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Pregnant & Other Considerations

October 31st, 2011 at 09:02 am

For those of you who don't read the forums, DH and I are are pregnant. We finished our Baby addition to our EF and immediately after got pregnant! The baby is due late May/Early June.

DH is on track to get his Masters finished in the next month. The whole thing is due December 9, and we will be thankful when it is over. The experience was amazing for him, but it was also trying. I'm currently working on my Dissertation proposal. The first draft should be complete soon at which point I will choose a committee and start getting it vetted. I'm hoping to defend in January.

We finally heard back from APLE. They have finished his paperwork, but now they have to wait for the state budget to release the money. That part might take a while. In the meantime, DH's loan payment start back up in January. We are debating paying them off with the car fund.

Speaking of the car fund, we are about 2 payments away from finishing that. As I have probably said before, the plan is to continue to add to that savings account and use the money to pay off the student loans when they come due. I just thought all along that we would have a 6 month grace period. Turns out you only get one of those and DH used it after undergrad. If I pay off all but the $2000 in loan debt that we expect with APLE and wait until August to buy a car, I will have over $8K in the car fund. I'm still debating this.

We are still working to resolve DH's overpayment issues with his old district. I'm hoping we can finish resolving his pay before the year ends. Otherwise we are likely going to have to file either an extension on our tax return or amend our tax return after the issues are settled. Either way I'm really peeved. Turns out the person he thought he was supposed to talk to had changed positions long ago and was ignoring his messages. Also before she left her old position, she marked his case as resolved so the new people didn't know to contact him. Bureaucratic inefficiency at it's best. If we can resolve this without him owing any money, I have $6K set aside to deal with this that will be freed up.

Finally, DH applied for an advancement at his job. He didn't get the position because he is too new, but the principal highly encouraged him to apply in May during their annual reviews (with a bit of a wink-wink, nudge-nudge). That will mean a much needed 5-10% pay raise next year. Additionally as soon as I defend my dissertation, I will get a $100-$200 pay raise. This will help out so much with leveling out our budget and with the baby.

APLE Paperwork

September 28th, 2011 at 08:22 am

DH finally got the student loan company to send the paperwork to the correct APLE office. They should be receiving it today. He is going to call APLE tomorrow to see if they received the paperwork and will process the loan forgiveness. That will get us $2000 off our loans.

Joined Credit Karma, New CD

September 14th, 2011 at 11:06 am

So I joined Credit Karma today. I really want to keep an eye on our credit score, and though I know Credit Karma isn't a FICO, I'm glad to have someone grading me.

I also started our new Home Down Payment CD. Got 1.25% on an 18 month CD. Not bad, but not great. I'm hoping these early experiences with crappy APYs will bias me to not take for granted a little extra money.

So a couple months ago I added a neat little guage to our Plan of Attack spreadsheet. I have one cell that calculates the percent we are through our working lives from when I graduated college until our potential retirement date. I have another that calculates how much we have saved in comparison to our savings goals. From these two I have created a Lump Over/Under cell that tells me how much money we have now over what we should be based on our percent working life. I also have another that calculates when this Lump Over/Under will run out.

Currently our surplus will last another 7 months. Once I add in our unallocated money, it will be closer to 24 months. Now this does not mean that we will make all of our goals on time (such as paying off DH's student loans in entirety in 9 months), but it is a hopeful sign.

Finished E-Fund Expansion

September 13th, 2011 at 10:44 am

So I was looking over our Plan of Attack, the spreadsheet that lists our life-long savings goals, and I realized that I had miscalculated our E-Fund needs. It turned out we needed $1000 less than I had calculated. After the change we only needed $77 more dollars. Since we are still recovering from DH's unemployment and haven't resolved his overpayment by his last job, I have an savings account of unallocated money that I was able to pull from to finish our E-Fund! It's now been expanded to cover our expenses once we have a baby! **Savings Dance**

So now we are focusing on saving for a car, which is only $1245.46 away from our goal, and then we can start setting aside money to pay DH's student loans when they come due in June. Woot! Still I'm not entirely looking forward to starting that phase of our monetary lives. We have $33,001 in student loans to pay off. That should be reduced any day now by $2000 thanks to loan forgiveness programs, but that's still a lot of money. We will just have to be patient and work hard!

