Warning! If you don't like whines, you should stop reading now.
I just had a $3500 emergency come up (at a time when I have less than $200 in my emergency account), so I know that my end-of-the-month wrap-up will not be a pretty sight. But more than that, also coming up is my 5-year anniversary of my very first post.
You'd think that five years would be more than enough time to get rid of debt, increase retirement savings, and generally be in fine shape, wouldn't you? Even with a recession smack in the middle, at least the debt should have come down, right? Well, it did come down some, but not nearly as much as it should have over a five year span. My total indebtedness has reduced only by $2105 per year, for a grand total of $10529. Likewise, my retirement savings have increased, but again, not as much as I would have predicted. I currently have $69,000 more in my 401(k) than I had in 2007, thanks to pre-tax deductions from my pay (which pay has not gone up at all in five years!). I will say that I'm glad I did not stop my retirement contributions to make increased payments on my debts--I know myself well enough to think that I would have found excuses to use that money elsewhere, in which case, my retirement fund would be seriously short about now.
So what has been my problem? Well, life did not stand still during the past five years. There was college for a child and grandchild; a new roof, replacement windows and a new furnace for the rental property; my only vehicle that died and had to be replaced; the comings and goings from my home of various adult children and grandchildren; etc. But none of these were unusual life events. These expenses could have and should have been part of my budget. If only I could get far enough ahead of current expenses to actually budget for visits from Murphy.
I'll probably be in a better mood tomorrow, but in the meantime, the whine wins!