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Man o' Man I'm trying!

March 8th, 2013 at 10:49 am

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! Frown It sure would make me feel better though.

{{pause}} {{breathe}}

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.

10 Responses to “Man o' Man I'm trying!”

  1. Carolina Girl Says:

    I can understand your frustrations. Just hold on and hold steady. I have to remind myself that things didn't get like this overnight and so they won't get better overnight. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Keep up the good work.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Yes, generally debts first then savings, but you can always SAVE something for retirement in my opinion. Start putting away $50 a month, even $25. Once you have enough for a minimum mutual fund deposit, open a Roth IRA and deposit in there.

    Great job holding off on the shopping!

  3. JulieA Says:

    oh sorry. I hate those periods when you just don't feel like you can ever win.

    We never totally stopped our retirement savings although some years we didn't save nearly as much. Are you getting a company match of anything at all? I was always completely against not getting that money.

    I used to figure all the day to day month to month stuff would work out one way or another with the ups and downs but once that money was into retirement nobody could touch it and when we get to retirement we WOULD have savings. It is a marathon and when you finish it, you want to have the cash to buy yourself a nice long drink of water.

  4. reedda Says:

    I do contribute to a 401(k) and there is a match, so at least there's that. 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.

  5. Jerry Says:

    You will read about Murphy`s Law all over the financial blogs for a reason... because life leads to these kinds of frustrations! I hope that things even out soon, and that you have some insurance of being able to get that EF back up to where you want it. Good luck!

  6. Jane Says:

    What's past is past- every dollar you put away for retirement now or use to pay down debt is a little more financial security in retirement. Something is always better than nothing, and cutting down on the impulse shopping also has the silver lining of getting you accustomed to living on less, which will lower your replacement income needed for retirement as well! If you are feeling especially anxious about retirement savings, would it help you to keep a tin for any extra cash you can scrape up each week, like Ima Saver does? Knowing that if you save a little at the grocery store, it goes to extra retirement cash that adds up might help you feel a little more day-to-day control over that big scary goal.

  7. rob62521 Says:

    Hang in there. Glad you have been strong and not given in to shopping.

  8. scfr Says:

    Look at what you did right. You had an EF. Even if it didn't cover all of the repair bill, at least you were in much better shape than if you had to put 100% of the cost on the credit card.

    And then think about what you learned and incorporate it in to your plans going forward. Maybe you need to shoot for a larger EF (eventually, it won't happen overnight) if you find that your EF falls short regularly. Or maybe you create, in addition to the EF, and "extraordinary expenses" fund. Everyone faces extraordinary expenses when it comes to home & car repair, medical/dental /vision, pet care, etc. None of us knows when these expenses will crop up, we just know that they will eventually.

    Once the debt is paid off and the budget & expenditures are normalized (when you no longer have to rely on the credit cards to pay for extraordinary expenses), you will have so much more to put towards retirement. And just to be clear, I am NOT recommending that you suspend your current retirement savings ... keep contributing at least up to the match.

    You can do it! Really, you can. One step at a time ....

  9. baselle Says:

    The 2X is a rule of thumb. Good as a yardstick, but useless if you beat yourself up with it. When I was 39 I did not have 2X of salary in retirement, I was low on the totem pole, and I still had credit card and student loan debt. I have a much improved situation at 50, but it didn't happen overnight.

    If your employer matches, you need to keep contributing to get it. Don't think about increasing it until you get your spending under control (Goal numero uno), and get your self on a debt reduction path (Goal numero dos).

    Oh yes, if you get company stock, and can sell it, sell it. Keeping it means you are already doubling down on risk. If the company tanks, the stock tanks AND you lose your job. Sell it and transfer the proceeds to a Roth, where you put in whatever index fund you like (spreading the risk around), in an emergency you can use it as an EF (you can take out the original contribution tax free at any time), and you can use it as a second retirement account.

    And man, invite me to those happy hours! $700/month? No more buying rounds. Big Grin

  10. help essay Says:

    Paying all accounts on time allows you not to accumulate debt and thereby correctly allocate all of your funds and debug it to a savings account.

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