Congrats on having two of the biggest questions in life figured out at 23. I'm a few years older and wish I had those 2 figured out.
You're in a good position right now to start building wealth.
What is the interest rate(s) on the CC debt? If it's lower than what you're making on stocks or could make in high yield checking, then I say keep it. If it's higher (anything over 5% in general I would pay off) then sell the stocks and pay it off.
If you don't understand stocks (most people don't), then sell whatever you have and dump everything into a target date mutual fund (I'd suggest the Vanguard 2050 fund given your age). Set it and forget it investing beats market timing and individual stocks for most people.
When it comes to saving, do it! Try not to buy anything, enjoy life simply with your fiance. Small wedding, small honeymoon, and dump the rest in the bank.
Buying a house is debatable; mortgage rates are very low right now, but prices could still have a ways to fall. Make sure you do plenty of research/shopping first if you decide to buy. Try to put 20% down on a house to avoid paying PMI, and get a FIXED RATE (not ARM) mortgage to lock in these low rates for the full 30 or 15 years.
I also highly recommend a Roth IRA for your retirement savings. Max out any 401k match your employer offers, and then dump $5k for each of you in a Roth IRA every year. Invest the IRA/401k in target funds as suggested above, unless you know what you're doing in the market.
what's the interest rate on your CC debt? it's almost impossible that the rate of return on whatever stock you have is anywhere near the interest rate on your debt. therefore sell (just enough) stock to pay off the debt. the rest you can keep for sentimental value.
If, like you say,
"My grandfather was extremely successful and a self made millionaire who never bought a luxurious item in his life."
I think he, being a smart man and smart with money, would have told you to do the smart thing. Which is what I've said above =)
1. Keep the stock
2. As for your cc debt are you just paying the min or are you seriously paying it down? If the later, just keep doing that and put everything you can towards that once you start earning your new income.
3. After cc's are paid off DO NOT CLOSE THEM! If they have an annual fee, contact the creditor and see if you can convert NOT CLOSE to a no-annual fee card.
4. Discontinue new cc use
5. Do you have any sort of emergency fund? If not, once the cc's are paid off use the money you were paying down the cc with to build it.
6. Make a plan, talk with your fiance and STICK WITH IT
7.Hold off even thinking of buying a place until cc is all paid off, emergency fund w/6 months living expenses (min) and plan for a replacement vehicle is in place. Engine is nothing to play around with and damage could get worse. Do you *need* two vehicles or with some creativity could you make do with one?
hey guys sorry haven't been able to log on for a little while. I really appreciate all of the advice. I will take it all into consideration. My plan now is definetly to just get rid of the cc debt and know that it's the best thing to do right now. The left over money I will still have to decide what is the best avenue to go. Hopefully I can save up enough over the next year to pay for any wedding expenses out of pocket and keep the left over stock money as a beginning emergency fund or down payment on a house. I of course will be doing the 401k with my new job.
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