After my cd matures next week, I should have enough money to fund a Roth for 2008, cover my summer expenses, and still keep about $7,000 liquid. There are several reasons that should be enough:
- I'm single and have no dependents. If other people relied on my income to meet their basic expenses, larger reserves would be necessary.
- I have a job lined up for after graduation, and it is in a fairly stable field. There is an ongoing shortage of qualified physics and math teachers in most areas of the country so a recession probably wouldn't leave me unable to find employment.
- I have no debts of any kind. If I lost my job, I would only need to worry about taking care of my ongoing expenses rather than having to pay creditors as well.
- I'll be in a low cost of living area and have roommates. My obligatory monthly expenses should be fairly low, enabling me to live for quite a while on a few thousand dollars if I spend only on true necessities, as I would if I lost my job or had to rebuild my savings account from scratch following some major emergency.
- My e-fund won't be my sole financial resource. Taking principal from a Roth IRA is rarely a good idea, but if I needed the money to put food on the table, it would be an option.
I think I have a reasonable plan and will be in better financial shape that most people who are fresh out of university, but I'm fairly new at this whole adulthood thing so there are probably a lot of important factors that haven't occurred to me. If you have any suggestions for additional things to think about or have any words of wisdom on surviving the transition from college to work, please do share.