I'm brand new at this and a little nervous about finally (at age 48) trying to gain some financial control over my future - can someone please tell me if you think I'm on the right track? Having never intentionally saved a penny in my life and spent most of it in debt to Visa, etc., I'm now down to only $2,200 in credit card debt, with my only other debt being a new $5,700 car loan at 8%, $177/month, 3 years. New (small, inexpensive) car, big down payment courtesy of my father who was worried about the 12 year old car I was driving. I'm also receiving around $4,000 next month from the same source, then no more. The only retirement savings I have is a SEP IRA through my job, with approx. $800 each in two mutual funds, one doing well and one not so well. My plan is this: Pay off the credit cards completely (which I've already cancelled myself), leaving $1,800. Take the $800 from the poor performing mutual fund, combine it with $1,200 from the $1,800, and begin a Roth IRA through Vanguard 500 for 1998. This leaves $600. I'm not sure whether to start a Money Market account or some sort of savings for emergencies with the $600, or put it toward the car loan to speed up my goal of being completely out of debt. I have no money in any type of savings account, CD, etc. I already plan to pay $200/month for car payment to save a little interest, as well as setting up a direct withdrawal from checking account each month for Roth for 1999, and a direct withdrawal from checking to begin some sort of savings. On a secretary's salary, I can't save a lot, but feel like I'd better start doing something quick if I don't want to spend my golden years eating catfood, or worse. Can someone tell me if I'm missing something I should do here, or if I'm at least heading in the right direction? Thanks for any help.
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