Tag Archives: emergency fund

Our 2017 financial goals

Our 2017 financial goals

Here¬†our 2017 financial goals! I hope it’s not too late to share these ūüôā

Sure, it’s a few weeks past New Years Day, but cut me some slack! We’ve been super busy over here because –¬†surprise¬†– we’re moving!

We’re just moving across the Bay so we can be much closer to work. Our commute times will be so much shorter and hopefully that means more time to spend with each other and on our passion projects¬†*cough*¬†this blog¬†*cough*.

Anywho, enough about that. Here are our 2017 financial goals!

We're only focusing on four financial goals in 2017!

1. Move closer to work

Well, technically – we’ve already accomplished this! In fact, on the day that this post goes live, we will be moving all of our stuff in a U-haul van with some friends.

It did take some moving around of our money to pull off. But after almost a year of living more than an hour away from work, we decided it was worth it to move closer to work. Rent ain’t cheap – but we are at peace knowing that we’re paying for the convenience of living close to work. We’ll have a lot more time on our hands, and I think that alone is worth the money we will spend.

2. Replenish our starter emergency fund

We had to dip into our emergency fund recently to cover some family things. I feel so vulnerable not necessarily having anything right now in our emergency fund. But hopefully this will get done in the next paycheck or so. We just want to get our emergency fund back to $1,000.

3. Decrease our debt by 20%

We are in¬†a ton of debt. Seriously. It’s not good. More on those numbers in a future post.

We know it’s not possible to pay it all off in one year. Especially since we’re paying to move much closer to work. But we do want to keep debt repayment a high priority for us. So as soon as our first two financial goals are taken care of, all of our extra money will be thrown at our debt. I assigned 20% as our 2017 goal. Hopefully it’ll be more than that, though!

4. Save for travel

This year is full of travel plans! Next month, we’re going to Rome to celebrate our anniversary. In July, we have 4 weddings to attend (maybe 5). We’re going to Hawaii in November for another wedding. These travel plans are so exciting! But if we don’t plan ahead, these travel plans can really reverse all the progress on the other three financial goals we have.

So, we are going to be putting money aside each money just for travel. I know that this money would probably do better if we targeted it all to debt, but I want to make sure that we spend only cash for all of these trips. What good is debt repayment if we have to finance our trips?

So there you have it – our 2017 financial goals. I’m keeping it simple this year. Four¬†financial goals is totally doable. The less we have to focus on, the more damage we can do to each of our financial goals.

What are your financial goals this year?

AMDG,
Lisa

Still Shaken Up…

Still Shaken Up…

It was just like any other night.

I was driving home from The Fiance’s house after the Warrior’s game last Thursday. It was pretty late, around 10:30 pm. We don’t live too far from each other, the drive is only about 10 minutes. I’ve driven this way probably 3-4 times a week¬†at least. Nothing was out of the ordinary.

As I was driving through an intersection, I saw a car coming towards me from my left side incredibly fast. I stomped on the brakes as hard as I could and as the car passed me, I could feel the air from their momentum rock my own car. You can say it was a pretty close call.

I sat there in the middle of the intersection completely frozen. I looked up to make sure and yes РI did have a green light. It was my right of way.

I was shaken up to say the least

Thankfully, I wasn’t hit. But it was pretty damn close.

As I continued my drive home, a million thoughts ran through my head.

still shaken up

I did everything right…

As I was frozen shortly after, I made sure to look up and ensure that I really did have a green light. I did! I proceeded to double check everything else. It was pretty dark outside. Were my lights on? Yes. Did I signal? No, I wasn’t even turning, no need to signal.¬†Was I speeding, too?¬†No, I clearly remember checking my speed right before crossing that intersection.

But I guess that doesn’t matter…

This was the scariest thought for me, to be honest. You can do¬†everything right and things can still turn out the way you don’t want them to. You can be a great driver – following the speed limit, going ahead when the light is green, signalling when needed. But when someone on the road is¬†not being a great driver, it doesn’t really matter.

