Pay off Debt or Save for Retirement?

Pay off debt or save for retirement is like picking between Team Britney or Team Christina. (Young GMD was Team Britney but Current GMD is Team Christina in case anyone was curious!)

Luckily, when it comes to this common personal finance dilemma you don’t have to choose one or the other because GMD says you can pay off debt and save for retirement all at the same time! Win-win!

Longtime readers will know that since I started this debt repayment journey back in December 2012, I have been putting ALL my extra money (after bills have been paid and minimal money set aside “to live”) towards debt repayment. I don’t have a high income but because I’m so aggressive with my debt repayment I was able to reduce my original $58,000 debt by $18,000! Side rant: I’ve had nosy extra curious readers accused me of not being truthful about my debt repayment because they think that my fiancé J has been helping me with my payments so technically I didn’t pay $18k. I will clear this up now once and for all. J and I do not have combined finances of any sort. That $18,000 was all me! This blog isn’t Girl and Fiancé Meets Debt. It’s Girl Meets Debt. Thank you. End rant.

$18k towards debt in one year meant I had no savings sitting in an Emergency Fund but any “spare change” I had kicking around did go into a retirement savings account.

I remember the day I opened that retirement savings account back in January 2013 – it was the second best financial decision I have ever made for myself. The first of course  was realizing I was a financial idiot and had to stop avoiding my debt like a bad ex boyfriend.

Since I’ve opened that retirement savings account, I haven’t really talked or thought much about it because honestly it was like watching paint dry - that’s how slowly the balance was building up.

This morning I checked my online bank account to make an extra payment (booyah!) towards my debt and saw that my retirement savings had finally reached a 4 digit number! :D

I can’t tell you how AWESOME this feels. This just goes to show that every little penny does count. Compound interest is a beautiful thing.

Within the next few months, I’m going to do crazy things like investing that retirement savings and I can’t wait to blog about it! Right now I’m just doing some research, educating myself to see what investments I feel comfortable with.

How do you feel about the great pay off debt or save for retirement debate? And more importantly, are you Team Brit-Brit or Team Xtina? :)

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85 Comments on Pay off Debt or Save for Retirement?

  1. Kendal @HassleFreeSavingsNo Gravatar
    January 15, 2014 at 2:58 pm (3 months ago)

    I’ve always heard that it’s best to fund both — debt repayment and retirement account — and I agree with that logic. I understand the temptation to put every dime toward debt and transition to retirement once it pays off, but ultimately retirement dollars MAKE you money while debt repayment does not. Team Xtina all the way…;)

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 15, 2014 at 4:12 pm (3 months ago)

      Time and compound interest is a beautiful thing. 1 more for Team Xtina!

      Reply
  2. KristaNo Gravatar
    January 15, 2014 at 3:02 pm (3 months ago)

    I was completely Team Britney having developed an obsession with her ‘soda pop’ song off of the Sabrina the Teenage Witch soundtrack in elementary school. Now about the retirement vs. loans debate, I would say we put our priorities in about the same place, and I would echo that both are important. Even when you’re only putting minimal amounts into your retirement account you’ll look back one day and be able to calculate how much you would’ve missed out on had you not started this year and pat yourself on the back. As most finance people will tell you time is more important than dollar amount when it comes to retirement and if you can tack on 3 or 4 years of minimal payments to the overall retirement scope – you’re winning.

    Nice job on 18k! That’s incredible in one year.

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 15, 2014 at 4:18 pm (3 months ago)

      Thanks Krista! Right now, I am putting less than minimal into my retirement savings account but I know I will be thankful that I got an earlyish start once my full debt is paid off in another 2-3 years and I am not starting at zero for retirement. Britney’s first album was such a pop classic. I remember that Soda Pop song. My favorite song was Sometimes :)

      Reply
  3. Stephanie @ Six Figures UnderNo Gravatar
    January 15, 2014 at 3:04 pm (3 months ago)

    Ever since starting law school, we haven’t contributed toward our retirement because we’re throwing everything at our hefty debt. For us, focusing intensely on one goal at a time is the way we are seeing real progress. We haven’t taken anything out of retirement to pay off debt, so that’s got to count for something!

