Obviously, I'm going to continue to try to walk/bike as much as I can to avoid overspending on gas. It's a lifestyle change!
Next up: The IRA Challenge. I can make contributions to my 2011 Roth IRA until April 17th, which I've been doing all along. With a Roth IRA, you can contribute up to $5000 per year, and no more. I'd like to get to $5000, obviously, but I'm $1700 away from doing that. I have two paychecks before that, so I can take what would have gone into regular savings and direct it to the IRA, but that's still nowhere near the $1700.
The way I see it, I have a few options:
- Put off paying off my credit cards and put that money into the IRA. I only owe something like $100 on one, and I usually pay ahead of time to avoid fees, but I do like having that 0 or negative balance...
- Redirect all money that was going into my regular savings account into the IRA.
- Find some way to make extra money--I'm already working extra hours and don't know what else I could really do, but it's always an option.
- Move money from my existing savings accounts into the IRA.
- Some combination of the above.
- Something I' haven't thought of yet.
I have a pretty healthy balance in my regular savings account so I wouldn't be dead broke if I siphoned off a bit, but I really hate to do that and I'm still rebuilding from that stupid car repair. Also, with making less money, I don't know how long it would take me to replenish my emergency savings. It seems kind of stupid to have a robust retirement account that I can't touch if my emergency savings are decimated.
Any suggestions? Anything I haven't thought of yet? It's not the end of the world if I don't hit that $5000 mark, but it would feel pretty good too, especially since I just started this IRA and I'm about six years behind...