Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Random Personal Financial Thoughts

I've been MIA for most of the month on this blog due to a busy schedule, but personal financial concerns are still (let's be honest ALWAYS) on my mind:

  • I’m thinking about cancelling my gym membership because I use it so sporadically. I do enjoy the amenities of a gym, but I can find alternative ways to exercise for less money. For example, I recently discovered that there is a public swimming pool walking distance from where I live that is free for DC residents! That $45 per month could be padding my emergency fund instead of paying for my (infrequently used) gym membership.
  • I plan on making July a low-spend month by limiting my travel and extraneous spending. I’ll also try to limit my restaurant/take-out meals and take advantage of free events that are going on in the city instead.
  • I purchased one baby shower gift this month and have to purchase two more baby shower gifts within the next few days. Buying baby shower gifts a few times a year for close friends and family members comes with the territory of being a 20-something female, but they aren’t usually clustered so closely to the same time period for me. I need to replenish my gift fund for unexpected gift giving so I’m better prepared.
  • For me personally, picking up a new book for my Metro commute is just as fun as buying something new. The D.C. Public Library is such a great resource! As soon as I have free time, I'll pick up some French language software, since I’m still saving up for Rosetta Stone.
  • It’s time to start thinking about an aggressive repayment plan for my student loans since I will enter my last semester of grad school in the fall and my in-school loan deferment will end. I’m thinking of using an approximation of the ‘debt snow ball method’ and paying them off from smallest balance to largest balance.
  • My Roth IRA and 403 B accounts seem to be increasing so slowly. Meeting my goal of having as much money in my retirement accounts as I make on my (current) annual salary by age 30 seems kind of lofty at the moment. But I believe it’s still attainable.

What random personal financial thoughts do you have on your mind today?


Anonymous said...

That's a lot for a gym membership! It must be common for the area, mine was $25...

Baby Showers. Did I mention 1 baby born in May, 6 this month {yes 6!}, one due next month - I still need a gift for her. And one due in October - still need a gift. I've given up on a fund for gifts. Thankfully most people had babies in 2009/2010 so maybe next year I won't have this shower overload! {although its loads of fun}

YBP said...

good for you!!! I'm slowly attacking my student loans and will do more it more aggresively after the wedding. I am also doing from lowest to highest balance!

Anonymous said...

Since you are considering the debt snowball, have you considered reading the Total Money Makeover. The debt snowball is a major step in Dave Ramsey's 7 Baby Steps. In his book it walks you through a plan that looks at your whole financial foundation (including dumping debt, building emergency funds, setting up retirement accounts, pay for kid to go to college and home ownership) not just one element at a time.

There is an very helpful debt snowball calculator that I link to in my post "To Snowball or to Avalance"

Good Luck!