Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by NewTeacher2016, Sep 11, 2017.
Sep 11, 2017
I really, really need to get on the whole IRA thing...I keep meaning to do it but never end up doing it. Eventually though, I want to put in the full $5,500/yr and have my wife do the same. We're saving up a ton each month right now, but housing here is quite expensive!
And in terms of the downpayment, how close are you to the amount you need for your particular "budget" for buying a house? If you want to send me your budget (generalized / without any personal info), I wouldn't mind looking at it and helping give any advice I can.
My district makes my full contribution to my state retirement account--one of the last remaining perks of the job. I make a flat deposit of like $100/paycheck to my personal retirement account. I try to put away between $500 and $1,500 each month into my savings account.
Managing money is about discipline and smart planning. You're doing better than many that you're even worried about having enough in HSA etc. If you need help motivating yourself to put in the funds on optional accounts, run the math. There's all kinds of downloadable templates if you aren't familiar with finance math. Plug in numbers for different scenarios and you'll find the motivation to put in that extra $15. Every dollar counts when you're young, then not so much when you're closing in on retirement.
If it's just you eating on that $200, you can eat well on less if you're willing to make a few changes. Shopping loss leaders, using coupons, and planning meals ahead all help. I buy the "family pack" of chicken, then freeze whatever I can't use right away.
I put $150 a month into a retirement account. I know nothing of the stock market, so it's best just to leave that up to someone else. I have a percentage automatically deducted and put I t the state retirement account, too. As far as other savings, it varies. Soemtimes it's a good chunk. Other times not.
I bought my house when I was 28. Houses aren't as expensive here, so I bought it myself. It has been a good investment. I did an addition last year, so my savings took a hit with construction. Still a good investment.
My district requires us to put 9% of our pay check into our retirement account; I don't put in anything extra. My district contributes about $120 per month to our HSA accounts. I don't put in any of my own money...I've used my HSA extremely rarely (I pretty much only go to the Dr. for preventative stuff, which is free) and currently have several thousand in there just from my district contributions over the years.
As far as savings, up until a few years ago all I did was work summer school and put the entire extra paycheck (usually about $4500) in savings. My district got rid of summer school and none of the other districts around here will hire "outsiders" for summer school, so that killed that plan.
Two years ago I took a really hard look at my budget and got rid of any unnecessary costs per month. For example, I got rid of my cable and my gym membership and started working out at home (and yes, I did stick to that and actually do workout at home ). I also realized I was spending a ton of money on eating out and taking Ubers when I went out downtown (way faster and more convenient than public transit, but about $25-35 one way vs. $4 on the light rail). I am very fortunate to not have student loans or a car payment, so that helps a lot. If I had to pay what some of my friends do for both of those expenses, I'd be pretty much living paycheck to paycheck.
I have a set budget of $200 per week for absolutely everything that's not a regular monthly bill. For example, this includes groceries, gas, clothes, "fun" money, emergencies (car needs repair, cat needs the vet, etc.), infrequent expenses like hair cuts, and basically anything else I spend money on that's not rent/phone bill/internet bill/utilities bill/insurance. By doing that I can get about $400-600 in my savings account each month. I keep a running google doc of what I spend, and I keep track of any extra that I have leftover from my $200 per month as kind of a separate "savings." If any big unexpected expense comes up or I want to make a bigger "fun" purchase, it comes out of that leftover money that I've kept track of from my weekly budget.
I am not anywhere close to being able to purchase a house (both being able to afford the down payment as well as having a large amount of savings for unexpected things like repairs) as houses around here cost about $400K on the low end. I figure you have to start somewhere though!
My state requires that teachers contribute 14.5% towards our pension system. I rolled over funds from other retirement accounts into an IRA, and I earn interest on that and dividends towards the reinvestments. I don't contribute any of my paycheck towards it right now, though. I don't have a 529 or an HSA. I wish I could contribute towards an emergency fund, but I don't usually have much left over at the end of the month.
Yes, I have a separate pension and IRA. I do think that my pension will be enough, but I want an IRA just in case the need for one arises. My state has one of the best teacher pension systems in the country. So, as long as I stay in teaching, I'll be good. The IRA is my backup in case I don't make it another 20+ years.
Sep 12, 2017
I have $150 automatically taken out each month. I can't really comment on the house down payment issue, town homes here are $300,000+! I won't be buying a home anytime soon.
I added a master suite, two-car attached garage, and breezeway. I also fenced the back yard and converted a bedroom to a theater room. The summer before that I turned a screened porch into a carport and a smaller screened area. I also painted the exterior and installed a drainage system.
I bought my house for $82,000 in 2000! After my addition, it appraised for $142,000 after the addition. It's a four bedroom, two bath brick ranch on 1.5 acres. I've got a detached single car garage, storage building, and attached two-car garage. Plus, my back yard is fenced.
I don't know how people afford houses some places. I watch house buying shows, and I'm amazed by prices.
This is why I consider moving all the time....If I look at houses online and select the price range under 200k, it's sad what's available here in NJ.
I moved from an area with costs like yours to an area where the cheapest houses in questionable neighborhoods are around $400K. My mom (who still hasn't gotten over the fact that I moved away) pointed out the other day that had I stayed in my hometown, I could have paid off a house in full before age 30 and had extra money left over with the amount I've spent in rent over the 8 years I lived here. The craziest part is that teachers make more in my hometown!
We roughly put 500$ into a few accounts each month.
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