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It’s Almost Like Taking a Bandaid Off – Just Do It!

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Well, it’s a done deal. I am now officially saving for retirement. I have decided to contribute the full amount needed (6%) to maximize my company’s 401(k) match. Now that money for my 401(k) will be deducted directly from my paycheck, that means that I will have $160 less per month to go towards our debt. On the flip side, that $160 turns into $240 with the company match. I have to try to keep thinking of it that way.

I never thought I would have to decide between paying for retirement or paying off debt – but it happened. I have mentioned that this blog might turn into a retirement/savings blog once our debt has been paid off (to keep following us financially). Saving for retirement and paying off debt were two very different things and in my mind they could not coexist.

But perhaps they can? I better rephrase that…they are going to have to!

This does put a little damper on our debt reduction. The money going to retirement and health insurance and shortly to life and disability insurance is going to take a huge amount of money that I wanted to put towards our debt. It hurts, but those expenses are a good thing. I have to remember that.

What this means is that I have to reevaluate our goal date. I may be “Blogging Away Debt” for longer than I thought πŸ™‚

Unless…I cut our expenses even more and try to bring in more income. Hmm…


13 Comments

  • Reply debtinseattle |

    I think it’s wonderful that you are making a contribution! My husband and I have been setting aside 6% since we started our first “real” job and we have quite a bit in for a couple under 30. After awhile it will be almost painless!

  • Reply Sara |

    You ROCK! You are taking amazing steps for your future, and you’ll never regret them!

    And, you mentioned something about gap coverage for your son’s health care – I once had a catastrophe policy through Allstate – it wasn’t useful for your everyday ear infection stuff, but it saved us financially when he was in the hospital for two days and then later had surgery. It wasn’t very expensive (less than $100 for 6 months, if I remember right), and it might be what you’re looking for. You never know when they’re going to break an arm!

  • Reply Poorer Than You |

    Take heart – I think you did the right thing. Taking advantage of an employer match as soon as it’s available is very smart, in the long run. Just think of it this way – you’re getting 100% returns!

  • Reply Jen |

    Hehehe… I love your post title! It is like taking a bandaid off! πŸ˜€ I know how you feel – I’ve pondered over financial decisions in the past and analyzed them to the point of silliness, but then I would reach a point where I just had to make decision and go with it!

    Depending on your tax witholding, the $160 out of your paycheck may end up being a little less.

    Also, here’s something to keep in mind that I’ve read in columns about financing college: You can’t borrow for your retirement. Well, I suppose you could, but it’d be uglier if you can no longer work… So maybe you can consider saving for retirement as a way to prevent future debt?

  • Reply mapgirl |

    YAY! You are doing the right thing because you’re getting free money from your company.

    I’m in the same boat if it makes you feel any better. I should be tackling my debt, but I’m sinking a lot of money into retirement right now because I’m behind.

    I figure if I can do both, I’m doing ok.

  • Reply Dawn |

    I think you made a great decision! Saving for retirement is a big step toward building wealth! Collecting the “Free money” goes a long way too!

  • Reply Sheri |

    Since 401K deduction is taken out before taxes, your witholding should be less. Congrats! for making this decision.

  • Reply NCN |

    I too congratulate you. As much as I hate debt, and I do, I’d also hate getting a 50% return on my investment! I guarantee you that because you have chosen to be intentional with your personal finance decisions, you will meet your goal, and move forward at a faster pace than you ever imagined. You rock! NCN

    (PS… Every time I come to you blog, I wish that I would have used your blog name for my own… it’s the best!)

  • Reply finance girl |

    hey, congratulations, that’s great! You will get there with the debt, because you have the will, the rest will follow. I love the fact that you are putting in the amount needed to get the full match of your employer, smart move!

  • Reply Tricia |

    Thank you everyone. I know this is for the best, but it’s still hard to do! When I hit “send” to commit to the 6%, I just hit it and said, that’s it! Done deal.

  • Reply Beth |

    Dolphsbc@aol.com writes:

    Yes I heard the story on the news and I am asking for help. Can I go to a web site and really ask for help?
    Short version. I come from a loving family. My son is 7 and has had 13 sinus surgeries. He is doing well and has been hospital free for one year. We had a still birth baby and my husband had a heart attack 3 days later surgery and the works. Lost his job for 23 months. I had a radical hystorectomy . Crazy unfortunate stuff we are $50,000 in debt and about to loose our home and cars. I have the cards to 2 percent, No their is no material items on the card, food, hotels from hospital stays with our son, medical offices etc. The card people have been helpful because it is not material stuff, I am worried about my husband He works hard is a software developer makes ok money we just are in a bad medical rutt. Can anyone help. We have a web site that we help hurricane victiams and rasied them a good chunk of change but know we need help. Can anyone help?
    THANK YOU – Peace – Beth
    dolphsbc@aol.com

So, what do you think ?