Educating the Wheelers


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Chronicling the Experience of Educating our Children and Managing our Family

Friday, January 06, 2006

Minor Money Panic

We got our first direct deposit of the year, and I was in a for a minor panic. It was about 30% less than I was expecting. I knew that the new benefits enrollment kicked in on this paycheck, so I went to log in to the site and see what was up. I mean, I didn't recall things being that different...

The benefits site was not exactly intuitive to figure things out. In fact, it gave the impression that we had unenrolled from 401k! Well, if that was the case ... wouldn't we have more money coming in than less?

One crazy-pregnant-lady-panicked phone call to my husband later and with some work, he was able to dig out the details. [I miss getting paper statements. They were straightforward.]

As it turns out, last year our new ESPP deduction kicked in at exactly the same time as our 401k maxxed out, and they are for very similar amounts. And starting this paycheck, they were both in effect for the new year.

Mystery solved.

Though I'm beginning to wonder if we're now being way too aggressive on our savings. I just did the calculation, and our actual take-home into-the-checking account amount is less than 28% of our pre-tax salary. So, taxes, 401k, ESPP, benefits, % that goes directly to Vanguard and % that goes directly to Emigrant now account for a little over 72% of our income. That doesn't include extra for paying down mortgage. Hmm. Now, I can squeeze blood out of a rock, but can I squeeze that much blood out of our rock? I'm not sure yet. That's my task for this weekend, to see if we can live on this, or if we're going to have to scale back.

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