Things will be Tight = Motivation

August 26th, 2011 at 01:48 pm

So DH found out that 2nd job probably won't work out. This totally screws my budget, but does give me a good motivation to work hard on my dissertation. I want to defend my proposal by December 9 so that I can get a pay raise. So here are the basic goals:

September - Read to saturation in the two main theories I'm using
October - Write at least 1 page a day until finished
November - Revise my paper
November 23 - Email my paper to my committee
December 9 - Defend my proposal

I'm hoping I'll work hard enough and write fast enough to push up the final 2 deadlines so I'm not doing everything at the very last minute. Still I'm really pumped now to work hard. All right enough reflection, time to read some more Vygotsky!

DH just got a 2nd job!

August 19th, 2011 at 11:04 am

So a day after getting a new job, DH also got a 2nd job! He will teach in one school and then run an after school club at another school! It will be an extra $90 a week! Plus they were so disappointed in not hiring him this year that they already said they want to hire him next year! I'm so incredibly proud of him and just generally ebullient. This is our month!

DH is Employed

August 17th, 2011 at 05:32 pm

So DH has an brand new job! After three years of district bulls*** DH is now working for an online charter school. And instead of driving 45-90 minutes a day, DH will work only 20-30 minutes away. Did I mention the school is online which goes perfectly with DH's Education Technology Masters!!

He will be taking a $3000 paycut, but between the decreased gas (about $200/month), no union dues, lower car insurance, and his overall mental health gain I think we come out ahead! **Employment Dance** Plus I always under-budgeted our income so I could trick us into putting more into savings. So here is the new budget:

Total: $4650
Savings: $1627.50
Billed Needs: $1900.44
Discretionary Needs: $424.56
Billed Wants: $145.29
Discretionary Wants: $552.21

This pushes back our savings goals slightly, but not too much. We also will be putting less away for retirement, but DH will still be contributing to the pension.

Unemployment Doldrums

July 17th, 2011 at 11:43 am

DH is yet again unemployed for the Summer. The only problem is that this time around, his principal isn't trying to hold his spot at the school. So this means he is applying for everything under the sun for Fall. Thankfully, he got 2 bonuses at the end of the year (one from a grant and another from extra work from his school). These should get us through September and allow us to continue making our savings goals.

In other news, we are still waiting for APLE to give Keenan his student loan payment. They are totally held up on the paperwork. Total bureaucratic failure.

My dissertation got pushed back by some complications. I need to rethink what I'm doing for it. Ugh.

I don't think DH will be getting a scholarship this year.

Finally, we have been struggling with when we should start trying to conceive. We will start really soon, but it has been stressful.

No Recission

June 7th, 2011 at 02:06 pm

So though the new budget is most likely going to pass, it doesn't look like DH will be included in the recission. According to an HR person everyone through 2007 is being hired back and DH started in 2008. So this means there are only a few people ahead of DH in seniority for the rehire process. This probably also means DH won't get to teach summer school.

Still I'm hopeful. After the budget passes, each school gets to rehire specific positions. If enough schools choose social science positions or out of classroom positions with social science credentialed people (like librarians) then we have a chance.

They really came down to the wire this year. Here is hoping the economy gets better and the legislatures stop filibustering their way to a budget. It really is not appreciated.

A Can't Spend Month

June 4th, 2011 at 12:24 pm

So after preparing our budget for June, I realized that this is a Can't Spend Month. Our Wants budget is already almost spent out and the month has barely begun. Out of our $529.96 in discretionary wants,

Rollover from May - $157.85
Buying DH a Cell Phone - $188.49
Taekwondo Belt Tests - $140

Leaving us with a whopping $43.62 for buying a Father's Day present and buying supplies for our camping trip. We have some difficult decisions to make this month, but the easiest is that we will not, cannot go out for food. Also no shopping or craft projects this month. Hopefully that will be enough.

