Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Late Bloomer

I was always the 'early one' for everything. First girl to have a growth spurt, first to get boobs, first for all the accompanying misery that is adolescence. But, in terms of financial planning and saving? Totally late to the game.

I'm an instant gratification girl in some ways. I like buying something. Now. I can wait for vacations and plan for them, financially, no problem. So, I had to start thinking of my retirement as one big vacation. And save for it. I *never* look at my 401k. I put money there (7%....I know, I know... put 15%, but it's not going to happen) and my company puts money there (100% of up to 6% after 4 years) and there it sits. Someone somewhere does something with it. If I really wanted to know, I'd ask Al. (Al is Mari's hubby and a smart finance-y person. He also works where my 401k is sitting.) I could ask my brother (another finance-y person) but he's a know-it-all and well, that makes me itchy.

All this market rollercoastering had me wondering... what would this do to my 401k??

I logged in (after several password attempts-- yup, been that long) and voila! DOWN 6.8% since January. So, who's money are they losing? I am going with the one my company puts in... yeah, it's their half that is going down.

Just recently, I was able to go from paycheck-to-paycheck to a real savings account and 401k. Before then, it was "oh crap, not enough for bills." A healthy work bonus helped, but it also kicked my ass into gear. I'm budgeting better (minus yarn purchases) and getting ready for the future. Last week, I had a conversation with a banker about CDs and how to "ladder" them to compound my interest.

Who am I?

Certainly not the girl who used to dig for change to turn in at coinstar. For gas money.

We're off to Disney in a few weeks (like 12 days) and I'm going on a budget. Tickets have been purchased and I am taking one pre-paid Visa with me. (and my emergency card in case I need to re-book a flight or something)

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