In my last post, I discussed the fact that my budget is torturing me. Specifically, the amount I should be saving per month is torturing me. When I was paying down my personal loan, it was very easy to stay focused because I basically had tunnel vision: must pay off loan, must pay off loan, MUST PAY OFF LOAN!! But now it feels like my goals, financial and otherwise, are unclear. And I think that is the crux of why I’m having a hard time figuring out what/how much/where to save my money. I have no idea what I want in the future. And it’s hard to feel motivated about saving for a future you can’t envision.
Yep, folks, this might be my quarter-life crisis. I just don’t know what I want for myself in the future. I want to get married and I might want kids. I love my career and where I live and I can’t see either of those variables changing, but I know it’s not possible to stand still. I want to travel, but I’m not sure when or where. It’s frustrating, because up until recently, my life has been extremely goal-oriented and now it’s just….not. The emotional aspect of this reality is something I don’t want to go on and on about here, but the fact that my goals aren’t clear is making the financial part of my life difficult to plan. It stresses me out to have a “down payment fund” when I don’t really feel passionate about buying any time soon – I want to be excited about buying and saving aggressively towards it (or something, anything!) but I’m not. I’m actually not feeling passionate about any financial goal. Because I feel like my future is so lacking in direction. And we’ve come full circle.
But this is what I do know:
1. Retirement is coming, even if it’s not for a long time. So I need to be consistently saving for that. Sometimes, in my super quarter-life crisis-y moments, I think: watch, I’m going to save all this money and then lose it all right before I’m going to retire, or some tragedy will befall me and I won’t use the money after all. But then I remember that I can pull my contributions out of a Roth IRA at any time, and I get over my moments of anxiety
2. No matter what my future holds, life costs money. So I need to be saving for whatever future I decide to create for myself. I think this means that I’m going to roll all my savings into one big savings account with one big monthly contribution. That way, the pressure is off for the moment to make any real decisions about what I’m saving for, but the money will be waiting when I finally decide.
3. Worrying and obsessing about my money doesn’t help anything, so I need to make a final decision about how much I want to save every month and knock off the fretting.
How does that sound? Boy, what a way to start the weekend!