My Dirty Secret: A 401(k) Confession

Debt Ninja over at Punch Debt in the Face (check out his Christmas-themed header for a laugh) has lowered his 401(k) contributions from 8% to 5% of his gross salary. Reading his post led me to ‘fess up about my 401(k) contributions.

Back in June, I dropped my contribution from 8% to 6%.
My reasoning is that after purchasing our home, a little extra cash flow wouldn’t hurt. I’m still getting my company match, and I can change my contribution rate quarterly, if I decided to re-up it again. Plus, the extra money is really going toward debt repayment, particularly on our credit cards. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel!

So there you have it, my dirty little secret. Was cutting back on my retirement funding the right thing to do? I think so, in the short-term. In the long-term, who knows. Might drop my bottom line, but I have to live for the moment sometimes, right?

Other recent expenditures:
November grocery shopping: Over budget. My normal budget is $300, and I’d been coming in at $200 or so for a few months. November was a killer, at $330. A lot of it was stocking the pantry for the winter with soups and baking staples like flour, sugars, butter and chocolate chips.

Christmas shopping: Probably going over. I thought we could keep it to about $300 (not counting me & Mr. Saver exchanging gifts), but even with grab bags, looks like we’ll be over that. Already at $225, and I still need to get two more grab bag gifts at $25 each, presents for a few kids (<$25 each), and gifts for my dad and brother. The good news is the gifts are covered by my recent sale of some old “boyfriend” jewelry, to the tune of about $600.

New windows for upstairs room: About $600 for two, including installation. I shopped around for quotes, and this is the best we can get. The windows qualify for the energy tax credit, which will refund us 30% of the purchase price for each one. At $200 each, that’s a total of $120 back. So in the end, it will cost us $480.

Lots of money flying around this month. The “extra” paycheck in January will help out a bunch. I hope to put half in savings, and half toward debt.

Comments are closed.