The basics

Finances!

Don’t fall asleep on me.

When my husband and I first got together twelve years ago, it did not take me long to realize that we could not both be spenders. 

And since I graduated from college with a B.S. in Finance, I figured I better show up.

So let’s talk about some ways that we can be smart with the hard earned money we make.  I’ve always equated time with money.  That’s just how my brain works.  And now that we have children, time away from family is worth a lot more than when it was just the two of us.

We live on a budget.  So my first advice is to create a budget based on a set income.  Our income happens to fluctuate month to month so our budget is based on the minimum of what I know I can expect.  If you are trying to plan anything: a vacation, retirement, a big purchase, an annual budget of ‘income versus expenditures’ is going to help you reach that goal quicker.  Much quicker than without a budget.

The second piece of advice you’ll often see, and one that I agree with, is to save money for emergencies, a.k.a. the absolutely unexpected in life.   A savings plan for your kids’ college is equally important.  I’ve read over the years that you should ensure your retirement before you ensure your kids’ college, but I happen to believe that they are both worthy and important buckets of savings.    We have 529 plans for each of our daughters that we donate $1K to every year on their birthdays, as well as our golden year savings in various forms. 

What else do I recommend?

  • ·      The brilliant and wise use of credit cards: earning money and/or points back on purchases, transferring to 0% APR offers when necessary, paying the full amount due every month

  • ·      Take advantage of the many free things out there:  kids meals at restaurants, free days at museums and national parks, the local libraries, parades and community celebrations, etc.

  • ·      Don’t buy anything without a coupon: there’s absolutely no need to

  • ·      Recycle, re-use, re-purpose, re-sell, donate

  • ·      Have a 5-10-15 year framework for your life always in the back of your mind

  • ·      Always do your homework before a major purchase

  • ·      Participate in loyalty purchasing programs for things you buy monthly or regularly

  • ·      Find an expert’s advice you like and follow them regularly in any way that you can: book, social media, radio, etc.


My final thought is that I don’t believe finances should be a source of stress in life.  You are laughing right now right?  It’s like one of the top stressors for most people.  If it is for you, consider the following:  living within your means, or under; seeking work/life balance; don’t compare what you have or do with others!  Personal finances should be organized and planned out.  Dealing with something head on greatly reduces the stress surrounding that topic.

Oh, how could I forget probably the most important advice: get your kiddos educated on the basics before they tackle the world on their own.  Earning, saving, spending money.  Using credit cards.  Buying big ticket items.  How the stock market works! 

If this topic really interests you, check out the following site for a list of the top financial blogs for moms.  I pinned it, it’s so good.

finance bloggers for moms!

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