    There is a possibility of my husbands employer matching contributions (now that he’s been there officially for a year), which may tempt us to contribute toward retirement in the near future. We’ll see!

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 15, 2014 at 4:40 pm (3 months ago)

      If your husband’s employer matches contributions I would contribute Stephanie! I mean it’s basically “free” money being given to you!

      Reply
  4. AliciaNo Gravatar
    January 15, 2014 at 3:20 pm (3 months ago)

    Congrats on reaching four figures! I definitely agree about the retirement saving at the same as debt repayment, especially if it’s a long-ish debt repayment schedule.

    That being said I do not currently contribute to retirement savings for a number if factors. One being that I have $1,000 sitting in an investment account so I can learn a bit about investing. Two, that $100/month I was saving is better on debt. I also have a large emergency fund. Three, I have a promotion starting shortly, (hopefully!) that will take a mandatory 5% off my pay-cheque, so may as well throw that 5% on my debt while I can still access it in my account.

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 15, 2014 at 8:41 pm (3 months ago)

      This is the beauty of personal finance. It’s so personal. ;)

      Reply
  5. Michelle's Finance JournalNo Gravatar
    January 15, 2014 at 3:28 pm (3 months ago)

    I’m doing both, but I’ve been doing minimal in my retirement savings. Little over the company match amount, which isn’t much. But I’m going to slowly increase it this year since they’re offering Roth 401 k at our company this year.

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 15, 2014 at 8:44 pm (3 months ago)

      i think it’s awesome you are contributing above the company match Michelle! I wish my company offered the matching option!

      Reply
  6. LNo Gravatar
    January 15, 2014 at 4:35 pm (3 months ago)

    I remember feeling so happy when my RRSPs hit 4 digits, way to go!!!

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 15, 2014 at 8:45 pm (3 months ago)

      Thanks L!

      Reply
  7. KayNo Gravatar
    January 15, 2014 at 5:18 pm (3 months ago)

    First of all, I’m team Britney. Secondly, congratulations on conquering so much of that debt in this past year. I think it is great that you started saving something for retirement too, because that is so important. And when you start young like you are, you have time on your side to keep compounding those returns. What sort of a retirement savings vehicle are you in right now?

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 15, 2014 at 8:52 pm (3 months ago)

      I’m not young anymore Kay – I’m actually a 30 year old Girl, but I rather be an already late 30 year old then too late 31 year old starting to save for retirement. ;) Right now my retirements savings are just sitting in a TFSA (Tax-Free Savings Account) but I’m going to move them into some investments very soon. I just need to do some more research first!

      Reply
  8. Laurie @thefrugalfarmerNo Gravatar
    January 15, 2014 at 5:19 pm (3 months ago)

    Ok, I have to say that I’m stunned (but then again, not so stunned) that people would actually accuse you of lying about your debt payoff. The nerve!!!!!!!!!! We do have some socked away for retirement, so we’re putting everything toward debt payoff right now. And as far as team Brit-brit or team Xtina, well, I’m just a tad older than you, so in my case it would be more like team Van Halen or team AC/DC, in which case I’m definitely a team Van Halen girl. :-)

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 15, 2014 at 8:57 pm (3 months ago)

      Truthfully I wasn’t too surprised about people accusing me of being less than honest with my debt repayment. It’s the internet. Trolls love to judge. :P Hmmm I’m not sure who Van Halen is but I do like me some AC/DC!

      Reply
  9. Janine @ MoneySmartGuidesNo Gravatar
    January 15, 2014 at 5:46 pm (3 months ago)

    I had a similar struggle – whether to attack my student loans or invest in my retirement. Luckily when I graduated college, I started some funds for myself and had some money built up. SO happy I did that because after a few years it’s really built up, and that will make a difference over time. So ultimately I did just attack my debt, but am now back to contributing regularly to my retirement funds. I’m almost in the 5 digits woohoo!

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 15, 2014 at 8:59 pm (3 months ago)

      Wow. Congrats on being almost in the 5 digit! I can’t wait for that to be me someday! :)

      Reply
  10. AshleyNo Gravatar
    January 15, 2014 at 6:59 pm (3 months ago)

    Team Brit Brit all the way!

