Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Own Worst Enemy

I've been a little down this past few days and can only attribute it to my job. I moved into a new role recently (not by choice) and I feel somewhat adrift. I was moved into a growth opportunity and away from what I'm convinced would have been an eventual lay-off so I am very grateful, but I've been having trouble getting settled and up to speed. 

A lightbulb suddenly went off today and I realized my problem is not the new job. My problem is... laziness!!! I know exactly what I need to do to improve my situation but for some reason I'm not getting down to it. It's the same as when I complain that I'm out of shape but I'd rather sleep an extra half hour than get up and work out in a morning.

Laziness with my finances was just one of the many reasons I got into debt and it's now the single biggest obstacle to the issues I'm feeling towards my new job. I hope that now I've identified the problem I can start working on a fix. Just like I did with my credit card debt.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January Report

I don't believe in New Years Resolutions, but I am pursuing a few goals for 2012:

1. Pay off credit card debt ($11,875 to go)
2. Max out Traditional IRA contributions (currently at 10% of $5K target)
3. Max out 401k contributions (currently at 2% of $16.5K target)
4. Learn a second language (Rosetta Stone on it's way - funded by a Christmas gift card!)

There's more stuff in general that falls under "Personal Development" - listening to NPR in a morning instead of the iPod, practicing yoga a few times a week, keeping up with my personal finance education etc. etc. - but this is not a list of resolutions (that we all know we break). I'm sticking to the few hard goals and we'll see where they take me.

Growth and Shrinkage

January is almost over and it's been a great financial month. I owe less money on my credit card than I have in three years, and since the first of the year I've started to relax about it all. Don't get me wrong, I'm not relaxing the objective or becoming complacent in any way. What I am feeling is that I don't have such an insurmountable task ahead like I did when the debt was still $25K, $23K, 18K etc. As of today it's at $11,875 and I'm crazy excited to be so close to dropping below $10K. 

I have started focusing on seeing some growth in retirement in savings as well as the shrinkage of debt. I'm starting small and certainly the largest part of my disposable income is still being thrown at the debt but I've increased my 401k contributions back up to 6% (they'll jump to 9% once my annual increase hits in March) and I've started to fund an IRA. I'm also making small contributions to savings. 

Even though they're small numbers, seeing them grow is hugely motivating. I got crazy inspired by and started tracking my net worth. It's still a negative of course but the last two months have both delivered over 20% increases on the prior month! 

Buying shoes was never this satisfying... even when they were Louboutins.