7.27.2009

Rejoice with me!

Remember that one time when we all talked about our financial goals?

I said then that these were the things I wanted to start working on:

1. Start funding an IRA

This one will have to wait, maybe until next year. But retirement savings is still happening so that's good. Have run a couple of retirement calculators to see how much we will need, just because it's kind of fun when my heart stops dead in my chest like that and my left arm gets all squeezy. (And yes, I always check the "No Social Security Benefits" box because hi, like I am even banking on that). A good guideline seems to be saving 10-15% of your gross income for retirement, leaning more on the higher end if you're over 30 (or if you're under 30 but happen to be smart).

2. Get our savings into accounts where they can earn more interest

Hee! Totally did this! I opened an Orange Savings Account online through ING Direct. At 1.40% interest, it's not the absolute highest interest rate available (that would be Ally with 1.85% at the moment, for those who are interested). But I've heard great things about ING's customer service, there are no fees, they are FDIC insured, and I very much like their subaccounts feature.

So now instead of one lump at my bank earning hardly any interest, I now have several different savings accounts with cool names like "Emergency Fund," "Car Fund," "Vacation," "Christmas," "House Downpayment," and "GH's iPod Touch That I Promised He Could Buy This Fall if We Put the Rest of the Tax Return into Savings." Not all of these accounts have any money in them, but having this visual reminder of what I'm actually saving for is really helpful.

3. Get my student loan out of the picture asap because even though it's not "bad" debt like the credit card kind, it still nags at me and I'd like it to be gone

Which brings us to . . . .drum roll . . . .


Yes!!!

We totally paid off my loan this week. I started doing the math and realized that at the rate we were going it was going to take years and years and I just wanted to be done. And this debt-free feeling is better than an IRA, I can tell you.

20 comments:

Anonymous said... [reply]

Congratulations!!!! You are my hero in more ways than one.

cooldad said... [reply]

Well done! We too are debt free. Well almost debt free. Still have that house and a car, but NO CREDIT CARDS. It is a good feeling.

Janssen said... [reply]

Oh man, I cannot wait for that moment. It shouldn't be tooooo far away for us.

Also, I love ING. Especially looking at the "London Anniversary Trip" account.

AuD said... [reply]

Congratulations!! I like those goals. Mind if I borrow them from you?

Desmama said... [reply]

Sweet! I am happy for you. I imagine that is indeed a good feeling. Also? Am jealous that GH is getting an iPod Touch. I think I might try and talk D into letting me get one so I can do a half marathon next year.

AmandaStretch said... [reply]

That's awesome! My small consolation is knowing that I'm going to start paying OFF the student loan this fall instead taking out more money, and that if I do another grad degree, I will get paid to do it. One way or another.

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

BEST. FEELING. EVER. We did that with last year's tax return and after ten years I feel like we finally own Plantboy's degree.

And you feel my love for ING. Wait, was this MY idea? ;) I now have a checking account with them too. It gives me goosebumps thinking about all my little squirrel holes for money. And my debit card is beautiful.

Thanks for the happy, uplifting post. I just came from a FB discussion (read: Obama bash) on Health Care and I'm shaking a little bit. Was hoping you'd comment on my "coming out of the closet" post. Your thoughts, I'm sure, would be highly illuminating.

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

Desmama--do you NEED the iPOD to do the half?

I think the SSB girls should do a post on postpartum Mormon women entering races.

chosha said... [reply]

That is fan-diddly-tastic! Enjoy it!

I must look into this ING business. My sister also has an account and recommends them.

Ann-Marie said... [reply]

Yay! I can't wait for that day! Although it is a while before that's going to happen...

Lady Steed said... [reply]

I am in total shock....how did you do that? I have decided that the student loan payment will be with us forever, but I have been told that since the interest rate is so very very low, I shouldn't make any special extra effort to pay it off. This makes sense to me, but I still hate making that payment--especially since it's not any of my student loans, it's all Theric. I still have a hard time understanding how he racked up so much and only has a lousy English BA, which means he will never make enough money for us to ever pay it off.

april said... [reply]

congrats!!

we've been using ING banking for over a year (?couple of years) and have been very happy!! ilove all the little accounts you can have for everything you're saving. mint.com doesn't seem to like ING though.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Anon, thank you! That is a very nice (albeit undeserved) thing to say.