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 15, 2014 at 9:00 pm (3 months ago)

      I will always have a soft spot for Brit-Brit. She taught me all my fancy dance moves when I was a teenager!

      Reply
  11. annaNo Gravatar
    January 15, 2014 at 7:04 pm (3 months ago)

    Yay for the four digit balance!! I agree a hybrid of paying down debt and saving for the future is a great balance, so proud of you, girl! I love Xtina’s voice, but Brit’s songs are so much more catchy. I still play “Toxic” on almost all long runs :)

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 15, 2014 at 9:01 pm (3 months ago)

      Brit’s songs are much more catchy. But I think it’s because I’m no longer the dancing in the nightclub GMD but sitting at home watching The Voice GMD that I’ve converted. ;)

      Reply
  12. DebbyNo Gravatar
    January 15, 2014 at 7:27 pm (3 months ago)

    Christina has always been my favorite – she was such an underdog back when the genie was still in it’s bottle :)
    as for debt vs retirement, I try to to both as well… I want to get out of debt, and stay there when ‘later’ arrives.

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 15, 2014 at 9:04 pm (3 months ago)

      Christina was SO the underdog back in the day eh? It’s funny how the underdog comes out on top all the time!

      Reply
  13. Charles@gettingarichlifeNo Gravatar
    January 15, 2014 at 8:16 pm (3 months ago)

    Depends on your interest rate and matching. If you have a match always get that first. If the interest rate is 5% or less than do both. If it’s CC over 10% that should be your focus

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 15, 2014 at 9:06 pm (3 months ago)

      Luckily I no longer have CC debt. Even more lucky, my massive student loans are currently on interest relief. :)

      Reply
  14. Dear DebtNo Gravatar
    January 15, 2014 at 8:23 pm (3 months ago)

    Wow, some people are all up in the kool aid! Sheesh. I commend you for paying off what you did and starting a retirement account. That is awesome! My retirement is at a measly $1400, but it’s 4 digits and it’s something. But I put $200 in it like 3 years ago, so it’s kind of ridiculous how slow it’s gone up. Now I’m contributing $50 per month, while also aggressively paying off debt. I’m Team Xtina, because that song ‘Beautiful’ just gets me every time. My friends make fun of me because I cry to a lot of songs and that is one of them. LOL. I’m not ashamed (ok, maybe I am).

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 15, 2014 at 9:09 pm (3 months ago)

      4 digits IS something Girl! I know I’m proud of my new 4 digit number! :) No shame in crying because that ‘Beautiful’ song really is beautiful. Christina sings with so much emotion!

      Reply
  15. GinaNo Gravatar
    January 15, 2014 at 8:41 pm (3 months ago)

    Right now I’m Team Britney, but I’m sure that once I’ve paid off at least half of my debt, I’ll switch to Team Christina. ;)

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 15, 2014 at 9:10 pm (3 months ago)

      I’m fickle too. I go back and forth between the 2 pop stars all the time. :P

      Reply
  16. VNo Gravatar
    January 15, 2014 at 9:41 pm (3 months ago)

    Our employer has a mandatory 5% contribution requirement that it is matched and vested immediately. I think it’s great because it forces people to save before they even get the money and because it’s mandatory it doesn’t count against the voluntary limit so you can actually save more a year tax free than you would be able to otherwise.

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 16, 2014 at 9:59 am (3 months ago)

      I wished my employer had a mandatory 5% contribution and match! That’s awesome!

      Reply
  17. moneystepperNo Gravatar
    January 15, 2014 at 11:15 pm (3 months ago)

    If you employer matches your contribution, save for retirement. Due to the 100% matched money, you would need to be paying VERY large interest rates to make it worthwhile paying down the debt.

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 16, 2014 at 10:01 am (3 months ago)

      I have no employer match but I am lucky to have my $40k student loan currently on interest relief.

