Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Carla's January Low Spend and Decluttering Challenge

I have followed Carla for along time, but have never joined in one of her challenges. I think it is about time to do so and this should start out 2013 with a bang.

For the decluttering challenge:
1. Clean and organize the sewing room and walk- in closet in that room. It looks like a fabric explosion from my Christmas sewing.
2. Clean out the walk-in closet and dressers in the master bedroom and donate the unwanted items.
3. Go through the kids old clothes and set aside for a spring yard sale.

For the low spend challenge:
1. 10 no spend days.
2. Set up automated savings to online account to fund a Roth IRA in the new year. My husband was putting 15% in his 401k but his company only matches the first 7% so we dropped in back to 7% for the new year. We will put the other 8% in automated savings, but this will get difficult because his pay fluctuates due to sporadic overtime. I guess I will set an automatic amount based on regular pay. Then I will have to be dedicated enough now to go online and transfer 8% of any overtime as he gets it. This worries me as I do not want to fail and end up saving less. This will crush us on our income taxes now, but the win is that we will be able to withdraw it tax free in retirement.
3. Sock $400 away in our vacation account.
4. Increase our automated college savings by $50 per month for each child. My kids are in 9th and 10th grade and the fear of tuition payments is starting to wash over me. We have saved a good bit but it is no where near enough.  I just don't want them to be crippled by student loan debt when they graduate. Son #1 is going to start looking for a job this summer, so he can start saving regularly but jobs in this small town for teenagers are few and far between.  It cracks me up when people say that their kids will figure it out (how to pay for college).  They say that they took out loans and were ok.  That is no longer the case.  Tuition has far outpaced inflation in a time when most people don't even get a raise for inflation.  Also, the majority of college graduates today have enormous loans ($40 to $8o thousand) are graduating with bleak prospects.  Many of them will be lucky just to find a part time job for minimum wage.  It is a very scary time!

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