Money Matters.

Jars of Coins

How in the heck are you able to stay home? You have two kids? You have a new car? I get that a lot. A LOT.

Answer: priorities.

I know I’ve touched on a bit of the subject in the past, but more and more people seem to ask how we do it. It’s honestly simple, we prioritize what’s important v. what isn’t, we cut out crap we don’t actually need ( like cable) and we take time ( by we I mean Cory! He honestly in the mastermind behind all of this financial talk) to plan.. plan for now, and more importantly our and our children’s future! I haven’t always cared because in my head I’m always “that’s what I have Cor for” “he knows how to do all this” but most recently I have a taken a strong interest in learning myself!

Here are some helpful tips:

We cut cable awhile ago and never looked back. We have Sling TV and of course good old Netflix. For both we pay approximately $38 a month. When we had cable we were paying close to $200! Um, no thanks! Sling gives you the ability to pick and choose cable channels you want, minus DVR. Everything is live and on demand, so not too shabby in my book. Gigi still can watch Nick Jr. and Disney, I can still watch E network ( love me my Kardashians!) and Cor has HGTV and a bunch of our other favs. No more throwing money down the toilet for channels we never watched, a DVR we never utilized, and no more being hustled to pay more!

Most recently we made a standing rule that we only eat out on Friday nights. Friday night is our night for dinner and ice-cream. Of course there are special circumstances, and there’s always date night, birthdays, or just a day when you want a freaking pizza, but as a new rule we are trying to stick to Fridays. It’s also apart of our healthy New Years resolutions- eat and be healthier. When you eat at home, you have a much better chance of making healthier choices… after all, you yourself control the grocery shopping 😉

Speaking of groceries, we try to use up what we have in our pantry, fridge, and freezer before grocery shopping. I have a REALLY REALLY R E A L L Y awful habit of buying doubles, and sometimes triples of items because it’s so jam packed!! Honestly, I had 3 huge bags of chicken nuggets and didn’t even know it… Not ok. I did a major clean out which helps prevent this from happening. Seriously guys, do a sweep of your food… you just may surprise yourself.. plus you won’t be grocery shopping every. single. week. Anyone make multiple trips to Target a week? I was… Not anymore!

Are you a Starbucks junkie? I’m guilty. I still grab it here and there, but not as much. That $6 drink adds up! I now buy Califia iced coffee– 90 calories and it is delish… not to mention I can fill a Starbucks Venti cup up like 6 times for $4.99, heck yes!

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FYI: Target always has every flavor!

We set up 529s for each of the kids college funds. If your state offers a tax break for these I would recommend that. We are from Chicago and we have found the Illinois Bright Start to be pretty good, if lacking in investment options a bit, but we do get a state tax break for it. So that covers the kids college (or at least a fraction of what it will cost by the time the kids are in college). Then Cory contributes to his 401k as well as a Roth IRA, and makes some contributions to a spousal IRA for me.

Cory’s philosophy is to: pay for the things we like and stop paying for as much of the things we dislike. 

One thing Cory just did that I am super excited about is consolidated all of the separate retirement accounts I had from other jobs when I worked, and put them into a robo advisor (something so simple even I can understand). I am still trying to learn about personal finance, in the meantime Wealthfront is AMAZING. Cory took a little survey for me and BOOM it does everything for me. Cory took A LONG time deciding between Wealthfront and a few other places. He says what did it for him was the low minimum requirement, $10,000 managed for free, and a great referral program. Seriously, if this worked for my accounts it will work for anyone. I had less than $1000 from 4 different jobs. Bonus!!! if you use my link we each get an additional $5000 managed or free ($15000 total). This is seriously a really really cool product. I do encourage all of you to take a look especially if you have any money sitting in old retirement accounts. Its really exciting to actually have this working for me while Cory teaches me about personal finance and investing.

We deposit a small amount to each account, but as Cory CONSTANTLY quotes Albert Einstein “Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe” (one day I will actually understand what that means. For now, if you are interested in Wealthfront go take a look, if you think it is right for you then please use my WealthFront link

If you are looking for some additional tips & an actual guide to follow? Dave Ramsey. Have you ever heard of him? He has a great system to take control of your money. His 7 baby steps are phenomenal…I’ve linked each step directly 😉

  1. $1,000 to Start an Emergency Fund
  2. Pay Off All Debt but the House

  3. 3 to 6 Months of Expenses in Savings

  4. Invest 15% of Household Income Into Retirement

  5. College Funding for Children

  6. Pay Off Home Early

  7. Build Wealth and Give

 

Happy Investing 😉