The Five Year Plan

The other night J and I had The Talk. Where are we going? What do you see yourself doing this time next year? Where do we see us in the next few years?

You know the one.

Both of us agree that we’re committed to each other and want it to work. And it’s been understood since the beginning of our relationship that marriage was something both of us eventually wanted. Since J graduates in December from undergrad, this was a topic we eventually needed to discuss. Both of us agreed that since we have been long distance ever since dating, we should try to live in the same town for at least six months before making any big decisions.

I plan on renewing my apartment in August and working at my company for at least another year. He mentioned finding a job near me in January. Or staying and getting his masters. He hadn’t mentioned it before, but he shared how he would really like to go to grad school. While it would be a possible set-back for us, it may be more beneficial in the long-run. I could stay here after my lease runs out, or go live near wherever he ends up. Who knows. Stupid long-distance!

I wish I could schedule “get a raise,” or “get engaged” like it was a hair appointment. But I guess those things are always much better surprise events anyway. J on the other hand is perfectly content with having this month planned and that’s it. One of many differences between the two of us.

So to make up for my lack of personal direction, here is a semi-plan for what I’d like my financial life to look like in the next five years….

2009 – Pay off Debt
Right now my priority is to get this debt paid off ASAP. I will have only $3,200 left to pay off in December. I will also continue to contribute towards my wedding fund and should accumulate a minimum of $2,860 by the end of year.

2010 – Pay off Debt & Save for Wedding
Jan to June: Debt should be paid off in June, assuming I get $0 in tax refund, $0 bonus, and no raise. After debt is paid off, I want to open a Roth IRA and begin to contribute the annual minimum of $5,000 per year.

July: Get intense with Wedding fund. I should reach my goal of $5K by September. I have no idea if or when I’d get married, but assuming it’s not 2010, I will continue to contribute the rest of this year with approximately $7,000 by December.

2011 – Emergency Fund #2
After wedding fund is sufficient enough, I will start to tackle my Emergency Fund, while continuing to contribute $5K per year to the Roth IRA. Right now I have $1000 in my EF and I’d love for it to be at a minimum of $6,000. That shouldn’t take very long to accomplish. Once that is achieved, the next goal will be $12,000.

2012 – Emergency Fund #3
If my “dream” plan ends up happening, I would be married by this point. If I end up marrying J, I know that he has some student loans, so paying those off would become priority. But otherwise, I want to continue to beef up the EF fund until it has reached $12,000 and also continue to contribute $5K to the Roth IRA and increase 401(k) percent with each raise.

2013 – House Deposit
I will be turning 28 years old this year and goodness knows what I will be doing at this point. The next goal would be to save for a house deposit. Perhaps this can happen earlier, but after my debt has been paid, my wedding is funded, my emergency fund is around $12K, I would like to save and buy a home!

I am sure the future me will look back on this timeline and laugh at my silly plan. But it’s nice to have some tangible targets in the future to keep me on task today. Have a great weekend!

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  • Long distance can be such a challenge! We had a lot of it (on and off) throughout our 4.5 year relationship… but now, after living in the same city full time for about a year, we are finally engaged! There were a lot of choices made that were harder in the short term, but better in the long run. It sounds like you two are in a similar stage.

    I recently tried to make a five year plan, but after 6-12 months out, it got vague. It’s hard!

  • Congrats on having the talk and being on a similar page! That’s a big step in and of itself, regardless of what the details are. =)

    You’re making me wonder if I could figure out a 5-year plan. But seeing as I just signed today a lease that will keep me in my apartment for the next two and a half years (till Aug 2011), I suppose I really only need a “plan” for the time AFTER that. ;)

  • Oh man, I wish I schedule stuff like an engagement in my planner! My bf and I are in the same situation. We aren’t super long distance but enough to make it difficult. On top of that he’s now talking about doing away rotations in his 4th year of medical school…I’m like, “do I stay where I am, with my current jobs??” “do I move to his city and hope I find employment and we could live together-except fro when he’s away on his rotations??”

    My bf also believes in taking it one day at a time and it drives me nuts sometimes!

    However, having the talk is a big step and just knowing we got to that point makes me feel better eventhough there are STILL a lot of unanswered questions!