Then I started thinking that this can apply to other things as well. You can do all the right things when it comes to your career, your finances, your health. But someone else, or even just life in general, decides to ruin things.

Didn’t that driver see that s/he had a red light?

At first, my thoughts about the other driver were¬†not kind to say the least. The words “idiot” and “moron” were used heavily in the minutes following the scare. I mean, a bright red light is pretty damn difficult to miss!

I’ve come to the conclusion that the other driver was either distracted or¬†was incredibly bored.¬†The thought came up that maybe there was a pregnant lady in the car that was giving birth right that second – but¬†still! I understand the urgency but I do think that the driver should still be¬†careful when there are others in the car.

Either way, I’m speculating. It doesn’t matter. No one’s perfect and I need to stop focusing on that other person. It’s not productive.

What if I really got hit?

Ultimately, I¬†don’t know. I don’t know how bad it would have been, physically and monetarily. I immediately thought to what I have set up.¬†I have an emergency fund¬†that could help cover some costs. I also have some¬†great health insurance offered by my employer.

Then I thought about everyone else. I don’t have kids yet and I’m not married yet, either. But I am in charge of all the house bills, making sure they get paid on time and all that. What would my mom, auntie, and brother do if something happened to me? I would imagine it would be incredibly stressful to deal with me being in the hospital¬†on top of trying to figure out the house bills.

With that being said, I’m thinking of writing up a list of¬†all of my/our bills along with due dates and amounts.¬†I recently read this post about creating an emergency list for your family from Michelle over at Making Sense of Cents, before the incident. After the incident, the post came to mind all over again. I really need to set this up for my family.

Thank God I wasn’t hit

Most importantly, I’m grateful. I’m thankful that this didn’t turn out wrongly. I truly believe God allows certain things to happen to you to wake us up and reflect on our current life. Are we doing everything right? Are we on the right path? Have we lived the way we wanted to?

I’m still shaken up. But now I’m more motivated to actually¬†do something. I’ve been complacent lately and I’ve chosen perfect inaction over imperfect action. I’m going to work on getting my sh*t together and after that, I’ll be working a lot more on my happiness and life in general.

Sorry this was kind of scattered. Just felt like sharing.

AMDG,
Lisa

The Emergency Fund – The ONE THING Everyone Needs

The Emergency Fund – The ONE THING Everyone Needs

[Disclaimer: this post contains referral links.]

There were plenty of times within the last few months when I felt compelled to write this post. As I was involved in family issues and heard of friends’ transitional times, I felt the need to share this one thing.

The ONE THING everyone needs to have is an emergency fund.

Emergency Fund

Now, this isn’t news in the PF¬†community. For those familiar with Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps, this is Baby Step Number 1! Having an emergency fund is a no-brainer for us PF¬†nerds.

But this post isn’t for the personal finance blogosphere. This post is for those I know who claim that personal finance just¬†doesn’t make sense to them. This post is for those who get caught up in the confusing lingo of 401k vs. Roth IRA vs. Traditional IRA, get overwhelmed, and simply give up. This post is for those who are worried about¬†how their finances are and have¬†absolutely no idea where to start.

I beg urge you all –¬†do not let the overwhelming world of personal finance stop you from setting up your emergency fund.

The very first thing everyone needs to have in their finances is an emergency fund.

What is an Emergency Fund?

An emergency fund sounds just like what it is – funds set aside specifically for emergencies. This fund is there for you when little snags in our life plans happen – when your car breaks down, when an unexpected expense pops up, or even if you fall victim to an unfortunate layoff at work. When these things happen, you’re going to want to have a little cash to help you as you’re working through it.

***Note – an emergency fund¬†is not there for you “just in case” there’s a really great sale at Macy’s.

Now, some may argue that they don’t need an emergency fund – they can use their credit cards for emergencies. Heck – I was in that same boat not too long ago! But I’ve since switched over to having¬†cash as an emergency fund, not credit. Having a liquid (meaning: easy to get to)¬†emergency fund is best for emergency situations. In general, when in an emergency, you won’t want to have to worry about how to pay for things, let alone paying interest on top of whatever you have to spend.¬†Cash is king in this situation, my friends.

