Why I’m not out of the financial woods yet

This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.
~Douglas Adams

I paid off my debt as soon as possible, so I’m at least no longer in over my head. But even though I live far beneath my means, I still don’t think I have a firm handle on my financial future.

For one, most of the money I’m currently throwing into savings to become my emergency fund is the money I save from having a roommate. A roommate that will be moving out in December (although I’m hoping she’ll fail a class or something and stay on for another semester…). While I’m hoping to find someone to take her place for the few months I’ll still be in this apartment, I don’t intend on having a roommate beyond the end of my lease next May. While it’s been sound financially to have a roommate, I hate living with people. My current roommate is something of an anomaly…while I’d prefer to live alone, she’s the next best thing. Losing her in December is going to be a big hit on my finances.

For two, I still don’t have health insurance and I’m still lacking in retirement investing. I know people who live more or less permanently without health insurance, but I’m not sure I want to be one of them. But the doozy is saving up for retirement. That’s not something I feel I’m in a financial position to do at the moment.

So paying off my debt has just been the first (and biggest) hurdle of becoming a financially sound adult. I’m not broke anymore, but I’m still in a gray area. I don’t want to fall into the short-term thinking that everything’s okay now and will be forever. There’s still a lot of work to do.

And the biggest hurdle I’m facing right now is ignorance. I’ve never looked into retirement investments until now. It’s a confusing world. And frankly putting $200 a month away where I won’t see it for decades is, well, that’s a lot of money right now. It’s tempting to think “I’ll worry about that when I make more money.” But procrastination never does anyone any good and that sort of thinking is what got me into a car note and 55-hour work weeks.

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2 Responses to “Why I’m not out of the financial woods yet”

  1. Brian Malone Says:

    For now I’d recommend trying to stash extra money into an emergency fund until you could cover 6 months of living expenses. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing if something comes up you can take care of it without breaking a sweat. The reduced stress alone makes this a worthwhile investment. Once that is done you can take care of retirement investing and you will probably feel much better about it as well. Do remember that this is for rainy days, not couches or video games.

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