How to Throw a Budget Party with Your Spouse

My wife and I have had some incredible financial wins during our marriage. We eliminated $48,032 of debt, paid off our $195,000 mortgage and increased our net worth by $800,000 all in the last 9 years. And the one tradition that has been constant throughout the entire process has been our Budget Party.

The Budget Party is a monthly get-together meant to set aside time for me and my wife to have important conversations about our financial future together. We review how we used our money from the previous month, what we want to do with our cash this month and how we’re tracking on our overall financial goals.

Outside of the obvious financial benefits of this activity, these meetings are great for our marriage. We discuss what’s important to us, how we’re going to get there together and how we see our relationship growing over the years to come. With two small children in the house, time for discussion is limited. The Budget Party gives us a little break and helps me feel closer to my wife. 

If all this financial growth and marital relationship building stuff sounds interesting to you, I’ve compiled 10 easy steps for you to build your own Budget Party. This way, you can create your own monthly meeting and strengthen your family tree for years to come. 

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When It Makes Sense to Refinance Your Mortgage (And When It Doesn’t)

Have you ever thought about refinancing your home? Most homeowners I know have entertained the thought at one time or another. They think it’s probably a good idea, but don’t know if it makes sense for them or not. Mortgages are confusing already. Refinancing adds to the confusion and if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can cost you big time. Let’s look at when it makes sense to refinance your mortgage and when it’s a bad idea. 

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How We Decreased our Spending by $20,000 (While Increasing Our Fun by $10,000)

In order to achieve financial independence, you need to first understand what your annual expenses are. That’s how much money you need to live comfortably every year.

Your annual expenses can include things like housing, transportation, food, utility bills, entertainment, travel and the many other things that make your life … well, your life! 

For our family, I’ve found that number to range between $60,000 and $70,000 per year. That number is after taxes and it doesn’t include money for saving and investing. 

With lower annual expenses, it would definitely be a lot easier for our family to become financially independent.

If we’re using the 4% rule to calculate how much to save to become FI, then we’d need $1,500,000 – $1,750,000. Considering I have around $4,000 in a taxable brokerage account at 37 years old, that’s going to take quite a while!

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How to Reach Your First $100,000 (in Salary, Business and Net Worth) – with Tori Dunlap

Do you want to reach $100,000? This could be in your salary, your small business revenue, and even your net worth.

To help us achieve these big milestones in our lives, I’ve invited Tori Dunlap to chat with us today.

Tori is a millennial money and career expert. Her career started with landing a digital marketing contract worth tens of thousands, and a full-time position as the head of marketing for a global company — all before she turned 22. On track to save $100,000 by 25, Tori founded Her First $100K to give women actionable resources to get their first six figures too.

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How Grandparents Can Help With the Cost of College

Meg from Missouri wrote in about 529 plans and her generous in-laws:

I recently discovered your podcast and am really enjoying it.  I have a 529 question that I am having trouble finding the answer to.  My husband and I have a 5-year-old, 3-year-old, and 1 year old. My in-laws have been wonderful and opened 529 plans for each of our kids on their 1st birthday.  They contribute $600/year to each child. We are beyond lucky to have such a generous family. My husband has finally finished his medical training. We have purchased a home and are now able to start contributing to the 529 plans.

My question is … Can a child have more than one 529 plan?  We live in Missouri. Our in-laws opened 529 plans that are not associated with our state of residence.  Can we open 529 plans that would allow us to take advantage of tax benefits for the state of Missouri or can a child only have one plan?

Thank you for your help.

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5 Ways to Save Thousands When Buying a New Home

It’s home buying season! If you’re looking for a house right now, this very well could be one of the most difficult times to buy real estate. The amount of available homes is super low and prices have skyrocketed. I know where we live in Metro Detroit, it seems more difficult than ever to buy a home at a decent price. From what I’ve read and heard, it sounds like a similar story in other major metros in the US as well.

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16 Money Questions to Ask Your Partner Before You Get Married

So, you’ve found the one! Congratulations. What a feeling! Being married to the love of your life is absolutely incredible. I’m speaking from experience here … meeting and marrying my wife substantially increased the awesomeness of my days.

As optimistic as I am, I’m not naive in thinking that marriages are all roses and sunshine. Marital fights happen all the time around raising your children, family traditions, religion, political viewpoints and, of course, money. Disagreements around the all mighty dollar have caused countless arguments and, in some cases, those disagreements have caused marriages to end.

To prevent a future divorce based on money issues, let’s start off our new relationships with brutal honesty and transparency. It’s not only smart for the future of our marriages, but it is also a healthy way to engage in any new partnership. We wouldn’t accept a new job offer without asking a boatload of questions, would we? 

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Simple Millionaire Investing Strategies with the 401k, IRA and 529 – with Andy Wang

We all know it’s important to invest for the future. But with endless investing options like the 401k, the IRA, the 529, the 457, the 403b, it’s no wonder we’re confused on where to start. I mean, what kind of names are these anyway!?

Our guest today is going to help us make sense of all this investing madness. Andy Wang is here with us today. He is a Managing Partner at Runnymede Capital Management and the host of the Inspired Money Podcast. He has been named among the INVESTOPEDIA 100: Most Influential Advisors, Top 100 Most Social Financial Advisors by Brightscope, and has appeared on Reuters TV, The Huffington Post, Barron’s, and Forbes.

Outside of his financial advising world, Andy is a father of three and loves playing the Hawaiin guitar.

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Why You Should Track Your Net Worth (And How To Do It Easily)

Have you ever taken the time to calculate your net worth?

It’s something that most people have never done despite it being one of the most important financial numbers. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are or whether you consider yourself rich, poor or somewhere in between.

It’s fairly simple to figure out your net worth. If you haven’t done it yet, let’s walk through why it’s important and the best way to calculate it.

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