Category: Our Finances

Try It On for Size

3D Problem SolvingPhoto via StockMonkeys.com.

On Monday, I shared our super scary hairy audacious goal to pay off our mortgage in the next 5 years. It is a terrifying prospect, but the idea of having that much more income ours to hold on to in possibly 4 years sounds heavenly. In that post, I wrote:

Instead of just committing to the goal, we’re going to spend the next two months living uber frugally. We’re going to get back to truly sticking within our food budget, and attempting to live on our lowest salary…

Instead of just stating, yes, we’re going to go forth and live miserly on pennies a day, we’ve decided it would be best to “try it on for size” first before we actually commit to the long-term plan. This gives us the ability to save additional income we had not planned to save this spring, and see if we truly can make it work and still function decently in the process.

One of the best ways to see if something will work for you is to try it out for a shorter time period. Instead of focusing on the 5 year plan, we’re focusing on the next two and a half months. If that works and we get used to it, then it’ll be easier to tackle each month going forward.

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Paying Off Our Mortgage in 5 Years?

3D Shackled Debt

Photo: www.stockmonkeys.com

I’ve been going back and forth on the idea of completely obliterating our mortgage in the next 5 years or less. You’ll find financial experts on both sides of the coin who will tell you to not worry about your mortgage debt if the interest rate is low (around 4% or less) and instead use your money to invest. On the other hand, other experts will tell you to get out of debt entirely as soon as possible.

Mortgage debt is extremely personal to everyone who holds one.

Personally, I don’t like debt. I never have.

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No New Clothes: March Update

So far, since the end of November, I’ve not purchased any new clothes (4 months!). I have several good reasons, one of which are several bins of smaller sized clothing prepartum to get back into. This month I continued to skip clothes shopping, although I did end up getting one new pair of running sneakers. If there is anything I am not willing to give up, it is appropriate footwear for running.

Unfortunately, even though I tried on about 6 different running pairs and landed on one that seemed like a winner, my knees were hurting after just a few short runs (and I can’t return them, bummer). So, I’m running in my older sneakers that still have life left in them, and the new ones have been great for walking.

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3 Simple Steps to Money Management

You must think I spend all week looking at my budget sheets, organizing my receipts, and planning our expenses or managing investments. How do I get anything else done when I spend so much time looking at and running the numbers?

I do run a personal finance blog after all, right?

It may seem overwhelming to take control of your finances. Should you pay off debt? Should you invest money? What should your goals be? That all comes after you put together the pieces of your money management puzzle and define your values and priorities.

In reality, I spend about 5-10 minutes managing our finances weekly.

Here are 3 simple steps to get started managing your money: Continue reading…