Additionally, DH got some troubling and confusing news about his job on Friday night. It looks like he is not on the list of rescinded people. This might mean we will go back on unemployment for July and August.

I'm feeling a little ill about our whole situation.

May Wrap Up

May 31st, 2011 at 11:36 am

Okay this was a bad month for us and financially ended on a mixed note.

1) DH's phone broke finally. We have been saying we would get him a smartphone if his phone broke or he got an admin job. Too bad it had to break this month.

2) On vacation this weekend everyone decided to go out for sushi. This was a tad out of our budget range right now, but we were able to buy my mom's dinner and pay her for a shower gift this next month.

3) The union and district came to an agreement over the weekend. Hopefully the union will vote it in and the other 2 smaller unions will agree to it. If all the stars align, DH has a good chance of being rescinded. This would mean paychecks, health insurance, and extra work over summer.

June will hopefully be a good month and thankfully most of our Wants expenses are already covered.

1) As previously mentioned I'm going to a baby shower. I already paid my mom for my portion of the gift. (Btw, Babies R Us is ridiculously expensive!)

2) We are going to a concert for my birthday. We bought the tickets in April. We will probably get dinner near the concert, but I don't have expensive tastes.

3) We are camping at the end of the month. We purchased a blow up mattress, but we are borrowing almost everything else. I figure food won't cost that much extra.

4) We are going to the zoo on one of the days, but other than buying food, we bought an annual membership months ago.

5) I'm leaving for a business trip tomorrow, but I will submit the reimbursements as soon as I return.

So we will be very busy, but most of the activities are already paid for.

Recintion Soon?

May 24th, 2011 at 01:45 pm

So the district has been flirting with rescinding almost all of the pink slips they sent out. If the union and the district can quit bickering, we can all get our lives back on track. So here is our status if the rescintion comes in.

1) DH continues getting normal paycheck August & September
2) DH keeps his health insurance over summer
3) DH was offered and will be able to take a part time summer school job

With this, we will be getting enough money to finish off our car savings and our expanded emergency fund by August. Then we can start saving to pay back our student loans as they come due. DH will have $13,000 due June 2012, but through APLE we can get $11,000 paid off. So for his we will make the minimum payment until we pay them off, or DH gets a job at a school that does not qualify. I have $19,125 due ~December 2013 so we will also be setting money aside for this.

Currently my big dilemma is what to prioritize. We can either prioritize starting our second Roth IRA or saving enough to pay down my loans when they come due. My current plan is to save enough to pay cash on DH's loans (in case of job change) then start the Roth and if there is extra money put more into student loan savings. If DH keeps getting APLE we can use the extra money on my loans.

Here's Hoping & Goal Update

May 20th, 2011 at 10:08 am

So LAUSD is talking about rescinding their pink slips to thousands of teachers and support staff. This would be double wonderful news for our household. DH was offered a summer school position at another school, but he can't take it if he is fired. So if he gets rescinded then we get 1) normal pay over summer, 2) health insurance over summer, and 3) extra money from summer school! I'm really hopeful that this year will be our year.

In other news, I made progress on one of my goals. I passed my qualifying exam (only took 9 months for the entire review process **grumble**) so I'm able to apply for my Masters. Sadly, I missed the Spring deadline and since I don't want to pay the steep summer tuition, I have to wait until Fall for my application to be processed. This means that I should be getting my Masters in December. Still on time for my 2011 goals.

Additionally, DH sent in his paperwork for the APLE scholarship so $2000 of his student loans will be paid off by the government. This is a great program for teachers in low income schools.

DH also just finished his second semester for his Masters. He still has the summer and next Fall to go and then he is done. He has started to think about what he wants to write for a thesis. So I count that goal on track.

As for scholarships, I'm not really hopeful. He had every intention of applying for lots of scholarships, but he only completed 2 applications. It looks like we will be taking on another $4500 in student loans. This will put a big damper on meeting our reach goal of starting DH's Roth IRA, but otherwise I'm proud of our progress.

