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Finances, Finances, Finances...

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Just Because...
Just Because...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Finances, Finances, Finances...

If something comes across my path repeatedly, I start to pay attention. Right now - everything on Fine Living is all about Time Management (I'm bad at that) and Financial Matters. And the main chatter topic outside of stocks, capital gains, 401(k), etc. - the dreaded EMERGENCY FUND.

This got me thinking - where is my emergency fund? Ala Carrie Bradshaw, where I can see it. Much of it is in my closet and used during the move to furnish the new abode. It's also in my kitchen. So this year, my goal is to fully furnish my emergency fund.

What is an emergency fund, one may inquire? (I'm the inquiring one - trust *LOL*)


A cash reserve that individuals should have on hand that is easily accessible
and doesn't involve selling securities. Financial experts generally recommend
having three to six months of living expenses on hand in case income or a job is lost.
[Emphasis added]

I've got to remember that emergency is NOT a pair of gorgeous pricey shoes. It's not a sizzling hot handbag. It's not that cordless immersion blender or copper risotto pot I'm currently lusting after. It's a fund for me to use should something happen - like real ummmm emergencies. As I have plans for this year both professionally and personally, I need to get off my butt (before it expands further) and work on my finances. And you, my dear readers, can feel free to slap me upside the head should I go nuts. Those big expenses I want and lust after - well, I can save for those separately, but I must start building up my E-Fund.

Currently, my ING account is wayyyy lower than it should be. I think Starbucks would scoff at the amount currently in there. As I look at the amount on my excel spreadsheet, I cringe because it should be soooo much more. Well, enough is enough -come January 15th, I have set up an automatic transfer set up for each paycheck with the hope that I should have some $$$ in there twice a month (three times in May and October with the new payroll change at the 9to5). That money needs to never dip below a certain amount - I don't care HOW cute various shoes are or how good of a sale is.

Reading various PF bloggers lists and goals this year has kicked me into overdrive. The one I really want to point out is Single Ma's blog. She's got some great advice on there and if you aren't reading it - you might want to. I also have some PF books that I will be reading and reviewing here on the blog.

The 401(k) account - no additional % will increase this year. There are a number of reasons for that and it wasn't an easy decision but one that had to be made. Not to disclose 9to5 bizness, but the match is not large AT all. It's less than a pair of Stuart Weitzman shoes. I contribute WAY more than that a year. Plus - I thought Suze Orman (or one of those PF people) suggest that you only contribute to the match and the rest to a Roth?? I could be wrong. However, my goal is to start my Roth with USAA by September. In addition to the Emergency Fund Challenge, I'd like to be credit card debt free by December. After that, I'm off and running on fully funding the Roth.

The Sharebuilder account - it's on hold. I've decided there is to be no buying of additional stocks for the next 4 months and that deduction originally earmarked for Sharebuilder will go straight to ING. I won't sell off the stocks I have currently, but at the end of 4 months, April 30, I will evaluate whether or not I will be restarting my automatic stock buys.

I also need to work on the decluttering around here and start putting some stuff on eBay. The proceeds - yup, you guessed it - ING. I have to admit, there are things with tags that I never have worn because they don't fit or look right and it was too late (or I was too lazy) to return. I know, I know - silly Lys! So, either they get donated or on eBay. Those that can be returned (like a 1/3 of what I got at Crate & Barrel and didn't absolutely NEED this Friday or a super cute bustier at Lane Bryant which I will NOT be wearing - total impulse buy) will need to be returned by Sunday. Return credits will be transferred to ING. The same goes for any cash back proceeds or interest earned.

Any money left over in my checking accounts at the end of a pay cycle from my paycheck will be transferred to ING outside of a small emergency cushion in each checking account. You start to see the pattern? Me and my ING account - Total BFF!

Basically I need to set procedures into place because, as I said yesterday, 2008 is *the* year for all of us. And your gal needs to make sure there is a bit of financial security on my end. That security will only begin when I put my mind to it. One thing with The Secret is you can say and visualize everything - but I've also learned that when you start to put things into motion is when things happen. Nothing comes to those who don't work for it.

So, to the Universe - know this - the Emergency Fund Challenge is hereby accepted!

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Posted by Lys :: 8:28 PM :: 2 comments

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