Hello again - time for my yearly checkup. I know this is very long and boring, but I like doing this largely because it forces me to look back on where we are and see how we're doing. Any comments or tips would be very welcome!
(Last year's post
We've progressed since last year, but we are definitely spending more that before.
- $176k owed on home (~$89k in equity)
- $38k owed on student loans
- $13k owed on new car loan (plan to pay this off in about 1.5 years)
- $22k in cash (emergency fund + medium-term house savings)
- $50k in 401ks
- $7,400 in Roth IRA
- $2,600 in taxable stocks (just started this after realizing we can no longer use the Roth due to our income)
Household income has ended up right around $140,000 for the last year, and looks to increase modestly this year. We're slightly
over-paying the mortgage, putting 10% into 401ks and contributing another ~2% into stocks. We're also saving aggressively for home improvements/repairs so that we can pay cash for work over the next couple of years, and aggressively saving to pay off the car early.
I've also recently been granted some stock in the company I work for, which will hopefully mean a one-time lump of $100-$200k in 2-3 years when we sell the company.
We've been very happy this past year, and I don't want to rock the boat, but I'm conscious that this is our best opportunity to really squash some debt before adding a child (and I'm planning on starting my own business when my day job is sold).
My plan for the next couple of years:
- Put some more money into the house, pay cash. In a sale, I expect we'd get our money back on most of the work done except maintenance. We're being smart about which projects to tackle.
- Modestly increase 401k once some house projects are paid for (thinking we'll go from 10% up to 13-15%)
- Tighten a few screws to increase stock purchases (aiming to go from 2% up to 4%)
- Pay off the car ASAP, then add that to the monthly stock deposit
- Should my day job sell as expected, use that cash to pay off most of our debt, give our stock portfolio a shot in the arm and fund my new start-up.
One point I'd like to address is that I had initially expected to contribute about $5k/year to my Roth IRA. That is not an option, as our income has pushed us almost entirely out of IRA eligibility (and we'll probably be pushed out entirely this year). I've begun buying stocks in a taxable account instead. I've had good results over the past few years, and I anticipate this portion of our balance sheet to grow rapidly over the next couple of years. Is there anything better that you would recommend doing with this money? Paying down my mortgage? Other investments?
I'm very excited today, because I can realistically see us building the life I've dreamed of us having. I feel like we've perhaps slacked a bit this past year, but not in any dangerous fashion - we've just gotten a little undisciplined and I should tighten things up a bit. Thanks for reading, and let me know if you have any thoughts!