Saturday, October 08, 2005

And the fear sets in

Development of the Big Plan, which seriously needs a more catchy title, hit a big wall this morning. As I do on many Saturday mornings, I was sitting at the computer, paying bills and entering our mounds of receipts into MS Money. I was looking at the schedule of upcoming deposits when I realized what it would look like without my salary there. And what that looks like is grim. Darren's monthly salary does not even cover our mortgage. To look at it another way, with his salary we can pay pretty much everything else... but that still leaves a gaping hole where the mortgage payment goes.

That certainly puts things in perspective about how much money we need to have in the bank before I can quit my job -- six months of mortgage payments, maybe, plus a bit more? The good news is that if you add up all of our various savings accounts, we're only a couple thousand dollars away from that goal. The bad news, of course, is that those accounts represent all the money we have in the entire world (plus my 401k and a tiny little investment account). And that is a scary, scary feeling, especially with events like my sister's wedding, Darren's birthday, Jelly's tooth-cleaning (a $500 affair) and the holidays coming up... making opportunities for saving few and far between.

We're going to have to sit down and talk about how aggressive we are going to need to be about saving if this is going to happen. Back when we were planning to buy a house, we were hard-core about saving; due in part to a really lucrative freelance gig I had on top of my full-time job, plus all the hoarding we did, we came up with the down payment in a year or two. So I think we just need to come up with a similar goal -- a hard number -- and work toward it. Scary.