The 148th Carnival of Personal Finance is up at Gather Little By Little. Lots and lots of good reading to be found. I enjoyed the post from My Two Dollars about surviving financially without a corporate income. Five years ago, I left a corporate job where I was making pretty good money and on a fast track to making really good money. But I hated the job and it was sucking the life out of me. Our income went way down for a couple years after I left that job, but with a combination of two part-time jobs that I really enjoy and my husband’s income, we’re doing just fine now – and neither of us has a soul-sucking job anymore (when we met, he worked at the same company, but got out 18 months before I did).
I loved the post from Free Money Finance about people who think they have to have two incomes to get by. After five years of marriage and two years of living together and sharing expenses and income before that, my husband and I are expecting a baby next month. I have two part-time jobs, one of which I do from home, and my husband works full time from home. We designed all of this several years ago, with a future child in mind, and waited until we had a stable financial footing before taking the plunge into parenthood. I have not decided whether I’ll quit my other part-time job or not, but I know that we can get by just fine without the income, because we’ve established such a frugal lifestyle already. I agree that very few people actually HAVE to have two incomes – although a lot of people will say that is the reason they work. Working for pleasure or fulfillment is wonderful, but it’s good to be honest with ourselves about what we really need, what we want, what we have and what we could give up if need be.
I also enjoyed Bible Money Matters post about paying for a child’s education. We’re going to open a 529 for our baby this summer, but we’re only planning to put $100/month into it. We feel the same way Pete does – that children should fund a good chunk of their own education.
Uncommon Cents has a post about beauty of a Roth IRA. I opened a Roth last year, but I’ve only put $500 into it so far. Last year we focused more on our HSA and my husband’s traditional IRA. It’s tough to give up that immediate tax deduction for a tax savings that we won’t see for another 35 years. But this year I’m committed to putting $5000 into my Roth IRA. I know that the future benefit will far outweigh paying taxes on the money now, and we just need to get it done.
Master Your Card has a great post about why America needs a recession. I like this spin on it, and I agree that having to cut back, make do, and live with less is really not such a bad thing after all.
Think Your Way To Wealth has an insightful article about choosing debt repayment or 401k contributions. For a year when my husband and I were first in debt, we didn’t contribute to our IRAs (we were self employed, so no 401k option). After that year, we were still in debt, but decided to start putting money into the IRAs again. We started with $100 each per month, and then bumped it up to $200/month the next year. This year we should be able to put $5000 into each of our IRAs, so we’ve come a long way. I’m glad that we didn’t wait any longer than a year to start putting money towards retirement again – it took us a little longer to pay off the debt, but it was nice to see the retirement accounts grow at the same time.