I'm trying to whittle down my student loans as much as I can as well as the credit card statement that I use during the work-lean summers to help pay for groceries (those withdrawal pains are killer, I hear).
My question is, however, should I keep throwing as much money (On Time) at my loans and statement that I can afford or should I just keep at the minimum payment due? Now, I can't always pay more than the minimum but when I can, should I?
On the plus side, I've been able to save up a good bit in my savings account in the credit union!
Actual answer appears to be 'payroll taxes went up' with a side of 'reinstate the automatic deduction for retirement savings, it actually will do you more good accumulating interest than reducing the credit card interest you need to pay'. On that subject, she went on for a while about Roth IRAs--does anyone have a compare-contrast for Roth IRAs vs 457(b) accounts? Or vs 401(k) accounts, I'm pretty sure 457(b)s are like 401(k) accounts in all the ways except whether the owner is a public- or private-sector employee. I know 457(b)s get taxed when the money comes out, Roth when the money goes in, which I think means the difference between 'money I put into account' and 'money in account' is taxable with 457(b) but not with Roth...
I'm 30, just graduated from grad school and have my first professional full-time job (not my first job, but my first in my field full time and with benefits and everything). My salary isn't high, but it's not low either. I'd call it solid. I've kept my lifestyle similar to what it was before, with little inflation; living frugally isn't normally a hardship for me. This has allowed me to really pay down my debts on both my student loans and my car. It should only be a year or two before they're both paid off in full (and I always pay off my credit cards as I go, so there isn't much debt there). I have a 401k that I am funding to the max, and a 403b through my employer that both me and my employer are funding, and between those and social security I am not worried about retirement. My job is steady and should be reliable throughout my life.What I'm worried about is my parents. They own their own business, and it's never been a very lucrative one. They love it, but it was barely enough to raise a family on, and so they don't have much saved for retirement. Now my brother and I are out of the house, their expenses are less ... but the economic changes of the last ten years have really taken a bite out of their business. Their main retirement plan was to sell the business and the building it's in when they retire, but these days their business isn't really worth anything to sell, and the building may or may not be worth much--it's hard to tell what commercial real estate in my home town will be worth at any given time. It's good they like their work, because I don't know if they'll ever be able to afford to retire. When they have to retire, they'll probably end up living with me or me with them (depending on where my job is at that time). I don't mind; I'm single, and we get along very well, and I've spent enough time living at home with them in the last decade to know it will work. And if they ever end up in a nursing home, if it requires anything more than medicare pays, I'll probably be the one footing the bill.
Also, I may choose to adopt a child sometime in the next five-ten years. Children are expensive, and so are foreign adoptions.
The problem is money. How do I save for this? How do I plan? My financial wisdom of the last decade has been mostly "keep debt to a minimum." Well, that's great as long as you're in a low-income situation, but doesn't give me any guidance for what to do now.
I very badly want my dad's name off my car title, which I can't ask him for until I can prove his name's off my car loan. My last payment, if I don't lump-sum it when the refund shows, is in May. That payment is twice my next biggest loan payment, so the sooner I can use that part of the budget for other things, the better. On the other hand, the credit cards I'll pay if I don't pay off the car are the same ones I'd be paying with the ex-car-payment money if I do pay off the car, and the interest rates on those cards are about twice the rate on the car loan.
(It would be bad of me to buy the learn-to-piano software I want and the learn-to-sing software I want and the cute fannish denim jacket I want with some of the refund money, yes? It would be okay of me to buy one of these things, or a couple books adding up to the same dollar figure, with some of the refund money, yes?)
ETA: I asked my mother, she asked my father, and he says if he's not on the title, I can't be on the family insurance. Solo auto insurance is probably more expensive. I'll have the money for it, given the reduction in monthly total loan payments, but.
ETA2: Looks like a solo policy through my family's insurance company, assuming the same level of coverage as now and no loan on the car, will cost two-thirds my share of the family policy. The difference in a month's premium comes very nearly as high as what I'd save on interest by paying the credit cards; two months, I'm making money. Sold.
This won't make it impossible to use those cards—I think I have at one point or another used every single one of them for an Amazon purchase, so Amazon remembers them all, and while the box is going to live two floors up from my computer, I don't have trouble with stairs and the key will live on my keyring in my purse—but it'll make it a lot harder. Can't spend money while out of the house using a card that's in the house, after all.
( Read more... )
So...anyone have advice on apartment-hunting? We're also maybe looking at townhomes for rent, but so far the only one we've found in our price range that allows pets is literally right next to a train track, and I already have trouble sleeping.
I'm getting really discouraged.
