Friday, March 6, 2015

realigning financial priorities

A few years ago I created a financial plan and I paid off a lot of credit card debit.  This year, I have other financial concerns/goals.  I moved and used $12,000 - $18,000 of my savings, practically draining that account while I didn't work. I still have my retirement plan, which is quite minimal considering my age, my Roth IRA which I haven't contributed to in 3 years, and the money from the sale of my condo/money that was gifted to me, borrowed or inherited. It is not a lot, but it will cover a down payment on the next thing I purchase.

Since I will be making less money at this job, I am a little concerned with how I can meet my financial needs.  My goals:
  • save to purchase a place, while the down payment is covered, I need money to pay the mortgage, furnish it, pay taxes, any common charges, etc
  • re-save the money I spent while I was out of work plus grow that account
  • save into my Roth IRA
  • have money for 'fun'
  • think about having a family
  • put money towards vacation/weekend getaways
  • get better health insurance and have money for dentist, eye doctor and prescription
  • pay down the student loan
  • put money into a HSA account
  • more money for 'fun' like dates, meetups, entrance fees, etc.
I drained my savings account....but the good news is, I did not rack up credit card debt.  January was the first month I had a balance/used the card, and that was for a flight to Florida, some work clothes and member dues at an association I belong to.  I also just closed one credit card I haven't used in four years and opened a new card with 0% interest for 15 months with cash back...but I hope not to use this card frequently and maybe close it within 3 years.

I think I am going to aim for a 50% essential expenses (place to live, health insurance, utilities, groceries, etc), 25% financial priorities (savings, student loan and eventually retirement savings) and 25% lifestyle (going out, clothes, beauty, gifts) to start and see how that goes.  My essential expenses will change in a few months when I move out of the place I am currently residing.  25% for lifestyle seems like it might be high, but I came out here for a more balanced life and I want to experience things.  I am hoping that this will be less than 25% and eventually save more or put towards essentials.

My new company is not adding anything into my retirement account, so I am not sure I should put money into a new account to be opened for this purpose, even if it is before taxes.  So perhaps instead, I'll max out the IRA at $5,500, if possible. That is probably wishful thinking.

I need to wait until I see a paycheck to see how much my take-away income is and that will really help to figure some of this stuff out.  Oh, I also have to minus health insurance, my company isn't paying for that.

(wrote in January, before paycheck)

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