During the pandemic, my husband and I have gotten our finances in order on our way to 1. Financial freedom; 2. Paying for any college our children want to attend; 3. Buying things off our desires list.
How are we doing this?
- We looked at the whole financial picture: How much we make; how much we owe; how much we spend; what we are invested in and created a desires list for motivation to save.
- We switched financial advisors. Our previous one was someone my husband used before we got married, and she was out of the state, so I have never met her in person. Our new ones are just up the road at the Allman Bobbie Group. I highly recommend them. We plan to use them as our accountability partners and help us decide where to invest and spend our money. Because for some odd reason, my husband and I are not always on the same page. Working with them means less stress in our marriage because we are not the experts on this. (And a little part of me just knows they will say I am right!)
- My mother always told me to have my own money, so I moved my accounts to Revere Asset Management. Yes, they are out of town, but these guys are brilliant and higher risk takers. But I am a risk taker. Check them out.
- I am taking on communication consulting gigs in addition to organizing. That brings in extra money to pay off our debts and invest in our future. Check out my LinkedIn profile. You may be wondering how the two go together. Well, one is about organzing messaging, ideas and strategies. The other is organizing stuff. Through both my consulting and organizing businesses, I help clients gain the clarity they need to create clear pathways for moving forward.
- We have paid off debts. We only have a law school loan and a car loan to go. We would have had no car payments, but in February, my husband’s 2007 car died, died, died. I don’t like the new car payment, but I don’t miss the car’s tape deck. It was time.
- We are making a plan with our advisors on how to buy things off our desires list, which includes buying a vacation home, a kitchen renovation, a new deck (because for the foreseeable future, we are vacatioing in our backyard.) And we need new furniture. All of our furniture is used. It is time for these 43-year-olds to get new, real furniture. And we want to make it an investment. I am a minimalist, but I am not opposed to purchasing things. When you do purchase, though, I believe in saving up to buy the best possible product. So many people cheap out for a short-term gain. Nothing irritates me more than seeing on a Facebook mom’s group “Looking for a recommendation for X, but I want someone who won’t break the bank.” You get what you pay for, folks. Save up. Buy only the best. Pay for the best. And that way, you won’t end up with five cheap couches. You will have one really nice one. Our go-to store right now is Ethan Allen, which has free design services. Ask for designer Jennifer Alexander.
- Saving even more for college in our 529, so our children can attend any school they want. If they want to go to Harvard, or my alma matter, University of Virginia, or my husband’s alma matter, Washington University, I want them to go and be able to pay for it out right.
- Increasing the investment accounts for my children, so they can be set up for financial success. That way, they can have a down payment for a house or pay for graduate school, or whatever. Stop buying your children video games, and create investment accounts for them. My children do not have video games or electronics (no phones or iPads). This teaches them to save and not buy things for a short-lasting fix. (Charles Schwab custodial accounts for minors is an easy way to do this.)
Want to get your finances in order? Here are some resources:
I found the Brownings on Instagram. Eight years ago, the family of four embraced the Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) movement and retired before 40. I am not actually interested in retiring. I like working. But I am down with financial freedom and saving as much as possible. They are an inspiration, plus, they are a darn, cute family.
I read Tony Robbins: “Money: How to Master the Game, 7 Steps to Financial Freedom.
I read The Millionaire Next Door.
And I read Dave Ramsay’s The Total Money Makeover and used the workbook, skipping over the Christian parts. That is why we are paying all debts first.