Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Friendly Reminder:

Please get your affairs in order.

My mom's younger brother died quite suddenly on July 30 at the age of 54. In addition to the not inconsiderable emotional stuff, the logistics and legal stuff are turning out to be quite challenging. There was a photocopy of a will, but we've yet to find an original. No one had any idea what bank he used until a statement arrived in the mail. We're still trying to get a handle on what he owes and where. Throw in a hefty helping of grief and the drama of my mom's somewhat argumentative family, and it's a mess.

I don't care if you only have $36 in your checking account and $5,000 in debt, make sure someone has the information. I don't have a will drawn up yet or the all-important living will and health care proxy, but it took less than half an hour to make a table of where all my assets are, the account numbers, and other pertinent information to give to my dad. It's simple and could make a challenging time a tiny bit easier.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Getting Back to the Financial Oversharing

I've been overspending badly the past few months, a fact that is making me more and more nervous, especially since there are major life/income changes coming up. (Long story short: I'm returning to college in the fall to take classes, do unpaid work in a lab, and get ready for grad school. Long story long to be posted later.)

So here's the brief overview of where I stand. Keep in mind the categories were all assigned back when I was still planning to teach for a third year so things may shift if/when I end up dipping into savings next year.
  • Emergency fund (I Bonds, value takes into account penalty for cashing out early):$8,459
  • Checking account at old hometown bank: $500
  • House fund at old hometown bank (15 month c.d. with 2.27% apy that will mature in February): $9,000
  • Checking account at USAA: $600
  • Health Savings account: $1,000
  • Roth IRA (VBINX, already maxed out for 2010): $14,600
  • Car fund at FNBO Direct: $9,600
  • House fund at FNBO Direct: $600
I've also made mandatory contributions of about $4,000 to the state teacher retirement system that I'll probably withdraw since I can roll them into an IRA. (Since I don't anticipate teaching in the state's public schools again and strongly suspect that over the coming decades protecting the contributions of someone who only taught in the state for two years won't be a high priority, I assume this is the best idea, but I'm open to advice.)

Making this list served as a nice reminder that I haven't torpedoed my financial future yet. Next year may be another story, however.

Hello world.

Is anybody still out there?

I never reached a point where I actively decided not to blog, it just happened, along with a newfound ability to sleep for sixteen hours a day, overwhelming anxiety, and some things I shouldn't write about because it would freak out my mother if she ever decides to see if I'm blogging again. I'm doing a lot better now, not magically all better, but able to function in my own life again.

There are meds involved. I'm still not sure how I feel about that. After decades of listening to my father discuss how we're all responsible for deciding to be optimistic and choosing to be happy, it was something of a revelation to discover that an SSRI made it possible to begin the work of shifting my mindsets. I'm not planning to tell my dad about the anti-depressant; I'm judgmental enough of myself for taking it. However, I do prefer not struggling to convince myself that it's a good idea to continue living, so for now I'll take the meds.

I promise the next post will go back to our regularly scheduled programming, where the only oversharing will be about finances.