I have a perfectly good, paid-in-full 2006 Civic with low miles but I'm ... thinking about a new car*. Which I can afford, but ....
I thought about why, all of a sudden, I was jonesing for new things and I realized that there's been a certain amount of change and upheaval in my work-life and the reality is: buying a new toy isn't going to do a damn'd thing to fix that.
*Although, I am going to need a different car at some point soon-ish. The Civic isn't a particularly low-slung car, but I do have a chronic bad back, and it would be easier to get into a car that rode a little higher. (I threw my back out earlier this week, and getting in/out was hard and painful.)
Our situation: I work full time. I leave the house at 6am, get back at 6pm. I do over half to 3/4 the house work & about 1/3 to 1/2 the cooking usually. My wife has had an increase in her chronic pain levels which means I'm now doing at least 3/4 to all the house work, all the cooking and my usual work schedule & trying to help her with daily things she's having problems with. We're busy at work and going through some Big Changes so I'm also running on low energy so not a lot available. Fortunately we're only just heading into spring but that does mean the gardening is going to start back up, at the very least for our food plants and regular watering.
I've always had a bad bill habit--leaving things until we get paid each fortnight. I've been trying to get better but at this point can't do it as regularly as I'd like due to time and energy being low. As you can imagine this starts a viscous cycle of over spending, dipping into the (diminishing) savings and making me reluctant to face the bills.
How do you stay on top of your bills and balancing your account regularly? Do you do it once or twice or more a week? Do you do certain parts at different times? I've tried to "reward" myself for doing it, I just feel guilty and go without doing/getting something then.
We're hoping that her pain levels reduce back below the spike she had a couple weeks ago, but as she's lived with chronic pain for over 30 years we know they won't go away. I need to get some good habits in place before things do get much worse.
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Please signal boost! ♥
Thanks to the mod for allowing me to post this.
In 2006 this fund contained barely over $1000. I've taken no money out of this fund except for my annual funding of my Roth IRA or for automotive repairs/maintenance
I am now up to one year of salary in my "Oh, Snap!" fund.
( Rent woes )
And so, the questions:
Does it make sense to y'all that rents would typically rise 10-12% for current tenants each year? Have other people here experienced this same kind of rent hike? How is a resident supposed to manage that if their salary isn't increasing at the same rate? (And if your salary is increasing at that rate, where do you work and are you hiring?)
And assuming that rents don't rise more than 5% on a current resident, does anyone know what percent of their net income a person should expect to pay in rent?
Alternately, if you have found that lease renewals typically offer such a high increase, how do you plan for and manage that?
( Some background, leading up to now )
How things work right now is:
- Husband gets paid every 2 weeks, gets direct deposited into his personal checking.
- Husband transfers X amount into joint account.
- We pay everything out of the joint account except for auto/home insurance and oddball expenses which come out of his account.
- End of month comes, and a mad scramble ensues to get everything paid, usually involving temporarily transferring money out of joint savings.
- Next time husband gets paid, repay savings account + $20 penalty.
- Repeat next month.
One upside is our savings account is slowly getting bigger, but that's not the way I want to do it!
Now that our daughter is here and almost three months old, our expenses have increased in some ways in decreased a bit in others. We've also started raising sheep and I have no idea what's been spent on that because it's all come out of his account. I have asked him and he's given me some receipts, but that is a household expense and it should be coming out of the household account. Basically he's starting to pay some household stuff with his personal account which gives me an inaccurate picture of where our money is going. I'm the person responsible for paying bills and tracking where our money is going, so I need to know about everything that gets spent.
I'm posting here because I really really feel we need to just combine everything and use the joint account. We've been together for over seven years and are pretty much stuck with each other now. Both of us have similar attitudes on money and have never had a problem getting important expenses paid.
The problem is going to be selling the idea to my husband. I have a feeling he may view it as a loss of control, when I really don't feel that is the case.
For those of you who have SO's and only use a joint account, how do you make it work? What rules do you have for each other (if any)? How do you handle personal expenses, like (for example) buying new jewelry?
I just paid off my credit card balance. In its entirety.
I may have a couple of dollars of interest to pay next month, but that sucker is GONE.
PARTY IN THE COMMENTS!!! COME AND TELL ME FANTASTIC THINGS ABOUT YOURSELVES!!!
... Dammit. I need some form of sparkly tiara gif. I DESERVE A SPARKLY TIARA GIF.
We've had a few new people join. First of all, hi! Come and introduce yourself--tell us anything about your financial situation or goals you'd be comfortable with hearing and feel free to ask questions and make use of the community brain. I'm jame, your friendly community mod.
( For those who haven't been aware of my situation, a recap )