My friend Alison, on hope and peace and Easter and resurrection. I figured that I owed you one, after my whinging yesterday. (To my non-Anglophile children: it is too a word; you can ask my friend Chas.)
My e-statement from the credit union arrived on Monday. I have decided that it is more helpful to rejoice in debt reduction overall and to not fuss at myself because my progress in paying down my line of credit is not as fast as I would like. I am still $1260.60 less in debt than I was on the 15th of January, and that is a good thing.
I checked with them, and yes, I can send them extra payments on principal only. I plan to do that with part of my bonus, and again on the 13th and 26th paydays, when nothing comes out of my check toward debt reduction. At the end of the year, that will give me roughly the same effect as if I had paid an additional $100.00 per month on my line of credit. I have increased the amount each paycheck, effective the 23rd, but not as much as I would have wished. But as I so often tell others, direction is more important than speed.
I also went into my 401K and tweaked the amounts that went into each bucket. And I moved funds out of the lowest-performing fund and into the other buckets. I am keeping the amount of that contribution the same, at least until I am out of debt, but increasing what goes into my Roth 401K. I would be crazy not to contribute at least the amount which the company will match, into my regular 401K, and I would be crazy not to hedge that fund (which contains by far the largest share of my savings for retirement) with a Roth, where I pay taxes now but not when I withdraw them.
I now have almost a two-year supply in my 401K, and in a year and a half I could touch it without penalty. However, I am planning to live to be 100, and I am not planning to retire anytime soon, so I had better be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove when it comes to my retirement nest egg. The loss on my balanced fund wiped out my gain on bonds for the first quarter of the year, whereas my 2025 fund had an astronomical return, and my 2030 fund had one only slightly less. Do I expect that to last, or be typical? No. But I am willing to risk half or more of the balance in my balanced fund for the next quarter, and possibly through the end of the year. Not enough money to cry over if I am wrong.
I also played with various worksheets and calculators yesterday, to see how changing one factor or another would affect the funds I would have if and when I ever retire. I really do not expect to do so. I have too much fun at work, where my contributions are measurable and mostly appreciated, as opposed to the real stuff of life, which is service to friends and family. The results there are less immediately tangible, but the blessings are out of this world!
I am learning much of patience and persistence while treating this errant foot. I learned, among other things, that while it is effective to sand my damp foot with a washrag when I get out of the shower, to remove dead skin from old lesions, if I do the same with a new one, it breeds all over my toes like mushrooms after the rain. Where I had one, I now have three or four, and I can feel bumps where others will appear in the next couple of days. My impatience has set me back at least a week, possibly longer.
- Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!