I’m in another busy spell at work. In fact, I’m having to work over the weekend to meet two deadlines on two separate projects.
I made a random $307 extra payment to my student loan debt. Most of it was absorbed by accrued interest, thus the balance looks practically unchanged from my last post.
Housing Instability… Again!
My rent will be going up…way up. The house will be losing a roommate in the next couple of months and I don’t know if the departing person will be replaced given all the drama they’ve stirred up. So to cover the shortfall for the house, we’ll each have to pony up an extra $250 a month or so.
Even worse, Landlord has now indicated publicly an intent to not landlord for much longer. This means that chances are probably over 70% that I’ll have to move before the end of the year. And you know what that means. My rent will very likely go even higher.
Damn it! I had set up automatic withdrawal to start funding my Roth IRA, but I am now cancelling that as I will need the money for rent and increased cash savings to try to prepare for a move.
On the (small) bright side, I will be getting my bonus at work soon!
Ah, yes. Fleeting delusions of grandeur. I’ll get to feel like a fat cat for like, 5 seconds. Instead of a boat, (I wish!), I’d just want to throw my little windfall at my student loan debt or buy investments just to see some movement in my finances instead of small incremental changes. Yeah, I guess I’m finally a grown up now. This is what I daydream about these days.
Well, unfortunately my paycheck is already accounted for (student loan payment), and I don’t have any tax refund yet, so I can’t account for either of those. I will be getting the bonus soon, however. It will be pretty much the same as last year ~$4,900 or so. I’ve been going back and forth about what to do with it.
I realize that this is a good problem to have, but it is still stressful because of the opportunity costs of all the things I won’t be able to use it for.
So, let’s get ready to play Whack-a-Mole, shall we?!
OPTION ONE. Pay off credit card debt
I have over $2200 in credit card debt. I could take almost half of my bonus and pay this debt in one fell swoop.
OPTION TWO. Cash-flow vacation expenses
I have an international vacation coming up that I’m excited about, but not looking forward to the full cost. Only some expenses (flights) are already ‘paid’ for (credit card). Other expenses like hotel and food are paid for at the time of expense. I’d like to have some cash to pay for expenses during and after the trip, so I don’t add to my credit card debt.
OPTION THREE. Invest in Roth IRA
I want to max out my Roth, not only to take advantage of any current market dips, but also to increase my retirement savings/investments. I’ve neglected investing in this tax-advantaged vehicle for the past couple of years and as a result only have a small amount saved there, ~5k. These allotments are use-it-or-lose-it every year and I dislike the idea of closing the door on yet another year without saving any money here.
OPTION FOUR. Make extra student loan payments
With my rent going up in the near future and my housing situation on borrowed time, I want to take this chunk of cash and pay my debt down more before my monthly cash-flow becomes even more restricted. Once that happens, paying this loan will be slower which means more time living with roommates until I get this infernal thing paid off. Ugh.
OPTION FIVE. Increase cash on hand in Opportunity Fund
With the markets pulling back, another round of recession whispers, and housing instability, having cash on hand outside of my emergency fund would be wise. I don’t want to spend my emergency fund money unless it’s an actual emergency. I should be saving up for things that I know are coming down the line. This option may require continuing to pay down my credit card debt month by month in order to keep more cash around.
I’ve been going in circles about what to do. I can probably only do one or two of these. There’s never enough money to go around. Sigh. I know it’s important to kill any credit card debt, so I’m leaning towards options 1 and 2, with any money remaining (unlikely) going to option 5. I already know I need to rein in my spending. How to make that happen is another ball of wax…
“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW Archives)