Panda's Ponderings

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Panda
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Location: Texas
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Panda's Ponderings

Postby Panda » Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:31 am

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.

GoingGreen
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great start out in life!

Postby GoingGreen » Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:04 pm

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.

Panda
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Location: Texas
Contact:

Postby Panda » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:11 am

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.

GoingGreen
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well at least you know the number!

Postby GoingGreen » Fri Jan 15, 2010 1:16 pm

Most people spend that much and never know. Knowledge is power!

Panda
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Location: Texas
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Postby Panda » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:12 am

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.

Panda
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
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Re: Panda's 2010

Postby Panda » Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:57 am

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.

Panda
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Location: Texas
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Re: Panda's 2010

Postby Panda » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:14 am

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.

Panda
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Location: Texas
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Re: Panda's 2010

Postby Panda » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:54 pm

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.

Panda
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Location: Texas
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Re: Panda's 2010

Postby Panda » Thu Feb 04, 2010 7:36 am

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%)

Panda
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: Panda's 2010

Postby Panda » Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:10 pm

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

peachy
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Re: Panda's 2010

Postby peachy » Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:11 pm

Your 401k amount didn't change..did you stop contributing for the last couple months?

Panda
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: Panda's 2010

Postby Panda » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:35 am

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.

peachy
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Re: Panda's 2010

Postby peachy » Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:38 am

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!!

Panda
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: Panda's 2010

Postby Panda » Wed May 12, 2010 11:07 am

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.

Panda
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:06 am
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: Panda's 2010

Postby Panda » Mon May 24, 2010 10:35 am

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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