      Reply
  18. CassieNo Gravatar
    January 15, 2014 at 11:30 pm (3 months ago)

    Oh, I was definitely team Britney when I was younger. On another note, CONGRATULATIONS on hitting 4 figures in your retirement account! Just think, in a couple years your debt will be 4 figures and your retirement savings will be 5 figures! And trust me, once the debt hits the low 4 figures, it disappears quickly ;)

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 16, 2014 at 10:03 am (3 months ago)

      I can’t wait till the day my debt is 4 figures and my retirement savings is 5 figures!!! I’m just bursting with excitement thinking about it! :)

      Reply
  19. Hayley @ A Disease Called DebtNo Gravatar
    January 16, 2014 at 2:12 am (3 months ago)

    I’ve been thinking about this debate for some time now especially as I don’t have a lot put aside by way of retirement currently (a rental property which is mortgaged to the hilt!). What you said on my blog about ‘paying yourself first’ rings true to me and I’m planning to open a savings account this month for retirement savings as well as continuing to hammer the debt as much as possible! It won’t be much that I can put away, but it’ll be something!

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 16, 2014 at 10:04 am (3 months ago)

      Something is ALWAYS better than nothing Hayley. :)

      Reply
  20. Maggie OwenNo Gravatar
    January 16, 2014 at 2:46 am (3 months ago)

    Congratulations on almost reaching the 4 digit number, that’s fantastic! And for paying that much of your debt off, really inspirational well done :) Its so easy to bury your head under the sand about retirement funds, but otherwise we’ll have to end up borrowing more/panicking at a later age. The way you’ve done it is really good – great post! Look forward to reading some more of yours

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 16, 2014 at 10:08 am (3 months ago)

      Thank you Maggie! I hope you continue reading! :)

      Reply
  21. celesteNo Gravatar
    January 16, 2014 at 4:03 am (3 months ago)

    I think it’s fabulous about your retirement account. You have to start somewhere and somewhere is better than no where.

    I also have a 401k through work. Last January I finally started putting 5% of my income in it and my boss has a match. I think this summer I will be there long enough that my match will increase. I don’t check my balance all that often but last time I saw that it was 4 digits. I was like holly wow! Of course the boss contribution helps because I average about 60 to 70 bucks going in myself.

    Keep up the great work, Wendy! I know J couldn’t be giving you a leg up, I’ve read his blog and I think he would want you to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 16, 2014 at 10:12 am (3 months ago)

      I actually don’t have an employer match. That 4 digit number was one year in the making through all my “spare change.” Ohhh J is all about me enjoying the fruits of my labor. :P To be honest if we were both attacking my debt, it would be much much lower by now but he has other financial responsibilities. Plus I got myself into this mess, I’m determined to get out myself.

      Reply
  22. JordannNo Gravatar
    January 16, 2014 at 5:19 am (3 months ago)

    I definitely did not save for retirement when I was in debt, BUT I was only in debt for under two years and I’m only 24, so in my mind, I still had plenty of time. I think that anyone over the age of 27 should do both, simply because you’re really starting to miss out on the wonders of compound interest if you wait any longer than that.

    Congrats of hitting 4 digits! I’m still not there with my retirement accounts but I plan to be there this month.

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 16, 2014 at 10:21 am (3 months ago)

      Talking to you always makes me feel so old Jordann! :P Congrats on having your retirement savings account hit the 4 digit this month too!

      Reply
  23. Kali @ CommonSenseMillennialNo Gravatar
    January 16, 2014 at 5:21 am (3 months ago)

    Congratulations on hitting that milestone with your retirement nest egg! It will be up to 5 figures before you know it – like you said, compound interest is an AMAZING thing. Even though I know how powerful it is, I’m always floored when I look at the math and see how even if you put in a few pennies at a time, starting now will still net you more in the end than waiting for years and putting in considerably more later. Again, congrats on building that wealth AND paying off your debt. You’re doing awesome!

    But I can’t believe people would really question whether or not you were doing it by yourself! Just gotta ignore people like that and keep on keepin’ on. Haters gonna hate :D

    (Oh! And I guess I’m lame but I’m not really Team Britney OR Xtina.. growing up my favorite band was The Beatles. I was one with-the-times middle schooler, let me tell you.)

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 16, 2014 at 10:28 am (3 months ago)

      I’m floored just by looking at my balance LOL! That’s proof of compound interest right there! I wasn’t too surprised by the troll’s comment. Even early on in my blogging days, I had haters hating. They must be jealous of the cute avatar. :P The Beatles are a classic my dear! So even back then, you were wise beyond your years!

