Thursday, April 30, 2009

Balancing My Money and Goals

Lately I have been thinking more than I should. I am having a hard time trying to decide what to do with the money that I am saving. I have so many major events coming up(this year and next) and I want to save for all of them, but I am starting to feel slightly overwhelmed. I set some pretty lofty goals at the beginning of the year and I am trying to stick with them. At the same time I have some other ideas of what to do with my money, like investing in the stock market while prices are at a 12 year low. Here is a break down of some goals and new investments I want to add at this point. Funny how things can change so fast...

2009 financial goals

• Max out Roth IRA - $5000.00
• Reach $10,000.00 for my emergency fund
• Save $10,000.00 for down payment on a house
• Contribute to my 401k up to company match (5%)

These goals are in the works right now and I am working at reaching them every month, I will be doing a recap post in June on how my goals are coming along. Here are some of the other ideas that I have that I would like to start reaching for on a monthly bases but just do not have the funds to do so.

• Start investing in stocks
• Paying down on the principal of my vehicle (14k at 4%APR)
• Start saving for my honeymoon (want to go south pacific or somewhere exotic) 
• Start contributing more to charity

I have to keep my expectations in check. I feel I am doing so well with my finances that I have to stay focused on the details and not worry about the big picture right now. If I focus on the details than hopefully the big picture will work itself out? I also have to worry if something were to happen to my fianc├ęs or my job and being able to still meet my initial goals if something were to happen.

It almost feels like trying to get rid of debt and that if I can just stop myself from not getting overwhelmed, that I can slowly create the wealth that I want. When I had a couple thousand in credit card debit and I started to pay off the debit, I wanted it all gone and I wanted it paid off instantaneously. I remember thinking how could I have let debt get this out of control and if I didn't have any I could start to save some money. I had to have patience and it took a couple years but it hurt every month wishing it to be pay off. I, like most people, can only think about today and not about the future with saving... 

This is kind of a weird post for me because I am doing all the right moves, but I feel that I am getting back to saying (I WANT!, I WANT!, I WANT!) or (I wish I had more money...). I guess I cannot stress to much right? I feel like I have all my ducks in a row, I just have to remain focused and worry about one goal at a time. I do feel so blessed that God has looked after me and taught me to be wise with my money as well as given me the opportunity with my work to be successful.

Please tell me I am not crazy and that I need to relax and stop trying to be Warren Buffett with the salary I make, ha! Any suggestion on how you deal with keeping everything in perspective would be greatly appreciated!

4 comments:

  1. Hey, obviously you aren't crazy, your just normal!

    You might want to try prioritizing your list instead of trying to do a little bit of everything. It looks like you've got your emergency fund, so you might feel better if you focused everything on your fully-funded Roth (if that's your next priority, etc...). Bang them out one at a time based on what you really value.

    Also, consider going someplace exotic, but very cheap. There are all sorts of places where a dollar can go an extremely long way. Some of these places are off the beaten path a little bit, but are absolute paradises!

    Either way good luck and keep up the great work!

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  2. A couple of things...

    First, good job on what you have accomplished so far. Take a minute to appreciate that, and consider where you came from.

    Second, Make sure you set long-term goals and break them down into smaller monthly, weekly, & daily goals. This will help you to KNOW that you are accomplishing things toward your goals each day.

    Third, stay focused on those goals. Do not try to dip your pole in too many ponds, just patiently work through your plan that you set in point two (breaking down your goals into manageable chunks).

    Lastly, if something happens to one of you...that is why your emergency fund exists, so make sure it is ample for your needs...then you don't have to worry. Also, consider reading the bible and adopting or renewing a faith in the God of the bible. He is waiting & ready to help you shoulder your burdens.

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  3. Your top four are spot on, do those first. 401k match is first, then your E-fund (trust me on this), then Roth, then house.

    After that I would say that it is nice to say invest in stocks, but in reality you have already started that with your Roth and 401k plans. You may not have the flexibility you like with those plans but those are the best two outlets for your investment beginnings.

    I agree with Baker as well as far as going to an exotic but reasonably priced honeymoon. Costa Rica and Puerto Rico I hear are places like that. This is important, but don't blow your life's worth on a honeymoon. Another tip is to go for the all inclusive trips, in reality they can save you a bundle, create less hassle, and make it easy to know where your meals and drinks are coming from.

    For you car payment, and I won't pretend to know your terms, tend to be fixed in so that even if you pay the car off early you still owe the same. That may not be true for you, but if it is then it doesn't matter how quickly you really pay it off.

    Lastly, if you don't feel that you can donate to charity safely without affecting your budget and protecting your family, then donate your time. It is equally as helpful as donating to causes.

    Good Luck!

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