Tuesday, October 07, 2014

budget report: according to my calculations...

I've been making use of Google Docs's online spreadsheet as I work on my budget from now until the first trimester of 2019 (which is the year I turn 50). If my financial picture continues the way it's been going, and if I begin paying off my major debts thanks to a measure of fiscal self-discipline, life ought to be dandy before I turn 50. I won't be debt-free, alas, because I didn't snag the 5-million-a-month Golden Goose job early on, but I'll be damn close. Here's how things might look, assuming all proceeds as planned:

1. By the end of 2014, all personal debts will have been paid, and I'll have about $1,000 in the bank as disposable income. Instead of disposing of it, though, I'll be saving it. Ruthlessly.

2. By the end of August 2015, I'll have saved W10,000,000 (roughly $10,000)—enough money for a down payment on a respectable apartment, assuming another $700/month rent plus utilities. Gas is expensive in Korea, so I'll likely be relying on electric space heaters during the winter months.

3. By the end of 2015, I'll be in my new place and will have $4,300 in the bank.

4. By the end of 2016, I'll have repaid my OneMain financial loan, and will have about $12,950 in the bank. With OneMain payments gone, I'll have an extra $250/month of breathing room.

5. By August of 2017, I'll have $23,110 in the bank, $9,000 of which will go to paying off my car. (If anything, by 2017, I'll have far less than $9,000 to pay on the car, which makes my estimate a very cautiously conservative figure—and I wouldn't have it any other way. Being under budget should always come as a pleasant surprise.) Another $250/month freed up.

6. By the end of 2017, I'll be back up to $20,940 in the bank, of which $20,000 will go toward finally paying off one of my two major scholastic debts: my old eMax education loan, which I took out in 1999. That debt has been a major bugbear for most of my adult existence. With that off my back, and with no more car payments or OneMain Financial payments, I'll have freed up nearly $750 a month.

7. By December of 2018, I'll have bounced back to the point that I'll once again have $21,680 in the bank. I'll plunk $15K of that into my final scholastic debt: good old Sallie Mae. How I hate that bitch. Of course, it'll take about three more rounds of $15K payments to finally slay that dragon, and I'll be over 50 when the deed is finally done, but at least I won't die in debt.

Of course, planning my life so far ahead may not be the wisest thing. A lot can happen between now and 2019, including my finding love and getting married, which would mean the assumption of yet more debt as I have to pay down the wedding costs and the cost of finding a home, and the extra cost of, perhaps, raising a family. Honestly, though, I'm in my mid-40s and haven't gotten married yet, and since I'm fairly set in my ways at this point, I seriously doubt I'll ever be anything but an old bachelor. That said, my French buddy Dominique, in a Taoist-contrarian state of mind, reassured me that anything can happen, and that I should just roll with it: he has an aunt who married at 68. Of course, if I'm still working at that point (i.e., at age 68) and still earning at the same rate or slightly higher, thanks to seniority, then I'll have enough money socked away to become somebody's husband by that late point in my life. Assuming I make it beyond 60, that is. That's not guaranteed.



Charles said...

Planning ahead like this may not be entirely practical, given the vicissitudes of life, but I do find it can be a good motivational exercise.

Kevin Kim said...

You should see that spreadsheet of my budget, man. It's awesome. I can tweak any part of it, and the entire thing recalculates accordingly.

Charles said...

It sounds pretty awesome. I wish I could be as organized. I have yet to really make use of the power of Excel (or OOCalc, in my case).