A: It's my favorite candy bar.
B: Doesn't it sound flashier and more exciting than trying to save $10k?
C: I'm not sure if "100 large" means $100,000 or $1,000,000 and that extra zero is important.
D: It'll be fun.
I love New Year's. It's my second favorite holiday after Thanksgiving. I don't care about the fanfare, the drinking, or even the kiss at the stroke of midnight. (Okay, I DO care about the kiss. But since I get to kiss Mr. Foxypants any time I want, the kiss on New Year's is no better than a kiss on Lincoln's Birthday or Administrative Professionals' Day. But I digress). My very favorite aspect of New Year's is the "do-over." Did I get fat this year? Watch too much television? Keep an untidy house? Well, on New Year's it doesn't matter what I did LAST year. I get to wipe the slate clean and start all fresh and new. I have 365 days to do brilliant things with my life, achieve all sorts of ridiculously difficult goals...like putting $100,000 into a savings account for retirement.
I've been thinking and talking about this idea for a few months now and the general consensus appears to be: I'm nuts. But you know, all my best ideas involving self-improvement are harebrained ones. Here are some greatest hits:
•November 1, 2001--I resolve to "Get rid of 10 things a day." My once messy, now tidy house thanks me.
•New Year's Resolution 2002--aka "Meet you there!" In an effort to stop being such a depressed shut-in after the breakup of a long term relationship I decide that my answer to ANY invitation, regardless of how stupid, will be "Meet you there." Amazing hijinks ensue.
•January 7, 2006--I join The Compact and agree to "not buy anything new for one calendar year." Two years later, I'm still a member.
•Last year, I decided to find out if nice guys really do finish last by resolving to commit a selfless act of kindness every day for the entire year. Toward the end of the year I realized that my attempts at true altruism had not only resulted in
1. me (via charitable giving) being able to downsize my material possessions by 85% with no feelings of deprivation or guilt
2. an influx of incredible people into my circle of friends
3. me earning $99,905, which was much more than I anticipated making.
Unlike everyone else I know, 2007 was a great year for me financially. But watching others crash and burn around me as the market fell apart forced me to take a hard look at my money, which is something I've avoided doing, because I'm that immature.
I have no money saved for retirement.
(Well, that's not 100% true. I have IRAs that hold the meager contents of my former 401k plans, and a few funds that were eviscerated in October. But really, if I add up everything and add 4% interest for the next 20 years, I'm looking at retirement savings of about a quarter of a million dollars. Which wouldn't be all the terrible, except for the fact that people in my family generally live to see 100).
So this year, 2009, I resolve to put $100,000 into savings. Did I mention that I made $99,905 before taxes in 2008? Okay. I thought so. But $100,000 really isn't that much, right? That's only $8333.33 per month or $273.97 per day.
It's the first of the year and a holiday, so my fund manager isn't around to open up a new retirement account for me. Which is annoying, because I really want to start a savings account TODAY as my New Year's resolution, not as my January 2, 2009 resolution. This might come as a surprise, but I'm kind of a tweaker about symbolism and crap like that. Luckily for me, while poking around on the Vanguard website, I come across an IRA that I thought I'd rolled into something else in 2004. So, I don't have to open an account. I can just use this old one until I max out the contribution at $5000. Hooray for lousy bookkeeping!
There's a little money still in the account that has been accruing interest for the last four years. At the close of yesterday, the balance of the account was $273.97.