How Much Should I Have in My Emergency Fund?

There are a lot of factors that determine how much you should have in your emergency fund. But at the bare minimum,¬†you need to have¬†$1,000.00¬†set aside for emergencies.¬†In fact, that’s what I have in my emergency fund as of right now!

For higher risk situations – freelancers, families, etc. – ¬†you’re going to want to have a bigger emergency fund¬†set aside. Many suggest having an emergency fund consisting of¬†3 to 6 months worth of expenses.

But those of us who are single and have no dependents, $1,000 is a great start. If you’re debt free – having 3 to 6 months worth of expenses is a great idea. If you’re still in debt, though (ahem like me), the bare minimum of $1,000 will do until you climb out of your debt.

Ultimately Рyou should at least have $1,000 in the bank. After that point is really up to you and your situation. The amount you have set aside for emergencies should help you sleep at night, not keep you up.

Where Should I Put My Emergency Fund?

You’re going to want to keep your emergency funds close so that the money is easily attainable when emergencies happen. But you don’t want your emergency fund too close in case you get the temptation to use the funds as something other¬†than an emergency.

**Note –¬†Do not¬†put your emergency funds in time-restricted accounts such as CDs¬†(Certificates of Deposit).¬†CDs are really meant for investing, not for emergencies. Plus, there are penalties for withdrawing money early from CDs.

My emergency fund is at Capital One 360, but really you can have yours wherever you prefer. A good place to start is to see if the bank your current checking account is at offers savings accounts.

I have a separate savings account set up in my Capital One 360 account just for emergencies. It’s close enough that I can access the money without any penalties. I¬†would¬†still have to transfer the money from my savings account into my checking account to access it with my debit card. This transfer step, although very easy, allows me to really reflect on whether this is¬†really an emergency or not.

I get that personal finance can be overwhelming. But please, please, please Рtake the time to set up your emergency fund! This is step one to financial peace. Once your emergency fund is in place, then we can start worrying about all the other stuff Рdebt repayment, retirement savings, etc.

AMDG,
Lisa

June 2014 Net Worth Update

June was a fabulous month for me and my net worth! Without further ado, here is my June 2014 Net Worth Update!

June 2014 revised

Net Worth as of June 30, 2014: $123,137

Overall, my net worth increased by $3,591 this month!!!

Let’s head straight to the break down:

Cash: $2,525 [MTM $132]

As I’ve said before, this category fluctuates every single month. I love it when it fluctuates in my favor! ūüėČ

Savings: $1,222 [MTM $201]

Now that my emergency fund is at $1,000.00, I’m shifting my savings goal for the moment to my travel goals for the year! I’m going to San Diego at the end of this month, FinCon in September, and hopefully SoCal in December! I’ve got a lot to save for!

401k: $142 [MTM $142]

This is a new line item this month! I’ve been at my current job for almost 5 months now. Up until now, I couldn’t sign up for a 401k because of the initial probationary period at the start of my employment. Now that that’s over with, I’m now contributing to a 401k! My match is the same as my match at my old employer – my company will match 100% of my contributions up to 3% of my salary.¬†Free money, baby! Another great thing is that the match is put in every single paycheck instead of once a year, which was how my last job did it.

Traditional IRA: $8,898 [MTM $156]

Not bad for an account that I’m not actively contributing to! These are all market gainz, baby ūüôā

Roth IRA: $14,608 [MTM $693]

Every month, I contribute about $460 to my Roth IRA. Which means that the rest of this month’s increase, which is $233, is all from market gainz! My favorite kind of gains ūüôā

Est. Car Value $17,821 [MTM $0]

I just updated the value last month, so no change this month. Next time I’ll record an update will be for¬†August.

Est. Home Value $390,000 [MTM $0]

Zero change this month for the house value. Since I bought my house in July 2012, I’ll be updating this value next month!

