Monday, January 09, 2006

My new year's resolution

Seems a little bit late to think about the new year's resolution nine days after the new year. But it's still better than not to think about it.

1. Buy a house
We have been looking for a house since last May. Extended several offers but didn't finalize the transaction for various reasons. Now the housing market is cooling down while the interest rate is moving upward. It's really tough for us to decide when we should enter the real estate market and what price is reasonable.

2. Maximize 401k
Last year we made a big contribution into 401k out of our last month's pay check in order to catch the maximum limit. Luckily the stock market was in its yearly low on the day of contribution about it was in a high position? It was really risky not to plan ahead. So this year we still want to maximize our 401k contribution and will adjust the contribution wisely.

3. Open a Roth IRA account
We didn't buy a house last year, which allows more time for us to save for the downpayment. Since we already have enough money to pay 20% downpayment for the price range of the houses we are planning to buy, we can put the extra savings to the retirement account and save all the investment for the future. Even if we need some unexpected fund, we can still cash out our contributions.

4. Monitor credit report every 4 months
Now that the residents in New York are allowed to receive their credit report every year, we can take this opportunity to request a credit report from one of the three credit bureaus every 4 months.

5. Replace current cell phone plan with a prepaid plan
The contract of our cell phone plan will end in Feb. After checking the monthly usage, I found it was really a waste of money for us to carry the current contract. The prepaid plan may be the better choice for us. Still doing a research on that and will try to find a good deal in the next two months.

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