      Reply
  24. Shannon @ Financially BlondeNo Gravatar
    January 16, 2014 at 6:36 am (3 months ago)

    If I have extra money, I figure out the best use of that money. If the interest rate on the debt is 7% or lower, then I know I can earn more by investing it, so I would rather invest it in either retirement or “life savings” I call it. And I am definitely Team Brit-Brit. Especially after that awful meltdown she had and how she has come back. Gotta love a woman fighter!

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 16, 2014 at 10:30 am (3 months ago)

      I will always have a soft spot for Brit-Brit and wanting her to “win”. I just wish she didn’t look so dazed and confused all the time. You just want to hug her and tell her it’s going to be OK!

      Reply
  25. Holly@ClubThriftyNo Gravatar
    January 16, 2014 at 6:36 am (3 months ago)

    Why would people accuse you of not really paying off your debt? Weird!

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 16, 2014 at 10:31 am (3 months ago)

      It is weird! But then again, the internet loves to spew negativity!

      Reply
  26. EmilyNo Gravatar
    January 16, 2014 at 7:02 am (3 months ago)

    Oh man, I didn’t even think about retirement savings until I started my current job almost two years ago. My employer offers a 1% match on my monthly investment, not the greatest but its something and I’ve watched it really start to add up thanks to the magic of compounding interest. I’m throwing most of my money towards paying off my student loan debt ($7800 left!) aside from the small percentage that goes towards retirement every month. I’m 26 and feel like I have a good start towards preparing for the future. Oh, and I’m on team Christina although I will always have a soft spot for Brit for making a comeback from her breakdown. :)

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 16, 2014 at 10:57 am (3 months ago)

      It sounds like you have a very good start preparing for your future Emily! Good luck (although it doesn’t sound like you will need it!) with the remaining $7800! Another 1 for Team Christina but soft spot for Brit-Brit!

      Reply
  27. Amanda @ Passionately Simple LifeNo Gravatar
    January 16, 2014 at 7:18 am (3 months ago)

    Congrats on the 4 digit retirement account! I’m a firm believer in trying to find a healthy balance between the two. They are both important for a healthy and happy future you. Can’t wait to hear how you invest your retirement savings!

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 16, 2014 at 11:00 am (3 months ago)

      “They are both important for a healthy and happy future you” – couldn’t have said it better myself :)

      Reply
  28. PetrishNo Gravatar
    January 16, 2014 at 7:36 am (3 months ago)

    I currently contribute about $550.00 a month between my retirement fund and my Roth IRA. I was tempted to stop the contribution and pay it towards my debts, but I just couldn’t. Thanks for this post. Before I embarked on the debt free bus, I did a lot of reading, and against most advice I decided that I was going to pay off my debts and continue to save. Trust me, I am too fabulous to rely on other people to make ends meet. I want to be able to give back and travel. Another thing, don’t worry about the haters, they are just jealous. Stay true to yourself, and keep doing what your doing. Anyway, the last time I checked, when your boyfriend pays your bills that is called residual income. Lol!

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 16, 2014 at 11:02 am (3 months ago)

      Wow. $550 a month towards savings/retirement is awesome Petrish! “I am too fabulous to rely on other people to make ends meet.” Even though I am getting married soon I couldn’t agree more with this fabulous statement. ;)

      Reply
  29. Done by FortyNo Gravatar
    January 16, 2014 at 8:21 am (3 months ago)

    Being a Yinzer, I have to pull for Christina, as she’s a Pittsburgh girl.

    Our history has made us big proponents of paying off debt first. That said, if I had it to do over, I would have invested way more instead of paying down debt, like our mortgage. Investing has the potential to be much better for the bottom line. And the longer a timeframe we’re talking about, the more likely it’s the better option (unless we’re talking about paying off very high interest debt, like CC debt).