Credit Cards: $1,579 [MTM ($1,407)]

I’ve chronicled my terrible relationship with credit cards in my three part series: Tired of Credit Card Debt – A Bad Love Story (here are parts one, two, and three). In the final part of the series, I declared war with my credit card debt for the millionth time, and I meant it! I paid off a huge chunk of my CC debt this past month.¬†I’ve been working a ton of overtime lately, and all of it has been going straight to my cc debt payoff! I absolutely can’t wait until this debt¬†is gone for good!

Student Loans: $15,780 [MTM ($59)]

Very, very, very slow progress with my student loans. But as I’ve said before – progress is progress.¬†I’m currently paying a little over the minimum, but once my credit card debt is gone, I can focus more on these bad boys.

Car Loan: $18,831 [MTM ($326)]

I hate my car payments, but I do love my car. This debt isn’t a priority for me since, luckily, I got a great rate on the loan! This will be the next to go after the student loans.

Mortgage: $275,890 [MTM ($475)]

Again, slow and steady progress with this loan. And again, this is not a priority for me. With that being said, I love seeing the balance decrease on this loan. Who doesn’t?

An amazing June with greens across the board – love it!

How was your June?

AMDG,
Lisa

Links Lisa Likes – Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems (Minus the Mo’ Money Part)

Lately, I have been dealing with a couple of little money problems. Nothing major, just annoying!

For example, a couple of weeks ago, my friends and I tried this place in Berkeley called Pizza Moda. Delicious pizza, I must say! But a few days later, I found that the restaurant charged me¬†twice! I wanted to call the restaurant as soon as I saw the error, but they’re only open in the evenings while I’m either a) working overtime or b) commuting home.

Instead, I disputed the charge online with my bank Capital One 360 (formerly ING Direct). Initially, they wanted me to sign a form before they disputed the charge, but before I could print out that form, they already settled it and Pizza Moda sent my money back the next day!

Unfortunately, since I run a mostly zero-based budget, my checking account was¬†super low at that point and I had to transfer a little bit of money from my emergency fund into my checking to cover those few days. It’s little instances like these that make me super relieved that I have an emergency fund in the first place!

The other annoying issue I’ve had to deal with lately was with my Clipper Card. For those who don’t know, Clipper Card is “a reloadable contactless smart card used for electronic transit fare payment in the San Francisco Bay Area. (thanks Wikipedia)

As for as “reloadable” goes, the automatic reload function hasn’t been working for me for the past few months. I’ve called a couple times already, and each customer service person kept telling me to wait a few days. It wasn’t until I called this past week when someone¬†finally realized there was an error on their part and that my automatic reload would be working the next day. Thank God, because I was tired of having to load my card with actual cash, which is a hassle with the old “add value” machines BART still has, instead of having it automatically withdrawn.

Again, nothing major. Just little, annoying problems that I’m glad are gone!

Last Week on LvL

Last week’s Links Lisa Likes – Board Game Night was all about my current favorite, frugal past time. Don’t miss last weeks fave links, too!

Kendrick Lamar is taking over the hip hop scene and also making bold money statements. Find out all about What Kendrick Lamar Can Teach Us About Money.

This Week’s LLL

Add the Sexy Back to Your Money at Any Stage of Finances – [Frugal Confessions]
Fun ways to make your finances not only fun, but also sexy!

Betting on Yourself – [Done by Forty]
Would you have the guts to go all-in on yourself?

Do You Complain About Things You Can Avoid? – [First Quarter Finance]
It’s so much easier for people to complain than it is to take action.

Proof Banks Caused The Financial Crash: The Cancer Of MORE –¬†[Financial Samurai]
It’s so funny to me when people think you’re up to no good when you’re satisfied with less!

Your Emergency Savings Is A Multi-Layered Beast. Why It’s Not Just About Money Р[The Shop My Closet Project]
Michelle is right – there’s much more to emergency preparedness than having an emergency fund!

Hope y’all had a wonderful weekend!

AMDG,
Lisa