- Keep refilling that savings account. Now that spring semester has started, my income is coming back to... well I guess I can't call it normal, since it fluctuates, but instead we'll call it... ummm, ok, let's just call it normal. My student loan payments are starting two months earlier that I thought--I always mix up March and May-- so I'd like to be almost to my savings goals when I have to start paying them back.
- Call student loan people. I have a sinking feeling that the amount they'll want me to pay back each month will be about 60% of my income. I knew when I borrowed the money that I'd have to pay it back, I just thought I'd have a full time job by the time that happened! I know how much I can comfortably afford to give them, so I will see if I can negotiate something.
- Retirement account. I have started a retirement account. I've been putting this off for years because I figured that someday I would have an employer who would match contributions to a 401k, or give me a pension or something. It's quickly becoming clear that that's not likely to happen anytime soon, and though I plan to live forever, I may not want to work forever. I'd rather not spend my old age like I spent my summer of underemployment i.e. not leaving the house and constantly freaking out about money. I opened a new ING account, labeled it Retirement, and put $10 in it. I then changed the direct deposit for job #2 so that I'll automatically contribute 3% every two weeks. It's not much (at all), but it's something. Once I have a little more saved, I'll open a Roth IRA.
- Taxes. I'm not sure what to do about my taxes this year. This is only the second time in my tax paying life where I am not a student. The first time this happened, I did my own taxes instead of using an accountant. My accountant usually gets me a decent refund, but she also charges me $155.00; when I did it, my refund was very small, and I actually miscalculated the state part and underpaid then by $30. Not being particularly tax-savvy, I don't know if my smaller refund was a result of fewer tax credits now that I'm not a student, or just the result of me not knowing what the hell I'm doing. I know that I can get my taxes done for less than $155.00, but I don't know if I'm confident in my abilities to do it myself. Any suggestions?
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
I've already kind of laid this out with my No buy month decision, but I do have financial goals for the month that are more than just not buying extras.