A change in plans

Due to the recent diagnosis of my father, one of the things I thought about was how to prepare my mother and myself financially. I've tried to the approach the subject of what happens to us "afterwards" but she really doesn't want to to talk about it. I completely understand, so I haven't pushed her about. However due to the reality of her very dire situation, it will have to be discussed, and fairly soon. Her own health isn't the greatest, and she faces losing her home. If she loses her home, she loses her income.

Personally, I've had to rethink a few things:

1. My health care fund ($1,500) will go to my mother. I let her know that if she needs it, she can have it. Said to hold on to it for now, so I will. I know she will need it at some point.

2. God forbid, if mom does lose the house, then I have to be prepared to move. She could move in with her sister. I will need to find someplace to rent. I've been checking out Craigslist to see what studio apartments are going for, checking rates for renters insurance, etc. Looking around and talking to friends, I am looking at about $700 to $725 a month for a studio. Hopefully that will include utilities and whatever extra for a pet.

3. With that in mind, I'm considering holding off on a computer purchase until January. I want to have as much cash on hand to stay flexible.

4. I'm going to see if I can draw up a budget to flesh out what kind of expenses I can expect if I were living on my own, then group all that into a new ING savings bucket called "Rent and expenses." It will help me gauge how it would financial feel to "pay out" that kind of money and if I can hack it.

5. I'm going to dial back my 2009 401k contribution. Right now I contribute 20%, scaling back to 15% could put an extra $2,000 in my paycheck. If I find a place for $700, that's almost 3 months of rent.