No. of Recommendations: 2
I calculated before coffee so my answer was wrong-looks like it's actually 6 figures. Where these kinds of questions flummox me is that we're both vested in our local retirement system and I never know whether to use the balance of what we paid in (what we would pull out if we left that system) towards assets. It doesn't "spend" like assets--the pension income we would get off what we've paid in exceeds what we would get if we just drew from it like a savings account.

Personally, I gauge how we're doing by how much we'd have to liquidate to wipe out all debt: mortgage, cc balance (we've got about $2000 in CC balance from paying our taxes with our CC for the rewards, and owe about $4000 on two car loans and a home equity loan). Our MM account could knock out that debt with plenty left over, and we're almost at the point where our investment acct could wipe out our two mortgages.

DH (and me, to a lesser extent) get more peace of mind from seeing the balance in our accounts than from being debt-free. It feels better to aggressively pay off CC balances from tightening up our monthly expenses and paying it off out of income than to pull from savings, the exception being if it's a "fun" purchase (if we charge plane tickets, etc. we pay that immediately out of our travel account). If we buy a new appliance, or get major repairs done, we do pull that out of our MM account.

In the same vein, we'll put money in savings accounts religiously, even if there's a CC balance. Our need to see those accounts increase is stronger than the need to save $140 or so a year.

And in the back of my mind, there's the fact that my car is over 140K, so keeping enough our MM acct so that we could buy a replacement car in cash is important to us.

Not real rational, probably, but it works for us.

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