Monday, January 23, 2012

So... what now?

Can I be honest with y'all. I don't feel as good about having paid off my credit card debt as I thought I would have. You know how brides say they have this sadness after the wedding is over, because they don't have something to be thinking about all the time? I feel like paying off credit card debt was my wedding and I don't have anything to obsess over anymore. It's very strange, but it's real, so I'm sharing it.

That emptiness has nothing to do with today's post though so...

I have this dumb amount of money that I've been using to pay down my credit cards and now I need to parlay it elsewhere. Here are my options:

A. Start an Emergency Fund - I've heard everything from $1,000 to 3-5 months pay to 6-8 months of living expenses. Either way I have ZERO dollars saved.

2. Pay off my student loans - If I use the payments I've been making to credit cards to pay down student loans, I could possibly have that debt paid in less than two years.

C. Save for a down payment/closing costs on a home/condo/whatever

4. Move to a nicer apartment

E. BALL OUT - Oh yes, I could make it rain at clubs and take trips and have weekly (not monthly, weekly) trips to the spa. It could go down. (I'm not really going to do this, but thought that I would note that it's an option. LOL!)

6. Invest - In real life, am I ready for that? It's so scary.

G. Start a vacation fund - I'm going to travel ANYWAY - might as well have a cash fund for it.

So what say ye, good readers of Tea & Such? Did I miss any options? Where should I put my spoils?


Unknown said...

I would definitely start an emergency fund. When I had $1000 in savings I felt exposed. I now have 3 months of rent only saved...and I still feel exposed. I want to make that AT LEAST 3 months of living expenses. I figure $5,000 is a nice number for now (don't ask why...I pulled it out my ass). Ideally, I'd like a whole YEAR of emergency money. Once I pass 4 months I'll shoot for 6 but hell, I gotta live too dammit. I'll up the ante when I hit the 6 mark.

Do you have private or federal loans? I have federal loans so I ain't worried about them at all. When I was fresh out of school I was afraid of not making a payment. I called and asked how long it would be before they reported me. They said something like 9 months? The hell?! YALL SHOULDA NEVA TOLD ME DAT SON. I pay the minimum and when times are hard, I may skip a month or two. No sweat off my back. If Sallie Mae is on you doe...might wanna think about it.

I am in no position to give retirement fund advice so take this with a grain of salt. I had a Roth IRA that I closed last year. I simply don't trust the markets. I believe the powers that be know the future and by the time we get to retirement, another bubble will burst and we'll be ass-out. Again. I contribute to my employer's plan up until the match and that's it. The market ain't gettin no mo' of my monays. A Roth is a good way to go though, cuz it's after-tax contributions aaaand you can withdraw any amount you've put in (which means no gains) any time with no penalty. NO. PENALTY!!!! So it can double as an emergency fund. Yay Roth! :D

I know you love your neighborhood and you've been North Side campaigning, but I would get a nicer a good but not as popular neighborhood. You can likely save a couple hundred in rent each month and have a BIGGER space.

I like the idea of a vacation fund. I am gonna open a new savings account with my refund money (WOOT!) and it will go toward stuff like that.

Just my $0.02. :)

chichi said...

What Unknown said. An emergency fun is especially important in these uncertain times...
If you're curious about investing check out it's a finance site geared towards women.