Last weekend I made a trip to Vegas with my friends. We were there for a friends birthday, and it was also a tradition for us to go to EVO, a gaming tournament. I noticed the different kinds of conversations my friends and I were having. Of course we were talking about girls, but now that we’ve almost all graduated, we’ve started to talk about our financial lives as well. Despite the fact that we were in Las Vegas, my friends are actually making smart decisions with where to put their money. They talked about stocks, IRAs, and what they wanted to do with their careers. Although all of us were making moves to get our finances in order, all of us had different problems. Some had to repay money while others didn’t know where to put the money they have. It was surprising to observe all this, seeing just how much that year after graduation had changed our conversations and concerns.
Being in the Real Money community, I had spent quite a bit more time thinking about my finances. I was tracking my spending throughout the past few months, and I was noticing how this trip was really adding up. I remember getting up before anyone else in the hotel, worried about how much money I was spending on the whole trip. I grabbed a pen and pad and started to do a little math. I began thinking about the money I spent in terms of the amount of time it’d take for me to make it – if I spent $600 for this three day trip, was it really worth working 2-3 weeks for? While I can’t say I regret it (it was fun after all), I’m glad this kind of thing only happens once a year.
What I walked away with from that trip was that I should at least set up a ROTH IRA. I didn’t think I’d be starting a ROTH IRA this early. Although I knew I had to invest money eventually, I really didn’t think gardening with my dad 2-3 times/week was going to cut it. I thought I was going to have to make a big time salary to start doing that. But here I am, looking at the best options for where to put my money for my retirement.
While going through the process of trying to pick the right ROTH IRA account for me, I decided to spend as little time on it as possible. I didn’t want to be rash, I just wanted to get started and move on. Some of you might be familiar with Ramit Sethi’s book I Will Teach You To Be Rich, it’s a highly respected book in the world of personal finance. Well, when deciding where to open my account, I just went with his recommendations of T Rowe Price because of their low start-up costs and fees. Simple. I didn’t really put much more thought into it – I just wanted an account that would be automated and wouldn’t cost much to start.