Feb. 2nd, 2013

alexseanchai: Purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
I am getting a more substantial federal tax refund than I expected. MUCH more substantial. To the tune of, once I subtract what I'll need to put in savings to get that account over a grand, I can pay off my car. Or I can pay off my highest-interest-lowest-balance credit card and a substantial fraction of the next-highest-interest card.

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.

Opinions?

(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.
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
Okay, I wasn't sure about this but here goes.

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.

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