The road to financial independence is pretty boring at this point. Contribute enough to 401(k) to get employer match Done. Pay off all high-interest debt Paid off student loans in 2013 Build an emergency fund (should have occurred prior to # 1, but just didn't officially set it aside as such.) 4 months expenses in high-interest savings account, now adding $100/mo to build toward 5 months or anticipate future higher COL Contribute to tax deferred accounts up to max Last year (2015) I started contributing to 401(k) up to max Not yet maxing out HSA since prefer to build up accessible funds in taxable account to help finance future small business (but putting enough into HSA to cover expected annual expenses--i.
I refinanced my mortgage in November. I got the rate dropped from 3.75% to 2.99% by switching to a 15 year mortgage and since my loan-to-value ratio is now way under 80%, thanks to paying down the loan, and the appraised value of the house increasing. Refinancing also comes with a bunch of fees, so if we end up moving in say, 3 years, the refinance would have barely been worth it.
I’ve been working on writing a book. I was doing pretty well at writing daily, and then last week I kind of stalled. I’ll write a bit after this. It’s the finishing that’s the problem. I’m not a good finisher in most cases, but in the case of writing a book, I think the final scenes should be just as fun to write as other scenes… and if they’re boring to write, it probably means that they’ll be boring to read.
I first learned about early retirement about four years ago, in my first year of having a real job after college. I immediately knew that this was something I wanted to aim for. I wasn’t on track to earn as much as say, Mr. Money Mustache did, early in his career, but accounting is pretty well-paid, and I live in a low cost-of-living area, relative to salaries, so it seemed like I should be able to make a plan and be financially independent well in advance of the traditional retirement age of 65.
I saw this campaign poster shared on Facebook this week: As you might expect (or maybe you don’t expect it), the effects of changing the tax code can be complex. The effects of changes in the tax code is the field of study for many accounting academics. In some cases, the effects are as-expected, and in some cases, not. For example, the mortgage interest deduction is intended to make homes easier for people to afford.
At our public accounting firm, our “business development” team had to cold call potential clients. I sat next to the office of a particularly loud BD team member for awhile, and the calls sounded pretty painful. He was an accountant-turned-salesperson, and it wasn’t a pretty transition. Where I work now, I share an office with our admin, who also answers all of the calls made to the main company phone line.
Stay on top of household expenses with HomeBudget Money management seems to be an issue that affects all classes. Several reports indicate that a global recession will take effect sometime this year, so if there was a time that we needed to take care control of our finances, it’s now. Numerous programs are available online that can sort out your daily expenses and monthly bills, but why go through all that trouble when there are plenty of mobile financial apps that will allow you to clearly see where your income is going.
Next week we will be having students coming into our accounting firm for their office visit interviews. This is the last round in the recruiting process, and in a matter of days, we will know who we will be having on board with us as spring and summer interns and future full-time hires. If you are going through the accounting recruiting process, the office visit may seem like one last hoop to jump through.
This is the second month of my new debt-repayment plan. I’m paying off $1,000 plus each month, with the idea that my student loan will be paid off by November 2012. My student loan will be under $10,000 going into 2012, which is a great feeling! Initial thoughts on the debt pay-off plan so far Paying over $1,000/month towards my student loans really cramps my lifestyle. I hate the fact that by this time next year, I won’t be in any better position to buy a home, because I’m not putting any cash aside right now for a future down payment.
What are you financial goals for 2011? Check out the poll in the sidebar to the right to participate! It’s the time of year where we review our past year and set some goals for the next year. I have many goals that I would like to list as New Years Resolutions, but goal-setting is generally more effective with fewer, specific, measurable goals. 2010 in Review During 2010, I graduated with my Masters of Accountancy, worked part time over the summer as a bookkeeper, worked part time as a research assistant for accounting professors and PhD students, passed my fourth and final part of the CPA exam, and started a full-time job in public accounting.