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Archive for September, 2021


September 9th, 2021 at 05:10 pm

Thank you all so much for all the support and great ideas on my last post!

One of the comments made me realize I haven't talked much about retirement savings.

We have a couple different accounts for retirement. As I am a teacher, I have a pension, so about 10% of my gross pay is automatically taken out of my paycheck monthly. I also have a 403b which I contribute an additional $900 a month towards. (We are looking to bump that up soon... just as soon as I print and fill out the paperwork.) The Husband has a 401k with a 3% match. He is currently maxing out his contributions. And in addition to the match, his company dumps 6% profit sharing in on the first paycheck of every year. He has been with the company over 10 years and is fully vested.

All told we are socking away about 23% of our gross income annually. Pretty good numbers but we are in our early (almost mid) 40s and feel like we are behind the 8 ball in planning for our retirement. We don't have any other retirement accounts at this time. We are working to max out my retirement next. We are probably about 3 years away from me being totally maxed out too.

Our retirement accounts currently stand at about $500,000 altogether. Much of that is due to the current market we are in. It is going like gang busters, though I'm not sure how long that can/will be sustained. But we are in it for the long haul. Retirement is a marathon, not a sprint.

My goal is to retire at 55, or at least stop working. We are hoping I won't have to draw from my retirement right away and will be able to wait a couple of years. With my retirement, age at drawing funds is the biggest factor in how much money you receive each month. The plan is for The Husband to work until he is 65; one, because he makes more money and two because insurance is EXPENSIVE!

These are all just plans at this point. But you know the saying, "if you want to see God laugh, tell him your plans", so we are just doing our best to be prepared for whatever the future holds.

Savings Goals

September 8th, 2021 at 07:14 pm

We have debt... but we also have goals. One of the hardest things for us to do is to balance those two things.

We have a decent emergency fund saved up. We have enough saved for two months of bare bones expenses. I know that money could be used towards debt, but then where would we be if an emergency hit? We are still living during a pandemic and still unsure of the future, (not that you can ever be sure of the future, but I think you know what I mean).

We actually have more than two months saved, we have an additional $2000, and growing, that we are putting towards some of our savings goals. I know it's counterintuitive to have savings goals when we still have so much consumer debt, but there are still things we want/need.

The last thing we were saving for was ring repair for a bunch of my rings. That has been taken care of. I am awaiting the completion of the work, but it has been paid in full, with cash!

On our list currently is:

New TV's (X2) The TV in our family room is 12 years old and actually "broke" the other day. Its screen went completely blank, though the sound continued to work. The Husband tried troubleshooting the problem and can't get it to work, so we are going to replace it. The TV in our spare room (actually my mom's bedroom now) also has a "dark area" down the middle third of the screen.  This TV is only 4 years old as it was purchased when we moved into the house. Not too happy about that!

New mattress: our current mattress will be 20 years old in December. We really need a new mattress! We bought both The Kids new (bigger) mattresses when we moved, and they finally got their own room. We bought a new mattress for us too, but I hated it, so we put it in the spare room and brought the old mattress back into our room. We will do some serious research before purchasing anything!

Fireplace insert: I want a fireplace in my bedroom! I am totally aware that this can wait, but it is something I really want, so we have decided to save for it. We have priced them out and we are going to be able to get everything we want for $500. I realize that this is in no way a need, but we are willing to save for it in order to have it before we are out of debt.

New (used) car: Again, this is not a need, but a convenience for us. The Daughter has started driving and will take her test in the next few months. It would make our lives so much easier if she had a car to drive. She does not need one, we do not need for her to have one, but it will be worth it for us if she has a car to drive so we don't have to chauffeur her around every day! (Between school, extra-curriculars, and competitive dance, her schedule is crazy busy sometimes!) We will not buy a car as soon as she gets her license, but probably 3-4 months after. Since our last car was paid off, almost 3 years ago, we have continued to put $400 into savings every month as a "car payment". We bought a used truck for The Boy to drive with that money and will buy a used car, probably a Honda Civic or the like, for The Girl to drive. We are hoping that by the time we are actually ready to buy, used car prices will have come down.

With the money we already have saved towards these items, and what we plan to save in the next 6 months, we think we will be able to purchase all these things, with cash.  How they are listed is probably the order we will purchase them in.  All of this savings is on top of our emergency fund. We won't be using our emergency fund to purchase any of these items. This is new/additional savings.

There are other things we would love to buy but are waiting until we get out of debt to do those: new floors, remodeling the bathrooms in our house, new light fixtures, a new car for me. But those things can wait.