|I'm holding non-traditional Hello Kitty, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse hong bao I purchased in Flushing, Queens for Chinese New Year 2013, the year of the snake.|
While I always thought I was fiscally responsible when younger, I pale in comparison to CodeMonkey, who was so devoid of consumerist desire he handed every single red envelope to his parents, unopened. My in-laws, being sensible people, invested them on his behalf, and the money sat and grew until my father-in-law, impressed by my financial savvy, decided to reveal the existence of this account to us and offered to send the money along.
I confess that when this happened, my jaw nearly hit the floor. I asked my husband if he ever once considered spending all that money on toys, clothes, candy, ANYTHING, and he said he'd had everything he'd needed, so why would he? My husband is awesome.
This leaves us with the sort of problem most would kill to have. The money is enough to finish funding our Roth IRAs for this year, pay off the last of my student loan debt, and leave about $7,000 besides. We're trying to figure out what to do with that leftover money.
1. Add it to the emergency fund.
We have three months of expenses in there now; this would bump it up to about 5 months' worth.
2. Invest it in a taxable brokerage account.
We could invest this in another Vanguard taxable fund, since we've maxed out the IRA space for this year. Potentially we could move this into a Roth IRA come 2014.
3. Put it in checking and slowly draw it down while funding a 401k.
I become eligible for a 401k in August, after a year at my employer. We could then put 100% of my remaining 2013 pre-tax pay into the 401k, allowing us to maximize tax-advantaged saving space and slowly draw down the $7,000 to bridge the gap between CodeMonkey's income and our expenses until the money is gone, when we could reduce my 401k contribution.
4. Save for an apartment.
Every time I've run the numbers for our area it's been better for us to rent than buy, but maybe we should start saving up for some tangible property? $7,000 is hardly an adequate downpayment, but maybe it's a good way to start one.
Ok, not really at all. But I figured I might as well mention it as an option.
I'm typing this while sipping a Tall Chai Latte from Starbucks, which is the first sugared thing I've had since I announced my quitting. Not great, but this has to be the longest I've gone without sweetened food in months, if not years, so I'll chalk it up to a small victory. And I normally order a venti. Baby steps, I guess?