Monthly Archives: February 2014

Finance Friday: Good News, Bad News

I had my retirement consultation today with a financial adviser. Armed with a laptop and passwords to all my accounts, I was ready to get down and dirty! I was shocked to learn we are doing pretty good with 3 very big variables. If we learn to live off of 85% of my husband’s income during retirement, stay in our current home and the stock market behaves right, we should have enough to last us until age 92-94. He did have a few interesting suggestions. He encouraged me to leave one of my old accounts alone, but roll over the Roth IRAs from Primerica. Also, I learned that with a Roth IRA, I could remove the funds without penalty in an emergency. He suggested that we build our 3-6 month “in case of loss of job” fund in a Roth IRA. This concept never occurred to me, but I definitely think its a great idea. The action plan from today’s discussion is make an appointment to open a Roth IRA and then automate a monthly amount into this account. Also, roll over the Roth IRA we currently have. It feels great to have some direction and get a sense that we are on the right track!

So, that’s the good news. Bad news is that the month of March hasn’t even started and our money situation is looking very tight! It will take a miracle to stay on budget. With my in-laws coming and trying to catch up on bills, I don’t know where some of this money is going to come from to cover expenses. I shared a low cost gift idea for my mother-in-law with my husband and his comment was, “I’ll probably get her something else too.” I tried emphasizing that there is no room for “something else” on top of the plane tickets we brought, the dinner we will probably treat them to when they are here, the extra food we will buy and who knows what else! Wish me luck as I try to get super creative this month!

Last no spending day of the month! I hit my goal of 11 no spending days. It was hard because my husband got paid today. I really wanted to pay bills and treat myself to lunch. But making my goal was more important, so I stuck it out! On to March and 12 days of no spending!

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The Universe is not my friend today

In the midst of a horrible work day, I receive an email saying I wasn’t being considered for a job I applied to on Monday. I know I have all the desired qualifications that should have warranted at least an interview. I am heartbroken. Once again the job I know I could do well and that is part time has escaped me. I’m trying to stay positive and not dwell on how I haven’t got a new job since 2007. I feel trapped in a job I don’t enjoy but unable to do anything different. I gave myself permission to wallow in self pity for a few hours. Now I need to focus on the good which is I have a job. That is something to be grateful even in the bad moments.

I’m still going to meet my goal of applying to 3 jobs this week. I also had my 9th no spending day for February. It was hard; all I wanted to do for a few hours was bury my sorrows in a cupcake. But I didn’t and that in itself feels great.

Taxes!

I have been putting off filing my taxes for a few weeks now. A few year ago, I filed in late January only to receive more forms in the mail. I am always nervous that this will happen again. Since its the end of February, I think its safe to say we have received all forms. I actually received a 3299 form learner this month, but it turns out its just an FYI form (can’t believe there is even such a thing).

I have been using TurboTax for quite a number of years. It saves our data from year to year making the process relatively painless. Everything was ready to go late January, but I finally pressed the e-file button tonight. 10 minutes after filing, I got notice that my Federal taxes were accepted. I guess its pretty quick when you owe them money. Still waiting to hear back from the State since I am owed quite a bit from them. Overall, I should net around $400 between what I am getting back and what I owe. I’ll wait for the State and then pay the Feds.

Every year, I say I am going to look at our taxes and figure out how to net zero! It such a mystery to me. I never really know how much I am going to owe or get back. The plan is to adjust my husband’s withholding to see if that lowers what we owe. I’m not sure how to fix the State. We increased my husband’s pre-tax retirement contribution last year. Why that didn’t help much I don’t know. This year I definitely look into that!

Day #8 for no spending.