I’ve slacked a bit in updating you on our financial fitness resolution, but I haven’t slacked in the actual fitness part. While it was a bit of an adjustment to shop for groceries on a budget, and to stick to a budget period, getting in control of our household finances wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. (Maybe we weren’t terrible to begin with — just had room for improvement?)
I’m proud to say we made some great progress in the first month of the year. Not only did we pay off our car loan, I also finally signed up for my employer’s 401k program — which fully matches up to 6% of my salary. Why did I wait seven months?! Duh, me. At least I’m contributing and getting the match now.
We also shifted our plans a bit, based on the fact that we’re expecting a baby this summer. Now, I’m putting the money I was going to pay Sallie Mae each month into our ING savings account instead. Between the unknowns of the economy and having a baby, I figured it made sense to hang on to the extra dough for a while. Then, at the end of the year, I can make one big, giant payment to send Sallie on her way–and have plenty left over in the rainy day fund.
After one month of budgeting and saving, we met our goal! Must be doing something right. With so much bad (and getting worse) news floating around out there, it feels really good to be the boss of my money. I may not be able to decide what happens to my 401k funds or how secure our jobs are, but at least I can choose how to spend every dollar I earn. I can take steps to ensure our financial security in a very uncertain economy.