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 16, 2014 at 11:05 am (3 months ago)

      Another one for Team Christina! I no longer have CC debt but my student loan debt is too big to put on the backburner… I just want to be debt-free like yesterday. :)

      Reply
  30. Shannon @ The Heavy PurseNo Gravatar
    January 16, 2014 at 11:26 am (3 months ago)

    I’m with you! You can do both. Understandably if you have significant consumer debt, you may be throwing bigger payments at your debt than your retirement. But you can and should try to do both. Time is your best friend when it comes to investing and even though the amount may seem small, it will grow. I’m pleading the 5th on Team Britney or Christina. The girls would tell me which one to choose, but then again they would probably pick One Direction. :)

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 16, 2014 at 11:36 am (3 months ago)

      Both seems to be the general consensus. Pleading the 5th on Team Brit-Brit or Xtina? Ahhh that’s no fun Shannon! :P

      Reply
  31. Tonya@Budget and the BeachNo Gravatar
    January 16, 2014 at 12:52 pm (3 months ago)

    I think I like/dislike them both equally! Xtina and Brit, not debt versus retirement savings. :) I think it depends on the interest situation. If you’re paying more in interest in credit cards then get to it, if not, put some towards retirement.

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 16, 2014 at 1:18 pm (3 months ago)

      Bahahaha I laughed so hard at the like/dislike Xtina and Brit both equally remark. :P

      Reply
  32. SteveNo Gravatar
    January 16, 2014 at 12:56 pm (3 months ago)

    I can’t say I know where I stand between Brittany and Christina.

    But I do stand in the debt first camp! Burn that sucker down and then, like Brittany likes to say, “you want that Maserati? you better work b*tch”!

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 16, 2014 at 1:20 pm (3 months ago)

      Now that is a comment that my forever teeny bopper side likes! :)

      Reply
  33. Newlyweds on a BudgetNo Gravatar
    January 16, 2014 at 1:49 pm (3 months ago)

    I’m all about doing both at the same time. I had a 401k since my first real job back when I was 22 and fresh out of college. I put in the max to get the match. I’ve always put in as much to get the match, and currently I’m up to 10% in retirement savings (7% from me, 3% from my employer). MY husband will also start out with 5% (he doesn’t get a match). And we’ll go up 1% a year until he’s up to 10%. I think that’s a good chunk. We both have pensions though so that makes a big difference.

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 16, 2014 at 2:14 pm (3 months ago)

      Pensions make a big difference for sure! That’s awesome you both have them!

      Reply
  34. LiquidNo Gravatar
    January 16, 2014 at 3:14 pm (3 months ago)

    Nice going :) $18K is a lot of debt to pay off by yourself. Once the interest charges resume for your student loans you’ll probably save over $1000 every year on interest costs because of your previous proactive decision :D You have encouraged me to get serious about my debt too. So this year, 2014, I will try to pay down $18K of my debt as well. No guarantees, but I’m willing to try :D
    That’s great you’ll be balancing your savings between investing and debt repayment. I think having the right balance is important. I would personally max out the TFSA before contributing to an RRSP. If you already have a TFSA saving account, you can use that money to buy ETFs, index funds, bonds, individual stocks, or any other investment that’s TFSA compatible :) Oh yeah, team Christina of course ;)

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 16, 2014 at 4:06 pm (3 months ago)

      I’m confident you will be able to pay off $18k of your debt this year Liquid! Great minds think alike because my retirement savings are currently sitting in a TFSA. I’m still a LONG ways from maxing it out. :P Yay another one for Team Christina! :)

      Reply
  35. E.M.No Gravatar
    January 16, 2014 at 4:37 pm (3 months ago)

    I have money set aside to open a retirement account with, but I do think it’s important to save for the future and pay off debt at the same time. My boyfriend was kind of ticked off when he learned his new job came with a mandatory 3% contribution, but I think it’s a good thing! He would rather have more money to put toward his student loans which is understandable, but I’m sure his older self will be thankful.

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 16, 2014 at 4:41 pm (3 months ago)

      His older self will be very thankful!

      Reply
  36. La Tejana @ Debt Free TejanaNo Gravatar
    January 16, 2014 at 6:39 pm (3 months ago)

    Team Xtina all the way (I still love her in Burlesque!)! Good for you for contributing to a retirement. I know that everyone’s opinions and are different, but I think that it is good to start young. If you can make payments on it while paying off so much of your debt, it will only grow exponentially when you get your debt paid off.

