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My starting point

May 19th, 2010 at 08:46 pm

I just paid off the last of my debt (laptop).

I'm caught up on my taxes (I think). In December I'll review that in more detail.

My other savings goals for this year are:
- Max out my retirement savings ($16,500 to 401K).
- Save $5000 in cash.
- Help my brother & sister $250/month for each of them.

I recently switched from 1099 contractor to full-time employee status. I have to find a different rhythm in my budgeting style because of that. It's a big adjustment for me.

As a contractor I had no taxes withheld, paid all of my taxes manually every quarter, and had complete manual control over all of my savings goals and the timing. I was snowballing all of my savings goals like a monster snow beast with 40-ton snowballs! 2/3 of my paycheck went to one goal at a time - first taxes, then debt, then savings, basically dividing the year into 3 phases where I attacked one goal at a time with the full force of 2/3 of my paycheck. It felt so fast and so satisfying.

Now - every paycheck has a constant slow drain in multiple directions for every goal. Taxes withheld automatically, 401k withheld automatically ... and the amount left over is too small to do my other goals in one fell swoop ... so I have to do my other goals in small monthly installments too. It feels really weird.

Definitely feels like a loss of momentum even though at the end of it I'll have saved the same amount.

I'll probably be used to it in a month or two though ... I just need to give it some time.

My 401K withdrawals start either June 1 or July 1 ... I forget which. Since I started my full-time job in the middle of the year, I'm compressing the maximum allowed 2010 contribution into 6 months. So that'll be my last sweet brush with the snowball method for a while, sadly. Next year I'll spread it out over the full 12 months.

5 Responses to “My starting point”

  1. HouseHopeful Says:

    Great savings goals! Forgive me if you already addressed this, but what is the reason for helping out your siblings each month? Just curious Smile

  2. creditcardfree Says:


  3. Ima saver Says:

    Welcome, glad you have joined us!

  4. jaine Says:

    Thanks for the welcome! Smile I'm helping my little brother & sister get on their feet ... I originally offered to help both of them save for college. My sister loved that idea but my brother already has the GI Bill to pay for his college. I offered to help him with his debt instead, mostly because I can and because it makes me feel good. My sister is going to college next year and I opened a 529 savings account to help her out. I'm already saving 30% of my income for myself, and I have no immediate family or dependents, so I have some extra money... and it makes me happy to help them get on their feet!

  5. HouseHopeful Says:


    Its great that you can do that for them!

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