When we will increase our standard of living

May 10th, 2011 at 12:28 pm

So let me start off by saying, I don't think of buying a house or having kids as really increasing our standard of living. With that, here are my prerequisites for increasing our standard of living:

1) Always increase budget with inflation as of January
2) All savings goals will be met (we are saving enough to all of our life-long savings goals to make them)
3) Retirement savings goals are met (we are saving enough into retirement to meet our current standard of living as of 60 years old)
4) Pre-retirement savings goals are met (we are saving enough for DH's teaching retirement at 54 years old)

At this point I would raise my standard of living according to how much I am still able to save in retirement. If I up my retirement savings such that I can retire with another $200 a month, then if there is more money I can spend $200 more a month now.

Watching my parents, I've seen how hard it is to deflate their lifestyle and how quickly it reflates. After 2 years of unemployment, my parents are getting ahead of themselves with his current employment. Thankfully they sat down and made a budget and a wishlist, but their wishlist is huge and still growing. I figure if we can limit our lifestyle for as long as possible, we can avoid getting ahead of ourselves.

Here's hoping.

Small Triumphs

April 29th, 2011 at 01:54 pm

My husbands Prom (he's a teacher) is coming up next weekend. I ran out to get a dress today. I checked our consignment store and then went to Marshalls without luck. I found a nice dress at Leohmann's for $60. I put it on hold and went to try Nordstrom's Rack. After striking out there, I sat down to think.

I had a short black dress at home, but I didn't want to freeze at the dance. I paused and checked the weather for that night. The low was only 58F. I reentered Nordstroms and purchased a $10 wrap. So that was $50 saved by a moment of reflection, my smart phone, and my frugal skills

Easter Hand-Me-Downs

April 25th, 2011 at 08:40 am

Yesterday my aunt showed up to Easter with 5 trash bags full of clothes. She was cleaning out her Winter wardrobe and brought clothes for us to pick through. My aunt may be a shopaholic, but I definitely benefit. I came home with a bunch of new shirts. Additionally, my mom also cleaned out her closet and I got a few things from there. I also had a great run at the thrift store last week. My closet is getting stuffed and I all ready cleaned out the 2 tops I don't wear anymore. Good thing the weather is warming up so I can finish switching out my wardrobe for summer. I really want to get rid of all the pants and shirts that don't really fit me anymore, but since we're planning to have a baby, I don't know what my weight will be doing.

General Update

April 11th, 2011 at 03:47 pm

I started selling many of our books, DVDs, and video games on amazon.com. I traded a few in, and I've put others on swap.com. I actually just got my first swap today. I've been using the library a bit more lately. For a while I was mostly reading our comic books. After next Tuesday (April 19), I will list most of our comic book and manga series up on ebay now that there is no listing price.

I'm excited to be cleaning out the house and earning a little bit of money. Talk about starting to conceive has become more serious, and I want to try to drum up a bit of extra money in the next few months.

Dropped Phone Insurance

April 7th, 2011 at 08:56 am

So DH was adamant when we got our phone plan that he wanted Phone Insurance. His family had bought the Motorola Razr when it had all those problems and were very grateful for their insurance. A couple days ago I got pummeled with Verizon Wireless marketing (1 text, 1 call, and 1 email) letting me know that I'm eligible for an upgrade. I realized today that we still had our phone insurance, and how completely silly that was. So I opted out of the insurance and we should be saving $7-$14 (b/c I forget if his phone had the coverage) every month. Woot!

Dried Bean Failure

March 15th, 2011 at 03:59 pm

So I fail at making dried beans. This is my third time and I still can't get it right. The first time I soaked red beans overnight and nothing changed. So I soaked them through the next day and they still didn't change. I finally boiled them and finally there was a change. They were finally soft enough to eat, but they had no flavor, zero, zip. The second time I quick boiled both kidney beans and pinto beans. I added them to a chili which turned out great except that each bite of bean had no flavor, zero, zip. This final time I needed pinto beans for burritos. I boiled them for 5 minutes, then let them sit in the water for 4 hours. I then got new water and cooked them for 1 hour. I then threw the beans into a pan with a bunch of spices and mushed them. They have no flavor, zero, zip. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong!! I'm doing exactly what all the directions say to do. If I don't get this right soon, DH is going to finally get fed up with it all and stop the whole thing. Then we are back to buying canned beans from Costco. I've never failed this utterly in the kitchen before. What am I doing wrong!?

