I am officially impressed by J. Money. One of his goals each year is to max out his 401(k) and for varying reasons which he describes, this meant that he had 90% of his last paycheck taken out. 90%! That seems like crazy talk. But I’m definitely impressed. Nice work, J.
After much pondering, I recently upped my retirement contributions. I had been contributing 5%, plus the max to my Roth IRA. I upped to a whopping 7%. Clearly, nowhere near the max. The other day, I did some math to see if I wanted to up my contribution all the way to 10%, but decided against it for now. Until I know whether or not my roommate is moving out and if I will be able to find someone to take her spot, I need to have a bit of extra cash on hand to cover rent.
I know that I should increase my contributions. I should be saving for retirement. It’s just a tough step to make. So rather than force myself into it now, I’ve decided that I’m going to make that a goal for next year. That’s right, my first 2010 goal. By the end of January 2010, I want to have upped my retirement contribution to 10%. Still nowhere near the max. But it’s something. In preparation, I’m going to continue to tighten up my budget so that I’m ready when the time comes. It never hurts to save.
Megan is a 40-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.