I'm feeling very pleased these days about my retirement contributions. With the new job came a healthy pay raise, and since my involuntary contributions as well as my workplace's contributions are done on percentage, they've gone up 30%, to $814 per month. I'm also putting in $500 per month myself, so I'm now getting nearly as much in retirement contributions as I am living on. This is astonishing to me.
I've got an automatic contribution of $200 per month to the Roth, and I'll max it out by the end of the year. And I'm now saving plenty of money. So I'm casting around for ways to get more money into my retirement accounts. I don't want to contribute so much every month that I have to rely on other money to live, but the 403(b) is the only other option after maxing out the IRA to get more money into a tax-sheltered account.
So here's my plan. I use about $1800 per month to pay all the bills, rent, groceries, contribute to the Roth, etc. So my plan right now is that once I have a comfortable amount saved up, I'm going to change my retirement contribution amount for that month from $500 to $2000 or $2500 - essentially my whole paycheck after about $470 in pretax required deductions - and live on my saved-up money for one month. Then I'll change it back the next month and save up my money again. Then when I get another $2000 or so saved up, I'll have another "no-income" month and put it in the 403(b).
This sounds pretty good to me but I'm also kind of chicken about not having the money coming in. But I think I can prep ahead of time and make sure the bills money is in the bills bank account, and the living money in the living expenses bank account, and I've got my ING debit card in case there is an emergency. So perhaps next month... :)