July 5, 2006
After reading archive upon archive of pf blogs, I’m tearing myself away long enough to tiptoe in the shallow end. I love the random (and not so random) sharing of ideas and research of all the big ‘uns, and felt compelled to join in the under-30 club if you’ll have me.
I suppose the best place to begin is … anywhere, really, and flesh out the details as I go along. So, hi! I’m a 23 year old living in SoCal with my parents, and trying to work out how to best tackle all my financial goals in the next five years.
I’m living at home because I can help out my parents with the bills, and can provide for them in case of any financial emergency, and in the good months I can really save quite a lot towards my long term goals.
My goals? Well, I’d like to save enough:
1) to put a down payment on a modest home for my parents: in the next 2-3 years
2) to help pay off the sedan they’re upside-down on (a result of a mixed bag of poor financial history): ASAP
3) to fund an emergency and Roth accounts for my parents: over the next 2-3 years
4) to build a healthier emergency fund for myself: within 6-8 months
5) to pay for my wedding (no ring yet, so no major pressure, but I don’t plan on asking Dad or Mom to help at all, obviously, given their very barebones financial situation): in 3ish years
6) to be able to put a substantial down payment on a home of my own: in 4-5 years.
I definitely do not make enough money to easily fund even half of these savings goals (but, who does?) as there are certainly shared living expenses such as rent, utilities, insurance, etc.
I pay a good chunk of those every month, but definitely hold myself back from contributing more than my self-allotted amounts because I know that I am totally serious about saving as much as humanly possible for my parents’ future as well as my own. I’d say the save/spend ratio on the budget is: 55% spending (on all personal spending and bills, including phone bills, rent, bills) to 45% saving. Of course it’s not always that cut and dry, but let’s call that the ideal. Or the real ideal budget would be 60(save)/40(spend). Yeah….. that’s not gonna happen anytime soon.
My parents’ prospective retirement and emergency funds are meant to be a failsafe (I know it won’t be THE answer to their financial situation, but at least they would have a cushion against real disaster) because I know my ability to help them financially, and on a regular basis, will change once I get married. This is a huge question mark for me, how do you marrieds or to-be-marrieds plan or deal with helping out parents?