I'm telling you, this is tough. I'm so frustrated.
Due to car problems, my emergency savings is gone and I had to use the dang credit cards. And the cars still have problems.
I had been expecting a stock bonus this month, and I got it, except it's about 50% less than I thought (dang taxes), and our stock price of course tanked (dang Murphy's Law) so I'm hesitant to sell at the moment.
All the bills are being paid on time, still paying above minimum payments on debt, slowly socking money back into the EF, we're not paycheck to paycheck, both of us are still working, and all of that is good.
But geez. I feel like as soon as I get a handle on something, it goes to crap.
It's about this time I usually say SCREW IT and go shopping. But I am holding back. YAY ME! It sure would make me feel better though.
Maybe I just needed to vent. I feel a little better already...except...
I'm really getting worried about retirement though. I know it's several years off, but I am clearly not saving enough. I believe the usual plan is to pay off debt then aggressively save/invest, but I fear that is many years off and I won't have enough time. Sucks that I waited this long to think about it.
**EDIT** I do contribute to a 401(k) and there is a match. I only have about $57K in there though. I recently heard that by my age (39) I should have something like 2x my yearly salary?? That's when I started to worry about it more. **END EDIT**
But the last thing I need is to get depressed about it. I need to suck it up and forge ahead.
OK, rant over.
Viewing the 'Saving Money' Category
I'm telling you, this is tough. I'm so frustrated.
I'm feeling very "blah" about it all lately. Couldn't put my finger on it at first, but I think I just did.
I was all pumped up looking at my finances and making plans when I had money to pay down/off credit cards and options. Now, the extra money is gone and it's just the boring day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month budget, spending, bills, BLAH!
My next bunch-o-money will come in March when I get some stock. My plan is to sell (hoping for a decent stock price) to pay off more debt.
But in the meantime, I have a hard time being focused on finances. What can I do??
Good stuff: I had two weeks off from work over the holidays. I went through my office (formerly known as the mess/junk room that I really couldn't walk into comfortably) and got it pretty much cleaned out. I have a TON of books I hope to sell, but many old textbooks I fear will not. What shall I do with them? I also found some other collectible-type things I'll try to sell online. I'm quite sure nothing is worth much money individually, but it will all add up.
More good stuff coming: while my significant other's hours are shorted now (24 hours down from 40+), this shouldn't last long. His company announced that they received the needed tax credit/break/whatever it was they needed and will be ramping up sooner rather than later. Then it will be lots of hours for him. He'll be crabby, but he'll be making lots of overtime money.
Also, I started school again and I'm pretty excited about it. Only book cost and supplies are out of pocket, tuition is paid by my company. YAY ME!
Not so good: I caved and used some credit cards over the holiday. Not much though and am confident these will be paid before any interest hits.
Good: I think I'll make my weight when I weigh in for my work's "maintain don't gain" contest. If I do, I won't have to pay $25. The contest is to weigh the same or less after the holidays. I was a half-pound up early this week, but pretty sure I'm good now.
I'm not sure how to keep motivated with the financial journey. I'm terrible at budgeting but I am working on it. I've unfortunately gotten used to just getting what I need and reasonably what I want when the mood strikes (far cry from my old life when I couldn't get milk when I needed it). I can't seem to focus on the things I want in the future - though I think about them in the "oh, when I'm retired, I'll do this and have that and be like this" way - and worse I have forced myself to forget my old life of constant struggle. BLAH! Sometimes the "wow those jeans make my butt look AMAZING, especially when I wear those SHOES" thoughts are louder...
So far, I've done really well with Christmas shopping! Absolutely nothing on credit, bills are still paid, money still in the bank, AND...
The biggest challenge for me is not to over-shop for people. I LOVE giving people presents. I've tended to go a bit overboard in previous years, buying two presents for someone when they only need one (or NONE, for that matter). But this year, I've kept it in check! That is a big step for me.
So all of that is my three steps forward.
The one step back...and could be two steps back, I haven't decided...after the first of the year, my significant other's work hours are going to be cut almost in half. From 40 to 24. He will still keep his benefits, and SAYS he's going to see if he can pick up a part-time job. This could go on for at least 3 weeks up to 10 weeks, then he'll go to the other extreme of probably working 50-60 hours per week (overtime). I am happy he is keeping his job of course, but this is FRUSTRATING!
Hoping for the three weeks!