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 16, 2014 at 6:48 pm (3 months ago)

      Thanks Le Tejana. Sometimes when I’m making all this massive debt repayments, I imagine it being payments made to my retirement savings! If only I hadn’t messed up so badly in the past. :P

      Reply
  37. Little HouseNo Gravatar
    January 17, 2014 at 6:58 am (3 months ago)

    I’m on board with doing both at the same time, too. Especially if you’re older, like me. Retirement won’t wait and eventually there won’t be enough time to make up for dumb financial moves (like not saving for retirement when I was younger!)

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 17, 2014 at 9:12 am (3 months ago)

      I’m “older” too so even though I’m as aggressive as possible with my debt repayment, I still set aside a little bit each month for retirement.

      Reply
  38. kat.No Gravatar
    January 17, 2014 at 7:04 am (3 months ago)

    i have to say–i love brit brit and xtina equally! tina just has an insanely ridiculous voice but i love brit’s amazing ability to come back on top after anything–like, um, shaving her head, for example. in terms of paying off debt vs. retirement, i have been having this argument in my head since december!! i started an IRA when i was 18, but basically stopped contributing to it when i get married almost 3 years ago (can you say “lazy”? i didn’t feel like changing the direct deposit account numbers to our joint checking account!), but now that we’re starting to make some headway with our debt (not as much as you, but still some!), i feel like i need to start contributing to my IRA and get one set up for the husband, too…decisions, decisions! i only just turned 25 and husband only just turned 26, so i feel like this is a good year to start maybe!

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 17, 2014 at 9:14 am (3 months ago)

      Start now Kat! Pay off that debt, but set aside a little bit each month for retirement. Your future self will thank you. :)

      Reply
  39. Summer Blessing @The Blessing ChroniclesNo Gravatar
    January 17, 2014 at 9:11 pm (3 months ago)

    I was Team Brit-Brit back in the day, then Xtina, but more recently Team Brit again!
    Congrats on getting to 4 digits!!! I am slowly working on building myself an emergency fund before I do my retirement account.. but I just started with all this debt repayment ths month. I do have a retirement account at work, its pretty nice. I work for the government and they match my contributions, so I have it at the max of 5% (therefore I have 10% going in.) However, I would like to have a personal fund in which I save for my retirement as well, just in case. You never know with the government!

    I hate nosey buttfaces! Who are they to tell you what YOU did or didn’t do?! Man people on the internet have some nerve! They are just jelly cause they weren’t as dedicated as you and they didn’t chunk through 18k worth of debt themselves!

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 18, 2014 at 9:03 am (3 months ago)

      10% going into your retirement savings through work is AWESOME Summer! I think starting your own personal retirement savings account is a great idea as well. I know that blogging about something as personal as finances/debt will have people judging me because that’s just what people do…that’s why I blog anonymously…for now. ;)

      Reply
  40. Erin @ Grad Money MattersNo Gravatar
    January 18, 2014 at 3:46 am (3 months ago)

    Team Brit, for sure.

    While most of my cash goes towards debt, I do save a small amount towards retirement each month. I recently hit $5k and I was so excited!

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 18, 2014 at 9:04 am (3 months ago)

      Wow. $5k is so exciting Erin! Congrats! :)

      Reply
  41. Grayson @ Debt RoundupNo Gravatar
    January 18, 2014 at 6:38 am (3 months ago)

    You know I am a fan of doing both. I paid off debt and saved all during my debt repayment years. I even created a new allocation method just for the purpose.

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 18, 2014 at 9:05 am (3 months ago)

      I really liked your allocation method Grayson!

      Reply
  42. Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The LoansNo Gravatar
    January 22, 2014 at 10:20 am (3 months ago)

    Retirement savings is SO IMPORTANT! I can’t seem to convince my friends of that. They say they’d rather focus on debt, which I’m all for. Except I know that they’re not actually paying extra towards their debt, anyways. *facepalm*

    P.S. Back in the day, I was super Team Christina :)

    Reply
    • GMDNo Gravatar
      January 22, 2014 at 10:31 am (3 months ago)

      As focused as I am on debt at the moment, I will always save spare change for retirement too. It’s just too important not to.

      Reply
  43. AjaveenNo Gravatar
    March 15, 2014 at 5:43 pm (1 month ago)

    Great article! I am currently paying my student loan debt and contributing to my 401-K plan. My job matches our contribution which is great.

    Reply

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