Monday, January 7, 2008

Financial Woes

I was having a conversation with a friend this afternoon about how money appears to be tight for the next few months. I mentioned how I have to figure out how to make mortgage payments, pay property taxes and regular income taxes, make an IRA contribution, continue to make contributions to my 401(k), renew homeowners and car insurance, and continue to make all my utility payments and the like.

My huge spreadsheet indicates I'll have a surplus of about $2000 this year. But if that surplus is accumulated throughout the year (or mostly in the second half of the year, like in 2007), I could be in trouble in the first half. On a side note, my spreadsheet also indicates I severely missed my goal of 8% net worth growth last year. I have a 0.76% growth rate for 2007 (dismal), but that does include mortgage closing costs and some unrealized losses in my E*TRADE account.

Anyway, at the very end of the conversation, I remembered that my maximum house price was determined based on being able to afford it even without renters, that I don't have to max out my 401(k) every year, and that I have a large reserve of capital currently invested in mutual funds and the like. In other words, money is only tight because I save so much and I have a lot of cushioning built into my budget if I need it. I need to be reminded every once in awhile that I really don't have much to complain about, financially.

1 comment:

Lord Hughes said...

This sounds very much like the conversation we had ? I think you are in the category many of us are in, "there is never enough money." I probably make more money than I dreamed of making when I graduated high school, and I have a second income, but still I have to pour over the numbers, trying to find the best place to put money away, and when to spend it. It's a lot of work, so I feel for you. Having money is still as challenging or maybe more challenging than when you have less money. At least when I had no money, I only had a few options to choose from. Now for each paycheck, I have to wonder, how much is going into 401k (too much, too little), how much should I put into my Roth right now, what about my taxable account, is it a good idea to invest at this time ? How much emergency money do I have? Any big expenses coming ? etc etc. A lot to think about.