I wish it wasn’t all about retirement and debt

No, I get it. Retirement is the most important financial goal we have, even more so in the US, where investing is the main way to get there. And being over-your-head in debt is probably the biggest problem in this country, when it comes to personal finances. Continue reading

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Automate your finances

When I first arrived in the US, I read a lot about how banking and getting paid works. One thing that stood out was that most people in the US are paid on a different schedule than what I was used to. In France, you mostly get paid at the end of every month, so there is really no such thing as living paycheck to paycheck. Technically, sure, we do. But since we’re getting paid monthly, it aligns perfectly with having monthly living expenses, so it ends up being a non-issue. Continue reading

My financial situation : starting point

Here is my financial situation, as of May 2015.

  • Cash : $4,000. This includes my living expenses for this month, and short-term savings for scheduled living expenses this year (sinking fund).
  • Emergency Fund : $7,100. In a savings account. Ideally, it should be at least $12,000, but my down payment fund can totally double as an EF as long as I’m not buying a home.
  • Down Payment fund : $11,500. Part of it is in my Roth IRA, which I maxed out for the year, and the rest in a classic savings account.
  • Retirement savings : $50,800 in my 401(k).
  • Other Assets : $0. Well, I do have a (paid off) car, which I think is worth ~ $10,000, but I don’t consider it an asset any more than, say, my computer or my couch.
  • Debt : $0. No credit card balance, no car loan, nothing.

Net worth as of 04/30/2015 : $76,606.

Overall, given that I’m already 40, this seems pretty bleak. When it comes to savings and assets, I have nothing to say in my own defense. When it comes to retirement savings, keep in mind I’ve only been in the US for 3 years and a few months, so that’s not so bad after all. Right ?

Welcome to my new blog !

I’ve decided to create this blog for several reasons. First, I want a space where I can document my personal financial journey, so I can keep on track and, hopefully, get some opinions from other people. The second reason is that I had a ton of questions when I started planning my expatriation to the US, and it was harder than expected to find good guidance. So I want to share my experience, so other prospective US immigrants can find some of these answers.

Welcome !