Howdy, folks! Welcome, 2020!
It’s been almost a month since my last post. I’ve been busy with work and the stuff of life.
So what have I been up to since the day I told debt to go pound sand?
I’ve been spending my take-home pay without a budget for a couple of months to feel normal again. This is temporary. I will go back on a spending plan again soon.
During this month, January, I’ve focused on buying new clothes and shoes for work, and decluttering. I donated old clothes and things that I wasn’t using to Goodwill.
February will be the start of my focus on make-up and hair. This phase will require A LOT of experimentation, because I’m even more clueless about hair and makeup than I am about shopping for clothes. So I expect it to last for months. LoL
Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems
ONE. One of my parents is exhibiting noticeable cognitive decline for the first time. (Parents divorced decades ago. The other parent is still in good general health.) For now, it’s not severe enough to require immediate intervention, but my sibling and I need to figure out how we will arrange to have them taken care of when the situation calls for it with respect to logistics and time, but also money. Intervention will likely be needed within a year.
TWO. I overcontributed to my 401k between two employers in 2019. This is ostensibly a good problem to have, but a major headache all the same. The second employer and the provider where the account is held are pointing fingers at each other and neither will help me because it’s a paperwork PITA to deal with. So neither of them wants the hot potato. In the meantime, I need to get this resolved by March 1st, in order to have my W-2 amended in time for me to file taxes by the tax deadline. I’ll keep calling and pressing my case.
THREE. Coronavirus. As you all know, because I won’t shut up about it, LoL, I’m planning an international trip which is scheduled to happen within the next couple of months or so. Plane tickets have already been purchased. Now, on the verge of making final preparations for my trip, Coronavirus has emerged on the scene and threatens to ruin everything. Damn it! There are lots of mixed reports and general misinformation flying around. All I can do is watch and wait. Again, this is a good problem to have, but a headache all the same.
Well, things are a little better. I don’t hate it all the time anymore. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t like it, never have and never will, but I don’t hate my life all day long like I used to. Now, I mainly just hate my life all morning.
This is me, except I’m sitting in a bus. What keeps me going is that now with the debt gone, I can plan for the future.
This year, there are two things that I want to accomplish financially this year:
ONE. Max out all tax-advantaged and employee benefit spaces available 401k, Roth IRA, HSA, and ESPP (employee stock purchase plan). The ESPP lets you buy a limited amount of company stock at a discount, then sell the stock and pocket the difference (minus taxes). Even if there is a downturn in the market this year, it doesn’t matter because 1) I invest for the long-term and 2) even a dollar poorly invested is worth more than a dollar spent.
TWO. Stack cash! I plan to add at least $20,000 to my existing emergency fund in order to have a total of at least $30k by the end of the year. I still haven’t determined what my fully-funded emergency fund total will be, but I know that at $10k, it’s currently nowhere near where I want it to be. I want to have enough cash that if I lose my job, I won’t have any stress. Instead of panicking about how I’m going to pay my bills, I’m going to be giddy thinking about the sabbatical I’m about to take from work and getting ready to buy plane tickets.
That’s what I’m planning. But then again, everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face. (A pearl of wisdom from the philosopher, Mike Tyson.) We’ll see what 2020 has in store for me. Hopefully, I will stay healthy and my sibling and I can find good quality, low-cost resources for our parent.
How is your 2020 going so far?
“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW Archives)