Well, I did it. I set up my automatic contributions to my Roth IRA for 2009. I set it to max out the contribution by using monthly investments.
I’ve been putting it off because the market has been so tough to watch. It’s hard to look at how much my investment has lost and still be able to consider putting in more money. But I have to have faith that I’m buying low and selling high. I’m not retiring for 30+ years, so it makes sense to put as much money as possible into my Roth IRA while I’m still young and let that money grow. It’s not like I’ll be able to catch up later.
I opted for automatic contributions as part of the “set it and forget it” method of investing. I know that what I’m doing is the right decision. I’ve researched the funds. I know that right now, investments are losing money, but history tells us that they will come back. I feel like a bad personal finance blogger admitting that part of my plan is to ignore my retirement funds. After all, shouldn’t I want to know everything there is about my money?
Well I do. Sort of, anyway. I have alerts set up for all of my retirement funds so I know what’s going on with them. I know when shares are falling or when reports are issued on those funds. I just choose to not look at my personal balance. If I know shares are falling then I know my balance is falling. It just sometimes creates a sinking feeling to look at my actual numbers. So while I know in general what my money is doing, I prefer to not know the actuals. At least not everyday. I check in on them at least once a month when I update my net worth, and usually can’t resist a peek or two throughout the rest of the month.
I would much rather look at my savings account balances. At least those I have some control over. I can’t control the markets, so I shouldn’t worry about it. I should just remember that I’m putting away money for my future and that’s what’s important.
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.