Go DAD!

Janssen, you have inspired me to go make my account names sexier. Am changing "Vacation" to "Hawaii" right now.

AuD, borrow away!

Desmama, check you out with your half marathoning! I am beyond impressed. And yeah, GH is waiting for whatever 800 million GB version is supposed to be coming out this fall.

Amandastretch, that IS a good consolation.

STM, I'll head back over to the "coming out" post. I read it with much interests but couldn't get my thoughts together enough at the time to say anything worthwhile!

Chosha, ING is fun. If you are the kind of person who gets kicks out of savings accounts, of course.

Ann-Marie, it will happen and I will celebrate with you!

Lady Steed, it really did have a lot to do with becoming becoming a DINK household. The loan was $21K, plus interest, and I took it out in 2005 for grad school. After I got a job in 2007 I got it down to $13K. But once there were two incomes I was able to save a lot more and make higher loan payments. In the end I cashed out some mutual funds from pre-grad school days and used the money we'd saved up in the last year to just pay it off in one swipe (making sure to keep our Emergency Fund safe). It was a scary thing but I'm so, so grateful we could do it. Now it won't be hanging over our heads when we switch to a one-income family down the road.

My interest rate did get lower once the economy tanked, and it's true that student loan interest is tax deductible. But it's not like you get that student loan interest back 1:1 when you do your taxes. And when I was paying ahead it was a nice feeling to know that if I needed to I COULD go for several months without making a payment (which did happen last summer).

Your point about student loans is a good one, because it seems like for so many students the only way to get a degree is to take out loans, and it's really hard as a young kid to fully understand just how much money that really is, and what it will really take to pay it off later. I know I didn't. I didn't have a budget at all in college and I'm sure I spent more than I needed to. I think if we really KNEW as students we might do things differently, or at least figure out ways to make our loans stretch farther.

Kristeee said... [reply]

Yay! I feel bad every time I get one of those UHEAA statements, even though we could totally pay it off. But the interest rate's so low that our financial advisor said to keep it.

We had an ING account, too, but switched over to Zion's online money market because at the time the interest rate was higher and they had the quicklink with Quicken that ING didn't.

Nemesis said... [reply]

April, yeah. It's funny how Mint.com can only access my ING accounts at any time that is NOT M-F from 8-5. Weird.

Kristee, your interest rate is probably lower than mine was, which is a good thing. Because it wasn't a federal loan, there was no subsidy and the interest rate was based on the economy. So when I started paying it off the rate was close to 8% (awesome). And then it was closer to 3% by the time I paid it off. So yeah, I might have approached it differently if my other investments/savings were growing at a higher rate than the loan was. Excellent point. :-)

Kelly said... [reply]

I am so jealous of the student loan payoff. No, I don't think you understand how extremely jealous I am. My student loans will not be gone for a long, long time.

Jason got me into ING and we are big fans. We have our joint savings and then I have a savings account called "Baby Fund" where I'm socking away money for that time period where hopefully I will be taking care of said baby AND still able to pay on my student loans and other things.

Again, jealous about the student loans.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Kelly! I totally have a Baby Fund too! Only mine is called "Baybee Fund" and there is no money in it yet. But still! Now I can start working on that!

Kelly said... [reply]

Nem, here's to the Baybee Fund!

That's a great point you made about not realizing when we're young what we're really taking on. I can honestly say I probably wouldn't have gone to law school, or would have worked really really hard to go to a state school, if I had had any inkling of how it would feel to have so much student loan debt. Everyone always says it's the good debt and an investment, etc. But unless you get an extremely high-paying job (which some do, I know) it's not worth going to a private law school. I'm sure some would say the same about, say, getting a bachelor's in the humanities at a private college.

The Boob Nazi said... [reply]

Wow. I paid off the interest from my first year of having a loan, and you are my hero I can't wait to pay it off.

Melissa said... [reply]

Congratulations! It is wonderful to be debt free. The only debt I really carry is student loans, which I'll be paying off the rest of my life. I am envious that you are done with them.

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