Five-Year Sketch

I know it’s incredible hubris to not only make plans but also write them down.  But I do want you to know what I’m thinking about when I talk about our anticipated financial transitions/upheaval.  I realize that our lives may not progress as this plan outlines.  I haven’t included dates or put a lot of stock in the listed order.  But these are the goals that we’re working toward within the next five-ish years.

Directly financial changes:

  • Kyle graduates and gets a job – his income increases 50 to 300% (postdoc would be more like 50%, real job more like 300%).
  • Emily graduates and gets a real job – my income increases 50 to 500% (huge range because of huge career uncertainty).
  • (Another possibility: graduating without a job!  Family income decreases 50% for either one of us.)

Financially impactful changes:

  • Move from North Carolina to southern California – huge cost-of-living increase.
  • Have a baby.
  • Buy a (starter) home.

We also want to leave open the possibility of me stopping work or going part-time for a while after giving birth.  This is something that we probably won’t decide on until the last moment so we want to prepare ourselves to have it as an option.  So we might experience these income spikes just to return to a similar level as where we started within a few years!

I may also occasionally write about the past transitions I have undergone:

  • Graduated from college (with loans) and got a (low-paying) job.
  • Entered graduate school (no change in income).
  • Was forced to give up a car-free lifestyle.
  • Threw a wedding (actually, two).
  • Got married.

Just to keep all this plan-making in perspective, Jorge Cham provides this pessimistic but plausible view – none of this may come to pass because we might never graduate!

Do you see any financial transitions on your horizon or have you been through any?  How did you prepare for or adapt to them?

comic by the venerable Jorge Cham

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Filed under: personal, transitions

3 Responses to "Five-Year Sketch"

  1. Leigh says:

    I am going to start looking for a condo to buy in a few months and hopefully will have bought a place by the end of the year. That’s my big financial goal for the year.

    Perhaps in 5-8 years, I would get married, however, I’m not in a relationship right now, so that’s not really something I should plan on specifically. After I buy a condo, I will probably put some small amounts of money away towards a down payment on a house, with the possibility of also using some of that money for a wedding – we’ll see.

    1. Emily says:

      Congratulations on your actionable plan to become a homeowner!
      Dual-purpose savings is rather necessary when the future is so uncertain. I love targeted savings so that bothers me a bit! If Kyle is able to stay in our city with his next job, I hope we can start our first true long-term targeted savings account, but it will be “Next Car or Home Down-Payment” (whichever comes first).

  2. […] budget will be in place until Kyle gets a new job/moves, which will be our first major financial transition since starting this blog.  We hope that will be in May 2013, but it could be a bit later if he […]

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