Money on my Mind

In which I talk about starting to get my stuff in order (#33) and other money matters.

I’m going to begin explaining my sneak peek from earlier this week with the money fan. (Not made up of my own bills, unfortunately.) The hubs’ job requires him to make an annual financial disclosure statement. We spent a lot of time gathering up our information, since this is the first year that we’d had to complete it. He entered everything this week, so now I’m trying to make all that work stretch a little farther for us.

We rounded up information on all of our accounts, including our retirement accounts. This forced me to actually register my new job’s 401k account online so that I can begin to manage it a bit more. I also was reminded that I need to roll my old job’s 401k and employee stock plan into another account, most likely an IRA. I was pleased to see that those are starting to recover a bit, and it has given me a bit more momentum to revisit my retirement savings in the near future. I set up my new 401k very quickly, and decided to contribute only enough to get the full matching, since I knew I wanted to also contribute to a separate IRA this year. (I’m packing that money away in the hopes that I’ll have a few years of staying home with kids when I won’t be able to contribute to a 401k.) I need to work out how much I can contribute and raise that contribution.

We also had to report our average monthly credit card payment, which will provide me with a nice check that we are putting enough money away for our irregular fixed expenses. (We transfer that money twice a month into ING, pay for all items on the credit card, and then pay the credit card with the ING account.)

In the midst of all this, my best friend started a money management plan of her own. (Yay!) We chatted a bit about it last night and shared ideas. I’m so excited that my friends are starting this. I believe that managing your money doesn’t have to take up a lot of time, or make you feel like you are living on a budget. The hardest step seems to be sitting down and doing it for the first time. Once you’ve set that up, it can be really easy to change as your goals change.

Anyone else feeling like they “really should” make a budget or review their finances these days? I promise — a week or so of “really should” thoughts are way more stressful than an hour of doing it.