Early Retirement Chart

March 11th, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Assumed $0 current savings, 8% growth, and 25 x expenses [(1-% saved)*income] to retire

% Income Saved - Years Until Retirement - 25x for income
90% - 3 years - 2.5 x income
80% - 6 years - 5 x income
70% - 9 years - 7.5 x income
60% - 12 years - 10 x income
50% - 15 years - 12.5 x income
40% - 19 years - 15 x income
30% - 23 years - 17.5 x income
20% - 29 years - 20 x income
15% - 33 years - 21.25 x income
10% - 39 years - 22.5 x income
5% - 48 years - 23.75 x income

The Unspoken Years

March 8th, 2011 at 08:34 am

Last night DH and I were reflecting that our parents never talk about their lives when they were our age/stage. We have heard the stories of them in college, shortly after college, and after they had kids, but there is this big gap--for both sets--between meeting each other and having their first kid together. My parents talk a bit about dating, and my dad's interactions with my older sister (from my mom's previous marriage). My in-laws talk about the first time they met and moving into their new house with my DH. Otherwise neither of them talk about being a young, childless married couple. Neither of them talk about the ages of 25-30. And we think we know why: They suck!! Immediately after college you're dating, getting married, getting new jobs, but after that, you're just standing still. Take for example DH and I. We are stuck for the moment in a holding pattern. We are working, going to school, and just trying to save up money the best we can. Very little changes for us. Very little of interest happens for us. We take small vacations to local destinations. We go out with friends to dinner. We don't go on interesting, outlandish trips (like our Europe backpacking in college) or party like crazy (like we did in college). Even now we tell stories about parties a few years ago, not parties a few months ago.

And this should change. I want my parents to share what it felt like to be young and poor and struggling and childless. I want to understand that my situation is normal by hearing about my parents. For once in my life, I really, really want to hear "when I was your age" stories.

Frugal Date Night

March 4th, 2011 at 07:31 am

I just had to share my accomplishment. I paid $9 for 2 movie tickets deal from Living Social on Wednesday. I then bought $10 for $20 of pizza and beer at a local brewery using my Groupon Bucks. Because I bought both of these through Swagbucks, I earned a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card.

So for $9 out of pocket I got
- 2 movie tickets
- $20 of pizza and beer
- $5 from Amazon.com

Best date night deal ever.

Disappointing Realization

March 2nd, 2011 at 08:27 am

So I came to a disappointing realization last night: DH only has his insurance for 9 months out of the year. Thanks to union, district, and state laws/budgets he is fired every year as of July 1. Every year he is able to get his insurance back by October 1 by substituting. So for 3 months he uses COBRA to get his insurance. So far this is not a problem.

The problem is that I'm not eligible for COBRA because my university offers me insurance. This leaves me relying on the Student Health Center for my medical needs, not good. The service there is mediocre at best.

Now this is all fine and livable in general. I can handle this under normal circumstances, except DH and I want to get pregnant this summer. (Note any child we had could be added to COBRA.) So here are the questions running through my head:

1) Do I get pregnant July - September and rely on Student Health for my first Trimester?
2) If DH is rehired before July 1 this year and doesn't lose insurance (yay!), do I count on this happening the year after?
3) Do I stop trying in October expecting DH will not have insurance next summer? Do I have the will power to do this?
4) Can DH get another job so that he doesn't have to worry about this as much? Should he?

California, you have 2 choices: either raise taxes so my husband can keep his job or find him a new job. I know this is a bit defeatist, but it's the only solution I can think of right now.

