Sunday, November 4, 2012

Opening a Savings Account

I'm really excited because I came a step further along in my plan today. I opened a savings account and made my first deposit. I'm now current on all of my debts and have moved on to the next phase of the plan: saving up money. (for a combined 'emergency/buy a car/move to LA' fund).

I am roughly following Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover plan, but I've modified it to meet my needs and circumstances - namely, my impending move to LA. Instead of throwing all of my extra income at my debt after I fund my baby emergency fund, I'm instead going to continue saving for the many components of my moving plan. My reasoning:

  • My student loan debt (the only debt I carry) is small (less than $5,500 total)
  • The interest rates are very low on these small debts.
  • My total minimum monthly payment is currently only $84, and that's the highest it's going to get.
  • One of my three loans will be paid off in six more months.
  • I am not sure how much my income will increase. The additional $5.5k could potentially delay my move by a year.
I will compromise by continuing to implement the 'debt snowball'. Once this smallest loan is paid off, I'll reallocate the $40/month from that loan to the other two, in order to pay them off faster.

My combined fund contains the following components:
  • Emergency fund + cushion: $3,000
  • Used car: $5,000
  • Car Insurance (6 mos): $800
  • Plane ticket to parents' (to buy car and pick up belongings): $300
  • Shipping current belongings home: $200
  • Moving expenses: $1,000
  • Sublet/lease rent+deposits : $1,800
  • Total: $12,100
This is an extremely safe estimate. I anticipate receiving a little help with the car and having a temporary place to stay in LA, but I'm budgeting as if neither of those are a certainty. I also won't move until I have at least $2,000 a month in passive income.

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