I am realizing that now that we have "enough" (as in enough to pay all the bills) money coming in I am starting to slip with my spending. What I mean is that I have noticed small things like my grocery store weekly totals climbing by $20.00 or so a week. The first week I chalked it up to buying some things we had not bought in a while but after a second week I realize that I am not being as diligent at questioning each purchase. On some level I do not have to be, but on another, I still do because we now have debt on our home equity line that I would like paid off ASAP. I feel like I am wavering back and forth on feeling giddy that I can spend a bit extra, worrying about paying off the debt and also torn between deciding where the extra money should go. I have so many things I want/need to fund and only so much money to do it with. Currently we have a bit over $10,000 in debt on the home equity line. I could probably pay at least $500.00 towards this a month, but I also want to put money towards retirement accounts and emergency fund. I am still waiting to hear if DH will be eligible this year for the company 401K. The normal wait is 1 year but since he was previously employed by them they are seeing if this can be waived. If yes, we will definitely contribute enough to get the full company match. Why throw away free money. If no, I will have to be more diligent at contributing to IRAs or ROTH IRAs for both of us. Not to mention that we have 4 kids, the oldest of whom has only 2 more years til college. I feel like I keep going in circles trying to figure out the best use of the extra moeny. Right now, my plan is to put a small bit aside each month for the college funds ($50.00 per child - we had been doing this all along into a prepaid state plan). I cannot afford to put more til we get the retirement funds maxed out. I will pay a bit more than the minimum on the home equity debt but will resist the temptation to put all extra money toward erasing that. When I put it into perspective, it is only $10,000. Our home is worth close to $400,000 and our mortgage balance is under $120,000. It is not like we would be upside down on the mortgage if we had to sell for any reason. It is just that I hate debt (I tell my DH that I am allergic to it) and I want it erased ASAP. So, I have to war with this side of myself to let my logical side fund retirement. I just have to keep reminding myself of the power of compound interest and that we need this working on our side in terms of the retirement accounts. I also want to put a small amount aside each month to build back up savings/emergency fund. It doesn't do us much good to pay everything off and fund retirement etc. and then get back into debt any time anything unexpected comes up. Hopefully some of this made sense to someone other than just me. Either way, I just sort of needed to get it all out there, instead of having it circle around and around in my head. Any suggestions as to setting priorities are welcome.
At War with Myself
May 21st, 2007 at 05:37 pm