Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems, Mo’ Plans

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                             

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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.

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The Job

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.

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2020 Plans

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)

20 comments

  1. maggiemayat50 · January 27

    I am right there with you. Same plans. My goal for 2020 is to learn to save first, spend second and live below my means at all times.

    Like

  2. Tainted Tiara · January 27

    Good problems to have, but yes, still problems. Just be thankful that these problems are no longer overshadowed by your debt issues. I can’t wait until I can say the same!

    I’m in the midst of terrible issues with both my parents with dementia. I’ll have to write a post about it soon.

    PS – I LOVE SUPERSTORE!!! Thanks for the early Monday smile. 🙂

    Like

    • Double Debt Single Woman · February 2

      Hey, TT. Sorry to hear about your parents. Do post about it; as much as you feel comfortable sharing. I don’t even want to think about having to find a way to take care of both of mine at the same time. That’s another struggle that’s approaching fast.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ASL · January 27

    I am also aiming to max out my retirement vehicles this year (401k and Roth IRA). I increased my 401k contribution rate because I hope to max that out before the end of the year. I’m currently focused on building up my emergency fund because I’m going to leave my current job at the end of June in pursuit of a new career. I’ve been prepping for the new career since last summer and am taking a little over a month off between my current career and the new one to recharge, because I am burned out!

    Like

    • Double Debt Single Woman · February 2

      Wow. 🙂 Good for you! That’s great. I wish I could leave my job to do something new. Taking time off first is smart. Burnout is REAL.

      Like

  4. Cathy Edwards · January 27

    I miss you! Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled you’re free form debt slavery, but I miss your regular columns. Your family is in my prayers and so is your trip! Have fun and stash cash 🙂

    Cathy E.

    Like

  5. Young Hamilton · January 27

    Wow. Awesome post and good job on your financial goals!

    Like

  6. Maria · January 28

    So glad to hear from you!

    Sorry about your parent. 😦

    How did your January shopping project go, did you find a lot that you liked? If so, I’m jealous! I hate shopping too (but really enjoy wearing clothes I feel cute in), improving my wardrobe is an ongoing project for me, several years in the making. :p

    Enjoy your trip, and of course, no longer being in debt! That money is YOURS!

    Like

    • Double Debt Single Woman · February 2

      Hey Maria,
      The shopping went well I’d say. I’m still not wearing all my new clothes yet though. It is a process.
      Thank you! 🙂

      Like

  7. vikingtantan · January 28

    Those are some awesome goals! Right now I’m also focusing on building up my emergency fund. I depleted over half of mine when I was paying for rent while I was hiking in August to October, and then the two months of joblessness after I had finished the trail. I have no regrets about any of it. I do still have 3 months of living expenses in my EF, but would like at least a year saved up to feel comfortable. My second financial focus is a sinking fund to fix my teeth. I need at least 3 crowns done this year, and even with insurance, that gets pricey fast.

    I’ve been watching the coronavirus, too. I’m sorry that it may impact your travel plans. Hopefully it will simmer down or completely go away before you go on your trip. In case it doesn’t, would you be able to get a refund on the tickets (etc)?

    Excited to see where life takes you this year, DDSW. I’ll reading your adventures, as always. Best of luck with accomplishing everything! 😀

    Like

    • Double Debt Single Woman · February 2

      Thank you, vikingtantan. I’m glad you enjoyed hiking the Trail. Omg, how I wish I could take a few months off of work and live life.
      Yeah, I hope the virus is at least somewhat contained before my trip. I don’t think I’d get a refund for tickets unless the airline cancelled the flight. At most I might be able to get a credit, but even that is not guaranteed. Thanks for reading! 🙂

      Like

  8. Paul, London · January 30

    Many thanks for letting us know how you’re getting on. I hope you have a very fruitful year and surge ahead with all your plans.
    Best wishes.
    Paul, London

    Like

  9. C@thesingledollar · January 30

    excellent 2020 goals! So much fun to make goals that don’t include debt payments! Mine are to max out my retirement funds and either buy a house, or settle on continuing to live in the one I already rent for the foreseeable future.

    Like

  10. Debtor · 30 Days Ago

    Are you planning on posting again? We want an update!

    Like

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