post subject: well at least you know the number!
PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:16 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:20 am
Posts: 49
Most people spend that much and never know. Knowledge is power!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:12 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Posts: 160
Location: Texas
Well, now that the initial planning work is done, I'm impatient to start seeing some bills come in so I can adjust either my budget or our habits.It's a new house (to us), so I'm waiting on the first electricity, gas, water, etc bills. Also just impatient to actually make my first mortgage payment and get things moving. On the bright side - expenses on dining out are about ~$150 so far this month, which is actually in line with the budget. (And roughly 50% of last year's spending rate. :oops: ) I'm not sure how appropriate it's going to be for us long term, but it's definitely a start.


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 Post subject: Re: Panda's 2010
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:57 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Posts: 160
Location: Texas
So some of the new bills are coming in - the gas bill is certainly higher than I was expecting. But it was also for a period where we had a really unusual freeze and part of the period was before the programmable thermostat was installed, so perhaps it will come down some.


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 Post subject: Re: Panda's 2010
PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:14 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Posts: 160
Location: Texas
Ouch.

I realized I had left a category out of my budget for 2010. Tolls. With having moved, I now have a tollroad as the primary road in my commute. Then with changing jobs over the course of this month - I have an even longer commute. So yeah - roughly $7-8/day in tolls.


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 Post subject: Re: Panda's 2010
PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:54 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Posts: 160
Location: Texas
Okay, I've moved some money around and reclassified some things.

Which gives me:

Emergency fund @ $5435
Escrow Acct @ $1058
IRA Fund @ $2500
Travel savings @ $1720

My checking account buffer has gotten pretty high, so I've pulled the trigger on taking the $2500 for my IRA, using $2500 from the buffer and making my 2009 contribution. I've always saved up over the course of the year and then made my contribution all at once, but I'm thinking that this is a place I should automate. Keep me from playing any games with it (like the fact that my 2008 contribution was made in April 2008 and my 2009 contribution in February of 2010). It would also smooth out the investment over the year.


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 Post subject: Re: Panda's 2010
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:36 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Posts: 160
Location: Texas
One Month Down!

And so far:

401k : $1440.20/$16500 (8.7%)
IRA: $5000 for 2009 (100%), $416.66/$5000 for 2010 (8.3%)
Emergency Savings: $5435/$8000 (68%)
Mortgage Prepayment: $166.14/$2000 (8%)
Car Prepayment: $0/1800 (0%)


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 Post subject: Re: Panda's 2010
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:10 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Posts: 160
Location: Texas
So I've been reading a lot, but not posting much/any.

Progress on my regular savings goals has been steady.

Meanwhile, a whole flurry of spending has been going on as my tax refund came in. This money was slated to go towards furniture for the new house, and we've successfully spent most of it. (I usually balk at spending large amounts - this money was planned for and I'm kind of proud I went through with it.) In order to smooth out some cash flow between the furniture and payments for our summer vacation, some of the furniture is currently on a line of credit, but I'm paying it off regularly within the 0% interest time period.

So progress:

401k : $1440.20/$16500 (8.7%)
IRA: $5000 for 2009 (100%), $1666.64/$5000 for 2010 (33.3%)
Emergency Savings: $5935/$8000 (74%)
Mortgage Prepayment: $708.56/$2000 (35.4%)
Car Prepayment: $450/1800 (25%)

Debt (currently higher than normal):

GEMoney: $1800
Chase: $612 (I lost my debit card, so temporarily living on credit)
Car: $8870.90
Parents: $1100


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 Post subject: Re: Panda's 2010
PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:11 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
Your 401k amount didn't change..did you stop contributing for the last couple months?


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 Post subject: Re: Panda's 2010
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:35 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Posts: 160
Location: Texas
Heh. No, I just forgot to update that line. :)

401k : $5621.42/$16500 (34.1%)

Most of these savings are pretty automated, so not too much chance of me messing them up.

The piece that's still missing in my life is really trying to keep my discretionary spending where I want it and the process of looking at my bf's and my money collectively. Not that I think we're doing a total merge of finances ever, but we've got to look at our goals, debts, etc together so we can make a plan. We talk about money, but in somewhat general terms or in event-specific terms, not overall picture/future terms.


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 Post subject: Re: Panda's 2010
PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:38 am 

Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:35 am
Posts: 1148
Location: Maryland
Most people have their 401k automated, so I was thinking that you just missed updating that line, but thought I'd ask anyway.

It's tough talking about money with boyfriends (I think). Maybe one day you guys can have a more specific talk, but not totally specific if you aren't comfortable with it. Just see what happens. Maybe he's been waiting for "the talk." HA!!HA!!


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 Post subject: Re: Panda's 2010
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 11:07 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Posts: 160
Location: Texas
So I went shopping on Monday and bought two pairs of shoes at reasonable prices...and a pile of clothes I didn't need at not great prices.

I returned the clothes today.

I generally hate shopping, so I'm not entirely sure how I let myself get carried away. But at least it's fixed now.


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 Post subject: Re: Panda's 2010
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 10:35 am 

Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Posts: 160
Location: Texas
Feeling a little overwhelmed/depressed about money....

Big picture stuff - all fine/healthy. 401k, IRAs, etc... Portfolio is up/down, but the habits there are fine.

Small picture stuff - I feel like I'm hemorrhaging money. Becuase I pretty much am:
Jan - Income $6793.77 Spending $3239.17
Feb - Income $6327.06 Spending $11052.26
Mar - Income $5507.42 Spending $2810.11
Apr - Income $5508.87 Spending $6907.26
May - Income $3063.04 Spending $5012.97
That's a net income of $-1819.61 over 5 months. And yeah, May not's totally done with another paycheck still outstanding but still...

And yes - the beginning of this year was a tremendous level of change in my life. A new house with all the associated first house expenses (lawnmower, lawn tools, furniture, etc) and a new job which required a new professional wardrobe and increased commute costs, and paying for my bf/my first vacation together, etc. I get it. I know that. I knew that going into it..... but I'm ready for it to be over....

I want to feel like I'm in control again. That I'm saving what I intend to save, that I'm spending how I intend to spend, etc....

Argh. Just feeling broke and cranky.


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