This is part 3 of a series I have been writing about our debts as a couple. This will be my last post on the topic, at least for a long while, because this sums up pretty nicely our current state and where we’ll be for the next several months.
Today- we’re doing okay. We are staying afloat, but we realize that our situation is pretty tenuous. One unexpected big expense- need for a new car, some big medical bill, the need for an emergency trip to L’s hometown, would nearly ruin us. And, by ruin, I mean that it would mean being late on some of our bills. Christmas is going to be a stretch this year – a bout of unemployment in the late summer/early fall is the main reason for this.
Early in 2013, we hope to make some real progress on credit card debt. And once that progress gets going, I think we will both be able to breathe easier. This is our first financial goal for the year.
An emergency fund is not high on my priority list right now. (Does that make me a bad PF-wannabe blogger? Ask me if I care.) The reason for this is that we are always only a few months away from a student loan disbursement. And as much as I don’t want to take out extra money, I know that I could with relative ease.
A car emergency fund IS high on my priority list right now. As a (wealthy) kid, I realized that my parents never kept their cars over 100,000 miles. While that might have been foolish on their part, I can’t shake the stigma that cars over 100,000 miles are way less reliable and cost far more in repairs. So, a car repair fund it is. I’m not ready to think about replacing the car yet. Please, can we not go there for a little while longer?
L’s school loans are medium high on the priority list right now. They’re above an emergency fund and below credit cards- and probably below the car fund, too. My tax return (whatever it turns out to be) will go on my credit cards, and L will probably split his between his cards and his school loans.
I need to make some money in 2013, but I’m not putting this at too high of a priority. School is getting closer and closer to finishing, and I’m shifting my priority to finding a post-graduation job. I seriously can’t even begin to imagine what it will be like to have a double income. Assuming no raise for L before I graduate, it’s extremely likely that we will be at least doubling our income (if not more) when I start working.
In 2013, I plan to budget and track every cent of our budget that I can. There, I finally said it out loud. While I think that our budget is reasonable for our means, I do wonder if we are overlooking areas that we could tweak.