Another Great February

March 1st, 2011 at 08:38 am

February is always a great month for savings for us. We got out tax refund, DH's coaching extra pay, and our spending was pretty low. With all that extra money we are currently on track to:

- Finish expanding our e-fund for baby in October (6 months early)
- Finish our car fund in November (5 months early)
- Finish our down payment fund in April 2013 (2 months early)

After that is achieved, I'm going to continue putting money into the Car Fund account. After my lease ends and we buy the car in April 2012, I'm going to redirect my monthly lease payment into my Annual Savings account. This will then serve as both an annual expenses account and a car fund. The old car fund account, and any leftover money, will then become our student loan account.

DH's loan, $8500, will be due around June 2012, but with APLE paying them off, we are planning to only pay the minimum until DH finds a new job. At that point he will probably either not be a teacher or not be teaching in a low income school. As soon as APLE is no longer supporting him, I want to pay off the loan.

In addition, my loans, $19125, will come due around December 2013. I'm really, really hoping to pay them off. There are a few mitigating circumstances:
1. Half of the loans are at a variable interest rate so if they are low I won't pay them quickly. The other half is at 6%. I'm hoping I can direct my extra payments.
2. I'm uncertain if we will have saved enough when they come due and I don't really want to tap our other accounts (down payment, car, efund) to pay them off.
I'm going to have to see how high my rates are when I start paying them off and where we are in life.

Other life plans that are coming up:
- Any day now DH will get his pink slip. Thank you unions and state and district budget offices for giving teachers another middle finger. Love ya.
- If DH gets rehired (and doesn't lose his health insurance over summer), we will start trying to conceive this summer. Otherwise we will start when his insurance returns. I have to avoid having the baby after July 1 when the insurance always stops. (Thanks again unions and budget offices).
- I'm looking at finishing my dissertation Spring 2013. I'm going to start applying for jobs July 2012 when my data collection ends. If someone wants to hire me, I will start work while I finish analyzing and writing my dissertation even if that means moving.

Cross that bridge when I come to it.
~This seems to be a reoccurring theme in my life.

E-Fund as part of Emergency Plans

February 20th, 2011 at 11:22 pm

I've come to like the notion of our e-fund as a component of our Emergency Plans. It is the cash reserves which sees us through the various tragedies we can forsee in our Plans. These Plans include actions we would take, insurance coverage (including unemployment), and family and friend assistance. I'm thinking I might start putting these plans on paper for our reference. Situations to Plan for include:

Either of out deaths
Major car accident (including medical)
Major medical emergency
Natural disaster (fire or earthquake)
Family emergency (parents, siblings, etc)

Any others?


February 15th, 2011 at 09:25 am

So I turned down the summer job. It turned out that it was a full time permanent position, and right now I need to focus on my PhD. I have started putting together my dissertation proposal which is very exciting. I had a lightbulb moment and was able to so clearly see everything I had to do. It looks like I will definitely walk in June 2013 and defend sometime between February and June 2013. This means I can start working around that time too. Very exciting to have an exit strategy.

DH's schools accepted the grant to work extra hours and get a bonus. So he is getting paid an extra $300 a month and a $1200 bonus at the end of the school year.

I was afraid we might have underestimated our tax liability and withheld way too little, but I was wrong. I found out that because DH has so much withheld from his paycheck, his gross salary and the net salary the government see are about $10,000 different.

Through a few big bonuses (including DH's extra-curricular pay which I forgot about), we got our baby e-fund on track. So currently we are meeting our savings goals for 1 Roth IRA, a low down payment, buying a car with cash, and expanding our e-fund. I'm hoping the changes in Fannie and Freddie don't screw up our home savings plans. Still we were thinking about putting down 20%, but I'm hoping the 30 year fixed rate loan still exists once they are wound down.

Summer Plans & Baby Fund

January 11th, 2011 at 10:06 am

It seems like every year we are left uncertain about our summer plans. Guess that's what we get as a teacher and student.

So next week I'm interviewing for a full time summer job. Tomorrow I'm going to talk to my adviser about the position and see if she thinks I should continue. I only applied on a whim. If she agrees, then I will have to get permission from my boss to take summer off. He will probably agree with my adviser.

