Sunday, September 20, 2009

Where I stand

I'm still feeling unmotivated about finances these days. I feel like I've been spending with wild abandon these past few months, but I'm still socking away a decent amount. The picture wouldn't be quite so pretty if it weren't for stipends from a couple of great professional development sessions this summer, however. (Does attending science teacher training count as a side hustle?) I know it is time to get serious about living beneath my means again.

As of yesterday, my financial picture looked like this:

Life Happens fund (in USAA savings): $1,000
Personal escrow (in USAA savings): $260.83
Emergency fund (in I Bonds): $8,050 + accumulated interest
Roth IRA (in Vanguard Balanced index 60/40 Total U.S. Stock/Total U.S.Bond): whatever remains of the $5,000 I put in in May of '08 (I've put a moratorium on checking.)
Main savings (in FNBO): $20,683.41
Account I only use in summers (Hometown bank checking): $1,000
Account opened to get sign up bonus (ING): $275
Account I really ought to close (HSBC): $1.79
Paycheck I got on Friday and haven't cashed yet (all going to some sort of savings):$1,071

I don't count my main USAA checking account because as far as I'm concerned, that money is as good as already spent on daily living. I should probably exclude personal escrow for similar reasons, and $5,000 of my main savings account will be 2009's Roth contributions. By that methodology, I'm a twenty three year old with a salary of just over $35,000 who has over $27,081.20 in addition to fully funding an IRA for two years. That doesn't look so bad.

Except that I won't be making $35,000 for long. Teaching is going much better, so much so that I'm leaning toward spending a third year in the Delta, but after that I still think graduate school is the right path for me. My feelings of missing research aren't diminishing any. Getting that Ph.D. is going to mean several years of probably making just enough to get by. I need to regain my sense of urgency now so I'll still be in decent financial shape when I'm thirty.

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