Hi David, I just finished reading your book and came away with a plan. The following is what my wife and I have already have done and made automatic. My wife is 40 and I am 39. We have three boys 8,5 and 18 months.
1. Fall of 2003 we moved into our new house with the proceeds of the old house paying off about $40K in credit card and loan debt. By the end of May 2004 we will have accomplished paying the remainder $1500 in debt off leaving just a car payment and mortgage. (Mortgage payment is over $1,900 a month and the car payment is $250.00).
2. We don’t buy extravagant things and hardly entertain. The debt was the result of myself losing four jobs in a row over the span of years.We still needed to buy the essentials and alike so we charged and charged.
3. We both contribute to our 401K plans about 10% each. That’s about a total of $1,000 a month. $12K a year. We currently have about $32K in our plan and hope to retire comfortably at 65 maybe sooner. Yes, we do this automatically. We also changed our exemptions so we don’t have too much
money taken out. Over the last few years we were averaging $3K in refund so we thought it would be better for us to have the money then the Gov’t and invest it.
4. There are only two things left that I would like to accomplish before the year is out. A Roth IRA which I started and stopped and a money market account for a rainy day. We have a checking out that is for bills and such but nothing in a savings account. What do you think of putting $50.00 a month away $25.00 for each account a month? I hope we are on the right track after years and years of just making it I see the light at the end of the tunnel.