If I do take the summer job, that leaves no time to take a vacation this summer. If so I need to talk to DH about transferring our vacation funds to our savings. If we do that, then we will probably be able to start trying to have a baby in August as we hoped.

Other money factors:
- DH's school is debating taking a grant to extend the school day (extra hours) and give every teacher a bonus. This would also put us on track to start TTC in August.
- If I'm working full time over summer, I'll be paid more than I am currently. This would also put us on track.

So basically there are three ways that will get us on track for our Baby Fund:
- No vacation/Transfer funds
- DH's bonus/extra hours
- My summer job

Out of all these, I think the summer job is my favorite.

Dream a Little Dream with Me

January 10th, 2011 at 02:28 pm

So imagine you could go back to just before you got your first real job. Your expenses were low because you've been living off parents, pizza delivery, etc. Imagine you could stop yourself as you began that job and give yourself some financial advice. Here is the advice I would give myself:

If your employer offers a retirement plan, sign up to put away 15%. You won't miss it. If they don't offer one, plan to put this same 15% into a Roth IRA and reduce your Net Pay by this amount.

Expect to pay anywhere from 15-50% of your salary in taxes. Do this:

Approx tax liability = Federal tax bracket + state tax bracket + 10%

Now let's calculate your Net Pay:

Net Salary = Gross Salary * .85 * (1 - approx tax liability)

Monthly Net Pay = Net Salary / 12

This may seem a little depressing. Get over it. This is your annual salary for all intents and purposes.

Now let's make a budget:

Housing = Monthly Net Pay * .25
Other Needs = Monthly Net Pay * .25
Wants = Monthly Net Pay * .2
Savings = Monthly Net Pay * .3

Now you may be a bit overwhelmed by how "little" you have for expenses. It is around 45% of your gross pay. Get over it. You didn't even have this much money last month.

Think about it this way. If you are only spending 45% of your pay and saving 15%, you can retire in around 30 years without a problem. Ask your parents if they wish they could have retired before 55. They probably wish they could have.

In addition, you are saving 30% of your take home pay! You can pay down your student loans in a matter of months, not years. You can build a 3 month emergency fund in 7 months! You can save to buy a house or to pay cash for a nice car! Think about bragging to your friends that you did that!

It may be hard. You will have to fight the feeling that you need stuff to grow up. It's not true. Try this instead. Be a grown up and keep your house clean. It will impress your friends and family much more.

What do you wish you could have said to yourself upon getting your first real job.

Applied for a Job

January 7th, 2011 at 11:46 am

So I applied for a summer job today. I'm hoping that my boss will let me take the summer off while I work at a local foundation. It's not like we do all that much work over summer anyway. So hopefully I'll get paid a bit extra and try out a possible career path. If not, I've still got my usual summer job.

But working full time would be really nice for my goals.

Woohoo Roth Finished

December 14th, 2010 at 05:05 pm

I sent the last payment to our Roth for 2010. We started contributing around October so we finished it in only 3 months. Pretty good! I set the account up to make consistent withdrawals for the next who knows how many years. It will withdraw $417 for the first 2 months of the quarter and $416 on the final month. It's a bit annoying that they didn't choose a number divisible by 12.

So now we are back to focusing all our extra money on the car fund. We are 33% done with the fund so we still have a ways to go. Still we are on track to have the money by the time my lease ends.

More worrying is our lack of progress on the Baby Fund. We are trying to add $10,000 to our EF to account for additional baby expenses. We need to be putting $377 away every month to make our goal of April 2011. Right now we are pulling $200 from our Wants budget to contribute (I figure having a baby is a luxury). At this rate the fund won't be finished until June 2013. I'm hoping that by putting extra money into the Car Fund we can lower our monthly allocations there and raise our monthly allocation to the Baby Fund.

If all else fails, I'll move back our start trying date in 3 month intervals (I buy a 90-day supply of BC) and start trying when we have the money.

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