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What to do with the leftover?

Dear Dave,
When you use the envelope system, what should you do with any leftover money?

Dear Mandy,
My suggestion would be to carry it over to the next month. Lots of folks don’t use all the money in their clothing envelope during a month. There’s nothing wrong with letting a little extra build up in one of your categories if you don’t spend it all in a given month or two.

You should be hitting the budget pretty close each month on categories like food. Getting out of debt and managing your money wisely doesn’t mean going hungry. If you do end up with a little left over in the food envelope, treat yourself to a nice dinner out, or buy something that’s food-oriented.

But it’s okay to carry a few categories over from month to month. Just make sure you don’t get crazy and blow that money on something outside the intended category, or on stuff you really don’t need.

Too much risk

Dear Dave,
I have some company stock my grandparents bought for me years ago. Would be a good idea to cash out the stock and roll it into an IRA?

Dear Dylan,
Technically, you wouldn’t be rolling it into an IRA. You would cash it out and use the money to establish a Roth IRA. And yes, I would do that.

It was very kind of your grandparents to buy you a gift like this, but I think you can do better. You didn’t mention an amount, but let’s say you’ve got $10,000 in that company’s stock. Now, would you buy the stock if you had $10,000 sitting on the table? Most people, myself included, would say no because there’s too much risk. I wouldn’t advise having the majority of your wealth — the highest percentage of your net worth — tied up in one single company. That’s bad news.

So yes, I would sell that stock and use the money to fund a Roth IRA or multiple Roth IRAs. I invest my Roth IRA money in mutual funds that have a solid track record of outperforming the S&P 500 for 10 years or longer.


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